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|
& Filming Dates
|Block 1, Ep 11
|Original UK Transmission||Season 1, Ep 12
17th March 1978
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.
"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.
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!"
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)
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!
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).
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