Last updated : 9th November 2014





Episode 'Look After Annie'
Story Synopsis An extreme left-wing preacher becomes a target. Cowley assigns Bodie and Doyle to protect her without realising who the would-be killer is. Writer Brian Clemens
Guest Stars Nick Brimble, Derek Francis, Patricia Quinn, Keith Buckley, Clifton Jones, Diana Fairfax Director Charles Crichton
Production Order
& Filming Dates
Block 1, Ep 11
24th November to 15th December 1977Main shoot.
12th January 1978Additions to script: The lads en route to Annie's hotel and CI5 caretakes Charley discussing Cowley's and Annie's past history.
13th January 1978Addition to script: Gunman walking to conference hall in opening scene.
Original UK Transmission Season 1, Ep 12
17th March 1978
Dave's Comment
Story
Action
Pace
Humour
Violence

Quite a 'nasty' episode in terms of its violence.

It suffers in places from badly synchronised sound dubbing and the crowd scenes are too obviously taken from news footage (see Sidenotes) though this is excusable given the show's meagre budget at the time.

Although the story itself fails to fire the imagination, there are some terrific exchanges of dialogue here: Bodie's remark about Annie being "not bad for an old 'un!", for example and, of course, the hilarious "Cowley and a Woman" theory between the lads!

The opening scenes of Annie, firing on all cylinders, at her New York conference are nicely dramatic. I've read various comments that Diana Fairfax's performance as Annie is regarded as rather "flat" but I have disagree - I think she's terrific in the role. If there is a problem, it's due to limitations within the script. Either way her character's fierce independence and single-mindedness makes for more than a worthy match for her old beau, Cowley. Their scenes together have some terrific, "chemistry" dialogue and acting.

Indeed it is one of the few episodes where we learn a little more about The Great Cow himself, though it all seems a tad too cliched and fairy-tale to me. An intriguing moment is when Cowley meets Stanley for the first time and is visibly shocked that Annie is involved with him: is this because he is black? To me there is a clear inference this is certainly one reason. If so, why should it be? In 'Klansmen' Cowley is quite clearly anti-racist. Whatever, great acting by Gordon there.

However the underlying story doesn't really work for me as there is no exploration of the Workers' Christian Alliance's (political) motives and thus we get no sense of why Annie should be an assassination target. To compound this here is too much time spent with Big Billy's gang preparing for the assault: as they have no motive of their own other than being paid as hired thugs, it doesn't add anything to the plot. However the final "battle" scenes with the gang of thugs are pretty good, if padded out a little.

At the end of the day CI5 wins... but Cowley loses and, from that point, it works well.

Sharon's Comment

"Annie" is a showcase for Cowley: we see his past, emotions and weaknesses.

Other than that...

Well, okay. The episode has some fine Bodie-and-Doyle scenes that add little to the plot and a great deal to the developing relationship. Especially in the first third it's very important to watch their faces as one or the other talks or acts. By now they are really on the old telepathic wavelength. They are quite cute about it e.g. the "testing Annie's security" scene. This episode contains the "car dialogue" in which Bodie does his marvelous campy "I hadn't noticed" line and Doyle enriches our lives with his dirty laugh. In addition the "tea scene" in which Charlie lets The Lads in on George's romantic past is a fine moment. A bit of slice-of-life for CI5-ers, sitting in the lounge, playing cards and gossiping, finding out details about the boss and looking very believable. Note that Doyle adds milk to Bodie's tea then Bodie sloshes in more, spilling some onto the floor. Well done we could easily be spying on the real thing here.

Both men dress well and look good. Doyle is using his wonderful eyes to good effect now. The leather jackets make another, welcome appearance, and Bodie decks himself out in black for the final section. Yummie.

Worst part: the fake crowd scenes. Gag. Second worst part: Annie. (C'mon George! How about Elizabeth in 'Spy Probe'? Now there is a lady with character!)

Nice hurt-Ray-rescued-by Bodie moment. Always a crowd-pleaser.

I did wonder about the logic in using a black guy as the baddie, particularly since no one comments on it and 'Klansman' follows. Weird.

Dialogue

Cowley, admiring Annie and her speech: "Handsome woman, eh?"

Bodie: "Yeah, not bad for an old'un!"

Cowley: " 'Old'?! She's no more than forty-five!"

Bodie: "Yeah, that's what I meant!"


Doyle: "She comes under the category of 'Visiting VIP', doesn't she?"

Bodie, not happy at having to play bodyguard: "Yeah... wish she'd visit someplace else!"


Bodie: "We'll have security so tight, you'll have to send out for oxygen!"


Annie: "CI5 you say?"

Doyle: "Yeah - Criminal Intelligence. Mr Cowley's orders."

Annie: "Cowley? George Cowley?! Georgie sent you!!"

The lads, now twigging Cowley's motive for involvement, exchange bemused glances.


Doyle: "This is not a job for CI5, you know. It's only because Cowley wants it. What about this Irvine woman - do you think she and Cowley ever...?"

Bodie: "Oh, come on - Cowley and the opposite sex?! You must be joking!"

Doyle: "Well he must be an attractive man... I suppose...? I mean he's a bit aggressive but he would be attractive, wouldn't he?"

Bodie, camp: "Not noticed!"

Bodie, reflecting: "Cowley and a woman!"

Doyle, laughing: "Yeah! He'd kick the door down... throw her on the bed..."

Bodie: "... and frisk her!!"


Annie, brightly: "My God, ten years. Where have they all gone, Georgie?"

Cowley: "In my case, into hard and diligent work."

Annie: "You never married, then?"

Cowley: "Of course not. You didn't have to ask that, Annie. You know that, as far as I'm concerned, you were... always..."

Annie, getting the meaning, lowers her eyes and makes no response.


Stanley on the posters being put up at the back of the assembly hall: "It's our experience that those who can't get in to the meeting tend to congregate around the building and a few remain behind hoping to see Miss Irvine."

Bodie: "What, all this for a few people?"

Stanley: "Annie has a saying: 'From the few grow the many!' "

Bodie: "Well Adam and Eve wouldn't argue with that!"


Bodie to the killers who are carrying an assortment of weapons: "Drop everything!..."

Bodie, determined that they won't run away: "Including your pants!"

Bloopers

In the "Cowley and a woman" dialogue scene, the lads are in the Capri. Suddenly the scene cuts to a long shot of Cowley's yellow Granada!?! Actually this is the shot originally seen in 'Close Quarters'. Perhaps there was a mix-up during the post-production editing.

Bodie's jacket changes between arresting Howard and showing him in to Cowley's office. (Thanks to the hundreds of people who spotted this!)

Stanley tells the gang to hide in the Dressing Room marked '3' but in subsequent shots they are seen in number 1. (Thanks to Wolfgang Ruffert)

Despite breaking his arm, Doyle uses it to punch one of the villains! (Thanks to Ros Heit).

We see Doyle passing out in the minibus, the camera cuts to Stanley's point-of-view where we agin see Doyle slump down. Arguably this might be more due to creative editing, however. (Thanks to Tom Moorcroft)

Sidenotes

Fan Will Turner kindly informs me that much of the riot footage is actually taken from the 1971 film "All Coppers Are...".

Towards the end of the episode the lads drive to the airport in Bodie's Capri. Originally this included a short scene of negotiating a large roundabout. While this was present in Video Gems' release of the early 1990s, it was missing from Contender's video and DVD issues of the late 90s and early 2000s. On Network's BluRay and DVD releases we can see it again - but it is presented amongst the first season set's "extras" as a "deleted scene" rather than being placed back in the episode itself. This suggests that while Video Gems had used the print created for the original TV transmission, the master negative had been cut for some reason post 1977. So it is a deleted scene - but not in the normal sense!

Deja Vu

Although Clifton Jones (Stanley) is best known as computer techie Kano in the first season of Space: 1999 his acting career had been thriving since the late 1950s. However the 1980s saw very few film and television roles for him and he appears to have retired from acting in the mid-1990s. He reappeared briefly in The Professionals as would-be assassination victim St Jacques in 'The Madness of Mickey Hamilton'.

Derek Francis (John Howard) returned to the show in 'No Stone'. He passed away in 1984.

Nick Brimble has carved out a good career since the 1970s, with appearances in The Sweeney, Danger UXB and Dempsey and Makepeace. He also played Little John in the excellent Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves and bodyguard to Ian Richardson's scheming Prime Minister in the excellent To Play the King and Final Cut miniseries. A role in Lewis Collins' Who Dares Wins appears to have been cut short for some reason as in the finished film he only appears for a few seconds. He also played a computer salesman who gets blown up in a Bergerac episode! For Professionals fans, also check out 'The Untouchables'.

Patricia Quinn (lsla) appeard in The Rocky Horror Picture Show, the BBC's Roman epic I, Claudius, a very, ahem, "revealing" role in Hammer House of Horror ep 'Witching Time' and then a handful of Doctor Who eps in the mid-1980s. Nothing so prominent since, though, as far as I can tell. Was married to esteemed actor Robert Stephens until his death in 2004. (Thanks to Dave Catrall).

Locations
Harefield Grove was used for CI5 headquarters, the hospital and the interior shots of John Howard's base.
The New York conference scenes and those for Annie's UK visit were shot at the Regal Cinema on Uxbridge's High Street. However the area has undergone complete transformation since 1977. (The shots of the audience applauding were stock footage.)
En route to see Annie, the lads round this corner on Harefield Road, Batchworth. Oddly both houses seen in the background of the screengrab have since been demolished and replaced...
... in the next scene, the lads are driving past the small Harefield Road Industrial Estate, Batchworth.
Annie stayed at what is documented as the Skyline Hotel, Harlington, though we only see interior shots.
Returning to HQ, the lads drive over the bridge on Oxford Road, Uxbridge. The sign for the Swan and Bottle pub is still there. The same location is used towards the end of the episode when the lads take Annie to see Cowley.
The hilarious 'Cowley and a Woman' duologue is documented as having been filmed on Park Road, Uxbridge - passing passing Uxbridge Common - but it's difficult to be certain
Political activist John Howard plans to disrupt Annie's conference. The exterior of his base was shot in the Crown and Treaty pub, Uxbridge - still standing today despite the complete regeneration in the area. (The interior, however, was shot at Harefield Grove).
Other forces are also at work, with local villains being hired to kill Annie. Big Billy and his gang congregate around Gordon & Eve's Cafe which was at 20 Oxford Road, Uxbridge - it's now a hairdresser's.
As the conference kicks off a riot begins. Cowley meets with police officer Patterson by the junction of Keppel Street, Helena Road and Dagmar Road in Windsor. The site is barely recognisable now as so many of the buildings have since been replaced but the shape of the junction - difficult to show in a single still shot - matches what we see on-screen.
The final showdown was shot on the Highbridge Industrial Estate off Oxford Road in Uxbridge but it has been completely redeveloped since and none of what we see in the episode is now recognisable.
The lads take Annie to airport via Chippendale Waye and Park Road, Uxbridge.
The point at which the ambulance emerged from the sideroad was what is now the Park Road entrance to Uxbridge College.
The final shot of the episode, where the lads drive past the Annie Irvine poster, is documented as Uxbridge's High Street. Despite complete redevelopment, the location appears to be confirmed by historical references on other websites to the Norman Reeves car dealership. However the building which now hosts the 'Slug and Lettuce' pub clearly wasn't there in 1977, despite being of an old architectural design and brickwork. A mystery!



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