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Summary

Dinsdale Landen stars in this gripping vintage 1970's crime drama about a retired hitman tempted by one last job.

Sick of the spying business, professional assassin Art Gordo decides to quit the Secret Service - but his old life won't leave him alone.

It's Christmas, three months after his retirement, and Gordo is visited by an old colleague with a proposition. A senior MI7 agent has been selling secrets to the opposition and needs to be eliminated - and the job can't be traced back to the Department. What's more, the task must be completed within the next five days. Clarke's offering big money - but despite the temptation, Art turns him down. Only someone won't take 'no' for an answer.

Hunted by a mysterious nemesis who'll stop at nothing - including murder - to get their way, Gordo finds himself caught in a deadly game of deception, double-cross and betrayal. To stay alive, he must find out the truth about his shadowy target and re-enter a world he thought he'd left behind. A world with only one rule: kill or be killed.... 

Originally produced in the 1970s, this twisty, fast-moving suspense thriller stars Dinsdale Landen as Art Gordo and Frances Jeater as Louise.

Production credits

Adapted from his own novel by Jim Eldridge

Produced by John Fawcett Wilson

Cast

Art Gordo - Dinsdale Landen

Clarke - Manning Wilson

Louise Lenehan - Frances Jeater

Ben/Roberts/Man on phone - Jon Croft

Joe/Ferguson - Peter Craze

Charles Allweather - Glyn Owen

Paul Le Clerk - Donald Gee

Sally Le Clerk - Joanna Wake

Leon Young - Basil Henson

Francis/Forbes - Douglas Blackwell

Parsons - Terrence Hardiman

Hotel porter - Frank Coda

First broadcast on BBC World Service, 3-31 May 1976

©2021 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd (P)2021 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd

What listeners say about Down Payment on Death

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Excellent BBC spy thriller. Dinsdale Landen is great in the title role. Would highly recommend

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Down payment on death

Down Payment on Death, is a fast paced thriller from the 1970s. The action quickly moves from location to location, and the dialogue is concise and efficient. The actual storyline is good if a little meagre in content. Good performances by the cast are let down by production, with overly long 70s music in-between each episode.
Nevertheless, there is an action packed and thrilling ending.