The Piglet Files

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The Piglet Files
The Piglet Files titlecard.PNG
Genre Sitcom
Created by Brian Leveson
Paul Minett
Starring Louise Catt
Serena Evans
Clive Francis
Steven Law
Nicholas Lyndhurst
Michael Percival
John Ringham
Paul Cooper
Country of origin United Kingdom
Original language(s) English
No. of series 3
No. of episodes 21
Running time 25 minutes
Production company(s) LWT
Distributor ITV Studios
Original network ITV
Original release 7 September 1990 (1990-09-07) – 10 May 1992 (1992-05-10)

The Piglet Files was a British sitcom produced by LWT. The show consisted of three series totalling 21 episodes that ran between 7 September 1990 and 10 May 1992.

The programme follows the life of reluctant MI5 agent Peter "Piglet" Chapman as he tries to instruct his fellow agents on the finer points of spy gadgetry while keeping his wife Sarah in the dark about his new career.


In the early 1990s, during the intervening period between the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of the Soviet Union, MI5 combats the Soviet spies within the United Kingdom while facing their own agents' ineptitude, and the ridicule of the sheer fact that the Soviet Union is no longer a threat; but MI5 knows better and indeed the Soviets are intent on making trouble.

In an effort to alleviate their agents' incompetence, MI5 hires local university teacher Peter Chapman, convincing him by getting him sacked from the university, which leaves him no choice. His new bosses, Maurice Drummond and Andrew Maxwell, assign him to the technology division, and he insists on having a codename, to further his identity in the world of spying. The first codenames listed were Puma, then Panther, but those are already in use and the only remaining P name is..."Piglet." Piglet routinely joins the other field agents on missions—mainly to ensure that MI5 gets its equipment back.

Peter "Piglet" Chapman must now face down Soviet assassins and double agents while keeping his identity as an MI5 technician secret from everyone else, including his wife Sarah.


Episode list[edit]

Series 1[edit]

Title Directed by Written by Original air date
1 1 "A Question of Intelligence" Robin Carr Paul Minett/Brian Leveson 7 September 1990 (1990-09-07)
When Peter Chapman is fired from his job as electronics lecturer at a polytechnic, a new role comes along almost immediately. His first day in the job doesn't exactly go to plan.
2 2 "Fair Exchange" Robin Carr Paul Minett/Brian Leveson 14 September 1990 (1990-09-14)
Sarah is mistakenly captured by a couple of bumbling Russian agents, and getting little support from drummond or Maxwell, Piglet goes about securing her return himself.
3 3 "A Room With A View" Robin Carr Paul Minett/Brian Leveson 21 September 1990 (1990-09-21)
Since the fall of the Berlin wall, agents have been flooding into Britain. Dexter and Flint are staking out a house belonging to two such unwelcome guests, and Peter's brought in to help assist their surveillance by new electronic means ahead of a visit by their East German controller.
4 4 "The Ice Man Cometh" Robin Carr Paul Minett/Brian Leveson 28 September 1990 (1990-09-28)
When the Russians mistake Piglet for another agent, it seems that his life may suddenly be in great danger. Meanwhile, his latest technological developments aren't exactly working as intended.
5 5 "The Beagle Has Landed" Robin Carr Paul Minett/Brian Leveson 5 October 1990 (1990-10-05)
Dexter and Lewis attempt to infiltrate a militant animal-rights group. Unsurprisingly, they have little success. Piglet, however, could be just the man for the job.
6 6 "Now You See It" Robin Carr Paul Minett/Brian Leveson 12 October 1990 (1990-10-12)
Piglet and the gang are sent chasing a top secret French-developed radar-cloaking system across the English countryside - unfortunately, both the Swedes and Americans are sticking their oars in!
7 7 "A Private Member's Bill" Robin Carr Paul Minett/Brian Leveson 19 October 1990 (1990-10-19)
When a leading politician advocates the merging of MI5 and MI6 under the control of Special Branch, Piglet, Lewis, Dexter and Flint are sent out to thwart his plans by discrediting him.

Series 2[edit]

Title Directed by Written by Original air date
8 1 "The Wright Stuff" Robin Carr Paul Minett/Brian Leveson 3 May 1991 (1991-05-03)
Dexter's compiling his memoirs - largely fictional - and intends to have them published one day. However, a former Assitant Director General of the service is about to have his own book published: and Peter's wife works for the publisher.
9 2 "Red Spy At Night" Robin Carr Paul Minett/Brian Leveson 10 May 1991 (1991-05-10)
Drummond is more than a little surprised when an agent, buried 12 years ago, rings his front door bell at 11pm with a list of KGB informants and spies. However, he's delighted to find Maxwell's name on the list, and puts Piglet and Dexter on the case immediately. Could it possibly be true?
10 3 "Piglet In A Trough" Robin Carr Paul Minett/Brian Leveson 17 May 1991 (1991-05-17)
Piglet's on a downward spiral: drinking, gambling, money troubles, and constantly cocking up at work. Thankfully, it's all a ruse between him and Drummond - unfortunately, it's because further information has come to light regarding Major Maxwell.
11 4 "The Wrong Combination" Robin Carr Paul Minett/Brian Leveson 24 May 1991 (1991-05-24)
After a training exercise goes disastrously wrong, Maxwell is talked into a bet with one of the boys at MI6. He arranges to spring a safe-breaker from prison to assist in the task, but all is not quite as it seems and Piglet ends up in the thick of it.
12 5 "Trouble With Reception" Robin Carr Paul Minett/Brian Leveson 31 May 1991 (1991-05-31)
Drummond decides that a reception at the Bishwani Embassy would be a good opportunity to bug the ambassador's office. Unfortunately for the MI5 team, a guerilla group choose that night to make demands of their home Government.
13 6 "The Hunt For Red Decoder" Robin Carr Paul Minett/Brian Leveson 7 June 1991 (1991-06-07)
MI5 have a spot of luck in liberating a highly sensitive encoding/decoding machine from a Soviet submarine - they're less able, however, to get it to work. As MI5 and the KGB chase the device across England, a Chapman finally has some luck with the machine - but it's not Peter!
14 7 "Under Cover Activity" Robin Carr Paul Minett/Brian Leveson 14 June 1991 (1991-06-14)
Piglet is embroiled in a blackmail case when Drummond enlists him to help entrap a Russian agent. If it goes wrong his marriage could be in danger, but it seems really rather a simple affair.

Series 3[edit]

Title Directed by Written by Original air date
15 1 "Guerillas In The Mist" Robin Carr Paul Minett/Brian Leveson 29 March 1992 (1992-03-29)
A bit of casual reconnaissance work for Piglet, Lewis and Dexter goes disastrously wrong when the target turns out to be an old friend of Drummond's - now quite mad and intent on blowing up the Channel Tunnel!
16 2 "Sweet And Sour Piglet" Robin Carr Paul Minett/Brian Leveson 5 April 1992 (1992-04-05)
It's the MI5 - MI6 annual grudge match cricket game, and Maxwell's department have drawn the short straw and must compete. Meanwhile, spies from China are preparing their own scheme to do their worst to MI5's finest, and have given one agent extensive plastic surgery to become Peter's exact double.
17 3 "Sex, Spies And Videotape" Robin Carr Paul Minett/Brian Leveson 12 April 1992 (1992-04-12)
Flint suffers an attempted mugging on the street near her home, and falls for the handsome stranger who comes to her aid. Meanwhile, Piglet is given permission to tell Sarah who his employer really is, as the department is involved in filming a recruitment video to engage the public.
18 4 "In Which We Serve" Robin Carr Paul Minett/Brian Leveson 19 April 1992 (1992-04-19)
Peter and the rest of the department are on the trail of a French agent. The operation takes them to a hotel hosting an industry conference.
19 5 "The Plane Truth" Robin Carr Paul Minett/Brian Leveson 26 April 1992 (1992-04-26)
When two soviet aircraft designers defect in quick succession, Piglet's technical knowledge - and a passing interest in plane design - places him as the best candidate to assess the men and work out who's their best source.
20 6 "Under New Management" Robin Carr Paul Minett/Brian Leveson 3 May 1992 (1992-05-03)
The department is thrown into disarray when Maxwell brings in a new chief, pushing Drummond down the pecking order: a brash, no-nonsense northern woman. The sackings commence quickly, but Piglet and Drummond don't intend to simply roll over.
21 7 "With Friends Like These" Robin Carr Paul Minett/Brian Leveson 10 May 1992 (1992-05-10)
Faced with mounting cutbacks from their respective governments, MI5 and the KGB are forced to collaborate in order to prove their worth. Is the staged kidnap of a senior Russian minister really wise?

External links[edit]