Department S

Season 1 Episode 15

Dead Men Die Twice

Aired Unknown Dec 16, 1969 on ITV
out of 10
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Episode Summary

Dead Men Die Twice
LOCATION: Southern France DATE: July 19th A man's home is invaded by armed intruders intent on killing him. He has a heart attack and dies before they can, however. The two men go to the morgue to see the body, where they put two bullets into the corpse. Department S investigate the shooting of the body of a man who bears a striking resemblance to a notorious criminal who allegedly died three years earlier.moreless

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  • Hmm.

    Department S is a challenging series to write for. With series such as The Saint and Danger Man, scripts could range in terms of their content and structure. But Department S consistently required a baffling situation or set of cirumstances that proved to be an impossible mystery. Then, the writer had the task of ensuring the subsequent developments would be entertaining enough to maintain the audience's interest.

    With hindsight, then, it's easy to understand why it was less consistent in terms of the quality of its episodes. 'Dead Men Die Twice'. As with other episodes, the mystery that is posed before the opening titles is very intriguing but the rest of the episode feels slow and formulaic.

    The Department is assigned to investigate why a man mistaken for supposedly dead gangster Lomax was suffocated by assassins, who later visit his corpse in the morgue and fire two bullets into its chest. Could Lomax still be alive?

    The storyline unfolds slowly and the principal characters generally have little do. Annabelle's enqury about Lomax at a bar results in a convenient series of events that results in her solving the mystery - by being told everything by the man at the centre of the plot. So the Department didn't really solve it at all, but just got lucky with a talkative villain.

    There are some good points, though. Rosemary Nicholls has a lot more to do than usual and shows unease beneath reluctant acceptance when captured by the villains, highlighting her underrated acting talents. The score is also very good, with Edwin Astley's music composed for this episode being well used.

    But overall, it isn't a great episode. If you skip it, you won't miss much.


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