The Ipcress File (2022) s01e02 Episode Script

Episode 2

1 Look out! Are we calling it an abduction or an affection? Unexplained absence.
Who's this? Corporal Palmer.
You're under arrest.
And you promised me a divorce and the years are going by I know that.
I've got eight of them right in front of me.
Move! I spoke to James in New York last night.
He so looking forward to getting back.
You're acquainted with a chap in Berlin.
Let's, you and I, call him Housemartin.
I want information as to how exactly we might contact this man.
Do you know Colonel Stok? I do.
Russia's highest-ranking undercover operative in Western Europe.
This is his English girlfriend.
We don't know about that.
So, what's on offer? We have an operation in Berlin.
We may need your assistance.
It's the retrieval of a missing person.
The fingerprints weren't his.
He didn't look like a physicist to me.
What does a physicist look like? Wild hair.
This may surprise you, but I am interested to know what you think.
They weren't trying to kill me.
Someone had gone to a lot of trouble to recruit a double, to the extent of matching his scars.
The plan was to kill him and for me to escape and confirm to you that Dawson was dead, so that you would stop looking for him.
Housemartin was a decoy, whilst Dawson was somewhere else.
You exhibit potential, Palmer.
And that will be of great comfort to me as I scratch another line on the wall of my cell.
I have applied to extend the duration of your release on the basis that you may continue to be of use on a matter of national security.
Thank you.
I have yet to receive a reply.
In the meantime, I expect you feel this belongs to you.
Would you like it changed into sterling? It's all right.
I know someone.
I thought you might.
I understand that you have marital obligations.
One way of putting it.
What's your star sign? Where is he? He said half past three, didn't he? Can't believe it's come to this.
Oh, it's just for the judge, darling.
Evidence in the court of law and all that.
This is you being unfaithful.
Not enjoying it, then? At least you're being paid, eh? Look, if you're having second thoughts, you better be quick.
Because Mr Taylor is very professional, and once he comes through that door, he won't be hanging about.
It's gotta be done.
Oh, that's him.
Right, just put your arm around me.
Here we go.
A little bit naughty for the judge, my darling.
'It's Your Voodoo Working' by Charles Sheffield It's your voodoo working Voodoo working And I can't get a look.
Hello? Miss Natalie Lewis? Yes? Council pest control.
We've had reports of a rodent infestation.
Oh, I haven't had any Are you sure you've got the right place? Really nothing to worry about.
Just a few questions.
Won't take long.
Shall we all sit down? Look, who are you? We're going to talk to you about your boyfriend.
My I'm gonna phone the police.
Your telephone's been temporarily disconnected.
What have I done? We don't think you've done anything.
Well, nothing that we are aware of.
Perhaps that'll change.
Do you call him Gregor or Gregoriev? Gregor.
Right, Gregor Stok.
Third undersecretary at the Soviet embassy? What's happened? Here are some photographs.
Perhaps you'd like to take a look.
This was taken in Moscow.
Here he is in Gorky Park.
And another one, a little closer.
And here he is with his wife.
And another one with his children.
In six months' time, his posting here will be concluded and he will return to Moscow.
Shouldn't think you'll ever see him again.
We just want you to help us out.
Won't be difficult or dangerous.
You'll just be reporting to us on things he might talk about.
People he meets and any suspicious activity.
I don't understand.
Who are you? Pest control.
What am I gonna do? Six months.
Six months.
What am I gonna do? Natalie, have you told him? About the baby? 'We've have been sharing technical secrets' in relation to the creation of neutron bomb with a team of British scientists, one of whom might be in Soviet hands, and you have waited how long to let us know? This could not have come at a worse time.
We feel insecure.
As of this day, we want full sharing of all materials, files, and investigative findings, omitting nothing.
Naturally, you will enjoy our fullest co-operation.
We all appreciate your anxiety.
I hardly want to be blown up myself.
And I'm confident that my political masters will furnish me with all necessary resources to bring this to a close.
'You should have told us.
' 'We have told you.
' 'I mean sooner.
' Now, do you have any idea where this scientist is? No.
But you assume he's behind the Iron Curtain.
Or on his way there.
None of our sources in Soviet Union have heard anything.
We're hoping our operation on Stok might offer up a lead.
We'll put the word out.
On a personal level, I'm sorry that you don't trust me.
I promise you, it's not that.
So dinner is still possible? Or, at least, not impossible.
We'd appreciate your help in finding Professor Dawson.
I'll pay the lawyer for what he's done so far, and he wants an advance on the rest.
I'll get a receipt, you can check everything.
Debs, it's all right.
I trust you.
You are my wife, after all.
Send my regards to Pete.
You come back another day.
Yeah, I will.
Harry, what are you up to? Good question.
If you happen to find out, be sure to let me know.
He wants you to go to the Atomic Weapons Research Centre at Aldermaston to interview all relevant personnel and re-examine the professor's abduction.
They've already been interviewed by MI5.
To interview them again.
What about the Stok surveillance operation? Chico can continue to supervise that.
So I go on my own? No.
So, what's wrong? What makes you think anything's wrong? You have no experience or training in interrogation.
That's what I said to Mr Dalby, but he said you'd show me the ropes.
Apparently, I'm a quick learner.
Mr Dalby said my kind often are.
As I have told everyone who's asked, I was in the front seat, lucky to be alive.
I watched this chap, missing one finger, drug the professor, take him away, didn't recognise the driver.
That's the lot.
Thank you.
And I can answer all your other questions.
Nothing strange has happened around here, nothing suspicious, everything just as it ought to be and that is that.
Frankly, nothing to add.
In your statement to the police, immediately after the event, you said that the professor had been under stress recently.
Did I? It's written here.
I don't remember.
You have to understand, I had just been in car smash.
I was shaken, confused probably.
In those situations, any of us might talk nonsense.
So, if that's all You went up to Cambridge in 1938? That's right.
And is that where you joined the Communist Party? What? The Communist Party.
You were a member, I believe.
How did you know? I was guessing.
Yes, very good.
Very clever.
Well, it's nothing to be ashamed of.
I was young, I was idealistic.
We all were.
After they invaded Poland, I tore up my card.
How about the professor? Was he communist too? We never discussed politics.
Have you been working for the Soviet Union, Morris? My political past is a matter of record with MI5, although I must conclude that you are clearly not trusted enough to be privy to their confidential files.
So, for your information, they concluded, correctly, that I am a patriot, loyal to Queen and country.
'There's something he's not telling us.
' And I get the feeling that we are going to be very unpopular around here by the end of the day.
It doesn't bother me.
I was unpopular at school.
Were you? Mostly.
Too clever, too beautiful.
Too stuck up.
I know this must be a difficult time for you, Mrs Dawson.
Darling, do I look to you like a grieving widow? Not exactly.
Then, perhaps we can skip the sentimental drivel.
Where do you think he's gone? No idea.
Was there anything in his recent behaviour that caused you any concern? Yes.
He left his socks all over the place.
Toenail clippings in the bedroom.
Did he ever talk to you about his work on the bomb? My dear, I can barely change a light bulb.
Politics? You mean, "Was he a communist?" Of course he was.
We all were back then.
I don't mean to be rude, but your husband, he couldn't have just run off with someone, could he? Wonderful idea! Unfortunately, the only thing he'd run off with is a textbook.
What about his health? Any particular signs of stress? Look, all I want is to know is that he's safe.
Isn't that what I'm supposed to say? Marry in haste, repent at leisure.
Some people are just wrong for one another.
What do you think we'll get for dinner? We'll be back.
You're too late for dinner.
Breakfast at seven.
Separate rooms and no shenanigans.
He's a married man.
They're the worst, young lady.
Now, sign there.
"Monastic order enjoys breakfast.
" Eggs Benedict.
I'm starving.
Right The important thing is to keep whisking the eggs while you pour in the butter.
Be my guest.
I think we need something with it.
Not too loud.
Right Oh, hello! August 9th, 1945.
There's a British prisoner of war, a Captain William Urquhart Dalby, digging ditches on the outskirts of the Japanese city of Nagasaki, when he witnesses the explosion a fission bomb at an altitude of around 1,600 feet, killing 30 or 40,000 people immediately.
Two years later, Captain Dalby is now an intelligence analyst at the War Office.
At this point, the Americans have predicted it will take the Soviets 15 years to develop their own bomb.
Dalby thinks this is complacent.
He persuades his superiors to oblige all British civilian aircraft to carry photographic plates and filters to collect atmospheric dust.
The plates reveal a burst of radiation and the filters collect plutonium blown in from central Asia.
Stalin has a bomb.
And it's Dalby who worked it out.
His bosses took the credit, of course, but Dalby wasn't finished.
He told them he wanted to set up a new intelligence unit.
And MI5 and MI6 have never forgiven him.
She will notice.
But not before we leave.
Are you sure we're allowed to do this? I always carry a spare pair.
Looks to me most likely he did just run off with someone.
Id' like to think they'll both be much happier and live to look back with a joy mingled with sadness.
Down! What on earth do you think you're doing?! Sorry.
I thought for a moment I was Eggs Benedict? Yes.
The most important thing is to keep whisking the eggs while you pour in the butter.
But you don't put sherry in eggs Benedict, do you? Or maybe you do in the East End.
Not even there.
Then? Well, we had to drink something with it.
Alice spent 30 minutes soothing the temper of this woman.
We've sent her a replacement bottle, the cost of which will be deducted from your wages.
As it happens, I have some expenses of my own to submit.
I've given Jean a couple of days off.
Nasty injury.
We were lucky.
As I understand it, you saved her life and yours.
It was just an instinct.
I thought I saw a radio antennae.
You probably did.
Who do you think's behind all this, sir? I like to keep an open mind on these things.
I have noticed that.
But it's possible Dawson is closer to home than we think.
In your view, are we to assume that Dawson's previous communist sympathies indicate a likely defection to the Soviet Union? If only life was that simple.
Very good, Palmer.
You're learning.
Let's rule the Russians in or out, keep our eyes on Colonel Stok.
Chico will brief you.
Meanwhile, the Special Branch will investigate the explosion and I want you to go to Scotland Yard where they have fine collection of mugshots.
See if anyone resembles your friend with the radio transmitter.
The Yard, sir? Yes.
Not wanted for something else, are you? It's outrageous.
It should be a safe place to work.
It's all right, really.
It could have been much worse.
It's my own stupid fault.
Is there something wrong? No, nothing.
It's just you've been hard to get hold of recently.
Working late.
I've just been working a lot.
Hello, Harry.
You all right, Pete? Not wearing your uniform? Did Debs not say? I'm a detective now.
Suits you.
Cup of tea? So Thanks.
I've done nothing for you.
But for Deborah.
It's for the best.
And if she's gonna marry someone else, there's no-one I'd sooner it was than you.
Straight up.
Don't know if I'd feel that way.
We were young.
Too young would be the general view.
And it might have worked out, even then, but when I went off to Korea and you know.
It was like it all ended in that moment.
At least she's got a better future now.
Thanks for that.
When he comes to meet someone, you contact us and press the switch.
All right? I need help.
I can't go on with this.
Don't ask him his name.
Don't tell him yours.
And don't tell him who sent you.
Yes? Yes, put her through.
'Someone's just arrived.
Another man.
' I pressed that button, just like you showed me.
'Now, don't do anything to arouse suspicion.
'Do whatever you would normally do.
' I rang that number.
The one you gave me.
Did you go? 'I couldn't go.
' I can't go on my own, I'm frightened.
'I can't go on like this, I can't trust anyone.
'I don't know what to do.
' Natalie, I'll call you tomorrow.
'We can sort this, but right now, I need you to go home, 'behave normally.
' Natalie? Natalie? I went to the football last night.
I saw Tottenham versus Wolverhampton.
Good game? 'Oh, excellent game.
Two goals to one.
' 'I like this player Jimmy Greaves.
He's very good, he's very fast.
' 'He's a fine player.
'I say that, even though I'm a Chelsea man, as you know.
' Tosser.
Greaves, you see, he played for us before he went to Milan.
And that didn't work out.
Should never have left west London.
But you have good players still? Oh, yes.
Young Harris in particular.
He's good? The best.
Brilliant in both defence and attack.
He's valuable? Very, very valuable.
And do you think he will also leave? I tell you what - right now, there's a lot of interested parties, but he's safe and happy at Chelsea 'and he won't leave unless someone pays an awful lot of money.
' 'I suppose a bargain could always be made.
' 'And if you ever want to pop down to Chelsea 'to take a look at some real talent, ' I'll be only too happy to meet you there.
And I may well accept your invitation.
Looks like your man.
Be careful, Harry.
Excuse me.
Yes? I wonder if, by any chance, you might happen to sell insurance? That's an interesting question.
It's just you look like a chap who might.
How perceptive.
And would that be personal, household, or holiday? I'm thinking of buying a car.
Motor vehicle.
Fully comprehensive or third party? Well, it's the third parties I'm worried about, to be honest.
You have particular needs? What if someone were to blow my precious new car up with five pounds of TN and a radio-controlled detonator? That would be unfortunate.
But would it be insured? There are some risks that we bring upon ourselves by our behaviour.
Insurance is a poor substitute for changing that behaviour.
If you can do that, the risk will take care of itself.
Let's say it's my line of work.
In that case, I regret that your application must be declined.
Nevertheless, I have enjoyed our meeting.
It's been a pleasure to talk business.
Now, if you'll excuse me.
It's not your fault.
She asked me for help and I didn't help her.
You couldn't have known.
Couldn't I? She was alone.
There was no-one she could trust.
Can you imagine what it must be like to be that woman? I'll tell you a good thing about you, Harry Sometimes you say nothing.
Do you think she told him? About the bugs or the baby? Both, I'd say.
He knew we were listening.
I think she loved him.
Here he is.
Name - Ian Randall.
Although he uses a number of aliases.
Former Royal Marine ordinance specialist, later field agent for MI6.
Eventually dismissed when excessive gambling debts were considered a security risk.
Before that, he served in Berlin, where he was briefly MI6's link to Housemartin.
And he met Colonel Stok in Berlin? It seems most likely, sir.
A mercenary, a chancer, a gambler, and possibly a killer.
Whoever wanted Dawson hired Randall because that was safer than sending one of their own people to operate inside the UK.
So Randall has the boffin stashed somewhere safe while he awaits payment and further instruction.
Whilst also soliciting a higher bid from Colonel Stok.
For a gambler, a man with debts, this is an opportunity, but he'll be edgy.
That's why he tried to blow you up.
Stok has gone, by the way.
Seen leaving the embassy in the middle of the night, followed to Biggin Hill airfield, where he was observed boarding a private aircraft, which took him to Amsterdam, where a man using his London alias was booked aboard a flight to Moscow.
So, our leads are slender, our physicist is still missing, and our allies are unhappy.
Jean, you will liaise with the CIA case officer.
Chico, I want to see transcripts of all the police interviews at Aldermaston and a list of all Randall's known associates.
In the meantime, if anyone has any ideas, feel free to share.
Mr Palmer.
I wonder if he loved her.
He's a Colonel in the GRU.
We're all human.
As we gather here today, to mourn the loss of Natalie Lewis, we hear these words of comfort from the Gospel according to St John.
"Set your troubled hearts at rest.
"Trust in God always.
Trust also in me.
" "There are many dwelling places in my father's house.
"If it were not so, I should have told you.
" Do you always bring a gun to a funeral? ".
To prepare a place, and if I go and prepare" Don't you? ".
And receive you to myself" I'm very sorry for what happened.
So am I.
"I am the truth and I am the light.
" So my double wasn't good enough? No, he was excellent.
Look, here you are getting into an aeroplane yesterday morning.
So, why do you come to be here? I wondered.
What, if I was capable of feelings as one human for another? I didn't mean to insult you, but everyone says I'm terribly naive.
Corporal Palmer.
I've heard of you, you know, from Berlin.
For all I know, I even sampled your wares.
They said you could get just about anything, even Russian caviar.
Now, is that true? Sometimes.
Wait, wait.
Which kind? Beluga.
Even I couldn't get that.
But you? Yes.
That's almost enough to give me faith in capitalism.
But not quite.
Because you never forget that the proletariat are oppressed by a system designed to maintain the status and wealth of the bourgeoisie.
Yeah, no, you're right.
No, I don't forget that.
How about you? I try not to think about it.
Why don't you come and work for us? I would, but I don't like the cold winters.
So what do you want with me, a humble diplomat on his way home to Moscow? We've lost a man.
Ideally, we'd like him back before it causes an awful lot of trouble for everyone.
Well, I regret I'm unable to help.
Perhaps this man preferred to leave of his own free will.
Has that ever occurred to anyone? In Marxism, though, free will is an illusion, isn't it? We're all tools of historical imperative, even people like you and me.
Well, yes, especially like you and me.
Good day, Mr Palmer.
And this time, I really have to go to Moscow.
And next time we meet, you really should bring a gun.
Do we know what they talked about? We had a lip reader, but both men are difficult subjects.
The scientist was discussed, but it did not appear conclusively.
Do you pray, Mr Maddox? No, General.
I'll mention you in mine.
Thank you for sharing this.
I appreciate the involvement of your office.
When the history of this time is written, your name will not be mentioned but nor will it be forgotten.
I heard you were born again.
I was pardoned by the Lord for crimes you cannot imagine and entrusted by him with a mission I could never have dreamed of.
Oh, Jean, darling, would you bring another bottle of red? The '48, please, Jean.
We've hardly talked.
I know, shall we talk later? I called last night.
I'm sorry.
I was Working, I know.
Aren't you always? So, I thought that I'd give you a little surprise.
Turned up at the BBC, and asked to see you.
Oh, they wouldn't let you up.
You should have let me know.
You're right.
They wouldn't let me in.
But what's more, they'd never heard of you.
Well, I'm not very important.
They were very helpful.
Called up your department and everything.
That is strange.
Isn't it? What's going on, Jean? Nothing.
I want to know.
If you're seeing someone else, I will never bloody forgive you.
James, you're hurting me.
James, please.
Jean, dear, would you get that? Hello.
'I've been thinking about the code Randall and Stok used 'when being eavesdropped.
' Randall was talking about a valuable person named Harris.
Harris is Dawson's middle name.
'Yeah, I know, it's not great.
' Randall talked about keeping Harris at Chelsea until someone pays a lot of money.
Randall is still on the electoral role in Chelsea at an address in Danube Street, SW3.
You think he's keeping Dawson there? 'Yeah, no, probably not.
But I think it's possible.
'Listen, I know it's very unlikely.
'We can talk to Dalby about it tomorrow.
' Where are you? 'Corner of Kingsway and the Strand.
' I'll pick you up.
Dalby speaking, how may I help you? I see.
Thank you.
Yes, I'll meet you there.
Problem at the office, I'm afraid.
New car? It's my mother's.
Evening, Mr Palmer.
Coming with us, Terry? He's got the firearms.
If you could just sign there, Mr Palmer.
Thank you, Terry.
Any time.
Have a lovely evening.
Are you ready? Yeah.
If we have to, we shoot.
Are you from the church? Six months ago? That's what she said, sir.
Always paid his rent on time, no trouble to anyone.
No forwarding address? No, sir.
And you've checked his room? It was empty, sir.
Well, it seems we've all come out on a Thursday evening for nothing.
Now, who's for a cup of tea? I for one would be delighted.
I'm sorry.
Just cos you were hopelessly wrong doesn't make it a bad idea.
Have we lost them? Oh, yes, most likely.
For all we know, our man was probably in Moscow within 24 hours of going missing.
Does that bother you, Palmer? Go on, tell me you don't much care.
This is just a game, isn't it? One for the officer class, not for likes of you.
All you want is to stay out of Colchester and get on with your life.
Then why are you so good at this? Truth is, you do care, whether you like it or not.
Colonel Stok suggested I should work for the Russians.
Ah, well, you see, I'm not alone in my estimation.
As to our missing scientists, it bothers me too.
Anything to do with nuclear weapons makes me nervous.
One of those things goes off, nothing matters.
Nothing at all.
Four of them.
The young couple came first, but they were all looking for you.
Thank you.
Bayswater 4268.
It's Randall.
Now, listen, there's a lot of unwelcome attention coming my way, and I'm fed up with waiting while you make your minds up, so I'm picking up the cargo and getting out.
You know where to find me.
Get in touch when you're ready to cough up.
And the longer I have to look after it, the higher the price is gonna be.
And don't try anything clever or your precious commodity might get damaged in transit.
You're under arrest, gentlemen.
We do what needs to be done.
Let's try again, shall we? Tell me you know about the disappearance of Professor Dawson.
I'm afraid I'm unable to help you.
How long have you been this way? You've no idea what it is to be afraid, to be ashamed.
You will lose your job, you know? We can prevent that.
Maybe I don't care anymore.
Then there's the young man in the cell.
No, no.
He's broken the law.
His parents! You You don't understand.
Where did you get these? Some fellow in the pub.
I don't even know his name.
You're a communist.
Ex-communist, maybe.
What's the difference? You'll be up on charges of homosexuality and possession of drugs, and no-one's gonna read the small print.
You will also be charged with conspiracy to commit espionage.
So, start talking, Morris, and I can make all of this go away.
There's a psychiatrist the professor visits for stress.
These were get the drugs from.
This man, Doctor Radley? Yes.
How did they meet? I introduced them about six months ago.
And who's idea was that? It was Radley's.
He, er He asked to meet Professor Dawson.
He was very insistent.
The professor would go to Radley's house.
He runs a sort of clinic in the country.
The latest methods and so forth.
How often did he go? About once a week, I should say.
And were they security aware? Dawson never spoke of it, he never talked to me, and Radley swore me to silence, so But rumours, from other people, they say Radley can change the way you feel, the way you behave.
They say that if you give him long enough, if you're susceptible, he can change who you are.
'Phone records from Randall's digs in Chelsea 'list two calls to Radley's clinic.
' Professor Dawson attended the clinic for six months without knowledge of his wife or security at Aldermaston.
'OK, we'll close all routes out and in, ' under a national security order.
Set up a cordon.
Stop anyone who tries to leave or enter.

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