Spyder's Web (1972– )
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Spyder Secures a Main Strand 

After a British agent fleeing across a Communist border is picked up by car, and shot, the Web weaves its way into the hunt for a traitor. A reshuffle of British security is called for and Charlotte accepts the challenge.

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Cast

Episode cast overview:
Patricia Cutts ...
Charlotte 'Lottie' Dean
...
Clive Hawksworth
...
Wallis Ackroyd
...
Chief
Heather Canning ...
Chief's wife
...
One
Dennis Chinnery ...
Two
Michael Slater ...
Purvis
...
Albert Mason
...
Pansy
Charles Kinross ...
Escaper
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Storyline

After a British agent fleeing across a Communist border is picked up by car, and shot, the Web weaves its way into the hunt for a traitor. A reshuffle of British security is called for and Charlotte accepts the challenge.

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Thriller

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Release Date:

21 January 1972 (UK)  »

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Trivia

Roger Lloyd Pack appeared in seven episodes of the series, and was credited as "Albert" in five of them. This is one of just two episodes (the other being "Red Admiral") where he is credited with his full character name of "Albert Mason". See more »

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User Reviews

 
Who is the Spyder, and for which side does it weave?
2 May 2011 | by (Ambrosia) – See all my reviews

'Spyder's Web' is the latest archive drama to be newly released on Network D.V.D. It hails from 1972, and was a late addition to the cycle of British spy series that go all the way back to the start of the '60's, such as 'The Avengers' and 'Top Secret'. The first episode opens with British agent No.6 ( no relation! ) waiting to pick up a defector, who is fleeing from guards. Before he can get into 6's car, the would-be escaper shoots him! The Chief of Exportease ( John Savident ) confides in his wife ( Heather Canning ) that this is the most recent in a long line of embarrassing incidents the department has had to deal with, and so he calls an urgent meeting of his top men - numbers 1 ( Oliver Ford-Davies ), 2 ( Dennis Chinnery ), and 3 ( Anthony Ainley, later to play 'The Master' in 'Dr.Who' ), the latter the Chief refers to at all times by his real name of Clive Hawksworth. Clive is transferred to another department, run by the enigmatic 'Spyder' ( whom we only hear about but never see in the course of the series ). Spyder briefs Hawksworth using photographic slides - Exportease's cover has been blown, and defectors are being hunted down and killed. Hawksworth must find out where the leaks are coming from - is it 1, 2, or maybe the Chief himself? Hawksworth is also told to keep tabs on the famous documentary film maker, Charlotte 'Lottie' Dean ( Patricia Cutts )...

Based on an idea by Richard Harris ( who also co-created 'Man In A Suitcase' ), 'Spyder's Web' owes a debt to 'The Avengers', particularly the Honor Blackman shows. The female lead, Lottie Dean, is very loud and very English, almost like a younger, more glamorous version of 'Hyacinth Bouquet'. Hawksworth, on the other hand, is a typically old fashioned gentleman spy - he smokes a pipe, drives a Lagonda which keeps breaking down, and regards women agents as a 'frivolity'. Veronica Carlson's 'Wallis Ackroyd' and Roger Lloyd Pack's 'Albert Mason' rounded out the series regulars. The excellent theme tune was by resident A.T.V. composer Derek Scott.

This opener was penned by Roy Clarke, and might surprise those who only know him for 'Open All Hours' and 'Last Of The Summer Wine'. His script crackles with witty dialogue, such as the Chief refusing an offer of sex from his wife with the words: "Indoors yes, indecent no!". One thing that took me by surprise was the frankness of some of the language used. Lottie says "fanny" at one point, and yes it means what you think it means. To top her, Hawksworth then describes the Department girls as 'predatory pussy'! I enjoyed this very much, but a modern audience might find it too slow and talky. There's no action either, not so much as a punch thrown in anger. But it pleases me to see this again after all this time. 13 episodes were made.


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