'The kidnapping of their young daughter causes Harry and Jean Thompson to seek help from Ryan, and his investigations disclose a tense emotional situation in which the Thompson's [sic] marriage is seen to fall apart under the stress.'
Source: Synopsis held in the Crawford Collection in the AFI Research Collection (RMIT).
The script held in the Crawford Collection in the AFI Research Collection contains the following character notes (excluding regular characters):
'JEAN THOMPSON A woman of thirty-nine, who has never had a child of her own. She has a husband who ignores her as a lover, and so has taken a younger man, with whom she plans to get money by extortion from her own husband. During the course of the story she begins to get an insight into her husband, and loses interest in the lover, and the plan, at a time when it is far too late.
'HARRY THOMPSON A man in his 40's. He is frigid, and his marriage has suffered. Despite its temporary horror, the kidnapping of his daughter is probably the best thing that ever happened to his marriage. Harry is tense, talkative, eager to prove himself.
'JODIE THOMPSON Their kidnapped adopted daughter, whose kidnapping acts as a catalyst in the development of their own relationship, and in Harry's final knowledge of his own inadequacy. We see very little of her, but she is the motivation for all the other characters.
'TIM O'BRIEN 20's. A psychotic killer. A period of psychiatric care and shock treatment has just made him worse and more dangerous. Drives a car.
'GEOFF BURNS The young man who professes love for Jean. He is several years her junior, and his love for her is somewhat influenced by the fact that he can get money from her. Drives.
'BILL 50's. A talkative neighbour. Two scenes, one in which he helps Tony.
'WARBUTON 50's. An undertaker with a criminal sideline. Professionally mournful, finds Ryan's health depressing. One cameo scene with lots of lines.
'MECHANIC 20's, early 30's. A surly, unlikeable, uncooperative type who gives Ryan no help.
'OLD MAN 60's. A derelict, pathetic, one important scene when he stumbles on the ransom money and thinks his prayers have been answered.
'DOBSON 40's. A real detective. Few lines, looks capable.
'SECRETARY (MALE) 40's. Secretary to a drag strip club. Helps Ryan, one scene.
'VINCENT 40's. Harry's next door neighbour. Two scenes, few lines - Mr. Ordinary.
'DR. WALSH 50ish. Tim'e ex-psychiatrist who still haunts his twisted mind. Walsh's face will be seen in Tim's subliminals, so it should have an arresting quality. Two dialogue scenes.
'OLD FARMER 60's. No lines. Tim shoots him. A sympathetic face would help.
'PLAIN CLOTHES POLICEMAN Few lines.
'FINGERPRINT MAN No lines.
'POLICE DRIVER Few lines. Drives.
'DUTY POLICEMAN One scene. No lines.
'TRAFFIC POLICEMAN No lines.'