A jazz group the Arthur Rogers Modern Jazz Quintet are having their London debut. They are frustrated that the compositions they play are organised already for them for their shows. The mysterious band manager provides the compositions and often with very little time beforehand. Carlos Varela stumbles across the hidden reason for these songs being curated for the band, it may have something to do with the important people attending the concerts.
Off the banks of the Thames near the Wharf Pier lies Mercury International where Carlos Varela begins his story in this series. Carlos’s intelligence and charm plays to his spy-like coolness and bachelor style all make this character a great cover for whatever he is up to. This first episode sets the scene for a series of mysterious and chivalrous action.
A cryptic message is delivered to Robin Hood, telling him to head to the Tower of London and potentially mortal danger. The Queen has summoned Robin to step in front of a pending marriage between Prince John and the french princess Isabella. Prince John is seeking to secure even more power and with this marriage would remove King Arthur from the throne. As Robin interferes, it is quickly realized that Isabella is not helpful nor ignorant to the happenings of the court.
A power grab by marriage is par for course throughout history and this episode show the length Prince John would take to getting full control. His plans if panned out right would solidify his realm but he has not taken into account his choice in Isabella as his wife. This episode has the fantastic Donald Pleasance as Prince John and a rare visit to London for our protagonist.
Taken for a ride with Clarissa De Vere Allen, Gene is blindfolded and brought to see one of his own Rembrandt paintings. He is being blackmailed in order to keep this painting from being destroyed by the blackmailers. Bradley doesn’t want to just cower down to thieves and so he will need to devise a plan to get the painting back and give them a much needed lesson. He begins to investigate who took him for a ride, finding a trail of deceit and the real Clarissa De Vere Allen. Once confronted, the thieves knew the game was up and try to destroy this magnificent painting.
A relatively simple episode of blackmail and ransom, since Bradley is a purveyor of the arts this would strike a cord for action. A Rembrandt of any kind should be preserved so when faced with a prospect of its destruction the only logical option is to stop them. I still have trouble finding many good aspects to this episode every scene seems like a poor second to previously well acted scenes in other series. With all of it faults, I can still watch this show and enjoy it for its silliness.
Its another dark and foggy london night when some plans to “knock off” the Lynsted collection are overheard. Mannering is told of these plans and takes steps to stop this pending robbery. After waiting for some time both Mannering and the Police believe that the tip off may have been found out so the crooks have changed their plans. As they are leaving their suspicions are aroused by a noise from the roof. It all goes wrong when the policeman is shot dead after recognising the thief. The suspect Greg Wilde is well connected and has substantial funds to keep everything hush hush but Mannering was not going to budge on his testimony. Mannerings tipster is found dead, making this a much bigger case for the police and further putting The Barons life in danger.
A wonderful story from this series. An antiques collection is to be stolen and the crook is a well known thug but with power. The hustle between Mannering and Greg Wilde is great drama but with the twist of revenge that plays out like a classic ITC storyline. It also has a few favourite actors of mine such as Mike Pratt, who is the lead actor in Randall and Hopkirk Deceased. One of the best episodes of the series.