I Spy NBC-TV (US Network) 1965-68 Triple F Productions

This rarely seen 1960’s spy series, possibly one of the best made spy series to be produced at the time, starred Robert Culp and Bill Cosby as Kelly Robinson and Alexander Scott. The premise of the series was of these two top American intelligence operatives, whose globe-hopping on assignments is covered by their posing as a tennis pro and his coach, attending international tennis matches.

The series caused somewhat of a stir when first shown, as it was the first time an African American male had ever been cast in a lead role, on a US drama series. This being the case though, racial issues were very rarely tackled, Scott and Robinson were instead simply shown as two agents who got on well together and worked well as a team, which really is how it should be.

The series was created and produced by Sheldon Leonard and lasted for 82 hour long episodes. The series first aired in September of 1965 with an episode entitled “So long, Patrick Henry”, which was written by the series star Robert Culp, who also wrote a further four episodes of the first season. Very high production standards were maintained throughout the series run, and story lines were always finely crafted with many a twist or turn to keep one guessing. Though this series was obviously popular in America, lasting three seasons, it seems to be virtually unknown in the UK. It does not seem to have had a network showing though it appears episodes were shown on Rediffusion in the London area during 1967.