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Dangerous Knowledge (ITV Thriller, John Gregson, Patrick Allen)

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Dangerous Knowledge

In Dangerous Knowledge former army intelligence officer turned insurance salesman Bill Kirby (John Gregson) has uncovered a conspiracy of somekind whilst on business in France. Returning home he quickly finds he is being tailed and that the girl, Laura (Prunella Ransome), who helps him might very well not be who she says he is.

Her father, Foreign Office alumni Roger Fane (Patrick Allen) is clearly involved in whatever is going on. Soon Kirby has discovered that a Russian sleeper agent has a key post in the British government.

Often lumped in with the Armchair Thriller series Dangerous Knowledge actually aired two years before the first AT aired, it does have very much the same kind of feel and was sometimes billed as an Armchair Thriller when it was repeated or shown in different parts of the world.

It is a typically strong thriller though nicely cast with the likes of Patrick Allan, Ralph Bates and Prunella Ransome (who was something of a rising star when this was made) all having substantial parts. At the same time as penning this writer N.J. Crisp was also heavily involved in the final season of The Brothers.

This was the fab John Gregson’s last TV role and he died before it aired on television.

Cast: JOHN GREGSON as Bill Kirby; PATRICK ALLEN as Fane; PRUNELLA RANSOME as Laura; RUTH TROUNCER as Claire; RALPH BATES as Sanders; RICHARD CORNISH as Martin; ROBERT KEEGAN as Dr Vincent; DAVID GWILLIM as Robin; ELISABETH BERGNER as Madame Lafois; JEREMY WILKIN as Arnold

WRITER: N. J. Crisp | MUSIC: Christopher Gunning | EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: Lewis Rudd | PRODUCER and DIRECTOR: Alan Gibson

UK / ITV Network – Southern / 6×30 minute episodes / 19 May – 23 June 1976

THE EPISODES
1. COMPREHENSIVE COVER (19 May 1976)
Bill Kirby returns home from France with some Dangerous Knowledge and soon has a couple of agents on his tail. He uses a young woman, Laura, to help him get away.

2. A DEADLY POLICY (26 May 1976)
Roger Fane, a high ranking member of the British Foreign Office is keen for his daughter Laura to keep tabs on Kirby telling her that Kirby has information that could seriously undermine the government.

3. CLAUSE FOR CONCERN (2 June 1976)
A key French contact of Kirby’s is found shot dead, returning to France he discover the dead man had links to the KGB.

4. DEATH RISK (9 June 1976)
Kirby has discovered that someone in the British government is a possible KGB spy and begins talking to an American CIA agent but Kirby isn’t even sure if the agent is telling the truth. Agreeing to a secret rendezvous to pass over the information he ends up getting shot.

5. SURRENDER VALUE (16 June 1976)
Bill manages to get back to his ex-wife’s cottage to clean himself up, luckily it is just a flesh wound but at least he knows the CIA agent is a fake.

6. DIVIDENDS (23 June 1976)
Teaming up with Laura and his son Robin Kirby is determined to prove that one of Fane’s key advisors is a Russian agent, heading back to France his life is soon in very real danger.