Department S 1.12 – The Shift That Never Was

This story by Donald James begins with an amusing setup: every worker at a chemical plant, both on the floor and in the office, phones in sick for a day. Only two didn’t phone in: the secretary, who can’t be found, and the fellow who never, ever called in to miss a shift, who is found dead in the river. The setup is a fine start to an intriguing scheme, but I thought it was done without any sense of urgency or wit. Annabelle gets more to do in this story than most. Watched over by a thug played by Leslie Schofield, she is resourceful, cunning, and cool under pressure, and calmly uses psychology to get the upper hand. She’s the best part of this episode, which doesn’t happen often.

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