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MAN IN A SUITCASE

man_in_a_suitcase_bk_tsc man_in_a_suitcase_mv_tcam man_in_a_suitcase_tv_mias
 
Full Name: 'Mac' McGill
Nationality: American
Organization: CIA
Occupation Agent

Creator: Dennis Spooner , Richard Harris
Time Span: 1967 - 1968

ABOUT THE SERIES

       'Mac' McGill is an agent with the CIA.
       Okay, 'was' is the more accurate tense but considering the kind of work he does now that he is no longer in the employ of the Agency, and because more than once he will rub elbows with his former colleagues, I will still label him as being sort of affiliated with Langley.
       The official connection was severed six years before we first meet him. Being accused of, at best, being incompetent on an assignment or, at worst, being a traitor does have a tendency to sour a relationship. Prior to the event in question, McGill was an experienced and appreciated operative for the CIA. Then came the trouble.
       A high level scientist named LeFarbe, working for the West, was rumored to be ready to defect to the East. McGill was about to snatch the man before he could cross over but McGill's handler, Harry Thyssen, ordered him to step back. Sure enough, LeFarbe makes it to the Soviets and is heralded. Thyssen then dies in a sailing accident leaving McGill to catch the blame for letting LeFarbe get away unstopped. Since the only one that could defend McGill was deep-sixed leaving no evidence of his innocence and since there was no direct proof that McGill had actually helped in the cross-over, the Agency gave McGill the boot.
       That left McGill with the need to earn a living. Since his bailiwick had been Europe, that is where he stayed to become more or less a private operative. The kind of work he got ran the gamut from investigation to protection to courier and often a combination. His successes kept him quite busy, so much so that he was constantly on the go, taking with him only his battered brown leather luggage, resulting in his being referred to as the Man in a Suitcase.
       We will learn soon enough that McGill had been set up as the fall-guy by his handler but when McGill gets the proof of his innocence, he finds that restitution of his good name would cost the Agency a very valuable double agent, McGill choose what is right over what is best for him. Which leaves him routinely packing up his small suitcase and heading to the next hired assignment.
       McGill is a man in his early 30's with thick blond hair. He is obviously in pretty good shape and would be described as handsome by most people. He is very low-key in most of his actions, neither getting too excited nor too unhappy or happy, steadfastly sticking to the middle ground unless really, really pushed.
       Note that McGill's first name is never mentioned. According to Wikipedia one episode shows him picking up his mail with a letter addressed to "R. McGill". I also saw one site give his first name as "John" though I have no idea of the source for that. Most people just use the nickname of "Mac".

BOOKS

Number of Books:1
First Appearance:1967
Last Appearance:1967

1 The Sleeping Cupid The Sleeping Cupid
Written by E. G. Whitney
Copyright: 1967

[plot unknown] - The blurb on the back of the book indicates it is an original McGill adevnture. A notation by Al Hubin in his excellent Crime Fiction IV lists it as a novelization though no episode has a name similar to this title.

MOVIES

Number of Movies:1
First Appearance:1967
Last Appearance:1967

1 To Chase A Million To Chase A Million
Director: Pat Jackson
Writer: Stanley R. Greenberg
Actor: Richard Bradford
Released: 1967

A re-edited compilation of the two-part episode Variation on a Million Bucks for a theatrical release.
A Russian spymaster named Max Stein defected to the West, taking $1 million with him and putting it in a bank in Lisbon. After he is shot and just before he dies, Stein tells McGill where the cash is. As McGill heads there, so do Russian and American agents wanting the money.

TELEVISION


Number of Episodes:30
First Appearance:1967
Last Appearance:1968
Network:ITV

REGULAR CAST
Richard Bradford'Mac' McGill [ 1 ]

       According to several sources I read, including Wikipedia, British network ITV wanted action content to replace Danger Man which had just ended with its star wanted to do something else. Certainly the popularity of that show was enough to show the audience was there for more. In order to increase the chances of selling the show in America, an American was needed to play the lead. Relatively new actor Richard Bradford was chosen (according to IMDB, he had acted in a movie with Marlon Brando as well as guest spots in to television shows only).


1 Brainwash
Episode 1-01, first aired 09/27/1967
Director: Charles Crichton
Writers: Francis Megahy, Bernie Cooper

McGill thought he was showing up for a new case but was in fact being captured to be brainwashed into confessing to be part of a coup attempt on behalf of the American government.

2 The Sitting Pigeon
Episode 1-02, first aired 10/04/1967
Director: Gerry O'Hara
Writer: Edmund Ward

Rufus is a junior member of a criminal brotherhood. He is planning on giving evidence against his brothers in a scheme to get control of the operations. McGill is given the job of being his bodyguard with the job of keeping alive for 24 hours.

3 Day of Execution
Episode 1-03, first aired 10/11/1967
Director: Charles Crichton
Writer: Phillip Broadley

When the driver of a passing car shouts out to McGill calling him by the name Mariocki and saying Mariocki was dead. McGill is ready to ignore it but then others also say the same thing as well as promising death will certainly come by midnight. McGill decides he had better look into it.

4 Variation on a Million Bucks, Part 1
Episode 1-04, first aired 10/18/1967
Director: Pat Jackson
Writer: Stanley R. Greenberg

Part 1 of 2: A Russian spymaster named Max Stein defected to the West, taking $1 million with him and putting it in a bank in Lisbon. After he is shot and just before he dies, Stein tells McGill where the cash is. As McGill heads there, so do Russian and American agents wanting the money.

5 Variation on a Million Bucks, Part 2
Episode 1-05, first aired 10/25/1967
Director: Robert Tronson
Writer: Stanley R. Greenberg

Part 2 of 2: Heading to Lisbon by sea, McGill is the target of a good number of people wanting the key to a safe deposit box he has holding stolen cash.

6 Man from the Dead
Episode 1-06, first aired 11/01/1967
Director: Pat Jackson
Writer: Stanley R. Greenberg

Rachel, McGill's former girl-friend, spots her father who said to have drowned years ago. That man had been McGill's boss in the CIA when McGill was made a scapegoat in a major defection. McGill wants to find him to help clear his name but others are after the man for other reason.

7 Sweet Sue
Episode 1-07, first aired 11/08/1967
Director: Robert Tronson
Writer: Phillip Broadley

A young woman named Sue has recently taken up with two men, both of whom her father is certain are only out for his money. McGill is hired to find the truth which he decides to do by beating them both at poker where they are cheating.

8 Essay in Evil
Episode 1-08, first aired 11/15/1967
Director: Freddie Francis
Writer: Kevin B. Laffan

McGill is hired by a man named Masters to be his bodyguard for a time to protect him from three fellow businessmen. What he neglects to tell McGill is he has been blackmailing at least one of them. When McGill decides the case was too convoluted and elects to withdraw, he learns the others think it is a little too late for that.

9 The Girl Who Never Was
Episode 1-09, first aired 11/22/1967
Director: Robert Tronson
Writer: Donald Jonson

A successful art dealer wants to find a WWII soldier named Foley who is thought to know where a missing Botticelli is located. McGill is hired to hunt him or it down.

10 All That Glitters
Episode 1-10, first aired 11/29/1967
Director: Herbert Wise
Writer: Stanley R. Greenberg

McGill is sent to the Cotswold looking for a young boy kidnapped by locals there. The boy is the illegitimate some of an up-and-coming politician.

11 Dead Man's Shoes
Episode 1-11, first aired 12/06/1967
Director: Peter Duffell
Writer: Edmund Ward

After an agent named Gilsen found out about a drug racket but is certain his life is in danger because of it so he goes into hiding. McGill is hired until false pretenses to locate him.

12 Find the Lady
Episode 1-12, first aired 12/13/1967
Director: Robert Tronson
Writer: Phillip Broadley

In Rome, McGill is in the area where a set of jewels are stolen by a master thief named Guilio. McGill's friend and informant, Mori, knows where the jewels are and goes after them, his attempt ending with them in McGill's hand but Mori dead. Guilio decides to kidnap a friend of McGill to get them back.

13 The Bridge
Episode 1-13, first aired 12/20/1967
Director: Pat Jackson
Writer: Robert Muller

McGill is on hand to stop a rich man's son, Tim, from leaping from a bridge into the Thames. The reason for the suicide attempt is confusing and involves a young woman. McGill is offered a case but is not sure he wants it.

14 The Man Who Stood Still
Episode 1-14, first aired 12/27/1967
Director: Peter Duffell
Writer: Raymond Bowers

When former Spanish Civil War activist Gomez is released from prison, he hires McGill to locate a man named Palma who was responsible for Gomez's arrest. McGill finds being in the middle of a feud is not a good place, or safe place, to be.

15 Burden of Proof
Episode 1-15, first aired 01/03/1968
Director: Peter Duffell

A South American diplomat is in England on the run from being suspected of stealing a lot of his country's money. He hires McGill to help him prove his innocence but there are some who would rather he die first.

16 The Whisper
Episode 1-16, first aired 01/10/1968
Director: Charles Crichton
Writer: Morris Farhi

McGill is asked by a priest to help his parishioners in a dispute with a crooked plantation owner who is cheating his workers and beating them when they complain.

17 Why They Killed Nolan
Episode 1-17, first aired 01/17/1968
Director: Charles Crichton
Writer: Donald Jonson

A private eye that is an old friend of McGill has been shadowing the husband of his client. He grows certain he knows the man from long ago. When he is shot at, the friend tells McGill his suspicions. When the friend is killed, McGill wants justice.

18 The Boston Square
Episode 1-18, first aired 01/24/1968
Director: Don Chaffey
Writer: Wilfred Greatorex

McGill is hired to head to Greece to track down an oceanographer who is suspected of stealing plans for a method of commercial sea farming. Catching up with the man, McGill learns the real purpose of the lam was to find and destroy a secret Soviet submarine base. McGill agrees to help.

19 Somebody Loses, Somebody...Wins?
Episode 1-19, first aired 01/31/1968
Director: John Glen
Writer: Jan Read

An old girl friend of McGill, British agent Ruth, has pretended to defect to the East. To test her loyalty, they insist she use McGill to find a missing German who turns out to be a member of a neo-Nazi group. Things get very confusing and dangerous after that.

20 Blind Spot
Episode 1-20, first aired 02/07/1968
Director: Jeremy Summers
Writer: Victor Canning

McGill decides to answer an advertisement by a blind French girl seeking help finding the ones who killed her adopted mother. He is surprised to be warned off the case by her uncle and by the local police. He is told that the parties the girl has been hosting for other blind people is being used by a drug smuggling group.

21 No Friend of Mine
Episode 1-21, first aired 02/14/1968
Director: Charles Crichton
Writer: John Stanton

Garfield Cameron owns a mining company in the African nation of Kalunga. He backs the politician Masuto who is pushing for independence. His son-in-law want to stop it and he is using sabotage at the mines blaming Masuto. Cameron asks McCill to find the true saboteurs but McGill has to work in a country in turmoil.

22 Jigsaw Man
Episode 1-22, first aired 02/21/1968
Director: Charles Frend
Writers: Stanley R. Greenberg, Reed De Rouen

McGill is in Italy hired by a wealthy Count Ugo to find the Count's missing brother, Silvio. The latter is coming of age and due to inherit a large fortune but he must sign a document. When McGill locates the man in London, Silvio refuses to sign anything but the Count has henchmen following McGill to force things.

23 Web with Four Spiders
Episode 1-23, first aired 02/28/1968
Director: Robert Tronson
Writer: Edmund Ward

A lawyer on an advisory committee concerning space travel is being blackmailed by a rival who set up a sting operation with a prostitute. McGill is asked to help but soon McGill finds it is not really a rival but government agents.

24 Which Way Did He Go, McGill?
Episode 1-24, first aired 03/06/1968
Director: Freddie Francis
Writers: Francis Megahy, Bernie Cooper

Five years before a major gold bullion heist resulted in the gold going missing with only one of the crooks going to prison. Now that man is out and wanting not only his share but also revenge on the other team members. McGill is asked by the police to find all.

25 Property of a Gentleman
Episode 1-25, first aired 03/13/1968
Director: Peter Duffell
Writer: Wilfred Greatorex

The case for McGill was simple sounding - find out why his client, a young woman, is being refused to be seen by her aging, dying father. McGill will find that nothing is what it seems in the mansion of the man.

26 The Revolutionaries
Episode 1-26, first aired 03/20/1968
Director: Peter Duffell
Writers: Jan Read , Kevin B. Laffan

A professor living in Sweden in exile from his homeland has written a memoir in which he claims that the president of his country had been murdered by the man now running things. McGill is hired to protect the writer during his journey to London.

27 Who's Mad Now?
Episode 1-27, first aired 03/27/1968
Director: Freddie Francis
Writer: Roger Parkes

Another old girlfriend of McGill is certain that she is being stalked by a strange woman. Her current husband tries to convince her she is imagining things but McGill finds reason to believe her.

28 Three Blinks of the Eyes
Episode 1-28, first aired 04/03/1968
Director: Charles Crichton
Writer: Vincent Tilsley

McGill is hired by a woman to follow her husband to see if he is having an affair. When he provides the proof, McGill is asked to go to the mistress and offer to buy her off but when he arrives at the young woman's apartment, she has been murdered and he is set up to take the fall.

29 Castle in the Clouds
Episode 1-29, first aired 04/10/1968
Director: Peter Duffell
Writer: Jan Read

A senior British government official has been having a dalliance with a young woman while his wife has been out of the country. When he tries to end things with her upon hearing of his wife's return, she in anger absconds with a valuable diamond brooch belonging to the wife. McGill is hired to get it back.

30 Night Flight to Andorra
Episode 1-30, first aired 04/17/1968
Director: Freddie Francis
Writers: Jan Read, Reed De Rouen

McGill has something up his sleeve when he hires a gang of burglars to help him break into a fortress in the Pyrenees and steal an art collection. When a young tourist accidentally interrupt the heist, his teammates want to kill her but McGill will not allow it, resulting in much trouble.

MY COMMENTS

       Okay, I am confused by the preposition 'in' versus the more accurate 'with'. Pedantic, I will admit, but 'in a suitcase' sounds like he is a ventriloquist dummy. Granted, 'with a suitcase' give you a kind of 'so what?"
       These are really enjoyable adventures filled with suspense and action and really good bad guys and lots of beautiful women to either please or plague or both the hero.
       The actor, Richard Bradford, comes across as a bit too laissez-faire at times. It's like it is too much effort to get really mad at the guy who just knocked him out and too much to be really interested when a gorgeous lady throws herself into his arms. But that is my only objection.
       The show, IMO, was never given much of a chance in the States and only made 30 episodes in England. Pity.

GRADE

My Grade: B

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