The New Avengers, Series 2 — Episode 9
K is for Kill - Part 2: Tiger by the Tail
by Brian Clemens
Directed by Yvon Marie Coulais
TV Times summary
The New Avengers find themselves trapped in battle-torn France — 30 years after the end of the war …
[...continued from Part 1]
The French Army have accounted for 250 Russian soldiers, attacking targets 30 years out of date after being awakened by a rogue satellite that sent signals to their brains, waking them from suspended animation. But there are two more agents, and one of them is Colonel Stansilav’s father. Moscow order Stansilav’s arrest but he gets away,as do the two extra agents, who emerge from their hiding places moments before Gambit and Purdey arrive. One of them kills Général Gaspard but is then killed by Gambit. They search him and find a photo of Gaspard - but it’s new, not 30 years old! Gaspard is accorded a full state funeral and the Président will attend - and the Avengers realise he will be the target of the last Russian sniper. When the clock doesn’s chime the hour they realise he is in the tower and the plot is thwarted, the Avengers awarded medal - not by France, but by Russia!
[...continued from Part 1]
Mike Gambit (Gareth Hunt) kills the two remaining attackers and finds a map showing several targets, all 30 years out of date; Colonel Martin (Pierre Vernier) takes them to interrogate the prisoners but when they arrive, Doctor Leparge (Christine Delaroche) says they’ve all died - of old age! She has also found a radio device in the skull of every man autopsied.
Lunching in Paris, John Steed (Patrick Macnee) is worried about Toy’s phone call about World War III; Ambassador Toy (Paul Emile Deiber) meanwhile is telling Stanislav (Charles Millot) the French have accounted for 250 of their brave secret army - their entire force, he believes. Stanislav agrees, but places two chessmen on the board in front of him and resolves to stay in France a few more days... Gambit arrives at lunch with Jeanine but Purdey (Joanna Lumley) makes her join Steed while she whisks Gambit off to investigate every dead Russian - the waiter (Jacques Monnet) affronted by ‘wife swapping in public’.
Kerov’s secretary (Cyrille Besnard) brings him a telegram from Toy, announcing the 250 dead and he calls Paris immediately - there were 252 agents; the missing men were ‘K agents’ on special assignment, as Stanislav well knew - his father one of them - and Kerov (Sacha Pitoëff) orders Stanislav’s arrest. Purdey meanwhile finds a 30 year old deposit slip hidden in a boot and they travel to the Entrepot St Ceir - where Stanislav is awaiting the delayed awakening of a special agent. Minski (Frank Olivier) breaks out of his crate and kills the storeman, leaving seconds before Gambit and Purdey arrive.
Stanislav returns to the embassy and struggles with Toy when he learns of the arrest warrant - he alters it and orders a >guard (Guy Mairesse) to arrest Toy but the amabassador escapes, shooting Stanislav on the way out. Meanwhile, at Les Entrepots Marchands, Turkov (Maxence Mailfort) breaks out of a vodka barrel - once again, Stanislav watches and Gambit and Purdey drive straight past him. This time, however, Gambit finds a sniper bullet in the empty barrel.
The embassy guard follows Toy to Steed’s hotel and kills him before he can reveal the K agents’ targets. Gambit and Purdey arrive below and spot the guard, who has just shot Steed as well. He flees, then catches Purdey. Gambit tells hime he’ll have to kill them anyway as their witnesses, and deflects the guard’s shot with the butt of his revolver. Purdey knocks him out and tends to the injured Gambit. They race to Steed’s penthouse balcony and find him shot through the heart - but he’s survived, courtesy of a cigarette case in his breast pocket.
At the Presidential palace, the Minister (Alberto Simono) disregards Steed’s warning, as it’s not confirmed by a French source and the Président and Premier remain unguarded. Gambit decides to revisit Gaspard’s museum, but before he arrives Minski assassinates Général Gaspard (Maurice Marsac). Gambit kills Minski when he arrives, then telephones the news... Martin declares Gaspard will be accorded a full state funeral.
Turkov meanwhile is sampling every liquer the Paris café stocks - “making up for lost time”, much to the waiter’s amusement, when Stanislav joins him. They kiss hands in reunion, causing the waiter to grumble about the world changing for the worse. Stanislav tells him the war in near, but Minski is dead - not without achieving his objective, however. Martin visits the Minister, who complains about Gapsard’s ‘inconvenient’ death but agrees to full military honours, in Gaspard’s home village. Later, Steed and Gambit both realise what’s worrying them about Gaspard’s death - Minski’s photo of Gaspard is new, not 30 years old!
Stanislav and Turkov drive to Gaspard’s village and Turkov sets off through to woods to find a good sniper position. Martin plans the security arrangements for the funeral, the Président arriving in the third car, and the graveyard thoroughly search an hour before the ceremony. Martin visits the New Avengers before leaving for the funeral and they realise a trap has been set for the Président. Stanislav sees them split up to search around the church... but Turkov is installing himself in the bell tower, and disables the electric bell control so they won’t affect his firing - which gives him away when Gambit realises it didn’t chime for twelve after an hour’s fruitless searching. Steed speeds his car back to the church while Gambit and Purdey run through the woods. Stanislav clips Gambit with a bullet but is run down by his own car before he can finish him off, Purdey having released the handbrake. Steed is shot by Turkov as he investigates the bell tower, but he manages to turn the bells back on and the assassin falls from his perch, deafened by the bells around him. The smug minister, unaware of their actions, declares the ceremony a success despite the faulty and probably English clock!
Martin invites them all out to dinner - frogs’ legs and snails, with liquer d’Orléans, and tells them a VIP is coming up to decorate them - Purdey dreams of the Croix de Geurre and Legion d’Honneur, then Kerov enters with the Siberian Star for Steed, the Mongolian Medal for Gambit and “The Little Mothers of the Earth” for Purdey - and Tractor Drivers’ and Heavy Industry Award. MI5 had better not hear about them, so they award themselves the Steed award - cold Louis Roederer, Gambit struggling to drink it with his bandaged hands.
Production detailsProduced:June, 1977
- London: 16/11/1976
- Midlands: 1/11/1976
- Sydney (ABN-2): 20/03/1978
- Melbourne (ABV-2): 20/03/1978
- USA (CBS): 23/03/1979
- France (TF1): 10/08/1979