Thread: ITC Fridays

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  1. #51
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    Roger Moore married to Catherine Schell? Was it based on a true story?

    Department S - Who Plays The Dummy?
    Basically the same as The Double Death of Charlie Crippen, although this one came first.

    There's a ludicrous plot involving Spain, remote-controlled cars, explosives, dummies and a NATO convoy. Behind it all is a man who liked Guildford so much that he changed his name - to Gilford.

    The gang are in the coldest part of Spain, the part that looks most like Ivinghoe or Dunstable Downs, when a car is being chased by a police motorcycle. After a dramatic chase the car runs off the road! And explodes! The Policeman goes to look! And the driver is a DUMMY!!! Could this be a case for Department S? Well it looked like they were doing f*** all else in Spain.

    Stuart and Jason race into action while Annabelle stays at home not doing very much. They're helped by Chief of Spanish Police, Sarrat - played by George Pastell (Eric Kleig from Tomb of The Cybermen) WHO WAS IN IT LAST BLOOMING WEEK! This time he's in a freakishly convincing wig. I mean, it's absolutely outstanding. A wig to be reckoned with.

    The Spanish Police aren't terribly helpful, but Dept S manage to work out the remote control car link. So they head to a racetrack in England where they'd been testing remote controlled cars. Here they meet the sinister Mr Gilford who tells them that they have abandoned the field of remote-controlled cars as it has no practical application.

    Sir Curtis turns up at a hotel, on the way to another party / soiree. He tells them that he's tied up with totally unrelated NATO business that in no way will have anything to do with the case that Dept S are on.

    So Stewart and Jason sneak back at night and find out that yes, they've got loads of remote controlled car stuff and (if that wasn't enough) a big map of Spain with the location of the exploding car marked with a circle. The villains turn up and shoot Jason in the leg (Tis but a scratch). I think they kidnap Stuart here too, but he's so bland I can't quite remember.

    Jason goes to a bar in Spain, I think they found a book of matches or something? He chats up Spanish Kate O'Mara (oh come on, she's only the blinking Rani!). I got totally distracted at this point because the Spanish Guitar music playing in the background was EXACTLY THE SAME AS LAST WEEK. From the Costa Del Sol to Madrid, there is only one piece of Spanish Guitar music that wafts across the entire country like an Atlantic breeze.

    I did catch the end of their conversation though. Jason says: "Oh really. We must meet up tomorrow and then you can show me your Madrid." Which is about as forward as it gets.

    Uh. Kate O'Mara is in league with the villains or something and they threaten to kidnap Jason. Fortunately Annabelle arrives pretending to be with a huge party of school girls. It's just a ruse and she rescues Jason.

    They track down the villains, there's another car chase. Only Stuart is strapped to the wheel of the remote controlled car which is destined to crash into a NATO convoy and explode! His only company is a group of 3 dummies. Jason and Annabelle get trapped in a remote controlled car and have to smash the windscreen to escape, but it's all sorted out eventually. Though Gilford seems to get away in his helicopter.

    There was a lot of action in this episode and a lot of things we've seen before, but overall it was good fun.

    There was also Ray Marioni in a very minor role who may have had a similarly minor role as an Egyptian in The Daleks Masterplan.
    Pity. I have no understanding of the word. It is not registered in my vocabulary bank. EXTERMINATE!

  2. #52
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    Man In A Suitcase - Web With Four Spiders

    What a title! Doctor Norbert is a recovering alcoholic who is working on a comittee that will decide the future of space - or at least the international legislation of space travel. Heavy stuff two years before the Apollo Moon landings. However Norbert gets drunk one night and some thugs take photos of him in a variety of compromising positions; starting a fight at a bar, with a prostitute and lying in a rubbish-filled gutter. They send Norbert copies of the photos - he's horrified because he can't remember a thing about it.

    Norbert calls in McGill to help him. Yeah, that'll end well.

    McGill follows the trail which leads him to find John Savident in Manchester, Simon Oates (from Doomwatch), Edward Evans (Ted Moss from Image of The Fendahl) Ralph Michael (Balaton in The Pirate Planet) and Philip Bond (Ganatus in The Daleks) amongst others. Foreign agents, hoodlums, his old chums at the CIA, they all warn him off against investigating.

    In the end Norbert is totally compromised and McGill is thrown from a car into the gutter. It's a thoroughly brutal and wonderful episode. Norbert is played by Ray McAnally, who is an extremely revered actor on stage and screen. The whole thing just shines through with a quality that I wouldn't have expected from an ITC series.
    Pity. I have no understanding of the word. It is not registered in my vocabulary bank. EXTERMINATE!

  3. #53
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    I haven't watched The Persuaders in ages, it's one of my favourite ITC series though. It might be about time to open the wrap on my box-set...

  4. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nyder View Post
    only to find himself married to Catherine Schell!
    Some people have all the luck!

  5. #55
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    Another Friday come and gone...

    Department S - The Man Who Got A New Face

    A very rich old perv sits in his bed in his mansion watching a dirty film. Meanwhile a man in black combat gear sneaks past his security. He breaks into the rich man's bedroom and while he is asleep, the interloper glues a horror-mask to his face. In the morning the rich man wakes up and the shock of seeing the mask gives him a heart attack! Sounds like a case for the ordinary police!

    Sir Curtis Seretse meets with Stuart in The Tower of London FOR NO REASON AT ALL. They have to *whisper* in case they are *overheard*. The rich man was a friend of SCS's named Kolliatis. The press think it was just a heart attack and know nothing of the mask. It's very personal for SCS so he wants Stuart to investigate it, while SCS goes to a party on his yacht wearing The Crown Jewels.

    Dept S jet off to France, Europe where they get embroiled with older-woman Monique (Adrienne Corri who was Mena in Meglos but a bit less mean in this) and younger-woman Nicole (Alexandra Bastedo, one of The Champions!). Stuart takes Nicole, Jason takes Monique and Annabelle waits anxiously in the hotel room, writing up her sexism grievances.

    Nicole drives Stuart to a restaurant in her car and, if the back projection is anything to go by, breaks the land-speed record on the way. Stuart tells her what they are up to and they are overheard by the interloper from the opening sequence! He's called Gerhard and was played by William Wilde, who also played a Draconian Captain in Frontier in Space. Just to finish off while I'm at it, Nick Zaran plays French Person Jean in this and he was Lieutenant Joe Sorba in the Space Pirates in the same year.

    Monique is wonderful and charming, but as she's a bit older and superfluous to the plot, Gerhard runs her off the road in a very flat area of Hadley Wood (France) except for one small spot where there is an eighty-foot cliff edge. Whoops! The spectacular car crash is the highlight of the episode.

    There are two more meetings with Sir Curtis in this episode! Shocking! Firstly he invites Stuart to his yacht to give him an update on progress. Inexplicably he choses not to wear The Crown Jewels for this meeting. Later, when Dept S find out that it's a simple tale of extortion, he tries to take Stuart off the case. He turns and stares out of the window for a minute and then changes his mind. Oh Sir Curtis you tease!

    A thrilling showdown occurs as a rich businessman has to leave 100 billion Francs (or something) in a speedboat that the villains - Gerhard and (Shock!) Nicole are operating by remote control. Yes, it's remote control vehicle time again. The Dept S team are on to them though and they observe the hand over via binoculars from a nearby hotel. The money has a radioactive trace in it so the villains will *die of cancer* be easy to trace.

    They nearly lose them though when Annabelle is unable to start the Department S-Mobile. French cars! Women drivers!

    Fortunately they catch up with the fleeing criminals. Unfortunately, when they block the road with their own car, Department S unwittingly cause Gerhard and Nicole to crash into a nearby tree and die.

    And that's manslaughter. At least they won't die of cancer now.
    Pity. I have no understanding of the word. It is not registered in my vocabulary bank. EXTERMINATE!

  6. #56
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    Man In A Suitcase - Blind Spot
    Holy Good Life Tom - it's Felicity Kendall. An extraordinarily young Felicity plays Marcelle, a blind French girl, whose adoptive mother is robbed and killed in the opening teaser. We see it partly through Marcelle's eyes - she is not totally blind but can only make out colours and shapes. The direction is stunning, with footsteps coming up the stone stairs, birds in a cage getting agitated and a sillhouetted man in the doorway.

    Marcelle places an ad in a newspaper and McGill answers. The two strike up a rapport. Marcelle has lead a very sheltered life apart from regular concerts for other blind people that her uncle organises. He's played by Marius Goring, Maxtible from Evil of The Daleks. McGill has to find where the diamond tiara and broach have gone that were stolen from Marcelle's adoptive mother. His fee has gone up a bit - 350 plus expenses.

    Before McGill can investigate, he finds he's being followed by a man in a trenchcoat (Maurice, played by Derek Newark of An Unearthly Child, Inferno and who also turned up in a previous episode of MIAS). Marcelle's Uncle Henri warns him off, as does Inspector Banard of the French Police. Inspector Barnard tells him that Maurice will follow him wherever he goes, but won't help him if he gets in trouble.

    McGill is Clobbered: Naturally. Coming back from a jewellers where he was investigating the tiara, two thugs turn up to beat him good and proper. McGill gives a cracking defence, but it's not until Maurice intervenes that the thugs run off. There's a great bit where we see Maurice impassively watching McGill getting clobbered, but his conscience eventually gets the better of him.

    There's a touch of Pip and Stella from Great Expectations to the relationship between McGill and Marcelle. She's lived a very sheltered life, so when McGill finds out what her adoptive mother was up to and who was involved it shatters her world.

    Felicity Kendall is astonishingly good, very vulnerable and up-tight but with a lot of authority for such a young person. She stands her own against Richard Bradford's method acting and it's fabulous.

    The conclusion is pretty thrilling and for once we get a happy ending. As usual, Man In A Suitcase is a superior production in every way.
    Pity. I have no understanding of the word. It is not registered in my vocabulary bank. EXTERMINATE!

  7. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob McCow View Post
    Felicity Kendall is astonishingly good
    Please feel free to state the bleeding obvious.

  8. #58
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    We're back! For this week.

    Department S - Les Fleurs du Mal

    The Brandini Brothers are in Rome, Italy and they're coming for this Johnnie guy who's stolen 5 million bucks in valuable money. It ends in a bloodless bloodbath leaving Johnnie and Brandini Brother 1 (Mario, probably) dead. An alcoholic named Stacey (who is a man and is not dead) has been given a small package by Johnnie that contains three flowers and a cryptic message in French. Never mind the CIA and Interpol, it now seems that whenever a small-time crook is baffled he can turn to Department S for help!

    Sir Curtis briefs Stewart on a boat in Paris. Obviously Curtis doesn't want to get too far away from the constant parties in L'Arc De Triomphe. And it's not really a boat, Paris is represented by some terrible back-projection.

    Anyway, they all wind up looking for this guy Weber (or Vabour?) played by Michael Gothard (his car was kicked off a cliff by Roger Moore in For Your Eyes Only). The villains nearly crack the case before Dept S, but it all turns out right in the end. There's a morgue in Rome with three flowers on the door and the valuable money is hidden in a tomb. I have to be honest, I can't remember for the life of me what happens in the end.

    Though I'd never realised how much the Italian accent sounds like a Liverpool accent until I saw this episode. Or maybe a French accent? Who can tell!

    Man In A Suitcase - Boston Square

    In this all-singing special, McGill infiltrates a line-dancing drug-smuggling ring... sadly not. The Boston Square of the title is a square guy called Packard, employed by the CIA who is protecting secrets from McGill. But we'll get to him.

    At a meeting at Center Point in London, Sir Eric Coulsdon awaits the Oceanographer Dalby. But Dalby is getting on a plane and flying out of the country! The dick. At a round of golf filmed at Gleneagles, Coulsdon asks McGill to go find Dalby. Meantime they are being spied on by Ed Bishop of UFO fame!

    The trail leads to Greece, where Dalby is using his Oceanographic skills to find submarines and Polaris missiles. A Lithuanian named Rudnik (played by Peter Arne) wants to pay for Dalby's secrets.

    McGill gets Clobbered - After a bidding confrontation with Dalby in a bar, Rudnik beats the cheese out of McGill at the harbour, knocking him into the water and leaving him to drown. He's eventually rescued by Boston Square Packard and Oceanographer Dalby.

    It's all rather clever stuff and quite enjoyable, but we've had far stronger episodes. Fortunately Richard Bradford is so amazingly brilliant that this is still entertaining.

    There were no Doctor Who actors in these episodes, aside from Peter Arne who would die before he could be in Frontios.
    Pity. I have no understanding of the word. It is not registered in my vocabulary bank. EXTERMINATE!

  9. #59
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    The Brandini Brothers! What a wonderful name for a cabaret act! Sounds like a brandy/martini cocktail. I can see Tim going into the offie and asking if they've any in stock...

  10. #60
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    At least I could remember the Brandini brothers from the episode.
    Pity. I have no understanding of the word. It is not registered in my vocabulary bank. EXTERMINATE!

  11. #61
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    Unlike Tim after four pints of the stuff...

  12. #62
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    Just watched All That Glitters (Man in a Suitcase). I'm starting to warm to McGill just a little bit now. Maybe he'll smile one day..... so do we get to see more of THE SUITCASE? It's a sturdy old thing isn't it! Babs Shelley really added a touch of class to this story. I kept expecting her to suddenly flash some vampire teeth (first saw her in Dracula, Prince of Darkness where she scared the bejesus out of me). I'm afraid I blinked so I missed Kevin Stoney's appearance


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  13. #63
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    I just watched The Baron 2-parter, Masquerade, a few days ago. That favourite old plotline where our hero discovers he has a double, someone who has had plastic surgery to look like him so that he can impersonate him and abuse his position/knowledge/access to carry out the 'Crime Of The Century'. Of course, for this to succeed the Baron himself has to be disposed of...

    I loved this...all the great shows have doppleganger episodes where our heroes have an evil double, and this is right up there with the best of them. Steve Forrest gets to have fun playing two roles...it's rather predictable stuff mind you, but great fun to watch. Bernard Lee is great as the villain of the piece, although the sudden ending as the final scene cuts to the end credits makes you wonder about his characters fate...a 'blink and you'll miss it' moment.

    I also watched a favourite old Space 1999 episode, Dragons Domain. I remember being absolutely terrified of this when it was first broadcast way back in 1975...it doesn't have the same effect these days but it's still one of those episodes I like to rewatch occasionally and still one of the highlights of the series...

  14. #64
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    Man in a Suitcase - Sweet Sue

    I can't really better Steve's comments ..... so I won't! I will say that the violence isn't comic book stuff - people get hurt (usually McGill) and it makes you wince. What Steve forgot to mention was McGill's unfeasibly skimpy swimming trunks whilst trying to woo Sue. Didn't see The Suitcase in this episode .... unless I missed it.


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  15. #65
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    I think he was keeping the suitcase in his trunks...

    The suitcase definitely makes a few more prominent appearances later on.
    Pity. I have no understanding of the word. It is not registered in my vocabulary bank. EXTERMINATE!

  16. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob McCow View Post
    I think he was keeping the suitcase in his trunks...

    The suitcase definitely makes a few more prominent appearances later on.
    All of which explains why he was nicknamed "Trunky"...

  17. #67
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    He was definitely smuggling something...

    I've just got my handcuffs and my truncheon and that's enough.