Queen's Gambit

Season 8, Ep 2, Aired 9/15/92
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  • Episode Description
  • At a Rotary Club dinner, Harry meets Joe Green, a local businessman. Joe is at the centre of a hate campaign: his car has been repeatedly sabotaged, he has received a newspaper cutting about himself with a red dagger drawn across it and someone pretending to be his secretary has cancelled the caterers at a Chamber of Commerce dinner that he was organising. He suspects that someone is trying to prevent him going ahead with a business deal to buy a restaurant, "Maximillians" in Derby. He asks Harry to investigate. He also wants Harry to invest in the restaurant deal, along with another businessman, Charles Hastings, and promises him a seat in the Star Chamber if this deal goes ahead. Harry persuades Ken to act as Joe's bodyguard. At Joe's house, Ken meets Joe's wife Sheila who seems unexpectedly worried that Joe has engaged a bodyguard. Joe is extremely arrogant and peremptory to Ken, treats him like dirt and can't even be bothered to get his first name right. Ken takes an instant dislike to Joe. As they are leaving the house in Joe's Bentley, a leather-clad motorcyclist on a Harley Davidson is seen to be watching the house. As soon as Joe and Ken have driven away, the motorcyclist rides up to the house. It is Karen Verdi, an old friend of Sheila's. They are afraid of what Ken might discover about Joe if he decides to investigate him. From their conversation over a glass of wine and a game of chess, it is clear that they are the ones who have been sabotaging Joe's car. Karen offers to find out what Ken knows about Joe. Late one night outside the CBS offices, she slashes her bike tyre to stage a puncture. Spotting a fellow biker - and a very attractive woman, at that - Ken is only too keen to help. Karen flirts shamelessly with him and pumps him for information. Joe has organised a twin-town dinner between his local town and a German town. The German guests are very embarrassed to find that the entertainment is being provided by a troop of men in Austrian lederhosen and women in black shirts who have been made up to look like Hitler; they are playing "Colonel Bogey". But the Germans' embarrassment is nothing compared with Joe's anger at having yet another public occasion sabotaged. He blames Ken and Harry for failing to prevent this fiasco - as so often, the reputation of CBS is at stake. Ken brings Joe back home in a very drunken state and he and Sheila put Joe to bed. Afterwards, Sheila invites Ken to stay for supper and, when she discovers that he is not married, tries unsuccessfully to seduce him and to persuade him to stay the night with her. Clearly there is no love lost between Joe and Sheila. Harry is due to take a "package" to the Isle of Man for Joe. He doesn't realise that it is the money for the restaurant deal that Joe wants to pay into an illegal offshore bank account for the previous owner, a certain Mr Verdi. But Sheila and Karen know what Harry will be carrying and they plan to steal the money. By now, Ken suspects Sheila and goes to her house to confront her. Karen is there but makes sure that Ken doesn't see her. As she is about to set off to steal the money, the "puncture" that Ken repaired ruptures, forcing her to change her plans. She puts false plates on Ken's bike and rides off on it, while Sheila keeps Ken occupied inside. Karen ambushes Harry's car and steals the briefcase containing the money. But by the time she returns Ken's bike, he is about to leave so she doesn't have enough time to put back his original number plate. Hoping that he won't notice the false plates, she follows him to CBS office and tries again but accidentally drops Ken's number plate down a drain. Joe accuses Harry and Ken of staging the robbery, and searches Harry's car and his home. Things look bad for Harry's reputation - he is terrified of being caught up in all the "fraud and scandal". However it is Alex who makes the connection between Joe Green and "Mr Verdi" when she realises that "Verdi" is Italian for "Green" and therefore that Joe already owns the restaurant: the sale is a sham. When Ken discovers that the false plates on his bike match those that Harry saw on the bike that stole the money, he immediately realises that Sheila is involved, since the only place that he has left his bike unattended is at her house. He borrows Rocky's bike and goes to confront her. Meanwhile Joe and his sidekick Guy arrive at CBS and find Rocky trying to cover up the plates on Ken's bike. However he escapes after putting into practice the unarmed combat lessons that Alex has been giving him, by throwing Guy over his shoulder as she has shown him. By this stage, Charles Hastings has discovered that he is sole owner of the restaurant: Joe's name does not appear on any documentation. On further investigation, he is appalled to find a survey report which suggests that the restaurant was only being sold cheaply because it was built over an old mine-shaft and is about to fall down. Karen and Sheila realise that things have got completely out of hand. Karen tells Ken that Joe is Italian by birth - his original name is Guiseppe Verdi - and that she is his first wife. Sheila married him two years later by which time he had anglicised his name to Joe Green. But he and Karen were never divorced, so Sheila is married bigamously to Joe. Joe returns home to find Charles, Harry and Ken waiting for him. Sheila and Karen tell him that the restaurant is in perfectly good condition: they faked the building survey so that he would sell off the restaurant cheaply. This and the sabotage attempts were all part of a campaign by them to extract maximum revenge for his bigamy. Charles is so pleased to find himself the owner of a perfectly good restaurant bought at a knock-down price that he guarantees Harry's place in the Star Chamber.moreless

  • Cast & Crew
  • David Daker

    Harry Crawford

  • Rachel Davies

    Doreen Evans (Season 1)

  • Brigit Forsyth

    Helen Yeldham (Season 5)

  • Elizabeth Carling

    Laura Marsh (Season 5-7)

  • Michael Elphick

    Ken Boon

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