If you could be recruited by any fictional government agency in TV history, which one would you choose? Would you be a man (or girl?) from U.N.C.L.E.? Or would you just rather have a nice little bureaucratic position at the Ministry of Silly Walks? It’s up to you. Whether you see yourself working to protect democracy from those who want to destroy it or to protect your fellow Americans from the destructive tendencies of democracy or just want to create an unnerving sense of disquiet in others by giving away nothing other than that you work for The Agency, you certainly have a long list to choose from. Including these more memorable fictional government agencies in TV history.
Truth be told, INTERSECT is not really that particularly memorable of a fictional government agency in its original TV form. INTERSECT is the ultra-secret government think tank operation to which Sam Casey belongs. Sam Casey has the power to briefly become invisible thanks to a diving accident that exposed him to radiation. INTERSECT might well have gone to become just another forgotten government agency on another forgotten TV series were it not for “Riding with Death.” This was a TV-movie stitched together from two unrelated episodes that was mercilessly ripped apart on Mystery Science Theater 3000. As a result of that TV episode, INTERSECT seems to be a government agency with the power to quite literally provide multi-angle visual surveillance of Sam Casey anywhere he goes. Now go get me Robert Denby!
Department of External Services
Otherwise inexplicably known as the DXS. I mean, seriously, shouldn’t it be called DES? Or, better yet, just refer to it as is: no acronym could possibly be anywhere near as sinister as the Department of External Services. Those three words strung together are so utterly meaningless and devoid of any connotation that they could literally be taken to mean anything your deranged mind can conjure. In the world of fictional government agencies, that which originally employed MacGyver ranks near the top in terms of ominous potential.
A.P.E. and C.H.U.M.P.
“Lancelot Link” gave us a cast of ape secret agents and their nefarious nemeses. The good guy worked for the Agency to Prevent Evil. The bad guys reported to the Criminal Headquarters for the Underworld’s Master Plan. Hence, A.P.E. versus C.H.U.M.P. in the ongoing battle to keep the world safe for simians.
Office of Scientific Intelligence
The O.S.I. actually used to be a division within the CIA until 1963. About a decade later, Steve Austin and the Bionic Woman would work for an O.S.I. that as a division within the U.S. State Department. As far as acronyms of fictional government agencies, O.S.I. ranks pretty far down the list of interesting. What makes this government agency that spanned across two different TV series memorable is that when the inevitable reunion movies were made following cancellation of the series, the agency was still known as O.S.I. but it was now known as the Office of Scientific Information.
The Obsidian Order is a fictional agency not with our government or even any government on the planet. The Obsidian Order is the very secret and extremely fearsome secret police of the Cardassians in the Star Trek franchise, especially “Deep Space Nine.” How seriously does this fictional government agency takes its secrecy? They developed a pill called promazine that makes our old-fashioned cyanide capsules look like baby aspirin. Not only could a member of the Obsidian Order off himself in record time with promazine, but a few hours later there would be no trace of evidence left that a Cardassian had ever been there. And, besides, Obsidian is a very cool name for a secret agency. Or a superhero, for that matter.
Did you even know that Hawaii Five-O is a fictional government agency? Or did you think it was just some sort of elite squad within the Honolulu PD? It was the Governor of Hawaii himself who came up with the idea of a police force authorized to operate within the jurisdiction of the entire state. You see, Hawaii does not actually have a statewide police force; each island is responsible for its own policing. And so, Hawaii Five-O is an entirely fictional government agency.