The Buxton Defence

Season 10, Episode 23
The Buxton Defence title card
Air date 1st April 2001
Written by Brian Finch
Directed by Noreen Kershaw
Episode guide
Still Water


Russian chess champion Leonid Vorodin passes through Ashfordly Hall on his way around Britain and his lordship asks sergeant Craddock for a permanent police presence during his stay. This does not prevent a burglar to break into the manor during the night and steal some of Lord Ashfordly's precious chess sets. Vorodin plans to defect with the aid of his British press secretary Anna Young. But Sychen and Zaikov from the Russian embassy are on to their plans. Greengrass has decided to sell his cottage in Aidensfield in order to buy a house in the Caribbean. While David can move back to his mother Vernon has no place to go and does his best to discourage potential buyers.

Full SummaryEdit

Mike gets suspicious when Jackie rushes off to London on business, and so it seems to continue her affair with Adrian Miller but he can't seem to contact her. A collection of valuable toy soldiers get stolen one night at Ashfordly Hall. It turns out to be the latest in a number of similar robberies. Elsewhere, David finds out that Claude is selling the house and Vernon decides to put visitors off from buying it and even tries to buy it himself! A chess tournament is taking place at Ashfordly Hall, but it seems that even with the presence of Alf and Phil, a chess set gets stolen. Mike seems to think that it could be the same person who stole the toy soldiers and Russian Leonid Verodin arrives to take part, along with two men from London and his publisher Anna Young. Alan Buxton beats Verodin and wins, but Lord Ashfordly receives a ransom note, which asks for £300 in return for the chess set. Mike thinks that the culprit must've been at the tournament. But the ransom is raised to £1000 when the thief takes the remaining chess set. Mike then thinks that the culprit must've been near his Lordship when he mentioned the high value of the remaining set, and too returned to take that. Verodin is keen to stay with Anna when the two Russian embassy men are keen to return. Meanwhile it looks as if Verodin is being forced to return to his country against his will when Alan Buxton reveals that the embassy men wish to take him back home instead when he wishes to stay in England. Alan is eventually revealed to be the thief. Alan helped himself to the items after doing decorating jobs in the all the houses and copied the keys.



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