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Tightrope (UK)

All Episodes

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  • Ended
  • 30 mins
  • United Kingdom
  • English
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Timeslip star Spencer Banks, John Savident (Coronation Street) and future BAFTA-winning producer and director David Munro star in a tense thriller for young viewers which brilliantly captures the paranoia of the Cold War. Created and written by Victor Pemberton, whose previous writing credits included Dr Who and Ace of Wands, Tightrope was first screened in 1972. All thirteen half-hour episodes have been transferred from the available film elements specifically for this release. Martin Clifford lives in a quiet English village and is busy studying for his 'A' levels when he suddenly finds himself at the centre of a dangerous international espionage plot. Beneath the outwardly calm surface of Redlow lies an intricate network of spies and counterspies, with the focus of attention the USAF base nearby - soon to become the communications centre for top-secret NATO exercises. Martin, commissioned by British Intelligence to help uncover enemy agents in the village, finds his life balanced precariously on a tightrope; one false move on either side, and he could fall to his death.
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13 episodes

1x01

  • Series Premiere

    no air date — 30 mins

After being knocked off his bike, Martin Clifford arrives at school late but unhurt. He is just in time for a television broadcast, which is suddenly interrupted by a voice urging students to question what purpose their school serves. Martin is later confronted by Forrester, the driver of the car that struck him, whop tells him that someone at the school is a traitor...

1x02

  • no air date — 30 mins

Martin examines the television to try to find the source of the broadcasts, but his search is interrupted by chemistry teacher Jane Walker. Having dismissed him, she copies a chemical equation onto the blackboard. The mystery deepens as Martin and Spud develop photographs taken days earlier, and a previously unseen figure emerges in the background of each picture.

1x03

  • no air date — 30 mins

Martin wakes to find himself in a four-poster bed in a huge baronial hall, and Forrester explains that he shot him with a tranquillizer gun. As Martin's father and Spud anxiously try to trace him, Forrester explains that 'The Voice of Truth' is the work of enemy agents. He equips Martin with a spy kit, and instructs him to fail his approaching 'A' levels.

1x04

  • no air date — 30 mins

Martin and Spud examine the slides, and see various people hidden at the end of the runway at the air base - among them Elliot and Ron Desmond, landlord at the Red Lion. Elliot tells Jane how he came to be in Britain, and the following morning, as Forrester questions his father, Martin makes an important discovery in the pigeon loft.

1x05

  • no air date — 30 mins

At the air base, Martin hides and is suprised to be joined by Forrester, who later tells him that his father is suspected of attempting to sabotage four fighter aircraft. Jane Walker's role becomes increasingly clear, and Martin locates the source of 'The Voice of Truth'.

1x06

  • no air date — 30 mins

Martin is interrogated by Harvey and Desmond, who tell him they are British intelligence agents - and have never heard of Forrester. While Jessie and Forrester attempt to decode the chemical equation, Jane blackmails Elliot. She tells him that no harm will come to his family if he co-operates, and orders him to trail Martin.

1x07

  • no air date — 30 mins

Martin, left lying in the road after jumping clear of the speeding car, is helped up by his father, who reveals exactly why he was beaten up. On the last day of the school term, Martin learns to his horror that next term will bring a new headmaster: Forrester!

1x08

  • no air date — 30 mins

Martin demands an explanation from Forrester. Clifford and Jessie come face-to-face with the two pursuers, while Jane is dismayed to find a group of guides and scouts camping on land at her farm, from where she is sending coded messages. Martin is sent to investigate further...

1x09

  • no air date — 30 mins

Martin is introduced to his young bodyguards, while Harvey, tricked into a farewell drink with Jane, now lies unconscious as she continues to communicate with 'The Voice'. Forrester convinced Harvey and Jane are working for the Russians, instructs Martin to search Harvey's home; it proves a highly dangerous assignment.

1x10

  • no air date — 30 mins

Sikowski regains consciousness at Harvey's home, and gives Martin his wallet. Martin overhears Jane, now known to be a Russian agent, tell Elliot she has another job for him: locating Forrester. Martin rushes to the shop, where he alerts Forrester, and they examine the wallet. It contains Pentothal - the truth serum.

1x11

  • no air date — 30 mins

The captive Martin overpowers his guards at Jane's house, but senses he is being watched from behind a two-way mirror as he searches her home; he suspects there is a room behind it. When the phone rings, he answers it to hear a voice he recognises as Desmond's. Has he identified the double agent?

1x12

  • no air date — 30 mins

Harvey, suffering from amnesia, visits Jane once more, and is disturbed to find the room changed and the mirror gone. Fletcher senses that Martin deliberately failed his exams, and asks Clifford who might have instructed him to fail, while Forrester returns to search Jane's chemistry room. She is prepared for him.

1x13

  • no air date — 30 mins

Aboard the Russian trawler, Forrester suddenly realises that Jane is the infamous Major Sverdlow. On their return to Redlow, he and Martin discover that Desmond has been caught; on searching Jane's home, police find a tape recording of 'The Voice'. It seems Martin is finally to discover who is behind the broadcasts.

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