Stanley Unwin: A Man of Considerable Ability!
June 21, 2022
Silva Screen Announces 1st Commercial Release of Barry Gray’s THE SECRET SERVICE Soundtrack
On July 29, 2022, Silva Screen will digitally release Barry Gray’s soundtrack, THE SECRET SERVICE. This is the first ever commercial release of the soundtrack, and the 7th in the Silva Screen Gerry Anderson series – newly compiled, mastered, and designed by the creative team at Fanderson, The Official Gerry And Sylvia Anderson Appreciation Society.
THE SECRET SERVICE is a 1969 British science fiction television series created by Gerry and Sylvia Anderson and filmed by their production company, Century 21, for ITC Entertainment. It follows the exploits of an elderly vicar, Father Stanley Unwin, a puppet character voiced by (and modelled on) the comedian of the same name, and his gardener, secret agents for B.I.S.H.O.P, who combat criminals and terrorists from overseas in the year 1969.
Whilst working at Pinewood Studios in 1968, Gerry Anderson bumped into the comic actor Stanley Unwin. With his whimsical charm and hilarious gibberish double talk (playfully christened ‘Unwinese’) Unwin had earned great popularity throughout the 50s and 60s and the Anderson’s immediately knew that they had found someone to base their next puppet series on. For several years the Century 21 team had toyed with directly basing a puppet character on a real-life actor, now the time had come to make it a reality. The Andersons developed a premise around Unwin, returning to their ‘unlikely spy’ scenario which had worked so well with JOE 90, they created ‘Father’ Unwin, a kindly priest who, despite outwardly disappearing into whimsy, doubles as a determined agent for British Intelligence. In the series the lines would be blurred even further between the miniature Supermarionation world and reality, as live action footage of Stanley Unwin would also be used in the series.
To appropriately reflect THE SECRET SERVICE’S premise and compliment the gentle title sequence created to introduce the series, Barry Gray decided to write a three-part fugue in the style of the Baroque composer Bach. To perform the vocals, the Mike Sammes Singers were hired, the vocal group who Gray had used on the Supercar theme. Once coupled with soft organ and minimalist percussion, a unique music piece was born to bookend Father Unwin’s adventures. perfectly capturing the off-beat nature of the series.
Barry Gray was a classically trained composer and a versatile musician and was amongst the first composers to use electronic instruments in music for television. Best known for creating the music for most of the Gerry & Sylvia Anderson television series in the 1960’s and 70’s (FIREBALL XL5, THUNDERBIRDS, UFO, SPACE:1999), Barry Gray’s complete musical opus is still not commercially available in its entirety. Fanderson, dedicated to the productions of Gerry Anderson, has gained access to all Barry Gray’s original studio tapes and have undertaken a major re-issue project. Together with Fanderson, Silva Screen Records is championing Barry Gray’s incredible musical opus and is releasing the material in a series of physical and digital albums and vinyl records.
Also available on Silva Screen Records are Barry Gray’s soundtracks: UFO, Supercar, Thunderbirds, Fireball XL5, Space: 1999 Year 1 & 2, Captain Scarlet And the Mysterons. See Silva Screen US or Silva Screen UK.
Watch the trailer to THE SECRET SERVICE via YouTube: