Last updated : 19th May 2013
|Episode Title||Fall Girl|
|UK Episode #||B10|
|UK Tx Date||09 December 1978|
|Story Synopsis||An old girlfriend of Bodie's unwittingly involves him in an assassination and he finds himself on the run from MI6 and CI5 !|
|Production #||Block 2, Ep 10|
|Approx Filming Dates||9th - 20th October 1978|
|Guest Stars||Pamela Salem, Frederick Jaeger, Patrick Malahide, Michael Latimer|
The ep is rather slow-moving during the first half but dosed with some humour ("Where were you last night?" / "Had an urgent meeting with my psychiatrist!" / "Well... the head needs shrinking!"). And the scene with Doyle stood in the street with a bunch of flowers is yet another example of the show's self-mockery. From Bodie's meeting with Marikka in the hotel, however, we're back to the pacing and pizzazz we've come to expect!
The plot is excellent and highly complex, as is necessary.
Bodie and Marikka are an interesting item (well, Pam Salem is, anyway! <G>). But instead of being excited to see her again, Bodie's reaction to Marikka seems oddly restrained - perhaps after being "let down" by her years before, he still doesn't quite trust her?
All the action stuff is well choreographed, as we have come to expect.
Despite Bodie's suspicions over Marikka, his complete lack of reaction during the final scene is very odd! Other than that, a great finish to the second season!
The second of the "betrayal" stories, 'Fall Girl', in spite of the pleasure of seeing Bodie more or less at love-play, is not a favorite. It's oddly out-of-focus and a very strange story with which to end the second series. Why does Bodie get picked on for the final episode again? (see 'Klansmen' from the first series)
Good things: Doyle's dirty laugh. In the beginning Doyle is delightfully ribald – a side of him we haven't seen before. This is a man who could be terrific fun! He is earthy and bawdy and quite naughty about using the R/T for a clandestine social contact. Doyle has some great lines in this episode.
Bodie is extraordinarily beautiful. We get lots of close-ups. His broody nature is given full play and the camera shows his long eyelashes to incredible advantage. Of course he does wear The Awful Brown Cardigan again. Well, we can't have everything.
The camera work during the final shoot-out scene is excellent.
Not so good things:
I realise there is a lot of back-story that we don't see but it's difficult to accept that Bodie really desires poor Marikka much less loves her. He is, at first, apparently content to just talk on the phone and when they meet he seems awkward and reluctant to get close. Granted, given the opportunity, he does move in, but it seems far too slow and careful for a man of such obvious natural passion as this. Even in the hotel room he does not seem all that eager to get on with matters. He looks smug and pleased, but not excited.
And his dead-panned reaction to seeing Doyle from the window is also odd. He does not seem concerned that Doyle is following and watching him.
Cowley fighting for Bodie is good to see. He pulls out the stops and uses Doyle to best advantage.
Doyle, however, toward the end seems oddly passive. This is not the firecracker we've come to know & love. He asked Cowley about following Bodie when, it seems, the thing he ought to have done was just go after his partner even if it meant taking a beating emotionally, verbally or physically. His facial expression is strange, too. Works with the story however: disgust, confusion, self-hatred.
What in the world does Cowley mean by "Make sure your own house is in order, 4.5"?
(The phrase generally means "mind your own business" but here perhaps what Cowley means is that, like Bodie, Doyle may have a past he would rather not reveal. Or perhaps it's a reference to Doyle having spirited away the evidence from the police station and Cowley is warning Doyle to make sure it stays securely hidden. -Dave)
And, of course, it is a story about betrayal - in order to achieve a particular aim, Willis (MI6?) plans to sacrifice Bodie even though he's quite aware of Bodie's innocence and his position at CI5.
An odd episode.
Note that in the gun battle before Bodie takes to the stairs, as he's running into the building, he slips and fires wildly. <G> Lew misstepped and the camera kept rolling. Nice save, Lew!
(In fact there is a glitch here because we see Lew slip just outside the building - yet the camera then cuts to an interior shot and we see Lew's legs on the inside! -Dave)
Fan Dinah Purton spotted that while Bodie clearly has some knowledge of the German language in this episode, in the first season ep 'Close Quarters', he had to get Sara to translate for him. Not sure whether this is a genuine blooper!
In the scene where the two maintenance men remove the rifle's stock, the incidental music used is NOT by Laurie Johnson. It's by a composer named Steve Gray and the piece is entitled "Unseen Danger". Specially composed for so-called music "libraries", it cropped up in a few other TV shows of the era (eg The Sweeney). It isn't clear why it was felt necessary to "import" this track - perhaps Laurie was not available at the time? Anyone interested in the piece will find a full-length version on the album "Suspense, Tension" from the Bruton music library label. (Many thanks to "Banbury Oddball"!)...
... Furthermore, the romantic meeting between Bodie and Marikka in the hotel is accompanied by a track called "Night Line" by Frank McDonald and Chris Rae, to be found on an album named "Hair of the Dog" by rival library De Wolfe. (Sadly the track isn't available on CD).
Frederick Jaeger (Schuman) will be familiar to fans of The Avengers' duo of Cybernaut episodes. A busy character actor during the 1960s and 70s, fans of Special Branch will recall he played the Commander in about half of the final season episodes. Often played German characters. Passed away in 2004.
Patrick Malahide (Green) came to fame as dogged Sergeant Chisholm in the classic comedy drama Minder. Has guested in many other crime shows such as Sweeney, Shoestring, Morse, eventually playing the lead in The Inspector Alleyn Mysteries. Also had an infamously, ahem, "passionate" scene in Dennis Potter's The Singing Detective. Starred alongside Martin Shaw in Who Bombed Birmingham? Oh - he got eaten by a giant rat in a New Avengers episode!!
Michael Redfern (CI5 agent at the safe-house) is chiefly remembered for the Oxo TV adverts of the 80s and 90s
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