K Is For
(ITC Movie title "Color Him Dead")
Original UK transmission: 2nd March 1974
Original US transmission: 5th April 1974
WRITTEN BY: Brian Clemens and Terry Nation
DIRECTED BY: Peter Moffat
PRODUCED BY: John Sichel
MAIN CAST: Gayle Hunnicutt (Suzy Buckley), Stephen Rea (Arden Buckley), Jean Kent (Mrs Garrick), Christopher Cazenove (Sunny Garrick), Peter Dyneley (David Garrick), Derek Francis (Shelby Grafton), Frances Bennett (Mrs Gale), Shirley Cain (Mrs Terril), Oliver Smith (Marcus), Arthur White (Charley Wilson), Sally Miles (Karen Standard), James Appleby (Brett), Julia Breck (Samantha)
The camera pans across the Thames and zooms in on a tall building. Inside, a middle-aged man in a dressing gown answers the phone as a young woman watches on in a state of boredom. He tells his caller that he's heard he's the "best salesman in the business" and that the client involved is a tycoon and will understand a "hard sell". He adds that the "tools for the job" will be left at reception in a plain wrapper, and that with a bit of luck the caller should "make a killing." Pausing to reflect on this last phrase, he emphasises "Yes, a big killing" as the camera turns down towards a rifle sitting in its case.
NOTE: In the "movie" version of this episode, the final shot of the rifle was omitted and the opening pan moved to the end of the sequence.
Eccentric husband and wife Arden and Suzy Buckley run their own private eye agency and are approached by a young playboy, Sunny Garrick, to track down the would-be murderer of his tycoon father. David Garick appears unimpressed with the Buckleys, but quickly changes his tune when Arden saves him from a second assassination attempt. While Suzy pursues investigations of her own, Arden follows the trail to Garick's mansion, where an unpleasant surprise awaits.
This comedy thriller had its origins in an idea for a series (called The Team) devised by Brian Clemens and comedy/tele-fantasy writer Terry Nation. Despite having plenty of amusing moments, this episode really does stick out like a sore thumb. The problem is that the Buckleys' inability to take anything seriously makes every threat seem empty (the scene where Suzy Buckley tries to fend of her assassin with a vacuum cleaner comes to mind). That said, there are a couple of genuinely dramatic moments, especially the electrifying scene where Suzy goes to question Garick's wife and finds her to be a demented wreck. The gorgeous Gayle Hunnicutt keeps the eye interested, but really one must consider this to be something of a failed experiment.
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