Experienced British spy must retrieve a defecting Soviet scientist from Turkey. When a pretty female innocent bystander gets kidnapped by mistake by his enemies, he feels responsible and decides to help her as well.
At the time of its broadcast in 1974 this one-off drama was erroneously billed as an episode of the excellent Thriller anthology that had just finished its second series. That association has stuck but this is a quite different production, made by the then Yorkshire Television.
Although this show had the same unusual 65 minute time span (designed to aid US sales) and was shot on video-tape it is very different in style to the suspense and fear of Thriller. This is essentially a detective-drama, not unlike more recent productions like Morse. Indeed like the latter it is set in Oxford. The detective in question here is the commanding Inspector Jamieson. He has been sent from New Scotland Yard to investigate the murder of local businessman Octavius Lamb. Lamb's murder seems inexplicable, as everyone seems to speak so fondly of him. However as Jamieson searches he finds that maybe Lamb was not such a benevolent figure - but who exactly would want to target him?
Like most detective dramas this is a whodunit. Such dramas are often star vehicles and this is certainly no exception with renowned film actor Stanley Baker making a rare and very strong appearance on TV. His character is an interesting one, efficient and forceful without being notably intellectual or eccentric like many other TV 'tecs. It might have been interesting to see how the character would have developed within a series but Baker would probably not have been available for a longer-running production. His presence will certainly be the chief focus for most viewers even if it had been considered. The cast generally is very strong, additionally featuring Peter Sallis, David Swift and John Challis alongside other familiar TV faces.
Flashbacks help to flesh out this story. There is some neat humour but this is fairly conventional entertainment, without any great highs and lows, although on the whole interesting enough. It has now emerged on DVD as an extra on the release of "Thriller" and is worth seeing as comparison with the series "proper" as well as on its own merits.
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