Television: The Private I

Best proof that a TV action show can ignore sensationalism and still be entertaining was CBS's Secret Agent series. Its star, the supercool Briton Patrick McGoohan, ignored the production executives who insisted that he imitate James Bond. "They wanted me to carry a gun and have an affair with a different girl in each episode," he recalls, but McGoohan had his way through 45 lively episodes with nary a kiss or a kill. Though it was never a blockbuster of a hit, Secret Agent ran for two years, and is now successfully syndicated in...