Seven Serpents, Sulphur And Salt – Episode 1

Ace Of WandsMr. Christopher, an acquaintance of Mr. Sweet’s, rushes into Sweet’s bookstore while Lulli is watching the shop. He asks Lulli where Sweet can be reached, and then wants to call him, hiding a piece of paper in one of the books in the shop while Lulli looks for the phone number. But before much of a conversation can take place, a man named Luko appears out of thin air, killing Mr. Christopher and then looking for something until Lulli walks in. Luko vanishes again just as the door opens, leaving Lulli to find Mr. Christopher’s cobweb-covered corpse. Tarot, Sam and Mr. Sweet converge on the store, and Mr. Christopher’s walking stick, imbued with some kind of magical power, directs them to the paper – a scrap of 14th century paper with a drawing of a serpent. Mr. Sweet consults with the verger at a nearby church about the possible meaning and importance of the paper, only to be met with a horrified response. Tarot and Sam, expecting the killer to return to the bookstore in search of the paper, lay a trap, but this time Luko appears with his employer, the sinister Mr. Stabs, who seems to have considerable magical powers of his own – enough to stop Tarot in his tracks. Mr. Sweet and the church verger return with bad news: an exorcism, complete with chalk circles on the floor, will have to be performed on all who have touched the paper. During this ritual, the hand-drawn serpent becomes a real snake – and a terrified Lulli steps out of the protection of her circle.

written by Trevor Preston
directed by Pamela Lonsdale
music by Andrew Bown

Ace Of WandsCast: Michael Mackenzie (Tarot), Judy Loe (Lulli), Tony Selby (Sam), Donald Layne-Smith (Mr. Sweet), Russell Hunter (Mr. Stabs), Ian Trigger (Luko), Harriet Harper (Polandi), Llewellyn Rees (Mr. Christopher), Jack Woolgar (Charlie Postle)

Notes: This is the premiere of Ace Of Wands’ second season, but along with the rest of the second season, is missing due to ITV’s policy of erasing and reusing then-expensive videotape in the 1970s. This synopsis is based on the original scripts (included as bonus features on Network DVD’s box set release of the surviving third season) as well as very low-quality audio recordings of the episode in question.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Seven Serpents, Sulphur And Salt – Episode 2

Ace Of WandsWhen Lulli makes a hasty – and premature – exit from the exorcism ritual, the snake vanishes, and Lulli begins claiming that she is Kildaa, the bird spirit – and subtly announces her plans to go to the roof of the building in which Tarot lives so she can fly away. Tarot manages to break the spell and bring Lulli back, but the piece of paper with the serpent drawn on it has vanished. Mr. Postle, the church verger who was performing the exorcism, believes that the paper may have been 1/7 of a map to the location of a legendary secret: the ability to turn base metals into gold. Mr. Sweet and Mr. Postle also find evidence of a magician who was previously seeking that secret, named Estabis – over 200 years ago. Tarot and Sam follow a clue to find Mr. Stabs’ base of operations, where they overcome Stabs’ lackey, Luko, and photograph the other map segments in Stabs’ possession. But Stabs himself, in the guise of a reporter seeking an interview with Tarot, gains entry to Tarot’s apartment, which is occupied only by Lulli and Ozymandias the owl when he drops by. He casts a spell on Lulli to force her to give him the photograph of the missing segment of the map…and to force her to poison Tarot’s next cup of coffee…

written by Trevor Preston
directed by Pamela Lonsdale
music by Andrew Bown

Ace Of WandsCast: Michael Mackenzie (Tarot), Judy Loe (Lulli), Tony Selby (Sam), Donald Layne-Smith (Mr. Sweet), Russell Hunter (Mr. Stabs), Ian Trigger (Luko), Harriet Harper (Polandi), Jack Woolgar (Charlie Postle)

Notes: Along with the rest of the first and second seasons of the series, this episode of Ace Of Wands is missing due to ITV’s policy of erasing and reusing then-expensive videotape in the 1970s. This synopsis is based on the original scripts (included as bonus features on Network DVD’s box set release of the surviving third season) as well as very low-quality audio recordings of the episode in question.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Seven Serpents, Sulphur And Salt – Episode 3

Ace Of WandsA suspicious Sam prevents Tarot from drinking the poisoned coffee, and again, Tarot is able to break the spell over Lulli, bringing her out from under Mr. Stabs’ control. But when she reveals that Stabs has the photo of the missing segment of the map, it’s clear that this race for an ancient secret is in a dead heat: everyone now has the complete map, it’s just a matter of who can decipher it and reach it first. The map leads to a dangerous abandoned well in a graveyard near the ruins of a castle, and Sam decides it’s safest for him to scale his way down the well to find part of the symbol that will unlock the secret. The other part of the symbol is under a large, marked stone, guarded by a particularly poisonous snake, though Tarot is able to retrieve it without disturbing the snake. But it’s only now that his nemeses have done the hard work that Mr. Stabs shows up to claim victory…and in that moments, it looks as though Tarot might switch sides.

written by Trevor Preston
directed by Pamela Lonsdale
music by Andrew Bown

Ace Of WandsCast: Michael Mackenzie (Tarot), Judy Loe (Lulli), Tony Selby (Sam), Donald Layne-Smith (Mr. Sweet), Russell Hunter (Mr. Stabs), Ian Trigger (Luko), Jonathan Cecil (Mr. Thwaites)

Notes: Along with the rest of the first and second seasons of the series, this episode of Ace Of Wands is missing due to ITV’s policy of erasing and reusing then-expensive videotape in the 1970s. This synopsis is based on the original scripts (included as bonus features on Network DVD’s box set release of the surviving third season) as well as very low-quality audio recordings of the episode in question.

LogBook entry by Earl Green