When two European spies join a hunting party at an English country house, William Drew of the Foreign Office goes undercover to pursue his own type of prey. Drew suspects a traitor may be ... See full summary »

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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
...
William Drew
Richard Pearson ...
Marquess of Macclesfield
Ralph Truman ...
Foreign Secretary
...
Beatrice Graham
Simon Gough ...
Jack Bellingham
Denise Coffey ...
Miss Baines
Sara Clee ...
Gerda Krempelstein
...
Colonel Davidoff
...
Count Krempelstein
Karin MacCarthy ...
Sybil Fitzwilliam
...
George Fitzwilliam
Clifford Parrish ...
Dr. Ewing
Henri Szeps ...
Laval
David Webb ...
Musgrove
David Tate ...
Sgt. Tapling
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Storyline

When two European spies join a hunting party at an English country house, William Drew of the Foreign Office goes undercover to pursue his own type of prey. Drew suspects a traitor may be working with the spies, and soon learns they are more than willing to kill to get what they want. Written by Anonymous

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Crime | Drama | Mystery

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2 April 1973 (UK)  »

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1.33 : 1
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A good pre discovery role for Lisa Harrow and Derek Jacobi
13 September 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This was one of the later shows of the 2nd season in "The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes". There were a number of veteran actors and actresses in this show; which makes the performances of Lisa Harrow (as Beatrice Graham) and Derek Jacobi (as William Drew) much more intriguing as this was their introduction into the "big leagues" of acting. Having said that, it should be mentioned both of them had already "won their spurs" in previous roles; nonetheless this was their biggest performance up to that point.

In this episode Ms. Graham is involved with some shady going ons involving not only German espionage but, curiously enough, also the Russians. A hint is given early on about a new (secret) treaty signed between Germany and Russia and the going ons certainly involve this this secret treaty. Of note: I do not believe that such a treaty had been actually been negotiated in that era (Edwardian), but, really, which viewer really keeps track of things? Suspension of disbelief is certainly expected in this matter.

Anyway, the first half or so of this episode is William Drew trying to find out the connection. What is Ms. Graham doing? Obviously something- her entire deameanor (nervousness, wild eyes about to bug out) shows this- an excellent acting job by Lisa Harrow. Derek Jacobi portrays William Drew who, very realistically, is puzzled as much about the purpose of this entire matter as he is to what is happening. He obtains most of his information from his right hand "man" is actually a woman (governess) whose role in this story is to fill in the "weak" points of the storyline. Her role in providing female insight to the motives of Ms. Grahm is subordinate (the main purpose in the printed story by William Le Queaux) to finding out out information-depicted as being unrealistically easy but hey, it is only a story! Lisa Harrow (her red hair dyed black for this role) portrays Ms. Graham as being consistently on the point of a nervous breakdown (very realistically in such a situation). And, artfully portrays Beatrice Graham not necessarily as "good" vs "bad" but somewhat realistically ambiguous. There are some weak points in this story; but that is to be expected from trying to condense such a masterfully written tale to a 50 minute program. Despite that difficulty both actors succeed and rightfully went on to greater success in later endeavors.

Historical note: Le Queaux was the originator or at least the chief proponent of the "fourth column" idea; that is, in case England should ever go to war with Germany, a large number of hidden German supporters already in England would become active and commit numerous acts of terrorism as well as engage in espionage. In other words, there were a large number of the German enemy already in England, before the war started. When the 1914 war did come about (soon after this story was published) a hysteria developed in England that was even worse than the anti Japanesse-American hysteria in the U.S. in 1942. As it turned out, there were very few German spies in the United Kingdom during WWI and the ones that were there were notoriously ineffective.


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