Last updated : 21st May 2005
|Episode Title||Wild Justice|
|Story Synopsis||Why is Bodie falling behind in training and obsessed with a motorcycle gang?|
|UK Episode #||D02|
|UK Tx Date||14 September 1980|
|Production #||Block 4, Ep 2|
|Approx Filming Dates||30th June - 11th July 1980|
|Guest Stars||Ziggy Byfield, Larry Lamb, Marsha Fitzalan, Sarah Douglas|
One of the few psychological episodes, posing the question "Is Bodie cracking up?".
The first time Cowley meets up with Crane, they have a very long and technical discussion about Bodie's condition while walking through the training field with smoke and explosions all around. Incredible, then, that this all takes place without a single camera cut. Outstanding work by actors and crew, there!
I liked the way Cowley tricked Doyle into admitting Bodie has problems - typical underhand tactics by The Cow, there!
In the scene where Bodie punches in the car door, Lewis Collins' eyes and psychotic smile make him look positively demonic when he stares at Jennifer. Brilliant shot, that.
Bodie's Kendo session (with his bandana mysteriously sporting German writing...?) and the subsequent meeting between his Master and Cowley adds an intriguing edge to proceedings - a shame this wasn't pursued more until the ending...
... which is brilliantly orchestrated - one of the best in the series, IMHO. And all credit to Ziggy Byfield for not allowing himself to be doubled.
Would Cowley have pulled the trigger?
Like Sharon, I too have had a change of heart on this one: the storyline works quite well, though it's in no way one of my favourites - not even from the usually dull fourth season.
"How do you fancy my chances with the Queen of Cybernetics, then?" / "Well it's the first time I've seen a piece of cheese try to seduce a mouse!"
When I first saw this episode I hated it. Bodie's behavior and Doyle's response to it seemed very out of character. Having rewatched it carefully, however, I have to say it's right on. Bodie has a problem. It exhibits in erratic behavior. Doyle is confused and responds with anger and disgust. The bond of loyalty and friendship is as strong as ever but rather than talk about Bodie's problem and working things out, they both draw apart in order to protect one another. (My opinion only, of course)
Kate Ross is a great character. Wish we saw more of her!
Note the glitch in the recording of Bodie's voice – in person he says "It gives one a certain..." while on the tape he says "...gives me..." and when Ross replays the tape for Cowley later, the tape says "...one..." Ah, well.
We get Doyle's great laugh again as well as some nice sexual competition talk about Ross. Good patter in the computer room. We get a lovely "nasty, broody Bodie" in the bar scenes. We get a fine scene between Cowley and Doyle in D's flat where Ray confesses to wearing Bodie's tux. AND we get THE BOYS IN LEATHER at the motorcycle rally! Yum, yum.
Some very good writing here during the confrontations and exchanges between major and minor characters. I like Kate Ross doggedly tracking down the root of Bodie's problem. I really like her defiance of the three "Alpha" males in declaring Bodie unfit. I like the instant change in Doyle's attitude when he realizes Bodie is likely to kill King Billy. His fear for his friend shows all over his face. (nice job, MS) I do believe that Bodie deliberately gut-hits Ray in order to keep him safe (out of the fight and any consequences) and I really like Cowley controlling Bodie by offering him a clear choice: his death or proper justice for the bad guys!
Good camera work and direction in cutting from Cowley and Ross to the motorcross competition.
Not for newbies or for those who haven't steeped themselves in Pros. Confusing on first viewing, but an excellent episode, nonetheless.
The SAS-style training exercise that opens this episode was filmed at Warfield Hall, just north of Bracknell. At the time of filming it was vacant posession owned by a property company eager to make some money out of it but is now privately owned and can only be viewed through bare trees from the north entrance to the grounds. (Many thanks to Simon Stoyle)
The pub Bodie takes Jennifer to was the Dog and Duck in East Lane, Wembley, though it's now called Bootsy Brogan's.
Jennifer's "date" with Cowley takes place at The House on the Bridge restaurant in Windsor... CONFIRMED
... the castle can be seen through the restaurant window.
The Seven Stars (unusually the show retained the pub's real name) is on the A4 road at Knowl Hill, just a few miles west of Maidenhead. Just behind the pub is the wasteland where the race scenes were filmed, though the land has been considerable "tidied up" since and is no longer recognisable. CONFIRMED
When Doyle sets off for his practice on the motorbike, although donning his helmet, it isn't fastened up. It is, however when he finishes his run. (Thanks to Mike Morgan)
Subsequent to filming, Martin Shaw alluded to riding the motorbike himself in the motocross scenes. However I was recently contacted by Colin Webb, who was actually hired as one of the racers seen in the story. Here are Colin's recollections of the day:
"Martin Shaw did none of his own stunts, he was not allowed to ride a bike at all, due to insurance worries, although he did have a ride round a flat field at lunchtime, albeit in one gear. He did have some action shots taken, but he was stationary!
"There was a stuntman on-site but his Motocross talent was lacking. The person who doubled as 'King Billy' was a British Championship Motocross racer David Watson. (The [name of the] chap who doubled for Doyle escapes me at the moment.) When we were directed to follow the Professionals stuntman around the track he crashed on the second corner and several of us ran him over! After that the director abandoned the [idea of the] stuntman leading us and left us to our own devices as he was so impressed by the action.
"If I remember correctly Lewis Collins didn't go anywhere near a bike, he just swanned around with some blonde on his arm!"
This episode was originally written as a special short story for TV Times magazine in 1978 and never intended as an episode proper. However in March 1980 LWT reversed their (albeit unofficial) decision to axe the series, giving Mark 1 just eight weeks notice in which to get scripts written! As such Ranald Graham did an impressive job adapting the story for television!
Sarah Douglas (Kate Ross) played evil Kryptonian Ursa in the first two Superman movies. Spent most of the 1980s guesting in bland American shows such as Remington Steele, Matlock and Murder She Wrote. Also a regular in forgettable soap Falcon Crest. Best of all, though, played alien Pamela in the terrific 1984 mini-series "V".
Ziggy (Trevor) Byfield still pops up regularly on TV - usually either as a villain in the likes of The Bill or as a copper in productions such as the excellent Customs drama The Knock. Also does occasional sitcom guest roles such as One Foot in the Grave.
Marsha Fitzalan (Jennifer Black) was terrific as the wife of Rik Mayall's unscrupulous MP Alan B'Stard in the brilliant 1987 comedy series The New Stateman. Surprisingly she hasn't landed another lead role since and, in fact, doesn't appear to have done much television work at all. At the time she was married to Patrick Ryecart who guested in 'Spy Probe'.
Click for the complete List of Episodes