Department S 1.9 – Black Out

Easily the best of the four episodes written by Philip Broadley that we have seen so far, “Black Out” had our kid completely thrilled. At one point, there’s a fast cut between Stewart getting his gun ready and the baddies’ henchman doing the same and he said “wow!” During the countdown at the end, he was about ready to pop like a cork.

It has a great opening hook, too. A man is found in a Mexican desert with no memory of how he got there. He tells the local policeman, played by Paul Stassino, that he’s a chef and food critic and that the last thing he remembers was going to see an opera in Covent Garden three days ago. Some villains are using a memory-wiping drug, but why the heck do they target this guy and drop him on the other side of the planet? Stassino’s only in this one for a small scene, but Neil Hallett and Sue Lloyd play the villains, with Stuart Damon doing some uncredited voiceover work as an American broadcaster reporting from Cape Kennedy.

Interestingly, Stewart is walking with a limp in this episode and is using a cane in most of his scenes. Evidently Joel Fabiani injured himself, but there aren’t any deep-dive Department S blogs out there packed full of production minutiae, like the indispensable Randall and Hopkirk (Declassified), to satisfy my curiosity as to what happened!

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