Steed is marked for death. Emma turns to the bottle.

6 x 15-minute episodes
based on the television episode
Get-A-Way! (1968),
written by Philip Levene

Principal Cast:
Donald Monat as John Steed
Diane Appleby as Emma Peel
Hugh Rouse as The Narrator

Production:
Adapted and directed by Dennis Folbigge
Produced by David Gooden

Transmission on Springbok Radio (7.15-7.30pm):
Episode 1 - Tuesday 6th June 1972
Episode 2 - Wednesday 7th June 1972
Episode 3 - Thursday 8th June 1972
Episode 4 - Friday 9th June 1972
Episode 5 - Monday 12th June 1972
Episode 6 - Tuesday 13th June 1972
This is a best guess based on available data

Do the Chameleon!
Was Martin Ezdorf a member of the
Leonard Zelig fan club?

PLOTLINE

Old Hill Monastery in Marlow, a special prison for captured spies, is in trouble. Dangerous inmates, such as Rostov, are literally disappearing from their cells. Steed is drawn into this case when his friend, George Neville, is shot by Rostov after a party at Steed's flat. Steed knows that Rostov was one of three enemy agents detailed to kill three top British agents. Neville was Rostov's target, and Paul Ryder (another friend of Steed's) is Lubin's target. The third prisoner, Martin Ezdorf, has refused to confess who his target is.

Ezdorf claims that Lubin will escape, as will he himself, to complete their mission. As Steed talks to Ezdorf, Lubin does indeed escape and manages to disappear despite being trapped in an apparent dead-end.

Steed asks Mrs Peel to warn Ryder of the danger, but she arrives too late only having time to see footprints from Ryders spilt paint tin vanish outside the house. Steed goes back to Old Hill to question Ezdorf, but the only thing he finds out is that Ezdorf's target is Steed himself. Mrs Peel is examining the prisoners' files and the contents of Lubin's cell. All three agents had a piece of paper with CXVIIIVIXXV written on it. Obviously a roman numeral, she also sees that a magazine from Lubin's cell, Bryant's Natural History Magazine, is issue number CXVIIIVI and that page XXV (25) is missing. She goes to the magazine offices to find out what the missing page is, but the publisher Cedric Bryant has been killed by Lubin. However, she does find a copy of the page which is about lizards and she and Steed link the page to bottles of vodka from the men's cells; the brand is Lizard Vodka.

The vodka is imported by the Magnus Importing Company, whose van Mrs Peel had noticed at Bryant's office. Steed visits the company, where he sees vodka destined for Ezdorf. He goes back to Ezdorf, who taunts Steed that he will escape and kill him. Mrs Peel takes the files back to the Ministry where, seeing some pet chameleons, she gets a clue as to how the prisoners are escaping. After Steed has left, Ezdorf's cell is checked by Colonel James and his men it appears to be empty. They check the cell but are surprised by an invisible Ezdorf who knocks them out and escapes. Back in his flat Steed notices an advert for Lizard Vodka in the magazine, which causes him to discover that the vodka bottle can be separated into two compartments. He goes to the Magnus Importing warehouse, to discover what was in the bottles. Magnus tries to jump him but Steed knocks him out, then manages to see that the mysterious liquid in the bottle can be used to make the user merge with his background like a chameleon. Whilst Steed is out, Ezdorf goes to Steed's flat. There he captures Mrs Peel, who has come to warn Steed of Ezdorf's escape, and the pair wait for Steed to return. Very soon Steed returns, but neither Ezdorf or Mrs Peel can see him; he is wearing the coat Lubin used to escape. He knocks Ezdorf unconscious, freeing Mrs Peel and putting an end to Ezdorf's plan.

GUEST REVIEW

There's a particularly clear explanation of the prison to begin this one. It is good not to keep the place a mystery as the goings on are strange enough. The prison guard taking over from the narrator and describing the cell inmates doesn't sound as natural as it might. The rest of the opening episode is a suitably social affair as Steed and Mrs Peel entertain very good friends. After the friends finally leave, I liked the way their thoughts turn to whether they should have invited Mother and their conclusions regarding this question. This moment of relaxation gets us off guard for the following sudden shooting. The repetition of the shot man's last message is noticeably more realistic the second time we hear it in the recap, I'm sure you'll agree. Donald Monat excels at playing an angry Steed when questioning the prison boss about the assassin's escape. Then, when visiting the cells the echo in the voices adds to the hard atmosphere needed to portray such a place. I also liked the way the bells are heard ringing over the dialogue rather than in amongst the lines. This sort of thing adds variety, or more accurately quality, to the serials. That it's Mrs Peel who first suggests the idea of "invisible men" shows the direct way in which she approaches problems. It reminded me of her suggestion in Love All that things could be to do with love.

The most dangerous of the prison spies is of course Ezdorf. His second stint in the serial now confirmed to me what I felt on hearing him earlier, that he's not quite as sinister as his TV counterpart. The Ezdorf here is a bit neurotic. It's not as good a character but then TV had a very good young actor in the role indeed, Peter Bowles. I enjoyed quite a few punch-lines, such as the professor's reaction to news about assassinations, "This is dreadful; my reputation is at stake". Likewise any listener who is snacking too much will undoubtedly be cheered up by the man Emma visits who is "feeding every twenty-five minutes"! As for some of the music clips, when Mrs Peel runs out to her car after hearing something happening to the magazine publisher over the phone, it is zany indeed; the sort of music found in US sci-fi cartoons of the Sixties. The recurring clip with a woman's high voice is quite a nice choice, however.

The main thing that occurred to me while listening to this serial is that this Steed is very much a working detective. Very often he has to progress a step at a time and isn't finding much to cheer him up; of course he's lost some of his best friends. I don't think the TV Steed plays him quite as seriously, at least not for as long. However the radio portrayal makes perfect sense for him to be feeling down because of his lost friends. The continuing stream of escapees becomes a bit predictable and Steed, persevering in his detective work, gets a nudge from the narrator, who tells him via an aside, "You should have got it by now". It's a quick ending, and when Ezdorf is thwarted by Steed it is all he deserves for some most un-gentlemanly remarks he made while imprisoning Mrs. Peel.

Ron Geddes

DIFFERENCES COMPARED TO THE TELEVISION EPISODE

Name Changes: Lieutenant Baxter, one of the prison staff, does not have a definite rank in the TV episode.

Character Changes: This is one of a number of episodes adapted for the Sonovision Avengers which replaces the television character of Tara King with that of Emma Peel.

Storyline Changes: Steed's favoured gun is a Brown & Teeson Magnum the TV episode claims it is a Smith & Wesson Magnum.

Steed uses Lubin's discarded coat to achieve invisibility in the radio serial in the TV programme he coats the back of his own suit with the special liquid.

PRODUCTION NOTES

This serial is known to have been the next one broadcast after Love All.

Alys Hayes

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