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The Obscure 70’s TV Show About Electronic Surveillance #SaturdayMorningCartoons

The Outer Limits was created by Leslie Stevens, a pioneering science fiction creator who also developed Buck Rogers in the 25h Century, The Invisible Man, and was part of the brain trust that developed the original Star Trek and Battlestar Galactica.

He also created Search, a TV show that imagined a world of constant electronic observation. It was so ahead of its time that ABC almost didn’t produce it because the executives didn’t believe electronic surveillance would ever be pervasive or prevalent enough to support the show’s concept.


The World Securities Corporation is a transnational firm insuring and protecting various treasures and institutions. They are also hired by governments and private citizens alike to track down everything from caches of diamonds to nuclear weapons….

Each field agent is outfitted with a miniature scanner disguised as a piece of jewelry, which can be magnetically attached to special cufflinks, tieclips, or pendants. This device continuously monitors the agent’s progress, transmitting audio, video, and physical telemetry to Probe Control. A team of specialists at Probe Control analyze the data, consult databases worldwide, and immediately provide information covertly to the field agent via a subcutaneous earpiece. The agent can respond to Probe Control either audibly or by tapping out code with a dental implant.

It also had Burgess Meredith.

Here’s a clip from the Warner Archive:

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  1. I would say that the intent of SEARCH was to be spy-fi show, not about ubiquitous electronic surveillance. Sort of a high-tech James Bond, with a NASA-like mission control monitoring the agent’s progress as he tracked down the mystery.

    The dark side of electronic surveillance (from a ’60’s perspective, which turned out to be not all that far off!) is shown in in The Prisoner with Patrick McGoohan.

    The series was remastered a few years ago after being unavailable since it was first broadcast. I remember it as a kid and was thrilled to get it all this time later. Parts of it are dated, but Burgess Meredith steals the show every scene he’s in.

  2. Wow! What a blast from the past! I remember this show from when I was a teenager. I would often describe to friends but could never remember the name of it. Now I know! Thank you! How in world did you stumble upon this reference?

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