Tell Me Your Secrets

Interactive web comic by the BBC inspired by the true story of Sir Henry Tizard’s mission to the USA during WWII. A secret mission to ostensibly give away all of the UK’s top technological secrets for free.


Tell Me Your Secrets is inspired by the true story of Sir Henry Tizard’s mission to the USA during World War II. This secret mission – also known as the “Tizard mission” – pertained to sharing very important British technological secrets to the then neutral United States.

Sir Henry Tizard was a scientist who worked for the Royal Airforce. His scientific knowledge and calm demeanour made him the perfect choice for a mission that would have far-reaching consequences. In August 1940, Sir Henry flew to the US with the desperate task of securing American assistance against Nazi Germany, who were preparing to invade British shores…

In an interview for the BBC’s Writers Room, creator Michael Orwell explains how the story and its main character triggered his imagination, “I liked the idea that “Sir Henry Tizard, a petroleum chemist from Kent, bespectacled and mild-mannered, would become the hero that would save Britain from invasion. He held very few of the trappings of a superhero – his results were achieved through quiet persistence, intelligent diplomacy and by engaging his American counterparts through the spirit of scientific collaboration.”

About the choice of the form of interactive graphic novel, Orwell says it allows the user to grasp more clearly what is at stake thanks to the counterfactual storytelling as well as making the content more approachable. He mentions the interactive graphic novel app Operation Ajax as a source of inspiration.



Based on an idea by Michael Orwell
Writer: Joseph Lidster & Michael Orwell
Voice of Sir Henry Tizard: Anthony Head
Artwork: Robert Nazeby Herzig
Music: Ross Tregenza
Built by Goodboy
Producers: Fiona Cleary and Diarmuid Mitchell
Researcher: Rosalind Hill
Executive Producer: Michael Tuft
Consultant: Prof David Zimmerman.
Commissioned by Chris Sizemore & Sinéad Rocks.

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