SPOILER ALERT -- This summary describes the events of Season
Five. If you read it before you've read the episodes themselves, it may give
some things away.
Season Five: The Story (Episodes 201-250)
On a warm sumer night on Lifou Island in the New Hebrides, Clement and his
henchmen sneak aboard an ancient French airship, the AT-38, intending to
steal her for the British Union. Like many ships of her vintage, she's a
copy of the German S Class -- a design that dates back to the War. A short
time later, they find themselves standing on the mast as the vessel
disappears into the darkness, stolen from them by some unknown party. The
Englishmen are annoyed. The gendarmes are amused.
At Cairns Royal Air Station, Everett and Michaelson wonder about the
mysterious Karlov, who may hold the secret of the process by which
uraninite was `concentrated' for use in the innocuously-named `Device'
that obliterated the island of Ujelang. This Karlov has a strange way of
appearing and disappearing without notice. They have just resolved to look
for the man when they learn that the Admiralty has sent a flag officer, one
Commodore Clark, aboard the Cottswold, His Majesty's Airship
R-382, to take over the investigation of the Ujelang Event. The two rivals
greet this development with apprehension.
Their apprehensions prove justified. Clark takes charge in heavy-handed
fashion, ignoring their plans, advice, and the dictates of common sense.
His expedition to the abandoned Russian lab where the Device was built
proves a waste of time, though it does give Everett a chance to leave his
crewman Fleming in Darwin to conduct inquiries. At the laboratory, they
find an old friend, Captain Ray of the Tranquility, stripping the
place for salvage. Unbeknown to them, Ray is working for Karlov. After
they return to Cairns, the Commodore takes Everett's exec, MacKiernan,
and Michaelson's secretary, Miss Perkins, aboard the Cottswold
and charges off to the Dutch East Indies on the long-cold trail of German
nationalists who hijacked an S Class packet, the L-137, the previous August.
Meanwhile, Everett is to take the Flying Cloud and search for the
missing French airship.
These maneuvers leave Fleming stranded in Cairns. Assuming that Captain
Everett will investigate the second abandoned Russian lab on Oa Ki, the
young Aussie boards a local gunboat, the Thunderbird, and heads to
the atoll in an effort to anticipate him. Before he leaves, he asks two
friends, Clarice and Emily, to carry word of his plans to Cairns. It is
well he that he does, for as it nears its destination, the
Thunderbird is torpedoed by Mister Fuller, the British Union's
errant technophile, who was lying in wait in his steam-powered submarine.
The torpedo does not prove as effective as its creator might have hoped,
but the mild explosion is still sufficient to knock Fleming overboard.
He is rescued by Fuller, who fails to recognize him as one of Everett's
crewmen. For some reason, the British Union leader does not identify
himself or his boat, and poses as 'Captain Omen', commander of the
Sulituan. Going along with the game, Fleming claims to be
`Starbuck', a lowly seaman in the Commonwealth Naval Reserve. Fuller
questions him about the Thunderbird's mission, but Fleming is able
to convince the man he knows nothing.
On the obscure island of Aneityum, in a forgotten corner of the New
Hebrides, an American gangster, Marty, and his boys admire the airship
they've just stolen from Clement and his would-be hijackers. She'll be
perfect for running booze past the Feds! But first she needs an overhaul
and a false American registration. Their host, a taciturn Russian exile
named Vlad who worked as a bookseller in Geneva during the War, offers to
provide these if they'll do a bit of extortion for him. The job goes so
smoothly that the gangsters decide to linger in the Pacific for more easy
pickings. Their ship is now registered as the N-109, and their next job
will be a bank robbery.
On another obscure island, the Fat Man, leader of the German nationalists,
orders his lieutenant Ernst to take the L-137 in search of Karlov. To
keep this mission secret, they'll use a false American registration...
In Cairns, Michaelson interviews Clement and his henchmen, concludes that
they're pawns of some unknown player, and releases them to see who might
take an interest in them. Once free, the Englishmen set out to determine
who stole the AT-38 from under their noses. This quest takes them to
Rabaul, where they learn that an old S Class ship with an American
registration, N-109, was here ahead of them. Leaping to the conclusion
that this their quarry, they set off in pursuit.
Clarice and Emily make their way to Cairns, where they inform Everett of
Fleming's plans. The captain resolves to take the Flying Cloud to
Darwin, from which he can nip across to Oa Ki to recover his missing crewman.
They arrive to find the Thunderbird in drydock with a hole in her
bow. It doesn't take them long to determine who the attacker must have been
and guess that Fleming is now his prisoner, but before they can act on this
knowledge, they receive orders from Michaelson to proceed to Rabaul to
investigate an airship registered as the N-109 that might have been the
On the Cottswold, Clark sets out to investigate Kupang, followed by
Port Moresby. His inquiries seem naive and his movements pointless, but
MacKiernan has begun to wonder if the Commodore's apparent cluelessness is
but a pose. Perhaps the man is hiding some deeper purpose. He also wonders
about Miss Perkins, who has served as Michaelson's agent in the past. She
is almost certainly here on some mission, but what could this be, and what
are her feelings for him? For that matter, what are his feelings for her?
As he's trying to decide, they learn that the bank in Port Vila was robbed
by gangsters who fled aboard an airship. In a somewhat innacurrate exercise
of ingenuity, Clark concludes this vessel might have been the L-137
registered as the N-109.
Back in Cairns, Michaelson's aide, Phelps, has begun to wonder about reports
they've received of vessels with this registration number. These seem to
place the ship at two widely separated locations on the same day. He asks
Michaelson if two entirely different ships could be involved and why his
superior didn't mention this to Clark and Everett. "They're busy men,"
Michaelson replies. "We would not want to burden them with unnecessary
On their `N-109', Marty and his boys have returned to Aneityum after the
bank heist. Vlad offers them one more job: looking for Karlov. They accept
this gladly, lured by the Russian's generous offer of payment. They fly to
Guadalcanal to pick up Vlad's associate, an exiled White Russian aristocrat
who goes by the name of `Anna', then set course for Hollandia to sign on
Fuller maroons Fleming on a small volcanic island in the Banda Sea. The
Aussie is rescued by Captain Ray and the Tranquility, who happened
by for reasons they don't care to explain. They carry him to Hollandia,
where he disembarks in search of an airship that can take him back to
Cairns. To his surprise, he happens upon Marty and the AT-38, looking for
hands. This seems to good an opportunity to miss, so he signs articles
under the alias Starbuck.
Following Michaelson's orders, Everett and his men travel to Rabaul, where
they discover that this `N-109' was the Fat Man's people aboard the
L-137. Jenkins acquires copies of weather forecasts the nationalists
purchased before their departure. Meanwhile, Loris braves the attentions of
a terrifying laundress to obtain some items the Germans left behind. This
evidence suggests the nationalists are bound for Java. Everett concludes
they mean to kidnap the Countess Zelle, an acquaintance of his from the
War, to learn what she knows of Karlov. He rushes to her defense, and
manages to get there first when his adversaries are forced to divert to
Hollandia for repairs. Forewarned, the countess is able to disable the
Germans' marines using a resource she has employed for similar purposes in
the past. Under interrogation, they reveal that Karlov may be on the
island of Gilolo in the Moluccas.
As Everett has been pursuing the Fat Man's ship, Clark and his men have
followed Marty's vessel, first to Guadalcanal, then to Hollandia. They
learn that an `N-109' called there twice, first to sign on crew, then for
repairs to an engine. MacKiernan and Miss Perkins realize immediately that
two vessels must be involved, but Clark seems oblivious to this possibility.
Forgotten by almost everyone except themselves, Clement and his
henchmen from the British Union reach Hollandia after the airships have
departed. There they encounter Fuller, who dismisses them as dilettantes.
Incensed, they learn that he's bound for Gilolo and resolve to pursue him.
In the Moluccas, Marty and his boys call at Ternate to resupply before they
search for Karlov. While they're in port, Fleming rescues Nettie from a
pair of thugs. She thanks him by name, making it clear she knows he's one
of Everett's crewmen, but doesn't reveal his identity to Marty. The
gangsters, impressed by the Aussie's actions, accept him as one of their
Following Vlad's directions, Marty and his boys intercept the ship Karlov is
supposed to be taking to Gilolo. This turns out to be none other than the
Tranquility. But Karlov is no longer aboard, having disembarked in
the village of Galela. While the gangsters are deciding on their next move,
Nettie uses the threat of exposure to force Fleming to break into Anna's
cabin and copy some of her papers. Anna accuses Vlad of the deed and both
Russians grow suspicious of the gangsters. Fleming wonders if this was
Nettie's plan all along. He also wonders who she really is -- clearly
she's something more than the empty-headed moll she's pretending to be.
Clark calls at Ternate, where two thugs attack MacKiernan and Miss Perkins.
They're rescued by the Commodore's aide, Aitkins, who produces a flare gun
and takes the men prisoner. The thugs reveal that they attacked a couple
from a previous airship a few days before. Clark announces that this was
the `N-109', bound for Gilolo. MacKiernan and Miss Perkins conclude that
has contacts of which they were unaware, and is playing a deeper game
than they realized.
Everett reaches Ternate a few days later, and learns that an `N-109' and
the Cottswold has preceeded him. He resolves to follow. Now
everyone is bound for Gililo.
Fuller reaches the island first, at the village of Saketa to the southwest,
and waits for word from his contacts. He recognizes that his submarine is
no match for an airship and has no intention of risking an engagement.
The L-137 calls at the Lutheran Mission in Dorosago, in the northeast.
Shortly after their arrival, the nationalists learn that the
Cottswold is in Buli. They depart for Kao, after letting the hosts
believe they're heading for Tobelo and warning the missionaries of the
consequences should they reveal this information to the Royal Navy.
Clark and the Cottswold call at Buli, in the east. They learn that
an S Class airship has visited the Dorosago and proceed to investigate.
The missionaries hint that the ship belonged to the Fat Man, and departed
for Tobelo. Clark sets off in pursuit.
Marty and his boys call at Galela, in the northwest. They encounter an
eccentric group of Libertarian cultists know as the
Fellowship of The Old Fellows, from whom they learn that Karlov
passed through town on his way south. They pursue his trail to Tobello,
where Anna and Nettie abandon the ship to search for Karlov on their own.
Fleming follows with Vlad, who seems unduly worried about his compatriot.
They travel south to the Lutheran mission in Kao, leaving Marty a message
that they're searching for the woman at a 'German Mission'. The gangsters
mistake this to mean the mission in Dorosago, and lift ship for the east,
with fateful consequences.
Clark in the Cottswold encounters Marty and his boys in the AT-38
over the waters of Kao Bay. The action that follows is entirely one-sided
and would have resulted in the annihilation of the gangster's ship if the
Commodore hadn't pretended to let them to escape. Asked the reason for his
decision, the Clark replies that these were obviously not the German
Anna and Nettie reach Kao where they learn that Vlad is in Weda, to the
south. Anna takes passage on a blimp, leaving Nettie behind. As she
departs, Fleming an Vlad reach town and split up to search for the two
women. Fleming encounters Nettie, and is about to ask who she really is
when they see an airship call at the station. They hurry back, believing
it's Marty, only to discover it's the Germans on the L-137. As Fleming is
trying to talk his way out of this situation, Nettie reveals herself to be
an ally of the nationalists, and turns him in to them.
Everett and his crew reach Galela and learn that Marty's ship was
there earlier. They recognize that this could not have
been the L-137, but with no obvious alternatives, they decide to follow.
This takes them to Kao, where they arrive just in time to see them L-137
leaving the station. They pursue, and the outcome is in doubt until Nettie
sabotages the German's engines, forcing the nationalists to surrender.
Marty and the boys call at Kao, where they encounter Vlad, who asks why they
called and left without him. They quickly realize that the earlier ship
must have been the Fat Man's people on the L-137. They deduce that the
Germans have taken their women prisoner and have just set off in pursuit
when they receive a message from Nettie that she's on a German ship
heading for Weda.
In Saketa, Fuller learns that Karlov may be in Weda. He arranges a
rendezvous with a henchman on a freighter who can carry him and his men to
the town undetected. He instructs this ally to bring along 'the equipment'.
In Weda, he is pleased to discover Anna, bound on a similar search. He
addresses the woman as 'Anastacia' and takes her prisoner.
The German nationalists land the crippled L-137 in the ocean. The ship
cannot be saved, so Everett sends Iverson in aboard the launch to take the
crew prisoner. The lieutenant is astonished to see Fleming, and recognizes
Nettie as Natasha, the mysterious woman who betrayed, then helped them
during the destruction of Ujelang. She informs them that Karlov is visiting
the mines in Weda. They regard this news with suspicion, but they also need
resupply, so they head for Weda's air station, where they find Clark waiting
with the Cottswold. As they're comparing notes, they discover some
of the 'equipment' Fuller brought: a Mark V tank. Everett recognizes this
from a previous encounter, realizes instantly who must be responsible, and
they set off for the mines in an effort to reach Karlov first.
When Everett, Clark, MacKiernan, Miss Perkins, Fleming, and Natasha reach
the mines, the manager informs them that a 'young Russian scientist' is
exploring some ruins to the west. They press on to these ruins and find
Karlov, who does not seem surprised to see them. Karlov asks Commodore
Clark who sponsored his mission – a question that displays an uncanny
knowledge of British politics. Then he confronts Natasha, who accuses him
of manipulating events to arrange this encounter. As Everett and Clark
try to follow this conversation, an engine roars and Fuller appears on the
scene in one of his tanks.
Fuller found out about the mines from Anna, who he brought along as a
captive. The party is in no position to fight, so they watch helplessly
as he carries Karlov and Natasha – who he addresses as 'Nicki' – away with
him. Moments later, another engine roars and Marty, Vlad, and the boys
arrive in the tank Fuller left by the docks. Everett and Fleming join them
in pursuit of Fuller. After a slow, noisy, and frustrating chase, Vlad
manages to leap onto Fuller's tank and smash the exhaust pipe shut. As the
machine clanks to a stop and its occupants stumble from the hatch, he jumps
to the ground and sweeps Anna up in his arms.
Fuller and Natasha are not among the crew. They left through the other
hatch and fled into the jungle. Karlov is missing as well, having
disappeared while no one was watching. Commodore Clark is not concerned by
these minor setbacks. His real mission, he informs Everett, was to 'skotch'
the German and British nationalist movements here in the Pacific. With the
L-137 destroyed and many of the Fat Man and Fuller's men taken prisoner,
this mission was a resounding success. As for Marty and his boys on the
AT-38, they are free to head back to the States, where they are certain to
find imaginative uses for their new airship.
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