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Steed and Ms. King in TV Comic: Story Seven


Story Seven
Issues: 914 to 920, June 21st to August 2nd 1969.

Part One - Issue 914, June 21st 1969:
In the small silent hours of the morning a large lorry, with a heavy police escort, rumbles slowly through the deserted streets of the City of London.

Written by unknown, drawn by John Canning.

In the early hours of the morning, a large lorry with a heavy police escort moves slowly through central London. The convoy moves into a heavy mist and the police begin to collapse one by one. Above the mist, in a crane, an unseen villain congratulates himself on the success of his gas and orders his men to transfer the (covered) load.

By ten a.m. the alarm has been raised and Steed and Tara have been summoned to meet Mother in a laboratory. They are aware that it is something to do with the hi-jack of ‘something pretty vital’ from the lorry. Mother tells them that they are going to see a demonstration of Professor Blohammer’s incredible invention.

In the East End of London, there's doings afoot.  TV Comic #915Part Two - Issue 915, June 28th 1969:
IN the early morning while London still sleeps peacefully, a lorry, heavily escorted by police, is ambushed by ruthless criminals and its load stolen.  Later Steed learns that the load was of vital importance, and is summoned by Mother to a Government laboratory, where a Professor Blohammer is to demonstrate an incredible invention...

Written by unknown, drawn by John Canning.

Professor Blohammer produces a model of the Mk. IV Mole, a robot boring machine which uses laser-light rays to tunnel through any substance at fantastic speed. He shows how easily even the model version drills right through a block of solid granite. Mother tells Steed and Tara that the full-sized working model was stolen that morning and that he wants the pair to find it.

Later, back in Steed’s flat, Steed is stacking matchsticks to help him concentrate. Tara is getting frustrated at their inaction when Steed has the idea that they should cast their net widely for a lead. They are to start at Scotland Yard. In the meantime, a hooded figure is holding a meeting in a cellar in the East End of London. He gloats to his compatriots that tomorrow the world will be shaken by news of the greatest robbery in criminal history.

Part Three - Issue 916, July 5th 1969:
THE Mk. IV Mole, a boring machine that uses laser-light to tunnel at fantastic speed, has been stolen by a gang of ruthless criminals who plan to use it for the greatest robbery in the annals of crime.  Desperately anxious to discover any lead to the gang's intent, Steed and Tara King visit Scotland Yard...

Written by unknown, drawn by John Canning.

Steed and Tara are visiting Scotland Yard to try to pick up any leads regarding the theft of the Mk. IV Mole. An Inspector tells them that the only suspicious activity which took place the night of the theft was when a night watchman fell from the window of an office block down near the Thames for no apparent reason. It seems to be an extremely long shot, but they decide to investigate the office block.

Inside, they look from the window he fell from to see if he had been watching the Mk. IV Mole being take somewhere. Opposite is a disused Underground station. It seems to be the obvious place to investigate. Steed uses a skeleton key on the lock, and they descend into the darkened station. Steed points out that the goods lift has been used very recently as there is fresh grease on it. In the shadows, a thuggish-looking figure watches on.

Part Four - Issue 917, July 7th 1969:
THE Mk. IV Mole, a boring machine that uses laser-light to tunnel at a fantastic speed, has been stolen by a gang of ruthless criminals who intend to use it for the greatest robbery of all time.  Following a slender lead, Steed and Tara King arrive at a disused underground station in London close to the River Thames.  There Steed finds that a goods lift has been recently used... but unknown to them a figure watches from the shadows.

Written by unknown, drawn by John Canning.

They peer down a long escalator and spy a light shining. They sneak down for a closer peek, not realising that the man in the shadows has used his radio to alert somebody. At the bottom of the escalator Steed and Tara find the Mk. IV Mole, but they also find the hooded man and his gang. They grab Steed and Tara and begin to tie them up. The man gloats that as they have no chance of escape he will tell them of his plan. He is going to use the Mk. IV Mole to tunnel under the Tower of London and steal the Crown Jewels. Steed and Tara are placed in a stock-room with an open canister of anaesthetic vapour. The vapour begins to slowly rise.

The Swine!! TV Comic #918Part Five - Issue 918, July 19th 1969:
A GANG of criminals have stolen the Mk IV Mole boring machine that tunnels at fantastic speed.  With it they are driving a tunnel from a disused London underground station to the Tower of London, where they plan to commit the greatest robbery in history by stealing the Crown Jewels.  Steed and Tara catch up with them but are caught and imprisoned in an old store-room where anaesthetic vapour, used by the gang, threatens to render them unconscious...

Written by unknown, drawn by John Canning.

Steed struggles with a drum of oil, aided by Tara, he knocks it open and covers the rope bonds round his hands in oil. He slips out of the rope and frees Tara. As he knew the gang could use gas he has kept two respirators in his bowler. He and Tara put the respirators on and decide to split up. Tara is to deal with the guard at the top of the escalator and then raise the alarm. Steed is heading off to deal with the gang.

In the meantime, the criminals have completed their tunnel right through to the jewel house where the collection is housed. They don respirators and send anaesthetic vapour through the drainage systems of the tower. By the main gate, the ancient ceremony of the Keys is disrupted as the guards all collapse. In the jewel house, the hooded man has succeeded – he places the royal crown onto his head and declares that now he is The King of the Underworld.

Part Six - Issue 919, July 26th 1969:
USING a fantastic boring machine, a desperate gang of criminals have drilled a tunnel beneath the Tower of London and up into the Jewel House.  With the Tower garrison knocked out by anaesthetic vapour, nothing prevents the gang leader seizing the crown jewels... Meanwhile, Steed and Tara, who had been captured, have escaped.  Tara has gone to raise the alarm, while Steed follows through the tunnel to the jewel house...

Written by unknown, drawn by John Canning.

Steed reaches the end of the tunnel cut by the Mk. Mole IV to the exit of the Tower. The gang are beginning to split up. As he is disguised by the respirator he starts to lure the crooks into the armoury. Inside, the crooks, without the hooded man realise that they have been duped. One recognises Steed as the man from the underground. He knocks a full set of armour for horse and rider onto them and dashes out, barring the door. He sees the hooded man exiting by Traitors’ Gate, double-crossing the other members of the gang. Down on the Thames he has a getaway plane waiting for him. As Steed gets nearer, the hooded man pulls out a gun and warns the agent to stay back.

Part Seven - Issue 920, August 2nd 1969
John Steed and Tara King are battling to prevent criminals from escaping with the Crown Jewels which have been stolen from the Tower.  While Tara goes for help, Steed manages to lock the gang in the armoury.  The gang leader is still free having escaped from the Tower.  Steed arrives as the villain is making his getaway in a seaplane...

Written by unknown, drawn by John Canning.

Steed makes a two-footed lunge at the man and knocks him inside the seaplane. The pilot panics and starts take off. Steed, now in control of the gun, orders him to stop on the Thames. Tara is out on the Thames with the River Police and they pull up to the side of the seaplane. The door opens and Steed pops out wearing the crown. The next day as Steed drives Tara through central London she is pleased that nobody knows that the Crown Jewels were nearly stolen. Not quite true insists Steed. There is somebody who wants to thank them personally. They drive down the Mall towards Buckingham Palace.

Steed and Tara have an appointment with a mystery fan.  TV Comic #920

Back to Tara King era TV Comic Index (1-10) on to story number eight