Last updated : 9th November 2014

Episode 'Man Without a Past'
Story Synopsis A bomb placed at Bodie's table in a restaurant seriously injures his girlfriend and kills several other diners. But who targeted them and why? Writer Michael Armstrong, from a story by Jeremy Burnham
Guest Stars John Carson, John Castle, Ed Bishop, Anthony Bailey Director Martin Campbell
Production Order
& Filming Dates
Block 2, Episode 5
31st July to 11th August 1978Main shoot.
29th August 1978Bodie arrives at Crabbe's place, Doyle trapped in Crabbe's kitchen
31st August 1978Reshoot - for unspecified reasons - of Cowley using car telephone to speak with Padgett.
22nd September 1978Doyle meets with Pendle's probation officer, Doyle meets with the brunette, Bodie stops at phonebox to call the hospital and some pick-up shots of the car chases between Bodie and the FBI men.
(See Sidenotes below.)
Original UK Transmission Season 2, Episode 4
28th October 1978
Dave's Comment

John Castle's talents are under-used in an otherwise excellent episode. Would have liked a bit more humour but then this is a hard, brutal story with more than the usual level of violence.

The Lads arguing in the hospital ("You great clown do you think I don't know how you feel?!") is a great scene showing their knife-edged relationship at work.

In some ways we see the two younger heroes swap personalities in this episode: Doyle remains level-headed while it's Bodie who loses his cool. Usually Bodie sees his mission as a challenge but impersonal... but when the action gets too close to home, he can't contain his anger. In the confrontation with Forrest after the car-bomb, Bodie is terrifying - a superb scene extremely well-played by Lewis Collins there.

On the humorous side of things, though, we get a great early example of the show making fun of itself: the people at the bus-stop applauding Bodie trying to ambush a following car.

At least he gets his revenge in the later car chase great choreography and editing there! Meanwhile the chase scene between Doyle and Arthur is brilliantly photographed. And it's difficult to tell a stunt double is being used when Doyle is run down.

The ep has blissful funk overload in terms of the incidental themes: Laurie at his absolute best here!

A classic ep - great plot, loads of action, good musical score and some self-mocking humour. Good to see it wasn't just Brian Clemens who could come up with the goods.

Sharon's Comment

Excellent twisty plot in this one. It took several viewings before I actually figured out who was what to whom and why. This was in part because the sound on the old Video Gems tapes is awful. The street scenes in particular are nearly inaudible. Nevertheless the characters are all interesting, definitely not cardboard and leave plenty of room for speculation about their background stories. Nice to see "Shotgun Tommy" (John Castle) back even as a baddie.

Showcase for Bodie. Lewis is just beautiful here. He emotes and runs around gorgeously and gives us his very best scene of all: the driving bootlegger's turn, stop, jump out, jump over, aim the gun and...

No baddies. And the pensioners at the bus stop whistle and clap. Bodie takes it with proper humor.


Bodie wears black in this one. Yummy.

It's also a preview of 'Wild Justice' and 'Discovered in a Graveyard' showing us a Bodie who will use his skills and job to exact revenge. Although Cowley does eventually sanction his work, he is very much out there for most of the story. The scene where Cowley chews him out is surprising in that Bodie has disobeyed a direct order yet Cowley allows him to get on with the investigation once he's had his tongue-lashing. Nice job by both actors in that, by the way. The strength of the agent/boss relationship comes through nicely. Even when he's being bad, Cowley trusts Bodie.

The scene between the mother and daughter once the truth is out about the dad is an excellent one.

Two good car chases accompanied by stirring music. <G>

But the best part is Doyle, beaten, scruffy and suffering (oh, he whimpers so nicely) being rescued by Bodie. "You dumb crud, what took you so long?" (Doyle to Bodie) and "You look terrible." (Bodie, wearing a relieved grin, to Doyle) They care deeply about one another and verbalise this by insulting one another in times of stress, crisis and relief. Ah, male communication techniques.

Medical alert - in the last scene when Doyle raises his arms... Wouldn't happen if those ribs really were busted. Nope. Not.

Good episode - I'd like to see/hear it in decent copy.


Cowley, carpeting Bodie over his disobedience: "You're a good team, you and Doyle. I don't want to lose either of you if I can help it."

Bodie: "I'm sorry, sir."

Cowley: "Like hell you are!"

Forrest: "What do you want to discuss?"

Bodie: "My girlfriend is on the Critical List, there are two people dead and eleven people seriously injured. How about that for starters?!"

Forrest: "You're referring to the bombing? What do you want me to do about it?"

Bodie: "That bomb was meant for you - the second one today proves it - and you knew it was coming!"

Forrest, unflappable: "How about a drink?"

Bodie: "Considering you've just escaped death, you're pretty cool about it!"

Forrest, ignoring him: "Is Scotch alright?"

Bodie: "I'm not here for cocktails - I want answers!"

Forrest: "You want to know what my connection is with these bombs, hmmm? I haven't the faintest idea. I'm a Chartered Accountant. I've been an accountant all my life. The only injury I could have ever done anybody is to overestimate their tax liability... that's hardly a motive for murder.... Or perhaps it is these days!"

Bodie: "You're ice-cold, Forrest. Anyone else in your position would be out of their wits, confused."

Forrest: "Accountants are supposed to be logical people."

Bodie: "There have been two attempts on your life - and ever since I've been tailing you, there's been a very interested party following me! So let's forget all this 'I'm just an accountant' bit, right?"

Forrest: "What can I say? You tell me."

Bodie: "Alright, let's start with how did you manage to get your business going so quickly?"

Forrest, now getting edgy: "People I met, people I knew - no secret about it."

Bodie: "You're a liar, Forrest!"

Forrest finally loses his cool: "DON'T YOU CALL ME A LIAR!!"

Bodie now has the drop: "You're unreal. UNREAL! A guy puts a bomb in your car - God knows how you avoid getting killed! Do you phone the police? No! Do you bother to wait for them? No! You just go home, kiss the wife, pour yourself a Scotch and act like nothing's happened!"

Forrest, now realising he's on the rack: "I... I was going to call the police."

Bodie: "When?!! Next year??!"


In the scene where Cowley interrogates Mrs Forrest in her home, Gordon appears to almost trip over something (perhaps a camera cable?) when he walks from the foreground to the window. (Thanks to Amanda Cable)

During Bodie's second car chase we see him swing the steering wheel to the left but the Cari magically turns the other way! (Thanks to Baz Taylor).


The episode's filming got behind schedule, with outstanding scenes being filmed several weeks after the main shoot.

This episode was one of the few that London Weekend requested be edited for UK transmission. In the original episode the scenes of Arthur threatening Doyle with a gun and throwing him on the floor close to the explosive were deemed too violent for British TV! (Many thanks to Jan Adlington for drawing our attention to this.)...

... The Video Gems tape was of the same cut, though VHS, DVD and BluRay versions from Contender and Network restore the scene... and yet even they only run to a shade over 49 minutes, as does Mark 1's own copy in the vaults. As this is well short of the standard 50 minutes, 20 seconds that LWT stipulated for each episoede, there's a lingering suspicion that something else was chopped from the negative that we have still to see!

Apparently Martin Shaw was hospitalised for 24 hours after being KO'd by Rod Culbertson (Arthur) in their fight scene at Crabbe's apartment!

The surreal humour of the bus-stop scene was heightened when, a few minutes after filming completed, a real bus arrived and the extras employed to applaud Bodie's driving skills jumped aboard and rode into London!

The scene of the Triumph crashing was no carefully-staged accident - it ran out of control on the grass and collided with cameraman John Maskall. Luckily he wasn't hurt too badly.

Note John Castle and (a noticeably slimmer!) Anthony Bailey also appeared together in 'Heroes'.

Deja Vu

John Carson (Forrest) regularly featured as support characters in just about every series made by Lew Grade's ITC company during the 1960s and early 70s. He also appeared as the doctor in Brian Clemens' cult classic Captain Kronos - Vampire Hunter, an episode of The New Avengers and cameod in the episode 'Samurai Wind' from The New Professionals.

Robert Rietty (Gino, the restaurant owner), had an acting career dating back to the early 1930s! He was in huge demand for voice-dubbing sessions in TV and film work - particularly when foreign actors struggled with English. Also appeared in the episode 'Hijack'. Retired when he reached 85!

Technical NotesLWT's 1990s digi-tape appears to have been taken from a source medium other than than a standard film print - this time Betacam SP. There is evidence of visual "drop-out" in a couple of places and the audio is generally more muffled than usual. The reason for this could be that this was the only full-length version - see Sidenotes above - available at the time without having to resort to Mark 1's own copy.
Bodie and his girlfriend Claire are enjoying a restaurant meal at 'Michel et Valerie' - though now called Bianco Nero - at 7 Bridge Avenue, Maidenhead, though the post-explosion scenes were filmed at number 4 on the street, which was vacant at the time.
After an explosion, Claire is taken to what is documented as Wexham Park Hospital in Slough.
The following day accountant Brian Forrest seems strangely unperturbed when his wife Madge shows him newspaper headlines of the explosion, despite the fact that only a last-minute change of plan had spoiled their plans to be at the restaurant themselves. The Forrests' home is documented as "The Spinney", 28 Totteridge Common, Totteridge Lane, Totteridge(!). However it looks nothing like this now and it seems that many of the houses along that road have since been demolished and replaced. (Major subsidence issue, perhaps?)
Meanwhile Mafia men MacNeil and Phipps discuss the bombing while breakfasting at the Cunard International Hotel (now a Novotel) at 1 Shortlands, Hemmersmith. This was also used for the final scenes involving the underground carpark and the washroom.
Investigations into any unusual activity at the restaurant prior to the bombing uncover petty criminal Arthur Pendle. Doyle meets with his probation officer on the corner of Stamford Street and Waterloo Bridge, Lambeth. Annoyingly scaffolding was up on the day the Google van passed by! A telephoto lens has been used here, which makes the office block in the background appear much closer than it really is.
... The probation officer's car is parked just a few metres away on Waterloo Road.
Doyle drives to Arthur's address via High Street, Northwood.
Pendle lives with his sister, Sally. But before approaching her directly, Doyle meets with one of her ex-colleagues. Doyle and the unnamed brunette (played by Ann Michelle) walk along Bridge Street, Pinner. In the screengrab, the building in the background is now a branch of the NatWest bank. Oddly, though, the entrance to the building has since been moved from the right to the left.
They then stroll through through the archway between Tenison Way and Mepham Street, Lambeth.
Meanwhile Bodie questions the Forrests' daughter but gets no new information. He drives away from the family's home and along Highwood Hill, Barnet...
... A little further along Highwood Hill, he realises he is being tailed...
... The two cars speed across the bridge on The Ridgeway, Barnet...
... and then down Partingdale Lane.
Bodie spins the Capri on Lullington Garth, by the Equestrian Centre.
Doyle calls on Sally Pendle, whose apartment block is Larch House, Swan Road, Rotherhithe. The Google Street View shot here is the "reverse angle" of the screengrab.
Arthur, realising he's been rumbled, escapes from the flat. Doyle chases him down Swan Road and into Brunel Road.
Arthur and Doyle slug it out on wasteland, documented as Albion Yard somewhere off Rotherhithe Street. Although the extensive redevelopment of the area makes it difficult to pinpoint this location now, I'm guessing it was actually close to Albion Street. The tell-tale here is the two oddly-shaped high-rises seen behind Arthur in the screengrab, which appear to be Regina Point and Columbia Point.
Having lost the men who were following him, Bodie pulls up to phone the hospital on Bridge Street, Pinner.
Brian Forrest and his business partner Pagett share an office which has an underground carpark. Shot at the National Theatre, South Bank Centre. I think the car park is a few metres south of the Expresso Bar marked on the Google Map - note Waterloo Bridge in the screengrab...
... However the office itself is documented as being at Northway House, High Road, Whetstone. The earlier scenes in the police station are recorded as being filmed here, too...
Bodie arrives at the office hoping to speak with Forrest. Pagett is present and, feeling pressured, calls Cowley to complain while the latter is being driven along Dewhurst Road and Blythe Road, Hammersmith.
Meanwhile Arthur is joined by his associate, Peter Crabbe, and they subdue Doyle. They take him to the Crabbe's flat, documented as 17 Thurloe Square, South Kensington but we only ever see the interior. Subsequent scenes of Crabbe and Arthur escaping were shot at different locations - see below.
Bodie spots the men who were following him earlier speaking with Forrest. Turning tables, Bodie follows them along Cissbury Ring South, Barnet...
... but then overtakes them on further along the same road...
... still on Cissbury Ring South...
... and continues into Lullington Garth...
... but now there's a "cheat" because they're back on the aforementioned Partingdale Lane. The buildings in the background have since been demolished.
Bodie spins the Capri to a halt on Partingdale Lane.
Things start to unravel for Crabbe and Arthur when the latter is named in a news broadcast. They decide to scarper from the former's flat but leave an explosive device next to a tied-up Doyle. However there are two "cheats" here. Firstly the corridors are documented as having been filmed at a hotel, the The Bailey's Hotel at 140 Gloucester Road...
... and the underground carpark is recorded as having been filmed in Cadogan Place.

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