After the assassination of a top British government undercover agent, Scotland Yard decides to infiltrate the ranks of the anti-nuclear activist group responsible (the People’s Lobby) with a highly-trained member of the SAS (Special Air Service), Captain Peter Skellen (Lewis Collins), whose job it is to smash any future plans of the group.
But first, they must establish his credibility as a traitor, which they do by setting up a brutal skirmish between Skellen and a fellow SAS officer, resulting in Skellen’s court-martial and dismissal.
Skellen contacts the terrorist group’s ruthless rich-girl leader, American Frankie Leith (Judy Davis), and offers his services. Despite feelings of suspicion from her colleagues, she recognises in him a powerful ally who can provide valuable insight into the minds of the opposition.
However, she is not a complete fool. To ensure his loyalty to the cause she orders his wife and baby daughter be taken prisoner and – if Skellen does not keep his side of the bargain – disposed of.
The group storms an American Embassy residence in London and hold the US Secretary of State (Richard Widmark) and the Chief of the Strategic Air Command (Robert Webber) hostage while they demand the bombing of a US submarine base in Scotland.
Scotland Yard, the SAS, and Skellen, in particular, are faced with an awesome dilemma, the resolution to which is grippingly unfurled in a tale of lip-biting tension.
Collins, managing to look stern-faced throughout, lives up to his tough-guy image in his starring film debut in this British action movie that was inspired by the 1980 storming of the Iranian Embassy in London by the SAS.
Despite the presence of veterans Widmark and Davis, though, it’s not much more than a glamorised episode of TV series The Professionals, which at least had some wit and spark in the person of Gordon Jackson.
Captain Peter Skellen
Secretary of State Curry
General Ira Potter