Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Thursday 29 October 1964

In fog-wreathed London, Long Harry (Philip Latham), a denizen of the city's criminal underworld, finds himself pursued by a young man on a motorbike (Dudley Sutton, who'd recently played a much friendlier biker in kitchen sink drama The Leather Boys), eventually making his way to a phone box and interrupting Simon Templar in the midst of a monologue about the uselessness of weather forecasters.






Long Harry makes it to Simon's pad and pours out his troubles.  The biker is employed by a mysterious villain known as the Scorpion, for whom Harry recently broke into the house of Mark Deverest, an official at the Ministry of Aeronautical Affairs (as we don't get quite enough about aeronautical affairs around here), and stole a letter.  He was instructed to leave the letter in a locker at Victoria station and give the key to Patsy Butler, a hostess at a nightclub called the Birds Nest.  Suspecting the letter was going to be used for blackmail, which he hates (so why did he steal it?), Harry hid at Victoria and saw the Scorpion retrieve it.  But he was spotted and, as he can identify the blackmailer, now has his henchman out to kill him.


Simon dashes out in Harry's hat and coat to distract the biker.  There are many guffaws to be had from the comparison between the biker in close up (Dudley Sutton) and long shot (not Dudley Sutton).  Their hairlines are very different.



The scene shifts to the home of Mark Deverest (Ronald Leigh-Hunt), who's in a confab with his lawyer Garniman (Geoffrey Bayldon) and his secretary Karen Bates (Catherine Woodville, last seen on Tuesday in Danger Man).  Simon drops in to talk to Deverest about the Scorpion situation, but Deverest is insistent he isn't being blackmailed and isn't missing an important letter.


But just then he receives a call from Patsy Butler (Nyree Dawn Porter), instructing him to come to the Birds Nest and pay up.


Karen listens in on another line, and reveals all to Simon.  They head to the Birds Nest together, and are greeted by cheerful owner Montgomery "Birdie" Bird (former music hall star Leon Cortez).  Simon and Karen watch as Deverest converses with Patsy.  She makes it clear this is just the first instalment.


Simon follows Patsy out the back, interrupting her in the midst of exchanging sweet nothings with Eddie, the biker (Patsy and Eddie - how wonderful!).  He escapes, she gets a smacked bottom from the Saint before doing likewise.


Eddie heads to the Scorpion's lair to see his boss.  It's filled with exotic animals, including several examples of the baddie's namesake.


Long Harry's been at Simon's place the whole time, but isn't likely to mind the wait because, as Simon discovers when he returns, he's been stabbed to death.  Deverest, meanwhile, is quizzed by his wife (Eve Lister) about what's going on, and he confesses all.  Disappointingly, he's being blackmailed over a business matter: before taking up his current job he was meant to divest himself of all shares in aerospace companies.  The letter that's been stolen reveals that he hasn't.


For once it's Simon who calls in Inspector Teale to help.  The lugubrious policeman has little sympathy with victims of blackmail: "If the public had a little more guts it would help our job a great deal."  He initially wonders if Simon's fallen victim to the Scorpion, getting very excited at the prospect.


Simon pays a visit to Bird, who denies all knowledge of the Scorpion's activities, and claims not to know much about Patsy either.  Simon sets to bribing the Birds Nest staff for information.



Securing Patsy's address, Simon heads over to see her.  It's been a long time since a Tretchikoff painting's turned up round these parts, so I was very happy to see one adorning the grimy walls of Patsy's flat - not the especially ubiquitous Chinese Girl this time but the very similar Lady of the Orient.  Simon's told very plainly to go away, and realises that Patsy's involvement in the gang is purely down to her love for Eddie.  He warns her the biker's a dangerous character, but it falls on deaf ears.


Deverest admits to Garniman that he's being blackmailed, and the lawyer appears to be very disappointed in him.  Eddie follows after Garniman when he leaves the Deverest residence, and it emerges that Garniman is in fact the evil Scorpion.  He talks Eddie into disposing of his girlfriend.


Eddie heads to Patsy's flat, and attempts to strangle her with a stocking.  She manages to break free, but falls headlong down the stairs, where she's discovered by her landlady (Hilda Barry) as Eddie makes a sharp exit.




Simon finds a mysterious package when he arrives home.  It's a cigarette box containing a deadly scorpion, which he only just manages to kill before it can sting Karen.


Patsy survived the fall, but as she tells Karen when she pays a visit, "My dancing days are over."  Patsy gives Karen the Scorpion's contact details, but when she leaves the hospital Karen finds Garniman waiting for her.


Simon and Eddie have a ding-dong in Bird's office, with Simon getting the better of his foe and setting off on his bike to the Scorpion's residence.


Realising he's been defeated, Garniman uses one of his own scorpions to poison himself.


The Scorpion continues The Saint's upward trend: it's gritty, tremendously exciting and unexpectedly violent, and Porter, Sutton and Bayldon all give brilliant performances.  Quiz time again: does anybody recognise this uncredited actress playing Patsy's nurse? I'm sure I should, but I can't quite place her.  Your help, as ever, would be greatly appreciated.


3 comments:

  1. London late at night when Long Harry Garrett is being chased by Eddie riding his motorbike and when Harry telephones Simon Templar,The Saint is watching the weather forecast and switches TV Set Off and Harry telling Simon about The Scorpion and he offers Harry a cigarette to calm him down and Simon saying goodbye to Harry and he left the house with his cap and coat on and he is chased again by Eddie,The infamous mastermind of The Scorpion by motorbike and Simon saying Good Evening and Eddie asks him about the man as Simon drives away,Eddie saw the cap on the ground of The Car Park.

    Simon shook hands with his old friend Mark Deverest offers Simon a drink when Karen Bates,Deverest's Secretary who is listening to the telephone in the hallway and Patsy Butler at The Nightclub,The Bird's Nest owned by Birdie Bird.

    Simon saying goodbye to Mark and he is going to his sports car when Karen waiting for him and drove away to The Bird's Nest and Simon and Karen having a drink when Mark Deverest came in when Patsy Butler waits for Mark who gave Patsy the money and Eddie inside the office and he gave Patsy a kiss and Simon pushes her out the way and he smacked her and her boyfriend Eddie sped away and he give the man the a large sum of money and the inside the cage is The Scorpions.

    Simon and Karen return home to find Harry died on the floor with his glass of whiskey on his hand and Simon calls Inspector Claude Teal of Scotland Yard in London.

    Mark is smoking a cigarette when his wife Cynthia came in and asking question about Patsy Butler.

    Simon,Karen and Inspector Claude Teal drinking Coffee and Inspector Teal about The Scorpion for two murders and the next day when Simon driving to The Bird's Nest and Birdie is not in the very good mood and before he calls the police and Simon lost his temper with Birdie and he slammed the telephone down and before Simon is leaving The Bird's Nest and give the man a pound note about information of Patsy Butler address in Putney and he asks the landlady who is cleaning the floor and Patsy put the kettle on for cup of tea.

    Simon asking Patsy a lot of questions about her boyfriend Eddie on the photograph on the her dressing table and Patsy lost her temper with Simon and saying Please Please you will leave and Simon explained to Patsy if inside The Women's prison in not very nice indeed he told her to calm down and he gave Patsy The Saint Card.

    Eddie driving through in the streets of London and Patsy looked out the window and Eddie grappled with Patsy kicked him very hard and within seconds and he knocked her out screaming when the landlady called the doctor.

    Simon and Karen return home and stack of letters through the post and cigarette case and card inside also Karen opens it and The infamous large Scorpion on her hand and Simon says don't move and he manages to remove the scorpion and killed it before it stings Karen.

    Simon returns to The Bird's Nest and Birdie told Templar to get out and Eddie reappeared with the knife and Simon,Speak of The Devil,Get Out of The Way Grandad,Eddie Don't,Do As Has He Says and throws the way of teapot and wrestling with Eddie and The Big Fight is on as Eddie trying to escape,Simon knocked him out cold.

    Karen is kidnapped by The Scorpion and Simon snatched the gun and saved Karen Bates in the nick of time.

    Simon Templar gave Mark Deverest the letter and The Blackmail & The Scorpion has come to the end.

    Simon,Karen,Cynthia & Mark Deverest saying it's all over and Mark saying Thanks to Simon,It's All Over.

    The Scorpion is The Great Original Episode of The Saint Starring Roger Moore as Simon Templar and The Screenplay by The late Paul Erickson and The Director is The late Roy Baker on Thursday October 29th 1964 by ATC-ITC New World Production.

    Terry Christie,from Sunderland,Tyne & Wear.

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  2. I think that actress might be the late great Thora Hird... compare this picture: http://liambluett.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/Thora-Hird-8-11.jpg

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  3. Just for The Record is The British Actress of course is Joyce Grant as The Nurse in The Saint and The British Actress lookalike is The late Thora Hird is best known in The BBC-tv Drama Series,The First Lady from 1968-70.

    Terry Christie.

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