Series 2 - Episode 6
The Removal Men
Teleplay by Roger Marshall and Jeremy Scott
Directed by Don Leaver
Siegel (Edwin Richfield) stalks Les Centaurs nightclub and finds Godard (Donald Tandy) and Dragna (Reed de Rouen) discussing business in a gloomy corner, Godard trying to keep the deal to 75,000 fr. but Dragna insisting on 100,000 fr. Godard finally agrees so long as the work is completed that week and Dragna tells him, "He'll be dead by Sunday" then leaves with Siegel.
A man stealthily enters an apartment, his torch playing over the naked sleeping form of Cecile Dragna (Patricia Denys) before he goes to the safe. He pockets some jewellery then deliberately breaks a glass to wake her and pulls out a pistol. He - Steed, of course - invites Mrs Dragna to come in, giving her a robe to cover her nudity as an afterthought. He tells her he knows her husband is in Italy and they won't be disturbed and orders her into the bathroom then locks her in so he can make a clean getaway, grinning as he leaves.
The next day, Binaggio (George Roderick) calls Dragna to his jewellery shop and tells him a snappily-dressed Englishman had been in the shop, to have some gold valued and he'd recognised it as belonging to Dragna. He followed Steed afterward to Siegel's place. Steed meanwhile drops in on Venus, who's rehearsing with Dave Lee at the nightclub. She's not happy to see him and can't believe he's just taking a seaside holiday. He tells her to plans to buy the club from Siegel, who passes their table,
and wishes he knew exactly how much income it made. She naïvely offers to snoop around for him and he murmurs that he wouldn't want her to get into any trouble...
Dragna and Binaggio arrive and shoo Venus away then menace Steed. Dragna asks for the jewels and Steed hands him a safe deposit box number, then is led away at gunpoint by the men, Siegel in tow. At Dragna's place Cecile checks the jewellery and notices a change to a necklace; Steed admits to having it cleaned and restrung and says, "When I join firm I like to know it's in a healthy state". Siegel is against the idea but Dragna, despite saying they have a full ship, is interested and tells Siegel to check up on him.
Steed goes to the beach and finds One Ten (Douglas Muir) arguing with the Les Centaurs waiter, Georges, (George Little) about his cocktail. Steed's told that his cover is exactly what Dragna was doing ten years ago - con man, petty theft, preying on old ladies and he's linked to a recent emerald job in Nice. The police are backing him up as they want the firm closed down. Siegel is known to have done a political killing in Italy the previous week but it can't be proved.
Steed asks for Binaggio to be arrested, so as to create a vacancy in Dragna's firm. They're planning another killing so he'll join up, see how they operate and then the police can arrest the lot of them.
Siegel bribes the jailer (Hugo de Vernier) to enter Binaggio's cell and tells him they'll spring him that night. Meanwhile, Steed arrives at Dragna's where Cecile makes a pass at him which he diplomatically avoids while admiring her - assets.
Dragna arrives and tells him Binaggio has been picked up and offers him the job. Steed feigns caution but accepts the job. Steed asks if there's a chance Binaggio will talk and Siegel, who's just arrived, says, "None at all". Cut to the jail where the jailer discovers Binaggio hanged in his cell...
Cecile is delighted to see the next day that the police think Binaggio committed suicide but wants the firm to quit for a while, as Godard's jobs are always front page news. She reconsiders when she hears the fee is $250,000. Steed brings Godard to the house and learns that the target is Nicole Cauvin, a film star who has been espousing independence for the colony of Aluda, in which she was born. Venus is chatted up at the club by Siegel and, learning he might sell it, says she has a friend who might buy it. Meanwhile, Nicole (Edina Ronay) is sorting through her bouquets, dressed in her underwear, while her secretary, Charlie Bonet (Hira Talfrey), finds her a dress and tells her she has an appointment with Mr Mcgrath from Homeric Studios about a new script. Mcgrath arrives - Steed, of course - and he discovers she's very short-sighted. He tells her he's been sent to kill her because of her pro-independence stance and takes her to the garage to take her into hiding, passing Venus on the way.
The next morning, the Dragna's radio blares out the story of Nicole's tragic death at the wheel of an Italian sportscar and reports that Homeric Studios have never heard of Mr Mcgrath. Siegel is unhappy because there's no body and tells Steed he was "very clever" as they pass in the hall. Steed delivers the proof - Nicole's bracelet. Cecile complains it's broken and she winces when Steed says, "It was a tight fit". At the club, Venus mentions seeing Steed leave the studio with Nicole just before the accident to Siegel and he rings Dragna, saying they'll have to get rid of her - or Steed.
Siegel invites a Harbour Officer (Ivor Dean) to the club to listen to the Dave Lee Trio rehearse and asks him about the investigation. The officer reveals they haven't found the body despite finding the car, and doesn't expect to, he thinks the death was a publicity stunt, a fake. Siegel murmurs that he's beginning to agree... Dragna meanwhile is telling Steed about Venus seeing him at the studio and orders him to get rid of her.
Siegel next visits the film studio, posing as the security man, and finds Charlie packing Nicole's belongings to send to her mother. He questions her about where the suitcases are going then overhears her make a call to Aix-en-Provence. She hears him outside and opens the door to find him removing Nicole's name plate from the door, and he says, "You won't be needing this anymore".
That night, Steed and the Dragnas watch Venus sing "An Occasional Man" then Bud turns up, armed with a photo he took in Aix-en-Provence that morning of Nicole. He presses a gun into Steed's back and Dragna orders Cecile to go home and pack - everything - while Siegel starts clearing the club of customers. He tells the band to wrap up and drags Venus over to the table then tells the waiter to keep a lookout.
While Dragna and Siegel plan how to get rid of them, Cecile is unable to resist a bottle of spirits and slump on the sofa instead of packing. Steed tells Venus to sing them a song and, despite Siegel's suspicions, she plays "Sing for your Supper". Steed manages to knock Siegel to the ground when reaching for the champagne then turns out the lights. Venus shouts that there's a gun in the till and Steed grabs it, then shoots Siegel when he goes to capture Venus. Dragna agrees to throw his gun out to Steed but stealthily takes Siegel's gun while feigning surrender. Steed collects it cautiously and Cecile arrives just in time to see them exchange gunfire and Jack fall from a hit.
The next morning, One Ten convinces Nicole to join him at Le Bon Herbage, a four star resort, and they leave the beach just before Steed arrives for some sunbaking. Venus appears, having been kicked out of her hotel because Steed shot her boss and she has no money. She tells him it was going a bit far just to buy a club and he grins, "I wouldn't buy it - it has a terrible reputation."