Last updated : 15th November 2015

Episode 'A Hiding to Nothing'
Story SynopsisPalestinian extremists plan to assassinate one of their politicians, Kemel Khadi, when they discover he is due to hold secret displomatic negotiations in London. CI5 has to find the source of the leak while keeping Khadi's own "enthusiastic" security team at bay. WriterTed Childs
Guest StarsGerald Sim, Sylvia Kay, Nadim Sawalha DirectorGerry O'Hara
Production Order
& Filming Dates
Block 3, Episode 3
22nd May to 6th June 1979Main shoot, though episode not completed on schedule...
12th July 1979Doyle patrols the hotel grounds, the convoy takes Khadi from the airfield and Doyle drives to joins the convoy.
Original UK TransmissionSeason 3, Ep 6
1st December 1979
Dave's Comment

Fast pacing and lots of humour make up for an otherwise fairly routine plot.

Performances from all the main players here are very good indeed and all the characters are likeable.

It's the banter and chacterisations of B & D that make this one worth watching. Bodie, jealous that Doyle gets to go undercover (literally!) to gain Shelley's confidence while he is ordered on stakeout, blasts at Cowley "How come the Bionic Golly gets all the best bits?!!". In fact it's quite clear throughout the most of the episode Bodie is not enjoying himself! Doyle, meanwhile, loves every minute of it, UNTIL he finds Shelley has been "cheating" on him! And the interaction between Doyle and Shelley is very natural (as well as some humorous dialogue - see below).

Bodie's scene as the electricity man is great fun, too - what a "nasty piece of work" he was!

The plot is pretty solid though Cowley correctly guessing who is responsible for the leak straight away was a bit too lucky, IMHO.

Sharon's Comment

'Hiding' is one of my favorite episodes for reasons both serious and silly. The plot is good, the secondary characters for the most part excellent and the writing is terrific.

Serious stuff:

Bodie and Frances. Watching Bodie deal with poor Frances is a marvelous character study. Here we have dark (dressed in black) broody Bodie very upset about the way the woman is used by everyone. He sulks about it and admonishes Doyle to take care with her. (Doyle blows it.) He's uneasy when revealing to her the sordid details of her supposed lover's non-life. He takes her a comforting cup of tea. He calls what is happening to her "the unacceptable face of espionage". This is all in contrast to the fact that he and Doyle have made a bet on whether Doyle will bed Shelley and whether Frances will manage to trick "Luis" (no pun intended). Also when Bodie wins he refuses to take the money. It's no stretch to imagine he will visit Frances in hospital after the dust settles.

Very good character development.

Doyle, on the other hand, is quite happy about using Shelley. There's no indication she's suspect at the time but he tricks (no pun) her into bed quite shamelessly. It seems likely he just wanted some "playtime" and took advantage of the situation to indulge.

Again, good character material.

Silly stuff:

Well, this could be called the "backside" episode, since it is the sight of the rear of Shelley's decorated jeans that gives Bodie the clue that All Is Not Well and if you slow-motion through the scene when Doyle gets out of bed with Shelley and pulls on his jeans... Well, just do it and enjoy the view. <G> (thanks, Martin!)

Lots of nice teasing banter between The Lads in this one despite Bodie's glumness over Frances. The scene when Bodie goes to Frances' flat and has to deal with her mother and the tiny dogs is great fun.

I love the Chesterfield coat Cowley wears!

The finale gunfight is great! Love watching Bodie run and shoot! Excellent stunt driving and camera work.

Luis is a good red herring plot-wise. I have yet to show this to someone and have them figure the twists out before Bodie sees Shelley's jeans at the end.


Shelley Hunter: "Another cop! I already have him!"

Bodie: "He's forensics, CID - I'm from CI5."

Shelley: "What's the difference?

Bodie: "Well he's a technician and I'm an intellectual!"

Bodie, jealous of Doyle's undercover activities with Shelley: "How come the Bionic Golly gets all the best bits?!"

Bodie: "You alright?"

Doyle, having met the apartment block's talkative cleaner: "Yeah but the natives are a bit friendly!"

Bodie: "Problem?"

Doyle: "Nah - I'll just take the rotor arm out of her broomstick! Listen, the guy who had this flat before - what does he do?"

Bodie, camp: "Oh he's a ballet dancer... but he's very nice!"

Doyle, warily: "Oh, really..."

Bodie, watching Frances: "She's at a concert, with a friend. A boyfriend."

Cowley: "You sure it's a boyfriend - there's a big difference."

Bodie, presumably starved of affection for some time: "I know! I think I can remember!"

Shelley: "So you're studying poetry? You should find my name pretty romantic, then."

Doyle, undercover as an English Literature student: "What, 'Hunter'?"

Shelley: "No - Shelley! He was a romantic poet, wasn't he? 'Hail to thee, Blythe Spirit!'"

Doyle, adopting a Frankenstein's monster impression: "'Bread good, fire bad!'"

Shelley: "He wrote that?!!"

Doyle: "No, his wife!"

Shelley, utterly bemused: "Shelley's wife?!!"

Doyle: "Yeah... well, they were livin' in sin, anyway!"


In the pre-titles teaser Detective Smith is just a few paces behind Pilar when he pursues her down the underpass ramp. The scene cuts to underground and she - running in high heels! - is then inexplicably about fifty metres ahead!?! (The two shots were filmed a week apart - and at different locations - which may explain the continuity gaffe.)

When Cowley meets Doad and Alousha at the small park, the Granada is briefly seen with the license plate FEV 24T - the car's genuine number.

There seems to be some confusion in the script between the Royal Academy of Music and the Royal College. (Thanks to Louise Nadal)

In the scene of the rendezvous at the airfield, Cowley is accompanied by an unnamed CI5 op, played by an unidentified extra. But the same actor is a prominent member of the security team - indeed he has a brief solo scene with a line of dialogue - at the simultaneous patrol of the Crableigh Hotel!

When Luis is arrested in the hotel grounds, Doyle carries a pair of binoculars around his neck. However they have disappeared when he turns to jump into his car.

On leaving the airfield, there are clearly two fellow CI5 ops accompanying Bodie in his Capri. But his buddies mysteriously disappear in subsequent scenes before magically rematerialising for the final shootout!


In the novelisation the landlady says to Doyle "Weren't you in Coronation Street?" (This is a hugely popular UK soap that's been running since 1960 and which Martin briefly starred in during 1968). I can't help but wonder if this line was in a draft version of the TV script, as a writer's little joke, but was removed later.

Important note to VHS/DVD buyers: the Contender versions from 1997 and 2002 had to have ten seconds of footage trimmed from the scene of Doyle breaking into Shelley's flat. This was at the insistence of the British Board of Film Classification who deemed that it was a demonstration of "criminal technology" that could be emulated by people watching the episode. Load of cobblers, of course, but the all-powerful BBFC does not have to account for its actions. It was somewhat ironic that British fans could catch the scene fully intact in television reruns. Fortunately, after a protracted argument with them, sense eventually prevailed and Contender's DVD re-releases of 2004 has the scene fully intact, as do Network's DVD and BluRay versions from 2015.

Deja Vu

Sylvia Kay (Frances) played Hywel Bennett's dope-smoking mother in his popular sitcom Shelley, though she's probably better remembered for the 1980s Paul Nicholas sitcom Just Good Friends.

American actress Lise Hilboldt (Shelley) only seems to have had a brief role in Superman and SOS Titanic (both filmed in the UK) in 1978 and 1979, before getting the role in the episode. (Thanks to Andrew Miles.)

Frederick Warder (the copper who opens fire on Pilar Hernandez in the pre-title sequence) went on to the terrific, off-beat gangland series The Paradise Club. Also starred in the controversial prison drama series The Governor.

A trial run for a security meeting attracts unwanted attention. The opening scenes were shot around Pitt Head Mews. This is where the detective stands when he's waiting for the arrival of the Mercedes. The buildings have been replaced but the steps are still there...
... but there is a cheat here because the Merc actually pulls into a garage in nearby Hay's Mews...
... with Pilar watching. Another shot in Hay's Mews.
Chased by the Special Branch man, Pilar runs into into a subway. This is near 25 Park Lane, though that building has since been replaced, though the building beyond it has some ornamentation on its balconies that are just about recognisable.
Later Cowley and the lads discuss the case. The projection room is documented as being in St Bernard's Hospital, Ealing - since subsumed into Ealing Hospital!
Doyle goes undercover and takes a room at the lodging house Pilar had briefly shared with an air hostess named Shelley. Interior shots of Shelley's place is documented as Flats 4-10 Enmore Courts, Enmore Gardens, Sheen. However the exterior was 35 Woodstock Road, Finsbury Park.
Cowley goes to see Colonel Masterson who is arranging the security conference. His place is on the corner of Uplands Close and Monroe Drive, Richmond. It can't be reached on Google Street View, unfortunately, but a covert recce in 2002 discovered that Bodie was still on stakeout there!
Masterson's PA, Frances, attends a music recital with her young boyfriend, Luis. She parks by the Royal Albert Hall on Prince Consort Road...
Pilar's presence at the dry run suggests a security leak, so Cowley has his men tail those people directly involved with the upcoming meeting. Bodie follows Frances and reports back to Cowley, who is travelling near the junction of Wembley Park Drive and Empire Way, Wembley.
Aziz Doad is handling security for the meeting's Palestinian delegates. Cowley meets him and his assistant, Alousha, in Mount Street Gardens, off South Audley Street, Mayfair. Note the (genuine) registration plate on the Granada!
Meanwhile Bodie follows Frances to her home, Flat 6M, Hyde Park Mansions, Cabbell Street, Lisson Grove, used for both interiors and exteriors.
After a fight with intruders in Shelley's flat, Doyle goes to question one of them in hospital. This is documented as St Bernard's on Windmill Lane, Ealing - which was subsequently swallowed up by Ealing Hospital. The exterior part we see on-screen cannot be accessed via Google Street View, unfortunately.
Frances meets Luis again, this time at the Holiday Inn hotel (now one of the Marriott chain) King Henry’s Road, Swiss Cottage.
Meanwhile Cowley and Doad make preparations for the meeting at the Crableigh Hotel - in reality Warfield Hall, Forest Road, Warfield.
Bodie pursues Luis down Priory Road, Hornsey - the tell-tale here is the apartment block on the right. I've had to use a different angle here to emphasise the building seen in the right-hand background of the screenshot.
The chase continues down Priory Road.
Luis pulls over, again on Priory Road.
Meanwhile Doyle is tailing Frances, firstly along Lynton Road, Hornsey...
Back to the car chase and Bodie is haring up Park Avenue South, Hornsey. This was a tricky one to spot because of the greenery that has been grown since '79 - however a stroll along the road taking in the architecture of the houses confirms this is the correct location.
Now we are back along Priory Road - note the little "steeple".
Now on Barrington Road where the yellow VW microbus pulls out in front of Luis from its junction with Harefield Road...
... and a few yards further along Bodie is forced into a spectacular spin. The design of the houses' roofs are a good indicator here.
Frances, in a daze after her meeting with Luis, walks into the path of an oncoming car in Palace Road, Horsey.
Main Palestinian delegate to the meeting, Khadi, meets Masterson, Cowley and Alousha at an airfield, documented as White Waltham Airlfield. (Originally this was supposed to be shot at RAF Northolt in Ruislip - it's not clear why this plan changed.)
Khadi is chauffeured through the village of Lemsford, near Hatfield. This was a tricky one to spot as the foliage largely disguises the buildings in background today!
The explosive final scenes were all shot in Black Park.

Click for the complete List of Episodes