Last updated : 9th November 2014
|Episode 'Long Shot'|
|Story Synopsis||During an international security conference Cowley saves an American diplomat from an attack by hitman Ramos. CI5 anticipate a second assassination attempt... unaware of who Ramos' real target is.||Writer||Anthony Read|
|Guest Stars||Roger Lloyd-Pack, Ed Bishop, Robert Gillespie, Nadim Sawahla, John Horsley, Peter Cellier||Director||Ernest Day|
& Filming Dates
|Block 1, Ep 2
|Original UK Transmission||Season 1, Ep 11
10th March 1978
Plenty of action and even some humour with the matching tracksuits but also many holes and convenient plot devices. Ramos is able to get into the grounds far too easily and the old cliche of his telescopic sight glinting in the sunlight had been done to death (pardon the pun) even by 1977!
Revealing Ramos' true target right at the start of the episode was a ridiculous storytelling move as it totally undermines what would have made for a neat plot twist later. As such the audience is simply left waiting for Cowley's mob to catch up! To compound matters, the motive behind the attack is never explained.
Also, why on earth is it down to Bodie and Doyle to save the girl? And even though we had far less Health'n'Safety in 1977, surely even back then the workmen would have stopped smashing the building down when they saw two loonies running riot in it?
Not that the show was into gratuitous violence or anything but Ramos slays his own accomplice for no adequately explored reason! Did I miss something there?
One intriguing aspect is that, despite this being the second episode to be filmed, Shaw and Collins' chemistry is clearly working well already, despite later interviews in which both claimed they did not get on well together in the early days.
Fave scenes include the opening with the lads tackling the female op (surprise, surprise!) and where they race to save Cowley and catch Ramos in the office.
Cowley turning tables on Ramos at the end - and Doyle doing similar to Bodie - is also a great way to finish the episode off!
In all there are some great scenes in this ep and it's very entertaining. But the plot itself doesn't really hang together.
The Bad Guy in this is so silly-looking that it's difficult to take him seriously.
And some of the plot points are really dumb - why they didn't call in the girl's location and have the demolition stopped instead of racing the wrecking ball and dodging around falling parts of the building is beyond my limited understanding. The dubbing sucks as well.
That said, it's a pretty fair episode. Both Lads look good - Doyle's hair is growing out, a decided improvement. The "camera" is beginning to figure out how to deal with Martin. Bodie dresses exceptionally well in the soon-to-be-standard polo shirt and leather jacket. Not sure about the red-orange track suits, but, hey, the fit is good where it matters. <G>
The sequence with the cat burglar is fun. Good comedy-within-suspense there. Nice shot of Bodie from, uh, behind as he's going over the wall. Gotta love those moleskins!
Doyle-as-a-bully plays well in this one. He steamrolls over the poor burglar, tells the beseiged millionaire father that "We need information and we're not fussy how we get it" and clearly enjoys throwing his weight around over the phone with upper level cops. Bodie broods and menaces, but Doyle crackles with aggression. Bodie enjoys Doyle's enjoyment.
We get some nice hints about both men's backgrounds. Watch Bodie as he clowns around on the tower, slips into serious talk of field-of-fire, clowns some more and then becomes deadly serious when he spots the shine on Ramos' binoculars. (stupid, stupid Ramos!) The teamwork and rapport between the two agents is silk-smooth.
That doesn't prevent Bodie from playing a rather nasty joke on his partner in regards to the new female CI5 agent. The Lads in Friendly Competition for women is an established theme by now - females are less important for who they are than for what they represent as tokens in the one-upsmanship game.
Cowley has some excellent scenes in this one. GJ watchers enjoy! Interesting quote from Doyle: "What did Father say?" They are in many ways, Cowley's sons & heirs. One take on the last segment wherein Cowley uses them to lull Ramos into thinking he's unprotected and alone is that George is teaching them as he works. He certainly hints at this process later in 'Need To Know'. Also note that while Bodie agrees with Cowley, Ray is busily questioning everything!
Not a great ep, but it does have its moments.
Doyle: "We need this information - and we're not fussy about how we get it!"
Doyle, annoyed at Cowley's usual lack of gratitude, effects Scots accent: "Aye, and well done, Bodie!"
Bodie: "Aye, ye ken, Bodie!"
Cowley: "We take Ramos."
Cowley: "Like a tiger with a sacrificial goat!"
Bodie: "A trap with you as bait?"
Doyle: "I don't like it."
Cowley, laughing: "I'm not mad about it myself!"
Doyle: "It's crazy - it's too risky."
Bodie: "You heard the man - if you want to catch a tiger..."
Doyle: "Or lose a good goat!"
The wheel covers on Ramos' fab Jensen Interceptor keep changing!
The unfortunate rat is plainly ailed by rigormortis when Ramos places it on the electric fence, yet becomes notably more supple in Cowley's hands! Maybe it was into aerobics? (Thanks to Peter Bahniuk.)
Ramos uses a bolt-action rifle in the tower. Such a weapon cannot deliver three shots in such rapid succession as the bolt has to be manually pulled between each one. (Thanks to Peter Bahniuk.)
When the lads race back upstairs once they realise Ramos is in the building, Cowley's office seems to have magically moved as they go to a different door!
Also, when the lads escort Harbinger to the airport, they use the brown Rover P6. On returning, they are in the white Triumph Dolomite.
Production on this episode - actually the second one, despite its transmission very late in the season - was chaotic as it required substantial rewrites and additional scenes weeks after much of the filming had been completed. Originally Caroline Langrishe had played the role of Mandy Mitchell but she was not available for the revisions, so Judy Mathieson was brought in as a replacement. Ramos' associate Vila (Martin Benson) was added to the story at this point, as was the the pair viewing the film of Cowley in what became the episode's opening scene.
The filming dates given above are the planned ones - the Daily Progress reports for the episode are lost, so the actual ones may have varied slightly.
Contender's DVD re-release of this episode includes the original title music and Cowley's "Anarchy, acts of terror" voiceover... this whole issue just gets increasingly confusing!
It's a little strange seeing actor Brian Haines in a non-speaking role here (as the CI5 op that Cowley sends on the aeroplane at the end of the episode). Just a year before he had played a second lead role in an episode of Brian Clemens' Thriller series.
Roger Lloyd-Pack (Ramos) was better known as the slow-witted Trigger in the long-running popular sitcom Only Fools and Horses. More recently seen as farmer Owen Newitt in The Vicar of Dibley but passed away in 2014.
Martin Benson's (Ramos' sidekick, Villa) biggest claim to fame was that of playing the hideous Captain Vogon Jeltz in the 1981 television adaptation of The Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Passed away in 2010.
Robert Gillespie (Sammy) guested in various sitcoms throughout the 70s and 80s, while playing the lead in the rather dull Keep it in the Family (though Stacy Dorning and Sabina Franklyn were always worth watching!). Also cameod in the second season story 'Rogue'. More recently seen in an episode of humorous cop drama New Tricks.
Nadim Sawalha (Sheikh Achmeia) popped up all over the place in the 70s and 80s in series such as The Sweeney, Shelley, Minder and Tales of the Unexpected. Bond fans may remember his short role in The Spy Who Loved Me at the hands, sorry, teeth, of Jaws! He also appeared in two further Professionals episodes ('First Night' and 'Hiding to Nothing'). Although his career in the last fifteen years hasn't been quite so prolific, he continues to work steadily, and is another to appear in New Tricks.
John Horsley (Mr Mitchell) is perhaps best known as Doc Morrissey in The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin. Retired from acting in 1997 and passed away in 2014.
Finally Ed Bishop is, of course, renowned for his searing performance as Commander Ed Straker in Gerry Anderson's UFO and continued to appear in various "Rent-a-Yank" roles. He also appeared in the second-season episode 'Man Without a Past'. Tragically passed away after contracting a virus during a routine surgical operation in 2005.
NB: The day-to-day production Progress Reports for this episode are presently missing. As such some of location information is rather vague and/or confusing. To exacerbate matters, the aforementioned script rewrites that took place after much of the episode had been filmed led to three different mansions being used for Mitchell's home, Black Firs and Fulmer Rise Manor, both in Fulmer, while South Lodge View in Gerrards Cross provided the outer walls.
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