Last updated : 9th November 2014

Episode 'Close Quarters'
Story Synopsis An injured Bodie captures the leader of a terrorist group but finds himself and his girlfriend trapped by the rest of the gang and unable to alert his colleagues. Writer Brian Clemens
Guest Stars Gabrielle Drake, Allan Surtees Director William Brayne
Production Order
& Filming Dates
Block 1, Ep 9
2nd to 28th November 1977Main shoot.
9th December 1977Car run-by of Cowley and Doyle starting out from HQ to look for Bodie
16th December 1977Insert shot of businessman in airport foyer
16th December 1977Reshoot of insert shot of businessman in airport foyer - no reason given for reshoot.
23rd December 1977Insert shots of Bodie's point-of-view from vicarage's rooftop.
Original UK Transmission Season 1, Ep 7
10th February 1978
Dave's Comment

Another fave, this one certainly in my Top Five! The tension built up inside the vicarage is tremendous and extremely well-acted.

Not only is this an all-action episode (and the car-chase is brilliantly filmed), it is also a great and surprising character study of Bodie (sorry, Doyley-fans, Martin doesn't get much of a look-in on this one!). Under pressure he resorts to cracking daft jokes as usual but finds his fellow hostages don't appreciate them like Doyle would. Although he never loses faith in his own combat abilities, he clearly can't convince the women of that!

He also reacts strangely to certain events deaths are met with casual responses such as "Oh well... round one". He doesn't seem at all bothered about the killings (then again, neither do Julie and Sara an oversight in the writing, perhaps?).

When the women demand to know why Bodie doesn't simply let Meyer go, instead of telling them it's because the gang will then be free to carry on killing more innocent people (which I would have thought was an obvious answer), his mysterious response is "I don't know why.... ask Cowley". Weird.

The plotline itself works well and nicely helped by Cowley and Doyle chasing around the countryside desperately trying to find their colleague.

A splendid episode indeed and leads one to wonder how different it might have been handled had Doyle been the one trapped. Unlike Sharon I would definitely recommend this ep as a starter (unless you have a particular aversion to brown cardies why on earth did Lewis think this would impress the girls?!!). Had it been balanced with a bit more of Doyle then it would have been perfect!

Sharon's Comment

Another "Bodie" vehicle. Not his finest hour though he does muddle through to final success.

The opening briefing is a good way to show how CI5 works, and we see Jax for the first time. Doyle wears jeans for, I believe, the first time as well. Bodie is in the awful brown cardigan and spotted shirt.

One has to wonder why Bodie has handcuffs in his cardigan pocket. Kinky plans for later, perhaps?

In this episode we see how well Bodie does with action and how badly he does with planning and/or waiting. His "people skills" are sorely lacking. He makes bad jokes again and handles those in his care with all the grace of a touchy bear. He drinks on the job and under pressure. He can be charming, he can be deadly. But he is not a manager! Bodie ***NEEDS*** a partner and a boss! I feel very sorry for him he is out of his depth. And when he castigates himself ("Shut up, Bodie") he really needs a hug! He is a lousy leader.

And hitting Julie was an interesting response. He never hits Doyle even when his partner is spitting far hotter venom at him than the woman did.

I rather like the heartfelt cry Doyle makes when he calls out Bodie's name.

The whole episode is full of lovely close-ups of Lewis. Nice, that!

Plot good. This works even with things like the fake blood that drips from Bodie's hand wound ah, c'mon, guys! The judicious use of background music adds to the tension. Nicely done. This is one of the few eps that I don't FF through large portions.

The discussion in the car between Cowley and Doyle is revealing and odd. Why in the world would C let two years plus go by without checking to see how the partnership was going? Nah. Don't buy it. Interesting that D knows exactly how many months as well as years. Almost expect him to give the days and hours. The "chalk and cheese" line is in here.

An uncomfortable but interesting episode. Not one I'd start a newbie with though.


Julie, concerned about Bodie's injury: "How's the hand?"

Bodie, enjoying her company: "Terrible! But the eyes are having a great time!"

Bodie: "Glad to see you're not tee-total, vicar. May we have a drink - I think we all need one!"

Myer starts laughing: " 'May I have a drink, vicar?' So polite, vicar. Let's all have a little tea-party! You English are all insane!"

Bodie: "Not like the Myer-Helmut Group, eh? They just bomb and hijack and shoot the odd plane-load of hostages."

Myer: "It's a necessary part of our strategy."

Bodie: "The end justifies the means, eh?"

Myer: "You do not understand - you will never understand."

Bodie: "No, not if I live for a million years."

Myer: "Your lifespan can be measured in minutes! All of you. Do you suppose my comrades are going to let you hold me here? He may fool you - he may even be fooling himself - but you have nothing to wait for except death."

Inge: "Why be foolish? Release Myer and we'll go."

Myer: "Why be a hero? A dead hero! Do as she says."

Inge: "We do not want to hurt innocent people!"

Bodie: "Oh, yeah?! What brought about that change of heart? What about the airliner at Beirut? Forty-two passengers - innocent people! I suppose you didn't want to hurt them, either?!"

Inge: "That was different - they had to die: we were fighting for our cause. But why you? You English - you know nothing about politics. But why kill you? Do you know what it takes to kill? Sometimes just sheer desperation!"

Bodie as Myer's gang launches an attack: "Hell of a way to spend an afternoon!"

Myer, needling as ever: "Your last afternoon!"

Julie: "Do you think they heard the shot?"

Bodie: "I told you - at this distance, not a chance."

Julie: "Is that going to be our epitaph, too? 'Not a chance'."


Possible script rewrite: Gabrielle Drake's character is credited as "Julia" and this is the how Doyle refers to her. However in the vicarage scenes, Bodie always calls her "Julie". Odd!

In the boat scenes, the blood initially visible on Bodie's bandage later disappears! (Thanks to Elspeth Campbell).

During the car chase scene, the red Audi very briefly becomes left-hand drive! Obviously the film got accidentally reversed. Thanks to "Glenn" for spotting that one!

When Bodie, Julie and Myer reach the vicarage, an editing blunder seems to show the door opening twice! (Thanks to Jeff Stone)

Later in the episode when Cowley and Doyle are desperately trying to find the gang, a CI5 radio op announces that BRODIE's car has been found.

Possible cheat: Barrie Taylor notes that: "Bodie uses the bullets from the pistol to arm the machine gun - in fact this wouldn't be possible as each weapon requires a different type of round." However...

Peter Bahnuik has this to say: "I disagree with Barrie Taylor's observation. The sub-machine gun that Bodie uses appears to be an MP40, which fires 9mm Parabellum (or 9x19mm) pistol cartridges. Sub-machine guns are designed to fire pistol cartridges. Machine guns, however, are designed to fire rifle or proprietory cartridges. So the scene where Bodie uses bullets from his pistol to arm the sub-machine gun is valid and not a cheat (assuming Bodie's pistol uses 9mm Parabellum cartridges, which is quite likely)."


The vicarage's porchway that Inge crashes into was specially constructed for the episode.

Larking around as ever, Lewis Collins egged Gabrielle Drake to row faster during the scene on the Thames, whereupon she crashed into the bank and fell into the water. Trying to help, Lewis quickly followed! Now that would have made for a great out-take!

Gabrielle later complained that she had not enjoyed filming the episode. Other than her drenching, she was not happy with the show's violent content.

Due to the production schedule having fallen behind, this episode was largely shot simultaneously with 'Klansmen'. The two stories complemented each other "logistically" in the sense that as Doyle's presence isn't required much here, this left Martin Shaw free to work on the other story - and vice versa with Bodie/Lewis Collins.

Deja Vu

Gabrielle Drake (Julie/Julia) came to prominence in Gerry Anderson's 1970 series UFO where she played the mini-skirted, purple-wigged Lieutenant Ellis. In one infamously gratuitous scene (that was usually cropped from teatime reruns) she slowly, methodically changes out of her crazy uniform into something more casual... this young lad's eyes were certainly having a great time then, oh yes!! She guested in one of the best New Avengers episodes ('Dead Men are Dangerous') but, apart from a stint in the original Crossroads< soap (seemingly a last-ditch move by its producers to get more viewers!), has since concentrated on a stage career. Still looks great today, too!

Allan Surtees (the vicar) would reappear as the government minister in a few episodes of the second season. Last seen in Brookside in the early 1990s and passed away in 2000.

Hildegard Neil (Sara, the housekeeper) was a familiar face on early 1970s fantasy shows such as Doomwatch, Ace of Wands and Space: 1999 but has done little TV work since.

Rowland Davies (CI5 doctor) only appears on-screen for a few seconds but got a far better role in the New Avengers story 'Tale of the Big Why'. Also appeared - in an even briefer role! - in the second season episode 'Blind Run'. Has done very little TV of film work since and appears to have retired.

Technical Notes Prior to Network's 2014 DVD and BluRay releases, there is a white "flash" during the black after the second version of the title sequence. This "grafting" later transpired to have been carried out on the episode's film negative, which should have been considered sacrosanct!
Harefield Grove was used for purely for CI5 headquarters this week.
The episode opens with terrorist cell the Myer-Helumt group targetting a wealthy businessman at Heathrow Airport's Terminal 3.
Off-duty due to injury, Bodie takes girlfriend Julie along for a boat-trip along the western end of the Thames. He happens to spot Myer but there's no indication of precisely where this is, though it was probably around Boulter's Lock where most of the river filming was done.
The rest of the gang, due to meet up with Myer, arrive at the marina's car park, which was actually Bushnell's Boat Yard on Ray Mead Road, Maidenhead.
Bodie and Julia, with Myer as their prisoner, scarper back to the car park via the lock.
Outmanoeuvred and cornered by the gang, Bodie and Julie steal a car. A chase ensues down the narrow roads of Springwell Lane, Rickmanswoth...
A dinghy attached to the stolen car is "launched" a little further west. Oddly all the buildings in the immediate vicinity appear to have been replaced since 1977.
The chase continues but magically jumps to The Nag's Head pub in Little Missenden.
I think Julie drives the Cortina off the road here on Chesham Road, Great Missenden. In the Google Street View shot, you can just make out what appears to be the remains of the gateposts...
The trio head towards a nearby vicarage for shelter - it's actually Hundridge Manor. (Many thanks to Lee Garner for the photo!)
Bodie manages to get word to headquarters but before he can give his location, the phone line is cut by Hans. Cowley and Doyle join the search for Bodie, via Moorhall Road, Harefield.
Doyle and Cowley receive word that Bodie's car has been found. They drive to the marina via Chesham Road, Great Missenden. In this scene the white-coloured house in the background is just about recognisable.
After discovering the dumped dinghy, Doyle and Cowley continue the search for Bodie, here driving past what appears to be the junction of Chesham Road and Little Hundridge Lane, Great Missenden...
When Doyle swings the Granada around, once again it's the corner of Chesham Road and Little Hundridge Lane, Great Missenden. (Can't get a useful angle on this with Google Street View!)
Bodie manages to attract Cowley and Doyle's attention by firing at the Granada. The location when it is hit is Blind Lane to the north of Hundridge Manor. Unfortunately only the western tip of it can been seen on Google Street View: the location used was a little to the east and directly north of the manor.

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