Last updated : 9th November 2014
|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 Sidenotes section)
|Guest Stars||John Castle, Bruce Boa, Anthony Bailey||Director||William Brayne|
& Filming Dates
|Block 1, Ep 5
|Original UK Transmission||Season 1, Ep 5
27th January 1978
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.
Quick mention for Rufus Collins and his sublimely tragi-comedic performance as smack-head 'Tin-Can'.
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!
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>
Cowley, over the R/T: "Tommy's in pursuit of raiders. Find him, help him and report."
Bodie, imitating sarcastically : " 'Find him, help him'."
Doyle: "He means stop him!"
Bodie: "Yeah... before it develops into a massacre."
Doyle: "Be cool with Tommy - you know he's crazy."
Bodie: "Cowley wouldn't accept that: nobody in the Big A is crazy."
Doyle: " 'Motivated', then. His whole family was wiped out by terrorists, you know."
Bodie: "Unlucky.... that they overlooked Tommy."
Doyle: "That's a lousy thing to say!"
Bodie: "Tommy's a lousy thing to be - he's a killer."
Doyle: "And what makes you so different?"
Bodie, annoyed: "The difference is, Doyle, that I do it but I don't enjoy it."
Doyle as he, Bodie and Tommy have little cover as they get close to the gang's hideout: "No Man's Land."
Tommy: "Someone has to cross it... if we want to be home in time for tea!"
Bodie, nervous as the trio saunter across: "Tommy, can I ask a question? Why are we walking?!"
Tommy, nonchalantly: "It's a lot of space - walk or run, it'll make no difference."
Bodie: "Yeah, only no-one's given me the choice!"
Tommy: "Then make a choice!"
The trio leg it!
Doyle: "Who were you looking after, Tin-Can? Payday job? What did they do - feed your head?"
Tin-Can, stoned, laughing continuously and barely able to stand: "Ha-ha... but not me belly!"
Doyle: "What about your pockets? Did they feed your pockets?"
Tin-Can, throwing pound notes over the floor: "Yeah! Good payday!"
Doyle: "How many of them?"
Tin-Can: "Card school."
Doyle: "Four. Where are they now?"
Tin-Can: "I don't know."
Doyle: "Where did they come from?"
Tin-Can: "They came from everywhere! And they're too smart for you!"
Doyle: "Which nationality were they?"
Doyle: "How did they talk?"
Cowley, angry at his own failure to protect the witnesses from media coverage: "The press did their job while I wasn't doing mine!"
Tin-Can: "Mr Doyle, this cold turkey is gonna turn into dead turkey unless you can get me something for my head."
Doctor, taking Doyle aside: "It isn't going to make much difference, anyway. He's in bad shape: he's had too much. Just about every organ is smashed up."
Cowley, over the R/T to Doyle: "Tommy is covering the river."
Bodie: "Oh what the hell is the old man up to?! Tommy?! Cowley's got to be stark staring mad!..."
Doyle, warning: "Bodie..."
Bodie: "He sits out there, a safe distance away and sends in a psychopath to keep us company! I'm telling you, Cowley is..."
Cowley: "The radio is still open, Bodie. But continue with your interesting assessment: 'Cowley is'... Cowley would like to know what Cowley is!"
Bodie, recovering quickly: "Would you believe warm and considerate?!"
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 Sidenotes 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!
* James McAteer is actually a pseudonym for well-known TV writer Peter J Hammond (who, amongst many other things, created and wrote the strange cult sci-fi series Sapphire and Steel). According to Brian Clemens the story as written severely underran the standard 50-minute timeslot when edited together in post-production. The sheer number of additional scenes required meant that the plot itself needed greatly expanding, including the addition of further characters. This might explain why the actors playing John Gerry Patterson (Bruce Boa), assassination organiser Latymer (Anthony Bailey), his anonymous American buyer (Kenneth Nelson) and the woman doctor (Brenda Kempner) were accidentally missed from the end credits! Apparently Hammond did not care for the additional material and asked to be credited under the alias.
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.
Canadian 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. 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 on 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, which was heard on the Video Gems release of the episode in 1993. However all versions of the episode since then - including Network's 2014 DVD and BluRay releases - are missing this material, which suggests that the music track got damaged at some stage and was simply dropped from the master audio.|
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