It was a dark and stormy night when lightning strikes and the lights flicker, a young woman is scared and seeks out her father Carl Grant, only to find him lying on the ground in grave condition with his last words being “The Warrior”. Mannering was in fact on his way with Cordelia to make a valuation on the Grants antiques. The dead mans daughter, Joyce, is now being terrorised by her thoughts or maybe a real danger. John sees her in a frightened state and seeks to find why she is being terrorised and why the suspicious activity around and in the house. There is obviously something in the house that someone wants and that someone needed to scare her out of the house. Mannering believes he has seen Grant’s face before and set off for London to investigate further. Cordelia and Joyce find one of the local townspeople shot, the town doctor believes it was an accident but Cordelia is not sold on the accident theory. There was a bullion heist years ago, Mannering found, that Grant and an accomplice, Frank Ashton, stole a million dollars in bullion but were capture and tried yet the bullion was never found. The accomplice was recently released from prison and likely went to collect his share of the bullion. Time is running out since daughter is planning on leaving the house the next day taking either the bullion or a clue of its location so the crooks will need to act and so would Mannering. The quest for the clue has brought real danger to the daughter and even to Ashton.
Stolen bullion and the revenge of an accomplice. This premise is intriguing enough to at least give this episode a watch. I found myself drifting while watching this show but ultimately I came back enjoying the overall story. The episode actually doesn’t have much on air time for Mannering, most of the story is either with Sue Lloyd or with the sinister characters of the show, this does not cheapen the episode but Steve Forrest was almost given a break for this filming.
Cordelia is in South America to visit Senior Petrarca to inspect some Aztec finds that John may be interested in purchasing but suddenly the police are at the door and Senior Petrarca is gone leaving Cordelia with the wrath of the police. When Cordelia does not show up in Los Angeles as expected, John heads to South America to see what has happened to Cordelia. An old client is there but is obviously hiding information about senior Petrarca and Cordelia so John decides to head into the jungle. The jungle is filled with many mysteries including a secret coup ready to take place with stockpiled weapons at their ready. Senior Petrarca is shot trying to escape all while Mannering surveys the jungle for more leads into the whereabouts of Cordelia. Mannering will need to help Cordelia escape and avoid at all cost the destruction of the country.
This episode shows the greed from an ex-ruler of a country trying to get his way back into power through might versus politics, a standard story in my opinion. I wish there was more creativity in creating names for these exotic locations for example with this episode in vague South America as a locale. This story compared to many of the episodes in this series actually has a possibility of being feasible when most have the air of fantasy that in many ways is the contributing factor to its cult status. This is a good episode with some notable stars in certain roles.
During an Air France flight, a man is found very sick and the doctor warns about the possibility of his illness being a case of typhoid. This was only a rouse and the doctor and ambulance driver are found dead after getting off the plane. After some suspicious activity at the antique shop, the effort has to be made to find out who is watching Mannering. A certain item of worldwide fame in the art world was stolen in Paris but this information has not been released to the public and the thieves cannot sell it without a proper art experts assessment to verify its authenticity. Mannering is asked to help verify this prized art piece for Lord Mountford an old client but dangers are abound with this job. Mannering does not want to corroborate but is forced to at gunpoint. It may be the real deal but there may first need to be a trial by fire.
A good story about the missing mona lisa trying to be flogged to a rich aristocrat in England played by Ian Wheatley, who has cameos throughout the ITC collection of TV shows including a favourite The Adventures of Robin Hood. This glimpse into the backend story of stolen art being sold on the black market is fun and entertaining.
Madame Nicharos, the wife of the ex-president, is being held prisoner by the current head of the government the General of the military forces. She is being blackmail for her life to sign papers stating her now dead husband did commit treasonous acts against the country. She refuses and is lucky enough to escape the death penalty by some rebel supporters who help her escape. Mannering is in the country to give Madame Nicharos her money back from a previous transfer. The General threatens Mannering to not help Madame Nicharos or risk his own death. Mannering is not waived by this threat and attempts to transfer the money to Madame Nicharos nonetheless. There are tails and the transfer fails leaving Mannering close to death. The hunt is on for the Madame since the General is desperately trying to find her and Mannering is determined to help her, his old friend. An escape plan has been arranged for Madame Nicharos to leave the country, away from the tyrannical regime now in power. Her only mode of escape is by boat and the captain of the ship is not the most trustworthy of captains. The General is closing in and the escape plan is closing in on itself.
This episode is generally a good watch. The vagueness of the country and the Generals name is one of the things I noticed about the writing, it seems like a cheap and easy episode but I may be wrong. This tale is about a regime change from Democracy to a Dictatorship and the wrangling between powerful influences. The rebel force is powerful but the military might is even stronger. Its funny to believe that one antique dealer can cause the collapse of a country’s leadership.
Mannering has been fooled by an impostor selling the Seven Eyes of Night and is out $300,000. The thieves are smart enough to fool John but may not be smart enough to keep out of trouble. The safe was opened without force and this is a clue to indicate that someone knew the combination, likely an old employee. The efforts of the detectives are turned when the Seven Eyes of Night are found exactly where they were suppose to be, in the safe. Nancy Cummings was a previous employee who knew the combination and is the only possible suspect. John is on the warpath to get his money back and his first stop is Nancy Cummings place in Paris. The cohesion of the thieves is wavering which is a huge liability so Mannering is putting stress on that relationship. Nancy is found dead in a possible suicide but the hunt would have to continue towards a close friend of hers. The sinister efforts may have been successful initially but Mannering is determined to find the thief and his money.
I must say initially that this episode to me is all Jeremy Brett. I have loved his work as Sherlock Holmes in another TV series and so it is a wonderful thing to see him in this series as good or better an actor as anytime in the Sherlock Holmes series. There is a fun line about 12 minutes in when the thieves are in their car and Jeremy Bretts character coughs then says “Why dont you try smoking tobacco sometime?”. Intended or unintended a fun twist to the dialogue. This is a great episode and a must watch of the series.