“LADY KILLER.” An episode of Thriller, ATV, England, 14 April 1973. (Series 1, Episode 1.) US title: “The Death Policy,” as part of ABC’s late-night program Wide World of Entertainment. Robert Powell, Barbara Feldon, Linda Thorson, T.P. McKenna, Mary Wimbush. Screenwriter & series creator: Brian Clemens. Director: Bill Hays.

   I have some good news. According to TVShowsonDVD, the complete version of this highly acclaimed British TV series will be available on DVD in the US sometime early this year. The first series of 10 episodes came out here in 2006, but while I have a copy, the set has been out of print for quite some time. All six series, 43 episodes in all, have been available in the UK for a while, but that’s been it for anyone in the country without a multi-region player.

   This is good news, indeed, so I wish I didn’t have a few nits to pick with the story line. It isn’t the players. Robert Powell (The Italian Job, The Thirty-Nine Steps) does a villain very well, and Barbara Feldon (Get Smart) is a marvelously wonderful victim, an innocent from Indiana and on a leisurely visit to England, only to fall prey to a clever con man’s scheme.

   Part of the fun of watching a program such as Thriller are the twists and turns of the plot, so I’ll do my best not to tell you more than I should. Linda Thorson is part of the story, and she’s excellent as well, something I thought I’d never say, having “hated” her for such a long time for her audacity in replacing Diana Rigg in The Avengers.

   Even though I think the world of Brian Clemens, who died about a month ago — the producer of such noted shows as The Professionals and the aforementioned The Avengers among several other ventures — it’s the writing, most surprisingly, that I had a few issues with. Perhaps it’s the British style, or perhaps it was in 1973, but the suspense in “Lady Killer” is allowed to build only gradually, and then sputtered along on matters that puzzled me more than thrilled me.

   You know from the beginning that Jenny Frifth is going to be the victim, but of what? An ordinary scam, with only money involved, or does Paul Tanner (Powell) have murder in mind? (Well, so says the title.) And who is his accomplice?

   But here’s the rub. If I were to be carrying out a plot such as his, I’d be sure to carry out my conversations on the telephone with my accomplice somewhere other than in a room downstairs when my victim is supposed to be asleep upstairs with a phone next to her bed. I would also confront and take care of an interloper in my plans the same way, not downstairs with the lady sent upstairs.

   And for a gentleman supposed to be such a cool-minded criminal, why does he go to pieces when the lady decides to please him by putting on makeup and redoing her hair?

   What for me was even more off-putting was the business with the phone and the lady picking it up. For whatever reason, it was never brought up again. The aforementioned interloper also played his role very poorly, not thinking his plans through carefully enough. Here was a perfect example of Too Little Too Late, or at least Too Late, but thankfully (and luckily) not for Barbara Feldon’s character.

   You may think at this point I hated this little play, but I didn’t. The acting is superb throughout, and so are the settings, including a manor house of some magnitude, of course, and an isolated path along a rocky cliff overlooking the sea. I enjoyed this first episode in the series immensely, trying to outguess the writer at every step of the way, maybe even trying too hard. I’d still have to say that I’d have staged it a bit differently. It would not have been difficult. My nits are just that, major in their own inimitable way, but they could easily be overcome.