Last updated : 9th November 2014
|Episode 'Everest Was Also Conquered'|
|Story Synopsis||The death-bed confession of a Security Services chief casts doubt on the apparent suicide of one Suzy Carter, a prosecution witness in a 1950s corruption trial.||Writer||Brian Clemens|
|Guest Stars||Michael Dennison, Richard Greene, Gary Waldhorn, Peter Blake||Director||Francis Megahy|
& Filming Dates
|Block 1, Ep 8
|Original UK Transmission||Season 1, Ep 8
17th February 1978
A bit plodding in places but I think this is a good episode nonetheless.
In terms of character-building, this ep is one for Cowley, essentially: the lads are doing all the leg work while The Cow does all the thinking. When the lads make fun of him by pinning a photo of his face onto a cutting of a topless model he is far too preoccupied with other matters to rebuke them. In fact he seems glad to find some humour.
The scene in which the lads interrogate Turvey is very corny and laboured (the "particularly good Malt Scotch" exchange is a rare occasion when Brian Clemens' sense of humour failed to make me laugh) and not helped by the actors playing Turvey's grandchildren. (In fairness, though, apparently a different actress was used to dub the Julie Turvey lines during post-production).
There are a few action scenes in this story and the plot works quite well but it has a wee bit too much "filling"!
By now the writers and the actors have smoothed over the initial awkwardness and the dialogue and action move smoothly. All three main characters are given opportunities to develop, particularly Cowley. He's shown as a strong leader, beloved enough to be teased but powerful enough to bring down anyone who harms one of his people. I like this Cowley! He manages the young agents well!
Several very nice scenes which don't do much to further the plot but which work marvelously to get us closer to Bodie and Doyle as people. The rather domestic "tea scene" in the lounge, for instance. The dialogue about Bodie's gun in the car and the manner in which they handle the hit man. There are two primo "Doyle yelps" in this one. <G> Nice understated sympathetic commentary from Bodie, echoed by Ray, about the gay policewoman. Marvelous exchange with the Scots hunting guide which includes a "glowering and threatening" Bodie and a number of "keeper quotes", such as:
"You have to be mad in this job or you'll go insane."
"Corruption: where the worms are."
I like the closure scene where Bodie chooses his partner and respect for the slain agent over his own pleasure.
The plot works for me – the over-anxious real villain of the piece using his influence and friendships to make certain his backside is still covered leading to his final undoing. Good "justice will triumph" stuff.
Two pictures of half-naked women. Ah, well. It was early days for gender sensitivity. I give the writers points for the lesbian material. Well done there.
Sorry to see Richard Greene in a baddie role – I adored him as Robin Hood when I was young!
Bodie: "Would you push a girl out of a window for two million?"
Doyle, ambiguously: "Is that a definite offer?!"
Doyle: "That pub could be Frank's 'Room 101'."
Bodie: "Why, what's so special about it?"
Doyle: "Oh, nothing - just the people who go in there. You've heard of Billy Knowles? The 'cement man'."
Bodie: "What, the guy who buried the bodies in the flyover?"
Doyle: "Yeah. He goes in that pub nearly every night. Well I've always given Frank the benefit of the doubt - I've never subscribed to that ugly rumour that it was Frank who stuck a knife into Billy's brother. "
Doyle, handcuffing Frank to some railings outside the pub: "They'll be out in about half an hour."
Bodie: "What do reckon they'll do to him? Kill him?"
Doyle: "No, they won't kill him."
Bodie: "Work him over?"
Doyle: "Oh, somewhere between the two, I'd say. But he'll wish they'd killed him!"
Frank, as the lads make to drive away: "Alright, I'll talk!" *
*I think this is Frank's only line of dialogue in the whole ep!
Cowley: "You betrayed my trust. Maybe that's not so important. But you also caused the death of one of my men: I can never forgive that."
Cowley, dealing personally with the traitor, spots the lads arriving: "I don't need your help!"
Bodie: "Not here to help, sir - just to pick up a few tips!"
Hitman Goodman is referred to as "Frank" throughout the episode but as "Sammy" in the end credits.
We learn that Suzy was pushed from a ninth storey window, yet when the lads investigate room 96, they only appear to be four or five storeys up. (Thanks to Chris Swindells)
Scripting blooper: Bodie says that Cowley had ordered the lads to stay away from Turvey before CI5 op Tony Miller was hit. In fact it was afterwards.
At Ann Berry's kennels, we see the Bodie's Capri's windscreen being shot out, yet it is perfectly intact when they leave. (Thanks to Victor Velkov)
When Bodie and Doyle chase Goodman from the kennels, the assassin puts a bullet into the Capri's tyres. Apparently this wasn't in the script but written in later as the car suffered a genuine blow-out when filming the scene, causing stuntman Peter Brayham to nearly crash!
Although there appears to have been an unusually extended production schedule for this episode, some of that was due to reshoots on the scene of Suzy falling from the hotel window as the initial attempts at the Special Effects on this proved unsatisfactory.
Richard Greene (Turvey) played the eponymous role in the popular 1950s series The Adventures of Robin Hood (how many of these have survived?). Sadly died following a fall at his home in 1985.
Michael Denison is probably best remembered for his Croft Original TV ads during the late 1970s/early 80s. He never really pursued a TV or movie career, tending to prefer stage. His last work was that with Martin Shaw in An Ideal Husband before passing away in 1998.
Peter Blake (young Tony) came to prominence in the 1980s in John Sullivan's sitcom Dear John (why has this never had a repeat run??) where he played cool-guy Kirk St Moritz. Also had a leading role in the overlooked sitcom Fiddler's Three, along with guest roles in various popular programmes such as Minder, A Very Peculiar Practice, The New Statesman and Jonathan Creek.
With a career usually playing support roles in shows such as The Sweeney and The New Avengers, Gary Waldhorn (Turner) didn't find his niche until being offered a role in the hilarious, long-running Dawn French sitcom The Vicar of Dibley.
Charles Keating (Frank, the hitman) was a regular star as barrister James Eliot in the early years of Crown Court. He's barely recognisable here and, to be honest, his acting talents are utterly wasted. Indeed it's strange to realise he only gets a single line of dialogue! Emigrated to the US in the 1980s and guested in episodic series such as The Equalizer and various soaps. Passed aay in 2014
Ann Lynn (Ann Berry) has a career stretching back to the 1950s was a familiar face in the 1970s, perhaps best remembered for Kenneth Haigh's Man at the Top. The following decade saw fewer roles for her but she played Vince's mother in popular 1980s sitcom Just Good Friends. Last known role was in 1996.
Helen Cotterill (Ann's partner, Sally) is best remembered as Granville's would-be love interest Julie in the classic Ronnie Barker sitcom Open All Hours.
If you have Contender's original DVD version from 2002, you'll note that while it has the original title sequence, the opening "teaser" is of poor picture quality, Colours are sharper but the film is very "scratchy". Also the audio has come from a soundtrack integral to the print (known as "combined optical" or "comb-opt" sound) rather than the usual separate magnetic ("sep-mag") audio recording. The reason for all of this is that the original print shipped by ITV's BRITE (BRitish Independent Television Enterprises) to Contender had the "car-through-glass" sequence on. Contender elected to replace it using Mark 1's own - but rather battered! - print but also use the entire teaser sequence. Quite why this was done - particularly as the original title sequence could easily have been "borrowed" from BRITE's version of 'When the Heat Cools Off' - is a bit of a mystery! Indeed the 2005 re-release reverted back to the - incorrect but better picture quality - car-through-glass sequence.
Suffice to say Network's 2014 DVD and BluRay releases contain the correct ("assault course") titles and with splendid picture quality!
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