Last updated : 1st August 2016
|Episode 'Wild Justice'|
|Story Synopsis||Psychologist Dr Kate Ross faces ridicule when she tries to convince CI5 that Bodie's mental state poses a grave danger to himself and the organisation.||Writer||Ranald Graham|
|Guest Stars||Ziggy Byfield, Larry Lamb, Marsha Fitzalan, Sarah Douglas||Director||Dennis Abey|
& Filming Dates
|Block 4, Episode 2
|Original UK Transmission||Season 4, Episode 2
14 September 1980
One of the few psychological episodes, posing the question "Is Bodie cracking up?".
The first time Cowley meets up with Major Jack Craine, they have a very long and technical discussion about Bodie's condition while walking through the training field with smoke and explosions all around. Incredible, then, that this all takes place with just a single camera cut. Outstanding work by actors and crew there!
I liked the way Cowley tricked Doyle into admitting Bodie has problems - typical underhand tactics by The Cow, there!
In the scene where Bodie punches in the car door, Lewis Collins' eyes and psychotic smile make him look positively demonic when he stares at Jennifer. Brilliant shot, that.
Bodie's Kendo session (with his bandana mysteriously sporting German-language writing...?) and the subsequent meeting between his Master and Cowley adds an intriguing philosophical edge to proceedings - a shame this wasn't pursued more until the ending...
... which is brilliantly orchestrated - one of the best fight sequences in the series, IMHO. And all credit to Ziggy Byfield for not allowing himself to be "doubled" by a stuntman.
Would Cowley have pulled the trigger?
Like Sharon, I too have had a change of heart on this one: the storyline works quite well and some scenes are marvellously scripted and acted. As with almost all episodes, the guest actors are excellent.
When I first saw this episode I hated it. Bodie's behavior and Doyle's response to it seemed very out of character. Having rewatched it carefully, however, I have to say it's right on. Bodie has a problem. It exhibits in erratic behavior. Doyle is confused and responds with anger and disgust. The bond of loyalty and friendship is as strong as ever but rather than talk about Bodie's problem and working things out, they both draw apart in order to protect one another. (My opinion only, of course)
Kate Ross is a great character. Wish we saw more of her!
Note the glitch in the recording of Bodie's voice – in person he says "It gives one a certain..." while on the tape he says "...gives me..." and when Ross replays the tape for Cowley later, the tape says "...one..." Ah, well.
We get Doyle's great laugh again as well as some nice sexual competition talk about Ross. Good patter in the computer room. We get a lovely "nasty, broody Bodie" in the bar scenes. We get a fine scene between Cowley and Doyle in D's flat where Ray confesses to wearing Bodie's tux. AND we get THE BOYS IN LEATHER at the motorcycle rally! Yum, yum.
Some very good writing here during the confrontations and exchanges between major and minor characters. I like Kate Ross doggedly tracking down the root of Bodie's problem. I really like her defiance of the three "Alpha" males in declaring Bodie unfit. I like the instant change in Doyle's attitude when he realizes Bodie is likely to kill King Billy. His fear for his friend shows all over his face. (nice job, MS) I do believe that Bodie deliberately gut-hits Ray in order to keep him safe (out of the fight and any consequences) and I really like Cowley controlling Bodie by offering him a clear choice: his death or proper justice for the bad guys!
Good camera work and direction in cutting from Cowley and Ross to the motorcross competition.
Not for newbies or for those who haven't steeped themselves in Pros. Confusing on first viewing, but an excellent episode, nonetheless.
Cowley: "There seems to have been a deterioration in one of our best units."
Major Jack Craine: "3-7 and 4-5 ?"
Cowley: "Not to beat about the bush, 3-7 himself. Give me your considered opinion, Jack, on Bodie."
Craine: "Even with 3-7 below par, those two are still a crack team."
Cowley: "Och, not the 'team', Jack - Bodie!"
Craine: "Well he may be just going through a bad patch."
Cowley, impatiently: "We know he's going through a bad patch! The question I am asking is why?"
Craine: "Old age?"
Cowley, alarmed and angry at Craine's suggestion: "What?!"
Craine, resolute: "It's a possibility."
Cowley, now thinking Craine is joking: "Oh, come off it!"
Craine: "I'm serious. Look at professional boxers. They're at their peak and suddenly their legs go. They keep on fighting - and fighting well - for many years but everyone knows they not what they were... and I've seen them go much younger than Bodie."
Cowley: "Have you run a complete physical test on him?"
Craine: "Yes - and I've disguised it by giving it to everyone else. All the medical, scientific stuff is tip-top: oxygen capacity, glycogen storage, the lot. But then so they probably were with Randy Turpin when he was over-the-hill."
Cowley: "What about his reflexes?"
Craine: "There are no empirical tests to measure them to the accuracy needed. After all our boys are making calculations and adjustments at speeds that the human nervous system is not meant to attain."
Cowley, now starting to understand Craine's concerns: "Could he be 'over-trained', perhaps? Stale?"
Craine: "It can't be ruled out."
Cowley: "How would you deal with it, if that was the case?"
Craine: "Standard alternative: either we lay him off for a while and then rest and retest... or we double his training load in all categories and examine again."
Cowley: "What would you call that routine?"
Craine, lightly: " 'Make or break'."
Cowley: "How close is he to his limits right now? Could he take that sort of increase?"
Craine, ominously: "There's only one way to find out."
Cowley, matter-of-fact: "Well we're not running a convalescent home, Jack, are we?"
Cowley, well aware that the lads back each other up: "Doyle, I'm disappointed with you. Your results have been, let's say, 'unsatisfactory'."
Doyle, taken aback: " 'Unsatisfactory'?!"
Cowley: "You seem to have lost your 'edge'."
Doyle: "I seem to have lost my edge?!! And nobody has lost his edge except m... oh, alright, you got me! But that was very sneaky!"
Cowley: "What do you think is the matter with Bodie?"
Doyle: "Nothing's the matter with Bodie. Look, Jack's running us pretty hard, you know? Some of his simulations make the real thing look soft!"
Cowley: "But you are hanging on in there."
Doyle: "Yeah, well Bodie did all this stuff before he joined CI5 - I didn't. Maybe he finds repetition boring."
Cowley: "Well no matter how he finds it, he's not coming up to 'scratch'."
Doyle: "He'll get over it."
Cowley: "Get over what?"
Doyle, now getting annoyed: "Whatever it is."
Cowley, unrelenting: "Whatever what is?"
Doyle: "I don't know."
Cowley: "Are you covering up for him?"
Doyle, now visibly angry: "Covering up what, precisely?!"
Doyle: "Then WHAT??!!! Are you trying to tell me Bodie's over-the-hill?"
Cowley now has an "in": "Suppose you've got a Grade 7 assignment tomorrow. You've got a choice of three men for your section and your pool is Drake, Bodie, Charlton, Fields, Taggart. Which three do you take?"
Doyle, trapped, realises he has to be honest: "Charlton, Taggart and Fields. But that's just tomorrow morning, not next..."
Cowley, anticipating and springing the trap: "Week? Month? Year? I'll bear it in mind."
Doyle on Kate Ross: "How do you fancy my chances with the Queen of Cybernetics, then?"
Bodie: "Well it's the first time I've seen a piece of cheese try to seduce a mouse!"
Craine, following yet another fatality-ridden hostage-rescue exercise: "If you were a cat, Bodie, you'd have five lives left!"
Doyle, reading the report: "Uh-oh - dead again, sunshine! Twenty 'deaths' this week! If at first you don't succeed, die, die again!"
Cowley on Bodie : "You'll forgive me if this seems indelicate but perhaps you might be aware if he has any 'women problems'."
Jennifer Black, aware that she has 'competition', laughs: "It's us women that have 'Bodie problems'! Anyway, now we have emancipated ourselves, there are lots of other things for us to worry about!"
Cowley: "Have you noticed any change in his behaviour?"
Jennifer: "Mr Cowley, is all this really necessary?"
Cowley: "Absolutely. Miss Black, in time, money and equipment, it takes four times as long and costs twice as much to train one CI5 man as one airline pilot. There are, however, much greater numbers of fully-qualified pilots throughout the world than jobs available to them. I, on the other hand, am unable to fill the vacancies I already have, even with the cream of the armed forces in the entire country to choose from. It's easier to replace a trapeze artist in a highwire act than any one of my men."
Jennifer: "You've convinced me but, I'm sorry, there's nothing else I can tell you about Bodie."
Cowley: "Think about it - something may come to mind. Meanwhile, if and when you do see him, keep an eye open."
Jennifer, more an accusation than a question: "Spy on him?!"
Cowley: "A slight exaggeration. It's for his own good."
Jennifer, realising that Cowley still hasn't grasped that she and Bodie don't have a close relationship: "I can't help feeling that all of this is none of my business."
Cowley, applying a little emotional blackmail: "You know, we don't have a bad life here. This is still one of the most elegant and civilised places on Earth. I think we all have vested interest in this country and its continuity... even though not all of us need 'get our hands dirty'."
Shusai: "It is interesting that you in the West, who were the first to make a distinction between the soul and the body, should have had so much trouble and disagreement over where to locate the soul! Some placed it in the blood, some in the liver, others put it in the heart or the head. And as they began understanding the machinery of the body, taking the pieces out, examining them under microscopes, they found - to their surprise - the soul was nowhere to be found!"
Cowley: "I'm afraid I still don't quite understand. You say there's something wrong with Bodie's soul?"
Shusai: "Incorrect. If there is such a thing as a soul, then there can be, by definition, nothing wrong with it. A soul is a soul - it is perfect! But when the soul, which acts through the body, is not satisfied by the body's action, it is the body, not the soul, which becomes sick."
Craine, following a sudden improvement in Bodie's training: "Fantastic - the boy has really come on. You can forget everything I said about him being over the hill."
Dr Hedley: "Splendid physical shape, too. Rest pulse 42, lung capacity 5.5 litres. We could enter him for the Derby and wager our pensions!"
Kate Ross: "Well I was clearly going to be the voice of dissent on this one. In my professonal opinion, 3-7 should be removed from stand-by classification, pending an in-depth examination."
Craine: "Dr Ross, with respect, we've all read your reports and I'm sure that for whatever it is they measure, the measurements are extremely accurate but..."
Hedley, cutting in: "The question is, are they relevant?!"
Kate: "During the last ten weeks tests and observations have indicated unequivocally that his intellectual capacities at all levels - perceptive, logical, intuitive, long- and short-term recall - are all inconsistent in relation to each other and erratic in themselves. Now I've made a comparison of his voice patterns during the same period..."
Hedley, incredulous: "His voice patterns?!!"
Kate, unruffled: "... and added together they show that he's not in a healthy state of mind."
Cowley: "Dr Ross, you yourself point out that his most recent results have been more than impressive..."
Kate: "And that was exactly my phrase: 'more than'! The improvement was too marked. Are we sure we're talking about the same person? Haven't you even noticed anything odd about his general behaviour?"
Craine: "What's wrong with his behaviour?"
Kate: "Well half the time he carries on like a child!"
Hedley: "Dr Ross, these men are trained to kill and be killed. Every day they are called on to face death. Not bangs and smoke: DEATH - so that ordinary citizens can go about their lives without fear and apprehension."
Craine: "It's natural for boys like Bodie to be flippant about injury and death."
Kate, annoyed: "Thank you, Jack, but it's a matter of degree. I mean take the incident with the water pistol..."
Hedley, increasingly frustrated: "Oh for God's sake!"
Kate, insistent: "It was not healthy."
Craine, pressing his point: "These boys don't exactly have a healthy occupation! Can't they just have a simple bit of fun now and again?"
Kate: "You aren't taking me seriously."
Cowley: "Perhaps if you can explain it in layman's terms?"
Kate: "Very well. In my view... Bodie is suffering from a death-wish! The risks he's been taking in training correllate precisely with the reckless, flamboyant qualities that are revealed in my own empirical findings."
Cowley: "Now I'm afraid, Kate, that I can't possibly take you seriously."
Kate, calling up more data from the computer: "So let me show you one last thing. These are selected biographies of men that served in Bodie's SAS squad before he joined CI5..."
Cowley, gazing intently at the screen: "Trevor - I remember him - he was a good soldier."
Kate, pointedly: "Dead."
Cowley, missing the point: "Yes - accident on a building site, trying to save someone from a falling crane. Philpott..."
Kate: "Car crash. Dead."
Cowley, unconvinced and becoming annoyed: "I am well aware that some of these men are no longer alive, Dr Ross, but I think the sense of the macabre is coming from you..."
Kate, angry: "NONE of these men are still alive, Mr Cowley - and none of them were killed in action! I also made a comparison with demob histories of all comparable service regiments. The proportion of violent deaths of members of Bodie's regiment is not just greater than any other one in the army, it's TEN times greater! They're dying like flies!"
Cowley, irked: "They take risky jobs: deep sea divers, quarrying, security guards..."
Kate, interrupting and pointing out more data: "In quite safe employment, too!"
Cowley, alarmed at something else on the file: " 'Until Death Do Us Join.' The motto of the service."
Kate, sensing triumph: "What better example?!"
Cowley: "Bodie! God help me, if you finish that head-lock, I'll shoot you dead!"
Bodie: "Sir, mind if I ask a question? If I had have killed him, would you have pulled the trigger?"
Cowley, deliberately ambiguously: "What do you think?"
When Doyle sets off for his practice on the motorbike, although donning his helmet, it isn't fastened up. It is, however when he finishes his run. (Thanks to Mike Morgan)
Subsequent to filming, Martin Shaw alluded to riding the motorbike himself in the motocross scenes. However I was recently contacted by Colin Webb, who was actually hired as one of the racers seen in the story. Here are Colin's recollections of the day:
"Martin Shaw did none of his own stunts, he was not allowed to ride a bike at all, due to insurance worries, although he did have a ride round a flat field at lunchtime, albeit in one gear. He did have some action shots taken, but he was stationary!
"There was a stuntman on-site but his Motocross talent was lacking. The person who doubled as 'King Billy' was a British Championship Motocross racer David Watson. (The [name of the] chap who doubled for Doyle escapes me at the moment.) When we were directed to follow the Professionals stuntman around the track he crashed on the second corner and several of us ran him over! After that the director abandoned the [idea of the] stuntman leading us and left us to our own devices as he was so impressed by the action.
"If I remember correctly Lewis Collins didn't go anywhere near a bike, he just swanned around with some blonde on his arm!"
This episode was originally written, albeit in a markedly different form, for Season Two but was rejected. Ranald Graham rewrote it as a special short story for TV Times magazine in 1978. However in March 1980 LWT reversed their (albeit unofficial) decision to axe the series, giving Mark 1 just eight weeks notice in which to get scripts written! As such Ranald did an impressive job adapting this third version for television!
Sarah Douglas (Kate Ross) played evil Kryptonian Ursa in the first two Superman movies. Spent most of the 1980s guesting in bland American shows such as Remington Steele, Matlock and Murder She Wrote. Also a regular in forgettable soap Falcon Crest. Best of all, though, played alien Pamela in the terrific 1984 mini-series "V".
Ziggy (Trevor) Byfield still pops up regularly on TV - usually either as a villain in the likes of The Bill or as a copper in productions such as the excellent Customs drama The Knock. Also does occasional sitcom guest roles such as One Foot in the Grave.
Marsha Fitzalan (Jennifer Black) was terrific as the wife of Rik Mayall's unscrupulous MP Alan B'Stard in the brilliant 1987 comedy series The New Stateman. Surprisingly she hasn't landed another lead role since and, in fact, doesn't appear to have done much television work at all. At the time she was married to Patrick Ryecart who guested in 'Spy Probe'.
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