Last updated : 15th November 2015
|Episode 'A Hiding to Nothing'|
|Story Synopsis||Palestinian 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.||Writer||Ted Childs|
|Guest Stars||Gerald Sim, Sylvia Kay, Nadim Sawalha||Director||Gerry O'Hara|
& Filming Dates
Block 3, Episode 3
|Original UK Transmission||Season 3, Ep 6
1st December 1979
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.
'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.
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.
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!"
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.
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.
Click for the complete List of Episodes