Last updated : 27th March 2013
|Story Synopsis||A newspaper irresponsibly publishes the names of witnesses to an assassination. CI5 must protect them as well as apprehend the killers.|
|Writer||James McAteer (* See BTW section)|
|UK Episode #||A05|
|UK Tx Date||27 January 1978|
|Production #||Block 1, Ep 5|
|Approx Filming Dates||16th August - late September 1977 - see BTW|
|Guest Stars||John Castle, Bruce Boa, Anthony Bailey|
After his stint as Mad Jack Miller in The New Avengers, John Castle gets to play another, slightly less eccentric character. In fact his presence has to be one of the main reasons for watching - a thoroughly likeable lunatic! Bodie's right, though - it does seem incredible someone that is even slightly mentally unstable would be employed by CI5.
The unfolding of the storyline is actually fairly straightforward once we know what's happening. In that sense it is a tiny bit disappointing that there are no little twists along the way. Nevertheless it still ranks as one of my faves.
As Sharon notes, the scene where Bodie, Doyle and Tommy are crossing over to the warehouse contains some great dialogue, though the following scene where they are looking for the raiders in the building went on for too long.
Interesting to note that, even in this early episode, even the Great Cow made mistakes.
The all-action finale is well filmed and the touching scene where Tommy's body is taken away ("Don't put him in the same wagon as them!") shows that, although the lads regarded him as a nutter, they still cared.
A great episode!
"Be cool with Tommy - you know he's crazy."
This episode adds to the ongoing themes. There's good development of Cowley's character and particularly of Bodie's relationship to his boss. Doyle's mean streak shows quite clearly in several scenes, and Bodie's ambivalent response to "Shotgun" Tommy is a grand example of subtle character development.
The plot is questionable. First, no one seems terribly undone that the American jerk is murdered, though they are quite eager to find the killers. Second, it seems HIGHLY unlikely that any newspaper would actually publish addresses! Names, yes. But addresses? Uh...
Doyle chews gum in this one. Nervous? And there's a lovely moment right out of Hollywood Westerns when Bodie, Doyle and Tommy are walking toward the bad guys' hideout. Nice camera work there.
Bodie is also "edgy" in this episode. Both Lads look VERY tough throughout. We see more of Doyle's cop background in the people he knows and the places he's able to go. Bodie makes more bad jokes, this time in truly bad taste! The writing that involves the Tin Can character is excellent! When it comes to helping and supporting his boss, Bodie suddenly shows considerable thoughtfulness and charm. Lewis does some fine work with just his expressions – he's clearly become quite comfy with his character and is giving "him" more range.
R/T's are used for the first time, giving an opportunity toward the tense climax for some comedic relief. Again very nice work by LC with MS playing the straight man. Watch Bodie's face during the hiding-in-the-bushes segment.
The Tommy character is fascinating, and Bodie's criticism of him coupled with an expression of grief after his death makes fodder for speculation. Does Bodie actually identify with the "mad bastard" in spite of his earlier denial to Doyle? "The difference is, Doyle, I do it, but I don't enjoy it." Really?
Doyle is quite brutal at the end, deliberately hurting the surviving bad guy, his voice crackling with fury. Doyle is furious, but Bodie looks so sad.
Watch Bodie's expression in the car before they pass the pub.
And watch MS's face when the champagne is passed around. <G>
Various scenes in Cowley's office throw up numerable continuity problems such as lighting levels, the buttons on Bodie's shirt and he briefly undergoes a change of hairstyle. All this seems to underline the suspicion that the ep underwent a lot of re-shooting - see the BTW section.
The aforementioned movement of Mr May's house!
When Tommy questions the loading-bay worker, we see him close the black Capri's door. When he returns to the car a second later, the door is open! Thanks to John Hammond for that one!
Although Bruce Boa was an oft-seen face on television during the 1970s, here he gets little more than a "cameo" appearance and isn't even mentioned in the end credits - neither is chief villain Anthony Bailey! I believe, though, this was merely an accidental omission.
* James McAteer is actually a pseudonym for well-known TV scribe P J Hammond (who, amongst many other things, created and wrote the strange sci-fi series Sapphire and Steel). Apparently Hammond did not care for certain alterations to his script (I guess this means it was re-written to some extent by Brian Clemens) and asked that his name be removed from it. Many thanks indeed to Simon Coward for info!
John Castle (later to appear in 'Man Without a Past' and 'Hostage') has had an extensive career guesting in 1960s ITC productions such as The Prisoner, the BBCs epic I, Claudius and their 1994 remake of Little Lord Fauntleroy.
American Bruce Boa (Patterson) actually had a more illustrious career in Britain, though usually in guest roles in stuff like The Avengers, The Saint and The Champions. He was also the corrupt American cop in Dempsey and Makepeace. Most memorably, however, he thwarted Basil in the Fawlty Towers episode 'Waldorf Salad'. ("Took some sidestreet called the M4" / "Well most British cars have steering wheels!"). Passed away in 2004.
Anthony Bailey (Latymer) was a Mark 1 regular, having already been seen twice in The New Avengers and would also star alongside John Castle in 'Man Without a Past'. Sadly his acting career seemed to decline in the 1980s - at least for television appearances - and he passed away in 2004.
Christopher Neil (the bridegroom) had starred in Rock Follies but quit acting in 1979 to become a record producer (perhaps most famously for Sheena Easton).
Luan Peters (lady in the sports car) is best remembered as the Australian guest in the Fawlty Towers episode 'The Psychiatrist' who ends up with suspicious-looking handprints all over her front! She enjoyed quite a busy ating career in the 1970s but it tailed off during the following decade.
Robert McBain (Mr Lewis) also appeared in 'Operation Susie' as the CI5 lawyer. He popped up fairly regularly in minor support roles throughout the 1970s and 80s television, including the 1985 drugs-bust drama Operation Julie. Passed away in 2004.
|Technical Notes||When we first see the motorway traffic start to build up, the scene was originally accompanied by incidental music. This has gone missing from the BRITE copy. It's tempting to speculate that perhaps the audio track got damaged and was simply dropped but that would have also meant the loss of the noise of the car engines because music and effects were always recorded on the same track. Yet we still hear the car engines, so this one is a bit of a mystery!|
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