Noureddine assassinates the Shah of Assimi and Drake is brought in to get him to leave Beirut and travel to where he can be arrested. He does this by impersonating a struggling artist and befriending Noureddine's girlfriend.
Noureddine assassinates the Shah of Assimi and Drake is brought in to get him to leave Beirut and travel to where he can be arrested. He does this by impersonating a struggling artist and befriending Noureddine's girlfriend by presenting her with a portrait. The ruse works and Noureddine becomes very jealous of Drake. Drake now has to convince him that his girlfriend has left him and gone to Paris with Drake. There was just one small unforeseen difficulty. Written by
DANGER MAN - A Sting In The Tail, is an episode of the classic series that beautifully demonstrates that, in the real world, nothing is 'black & white' - that for every 'good,' action, there's an equally 'bad' residue left in its wake.
Drake is after a notorious hit man - Rachid Noureddine - who has just assassinated his latest target, the Shah of Assimi, in Paris. From the phone call Drake receives late at night acknowledging this hit, it's readily apparent that Drake is familiar with Noureddine, and, wants to finally eliminate him.
After a hit, Noureddine quickly retreats to his home-base; Beirut, Lebanon (having gained independence from France only 20 years earlier, Beirut was nicknamed the 'Paris of the East,' for it's chi-chi tourism) as there is no way he can be extradited.
Drake needs to get Noureddine to leave Lebanon, and go to a place where he CAN be captured, and brought to charge.
His plan is to go to Beirut, where he will portray an artist, 'Stephen Miller,' who desperately wants to have Noureddine's girlfriend - Marie Valedon - agree to sit for a portrait.
Drake knows that by going after the one thing Noureddine loves, it will attract his attention - like a moth to a flame. If Drake can make Noureddine leave Lebanon to look for Marie, then, he will be able to grab him.
Preparations are made (he buys ALL of the art, supplies, etc. he will need for his performance from a REAL artist - named Stephen Miller), and, when Drake touches down in Beirut, he quickly sets up an art studio/loft, and then heads to the nightclub, where Marie is the house singer.
She is a quintessential '60's mysterious woman: jet-black hair, her eyes hidden behind dark shades, dressed in black, giving her pale skin more contrast. She sings a haunting version - in French - of the song SHE'S NOT THERE - a hit for THE ZOMBIES.
Drake, as 'Steven Miller,' makes his attraction to Marie's icy beauty very apparent - at times, calling her La Gioconda (referring to the painting better known as the Mona Lisa) - saying that Marie could be HIS Gioconda.
At first, Marie is put off, but, Drake's insistence quickly brings Noureddine's attention.
Drake must play his part - that of a starving artist. Even when Noureddine subjects Drake to torture to get him to go away, Drake can't show any strength - yet. He wants to bring Noureddine in, as close as possible.
He continues to work on Marie - lavishing compliments on her that begin to soften her, but, as I said at the beginning: this whole series is not just a simple 'spy' series - it shows how nothing is easily divided into 'good,' and 'bad,' and, what Drake must ultimately do, to ensnare Noureddine, involves destroying the illusions he's built up for Marie.
STING IN THE TALE is memorable for it's haunting music, and, for the very fine acting done here by such stalwarts as Derren Nesbitt (who would later appear in an episode of THE PRISONER as a Number 2), Ronald Radd, and of course - Jeanne Roland, as La Giocanda, Marie Valedon.
For anyone not familiar with DANGER MAN's hour long episodes, I'd definitely put STING I THE TAIL as one of the TOP TEN to see. It's a perfect example of the show being MUCH more than a 60's gadget-laden spy series.
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