Last updated : 9th April 2006
|Episode Title||Discovered in a Graveyard|
|Story Synopsis||During a bombing investigation Doyle is shot and seems unable to decide whether to live or die.|
|UK Episode #||E05|
|UK Tx Date||05 December 1982|
|Production #||Block 4, Ep 9|
|Approx Filming Dates||6th - 17th October 1980|
|Guest Stars||David Yip, Philip Latham, Derek Waring|
When the ep kicks off, you think it's going to be yet another routine duffer with the lads doggedly trailing a couple of bombers through the London streets. You couldn't be more wrong! This is an amazing episode: lying comatose after being critically wounded, Doyle spends much of his time in a surreal, nightmare netherworld arguing with the spirits of Cowley and Bodie whether to allow himself to die. I could easily write a small book examining this segment alone!
This is an episode that has two stories: Doyle trying to come to terms with the horror his job entails and CI5 trying to prevent the assassination of a hated Oriental ex-leader. The excellent scripting and direction make the two threads work very well together - helped, of course, by the fact that the two murder attempts are linked. The sheer skill in the writing is yet another reminder of just how far ahead the series was compared to dross and "pretenders to the throne" like Dempsey and Makepeace.
Much is made of Doyle using his "down time" to decide whether to let himself die. In the 1980s such an idea may have seemed preposterous to much of the audience but true-life cases of similar circumstances have emerged over the years.
Good brief moment of photography in the car park when all we see are the lads' shadows trying to chase the van.
Cowley is in fine form here - strong-minded and clear-headed. Yet this doesn't stop him from snapping at the surgeon and the government minister. He's also short-tempered with Bodie quite a bit and even drags him away from the hospital as Doyle goes into surgery: "There's nothing you can do here!"
We learn that Doyle likes classical music - he plays the "Elvira Madigan" piece from Mozart's Piano Concerto No 21. It is used quite effectively as a backdrop while he does his shopping, so even those scenes aren't boring. If you don't agree, then watch the G- version instead because they chopped much of that bit.
The episode really kicks in from the moment Doyle is shot. The actual shooting is effectively filmed - and replayed a number of times during the episode to heighten the "atmosphere". In his tortured mind he even begs to be killed off. Strange camera angles and effects are used to ready us for Doyle's descent into his frightening underworld.
Bodie's reaction to the murder attempt is interesting: he finds his badly wounded partner and, instead of getting all emotional about it (as Doyle would have done had Bodie been the one to take the bullet), his military discipline takes over and he coolly, quickly, wordlessly and efficiently checks Doyle over and then summons help. There is but a slight suggestion of panic and he only starts to emote once Doyle is safely in the ambulance.
Next we have a scene from Doyle's "dream" where he and Bodie apparently meet for the first time. This is the start of some great "characterisation" scripting: B warns D that he needs to stay cool in order to survive in CI5, yet he still considers D could make a good partner. There is the motionless shadow of an unseen man in the background - is it Cowley? By the way, in all these scenes we hear the dialogue but the actors don't open their mouths - as though the characters are communicating telepathically. And Doyle is constantly wearing his bloodsoaked T-shirt while his face is positively cadaverous! Again, this all adds to the extraordinary effect.
Some more character background next with Cowley apparently interviewing Doyle with a view to recruiting him to CI5. "Police career good, though quite a few run-ins with your superiors." / "There were reasons." / "Good reasons, no doubt. You care. The issues in this trade are complex, tangled – compassion can be a big step towards solving them.". But Doyle seems to dismiss this idea with a sarcastic "Noble sentiments...." The scene then switches to a graveyard and D continues: ".... A row of graves: that's the bottom line of all your noble sentiments: lives wasted." / "Yours too?" / "Why not? It's why I was nailed." / "Because you were careless?" / "No - I didn't care enough."
Perhaps I'm getting a bit carried away with quoting the dialogue - but so much of it IS excellent and worth pointing out. There's even a scene of Ray witnessing his own funeral.
All this is interspersed with the real-world Cowley and Bodie trying to piece together what happened. Much of the story is told in flashback as Bodie tries to recall the events leading up to the shooting and finding a link to the attempt on the Oriental, Lin Foh. With the clipped dialogue and sharp editing we've come to love, these scenes are well worth watching too.
The scene with Cowley tackling his minister is great - as the government does not wish to make enemies with Lin Foh's successors, it has not yet "worked out a policy" on what to do with the bombers. Cowley therefore finds his hands tied and, quite rightly, goes bananas!
Plenty of great action scenes as young Mayli makes her own attempt on Lin Foh.
Admittedly there's not much humour to speak of but it would hardly be appropriate, would it?
Nice to see some experimentation with the format – and it works! I always think that this episode would have been the best way to finish the series.
"How does it feel to be amongst the land of the living then, mate? You were technically dead, you know?!" / "Well now I've done it once, it'll be easier next time!"
The coroner's court is on Pancras Road, in the St Pancras/King's Cross area.
The launderette still exists!!! You can find it at the south end of Malden Road. (Many thanks to Ceil Caldwell for the info and pic!)
The cemetery that appears in Doyle's dream sequences is on Harrow Road, Kensal Green, W10. The pic here is from the later scene in which Doyle "witnesses" his own funeral, standing in Kensal Green Cemetery Chapel. The large object in the left foreground is the pillar Doyle leans against. (Thanks to Sue Curtis for info and pic!) CONFIRMED
Mayli's shop is in Camden Lock. CONFIRMED
The hospital is Northwick Park near Harrow (Thanks to everyone who spotted the fact that the hospital's name is stencilled on bits of kit all over Doyle's room!).
A debatable one. When Doyle is shot, his backward motion across the floor arguably doesn't tally with the position in which he lands. (Thanks to Chiara Fantoni).
The original script called for even more use of flashbacks, particularly from previous episodes where we see Doyle in combat, the idea being to suggest he is reflecting on his violent past. The occasional line of dialogue from the existing fantasy scenes were cut, too. I can only assume these weren't used (or dropped in post-production editing) as the episode would have overrun the standard 50 minutes.
In the script, Bodie makes performs an impression of the newspaper editor commenting "You Inglis [sic] Johnnies all look the same to me!" Whether this was cut for time or because of its racist overtones (particularly after the 'Klansmen' debacle) is not known... perhaps it was included on original transmission...?
In fact the original script underwent a large number of revisions, some of which were delivered very late. The ep had already commenced filming when the key scenes of the lads searching Charlie's flat, interrogating the newspaper editor, the funeral fantasy and Doyle's short "Stupidity!" monologue to Mayli. Astonishingly Doyle's awakening in hospital was very much an afterthought, despite the wheelchair and lauderette scenes havingg been there from the start!
The poem Cowley finds in Doyle's flat is actually Max Ehrmann's Desiridata.
David Yip (the newspaper editor) was soon starring in his own series, the short-lived Chinese Detective. You'll spot him in minor roles in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom and A View to a Kill. He had a short stint on Mersey soap Brookside before realising it was going downhill and then suddenly turned up in the long-running German 'tec series Tatort.
Philip Latham (the minister, Hogan) is one of those great actors who is instantly recognisable but, surprisingly, did relatively few TV shows in his long career. Starred in the little-remembered 1976 soap The Cedar Tree. His best-known film work was on Force 10 from Navarone. I assume he has now retired from acting.
Derek Waring (the surgeon) had previously appeared in the New Avengers ep 'Tale of the Big Why'. He had a three-year stint on the long-running proto-Sweeney series Z-Cars but rather oddly for such a good actor was later limited to odd guest appearances in various sitcoms. Passed away in 2006.
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