The True Intrepid Television Reviews
" The Critical List
The True Intrepid
Bond. Yes, that James Bond. Apparently the suave fictional spy was inspired by one of our very own, a 'Pegger named William Stephenson. Stephenson's covert 1940s decoding operation, housed in New York's Rockerfeller Center, employed as secret agents a bounty of beautiful young women, most of them recruited from Canada. He had an affinity for quart-sized martinis. And Bond author Ian Fleming was a friend and neighbour at his estate in Jamaica.
Even without the 007 connection, Stephenson's story is every bit as gripping as any fictional intrigue.
The decorated First World War fighter pilot and PoW escapee married a tobacco heiress; had glamourous business connections with Earls Court, British Properties of Vancouver and Lions Gate Bridge; took his early suspicions about Hitler, backed with photographic reconnaissance, to Churchill, then a British MP; spread propaganda in America at Churchill's behest and under the radar of the British secret service; and set up Camp X, a training centre for saboteurs and master spies, on the shores of Lake Ontario.
These are just some of the layers of Stephenson's life that are packed into this fascinating hour. Stephenson died quietly in Bermuda in 1989.
This doc unravels his cipher-like existence and proclaims his fundamental role in the successful outcome of the Second World War. It seems that nobody did it better than a Canadian."
The Globe and Mail (Toronto) July, 2004
" This entertaining doc successfully leaves the impression that the former Winnipegger was one of the most important historical figures of the 20th century - but that had to be kept secret."
Winnipeg Free Press July, 2004
" Portrait of the real Intrepid
"An engaging new documentary...is as comprehensive as anything can be where the subject usually shredded all documents about his past that he could lay his hands on. If there are holes in the narrative they may have been placed there on purpose by the spymaster who certainly was one of the prototypes for Ian Fleming's 007 spy, James Bond.
"...contains dozens of surprising revelations Sir William assumed would be buried with him. For the first time on TV we get a surprisingly full treatment...
"Intrepid would have loved all the mysteries this documentary mentions..."
Toronto Star July 2004
"...absolutely first class, and I trust will dispell some of the untruths that have emerged over time...
the whole production - technically and artistically- was extremely well done...
I will treasure this as an memento of an important and exciting time of my life "
Ms Georgie McCance, Toronto Ontario
former William Stephenson BSC agent, WW II
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