Episode 21 - You Have Just Been Murdered8½ stars
by Philip Levene
Directed by Robert Asher
Steed chases a million
Emma runs off with it
Millionaire magnate Gilbert Jarvis (Geoffrey Chater) enters his office and pours himself a drink, but stops dead when he notices a cigarette smouldering in an ashtray and hears someone lock the door. He goes for his gun, but the desk drawer is empty and a suave young man - Skelton (Simon Oates) - appears and levels it at him. Jarvis's demands to know what he wants are ignored stonily and Jarvis offers him a bribe to leave, but Skelton moves in for the kill and pulls the trigger - but the gun is empty and just clicks. He leaves the gun and key on a table and departs, throwing a business card on the desk that reads: You have just been murdered
Emma inspects Steed's invitation to a well-heeled gathering at George Unwin's mansion and Steed says it'll be very boring - millionaires only ever talk about money - but Lord Maxted, Steed's banker and the chairman of British Banking, has asked him to attend. Jarvis calls Steed as they're leaving, also asking to talk to him at the party, as he's "just been murdered". Skelton reappears and 'kills' him again, this time with a stage dagger, leaving another card: You have just been murdered &emdash; again! Jarvis calls Steed but hears the line is tapped and hurriedly ends the call - a bearded man is seen listening to the call, and grins maliciously as he hears Jarvis hang up.
Millionaires abound at Unwin's party, served by hostesses
in top hats and not much else. Chatting to Steed, Emma notices
Lord Rathbone (Leslie French) filling his pockets with cigarettes. Lord Maxted
approaches Steed just as Unwin intercepts "the delicious Mrs Peel",
offering to fly the entire party to the Riviera if she wants
him to. He tells Steed Jarvis hasn't arrived and Steed goes to
'phone him, leaving Mrs Peel to keep him company. Jarvis answers
Steed's call but sees "YOU ARE ABOUT TO BE MURDERED"
scrawled across a mirror and drops the 'phone. Steed hears him
plead for mercy from Skelton, and the fatal shot, and rushes off
to check, telling Maxted to tell Mrs Peel "she's a very sympathetic
listener and very trustworthy". Maxted tells her that three
millionaires have withdrawn £1,000,000 in cash then fled
the country, and they surmise blackmail, and he tells her Jarvis
has just made the same request.
Steed meanwhile finds Jarvis' body and the mirror. He calls Emma at the party and when she announces to Maxted that Jarvis won't be collecting the cash, as "he's just been murdered", Rathbone nervously drops his cocktail, smashing the glass on the floor, and hurries out. Unwin and Maxted demand more details but she shrugs them off and chases after Rathbone, discovering his house well defended by guards and dogs, and the gamekeeper Chalmers (Clifford Cox) refuses to let her in. She scales the wall and is promptly caught and taken to see Rathbone, who peers at her nervously through a thick door before agreeing to see her after recognising her from the party. He assures he's not afraid and can do whatever he wants with her money, but panics when she tries to open a window and orders her to leave.
Unwin meanwhile has a visit from Skelton, who menaces him with
a revolver before flinging a 'You Have Just Been Murdered' card at him when the gun doesn't
fire. Rathbone's estate is now filled with gamekeepers with dogs
and Chalmers and his stoic butler, Hallam (John Baker), are stunned
when he orders them to "shoot to kill". Rathbone locks his door
and sits down to have a pint but is horrified to find the text
"POISON" and a skull painted on the bottom of the tankard. The
'phone rings and the bearded man, introducing himself as Nathaniel
Needle (George Murcell), tells him he's been killed for the fourth time.
"Four times is the limit and the next time will be for real".
Emma is telling Steed about Rathbone's fortress mentality when Maxted arrives to tell them that Rathbone has ordered the cashing in of his government stock for £1,000,000 in cash. The next day, Steed supervises the transfer while Emma waits outside and she trails Rathbone to Bridge Farm. At the farm, Nicholls (Frank Maher) watches Rathbone drop the case of money off the bridge into the river, then sees Emma approach after Rathbone has left. Needle tells him to take care of her and he attacks her with a sickle but she proves too wily an opponent and he dies, impaled on the blade.
Leaving his office, Unwin is trapped against a wall by
Skelton's Jaguar, and has another card thrown at him. He takes off
at high speed, passing Steed in the driveway, and drives home where
Skelton is waiting to 'kill' him again. Needle orders Skelton
to step up the treatment immediately. Unwin rushes inside and locks
his lounge door, but when he goes to close the window he finds Skelton
standing in the casement, wielding a samurai sword. They struggle and
Steed, arriving outside, sees the struggle, and impalement of
Unwin, in silhouette on the closed curtains. The blade has retracted
into the handle and Skelton leaves another card, hurrying out before
Steed bursts in the window. Unwin, warned to keep silent, tells
Steed he was imagining what he saw and tells him he can look after
himself. Steed leaves and when Unwin goes to close the iron
bars that secure his French windows, an arrow hits him in the chest,
it's sucker leaving a circular imprint and the familiar message
on his shirt. Needle calls, telling Unwin to switch on Channel B
at 10 pm, while Steed and Emma work out it's a high class protection
racket and it'll only be a matter of time before Unwin asks for
£1,000,000 in cash.
Unwin turns in to Channel B and is treated to a special broadcast from Needle, the 'phone ringing so they can communicate, Needle alternating between words and images on the screen, and shows him the briefcase they'll supply.
Maxted tips Steed off when Unwin collects the money and Steed enters the house while Emma goes to the bridge. Unwin bluffs about a 'private transaction' and he reiterates that he can look after himself when Steed tells him he knows what's really happening. Steed grudgingly leaves, promising to keep out of the business but hides outside and fires a tracking device at the side of the briefcase when Unwin goes to his car and follows at a safe distance. Unwin drives to Bridge Farm and drops the case off the bridge and is startled when it doesn't splash - Emma has caught it below. He leaves and Emma fights Morgan (Les Crawford) who emerges from the lake, looking for the case. She defeats him and orders him to 'lead her to his taker', taking the briefcase with her. Returning to his car, Unwin is surprised to find Steed in it and reveals he's put a bomb in the case, set to explode in fifteen minutes.
They return to the bridge, finding a snorkel, and use Steed's tracking device to follow the trail while Mrs Peel passes the gang's hideout (naturally enough, a hay stack) and is overpowered by Skelton. Needle searches her, learning her identity but she refuses to answer any questions. Skelton spots Unwin and Steed approaching so Needle orders Williams (Peter J Elliott) to load the cash in his Landrover. Checking a nearby gypsy caravan, Unwin is knocked out by Skelton and hidden inside the stack. Steed works out the hiding place and knocks out Skelton when he emerges to take care of him. Steed knocks on the door and attacks Williams when the haystack opens, Emma leaping up to attack Morgan. Needle escapes in the confusion but the bomb goes off, flinging him into a treetop as the folding type money flutters to earth.
Steed counts his fortune - 920,000, 940,000 , 960,000, 980,000, 990,000, but is distraught to discover he is one short of a million, saying no-one has ever heard of a nine-hundred-and-ninety-nine-thousand-nine-hundred-and-ninety-niner-aire. Mrs Peel offers the missing money, produces a ha'penny and says, "You are now a self-made, fully fledged, halfpenny millionaire".
|Transmission dates:||Foreign title||
champagne (no bottle seen)
|Germany||26-Mar-68||(Sie wurden soeben ermordet)|
|France||22-Sep-68||(Meurtres à épisodes)|
|Italy||9-Nov-73||(sei appena stato assassinato)|
|Spain||---||(Usted ha sido asesinado)|