Murder, She Wrote: Season 5, Episode 14

From Russia... with Blood (26 Feb. 1989)

TV Episode  -   -  Comedy | Crime | Drama
7.2
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Jessica is detained in Moscow when a spy attempts to smuggle film out of the Soviet Union in her handbag.

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Title: From Russia... with Blood (26 Feb 1989)

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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
...
Jack Bannon ...
Chief Inspector Bernicker
Peter Donat ...
Sergei Chaloff
...
KGB Lt. Fyodor Alexandrov
...
Minister Melnikov
...
Cyril Grantham
...
Peggy Brooks
...
Bert Firman
...
Miss Hayes
...
Nikolai
Oliver Darrow ...
Driver
John Lykes ...
Alexei
...
Irina
Max Lazar ...
Ivan (as Lazar)
Erik Silju ...
Guard
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Storyline

Jessica is in Moscow attending the International Writers League Conference when a waiter attempts to steal her purse at an evening gala. Unbeknown to her, her fellow writer, Russian Sergei Chaloff had put a canister of microfilm in her purse when she wasn't looking. The thief is apparently shot by security officers and the police seize Jessica's passport until they can figure out just what is going on. Jessica is soon absolved of any wrongdoing but Chaloff is arrested. Jessica believes the waiter was assassinated to protect someone's identity and sets out to find exactly what is going on. Written by garykmcd

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26 February 1989 (USA)  »

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References From Russia with Love (1963) See more »

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Shooting on Location? ...Microfilm at Eleventh Hour
6 February 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"From Russia... with Blood" parodies the 1963 James Bond title, "From Russia with Love," the second spy film in the James Bond series, featuring the British MI6 agent.

This begins after a winter storm in Moscow, Russia (then part of U.S.S.R.), at an outdoor memorial service officiated by a Russian Orthodox priest, for the memory of Anton (or Entoine, depending upon pronunciation).

Sergei Chaloff (Peter Donat) and Minister Melnikov (Jeremy Kemp) offer their condolences to widow Irina (Eve Brenner), as they had known her husband for many years.

The International Artists and Writers Conference then follows in Moscow, featuring guest lecturer Jessica Fletcher (Angela Lansbury), who is hosted by fellow author Sergei Chaloff, and accompanies him to a formal reception for international dignitaries that evening.

Nikolai (Michael Chieffo) assists officiator Minister Melnikov with the high-security reception, also attended by British Cultural Attaché Cyril Grantham (David McCallum), British Literary Agent Peggy Brooks (Judy Parfitt), and American Journalist Bert Firman (Adrian Zmed), each of whom gathers around the table with Jessica and Sergei, who slips a role of microfilm into Jessica's velvet pocketbook.

Dukhov (Milos Kirek), posing as a waiter, lifts Jessica's pocketbook from the table, hiding it beneath a cloth napkin, as Jessica dances with Sergei. She observes this, and summons the guards, as panic fills the room, with Dukhov's darting into the basement.

Jessica follows the trail down the steps, as Bert Firman follows her to protect her where possible, but downstairs she witnesses a shooting, and hears two rounds of gunfire, before the victim collapses with two wounds.

When rival agents, Chief Inspector Bernicker (Jack Bannon) and KGB Lieutenant Theodore Alexandrov (Anthony Geary), investigate the murder, they withhold Jessica's passport, suspecting her as an accessory to the theft of the microfilm, which they discover in her recovered purse.

And once they arrest Sergei, Jessica decides to enlist the reluctant Bert Firman to assist in conducting an investigation of her own, after she visits the American Embassy's flippant assistant agent, Miss Hayes (Cristine Rose), to report the passport happenstance.

As she makes the rounds from office to office, Jessica sneaks into the basement of the reception hall to snoop for possible clues, leading to her discovery of a bullet in the woodwork above a fire extinguisher. She thusly determines the trajectory of the fatal bullet originating from the rear hallway, as fired from the barrel of a gun bearing a silencer, as she heard merely two shots that night.

Uncovering one secret after along, including whom not to trust as a traitor, she learns of the now-late Anton's authoring the transcript recorded on microfilm, and handing it to Sergei to smuggle from the country; she returns to the office of the officials to crack its code whereas no one among their Intelligence agencies is able to do so, while Jessica rallies for Sergie's freedom "From Russia... with Blood."

The cast is rounded out by John Lykes as Alexei, Max Lazar as Ivan, Christina Cardan as Female Writer, Oliver Darrow as Driver, and Erik Silju as Guard.

This episode marks one of the most recent roles for Milos Kirek, and the most recent credit to date each for Christina Cardan and Erik Silju, as well as the first television acting role for Max Lazar.

This also represents the first of two "MSW" guest roles each for David McCallum and Anthony Geary, the second of two for Jack Bannon, and the first of three "MSW's" for Peter Donat.

John Lykes, acting since 1984, has unfortunately since passed.


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