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Kessler-The Complete Series (1981)

Kessler-The Complete Series (1981)

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Released 5-Aug-2009
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The ruthless Gestapo officer – in hiding and on the run

Set in Occupied Belgium, The Secret Army followed the activities of Lifeline, a secret organisation set up to help Allied airmen and agents escape back to Britain across German lines. Its most deadly enemy was Standartenführer Ludwig Kessler (Cliffford Rose), fanatical head of the Gestapo. The Secret Army ended with Kessler making good his escape rather than face retribution for his war crimes.

This series picks up Kessler’s story 3 years later. A Belgian TV investigative journalist, van Eyck (Jerome Willis), interviews a prosperous German industrialist calling himself Manfred Dorf, confronting him on camera with his true identity, Ludwig Kessler, which he denies.But he is living on borrowed time. Sooner or later someone will recognise him.

To confirm his theory van Eyck invites members of Life line to the studio: Albert (Bernard Hepton), Monique (Angela Richards) and Natalie (Juliet Hammond-Hill) .

Others are also interested in Kessler. Bauer (Alan Dobie), a member of German Intelligence , dedicated to tracking down former Nazis still operating within the Federal Republic. Mical Rak (Nitza Saul), an attractive Israeli seeking revenge. Kessler sent her parents to Dachau.

But Kessler is a powerful enemy. He has friends in high places and has lost none of his viciousness and psychotic zeal. He has become a leading figure in the modern Nazi legion, hoping to establish the Fourth Reich and funding Kamaraden in South America and all over the world. He is not about to give up without a fight.

Another complication is Kessler’s daughter, Ingrid (Alison Glennie), a fervent neo-Nazi whose terrorist friends are not recognised by the old guard.

Eventually Kessleris forced to flee, first to England and then to the Nazi headquarters in South America. But former Luftwaffe Colonel Ruckert (Ralph Michael) fears Israeli retaliation.Even Mengele and Bormann fear for their lives.With Bauer and Mical Rak hot on his heels, Kessler decides to throw in his lot – and his immense fortune – with Ingrid’s militant young friends…



Journalist Hugo van Eyck meets Albert Foiret at the Restaurant Candide to ask him what he remembers of Kessler for a television programme he is making about Nazism. Israeli Mical Rak and her friend Ruth Lieberman arrive in Brussels and visit the former home of Mical's grandparents in the Grand Place. Another new arrival is Richard Bauer who has driven from Germany; like van Eyck he is also investigating the possibility that businessman Manfred Dorf is in fact Kessler. Albert is reunited with his former Lifeline colleague, Monique, at the BRT television studios, where van Eyck has invited them to view footage of Dorf. Monique tells van Eyck that she is certain that Dorf is Kessler...


Bauer has been prevented by Maurer from investigating Dorf further. Returning home on enforced leave, he discovers that someone has been there before him. Leider visits the hotel where Ruth was murdered and learns that she was Mical's travelling companion. At his country retreat, Kessler, who is becoming increasingly concerned by articles about him appearing in the press, has organised a bank transfer and plans to travel on to England to attend a trade conference there. A frustrated Ingrid urges him to take command of the Kameradenwerk, replacing Reichsleiter Bormann. Meanwhile, Bauer warns van Eyck that his life may be in danger, but the journalist believes that his status as a public figure protects him…


Mical is pulled out of the Thames - against the odds, she is still alive. Believing Mical to be dead, Ingrid berates her father and Franz, fearing that her murder will put them at risk. Mical is delivered to Bauer on a hospital stretcher and Gidney asks him to keep her out of trouble. Ingrid and Franz discuss the future of their movement and the importance of gaining access to the Nazi fortune. Mical puts Bauer onto a new lead: records pertaining to Madeleine Duclos. Back in Germany, Leider visits Kessler's home, but is observed by the housekeeper taking photographs of the family album. Taking his leave of the residence, he soon realises that he is being followed…


PART FOUR Kessler and Rückert arrive in Asunción, Paraguay. Mical has followed them there; she calls Bauer in Buenos Aires and they arrange a rendezvous. Ingrid and Franz meet with several Neo-Nazi contacts and discuss the possible future transfer of funds from Bormann's account. Ingrid is set on persuading her father to release the money to them rather than the Old Guard. Kessler is subjected to interrogation by a panel of his former colleagues which, to his disgust, is chaired by Dr Josef Mengele. Hotelier José Garriga reveals to Mical and Bauer that he is an agent. Bauer explains that they are looking for the Kameradenwerk headquarters and that the group's contact in Paraguay, Yqueras, may know where it is…


Acting on information that Kessler is due to have a meeting at a farmhouse used by Mengele situated deep in the Alazar, Bauer and Mical are travelling there on horseback. Ingrid tells Franz that they should approach her father for funds once his disillusionment with the Kameradenwerk is complete. White Kessler makes his way to the rendezvous with Mengele and Bormann, Rückert advises his men that Der Tag is just three months away and orders them to find and kill the members of the Israeli hit group that he believes is operating in the area, At the rendezvous, Bauer is injured after a fall and Mical fails to kill either Kessler or Mengele. While the latter escapes by plane, a shaken Kessler returns to his daughter's side...



Kessler has decided to give the Nazi fortune to Ingrid’s group rather than the Old Guard and has become attracted to the idea of being its figurehead. José advises Bauer and Mical to leave before they are killed, but Mical is insistent that she intends to settle her score with Kessler first. José tells Bauer that with a little money he may be able to find out the location of the Kamaradenwerk headquarters. Kessler and Franz begin to discuss the operational measures required so that their movement can take control back in Germany. A heavily armed Müller leaves the hacienda to dispose of Mical once and for all, while in Asunción Ingrid prepares to carry out the very same task...



An exclusive new thirty-minute documentary featuring interviews with Clifford Rose (Kessler) and Michael E. Briant (director of parts 1, 2, 3 and 6) recorded on Friday 13th May 2005 at the Sound Company Studios in London.


An audio commentary on the action-packed finale of Kessler. Rose and Briant recall the trials and tribulations of the Spanish filming and other behind-the-scenes insights into the making of the serial.

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Disc (3)
Drama 1981 300 ? 1 2 3 4 5 6
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