Man in a Suitcase

Season 1 Episode 4

Variation on a Million Bucks, Part One

Aired Wednesday 9:10 PM Oct 18, 1967 on ITV
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Episode Summary

Variation on a Million Bucks, Part One

A million dollars have been hidden away in a Lisbon bank. McGill is the only man with the key to the safe deposit, but he is not the only man after the money - there are certain governments interested too…

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  • A dying friend gives McGill a key which both Americans and Russians want badly.

    Lisbon. Max Stein (a renegade Russian diplomat) has stolen one million dollars of contingency funds from the Russians and puts it in a bank safety deposit box. Later in London he is at a play with McGill who meets an old Japanese girlfriend, Taiko who he regretted leaving behind four years ago in Tokyo, but she does turn up at his apartment later. He sees her (and Max) for a few weeks, and the three are shadowed by secret agents who are interested in Max and there is a mention by them of his old boss, Coughlin in Washington. A man approaches Max and asks him for the key to the box but he refuses. The man later shoots him but he kills the man and staggers back to McGill’s place. Dying, Max tells McGill where he put the money and where the key is (in the black queen of the chess set he and McGill used). A man leaves McGill a ticket for a concert to contact him about the key, while his rooms are ransacked. “Bert”, the man who Max got the money from, offers $50,000 for the key. McGill returns to his apartment, is knocked out and searched, but they leave without the key. Kenneth, an old contact gets McGill a ship to Lisbon and fake Max Stein papers, accommodation, etc. which costs McGill $15,000. As McGill leaves his room, Johnson turns up and takes him to Michaels at the the American Secret Service HQ where he is questioned as they want something in the box. Michaels admits to knowing McGill is innocent of their charges against him. He later says goodbye to taiko and loses his American and Russian tails and heads to Kenneth’s café, collects all the papers (note: McGill has a Triumph sports car here. Later he used an Hillman Imp.) At the docks (London) he boards his boat and the Americans arrive too late. He has gone. Bert phones someone and tells them McGill is gone and that he wanted him to know. Ron Randell as Michaels, Yoko Tani as Taiko, Anton Rodgers as Max Stein, Aubrey Morris as Kenneth, Simon Brent as Bert, Warren Stanhope as Johnson, Mike Pratt as Det Sgt Peters.moreless
Yoko Tani

Yoko Tani


Guest Star

Mike Pratt

Mike Pratt

Detective Sergeant Peters

Guest Star

Ron Randell

Ron Randell


Guest Star

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Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

    • At the end of 'Variation' part one we see McGill shooting off his gun yet no smoke is seen coming from the pistols barrel. In 'Variation' part two when they recap on the important scenes from the previous episode, we see the same scene with McGill's pistol, but this time we see smoke coming from the barrel.

  • QUOTES (0)

  • NOTES (5)

    • The pre-recorded video of "Variation on a Million Bucks" was released by ITC in 1994 (Catalogue # 1575). It was reissued in 2000 by Carlton (Catalogue # 30074 20943). You can also find both episodes edited from a 16mm film and made into a feature length movie "To Chase A Million", released in the States only by SWV.

    • Arthur Howell (Harassed Man) can also be spotted in the episode "Man from the Dead", in the role of Moustache.

    • John Lee (Killer) appeared in two episodes. He played Insp. Glenn in "Why They Killed Nolan". In recent years he has worked in ten episodes of "Prisoner Cell Block H".

    • This episode and part two were syndicated when aired in the States and made into a TV movie entitled "To Chase a Million."

    • London locations - Tower Bridge E1, Royal Albert Hall SW7,
      Colville Place W1, Tottenham Court Rd W1, Charlotte St W1, Howland St W1, Goodge St W1, Piccadilly Circus W1, Torrington Place WC1, Theobald's Rd WC1.