Season 4 Episode 10

The Contract

Aired Saturday 9:00 PM May 03, 1972 on ITV
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Episode Summary

The Contract
Callan poses as a gunman-for-hire in order to prevent an assassination of a visiting Field Marshall.

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  • Callan and Meres combine forces to capture a freelance hitman and discover his target. But when he escapes, Callan is forced to assume his identity and take on the assassination instead.moreless

    Another good episode which shows the major characters in all their fine forms: Hunter is cold and calculating, Meres is a smarmy, smug liar, Lonely is smelly, cringing and self-serving, while Callan is cool and calculating. The plot is tricky and the characterisations strong, with great dialogue - as usual. The style of filming with claustrophobic sets and close focus just add to the believable and oppressive atmosphere of the series that just makes it all the more interesting. There is something about the grimness of the series - this episode included with the dreary boarding house set - that makes this definitely worth watching.moreless

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Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (21)

    • (Lafarge frees Callan.)
      Lafarge: Now, your organisation? You told me how it feels about grudges. What is its response to favours?

    • (Lafarge frees Callan.)
      Lafarge: Now, your organisation? You told me how it feels about grudges. What is its response to favours?

    • (The novice Lafarge finally pieces the plot together.)
      Lafarge: If what you say is true, then the trail leads back to Novaks very clearly. But if he didn't order the hit, who did?
      Callan: Marvellous, innit? You're green, son, you are bright emerald green. Why don't you ask the Major, here? The Major's been around, he's been in the trade long enough to know – the thing you should do is read the political columns, just like a businessman reads the share prices.

    • Harcourt: You passed yourself off as me, Mr. Callan. That was insulting. Very, very insulting. How anyone could believe that you were an officer and a gentleman... you must be a considerable liar, Mr. Callan.

    • Meres:Harcourt would probably have missed, anyway. After all, he did in Genoa.
      Callan: Toby? Bellini was killed in Genoa, Smith and Wesson, twenty yards range, right?
      Meres: A Browning.
      Callan: That's funny, I thought it was a Smith and Wesson.
      Meres: No, it was a Browning. David, I am blessed with total recall. I remember which gun I used.
      Callan: You used...
      Meres: I used.

    • Callan: Well, better late than never, eh?
      Meres: Oh, don't be petulant, David. I could hardly storm the fortress on my own, could I?
      Callan: What do you mean, on your own? You had Barker and Nicholls with you, right?
      Meres: But I didn't know how many they had. You should try shouting, 'Once more unto the breach, dear friends,' and you'll find out just how many of them are mere acquaintances.

    • (Callan asks how much assassination costs.)
      Callan: What's the contract price on this one, eh?
      Harcourt: The client's business is always confidential, but the fee reflects my value.
      Callan: Yeah. I bet there's not much change out of a fiver. Word's gone about – you're past it.
      Harcourt: I've been semi-retired since my last job. The one I did for your Firm.

    • (Climbing out the window of the flat.)
      Lonely: I could break my bleedin' neck.
      Callan: As long as you do it quietly.

    • (Lonely munches his packets of crisps to Meres' disgust.)
      Meres: Try sucking them.

    • Harcourt: (Kicking the tied-up Callan.) You made me jump out of a window, Mr Callan. It was most undignified.
      Callan: You are a right bastard, aren't you?

    • (Callan finds a link amongst the revolutionaries.)
      Callan: I need to know he's reliable.
      Christine: He's on the kitchen staff and he's reliable.
      Callan: Gawd blimey, I don't believe it! I really don't. The leader of your little group runs a restaurant, your finger-man over there does the dirty dishes in the kitchen... What does it take, darling, to get into your revolution? A degree in domestic science?

    • Hunter: Is it embarrassment that prevents you making excuses, or do you agree there are none to be made?
      Meres: With respect, sir, it isn't the easiest thing in the world to take a professional gunman and to take him alive, sir.

    • (Callan looks through the rifle sight.)
      Callan: The angle's all wrong. You'll smash through the brickwork.
      Lafarge: (sarcastically.) Now why didn't we think of that?
      Callan: I don't know why you didn't think of it. Perhaps you're the type who doesn't think about anything very much.

    • (After being caught following Harcourt.)
      Meres: Evening, Major Harcourt! For an awful moment I thought I'd lost you.

    • (Meres tries to sway assassin Harcourt.)
      Meres: I'm a very glib laddie. I'm sure you can also see both honesty and sincerity shining from my face.
      Harcourt: I can see fear in your eyes.
      Meres: Well, I'll tell you what. You let me point that automatic at your head for a bit and I'll describe the view from my side.

    • Harcourt: I have a gun. It has a hair trigger and I'm on second pressure. So if I drop dead of a heart attack right now the gun will still go off.
      Meres: The point is well taken. I only hope that your ventricles are functioning normally.

    • Meres: Well, of course (Hunter) wants Harcourt alive, if possible, undamaged, if possible, but above all – quietly.
      Callan: I bet he does. No idea how we do it, of course?
      Meres: (smirking.) It sounds as though you're working up a small lather, David.
      Callan: It's dodgy, Toby. Very dodgy.

    • (Callan saves Meres from a killer.)
      Meres: You really took your time, David!
      Callan: Yes, you were working up into quite a lather, weren't you?
      Meres: That wasn't very funny.

    • (Meres disapproves of the plan to knock on doors to find a killer.)
      Meres: And suppose we pick his door?
      Callan: Yeah, yeah, alright, so you think of a better idea. One chance in five, alright?
      Meres: Well, I woke up this morning feeling unlucky.

    • (Callan steps out of the taxi.)
      Lonely: You off, are ya?
      Callan: I'm studying the geography, aren't I?
      Lonely: I noticed one bit of geography. There's a pub at the corner.
      Callan: You what?
      Lonely: I mean, look at the time, Mr. Callan. We haven't had any dinner... have I? They likely do hot pies. That'd go down lovely, that would.

    • Callan: Where's Lonely?
      Meres: Well, it seems the pub on the corner... Lonely's discourse on the delights of saveloys and pickled onions was beginning to bore me.
      Callan: I'll kill him, I swear I'll kill him!
      Meres: Also, the air was becoming fetid. Does he always sweat when he's hungry?

  • NOTES (0)