Series 2 — Episode 15
Teleplay by Terrance Dicks and Malcolm Hulke
Directed by Jonathan Alwyn
Production No 3515, VTR/ABC/2271
Production completed: December 29 1962. First transmission: January 5 1963.
TV Times summary
Intercrime — crime’s answer to Interpol — leads Steed to ten-pin bowling and Cathy to prison
Steed arranges for Mrs Gale to replace Hilda Stern when she arrives in Britain, so Cathy can learn the plans of Intercrime. Stern is their professional killer, but Cathy is unable to kill and the real Stern exposes her. Felder plans a takeover of Intercrime, inteding to kill Manning and his girfriend in the process, but Steed steps in to rescue Mrs Gale and force the company into liquidation.
He castigates them for doing a job without permission; Sewell says it was Palmer’s idea and Palmer says no-one will ever find out. “Not from you, certainly”, says Moss and shoots them both, their bag spilling its contents on the floor.
Moss returns to the office where Felder (Kenneth J Warren) and Lobb (Jerome Willis) are waiting and tells them he’s dealt with Palmer and Sewell. Felder pulls him aside, telling him the chairman’s girlfriend, Pamela, found some of their papers and asked him point-blank what ‘Intercrime’ was.
Moss asks if he’s to kill her as well and Felder tells him Hilda Stern is being seconded to the London branch. He muses that if she kills the girlfriend, maybe she could be convinced to take care of the chairman himself... Moss asks him if he thinks the continental managers will accept his orders and Felder tells him with the information he has, they’d have to.
John Steed (Patrick Macnee) tells Catherine Gale (Honor Blackman) the details of Palmer’s discovery while they look at the sleeping criminal and he adds that Sewell was a foreigner - they have evidence that an international criminal organisation has centred itself on London. He’s hoping Palmer is a lead to twelve big robberies in the last few weeks, none with the hallmarks of known British criminals.
Steed tosses Cathy an Interpol report showing the same pattern overseas. Palmer comes to and is concerned he won’t be at London Airport for the 11 o’clock arrival of Hilda Stern. Cathy notices an ornate ring on his right hand when she goes to calm him. Steed calls the airport but they tell him she’s already been arrested for travelling on a false passport. This gives Steed an idea and he asks Cathy to help out. 1
Cathy is on Holloway Prison with Hilda Stern (Julia Arnall), who admits to Cathy that her passport was forged - she hasn’t had a real one in over ten years, but there’s normally no difficulty in getting about. Cathy says she’s inside over a “misunderstanding about £10,000 worth of jewellery”. Hilda is interested and Cathy says she works with a man called Palmer but Hilda doesn’t respond to the name.
A prisoner trusty (Charlotte Selwyn) enters and offers Hilda a cigarette, and Cathy notes the ornate ring on Hilda’s right hand. The trusty quietly tells Hilda that “F has sent a message” - she’ll be picked up outside the gate that night, 2 Cathy pretends not to hear. Prison Officer Sharpe (Bettine Milne) enters to take Cathy to her solicitor and admonishes the trusty for being in the cell.
Steed arrives, wearing spectacles, posing as a solicitor.
STEED: Ah, Mrs Gale, very good to see you again, thank you!
CATHY: I had no idea you were representing me.
STEED: I had a word with your solicitor. He thought that I might know a little more about the case then he did.
CATHY: That’s quite possible.
She tells him Hilda hasn’t been very talkative and he asks her to keep trying - she’s a more important catch than they thought and has been watched by Interpol for some time; they know she’s part of the organisation. Cathy tells him about the trusty’s message and Steed leaps on a plan to let Cathy escape in Hilda’s place. She protests that she doesn’t want to escape into the arms of criminals and Steed tells her it’s the only lead they have - and Hilda having no reaction to Palmer’s name means the members of the organisation don’t know each other. Steed slips her a drug to ensure Hilda is sleeping instead of escaping and departs.
At Rifle Ranges International Ltd, Felder and Moss are going over the accounts of recent robberies and deciding how to launder the proceeds. Lobb arrives, dressed as a motorcycle policeman and they go over the plan to spring Hilda. At the prison, the trusty returns to the cell with two mugs of cocoa - “the strong one is for Hilda” - and Cathy slips the drug into Hilda’s mug. Meanwhile, Steed is trying to learn more about Hilda from Palmer who, semi-delirious, tells him Hilda is an executioner.
Back at the prison, Hilda passes out and Cathy finds the key to the cell inside Hilda’s mug. She tucks Hilda into her cot and discovers the pillow contains an officer’s uniform, which she puts on. Palmer recovers and thanks Steed for looking after him, but is startled when Steed asks him who F is. Palmer won’t talk until Steed offers him a ticket out of the country and Palmer tells him Felder runs the organisation from a West End shooting gallery.
Felder is reading about the escape from Holloway in the paper when Lobb arrives to say the chairman, Jack Manning (Patrick Holt), has arrived. Steed is in the outer office, chatting to Manning and his girlfriend, Pamela Johnson (Angela Browne) about the difficulty of parking in the West End and the popularity of shooting.
Steed tells Lobb he wants to set up a shooting gallery and they’re discussing costs when Hans Kressler (Paul Hansard) arrives, looking for Felder. Lobb tells him he’ll have to wait, and he wants to have a word with him beforehand anyway.
Lobb returns to Steed and tells him they can help publicise a new gallery by sending a team of experts along - if it’s a big regional centre like Leeds or Newcastle, they would even get foreign participants to ‘start things off with a bang’. Lobb is impressed with his shooting and suggest he see Felder that afternoon. Steed sees Cathy arrive with Moss and agrees to return with an associate.
Cathy is shown in to see Felder and he asks for proof of her identity - she hands him a ring she took from Hilda 3 and he’s satisfied. Felder answers the phone and is startled to discover it’s Palmer - as are Cathy and Moss! Palmer says he was picked up by some bloke who has been asking a lot of questions and gives the address. Felder sends Moss and Cathy off to kill Palmer, and the man who’s been hiding him ... Lobb tells Felder that Kressler has arrived, but he’s £5,000 short of his expected haul.
Cathy and Moss arrive at Steed’s flat, finding all the lights out. They enter cautiously, Moss in the lead, and Cathy knocks him out with her revolver as they move away from the front door.
Felder is busy telling Manning that the Hull and Manchester galleries will open in the Spring. Manning tells him he’ll have to use local men on the ‘job opportunities’ in those areas. After he leaves, Felder decides that ‘Hilda’, who’s just returned, can deal with Kressler, whom Lobb declares guilty.
She tells him Palmer jumped Moss when they entered but she ‘dealt’ with Palmer and the man who was hiding him - Moss is slightly concussed but will be back tomorrow. 4 Felder tells her he has a couple of assignments for her: to represent Kressler at his trial - but adds he’s clearly guilty. Felder then hands her Pamela’s photograph, and tells her to kill her.
Pamela meanwhile is fretting as Manning prepares to leave for a meeting in the city; she makes light of her anxiety when he notices, saying she just had too many drinks the night before.
Cathy meanwhile has shown Pamela’s photo to Steed and says Felder wants her dead within 48 hours. Steed remembers seeing her with Manning at Felder’s showroom and they appeared intimate; he puzzles over Manning’s involvement. He reassures Cathy that Palmer is safely under guard in hospital and asks her to find out what she can from the trial.
Steed arrives at Manning’s house and tells Pamela someone is trying to kill her - he asks her what she knows about Felder and his association with Manning. She says Felder runs one of Manning’s companies - the rifle range company. He tells her Felder wants her dead but she doesn’t believe him.
PAMELA: I have a good mind to report you to the police.
STEED: Oh, why?
PAMELA: For spreading malicious and irresponsible rumours!
STEED: Quite right! But don’t be too hasty. Remember, if I’m right, you’re wrong...
PAMELA: Yes, I know - I’m going to be killed. Please go Mr Steed.
STEED: Right - oh, err, good luck.
Cathy learns from Kressler that he was a member of an exhibition shooting team from Berlin. He and two others pulled a bank job while they were in London but when he delivered the money to Lobb, £5,000 was missing. He swears he didn’t keep it. When Pamela learns Manning met Felder she complains that she doesn’t trust Felder, and asks him if they can go away for a holiday but he says he can’t.
At the ‘trial’, Lobb recounts following Kressler and says he bought a ticket to Rio, which Kressler denies. When questioned by Cathy, Lobb concedes he can’t prove that Kressler had actually bought a ticket to Rio. Cathy questions the evidence as the contact at the bank could have stolen it and Moss admits they didn’t find an airline ticket. Cathy suggests they dropped one bundle of cash in the dark but Moss makes Kressler admit that his brother lives in Rio. Cathy pleads Kressler’s innocence but Felder finds him guilty regardless:
CATHY: The case against Kressler, therefore, is based entirely upon hearsay and circumstantial evidence. That ‘evidence’, for what it is worth, contains every element of doubt. I therefore plead that you find him not guilty.
FELDER: Thank you, Miss Stern. Kressler, stand up. Stand up! We’ve heard all the evidence. And I’m afraid that I can find only one possible verdict — guilty.
Cathy requests a .22 rifle with telescopic sight to take care of Pamela with, and a new passport which won’t get her arrested. Hilda meanwhile overpowers Officer Sharpe and escapes the prison.
Steed reports that Pamela denied any knowledge and they are sure Manning is involved, but have no proof yet. Cathy says he’d better hurry, as she is supposed to be watching Pamela with the sniper rifle. Steed tells her to report back to Felder in a couple of hours, saying she’s accomplished her mission and he’ll take care of Pamela. Back at the prison, another trusty (Jean Gregory) enters the cell and finds Sharpe’s corpse in Hilda’s cot, then smiles grimly. 2
Moss and Felder are arranging robberies when Berlin calls, requesting that Kressler not be returned to them - Felder decides Hilda will execute him, they’re expecting her back any minute - but the real Hilda arrives before Cathy does.
When Cathy arrives, she’s confronted by Hilda but unflinchingly declares that Hilda is a police spy. To prove her identity, Cathy names her boss, Harz, and gives his address - but Hilda gives the correct phone number. Felder decides there’s an easier way to settle it, and leads them both to Kressler.
FELDER: This man has been found guilty of defrauding the organisation. I’m sure the real Hilda Stern wouldn’t hesitate to carry out the penalty.
He produces a revolver and hands it to Cathy and she’s about to shoot him, then turns the gun on Moss, Felder and Hilda - but the gun is empty and she’s locked in a store room, bound and gagged. Steed meanwhile arrives at Manning’s and greets Pam jovially as she lets him in:
STEED: Good evening Miss Johnson! Not dead yet?
PAMELA: You again.
STEED: Me again — your guardian angel. I’ve come to see if you’re all right.
He’s asking her about Manning’s involvement with Intercrime when Felder calls, claiming Manning has had an accident and he’s sending a cab to get her. Steed is concerned - something must have gone wrong or Felder would think Pamela was already dead...
Manning and Felder are going over the accounts when Hilda enters and is introduced. Manning is delighted to meet her and proposes a toast to Intercrime - “system, organisation, continental goodwill!”. Pamela arrives and is shown in to see a perfectly healthy Manning - and Felder, Moss and Hilda surround their victims.
Meanwhile, Lobb is guarding Cathy but hears Steed breaking in, Steed hits him with the door and easily defeats him. He then frees Cathy and they separate in order to flank their adversaries.
Felder meanwhile is accusing Manning of putting the business in jeopardy by having an affair with Pamela - and she admits to finding out about Intercrime. Manning is knocked out by Moss. Steed deliberately making a noise to draw their attention. Steed overpowers Moss as he enters, then fights him and a recovered Lobb. Hilda meanwhile goes the other way, but is shot in the hand by Cathy during a furious gunfight. The women fight while Steed is attacked by a recovering Lobb, who accidentally stabs Moss while trying to kill Steed.
Steed enters the office and Felder grabs Pamela, putting a gun to her head, forcing Steed to drop his gun. Felder tries the same trick when Cathy holds him up from behind but Manning attacks him and Steed recovers the revolver and orders Cathy to call the police.
Cathy visits Steed and finds him puzzling over what to do with the very large order from Rifle Ranges International that he forgot to cancel. She suggests he hand it over to the police, then adds that “people have been sent to jail for less...”
- It is not spelled out in the screen play, but Steed asks Cathy to impersonate Hilda while Hilda’s deportation is organised and Cathy is taken to Holloway Prison and made Hilda’s cellmate. ⭮
- The trusties aren’t very trustworthy, are they? The second trusty is a departure from the script as well, which has her scream rather than smile conspiratorially. ⭮
- We don’t learn the ring came from Hilda until we have a close-up of her smoking a cigarette at 35:23, and the ring is gone. ⭮
- This makes no sense to me, why didn’t they just lock Moss up? ⭮