Last updated : 15th November 2015

Episode 'Involvement'
Story Synopsis Doyle is horrified to discover the woman he is considering marrying is suspected by CI5 of being involved in drugs smuggling. Writer Brian Clemens
Guest StarsPatricia Hodge, William Russell, Christopher Guard DirectorChris Burt
Production Order
& Filming Dates
Block 3, Episode 13
5th to 20th November 1979Note the long production schedule! The episode as filmed significantly overran the usual 50-minute runtime, thus many scenes were chopped in post-production editing.
Original UK TransmissionSeason 4, Episode 4
28th September 1980
Dave's Comment

I've changed my mind about this episode. Whereas I'd previously written that it was a boring, overused plot, hardly enlivened by Doyle's relationship with the girl, of course the drugs investigation is merely an (admittedly mundane) backdrop to the real story - that of the effects CI5's routine investigations can have on innocent people - in this case resulting in disastrous consequences for Doyle. In that sense I think it works marvellously.

I'm not quite convinced Doyle and Ann are right in terms of "chemistry" and Ann seems won over a bit too easily, I think. But the way the actors portray their characters' relationship is realistic and touching. Their dialogue is, as usual, very well scripted. Martin's performance throughout is excellent and very natural. The scene in which he is suspended from duty is terrific on that score. (Of course, perhaps Doyle's "I RESIGN!!" didn't require much actual acting from Mr Shaw! <G>)

The confrontation scene in Doyle's flat is superb - and gives Mr Collins a chance to show what he can do in the drama stakes! Great stuff from both MS and LC there!

One note of interest is that despite the furore over 'Klansmen' a couple of years previously, here Bodie uses a racist term when referring to the black drug dealer, Buzz. (Naturally Cowley looks daggers at him.) One suspects that this was Mr Clemens testing the water!

In her comments below, Sharon notes her delight with Doyle's expertise in the disco scenes. Well in 'Servant of Two Masters' he did say he "took dancin' lessons"!

One oddity. When the CI5 crew are awaiting the arrival of Holly's light aircraft, we hear it land but don't actually see it. (The brief mid-air shot is stock footage.) Perhaps the season's budget was running out - which is possible as this was the final episode filmed for the 1979 block of episodes - or arrangements to hire a plane fell through at the last minute.

Despite the emotional turmoil behind the story, there are some humourous moments - fave scene is in the car where Bodie generously offers Doyle "advice" on how to handle Ann! Bodie's deliberate "gooseberry" moment when he chides Doyle for not having the decency to introduce Ann. The "darling/sweetheart" exchange between the lads when Doyle thinks it's Ann that's coming to visit him. And there's a great little moment where Cowley's secretary-of-the-week, played by Kirstie Pooley, brings in some photos, notices Bodie and the two exchange admiring glances, to which Cowley has to firmly thank her, clearly indicating that she is dismissed! This wasn't scripted and as Gordon Jackson actually calls her Kirstie, one suspects the brief menage-a-trois was ad-libbed.

Yeah - great episode, basically - and would have made a fitting closing for the season when originally transmitted... if only London Weekend Television had had any appreciation of effective scheduling!

Sharon's Comment

In addition to being one of the best all-round episodes (imo) this one is written extremely well. Kudos to Mr Clemens here. He really has caught the essence of the show - the relationship between the two CI5 agents. Numerous scenes in which just the two of them appear are among the best in Pros!

The story has two themes: Bodie taking care of Ray and Us getting to know Ray.

To clear up any confusion: I do not for a moment believe Ray was in love with Ann. He finds her fascinating, granted. She represents a great many things he finds attractive and admirable. But the point is made in the scene in the park that he's only known her seven days. He does say he needs her, but that could mean many things besides love. He never says a thing about marriage - that's all Bodie & Cowley's doing. He never says he loves her and when she dumps him, though he looks stricken, when Bodie goes to him, he accepts his partner by putting his arm around his shoulder. Of course we're long distance on that shot and Doyle does clearly snarl at Bodie before the arm bit. Not to belabor the point but since this story has fostered an incredible amount of discussion in fan circles I felt it necessary to deal with the issue briefly.

[Good points here - but see the Sidenotes section below -Dave]

It is my opinion that what bothers Doyle about it all is facing up to who he really is: a man who practices brutality for a living on a daily basis. This does not jibe well with his self-image and he's clearly disturbed by the revelation. Bodie, on the other hand, knows who he is and doesn't mind a bit. (knows who Doyle is as well as who he himself is)

On to the episode: both men look good. Bodie's nearly always in his now signature black or dark clothing (old tape on this one) and leather jacket. Doyle's sticking with the coat and jeans for the most part though they both backslide into the Awful Plaid Jackets at the end. Excellent close-ups of both throughout. Lovely domestic moments in Doyle's flat & kitchen. <g> He cooks, he kills bad guys, he dances well. Irresistable.

Doyle's reaction to Benny's death is most interesting. Moments before he's revealed to Ann how he cares about the boy then he dismisses him as "only an informer". Yet Ray is clearly trying to keep from crying. A very complex man! Nice work by Martin Shaw.

The dialogue (again terrific writing) between the principals is excellent. During the "car banter" scenes we learn a great deal about them and their relationship. It really is like being a fly on the wall. Well done.

Ann's character comes across a bit flat, but that's not really a surprise. She avoids the "Dead Girlfriend of The Week" syndrome by virtue of dumping Doyle but she's just a foil for larger things. To sum up: Ray makes a black and white choice: his job and Bodie vs a woman. No contest.

We get to watch Doyle dance! (thanks, MS) WOW!

In this one Bodie (Lewis) does his "cuddly killer" thing. No one does it better! Thanks to Lew's skills we have a Bodie who can rip off a shot and kill but who also camps with his partner, looks devastated when Doyle rages at him and is truly concerned for Doyle's well-being and happiness. His body language and facial expressions go from the extreme of killer-soldier to mischievous "little boy" frequently. He is at his most endearing when he allows Ray to hit him so that Ray will feel better. When he's stuck with another agent while Doyle is suspended we see how terrible Bodie would be with any other partner.

Excellent editing in this one. Good use of back & forth scene cuts to advance the plot!

Best line? "...that crafty, randy old toad..."

One does wonder how the heck Ann got deep into CI5 headquarters in order to hear Doyle browbeating her father. Given the position of the interrogation room she had to have entered at street level and gone up at least one floor. And she makes it all the way back outside without being stopped. Eh? Where's security when you need it.

Very good work during the final moment between Bodie and Doyle at a long range. We can see them but not hear what they say and that was far, far more effective.


Ann: "I work for a publisher, reading manuscripts... sorting the wheat from the chaff."

Doyle, "Oh, so we do have something in common, then!"

Ann: "Huh?"

Doyle: "That's what I do - sort the wheat from the chaff!"

Ann, icily recalling the death of Conroy: "No, there's a difference: you destroy the chaff."

Cowley has just left Doyle's flat: "Who's the girl? Red hair, green eyes, petite."

Bodie, realising it's Ann, whom Doyle claimed he was just going check on after the shooting: "What, he's got her in there?! The crafty, randy old toad!"

Bodie: "How did you get on last night with your date?"

Doyle: "Cowley's got a slack mouth!"

Bodie: "Well maybe he didn't know it was a secret. It was the girl from the apartment block, wasn't it?"

Doyle: "Yeah."

Bodie: "Well how did you get on?"

Doyle: "It was OK."

Bodie: "That means you didn't!"

Doyle: "It means it was OK."

Bodie: "Oh, come on - I know you. When you score you get that little twinkle in your eye, don't you?! Anyway, if you want some expert advice, mate, I'm your man!"

Doyle, feigning gratitude: "Oh, well, thanks very much!"

Bodie: "Any time - just let me know!"

Bodie, impressed with Doyle's efforts to look smart for his date with Ann: "What time are you due back in the shop window? Oh, look at that tie!"

Doyle: "Listen, mate, the place I'm going to for dinner won't let you in without one!"

Bodie, sniffing the air: "Have you bought a cat?"

Doyle, realising the sarcasm: "I've just figured out who you are: you're the guy who murdered Vaudeville, aren't you?!"

Bodie, feigning realisation: "Oh, it's your aftershave!"

Doyle, seeming to be genuinely hurt: "Yeah!"

Bodie, patting Doyle's arm in mock sympathy: "Oh, well - never mind!"

Bodie, discovering the flowers Doyle has bought for Ann: "Doesn't she know your night out runs to two hotdogs at the back of the Odeon?"

Bodie, shaken after Doyle almost throws Tony from the the apartment block balcony: "What's got into you, Doyle? Normally you have to pull me off. Is it this bird or something? It's not just Benny, is it? Is she not coming across?"

Doyle: "Knock it off!!"

Bodie: "Maybe she is. Next thing you know, you'll be tellng me you're gonna marry her."

Doyle: "Yeah well I might just do that."

Cowley: "I'll put Doyle out on the streets undercover."

Bodie: "You'd better be quick about it, sir - he's gonna stick out like a sore thumb in his morning suit!"

Cowley: "That girl?"

Bodie: "Yeah. Bit tasty, mind. "

Cowley: "And you think it's serious?"

Bodie: "Well he may not be pulling the rope but he's certainly hearing those bells!"

Cowley: "Well that's your job."

Bodie: "Eh?!"

Cowley: "To check her out."

Bodie: "Oh, come on - Doyle's girlfriend?!..."

Cowley: "Would have to be checked out if he wants to marry her. No operative can marry without my permission."

Bodie: "I didn't know that."

Cowley: "It's in the smallprint. Anyway, it's not ever likely to affect you, is it?!"

Bodie: "Yeah, well we don't know he's going to get married yet, do we?"

Cowley: "Well when he does - if he does - I'll be able to smile benevolently and say 'Yes', won't I? Check 'er out!"

Bodie: "Don't believe you could smile benevolently!"

Doyle, suspicious of Bodie's motive for visiting: "What do you want?!"

Bodie: "I missed you... every time I see that ugly face, it makes me feel so incredibly handsome!"

Bodie, reporting on his surveillance of Buzz: "Just an ordinary, average day. I met the sp..."

Cowley looks daggers at him.

Bodie: "Er.. the black gentleman. Barber's. One hour with a girlfriend. Betting shop. One hour with another girlfriend. Then the tailor's. Oh and then an hour with another girlfriend!

Cowley, sarcastically: "An ordinary, average day?!"

Bodie: "Must be all this soul food, sir!"

Bloopers Doyle removes his jacket when tackling the knife-wielder. But in the next shot he's wearing it again!

The energetic music used in the disco scene is a piece entitled "Give it All You've Got" and available on Bruton's CD "Tribute to the 70s Volume 1". It's not available commercially, so the best bet is to look out for used copies.

When the episode completed filming, it was found to be running to around 58 minutes. As such many of the scenes between Ann and Doyle ended up being cut in post-production editing, unfortunately. One of these included Doyle telling Ann that he loved her and wanted to marry her.

Deja Vu

Patricia Hodge (Ann) had a successful TV career in the 1980s, with a string of roles in classic TV productions such as Rumpole of the Bailey, Edward and Mrs Simpson and The Life and Loves of a She-Devil and the loopy The Cloning of Joanna May. However she got her own show with Jemima Shore Investigates. Currently a regular in Miranda Hart's eponymous sitcom.

William Russell (Holly) appeared in many 1950s movies. Ironically he would play a washed-up matinee idol in an episode of Shoestring many years later. Appeared as one of the first assistants to William Hartnell in Doctor Who. Well respected in the entertainment fraternity, mainly appearing in theatrical productions.

Ray Ashcroft (the CI5 chap co-opted to work with Bodie) is now better known for his five-year stint as DS Daly in The Bill.

Christopher Guard (Tony) played French revolutionary Marius in the excellent 1978 TV adaptation of Les Miserables. Hosted the kids' storytelling series Jackanory quite a few times during the late 70s/early 80s and had a stint on the BBC's long-running medical drama Casualty in the mid-90s.

Val Pringle (the black guy with the flash car!) is best remembered by sci-fi fans as "element" Lead in Sapphire and Steel. He doesn't appear to have acted in any UK production since the early 80s and, in fact, moved to Lesotho, Southern Africa at some point. Tragically it would appear that he was murdered by burglars who raided his home just before Christmas 1999 (Thanks to "Kevin" for info).

Peter Burton (Conroy) played Major Boothroyd, "Q", in the first James Bond film Dr No. He was going to continue in the part but was unavailable for filming when the producers started on From Russia With Love. Other than that, he doesn't appear to have had any high-profile roles and retired around 1986. (Thanks to Paul Beresford).

The episode kicks off with the lads tailing Conroy through what is documented as Shepherd's Bush Green shopping centre. It's since been extensively redeveloped, however, so the location is unrecognisable today.
Conroy realises he's being followed and runs out of the shopping centre. I think it may have been via the Charecroft Way exit as there seem to be some similarities.
Conroy runs to his apartment block, Stamford Court on Goldhawk Road. The interiors - including Ann Holly's flat - were shot here, too.
Cowley leaves Conroy's place, accompanied by Bodie, furious at his boss' unwillingness to discuss the purpose of the surveillance. The scene was shot on Ferme Park Road, Crouch End by the junction with Weston Park. In the screenshot the house with the steeply apexed roof can be glimpsed.
CI5 HQ was Cadby Hall, Hammersmith (demolished in 1983).
Suspecting that Conroy has Italian criminal connections, the lads look for Doyle's regular informant, Benny, while driving along Weston Park, Crouch End...
In search of one of Doyle's Italian contacts, the lads discuss Ann while driving down Kensal Road, Kensington.
However there is a small cheat because they then head in the opposite direction to turn the corner into Golborne Road, Kensington. The screenshot here shows the foot of infamous Trellick Tower in the background.
After reversing direction again(!) eventually they spot Tony on Golborne Road. The TV shop seen in the episode is now the pink-coloured building.
Doyle wants to know where he can find another Italian contact, Benny. A nervous Tony storms off but the lads continue to follow him down Golborne Road.
Tony calls Benny at Luigi's restaurant but legs it when Doyle interrupts. The phone box is opposite Trellick Tower on Golborne Road.
Luigi's restaurant is at at 48C The Broadway, Crouch End. In reality it was the Arocaria Kebab House, which now seems to have closed down.
Finding Benny badly beaten, the lads take him to hospital. In reality it's Blythe House, Blythe Road, Hammersmith. The entrance used for the scene is on the northern side of the building. In the screenshot here, the gateposts are immmediately recognisable.
Doyle takes Ann for a drink at what's documented as the Western Arms, 337 Kensal Road, though we only see the interior.
Doyle takes Ann back to his place. It's documented as 62 Frithville Gardens, Uxbridge Road, Shepherd's Bush. However...
... When we subsequently see Cowley leaving Doyle's place, the exterior is 49 Caithness Road, Hammersmith. (Scheduling hold-ups caused filming of the outdoor scenes to be defered to a different night and as the crew were in the Hammersmith area for other scenes, it was simply quicker and more convenient than driving over to Frithville Gardens.)
Doyle and Ann go to a disco, documented as 'The Dock', Port-A-Bella Dock, Ladbroke Grove. It no longer exists.
The lads try to track down Tony again and spy one of his contacts, Marli. They give chase along Haringey Park. (I've moved the StreetView "camera" closer to the church here as trees block the view now!)...
Then, with a bit of location cheating, from Bourne Road back into Haringey Park!...
... and then into Felix Avenue.
Marli stops the van in Felix Avenue and a fight ensues.
The lads drive back to HQ via Tottenham Lane, Crouch End. The screenshot shows them driving past the junction with Elder Avenue.
CI5 op Turner drives to Tony's place, Highcroft Road, Islington. Unfortunately Tony's side of the street has been redeveloped beyond recognition now.
Doyle and Ann meet in Ravenscourt Park, Paddenswick Road, Hammersmith but they are interrupted by Bodie.
The lads pick up Tony and take him to HQ via Tottenham Lane, Crouch End...
... and what appears to be Middle Lane and Park Road, Hornsey. This one was very difficult indeed to spot - particularly as the actors obscure 90% of the view! - and I'm not entirely sure it's correct as it doesn't appear in any official documentation.
With Doyle hinting that he may ask Ann to marry him, Cowley orders Bodie to check her out as part of standard CI5 security vetting procedure. He visits her father's parish church: All Saints in Binfield...
... and then goes to Charles Holly's place, The Priory, Church Lane, Binfield.
Having established a link between Charles Holly and a drug dealer (named as "Buzz" in the credits), the latter is placed under surveillance by CI5 op Turner at a cafe on Tottenham Lane, Tottenham. The cafe is still there today but difficult to spot because of the trees!
... Aware that he's being watched, however, Buzz arranges a getaway in nearby Gisburn Road, Crouch End.
The squad capture Buzz, Charles Holly and associates during a drug drop in Black Park, Fulmer.
Anxious to speak with Doyle, Ann goes to CI5 HQ. The location for this isn't explicitly documented but the screenshot appears to show her driving down what is now Lyons Walk, Hammersmith - it's southern end has since been pedestrianised. The giveaway is the stonework ornamentation above the chemist's shop, circled.

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