Season 3 Episode 2

Summoned to Appear

Aired Saturday 9:00 PM Apr 15, 1970 on ITV
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Episode Summary

Summoned to Appear
When Cross kills an innocent bystander it's up to Callan to cover for him, but even he cannot decide if it was an accident or murder.

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  • While chasing a Czech assassin Cross kills an innocent man, pushing him under a train.Despite no-one caring much about the incident, Callan tries to help the victim's widow, protect Cross, and save the assassin's intended victim, a Czech writer.moreless


    It always seems that if Callan was doing a job alone it would all work out smoothly, but as usual he has a partner. Cross is young and wants to prove himself, so when they chase a known Czech assassin, Palanka, into a deserted train station at night it is Cross who gets into trouble. As a train comes in Cross sees the target and sprints for him - just as a commuter sitting behind a trolley gets up to board the train. Cross collides with him and the poor guy goes under the wheels. The station isn't as deserted as it looked, as a woman on the opposite platform near Callan also sees what happened.

    Cross flees while Callan acts the dutiful citizen and helps the police - and the Section - by implying the victim committed suicide and that there had been no other man on the platform.

    Hunter is annoyed by the loss of Palanka and decides to use one of Palanka's old targets as bait - someone thought to have been killed but just crippled and now writing a tell-all book about the Czech government. Cross is annoyed the man on the station stopped him getting Palanka but that's all he feels. Only Callan seems concerned by the death and by the fact he lied to the police and must continue to perjure himself in the Coroner's Court.

    Just as he goes to court he is contacted by the solicitor acting for the widow who explains that if the verdict is suicide she and the children will be destitute. Callan is struck by conscience and lies again in the court, changing his statement and nearly being charged with perjury - but he keeps Cross in the clear and the widow gets the insurance money. Meanwhile the assassin barges into the writer's apartment despite Cross, who has a habit of being overpowered by bad guys, and destroys the damaging book. As Palanka is about to kill Cross, the writer pulls a gun and shoots the assassin.

    The whole affair with the writer is more of a side note to the conflict Callan suffers over telling the truth, lying, and doing the right thing. Even when the others are calling the passenger's death an 'incident' he calls it an 'accident', refusing to let them sweep it away as a minor inconvenience. As usual, Hunter and Cross seems astonished that he should care and treat him as if he is the odd one out - and I guess he is.moreless

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Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (10)

    • (Lonely is eating his supper on his bed, surrounded by porn magazines.)
      Lonely: I've read lots of books.
      Callan:Yeah I can see that. (He picks up a porn magazine and leafs through it.) You're a regular library leech, aren't you?
      Lonely: I called you here, Mr. Callan, because… well, it's embarrassing…
      Callan: Would you like me to turn around?
      Lonely: I've had a feeling…
      Callan: Well, it's all this high-flown literature you read.

    • Hunter: You're the best man in this section, Callan, probably the best it's ever had, but for one thing — you became deactivated because of over-involvement.
      Callan: Because sometimes I showed a normal amount of human emotion, sir!
      Hunter: Exactly.

    • Callan [ on the assassin, Palanka ]: Every country has it's Palankas. Every government.
      Mrs. Karas: A necessary evil, perhaps?
      Callan: Well, I suppose that's what they tell themselves. Perhaps we're right.

    • Cross [ on the witness ]: And the woman's story, was that mentioned?
      Hunter: Apparently she's had a nervous collapse.
      Cross [ grinning ]:Well then, I can't see what Callan's brooding about. It can't be anything but an open and shut suicide.
      Hunter: Sometimes, James, you delight me.
      Cross: Sir?
      Hunter [ smiling ]:So young. So insensible.

    • Hunter [ on the inquest ]: I'm only praying that Callan doesn't get… temperamental…
      Cross: From the look on his face the pain is bad. An attack of conscience?

    • Cross [ on the death of the bystander ]: It was an accident!
      Callan: No, no. You got to get it right, son. It was an incident. Tell you what, when I found out who he was I'll let you know who you incidentally killed.

    • Cross: What do we do now?
      Callan: We wait for Palanka.
      Cross: You think he'll come here?
      Callan: Yeah, he'll come here.
      Cross: Always so sure, Mr. Callan?
      Callan: That's right.
      Cross: Why?
      Callan: Because he's young, and arrogant. He's got something to prove, just like you, James.

    • Hunter [ on the death of the bystander ]: Cross feels as badly about it as you do.
      Callan: Does he really sir? I wonder.
      Hunter: What's that supposed to mean?
      Callan: Well from reading his report and listening to you it seems that this incident… that really is a very nasty little word, isn't it? It seems as though this incident has already been filed under miscellaneous.
      Hunter: You're not being very discreet.
      Callan: Oh don't you worry sir, I was the soul of discretion earlier on, pouring out my perjury!

    • Policeman: I know you've had a nasty shock. Very few people experience violent deaths.
      Callan: They don't know how lucky they are.

    • Callan halts Cross as they tail Palanka into a train station.
      Callan:Watch it, I think he's on to us.
      Cross:How do you know? Something on the bus?
      Callan:Yeah, I dunno what it is. Just something, some feeling...
      Crosssmug:Middle aged intuition?
      Callansneers:Yeah. Can be very useful.

  • NOTES (0)