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Avengers on the Radio designed, maintained and Copyright by Alan and Alys Hayes.

The Avengers is Copyright CANAL+IMAGE UK Ltd. No attempt to infringe this copyright is intended. 

STORYLINE "DIAL A DEADLY NUMBER"

"EPISODE ONE OF THIS STORY... 
in which John Steed and Emma Peel find they have business in the City, which starts when someone attempts to 
DIAL A DEADLY NUMBER."

Six dynamic businessmen of major city companies have died suddenly and mysteriously; the last, Todhunter, collapsed clutching his chest whilst giving an address to his company's board. At first, all that Mrs. Peel and John Steed have to go on is that all six shared the same merchant banker - Henry Boardman. Following up this lead, Steed goes along to Boardman's, posing as an investor, and gets on so well that Boardman invites him to a private dinner party, as well as recommending a broker for the investment, Frederick Yuill. Meanwhile, Mrs. Peel gets the less glamorous task of visiting Macombie's Funeral Parlour, the undertakers that handled Todhunter's funeral. She discovers that something has gone missing from the body - a pen-sized electronic pager, designed to work over short distances. Todhunter wore this in his left-hand jacket pocket, which Emma finds suspicious especially as Macombie recalls that the only mark on the body was a small bruise above the heart.

Ruth Boardman tries to get close to Steed

Manhunter... 
Or is it your gold hunter watch she's after, Steed?

"EPISODE TWO OF THIS STORY...
in which John Steed and Emma Peel attempt to play at bulls and bears and there is more trouble caused by someone's ability to 
DIAL A DEADLY NUMBER."

At Boardman's suggestion, Steed meets with the broker, Yuill, a fishing enthusiast whose office is awash with angling paraphernalia, stuffed fish lining the walls. Steed questions Yuill about "put options" and learns that this is a type of share dealing where the shareholder calculates when shares are about to fall in price, sells them, but retains an option to buy them back at the new lower price whilst pocketing the difference. Anyone owning shares in Todhunter's, for example, could have benefitted in this way as, in common with the other cases, Todhunter's stocks fell dramatically when the chairman died. When Yuill has to attend to unexpected business, he asks his secretary, Susanne, to show Steed some investment prospects. While she is doing this, Steed asks her about Ben Jago, a financial high-flier with a remarkable reputation in the field of put options. It transpires that Jago is a client of Yuill's and Steed decides that Jago is definitely a suspect. Steed engineers a chance meeting with Jago in "The Bull and Bear", a city bar frequented by those in high finance. Steed makes himself known to Jago, seeks his advice and makes it abundantly clear that if there are any fiddles on the go, he wants to be part of them. Meanwhile, Mrs. Peel visits Warner's Answering Service, who supply the bleepers to people in the city. While there, a technician, Fitch, is working on a fuse box, and Emma asks after him as she feels she has seen him before. According to Mr. Warner, Fitch is the company's resident mechanic, something of a genius, in fact. However, her main focus is on the bleepers... and why the company hadn't had Todhunter's bleeper returned to them, following the man's death.

"EPISODE THREE OF THIS STORY...
in which an attempt is made to knock out John Steed, and Emma Peel realises that someone could quite easily kill him if they were able to
DIAL A DEADLY NUMBER."

Steed attends a dinner party thrown by the Boardmans, where he meets the merchant banker's partner, John Harvey, and is introduced to Boardman's wife, Ruth. She enquires as to the nature of Steed's business with her husband, and, linking his arms in hers, drags him off to meet another client of the company - Emma Peel, who has spun a yarn just having arrived from Barbados. Toying with her, Steed wonders why she has no tan - "it's the rainy season", she quickly retorts. One guest is late for the get-together - Yuill has been working late at the office, and rather than return home, he has brought a tuxedo along so he can change for the party. However, after putting the jacket on, he is horrified to find a bleeper in the pocket. Before he can remove it, it is activated and he cries out in pain, dying sprawled out across his office desk. Back at the party, the guests lament Yuill's non-appearance, and Steed prepares to leave, suggesting he can give Mrs. Peel a lift home. The Boardmans insist that Emma stays for a while, so Steed leaves alone. On his way to collect his car from the basement car park, Steed comes under attack from two men on motorcycles who try to run him down. He is lucky to survive, which is more than can be said for one of the bikers, who crashes into a packing crate and breaks his neck. The other man drives off into the night after Steed starts shooting at him. Having heard the fracas, Emma arrives, and they take a closer look at the dead man - Steed recognises him as a waiter employed by Yuill. Investigating, they go to Yuill's office, where they find Yuill's body. It is clear that he has died in the same manner as Todhunter - they must be on the right track. 

"EPISODE FOUR OF THIS STORY...
in which John Steed and Emma Peel continue to dabble in high finance, unaware that someone in the City is preparing yet again to
DIAL A DEADLY NUMBER."

Steed realises where he has seen Ruth Boardman before - in the bar of "The Bull and Bear", enjoying what was plainly a secret tryst with Ben Jago. Steed makes a mental note of this, and decides that he and Mrs. Peel should attend the wine-tasting event that they have been invited to by the Boardmans. He is sure that they are up to their necks not only in the deaths, but also the bikers' attack in the garage beneath the Boardman's penthouse flat. At the wine-tasting party in the basement of Boardman's Bank, Steed and Henry Boardman engage in a touch of gentlemanly competition, as Boardman challenges Steed to guess the vintage of a particular wine. Steed impresses, and even jokingly refers to his gold hunter watch as he ruminates on both the wine and its year. Unbeknownst to Steed, he is being watched by Fitch of Warner's Answering Service, via a closed circuit television system. Fitch is fascinated by Steed's gold watch, and reaches inside a drawer, removing a hunter watch identical to Steed's. Shortly afterwards, John Harvey receives a delivery of bleepers from Warner. He tips them out on the desk and shows them to Mrs. Peel, explaining that his business partner Henry plans to encourage their use in the City. After Emma and Harvey have left the room to join Boardman for a cup of tea, Ruth enters and removes something hidden in the packaging - Fitch's gold hunter watch, wrapped in tissue paper... Later that night, in his flat, Steed is visited by Ruth Boardman, ostensibly to thank him for his discretion in not mentioning her meeting with Jago to her husband. However, the real reason for her visit is revealed when she tricks Steed into pouring her a drink, and prepares to switch Steed's gold hunter watch for the one supplied by Fitch...

"EPISODE FIVE OF THIS STORY...
in which John Steed and Emma Peel both get a little nearer to the truth, and find out the man who knows how to 
DIAL A DEADLY NUMBER."

Ruth Boardman switches the watches. When Steed returns, she is composed and assumes an innocent air. After she has left, Steed readies himself for a rendezvous at "The Bull and Bear" with Emma Peel. However, Emma has taken investigations into her own hands, and breaks into Warner's Answering Service under the cover of darkness. She finds herself in Fitch's workshop, the walls of which are covered in clocks of all shapes and sizes - all stopped. She finds some blown up photographs of Steed, and particularly, of his gold hunter watch. Fitch enters and surprises Mrs. Peel. He holds a gun to her head, and explains that he has rigged a replica of the watch with explosives, and the copy has now been planted on Steed. The clocks around the room each represent a person, and the time that they died at Fitch's hands. There is one for each of the company directors and another has been reserved for Steed. Mrs. Peel's intrusion has presented Fitch with a problem, however - he has never killed a woman before. It soon becomes clear that he relishes the opportunity. Mrs. Peel's absence has not gone unnoticed by John Steed, who keeps toying with his watch. One wrong move and he's history... Before long, he too has done a bit of breaking and entering - and sits in the darkened lounge in the Boardmans' penthouse, and surprises the returning Ruth Boardman. Apprehensively, she notices Steed is swinging the watch on its chain. He pretends to open it, and elicits the response he expected of Ruth - she desperately tries to stop him. He has outmanoeuvred her and learns from her that Fitch is at the heart of the plot. He arrives at Warner's and bursts in on Fitch. Steed suggests Fitch repair his watch, which he simply can't get to open. Fitch nervously backs away and hides behind a bench, fearing an explosion. Steed finds Emma tied up in a cupboard, but before he can untie her, Fitch comes at Steed brandishing a bicycle-pump gun. Momentarily distracted by a clock chiming, Fitch is flung into the wall by Steed, the pump gun exploding, killing the mechanic outright. In the aftermath, Steed leaves to follow up a hunch... and in a most ungentlemanly fashion, leaves Mrs. Peel tied up, demanding he release her at once!

"EPISODE SIX, THE FINAL EPISODE IN THIS STORY...
in which John Steed and Emma Peel solve all the mysteries in the affairs of the big City financiers, without having to 
DIAL A DEADLY NUMBER."

Steed ungallantly departs, leaving Emma to look for something sharp with which to cut herself free. Steed takes a taxi and considers the suspects. Clearly, Fitch had invented the bleepers, but his was obviously not the mind behind the scheme as a whole. Who could it be? Boardman? Jago? Harvey? Warner? Or all of them? He spent the next few hours planting bleepers on each man, and waited for their reactions. Warner was puzzled - no more - to find the pager, Boardman likewise. Harvey, however, is furious, and Jago is equally implicated by his actions - feeling that he has been betrayed by his co-conspirators. Steed has indeed set one against another, as Jago storms out of "The Bull and Bear" and heads towards Boardmans, hoping to find Harvey there. However, when he arrives, Harvey is absent. Instead he finds Boardman going through Harvey's papers. Ruth Boardman has broken down after her visit from Steed, and has told her husband that Harvey is involved in an underhand plot. Jago reveals that he too is in on the plot, and that Ruth had been most helpful. Between them they had hatched a plan to make a financial killing, utilising the ruthless Fitch's mechanical genius. They disposed of the various company directors with bleepers adapted to inject a lethal drug into their hearts, then used the put-options to make their fortunes. They are interrupted by the arrival of Ruth Boardman. An argument ensues, and in the aftermath, Ruth and Boardman are shot dead by Jago. Steed and Emma - who has finally released herself from Fitch's bonds - arrive at the Boardmans' office, to find the bodies. Shortly afterwards, in the Boardmans' wine cellar, Jago confronts Harvey, but both soon realise that they have been duped, each made to think the other was planning their death. All the clues point to John Steed... and he duly arrives with Mrs. Peel, intent on wrapping things up. Harvey and Jago are defeated following a shoot-out in the wine cellar, with each being rendered unconscious. Steed and Mrs. Peel leave in a taxi, drinking vintage bordeaux. Mrs. Peel takes great pleasure in guessing its type, the vineyard and the year. Steed is very impressed until Emma lets on that she read the label!

by Alys Hayes

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