CALLAN “Breakout.” Thames TV, UK, 10 June 1970 (Season 3, Episode 8). Edward Woodward (Callan), William Squire, Patrick Mower. Guest stars: Russell Hunter. Garfield Morgan. Teleplay by James Mitchell based on his own characters. Directed by Reginald Collin. Currently available on DVD and YouTube (see below).

   When a KGB agent named Lupin turns himself in to the police, it means that the men in the super secretive “Section,” who have been keeping tabs on him, cannot use their usual means of interrogation on him, which was the whole idea. The solution to the problem? Break him out of jail, posing as Russians, so he will go along with them.

   Complicating matters, and adding to their urgency, is the fact that Lupin has a list of all of Britain’s agents and aliases, and David Callan’s name is on it.

   And of course, as with most heist capers, things do not go smoothly.

   I chose this fast-paced episode to watch more or less random, but if it’s representative of the entire series, I may have made a mistake. It’s excellent, and I probably should have started at the beginning and worked my way through. (It ran for four seasons, and most of the episodes appear to be available on YouTube.)

   And in fact, I may just do that. The action scenes were often filmed without dialogue, so that was fine, but watching a British program without captioning and an indifferent soundtrack meant missing important incidental things, such as who was who and why. Some of the humorous bits were also of some difficulty to pick up on. I do indeed need to watch more.

   Of special note, if you watch this on your own, note how young and spry Edward Woodward was when he made this. I almost didn’t recognize him.