Sixteen: June-July 1971
As research for Who Killed Kennedy I watched lots of Pathé newsreel footage from the appropriate years. Someone had kindly issued these on video earlier in the 1990s and they proved an invaluable resource for providing background colour. The idea of a Cod War with Iceland and the Master being tried by media both fighting for headlines seemed a delicious contrast to me.
Stevens gets himself invited on The Passing Parade to debate the fate of Victor Magister. Among the other guests are a fictional editor, a fictional civil servant based on a friend of my wife (I won't name him to spare my own blushes) and the very real Malcolm Muggeridge. For the life of me I've got no recollection how Muggeridge ended up in this chapter. In retrospect he seems an odd inclusion.
Anyway, Stevens starts ranting about C19, UNIT and Government conspiracies. The TV show is pulled off air and Stevens is berated by his contact Cassandra. The journalist realises he may have gone to far and put Dodo's life in danger as well as his own. He rushes home but all seems well - until their house is firebombed. Stevens has a confrontation with the blond man from Gary Russell's novel Scales of Injustice. The blond man takes an old service revolver Stevens had bought to protect himself and Dodo. The provenance and movement of this handgun creates some confusion in subsequent chapters, so keep an eye out for it.
The journalist goes to New Scotland Yard to file a complaint about the firebombing and attempted murder (why doesn't he just go to the local cop shop, I wonder? He lives in Wandsworth, not St James Park). Instead he gets beaten up and abducted. The identity of the person who taunts Stevens in the final sentences of the chapter will be revealed next time!