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Persuaders!, The (1971-72)


Warning: screenonline full synopses contain 'spoilers' which give away key plot points. Don't read on if you don't want to know the ending!

'A Home of One's Own' (ITV, tx. 31/12/1971)

Danny Wilde takes a reluctant Brett Sinclair for an uncomfortable ride in a Land Rover to visit an empty and derelict cottage that he has recently bought. Despite his misgivings, Brett agrees to assist in its renovation. Danny is approached by Rupert Hathaway, the local squire who owns all the land surrounding the cottage. The squire wishes to buy the house and makes aggressive threats when Danny spurns his offer. Meanwhile, in the local pub, Brett has met with Lucy, a young lady who claims to be on a birdwatching holiday, although the fact that she carries a gun arouses Brett's suspicions.

When Danny goes to the house's well, he is shocked to haul up what appears to be a corpse. He nearly faints and the well's spinning handle knocks him unconscious and he has to be pulled to safety by Lucy as Hathaway returns, accompanied by several menacing looking henchmen. Regaining consciousness, Danny finds his cottage wrecked, the word 'DEATH' inscribed on a wall and a crudely made wax figure with nails driven into it mounted on the dashboard of his Ferrari. Danny muses over the prospect of black magic while, in the local inn, Brett hears frightening stories of the cottage being haunted. Brett and Danny call the police to investigate the corpse and the vandalism, but when Constable Harvester, the village's local beat officer, inspects the site there is no body in the well.

Brett's suspicions about Lucy increase, but when Danny is menaced by hooded figures and tied up, she reveals that she is a Detective Inspector in the Fraud Squad. Lucy believes that the body in the well was that of one of her colleagues. She and her late colleague believed Hathaway to be the central figure in a forging racket, with the cottage playing a vital role in storing Hathaway's counterfeit bank notes. Danny and Lucy are captured by Hathaway and his men, and learn that PC Harvester is in the pay of the gang. Brett rescues Lucy and Danny and they manage to prevent Hathaway's escape by helicopter. Brett toasts Danny's cottage, which promptly collapses.