Last updated : 9th November 2014
|Episode 'Fall Girl'|
|Story Synopsis||An old girlfriend of Bodie's unwittingly involves him in an assassination and he finds himself on the run from MI6 and CI5 !||Writer||Ranald Graham|
|Guest Stars||Pamela Salem, Frederick Jaeger, Patrick Malahide, Michael Latimer||Director||William Brayne|
& Filming Dates
|Block 2, Episode 10
|Original UK Transmission||Season 2, Episode 10
9th December 1978
The ep is rather slow-moving during the first half but dosed with some humour ("Where were you last night?" / "Had an urgent meeting with my psychiatrist!" / "Well... the head needs shrinking!"). And the scene with Doyle stood in the street with a bunch of flowers is yet another example of the show's self-mockery. From Bodie's meeting with Marikka in the hotel, however, we're back to the action, pacing and pizzazz we've come to expect!
The plot is excellent and highly complex, as is necessary.
The MI6 guy with the blonde bubble-perm, beige suit and constantly chewing gum... is it possible to look any more 1970s than that??!!! Fantastically awful!
Bodie and Marikka are an interesting item (well, Pam Salem is, anyway! <G>). But instead of being excited to see her again, Bodie's reaction to Marikka seems oddly restrained - perhaps after being "let down" by her years before, he still doesn't quite trust her? And that doubt becomes an underlying theme throughout the rest of the story...
Despite Bodie's suspicions over Marikka, his complete lack of reaction during the final scene is very odd! Other than that, a great finish to the second season!
The second of the "betrayal" stories, 'Fall Girl', in spite of the pleasure of seeing Bodie more or less at love-play, is not a favorite. It's oddly out-of-focus and a very strange story with which to end the second series. Why does Bodie get picked on for the final episode again? (see 'Klansmen' from the first series)
Good things: Doyle's dirty laugh. In the beginning Doyle is delightfully ribald – a side of him we haven't seen before. This is a man who could be terrific fun! He is earthy and bawdy and quite naughty about using the R/T for a clandestine social contact. Doyle has some great lines in this episode.
Bodie is extraordinarily beautiful. We get lots of close-ups. His broody nature is given full play and the camera shows his long eyelashes to incredible advantage. Of course he does wear The Awful Brown Cardigan again. Well, we can't have everything.
The camera work during the final shoot-out scene is excellent.
Not so good things:
I realise there is a lot of back-story that we don't see but it's difficult to accept that Bodie really desires poor Marikka much less loves her. He is, at first, apparently content to just talk on the phone and when they meet he seems awkward and reluctant to get close. Granted, given the opportunity, he does move in, but it seems far too slow and careful for a man of such obvious natural passion as this. Even in the hotel room he does not seem all that eager to get on with matters. He looks smug and pleased, but not excited.
And his dead-panned reaction to seeing Doyle from the window is also odd. He does not seem concerned that Doyle is following and watching him.
Cowley fighting for Bodie is good to see. He pulls out the stops and uses Doyle to best advantage.
Doyle, however, toward the end seems oddly passive. This is not the firecracker we've come to know & love. He asked Cowley about following Bodie when, it seems, the thing he ought to have done was just go after his partner even if it meant taking a beating emotionally, verbally or physically. His facial expression is strange, too. Works with the story however: disgust, confusion, self-hatred.
What in the world does Cowley mean by "Make sure your own house is in order, 4.5"?
(The phrase generally means "mind your own business" but here perhaps what Cowley means is that, like Bodie, Doyle may have a past he would rather not reveal. Or perhaps it's a reference to Doyle having spirited away the evidence from the police station and Cowley is warning Doyle to make sure it stays securely hidden. -Dave)
And, of course, it is a story about betrayal - in order to achieve a particular aim, Willis (MI6?) plans to sacrifice Bodie even though he's quite aware of Bodie's innocence and his position at CI5.
An odd episode.
Note that in the gun battle before Bodie takes to the stairs, as he's running into the building, he slips and fires wildly. <G> Lew misstepped and the camera kept rolling. Nice save, Lew!
(In fact there is a glitch here because we see Lew slip just outside the building - yet the camera then cuts to an interior shot and we see Lew's legs on the inside! -Dave)
Doyle, impersonating James Bond, to Julia: "I'm licensed to thrill!"
Doyle, shown an apparently incriminating photo of Bodie with Marikka: "Well you've got to hand it to the lad: if he was going to the Electric Chair, he'd have Miss Universe pulling the switch!"
Doyle: "Who was on the phone - the governor?"
Barmaid: "No, a woman - all you two ever think about!"
Doyle: "What about my stamp collection?"
Barmaid: "What stamp collection?!"
Doyle, suggestively: "You mean you haven't seen it?!"
Doyle, tailing Marikka: "She's in her suite."
Cowley: "OK, I want you to get her out of there. Can you do it?"
Doyle, referring to the guard: "There's a heavy - there may be some fireworks."
Cowley: "You have clearance. Do you think you can handle it?"
Doyle: "The guard - yes. The girl... maybe!"
Willis, realising his deception is falling apart: "I'll do a deal with you."
Cowley: "We had a deal - you reneged!"
Fan Dinah Purton spotted that while Bodie clearly has some knowledge of the German language in this episode, in the first season ep 'Close Quarters', he had to get Sara to translate for him. Not sure whether this is a genuine blooper!
In the scene where the two maintenance men remove the rifle's stock, the incidental music used is NOT by Laurie Johnson. It's by a composer named Steve Gray and the piece is entitled "Unseen Danger". Specially composed for so-called music "libraries", it cropped up in a few other TV shows of the era (eg The Sweeney). It isn't clear why it was felt necessary to "import" this track - perhaps Laurie was not available at the time? Anyone interested in the piece will find a full-length version on the album "Suspense, Tension" from the Bruton music library label. (Many thanks to "Banbury Oddball"!)...
... Furthermore, the romantic meeting between Bodie and Marikka in the hotel is accompanied by a track called "Night Line" by Frank McDonald and Chris Rae, to be found on an album named "Hair of the Dog" by rival library De Wolfe. (Sadly the track isn't available on CD).
Production on this episode fell behind schedule, with some of the gasometer and safehouse scenes being delayed until after work on the next episode, 'Backtrack' had already commenced. But by this point Lewis had broken his leg in the infamous incident involving a weekend parachute jump. So Bodie uncovering the red Cortina had to use one of the stunt team as a body double in the long-shot of him opening the garage door, while the following scene of Bodie talking to Cowley over the R/T had to film Lewis from the waist up!...
Similarly body doubles were used for the subsequent scenes of Bodie driving onto the site of the safehouse and scaling a wall.
Frederick Jaeger (Schuman) will be familiar to fans of The Avengers' duo of Cybernaut episodes. A busy character actor during the 1960s and 70s, fans of Special Branch will recall he played the Commander in about half of the final season episodes. Often played German characters. Passed away in 2004.
Patrick Malahide (Green) came to fame as dogged Sergeant Chisholm in the classic comedy drama Minder. Has guested in many other crime shows such as Sweeney, Shoestring, Morse, eventually playing the lead in The Inspector Alleyn Mysteries. Also had an infamously, ahem, "passionate" scene in Dennis Potter's The Singing Detective. Starred alongside Martin Shaw in Who Bombed Birmingham? Oh - he got eaten by a giant rat in a New Avengers episode!!
Michael Redfern (CI5 agent at the safe-house) is chiefly remembered for the Oxo TV adverts of the 80s and 90s
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