1 9 6 5 (UK)
6 x 25 minute episodes
Buying a ticket for an evening train from Waterloo to Surbiton is not usually synonymous with being handed a passport to adventure, but it turns out that way for two city gentlemen, Guy Bretherton (Nicholas Parsons) and Matthew Pilbeam (Peter Jones).
Slightly merry after a few drinks, they take the 8.20 one Friday evening and settle back in their compartment to contemplate a weekend of comfortable leisure. Guy, who is single and in his late 30s, is the managing director of a shipping company, and he is going to stay with Matthew, who is a member of Lloyd’s and happily married.
As the two friends gather up their umbrellas and briefcases at Surbiton, one of the occupants of their compartment topples over and lies motionless on his side. They rush off to find a railway official, but when they return to the compartment with a guard the body has gone and they are indignantly chastised for playing childish pranks.
They have no better luck with Matthew’s wife, Hester (Eleanor Summerfield) when they arrive home for dinner.
But then Guy discovers he has absent-mindedly picked up the other man’s briefcase and it has a local address in it for a man called Martinez. So the two drive over and gradually become involved in a deepening mystery in which not only their own lives but the very survival of mankind are in danger.
The six-episode serial was the work of scriptwriter John Chapman, who also wrote Hugh and I.
John G. Heller