Last updated : 9th November 2014





Episode 'Killer with a Long Arm'
Story Synopsis CI5 becomes aware of an assassination plot involving a rifle with a range of over two miles. But where is the gunman and who is his target? Writer Brian Clemens
Guest Stars Michael Latimer, Diane Keen Director David Wickes
Production Order
& Filming Dates
Block 1, Episode 4
27th July to 12th August 1977Main shoot.
17th August 1977In Cowley's office pondering over the identity of the target and scenes in CI5 Rest Room.
18th August 1977Scenes of royals travelling to Wimbledon and some "insert" shots for apartment block scenes.
22nd August 1977All non-stock shots of "Wimbledon" - actually shot at Harefield Grove!
24th August 1977In Cowley's office discussing a search of the apartment block and Doyle searches files for likely Greek targets.
22nd September 1977Partial re-shoot required (for unspecified reasons) of poacher scene. "What do you know about Greeks, Bodie?" exchange and accompanying external shot of car en route to Tarkos' restaurant.
7th and 12th October 1977Final scene in Cowley's office.
Original UK Transmission Season 1, Ep 4
20th January 1978
Dave's Comment
Story
Action
Pace
Humour
Violence

An overly-violent and daft episode, really - no professional hitman would use innocent members of the public for target practice. In fairness to Brian Clemens, though, this ep - like so many others in the first season - was written amid the crisis that blighted the production schedule. Doubtless had more time been available, the script would have been refined considerably.

Some interesting character traits emerge here: Doyle being unnecessarily brutal with the restaurant owner yet obviously caring about the murdered golfer and even rebuking the forensics man: "Nobody's 'nobody'!". Towards the end we see Bodie knowing he can rely on the skills of his partner in an extremely dangerous situation - see Sharon's notes on this.

The action scenes are well-staged - at least within the limits of the first season's camera mobility.

There's some great comedy, too, such as the needling over Betty and the scene of searching the elderly resident's apartment before the poor chap has even had a chance to examine Bodie's credentials.

Overall, though, there's little I can find to recommend this episode. The comedy ending is predictably cheesey but is wonderfully politically incorrect!

Sharon's Comment

"So you and me are a mobile ghetto, eh?" Bodie asks of Doyle.

This story is not about foreign assassins. It's about two men learning they are bonded by a partnership unlike any other - one in which they stand alone against the rest of the world and in which their very lives depend on one another's skill and split-second judgment.

By this episode the writer and actors have a better focus on the characters. Doyle shows up dressed scruffily and Bodie is clad in suits or polo and jacket. Doyle behaves badly (the plate breaking scene), even brutally, and Bodie backs him up without question. Bodie's military expertise is shown to advantage, as are his hands (!) as he indicates details of the rifle. Martin and/or the writers have Doyle's syntax and diction just right for most of the dialogue, and the "Patter in The Car" theme is established - something that will be ongoing throughout the rest of the show. The Lads' teamwork gets star billing here - first in the scene where Tommy is captured and then at the last when the killer is stopped.

The actual plot is... well, okay.... but secondary to the fine relationship material that emerges between B and D and Cowley. Cowley has some wonderful interrogation moments here. Good acting by "Tommy" and excellent timing by GJ!

Technicals: good use of camera angles in this one. I particularly liked the "swimming pool ladder" frame of The Lads and the shot up toward Bodie as he swings over the barrier to drop into the lower flat. I appreciated that no "mood" music was used in the final segment until the very end kept the tension going.

Lovely (adorable?) scene in the CI5 rest room with Bodie clad in bathrobe and towel claiming to have romanced Betty. Another nice moment with a bare-chested Doyle!

Doyle needs restraining in several scenes - capturing Tommy and dealing with the forensic guy at the golf course - and Bodie provides it: another theme that occurs regularly from now on: Doyle's hot temper modified by Bodie's cool one.

The finest moment, however, was the exchange just after the shooting when it's clear Doyle's foremost concern was to not harm Bodie: "And if I'd fired...." his voice breaks wonderfully, indicating he's imagining his own bullet taking out his partner! And Bodie looks stunned, then comes back with: "Since when did you ever miss...?"

Nice, that!

The epilogue with the "Lads will be lads" scene was dumb. <G>

Dialogue

Doyle, driving: "What do you know about Greeks?"

Bodie, in the passenger seat: "Er, well the fellas all dance together and the cops shave their heads!"

Doyle: "They are a tight-knit community."

Bodie: "Yeah, ghetto time."

Doyle: "Don't knock it - 'ghetto' means, er, being able to depend on your own kind."

Bodie: "So you and me are a mobile ghetto, eh?"


Bodie, after Doyle has threatened Greek 'godfather' Tarkos : "Now he didn't ask you to dance!"


Mervin: "You'll recognise this: a dum-dum bullet. Hollow tip, filled with mercury. Banned by the Geneva Convention."

Bodie: "It's not a popular club with professional hitmen!"


Doyle: "Who was the dead man?"

Mervin: "Nobody."

Doyle, angry: "Nobody's 'nobody'!"

Mervin: "Oh, I, I, didn't mean that. I meant unconnected with the case. Small-time insurance broker."

Doyle: "Well let's hope he was properly covered, eh? For the sake of his wife and children. He did have a wife and kids, you know?!!"


Bodie, seeing Doyle sifting through a mountain of paperwork: "A job that needs a secretary. How about Betty, eh? Come on, let's get her along!"

Doyle, sensing an ulterior motive: "No, she left for home hours ago. Anyway it would ruin your concentration starting a new romance now!"

Bodie: " 'New'? For an ex-cop, you rate low in observation, Doyle!"


Bodie: "If you thought we were off-duty, why did you come looking for us?"

Cowley: "Because there's one thing you and I share..."

Doyle: "Same secretary!"

Cowley: "Eh?! We share an animal instinct. A nose for trouble. You too, Doyle. You can't teach it, you can't learn it - you've either got it or you haven't."


Bodie, searching for the gang, hands his credentials to a resident: "Excuse me, sir, I'd like to take a look around your apartment."

Resident examines the document. By the time he's finished, Bodie has slipped in, checked out the place and slipped out again.

Bodie, grabbing his ID back: "Nice, clean place you've got here!"


Cowley over the R/T: "Hold off until I say so."

Bodie as Doyle presses the transmit button on his own R/T: " 'Hold off'? Doesn't he know the killer could squeeze that trigger at any time?!"

Cowley: "Bodie, you move before I give the go and I'll personally break both your arms!"

Doyle, laughing: "Hey - both arms!"


Cowley, over the R/T: "What's happened in there? Will somebody say something?!!

Doyle: "Two dead, neither of them us!! We did OK."

Bodie: "You call that 'OK'?! Look, a bust-in like that, you're supposed to shoot from the door! The next time, you can be the monkey on the string and I'll be the backup!!"

Doyle: "And if I had fired from the door and missed, who was standing in the window?!"

Bodie, still argumentative: "Since when did you miss?!"


Minister: "You don't happen to know who won the men's singles final, do you?"

Cowley: "Yes, sir - CI5 did!"

Bloopers

Not so much a blooper as a cheat: Georgi appears to arrive in England at Dover port yet the Hovercraft stock footage was actually shot at Ramsgate. (Thanks to James Hall).

The (fake) roadsign on which Costa sprays an 'X' is installed on the right-hand side of the road - not much good for UK roads! (Thanks to John Hammond)

When the motorcycle cop is shot, blood is splattered across the car door - however it disappears when Georgi drives off. (Thanks to Patrick Beerhorst)

A camera problem rather than an accidental blooper, the angle at which we see the close-up of the scarecrow through Georgi's telescopic sight seems to indicate he is positioned much lower than he actually is. (Thanks to Martina Klein).

In the scarecrow scene, Bodie says that the villains hadn't had time to check the accuracy of their shooting, yet of course Doyle has just found a Greek cigarette next to the scarecrow! Also, given that Georgi clearly hit the scarecrow accurately, it makes no sense that he later needs a second rifle test (on the golf course). Thanks to "Tavaran")

The assassination attempt takes place on Wimbledon Finals Day, yet there seem to be other matches going on at the same time! (Thanks to Ben Gilby)

In several shots of the tower block, Cowley can see the business end of the rifle jutting out through the balcony, yet from Bodie's angle it is clearly housed completely inside the apartment. (Thanks to John Webb)

Sidenotes

Apparently there is a version of this episode that not only has the original title sequence but also the voiceover. Hmmm....

Fan Donald Gresko kindly advises that the super-rifle used in this story is actually a real weapon - a Russian-made Vostov model. You can see one here.

Deja Vu

Michael Latimer (Georgi) popped up in all sorts of stuff like The Avengers and The Sweeney and re-appeared in The Professionals second-season ep 'Fall Girl'. He recently contacted me to confirm that he moved on from acting shortly afterwards:

"I became a director/writer/producer, went to Australia for six years [contributing scripts for a number of Reg Grundy soaps and the feature film Ginger Meggs] and then when I came back to England, I started directing for the stage. I have been doing that ever since... I have very fond memories of working [on The Avengers and New Avengers] with Patrick Macnee. He is the most charming man and a delight to work with and also to be with (we met up several times socially) and coincidentally one of other most delightful people I ever worked with as an actor was Gordon Jackson (four or five times, I think). One thing he and Patrick had in common was that they always had time for people and treated everyone with absolute respect. I have directed over 50 plays for the stage - In London, Sheffield, Germany, UK national tours and also in OZ and the USA. I have had a great time doing it and haven't missed acting at all. I have also written 70 tv scripts. I am now writing stage plays and I hope the first one is to be produced in UK soonish(?!)".

Sadly Michael passed away in 2011.

Diane Keen (Hilda) starred alongside Lewis in The Cuckoo Waltz, got her kit off in the first Sweeney movie and then spent most of the 1980s promoting Nescafe coffee. For a long time in 1980s and 90s she practically disappeared from our screens but can now be seen in the BBCs afternoon soap Doctors. Yes, another medical drama!!!. (Thanks to Debbie Gibson)

Suzanne Danielle (girl in the kimono) was a popular actress during the 1980s, though apart from presenting the entertainment show That's Amazing, never really landed any major roles. Left acting in the late 80s. Now married to professional golfer Sam Torrance. (Thanks to Andrew Houghton)

Locations
This time Harefield Grove was used for CI5 headquarters and, I suspect, some of the shots used to portray the "close ups" of spectators at Wimbledon, mixed with stock footage of the real venue.
Hired hitman Georgi arrives at Dover, though the hovercraft shots were simply taken from stock footage. Heading to meet his client, Georgi drives his Jaguar onto the dual carriageway at Gerrard's Cross.
Georgi meets his client, Costa, in Beaconsfield town centre.
Speeding along the road attracts the attention of a motorbike cop on Hedgerley Lane, Gerrards Cross.
Alerted to the shooting of the cop and the recovery of the abandoned Jaguar, Cowley and the lads head to the forensics lab. The exterior shot of the Rover was apparently filmed around the junction of Woodcock Hill and Harefield Road in Batchworth, however trawling the area doesn't seem to tally, so perhaps there was an undocumented change of location for this shot...?
... but the interior shot was filmed earlier, on the Amersham Road dual carriageway. You can see the viaduct in the backgrounds of the screenshot and the Google Street View.
Mervin at the forensics lab examines the Jaguar at the Amersham Motors garage on Hill Avenue in the town but this has since gone.
Georgi has brought a specially-made rifle with him for the job. However he needs to test it for accuracy. The first test was apparently done somewhere around the farm on Jacks Lane, Harefield, although it's difficult to pinpoint the exact location...
Judging by camera angles, hills, roads and houses seen in the various "telescopic" shots, I think the scarecrow may have been beside this pylon. The section of the M25 motorway that now dissects the field didn't start construction until 1982, hence why it is not seen in this (1977) episode.
Although CI5 has yet to identify Georgi, Doyle finds the remains of a Greek cigarette near the site of the rifle test. The lads go to see local Greek "godfather" Tarkos, via Breakspear Road, Harefield. (It's difficult to get a useful angle on this road with Google Street View!)
In a "cheat", the lads are now driving to Tarkos' restaurant via Watford Road, Croxley Green.
We only see the interior but Tarkos' restaurant was on Station Parade, Denham.
Questioned over the possibility of an upcoming assassination, Tarkos suggests the lads check into the activities of young tearaway named Tommy. They head to his place, passing the junction of Watford Road and Dickinson Square, Croxley Green. (I've had to cheat here to get a decent view of the row of houses at the far end of the street!)
Tommy's house was 33 Osborne Road, Windsor, although the production team placed a "40" on it for filming. This and many of the adjacent houses have since been extensively redeveloped beyond recognition.
Alerted to the arrival of the lads, Georgi, Costa and co-conspirator Hilda flee Tommy's place... and are magically transported to Hillcrest Road, Ealing to jump into the Range Rover.
Meanwhile Tommy is initially chased by the lads along the aforementioned Osborne Road but he finally takes cover on wasteground in Alma Road, Windsor. The screenshot shows a building, a social club, in the background, which can also be seen, albeit from a different angle, in the Google Street View image.
When the lads frogmarch Tommy away it's down an unnamed dirt track off the aforementioned Alma Road, which can't be navigated on Google Street View. However the house in the screenshot can be easily identified as being on Alma Road, Windsor.
Georgi, Costa and Hilda escape in the white Range Rover down Alma Road.
The trio of villains take off down St Mark's Road, Windsor. Just before we see them pass the (new) fire station, a house in the background is just recognisable by its chimnneys. OK, so it's just an excuse to include an entirely gratuitous close-up shot of Diane Keen!
The rifle needs further testing, this time at Flackwell Heath Golf Club, High Wycombe
Testing complete, the gang drives to the vantage point for the assassination, via what's documented as Hillcrest Road, Ealing. However the church and surroundings we briefly see on-screen don't look at all similar to the what's actually there...?
The high-rise apartment block is Minster Court, Hillcrest Road, Ealing - which can't be easily seen via Google Street View!
Hilda goes to the local shops for food... but ends up with a mouthful of taxi! She is in Watford town centre by the pool on The Parade, though it's not accessible via Google Street View.
Alerted by the Greek cigarettes Hilda had bought, our heroes drive to the high-rise via Packhorse Road, Gerrards Cross. In the screenshot you can see a green dome in the upper background, which survives to this day, as seen on the Google Street View.
With the area around the high-rise now on high alert, Cowley is apprehended by a young copper on Park View Road, Ealing (very close to the apartment block). The house in the background on the screenshot had a double-garage in '77, half of which has since been converted into living space.
Further down the same road Cowley stops again when Bodie realises who Georgi's intended target is.
The targets, a couple of Greek Royals, set off from Windsor Castle...
... and head down the A332...
... and then the A308.



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