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Robert Ayres sells an option on his life to Alan Wheatley
"Delayed Action" is a 1-hour Britnoir. Robert Ayres is prevented from committing suicide by Bruce Seton, who is the muscle and close associate of Alan Wheatley. Wheatley has an elaborate fraud plan that will take up to 18 months to execute, and he may or may not need a body at some point. He offers Ayres money and a comfortable life until the final step in the plan, which probably means the suicide of Ayres. Ayres agrees. Seton and Wheatley have a trump card, which is a threat on the life of Ayres's daughter, but Ayres holds to his death plans and is a man of his word.
Ayres spends much of his time in a cottage where he befriends his guard, Michael Balfour. Through a road accident, he meets love interest, June Thorburn. Meanwhile he assumes the role of a successful entrepreneur who attracts capital from investors that Wheatley and Seton intend to steal.
That's the setup of the story and its ensuing complications and twists. They hold one's interest, and the cast does a good job bringing the story to life. This is a noir with a creative story. It sort of elaborates the kind of scenario where a man hires a hit-man to kill him but may or does change his mind. But this story takes several new directions.
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