I initially selected “Day of Execution” a couple of months ago because of its superb guest cast, including Donald Sutherland and Rosemary Nicols as two of McGill’s friends, Robert Urquhart as a contact at a local newspaper, and, toward the end, T.P. McKenna as somebody who keeps sending McGill death threats but calling him “Mariocki” for some reason. Last week, I double-checked the five I’d picked to show our son, and noticed that Philip Broadley wrote this one. We’ve mentioned this writer several times here at the blog, most recently two weeks ago, and I started really looking forward to this. Man in a Suitcase seems to be exactly the right series where Broadley would excel.
Boy, did he ever. This episode is terrific. I’d watched maybe eight or nine episodes from Network’s DVD set when I got it about three years ago and other things got in the way, and never realized that McGill had a real place to live in London. Or maybe just for this one installment he does. He has a nice two-story apartment with a curious little half-kitchen partway up the stairs and regular dry cleaning service.
An old college buddy is in town, and he’s been romancing an attractive girlfriend. The rules of the economy of speaking parts tells us that at least one of them is in on these mistaken identity death threats, but this story keeps the audience guessing who, how, and why for a really long time, sustaining the tension beautifully through some location filming at Heathrow Airport and a cracking nighttime car chase. Our son said that for the most part he enjoyed it, but he also felt it was a little slow to him. So maybe it didn’t sustain itself quite as well in his corner, but I thought it was excellent.