Department S: Season 2, Episode 14

The Bones of Byrom Blain (28 Jan. 1970)

TV Episode  |   |  Adventure, Drama, Sci-Fi
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Arriving at Marling Dale Ministry of Defence building in the countryside the chauffeur driving government official Byrom Blain opens his passenger's door to find only a skeleton. Department... See full summary »



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Joel Fabiani ...
Rosemary Nicols ...
Dennis Alaba Peters ...
John Carson ...
John Barron ...
Byrom Blain
Patrick Barr ...
Gerald Campion ...
Michael Griffiths ...
Supt. Collins
Head Waiter
Davyd Harries ...
Albert Shepherd ...
Julian Herrington ...
Police Sergeant
Katherine Schofield ...
Miss Garwood (as Katharine Schofield)
Special Branch Man


Arriving at Marling Dale Ministry of Defence building in the countryside the chauffeur driving government official Byrom Blain opens his passenger's door to find only a skeleton. Department 'S' joins with the C.I.A. to unravel a plot to kidnap illustrious men and replace them with skeletons and Sir Curtis is on the list of victims,along with Jason. Written by don @ minifie-1

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Release Date:

28 January 1970 (UK)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

A surfeit of skeletons
8 January 2010 | by (Ambrosia) – See all my reviews

A limousine glides through the leafy English countryside. It contains a distinguished passenger - intelligence officer 'Byrom Blain' ( John Barron ) who is reading The Times. On arrival at Marling Dale military base, however, Blain has apparently transmogrified into a skeleton! The driver, 'Eldon' ( Gerald Campion ) claims the car did not stop once during the journey. Identification reveals the skeleton to be genuine. Department S is summoned. Stewart Sullivan goes to meet Sir Curtis Seretse on a train, only to find he has become a skeleton too. Sir Curtis and Blain were due to have attended a top secret meeting codenamed 'Operation Groundshield', during which information by both American and British intelligence services would have been pooled. With them apparently dead, the meeting cannot now occur. Jason King books into a room in 'The Nag's Head' inn near the base, and within hours he too has become a pile of bones...

Tony Williamson, a key writer on 'Adam Adamant Lives!' and 'The Avengers', here comes up with one of the very best 'Department S' episodes. I can recall being terrified by the opening scene as a boy. It looked for much of the story as though the Russians had gotten their hands on a weapon that can disintegrate human tissue. Of course that is not the explanation, but the real one makes perfect sense for once. John Barron was 'C.J.' in 'The Fall & Rise Of Reginald Perrin'. Gerald Campion was in 'Carry On Sergeant' and played 'Billy Bunter' on television in the '50's. The lovely Anouska Hempel ( from the Roger Marshall-created 'Zodiac' which co-starred Anton Rodgers ) plays a stewardess. John Carson played 'Symons' in 'The Gilded Cage' episode of 'The Champions'.

Annabelle has her hair done in a style that recalls Tara King's from one or two 'Avengers' stories, and it suits her.

A climax involving hypnotised agents rounds off a splendid story.

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