The series stars David Jason (Only Fools And Horses, Open All Hours) as Edgar Briggs, the hopelessly incompetent agent of her Majesty's Secret Intelligence Service, who manages to solve the case with his happy go lucky attitude anyway. Despite his faults Briggs is overly confident, for example when he insists that it is half past five in the morning and not half past eleven, because he has his watch on upside down. When this is pointed out to him, he still insists he is right and adjusts the commander's clock on the wall by also turning it upside down.
Jason came to reprise the role of a secret agent, albeit only as a voice actor, as Danger Mouse in the cartoon series of the same name. On German television The Top Secret Life of Edgar Briggs was shown under the title Edgar Briggs – Das As der Abwehr initially in 1976.