The Saint (1962–1969): Season 3, Episode 17 - The Inescapable Word - full transcript

On holiday in the Highlands of Scotland the Saint is staying near to a top secret scientific establishment, one of whose staff is mysteriously killed. Soon afterwards the one of the boffins Professor Oakridge is murdered, having scrawled the word COP in his blood before dying. His colleagues claim ignorance as to why he should have done this but the Saint believes that one of them is the killer and enlists the help of hotelier's daughter Marjorie North in solving the case.

It's all very strange.

For most of the year we feed and coddle our game birds,

protect them from predators, defend them from the poachers,

then on the morning of August the 12th, we get our guns

and we see how many of them we can kill.


Hello, Marge, what's for lunch?

Very dull, I'm afraid, chicken, I hope you're hungry.

I am ravenous.

Come on Sinbad, sit, sit boy.

Look out.

Oh dear, I missed.

Well we'll never have game pie at that rate.

Yeah, so these grouse are cunning you know, they duck.

I don't think you're trying.

You haven't made a kill all day.

The truth is I'm not a very expert marksman.

Oh come on, surely no one can say that

about the famous Simon Templar.

There's quite a mist coming up.

Aye, I doubt they'll be calling the guns in

in a few minutes.

Can't be too soon for me.

This is one of the bleakest places I've ever seen.

Anybody live out there?

A gamekeeper has a cottage away there

to the north, and the laboratory's

the only other building on the whole moor.

A laboratory?

Aye, it was an old farmhouse,

one of the ministers took it over

a few years ago and added some extra buildings.

Bulldozers, cement mixers, they ruined

the shooting for four seasons.

What do they do out there?

Nobody knows, it's one of these top secret affairs.

That's guns in, no more shooting for the day.

If you're all ready, sir, we'll go on off to the cars.

I'll walk on up to the house.

It'll be dark before you're there.

Well exercise will do me good after

standing around here all day.

Well your quickest way is over yon rise

and down through Ravenwood.


Tell the colonel I'll see him at dinner.

All right, sir.

Not too bad for so late in the season.

Sinbad, here boy.


Well I don't understand it.

He just doesn't go off like that.

Probably off chasing rabbits somewhere.

He'll show up, don't worry.

Now where the devil is everybody?

Dondi, give them another blast.

Ah, Simms, where's Mr. Templar?

Walking back, sir.

Said he'd see you at dinner.

At this rate, he'll be there before us.

Put your things in the back of the car,

and we'll drive down and pick up the others as we go.

We can't go until we find Sinbad.

Nonsense, wouldn't surprise me

to find him at home when we get there.

Come along, get in the car.

Should I take a walk around

and see if I can find him, Miss?

Would you? I'd be awfully grateful.

Thank you so much.

You're wasting your time, Simms.

Come on, come on.

Mist is getting quite thick.

Hope Simon doesn't get lost.

That's pretty unlikely.

As I remember, Simon has a better sense

of direction than a homing pigeon.

Is Mr. Templar back yet?

No, Miss.

He can't be very far behind us.

Do you want a drink before we change for dinner?

Oh yes, please.

I think I'll just go down to the kennels

and see if Sinbad's come back.

I was down there a few minutes ago, Miss.

He wasn't there then.


Oh well, I'm sure Simms'll find him.

Well I hope our other dinner guests don't have

the same vanishing qualities as Simon and Sinbad.

Thank you. Thank you.

If they have, I'm afraid we're in

for a rather dull evening.

I took the bird with my left barrel,

and then swung and fired with the right.

And if I didn't knock two more birds down with one shot.

Your reactions must be very quick.

Well they have to be when you're shooting grouse.

Thank you, and by the way, is Mr. Templar all right?

I think so, sir, he's just changing.


My other guest had something of an experience last night.

What happened?

Well, he didn't go into details,

but from what he said, I imagine he ran into a poacher.

The fellow attacked him.

Really? Was he hurt.

Oh he got a nasty bump on the back of his head.

Ah, Simon, we were just talking about you.

Now come and tell us exactly what happened.

I'm not quite sure, shall we talk about it later?

Oh, of course, now what you need is a drink, Thompson.

Now, let me introduce you to my guests.

This is Simon Templar.

Professor Edward Oakridge.

Mr. Templar.

And this is Jock Ingram.

Nice to know you.

Where's Marge.

I don't know, I thought she went up to change ages ago.

Thompson, just go up and tell Miss Marjorie

that dinner's nearly ready, will you?

Yes, sir.

Oakridge and Ingram are working out

of the research station.

It's no good asking them what they're doing, though.

I'm afraid it's all very hush hush.

Well that's true of Oakridge,

but there's nothing secret about what I do.

I'm in charge of security.

That's pretty isolated out on the moor.

I shouldn't imagine you have much trouble with intruders.

I shall almost welcome them.

My biggest problem is boredom.

Really, well, you must come out

on a shoot with us one day, it's always interesting.

Oh no, that wouldn't do at all.

Mr. Ingram is an anti-bloodsport man.

Well I'm not actively against it.

It's just that I don't think I'd find much enjoyment

in killing for pleasure.

Unlike most cops, you'll find that

Mr. Ingram is rather sensitive.

I understand that you consider killing animals

fairly unimportant since you spend your working day

devising more efficient means for killing people.

That's the kind of remark one would expect from a cop.

You know our weapons will never be used.

Then don't you feel a certain futility in having spent

your life making them?

Sorry, we got a bit carried away.

Not at all.

Well, let's go in, shall we?

Miss Marjorie's not in her room, sir.



Daddy, they're not back yet.

Not back yet, but it's, it's nearly nine o'clock.

Are you sure he's not down at the cottage.

I've just come from there.

I went down to the edge of the moors,

and up as far as Wolfe Rock.

There's no sign of him.

Is the dog still out?

I can't find him.

Gentlemen, I shall have to ask you to excuse me.

One of my men is out on the moors, and they can be

very treacherous, even if you know them well.

I shall have to organize a search.

I'll come with you.

Oakridge and I have got the jeep outside.

Yes, yes, of course.

I'd be very glad of your help.

Thompson. Sir.

Go and get the other men,

and I went them all here in 15 minutes.

Yes, sir.

I've got some large-scale maps in my study.

We'll break the area down into sections.

Simon, if anything happens to him, it'll be my fault.

I asked him to stay out there.

Don't worry, Marge, we'll find him.

By the way,

have you ever seen or heard anything

about strange lights on the moor?

We sometimes have people who have seen marsh gas.

You know, will of the wisp.

I think the scientific name is ignis fatuus.

It's nothing like that.

What do you mean?

It's not very important.

What worries me is that he's fallen down

into one of the potholes.

The moor is riddled with them.

Well, a half dozen men on foot and two cars,

we should find him.

The mist isn't lifting.

Won't make things any easier.

There's Goad's Store.

That's where we said we'd meet them in the jeep.

Thought I saw headlights coming this way a moment ago.

Ah, that better be Oakridge and Ingram.


I can't hear anything.

Any luck?

Simon thought he heard something.

That's Sinbad, I swear it is.

Sinbad, oh Sinbad.

Oh you bad thing.

Come here.

Ingram, take Marge back to the jeep.

Drive down and tell the others we've found him.


In you go, that's the way, up you go.

You better go and see if you can help, Jock.

What about you?

I'll be all right.

I'll tell the others.

All right, if you're sure.


Afraid he's dead.

He knew these moors like the back of his hand.

Simon, we shall have to get him out of there.

I'll get some tackle from the car.

All right, Colonel.

Well, doctor.

How far did he fall?

Oh, no more than seven or eight feet.

Then the fall couldn't account for it.

Account for what?

The internal injuries, I can't imagine how they occurred.

The entire skeletal structure seems to have calcified.

The bones have become brittle.

I'll know more in the morning,

when I make a detailed examination.

Would you like to hazard a guess as to the cause of death?

Surely that's obvious.

He must have been killed by the fall.

Perhaps he struck his head and--

No no no, no, he was dead before the fall.

There was no bleeding from the abrasions

caused by the rocks.

Before the fall?

Then what did kill him?

I know of nothing in the world

that could cause injuries such as those.

It's already gone too far.

Don't you understand what you've done tonight?

I helped with the initial stages.

Part of that work is mine.

God forgive me, I helped you create this evil.

Now I've got to destroy it.

He must be told of our secret experiments.

He must be shown the result.

Your stupid desire to experiment outside the limits

of the laboratory has already cost a life.

Should we choose to destroy it, I'll do it myself.

I see.

Very well, I'll be over there as soon as I can.

Oh, thought you'd gone to bed.

I was just on my way.

Simon, I've got to go out tonight.

I'd be grateful if you'd come with me.

Why, what's happened?

There's been a murder out at the research station.

As chief constable of the county,

I don't come under the security restrictions

that govern the research station.

So you can get in, but your policemen can't.

Not until I get clearance from London.

Simon, this place is ultra top secret.

My men have no jurisdiction inside

until the ministry gives its approval.

Quite frankly, I don't relish the idea of standing

outside the fence while you investigate.

When Ingram called, he particularly asked

that I bring you, probably highly irregular.

But then, so is murder.

I can't help feeling that whatever research

they're working on out there is tied up

in some way with Simms' death.


I was watching Oakridge when the doctor gave his report.

Something frightened him very badly.

Yes, he did seem rather jumpy.

All right, now he tops my list of suspects.

Well, you can write him off.


It's Oakridge that's been murdered.

It's nice to feel welcome, isn't it.

Well, here's Ingram.

Sorry about the security log.

The prime minister couldn't get in with any less fuss.

All right.

Everything is as it was when you found him?


Well, the screwdriver was what killed him.

I removed it, I thought he was still alive.

Then your fingerprints will be on it.

I was trying to save a man's life.

I didn't stop to think of things like that.

He was trying to write something.


You're a cop, Mr. Ingram.

That's true.

At my house tonight, when you were arguing

with Oakridge, he called you a cop.

He used the word like a term of abuse.

Colonel North, you have my word.

I didn't kill Professor Oakridge.

But I understand that because of the evidence

I must stand as the prime suspect.

How many of you are there on the station?

11, that includes the research staff

and the guards and myself.

Well, discounting the likelihood of anyone crossing

the perimeter wire, that limits your field

of suspects to 11, someone on the inside.

I would like to talk to the others.

Everyone except the guards who are on duty is in there.

You gentlemen are from the police?

This is Professor Rand, he's in charge of research.

Now see here, I want this matter cleared up quickly.

Naturally, Oakridge's death is a matter of concern

for all of us, but whilst we regret his passing,

we cannot allow it to interfere with the very

important work that must carry on.


Clearly, wouldn't you say so, Colonel.

Oh yes, yes, I would.

Now, we will all tell you exactly what we know.

That, I trust, will end the matter.

And you won't keep coming back and bothering us

with damn silly questions.

You may proceed.

You may use my desk.

Who found the body?

I did.

It was about 1:30, I was in the corridor

on the way to my quarters.

I noticed Professor Soren was in his laboratory.

I called out good night to him.

Which is Professor Soren?

I am, that is quite correct.

I saw a light under the door of Professor Oakridge's lab.

I looked in, then I saw him lying there.

I called out to Soren, then I thought I heard

Oakridge groan, so I rushed over and moved the weapon.

It was only a matter of seconds before I joined Ingram.

Would you have had time to wipe the word off the floor?

I suppose I could have.

Oh, hardly.

All right, then I couldn't.

Sorry, I didn't want to make trouble.

Just to tell the truth.

Did anyone else see Oakridge tonight?

Yes, sir.

This is John Burney, one of the security guards.

Professor Oakridge and Mr. Ingram

came back here together, sir, in the jeep.

I let them into the building,

and they both went into the laboratory next door.

He was going to lend me a book.

I went in with him to get it.

Do you have the book?


He couldn't find it.

Anyway, sir, when Klein came down the corridor

to relieve me, he heard the most terrible row going on.

Well, the professor was shouting,

and I listened at the door.

Did you hear any other voice in the room?

Well sort of, sir, but I couldn't recognize it.

Did you hear what Oakridge said?

I couldn't help it, sir, he was really yelling.

Whoever he was with was speaking very softly.

Well what did they say?

Well he said something about, it's gone too far.

We can't control it any longer.

Then he went on about destroying an evil.

I couldn't quite catch it all.

The only thing I heard distinctly

was him saying he must be told.

Told, told, what should I be told?

I don't know, sir.

Oakridge said he.

Why the assumption that he meant you?

Well, I, I, I don't know why.

I just assumed that if there was something important

happening, I as head of research would be the one to tell.

There's no sinister reason, I assure you.

Anybody have any more facts to add?

Very well.

My men will be up in the morning

to take statements from you.

I don't think there's much more we can do tonight.

You can go, gentlemen.

Well, what do you think?

On the face of it, Ingram's our boy.

Perhaps a little too obvious.

I agree.

The really damning thing is this word cop.

The killer could have dipped Oakridge's finger

in the blood and written it.

Then again, perhaps the word wasn't completed.

You mean, he managed only the first three letters

before he died?

The missing element is motive.

That has to be here in the building.

Have you any idea what you're looking for?

Tonight, when I ran into what you thought was a poacher.

If you're finished, I'll take you back to the gate.

We would like to look around before we leave.

This is the end of the tour.

We've come back to where we started.

Without giving away any state secrets,

what is the nature of the research here.

Radiation weapons.

Are all the scientists working on the same project?

Yes, but they work on independent lines.

Professor Rand collates their findings

and applies them to the main research.

So that one man could work on something

without the knowledge of the others?

Yes, I suppose that's possible.

What are you getting at, Simon?

I was just curious.

Have we been in here yet?

No, it's only Professor Soren's laboratory.

Oh I'm sorry, I didn't know there was anybody in here?

Well what is it you want?

We'd like to look around if we may.

If you must, you must.

Hurry up and get it over with.

Uh, cilendrid, isn't it?

Yes, a very simple form of life.

We are quite proud of it.

It was created here in this laboratory.

You mean, you make life?


I thought you were primarily concerned with radiation.

So we are.

But not only as a weapon, life can grow from it too.

When the world first began, it must have been

subjected to enormous radiation.

Perhaps because of it, the first life appeared,

simple one-celled creatures.

The first living things on this globe

were perhaps not unlike this.

I think you've said enough, Professor Soren.


I must remind you that our work here

is highly confidential.

Now if you gentlemen have seen all you want,

I must ask you to leave.

What's in here?

It's the culture room.

It's locked.

Yes, I have some developing amoeba in there.

It is temperature controlled.

It'd rather you did not go in there.

I would rather like to see inside it, if you don't mind.

Very well.


I cannot allow your investigation

to jeopardize any experiment.

If Professor Soren wishes the door to remain closed,

then so it will.

I will permit it to be opened only if the ministry insists.

Well, we'll just have to see that the ministry

does insist, won't we?

You think that room is important?

It's vital.

You'll just have to wait til morning.

You know, I don't suppose you'd like to forget

your position and help me break into that place.

It's quite a tempting idea if it would help

to prove my innocence.

No, security is my responsibility, I can't do that.

I'm going to the police headquarters with Colonel North.

I'll be back in a couple of hours.

When they open the gate, Colonel, drive out as fast

as you can, wait for me half a mile down the road.

What are you up to?

Don't argue.

I think I'll take a walk around the wire.

What about getting me tea, old man?

Ah, come on in, Ingram.


I've got it, the ministry's permission to enter

and investigate the entire station.

Good, good.

Then I'll get the fingerprint and the forensic people

out there right away.

Would you like some coffee?

No thanks.

Where's Mr. Templar?

He's having breakfast in his room.

I wish I knew what he found out there last night.

Didn't he say?

No, nothing.

Only that he wanted complete dossiers on all the scientists.


That's done, they're on their way.


Morning, Simon.

How's the neck?

Still sore.

I know, I was only trying to be helpful.

I see you've brought the files.

Yes, they're all there.

Are you ready now to tell us what you found?

Yes, I think I found a motive.

Shall we go?

Come along, goodbye, darling.

This one on Oakridge is a bit hefty, isn't it?

There had to be a thorough investigation.

He was born in Russia.


I thought you knew.

What is it, Simon?

Marge, I want you to do something for me.

Drive into town and go to the reference library.

What do you want me to look for?



I'd like you to pick up--

I hate driving in this weather.

At least there won't be much traffic about.

Sorry to keep you waiting.

Well, they make very interesting reading.

Do they tell you who killed Oakridge?

No, but they limit the field down to four possibles.


First, there's Soren.

No no, he and Oakridge worked together in America.

They were good friends.


Then there's Rand.

I must say he was very determined you shouldn't open

that locked door last night.

You can't be serious, not Rand?

Why not?

Doesn't seem very likely.

If murderers were likely, they'd be much easier to catch.

All right, who else?

Klein, the guard.

Yes, that makes three, who's your fourth suspect?

You, Mr. Ingram.

Oh, you're back.

Good morning, professor.

We have permission.

Yes yes yes, I know all about that.

The minister telephoned me this morning.

I made it quite clear that I consider this

an utterly unwarrantable interference.

However, you'll be good enough to unlock the door.

Give me the keys.

This is part of the old building, isn't it?

Yes, it's part of the original farmhouse.

There have of course been many alterations.

There you are, gentlemen.

If you expected we were concealing a maniac murderer

in there, I'm afraid you'll be sadly disappointed.

Can't blame our scientists for going to America, can you?

Do you want to look around, Simon?

No thanks, Colonel, not at the moment.

Then it seems there's been a great deal

of fuss over nothing.

I hope you're satisfied.

Oh, I wouldn't say over nothing, Professor Rand.

You see, doors only hold an attraction for me

when they're locked.

Shall we go and see how the fingerprint boys are doing?

Very well.

Simon, I think you know considerably more

than you've told me.

I hate to pull rank, but I must insist

that you give me that information.

I'm afraid my information is only guesswork.

Well let me hear your guesses.

All right.

Last night, whatever or whoever it--



It's an outside call for you.

Thank you, hello, yes, put them on.

Marge, did you get it?

Yes, yes, I got it.

Now how it's gonna help you find the killer I can't imagine.

How long will it take you to get here?

The fog is pretty thick.

There's an old road across the moor.

If I try that way, it will save me at least seven miles.

All right, but be careful, bye.

As soon as Marge gets here, you can make your arrest.

There was someone listening on the line.

Where are you going?

To make sure Marge gets here.

What's the matter?

I don't have time to explain.

Would you call the main gate for someone to let me through?

I can't wait for a check.

Hello, main gate.

Is anybody there?

Is there anyone there?

It's all right, it's me, Marge.

He tried to kill me.

Who was it? He's gone.

But who was it?

I don't know.

But I will in the next 20 minutes.

Did you get the book?

It's in the car.

I don't understand.

It's all right, Marge, he won't come back.

Come on, let's get that book.

Colonel North, I must protest.

Your detectives have herded us in here

like children in a schoolroom.

What Mr. Templar has to say won't take long.

And I don't think you'll find it uninteresting.

There are one or two things I'd like to check.

First of all, Oakridge spoke fluent English.

So well in fact that most of us thought he was English.

At any time, did anyone hear him lapse

into his native tongue?

Sometimes when he got excited, he spoke Russian.

Thank you.

Professor Rand, why were you so anxious last night

to keep the door of the culture room closed?

It is my privilege to do so.

I won't have any Tom, Dick or Harry prying into matters

that don't concern them.

In other words, you were being cantankerous.

I'm just trying to prove the point

that your freedom from interference policy

provided the motive for murder.

I don't believe you.

One of your scientists discovered something

that may have been a byproduct of his actual research.

But because he was never questioned, he was able

to develop it in absolute secrecy.


The thing he made was a weapon.

Now Oakridge may have found out about it.

Or he may have helped in its production.

And if Oakridge was involved, why was he murdered?

Because this weapon is totally destructive,

capable of killing all forms of life, all mankind.

Last night, it killed Simms.

Only then did Oakridge realize he'd gone too far.

He decided to tell some higher authority.

His partner had to stop him.

So, the question is, who was his partner?

Oakridge started to write the name

of his partner, his killer, in his own blood.

But there's nobody here who's name begins with C-O-P.

Oakridge was dying.

He thought and acted in his native language.

The words he wrote were Russian.

What does C-O-P signify in Russian?

Miss North will explain the differences

of the Russian alphabet.

In Russian,

C is S.

O is the same in both languages.

And P is equivalent to R.

So it would seem that Oakridge

was trying to write Soren.

Get away from me.

I created a weapon that could change the world.

Get back.

Soren, how is this invention of yours different

from, say, a nuclear bomb?

It destroys all life, but leaves no trace of radiation.

It's a classic death ray.

And you've done it, in absolute secrecy.

But you'll never get away.

When the workmen were putting in a new floor

in the culture room, I found a tunnel.

It leads to the moors.

It was so stupid.

Everywhere security precautions, and yet,

I could come and go as I pleased.

No matter what you do, we'll find you.

I've already made the phone call.

And within hours, I shall be out of this country

to a government that will play me millions.

Give me the gun, Soren.

Where's Soren?

Right there.

Got a taste of his own medicine.

My God, what a ghastly machine.

There isn't much left of it, I'm happy to report.

Perhaps that's just as well.

I think so.