Last updated : 15th November 2015
|Story Synopsis||An old collegue offers Cowley the name of a highly-placed double agent in exchange for protection.||Writer||John Goldsmith|
|Guest Stars||James Laurenson, Michel Gothard||Director||William Brayne|
& Filming Dates
Block 3, Episode 1
|Original UK Transmission||Season 3, Episode 3
10th November 1979
Fast-paced, brutal, action-packed... and endlessly thrilling! "I hate flashy drivers!" Many of the action and chase scenes are superbly choreographed.
The plot is complex and if you have to watch it a couple of times to understand what's going on, I don't blame you! However, unlike the later 'Runner', this one does make sense! The whole episode ultimately revolves around the huge twist at the end... and Cowley happily keeps his men - and us! - in the dark all the way through.
A question: when the lads hear Cowley being shot, they race up to the airfield but stop to open the barrier - why didn't they simply drive straight through it??!!! Actually it looks as though it was a metal one (thanks to Diane Lilley).
The action scenes here are terrific - some great camera-work and direction.
Cowley acts like a real swine during the interrogation of Malenski - you can almost feel sorry for the incarcerated Pole. Good little performance by Morgan Shepherd there.
For the first time in the series, I think, Cowley begins to doubt the competence of his own team: "You were my best men." / "There's no answer to that!".
Loved seeing the Granada being put through its paces at the end!
This is a great action episode. Lots of excellent shooting and driving stuff. The driving stunts are particularly good. The plot is terrific.
Cowley is at his best - ferocious, snappish, self-sufficient and secretive, not even fully trusting his two best agents. Note that toward the end Bodie whines a bit about this only to be told (rather viciously) that he can't act.
The little bit with the drunk serves no plot purpose but is great fun.
Both Lads look very good. Bodie seems to have gained some weight and doesn't move quite as quickly, but the extra bulk looks fine and makes him even more impressive when he "looms". At the finale when he sneaks up on the bad guys, he is particulary deadly-looking even with the gum chewing. <g>
The reuse of several houses is bothersome but understandable.
The pub scene that was likely used as a filler is one of my favorites. Cute banter and teasing, but nice character development as well. A worried, pensive Doyle, drinking in a pub with a relatively carefree and happy Bodie while gnawing on a problem, is a beautiful sight to behold. <g>
A fine episode with some particularly good aspects. High praise to the stunt folk!
Malenski, held for interrogation: "I will tell you nothing!"
Cowley: "I haven't asked you anything yet, laddie!"
Malenski: "If I help you, Kodai will have my family eliminated."
Cowley: "If you help me, the only elimination will be that of Kodai himself."
Malenski: "It's not a risk I choose to take, Mr Cowley."
Cowley: "In that case I have no choice, either. I will have your family in Poland incriminated as Western agents."
Malenski: "No-one will believe that!"
Cowley: "My people will ensure that the evidence against them will be incontrovertable."
Malenski: "You bastard!! You're just like Kodai. You use people - innocent people, old people, anybody - to get what you want!"
Cowley: "I do try to get what I want. But I'm not like Kodai: I look after the people I use."
Doyle, rehearsing: "The good news is that my colleague here obeyed orders and didn't shoot Kodai..."
Cowley, entering unannounced: "... And the bad news is that he got away... again! And you're my best men... you were my best men!"
Doyle: "There's no answer to that!"
Doyle: "Go on, get us a Scotch. Your reward will be in Heaven, my son!"
Bodie, eyeing up the barmaid: "I'd rather have it down here, thanks!"
Cowley: "I want security sewn up so tight, a gnat can't get in."
Bodie: "Knee-deep in dead insects already, sir!"
Cowley: "Under no circumstances whatsoever is a shot to be fired until further orders. Anybody who disobeys will spend the rest of his life watching Russian trawlers off the Outer Hebrides!"
Doyle: "Nice to feel wanted!"
Bodie: "I'm quite looking forward to seeing Kodai again."
Doyle: "Oh, yeah - can't wait!"
Bodie: "Oh he's not such a bad sort. A bit careless with firearms, I'll concede but..."
Doyle: "Yeah and he loves animals and children, I know!"
The amusing pub scene that Sharon mentions was never in John Goldsmith's original script but had to be added and filmed much later (by another writer - probably either Brian Clemens or Script Editor Gerry O'Hara) when the production team realised the episode only ran to 46 minutes!
In the episode's script, Cowley was suppposed to drive the Granada in the finale. In an interview Gordon Jackson gave when the series finished in 1981, he claimed to have been a terrified passenger during chase scenes - perhaps he wasn't confident enough to do the driving either!
James Laurenson (Meredith) has had a busy film and TV career as a character actor with appearances in British classics such as Women in Love and Elizabeth R. American TV-movie producer Bobby Roth cast him as a lead in three of his productions, Heartbreakers (1984 - not the recent movie of the same name!), Rainbow Drive and The Walraff Affair (aka The Man Inside) . He also starred in the Edward Woodward Cold War thriller Codename: Kyril. More recently he's been a semi-regular in the popular period action drama Sharpe and played a police commander in the brilliant one-off docu-drama This is Personal: The Hunt for the Yorkshire Ripper. But my favourite appearance for him has to be the crazy 1980 horror film The Monster Club!
Michael Gothard (Kodai) will be familiar to James Bond fans for he played one of the villains in For Your Eyes Only. Earlier highlights included the unforgettable Vincent Price horror flick Scream and Scream Again and the hugely controversial Ken Russell film The Devils. He also starred alongside Lewis Collins in Jack the Ripper. According to the IMDB he tragically committed suicide in 1993.
Morris Perry (Radouk) will be remembered by Sweeney fans as Commander Maynon in many early episodes of that series. He was also a lead character in Terry Nation's mid-70s classic apocalypse drama Survivors.
|Technical Notes||For current TV transmissions and older VHS/DVD releases, the picture quality on this episode benefits from virtually no dirt or damage. However the dialogue track is rather muted in comparison to the Music & Effects track. However this is not a problem for Network's BluRay and (future) DVD releases.|
Click for the complete List of Episodes