Season 3 Episode 3

The Same Trick Twice

Aired Saturday 9:00 PM Apr 22, 1970 on ITV
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Episode Summary

The Same Trick Twice
An exchange of captured agents with the Soviets goes sour.

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  • When two British agents are swapped back from East Germany, one of them declares he will write a tell-all book about how the British government blackmailed him into working for them. It's up to Callan and Cross to stop him, one way or another.moreless


    Two British prisoners are exchanged with East Germans, and Callan is there to greet the returning Brits. One was from the Section, the other a courier who apparently told their gaolers everything when he was caught - which was how the other agent was picked up. Many agents died because of this courier - Surtees - who now plans to write a tell-all book about how he was blackmailed into working as a courier by the Section and Hunter. Hunter is particularly concerned that Surtees knows of him and the Section. Surtees gives appearances on television announcing his intention with the book so Hunter knows he can't be easily removed without more questions being raised. He puts Callan, Cross and the newly released agent, Mallory, on the job of surveillance. By tapping phones and using Lonely to break in to Surtees' flat, Callan finds enough information involving the Section to realize the up-coming book will be devastating. Hunter is worried that many of the 'facts' are not truly facts - one relates how the British had killed a CIA agent but Hunter knows it was done by the KGB. All of the snippets of information sound credible enough and with just enough fact to sound true even though they're not. The book will, indeed, be devastating.

    Hunter visits Callan at home - a social call - which soon becomes an off-the-record order to kill Surtees and make it look like suicide. Callan refuses to do it without proper paperwork but eventually agrees to act.

    He acts by going to visit Surtees to encourage him to stop publication. While poking around, Callan has discovered how and where Surtees was blackmailed by a man calling himself Hunter. Callan discovers a seedy photographer and an ex-callgirl, Jean, who were contacted by this 'Hunter'. Callan believes this fake Hunter was KGB and explains all this to Surtees. Jean turns up at Surtees' flat while Callan is there and admits to her part in the blackmail pictures, confirming what she can. With some doubt as to whether it was really the British government or KGB impersonators, Surtees agrees to withhold publication until Callan can investigate further.

    When Callan reports the happy news to Hunter they receive a call from Cross - Surtees has been shot dead.

    They arrive at Surtees' flat and discover his body, and that his papers are all missing. Callan suspects Jean, who may have been concerned her past would be exposed, so he and Mallory go to her flat. There they confront and threaten her and begin to demolish her flat in the search for the papers.

    As they do so Callan receives a phone call from Hunter.

    Hunter says he has some surveillance photos of Callan earlier going into Surtees' flat but none after - meaning the person on surveillance must have stopped filming.

    Callan spins and shoots Mallory dead as the other agent comes to attack. It appears Mallory had been harboring a great deal of anger towards Surtees over being caught. All the loose ends are wrapped up and Hunter is pleased.

    Callan does his best to be the nice guy in all of this - looking for ways to NOT have Surtees killed, continuing to investigate how he was blackmailed when no-one else seems to care. He is disgusted by Hunter's request to do a little quiet killing unofficially - as if killing is fine as long as there is a bit of paper signed off for it and stuck in a file. It is indeed a strange world when this is considered the mark of a nice man. In this series, Callan is about as nice as it gets. And that's not much until you compare him to the rest of the Section.moreless

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Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (11)

    • Surtees: For which government department do you work, Mr. Callan?
      Callan: Well, I don't think you would have actually heard of us, Mr. Surtees. We… er… fix things.

    • Callan [ on Surtees ]: You don't expect him to drop dead, then, just to please you, do you?
      Hunter: No. Which is why we're having this private talk.

    • Freddy [ on the photography studio ]: You have to be a member of the club, of course. We can't just have people wandering in and banging away with a camera, can we?
      Callan: Oh, Lord no. Of course we can't. Ummm, how much is it?
      Freddy: Ten bob a year.
      Callan: Oh that's very exclusive, isn't it?

    • Lonely: It's dead parky an' all. I could get a nice little fire going with these things.
      Callan: Listen mate, it's bad enough being cooped up with you for three hours without having you steaming as well.
      Lonely: Yeah, well I'm always inclined to sweat a bit before a job.
      Callan: So I've noticed. If you don't take a bath at least take a walk sometimes!

    • Callan: This is the best job you could get is it? Harry's Strip Bar: Lavatory Attendant.
      Lonely: Hygiene Operative!
      Callan: Oh, I beg your pardon.
      Lonely:It's honest work, Mr. Callan.
      Callan: Yeah, that's not all that's wrong with it.

    • Bishop [ on the suggestion that Surtees is still working for the Russians ]: Do you accept his theory?
      Hunter: The theory doesn't have to be right, does it? It just has to work.

    • Callan [ on his flat ]: Don't say what a nice place you've got here because I can't stand hypocrites.

    • Callan: Look up the files. This department has been mixed up in some pretty dirty, dodgey operations, sir, hasn't it? I mean, let's face it. A little light blackmail is something we do for relief.
      Hunter: Yes, well I've been through the files and there's nothing in them that even hints at a situation of this kind.
      Callan: I've been involved in some operations that would never make the files. Some of the fellows who have sat behind that desk where you sit have played their cards pretty close to the chest.
      Hunter: It seems to me you're getting a certain smug satisfaction out of all this, Callan.
      Callan [ smugly ]: No, no, no. But let's face it, it had to happen. It really did have to happen, didn't it?
      Hunter: What had to happen?
      Callan: That some dirty caper would catch up to us and bite us.

    • Callan: Last time we met you were Foreign Office.
      Bishop: In addition to swearing and smoking, I also tell lies.

    • Hunter: You could have stopped him talking to the reporters.
      Callan: Well, blimey, what did you expect me to do? Clobber him as soon as he opened his mouth, sir?
      Bishop [ referring to a newspaper headline: "Returned Agent Hints At Security Scandal" ]: It might have made fractionally larger headlines.

    • Callan [ on a prisoner exchange ]: Foreign Office beginning to feel pleased with itself then?
      Bishop: Two of ours for one of theirs.
      Callan: But we give stamps.

  • NOTES (1)

    • This is the first appearance of the character of Bishop, played by Geoffrey Chater. He identifies himself as Foreign Office but he returns later as someone much higher up, and in charge.