It is night and in the cemetery grave robbers strike. Soon, a mountain of gold bullion is shipped out of the United Kingdom and Gene Bradley is on a movie set on the other side of the world. Mr Parminter and his team will have to take on this case without Gene’s help. The trail of dead gold takes Parminter across western Europe to ultimately face off with the leaders in the illegal gold trade.
Gold bars, probably one of the worst things to steal off anyone however when there are hundreds of them, it would be a difficult choice. Gene Bradley is on location shooting a movie when the inevitable gold bullion goes missing ploy. The lack of screen time for Gene Barry shows the behind the scenes tension between Gene and pretty much everyone else. The lack of screen time also means that Barry Morse, Catherine Schell and Garrick Hagon team up to retrieve the gold and a greater part of the storyline.
A card game with Brian Hamilton goes sour, leading Gene Bradley subsequently into a game of pure skill, Chess. The stakes are high when the betting begins and more than just Bradley have big money laying on this Chess match. Match day is rife with pressure and anxiety as Bradley and Brian wield their pawns.
This may seem redundant, however this is another great episode, the third in a row. The Case of the Poisoned Pawn harkens back to the days of crime novellas, only now in a early 70’s theme with great scriptwriting. Even after only recently learning Chess myself, the chess idioms and clever word play were not lost on me and this gave the episode an air of an intellectual story plot building. The tail end of the episode does lose momentum yet I still finished watching this and enjoyed it.
Bradley is re-routed to Amsterdam because of a coded message he receives. A friend of Bradleys, Jan de Groote, unaware that he married an agent was taken in by his wifes fellow agents to be sent back to her country. What was not known is that a double was put in place of Jan de Groote after the kidnaping. Bradley has his own tricks to play to expose this double and release his old friend from captivity.
A strange episode where the look-a-like double idea is taken a bit overboard. There are two Donald Houston who plays Jan de Groote and two Gene Bradley’s, if one wasn’t enough for you. This convoluted story plot is held together by duct tape by the great performance by consistently good Donald Houston, who is a regular guest cast member in a ton of ITC shows and Ingrid Pitt from Hammer Film Productions fame. Honestly, I had to re-watch this episode to clarify the gaps in my comprehension of the plot, which is not a good sign but Donald Houston redeems this episode.
Mr Parminter gets an anonymous phone call telling him to be at the wharf and check a package labelled from Gene Bradley. What he discovers calls in to question everything he knew about Bradley. Bradley is more clever than to get caught, so instead he deliberately offers himself to be arrested in order to learn the truth about a Mr. Calloway but he could be risking a fat jail sentence if he fails. He better expose the ring of criminals before the heavy handed justice system takes him down.
Weapons dealers are easy antagonists to add to the series. This Barry Morse directed episode has an air of charm, even with its dark shady shadowy figures hustling guns to countries ripe with revolution. We follow this twist in the story as Bradley goes undercover to uncover the elusive Mr. Calloway and his criminal deeds. Actually a great episode to watch and one of three episodes directed by Mr. Parminter himself Barry Morse.
Bradley has found himself in the newspapers again, lately he has been seen with Lady Diane Battersley or at least thats what the pictures say. When Lady Battersley comes to tell Bradley that this news story was only used to rekindle the Battersley relationship, the suspicions arise. The suspicions he had, become justified when he is the likely No. 1 suspect in a missing person or possibly murder criminal investigation. Bradley is willing to go through with this game to see where it takes him which could ultimately get him into prison.
Another episode surprisingly with a good plot, that although not original was written well enough to grab my attention. The frame Bradley plot really allowed for the guest actors to shine and the writers deserve some praise as the dialogue is noticeably better lately. A good cast of seasoned actors helps as well.
Bradley : “The door was open”
Vanessa: “So is the top button of my shirt and that doesn’t mean that everything underneath isn’t private property.”