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|
& Filming Dates
|Block 2, Episode 5
|Original UK Transmission||Season 2, Episode 4
28th October 1978
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.
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'.
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 Notes||LWT'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.|
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