The Ipcress File (2022) s01e01 Episode Script

Episode 1

Yes? Equipment and supplies, Berlin Barracks.
That's what I'm telling you.
The general would like to take his dog home without it going into quarantine.
OK, could I just take your name, please? Well done.
Harry! Fresh off the plane.
Ah, ja, whiskey.
US finest.
Das ist very good.
I trust you'll check it.
Trust me, I will.
Frau Stuten.
Good evening, Corporal Palmer.
Harry, please.
You are in uniform.
I take it off every night.
All by yourself? If I have to.
The contraband is off-loaded? Yes, we'll be out in ten minutes.
The sooner, the better.
Andreas, this is for you.
It's American chocolate, but it's far too much for one boy, so promise me you'll share it with your friends.
I promise.
And this is for you.
But don't share it with anyone.
You are too generous.
What's wrong? Hide the money and get out! Andreas, come! Quickly, it's the military police! Everybody out! Corporal! Get back here, stop! Possession of stolen goods is an offence under section four of the Military Penal Code.
Corporal Palmer you are under arrest for handling and profiteering from stolen goods.
Did you enjoy that, Sergeant? You greedy bastard.
'Walk On Wild Side' by Brook Benton Say auf wiedersehen, Palmer.
You're going home.
Prisoner out! About turn! Left, left, left left, right, left, right, left, right! 'Four head calibration complete, professor.
' Let's take a look, shall we? Excellent! Now, who's coming to the pub? Neutron bombs are the future.
I mean, let's say, a standard deuterium-fusion device, yeah? 1.
6 MeV released, but four times that amount in neutrons.
Travel further, penetrate steel Bit like an Australian fast bowler.
And every bit as lethal.
Look out! In Berlin, Debs, I had it.
I had enough to pay for everything.
Next time I got leave, I was gonna come back, go see a lawyer, sort everything out.
And it's still there, the money.
Look, me being in here, does that count? No, cos it's not cruelty, insanity, desertion or adultery Is it? Not according to the law.
Me and Pete wanna get engaged.
And you promised me a divorce, and the years are going by Yeah, I know that.
I've got eight of them right in front of me.
Sorry What are we gonna do? So, one more time, how many spies do you actually have on your payroll? Spies? Will you answer a damn question? That depends.
Where are the headquarters of this W-O-O Whatever it is.
War Office Operational Communication.
Provisional? Yes.
It was only intended as a temporary solution to secure for the Ministry of Flow of Intelligence without the delay and obstruction experienced in dealing with MI5.
An outrageous slander.
And MI6.
Since it was designated provisional, I believe the ministry was unable to assign a code within the budget.
Enabling you and your rogue unit to hide from the Treasury Dalby.
That's your real name, is it? Yes.
Insofar as anyone has a real name in my business.
To whom are you answerable? He's answerable to me.
Minister? And any further questions regarding Mr Dalby's budget, feel free to put them in writing and send them to my office.
Thank you.
Now, we can't trust five and six on this.
Too many commies.
And it would not be helpful, at this point, to imagine that one of our scientists is enhancing Soviet capability.
Not just any scientist.
No, by all accounts, Professor Dawson is vital to the development of a new class of nuclear weapons.
This neutron bomb.
The last thing we want is the Soviets learning to cook one of their own.
Are we calling it an abduction or defection? Unexplained absence.
Not a word to the Americans, not until we know what's happened.
There are already too many generals and senators fixated on our list of traitors.
Well, to be fair, this could bring an end to cooperation on the development of atomic weapons.
Thank you for riding to my rescue.
Treasury, price of everything, value of nothing and all that.
They kept asking how many spies I've got, as if that would mean anything.
Well, they'd be trying to calculate the pension implications.
What did you tell them? Not many, I said, but they're all very good.
'Woo Hoo' by The Rock-A-Teens Morning, Terry.
Morning, Jane.
Typed up a summary if you want to have a look and sign.
Time inventory's wrong, it was 15:23, not 15:20.
Sweater was turquoise, not blue.
There was a central light fitting in the main room that would have been suitable for a housing device and one in the bedroom, I'm sure you noticed.
And she did not say, "Stone the crows.
" Felt like she might.
She's a silly girl, getting herself pregnant.
It takes two.
Did they not teach you that at Harrow? Uh, Charterhouse, actually.
I will not sign this.
Sir? Professor Peter Dawson has been abducted.
Our chief suspect has been identified by his missing finger as one Jan Pilsudzki, age 43, born to Polish Bolshevik parents who fled to the Soviet Union.
Played for all sides during the war, now believed to be in the US sector of Berlin, where he makes a living smuggling goods and persons from one side of the wall to the other.
He also enjoys a nice sideline in high-profile kidnappings and extortion.
Jean, I want you to put in a standard contact application for the CIA.
It's their patch, see what they know, but be discrete.
Yes, sir.
Who's this? Come on, you pathetic little worm, move! Move! Move it, move it, move it! Now carry them back.
Prisoner, sit! Cup of tea, perhaps? Wouldn't say no.
Drop of milk, no sugar, mate.
Ta very much.
Thank you, Sergeant.
So, Palmer, Harold.
Son of Arthur, a dockyard labourer, and Maude, a textile worker.
Excelled at school.
You were offered a place at Imperial College London, where you graduate with a first-class degree in mathematics.
It's unusual, son of a docker.
I know.
There ought to be some way of preventing it.
Generally, there is.
Oh, must've slipped through the net, Mr? 1952, you were enlisted into the 1st Battalion in the Gloucestershire Regiment.
You ended up in Korea.
You were recommended for a Distinguished Conduct Medal.
Did you know that? Gallantry under fire.
It's very impressive.
You could've applied for a commission, become an officer.
Do you think so? Perhaps not.
And so you find yourself in Berlin.
There you are surrounded, I imagine, by folk with a poorer grip of arithmetic than yourself, and you see an opportunity.
Military supplies may be easily stolen and sold locally for United States dollars.
What do you want? You're acquainted with a chap in Berlin.
You may know him by any of a dozen names.
But to avoid confusion, let's you and I call him Housemartin.
I believe you were in business together.
For a while.
And then? Well, then I found other people to do business with.
What sort of business? Lobsters.
I had a contact on the ground at the US Air Force base.
Pilot brought them in on ice from Marseille.
I sold them to Housemartin.
He smuggled them to the East and sold them to the German mistresses of the Russian generals.
The generals enjoyed the lobsters and whatever else, this lead to a feeling of tranquillity, and so a flash point in Berlin, and therefore nuclear war itself, was continuously averted, and we all lived happily ever after.
But for some unfathomable reason I never did get that Nobel Peace Prize.
Must've been your working class origins holding you back again.
Shall I go back to my cell now? I want information as to how exactly we might contact this man.
And in return, what? You'll get me an extra mug of tea a day? Thanks, guv'nor.
I will seek to improve your conditions.
He's not easy, you know.
He's a very smart man and very suspicious.
And nasty with it, too.
He cuts people.
Enjoys it, I think.
Men and women, too.
And how do we approach him? He'll see you coming a mile off.
So what are you proposing, Prisoner 17315, Palmer? Out of the question.
Is it? I would've thought that depends upon how badly you need my help.
'Hello, Papa.
' Oh, hello, my darling.
It seems more and more likely every day that we're all very shortly to be blown to smithereens.
On the bright side, that should save me several hundred pounds, if I understand the plans correctly.
Jean, Darling? Darling! We have been discussing the plans.
Your daughter is delightful.
I spoke to James in New York last night, he's so looking forward to getting back.
Sorry, the plans, Mother? There isn't long, dear.
Well, it's not until June next year.
And that will come around sooner than you think.
There's so much to do.
Catering, dress fitting, seating plans.
Then no more making tea at the World Service.
'New York is fantastic.
' You'll love it.
We'll have an apartment on the Upper West Side and when James, perhaps we need to keep Darling, darling.
You won't need to work.
Right, but what if I want to? Here, I brought you this.
Let me.
Fits like a glove.
I look forward to working with you in the months and years ahead in defence of all that we hold dear.
For we are under attack.
The Soviets are gaining ground and weapons technology, and we cannot stand still.
Two months ago, they detonated the most powerful nuclear bomb ever manufactured.
A device with a yield of over 50 megatons.
That's 3,000 times the yield that was dropped on Hiroshima.
Here it is.
How long would you need him for? Depends on where the operation leads us.
It's a somewhat tenuous link.
It's the only one we've got.
You think you can trust him? Almost certainly not.
Get in the car.
Thank you, officer.
Am I allowed to know where I'm going? Nice necklace.
Thank you.
What is it, Chanel? You know a lot about jewellery, do you? I've seen one just like it.
Belonged to the wife of an American officer.
How fascinating.
Gift, was it? Not really your business.
From a fiance, perhaps.
You like to speculate, don't you? I'm thoughtful.
You'll think yourself all the way back through those gates, if you're not careful.
Let's go, shall we? They're waiting for you.
Thank you.
I like him.
This is the Official Secrets Act.
You'll read it and sign it at the bottom of each page.
You will then be bound by its restrictions, any breach of which will render you liable to prosecution under its terms.
Your pay is designated as Civil Service E4.
All allowances will apply on a pro rata basis.
Annual leave entitlement and pension contributions will accumulate after the first three months.
Excuse me.
I haven't finished yet.
This accommodation has been assigned to you at a level appropriate to your grade, with deposit and rent to be deducted directly from your pay.
OK, no-one's actually told me what I'm doing here.
Sign and date each page of the act, there's a good chap.
If you don't sign, Alice will send you back where you've come from.
If you do sign, I'll take you for lunch.
Good morning.
How can I help you? I'm here to meet Mr Paul Maddox.
And you are? Jean Courtney? Yes.
Paul Maddox.
Good morning.
Good morning.
Yes, that's right, I'm Black.
Listen, I'll be straight, I have a hangover, which I promise is not a usual thing for me.
Can we grab a coffee? I was at a club last night.
English boys playing the blues.
Were they good? What is it Samuel Johnson says about a woman preaching? "It's like a dog walking on its hind legs.
"It is not done well, "but you are surprised to find it done at all.
" A woman can't preach? A woman can definitely preach.
English boys can play the blues.
And I can be an intelligence officer with the CIA.
So it's all good.
We have something for you.
Do you know Colonel Stok? We do.
Grigor Antonovich.
Allegedly a third undersecretary at the Soviet embassy, but known to one and all as a colonel in the GRU, and the very possibly highest-ranking undercover operative in Western Europe.
This is his English girlfriend.
We didn't know about that.
He uses her apartment for semi-clandestine meetings, politicians, journalists, trade unionists.
Are you gonna put the hook in her? We're going to.
So what's on offer? We share all transcripts, recordings, and additional information from her.
And in return? We have an operation in Berlin.
We may need your assistance at the border points.
It's the retrieval of a missing person.
Why not use MI6? They have presence in Berlin, and as I understand it, they are the same nationality as you.
It's a point of principle.
Do we get to know who's missing? In due course.
You can consider us suitably intrigued.
My friend and I will settle for the best of everything.
Glad you came? Very.
Alice is formidable.
Parachuted into France in '43, murdered a Gestapo officer, brought home his Luger, which she keeps in her desk between the stapler and the typewriter ribbon.
I won't borrow anything without asking.
That's what I wanted to hear.
Now, tell me, did you sell your stolen goods in East Berlin? Sometimes.
And how did you get the merchandise across? You got a pen? Berlin.
Now, there are stations here, here and here.
Only they're closed.
No-one gets on or off.
Won't last, of course, they're more secure every day.
And there's a risk of being shot dead.
But if you know what you're doing, you get into one of these tunnels, and you can go from West to East.
And East to West.
Very enterprising.
Until I got caught.
Mm, and quite a stiff sentence, too.
The judge didn't like me.
I can imagine.
Now, Housemartin.
I knew we'd get there one day.
His interest to us is in relation to a missing person, who is himself of great importance to the defence and security of the nation.
I can see where this is leading.
Through your contact with Housemartin, you will help us in our efforts to locate and retrieve the missing person.
Then what? I can't promise your freedom.
Prefer it if you did.
Housemartin first.
And I'll do what I can.
Just like last time.
Only there was three of them, and the big, ugly one punched me in the face.
Perhaps you provoked him.
I certainly tried to.
Could I interest you a drink? No, thank you.
OK, well, I hope you don't mind if I have one.
Quite a place you have here.
For an non-commissioned officer.
I didn't say that.
You didn't need to.
I'm sure you deserved it.
After Korea, I mean.
I never thought of it like that.
Actually, I will have a drink, please.
What was it like there? In Korea.
Well, at first, I was very bored.
And then I was very frightened.
And eventually, I was very bored and very frightened at the same time.
My brother, he was there.
He was wounded quite badly.
So I always wonder See, after he came back, he wouldn't talk about it.
He took his own life.
I'm sorry.
Of course.
What else is there to say? You're not wearing it, I see.
The necklace.
I save it for special occasions.
That's the trouble with jewellery.
Well, whether we wear it or whether we don't, it sort of tells a story.
What about Deborah? Is she wearing a ring these days? Waiting for a divorce, isn't she? Are you always this well informed? You may have intuition, Harry, but we have intelligence.
What else is there about me and Deborah? That she was pregnant when you left for Korea.
What else can you say? How are you going to contact Housemartin? Well I go to the Liebeskellar nightclub in Kreuzberg.
I tell the doorman I'm looking for Alex, or Jan, or whatever he's calling himself tonight.
And I wait and I watch the dancing girls.
And every 15 minutes, a waitress comes to my table and sells me a drink.
Maybe one of the drinks comes with a message.
That's the only way.
This is who we want.
Disappeared six weeks ago.
We believe Housemartin abducted him on behalf of another party.
You are to purchase information on who that other party might be.
Housemartin could be working for anyone, and if you can persuade him to accept a rival bid, you are to offer up to $10,000.
Any questions? Could I have some money? To pay for the drinks.
Thank you very much.
Don't forget to collect your receipts.
Fresh passport and ticket to Geneva.
Tomorrow morning.
Be careful.
Shall I take that? You're good, Palmer.
In fact, I'd say you may have a natural talent.
But you're not as good as me.
Not yet.
And the ticket, please.
And the passport, too.
Geneva? Harry, we would've missed you! And this excellent quality.
You must tell me where you got it sometime.
I don't suppose there's any possibility you might just give all that money back to me? If we succeed, I will refund you, after an appropriate deduction for expenses.
You will take care of it, won't you? Your life savings? Sentimental value, really, sir.
Don't mess this up, Palmer.
What's happening? We've lost him.
Well, you can be the one to bloody well tell Dalby.
I heard you went back to England.
How was it? Inhospitable.
But now you return to the freedom of West Berlin! Some friends of mine think you might be able to help them.
You know me, Harry, I'm always interested in good business.
He's gone missing.
And my friends will pay for information on who wanted him and where he went.
We made good business, Harry.
Nobody could get lobsters like you.
But if I think you are trying to trick me I've seen your work.
Ah Frau Stuten! She lied to me about money.
Do you know that? I drove her to the hospital.
I know that.
There was blood everywhere.
Blood? Is that all? I was in Warsaw when they crushed the rising.
I've seen things for which there are no words.
And which side were you on, exactly? We who survived, you cannot judge us by your standards.
The man that you are looking for is still in Berlin.
For $20,000, I will arrange his return.
Tomorrow night 0100.
That's in the East.
That's your problem.
Come alone, Harry, or not at all.
$20,000? Just as well I happen to have, in my possession, a suitcase full of money.
The East German guards work overlapping shifts, so it's pretty difficult to have all our people in place to let your man go through.
Nevertheless, he has one hour, between 0030 and 0130, to cross over alone and return with whoever it is.
After that, there's nothing we can do.
Thank you.
No sweat.
Hey, Jean, back in London, you wanna come for dinner some time? That's very kind of you.
Then you can tell me who we're bringing back if that's permitted.
Perhaps it will be.
I'll look forward to it.
Hey, Paul, you coming for a beer? No, no, thanks.
I don't drink.
Dalby likes you, you know? What if I were to run away? Where to? Disappear.
Change my name.
We'd find you.
That's time.
This bloke, what's so special? He designs atomic bombs.
My service to humanity.
Evening, sir.
Papers? Thank you, sir.
You're good to go.
Papiere, bitte.
Professor Dawson? Yes.
It's him.
You can check his scars.
Give me two minutes.
Nein! It's too late.
We've lost him.

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