Last updated : 1st August 2016

Episode 'Blackout'
Story Synopsis An amnesiac girl is the only clue to a possible terrorist attack. WriterBrian Clemens
Guest StarsBen Cross DirectorWilliam Brayne
Production Order
& Filming Dates
Block 4, Episode 3
14th to 25th July 1980Main shoot.
30th July 1980Due to episode underrunning, additional scenes of driving around countryside, pub visits, "run-by" shots of Doyle and Stuart (using "doubles" in place of Shaw and Ben Cross) cruising the streets.
Original UK TransmissionSeason 4, Episode 7
19th October 1980
Dave's Comment

Although commencing very promisingly (the ambulance coming under fire, with Doyley getting a chance to do some "gymnastics" was great!) I think the episode soon runs out of steam. There is too much "padding" as the lads chase around country lanes, bizarrely stopping off for ice-creams, pints of beer, games of skittles, etc. (As one of the other CI5 agents remarks: "This pub-crawl you're on....".) However it would be unrealistic if they had found the house straight away, of course.

We meet new CI5 op Murphy for the first time. Ben Cross as fellow squad member provokes some good, revealing dialogue between with Doyle. Note how even though B & D often have "lively discussions" as soon as Stuart suggests Bodie gets up people's noses, Doyle jumps straight to his partner's defence.

(And to further discredit Stuart, it's July 1980 yet he is still wearing flares!!?!)

In this story Doyle says he has spent three years with CI5, yet in the 1977 episode 'Close Quarters' he had already served "two years and three months". A surprising continuity glitch, given both stories were written by Brian Clemens. Anyway, it's just a small point.... hardly worth mentioning really!

The biggest "hole" in the plot is that, despite the desperate urgency to find where Gerda had been held, Cowley only puts Stuart and Doyle on to the case!

A couple of instances of the show making fun of itself here: firstly Doyle complains that Bodie's fast driving will wear the tyres out. And later the young copper whose only mode of transport is a push-bike says "They'll probably expect me to jump into my high-powered motor, go screaming round corners, tyres screeching... just like on television!"

In fact there is a fair amount of humour, here, which makes up for the weak plot.

Overall the episode never really fires the adrenalin, to be honest. In fact neither does the disrobed Linda Hayden!! (I don't believe I just said that!). The action-packed ending just looked banal to me.

Although there are some good dialogue moments and, in fairness to Brian Clemens, the script was written under difficult circumstances - see the Sidenotes section.

Sharon's Comment

I enjoy this episode but it's not a favorite. The "tone" is off. It's as if they weren't sure whether to do comedy or suspense and settled for a touch of both without focus.

Cowley speaks German better than Gerda!

Good things: Ray rolling and shooting during the attack on the ambulance and howling Bodie's name when he returns from destroying everyone. Bodie, clearly in need of some brew and tired of driving in the country, playing the "bad cop" with Gerda: "C'mon, Fritz...." Doyle, resplendant in green & white during the road trip.

Cute touches: the watch. Bodie with a dislocated shoulder and/or broken arm whining after he's killed the bad guys. Doyle & Stuart fencing - Doyle defending Bodie! Bodie getting Cowley some booze and coffee – that whole exchange is good. Bodie sounds so military! Bodie and his poetry - "blushy dawn". Doyle as the milkman. Doyle and Stuart working the stairs together - nice, nice.

I like the entire sequence once Bodie figures out about the bad guys. His violent approach to the bank folk and his headlong attack on the missile, etc are Pure Bodie. Very fine work by Lew! There is no one who can move from killer to cuddly as well!

Not a great episode but worth watching more than once.


Bodie, suggestively: "It's thirsty work this, isn't it?"

Gerda: "I am not thirsty."

Bodie, cussing under his breath: "Just when we were beginning to hit it off!"

Doyle, drafting in fellow CI5 op Stuart for his knowledge of South London: "Well, you're the expert."

Stuart, taken aback by the curtness: "That's right - go straight on."

Doyle: "You must be new."

Stuart, surprised: "Why, how long have you got?"

Doyle: "Three years active."

Stuart: "I'm in my fifth year. That makes you the new boy, doesn't it?"

Doyle: "Five years? You must have kept yourself quiet."

Stuart: "Maybe that's because I work undercover... and I've never asked for assistance."

Doyle: "You're supposed to be the 'king' of South London - how come I've never heard of you?"

Stuart: "I've heard of you, Doyle - good things. No-one ever told me you talked too much!"

Stuart: "You work with Bodie most of the time, right? I've heard he can be a right pain."

Doyle, irritated: "Bodie's alright!"

Stuart: "Just testing. Loyalty's a very rare commodity these days. If we get into a situation, I like to be sure of my back-up."

Doyle: "I'll be there."

Stuart: "Yeah, you're OK, Doyle. Mouth flaps a bit too much but you're OK."

Doyle: "Look, do you wanna try to stop my mouth flapping?!"

Cowley, offering his hip flask: "Bodie - cold morning."

Bodie, taking the flask: "Ah, thank you, sir!"

Cowley: "It's empty - needs filling."

Bodie, pouting: "Well there's nowhere open this time of morning."

Cowley: "Regard it as a test of initiative. Success will be reflected in your yearly assessment."

Bodie, offering Cowley a refilled canteen: "Here you are, sir."

Cowley: "Where the devil did you manage to..."

Bodie: "Initiative, sir. Allied to a certain personal charm, of course, and a canteen run by a very susceptible young lady."

Cowley, laughing: "You're incorrigible, Bodie!"

Bodie: "Thank you, sir. I trust that won't appear on my yearly assessment!

Doyle, half-joking: "Try and leave somebody left alive, eh?"

Stuart, grim: "Yeah - the mother and child."

Cowley: "We now have reason to believe they have an anti-tank missile. Can't we at least change the venue?"

Humber: "You've not been made privy to the main purpose of this meeting. Fundamentally it is Security - to be provided by us for our visitor. Now if we have to admit that he may not be safe here...? Any change in venue would be regarded with derision. "

Cowley: "Derision is better than disaster."

Humber: "Mr Cowley, you underestimate yourself. I have every confidence in you. Why else would I place all security in your able hands?"

Cowley: "To ensure that should anything go wrong, it will be my head that rolls. But should anything go wrong, Mr Humber, a great many heads will roll. Literally. Yours included."

Cowley, aware that the villains' missile could be launched any second: "Block off the shot with the chopper if you have to."

Chopper pilot: "Oh, thanks a bunch!"


The Capri has Disappearing Headrests Syndrome!

Gerda tells Bodie to turn left at one point - but he actually turns right!

When Bodie stops to buy three ice-creams, they have clearly been prepared before he has even asked for them! Martin ad-libs "That was quick!".


This is another ep that was written hurriedly when LWT made its sudden decision to renew the show in 1980. This may explain why the story uses elements from one Brian wrote entitled 'The Girl in Pink Pyjamas' for the early 1960s Patrick McGoohan series Danger Man (thanks to Bob Rocca) and a short story for TV Times magazine in 1979 entitled 'High Noon for The Professionals'...

... Intriguingly when a copy of the script was sold on eBay some years ago, it was signed by Brian with the postscript "An example of how NOT to write 'em!"

The story as originally written ran to less than the usual 50 minutes, so the scenes involving the pub and skittles were very late additions to the script - penned during the last few days of primary filming - and shot by the Second Unit.

Deja Vu

Ben Cross (Stuart) is best remembered for his lead role as Harold Abrahams in Chariots of Fire. Still acting today but, apart from the 1984 mini-series The Far Pavillions, has not done anything particularly memorable since.

Linda Hayden (Gerda) appeared in various British horror movies of the 1970s and did a couple of Confessions of films. Very little work over the last fifteen years, sadly.

The episode opens with Gerda stumbling into St Ann's Church - but it is actually St Mary's Parish Church, St. Mary’s Road, Ealing.
The lads rocket through to the church via nearby Ranelagh Road.
Doyle wants to know why Bodie is driving even more recklessly than usual. This scene's location is undocumented but it is actually Mattock Lane turning into Churchfield Road, Ealing. (The church seen in the background of the screenshot is not the same one that was used for filming Gerda's arrival.)
The lads arrive at the church, St Mary's Road. I've moved the Google Street View camera a little forwards here to highlight the buildings we see in the background of the screengrab.
The ambulance takes Gerda and the lads along Church Lane, Ealing...
... There's now a cheat because the ambulance - now pursued by the villains - has been magically transported to the junction of Randolph Road and The Straight, Southall. A little difficult to spot due to limitations in Google StreetView but the "arch" decoration over the front door of the house gives this one away...
... The ambulance comes under attack on The Straight but Doyle retaliates, the villains being disposed of on the same stretch of road, albeit their fiery finale being shot a few hundred yards further west - but that particular spot cannot be reached on Google Street View.
The lads finally get Gerda to hospital. The episode used The Royal Free in Hampstead (for both this scene and the later one with Mrs Parker and Henry) but the exterior shot of the lads leaving with Gerda - which was added to the script and shot later - was filmed at the Eurocrest Hotel, Shoppenhangers Road, Maidenhead (now The Holiday Inn).
Taking Gerda into Kent, there is a brief stop for ice creams by Shurlock Row Garage, Broadmoor Road, Waltham St Lawrence...
... Much of the initial in-car conversation with Gerda was shot on the same road. A sign to Mingaye at the junction with Downfield Lane starts to trigger fragmented memories.
Bodie sweeps the Capri past a country church. By sheer coincidence this one is also called St Mary's (she clearly got around a bit!). Church Hill, White Waltham.
Next stop is some swings (either since removed or were a prop) by the junction of Butcher's Lane and Waltham Road, White Waltham. It's difficult to get a useful angle on Google Street View here, so I've focussed on the two houses we see in the background of the screenshot.
Lunchtime involves calls to three pubs. The first one (in a scene that was added to episode late on to make up for the episode underrunning) is documented as having been shot at the 'Bell and the Dragon' pub, High Street, Cookham. We only see the interior, though I gather it hasn't changed much since the ep was filmed. The final scene in the episode - where Bodie is rewarded with a replacement watch - was also shot here.
The second and third pubs were The Stonor Arms, on the B480 road in Stonor near Henley-on Thames. It's since been closed but the building next to it is still recognisable.
Gerda suddenly recalls that she had lived in a village called St Ann's - the trio head for it along "The Street", Waltham St Lawrence.
The trio arrive at St Ann's. In reality it's Waltham St Lawrence.
Gerda remembers that she worked for a family called Parker. The trio head to the house: "The Old Place", Lock Path, off Boveney Road, Boveney, near Dorney.
With her memory recovery accelerating, Gerda informs the squad of a planned attack on a political conference at Harrodene. Cowley and Bodie head to Harrodene to set up a counter-offensive. In reality the town used is Maidenhead and they are delivered in a field along Blackamoor Lane. The giveaways here are the strange projections on the roof of the building - Maidenhead fire station - in the background.
Gerda recalls being kidnapped and held in a house. Doyle surmises that it must have been fairly close to the church where she was found. He starts his search by drafting in fellow CI5 op Stuart by Lambeth Pier.
Doyle and Stuart stop for early morning refreshments under the Hungerford Bridge by the Royal Festival Hall.
Cowley dozes off in the car, outside Maidenhead's fire station on Blackamoor Lane. The main doors have been changed in subsequent years but the building is still fairly recognisable.
Next we seem to have a bit of location cheating. Doyle and Stuart are cruising along what should be a street in south London but it appears to be documented as Raymond Road, Maidenhead. (Indeed closer inspection reveals it's not even Martin Shaw or Ben Cross in the car, either!) But if this is the correct street, then the area has undergone quite a bit of redevelopment since.
Next we're back in London, at what may be Elmore Street, Islington. These streets aren't identified in the documentation but the seeming giveaways are what little we see of the houses' architecture and the oddity that each only has a single gatepost, on the right-hand side of the gate.
Doyle and Stuart spot Bessie, the local junkie. The location for this is not documented but I think it may be Cleveland Road, Islington, judging by the architecture, tree and gatepost positioning. Also note there seemed to be some major building construction under way in 1980 and today we see modern buildings in place.
Next we're on Almorah Road, Islington. The telltale here is the way the top of the short wall angles downwards.
Now we're back to Maidenhead, with the stand-ins for Shaw and Cross. They appear to be crossing the junction between College Glen and Belmont Vale. The house in the background is a reasonably obvious tell-tale with its adjacent ginnell and front porchway...
... and then we're back in Raymond Road.
Stuart spots a house with a hastily boarded-up window: 134 Downham Road, Islington...
... Doyle spins the car around to investigate further by the junction of Downham Road, Almorah Road and Sherborne Street, Islington. It's diffiult to prove this with a single screengrab but playing the episode, other features do tally, such as the shop and postbox.
restgre over
Meanwhile the rest of CI5 disperse themselves throughout Harrodene - though, of course, it's Maidenhead in reality. Here Murphy and Bodie pull up on the multi-story carpark on Broadway. The office block in the background of the screenshot is still there today, though I can only get a different angle on it from Google Street View.
Doyle, disguised as a milkman, prepares to investigate the house on Downham Road. In the screenshot you can see the shop at the end of the road that protrudes out from the houses.
With no sign of Mr Parker, further information comes to light that he may have visited chandler Sam Goodmead. A young copper, PC Fenton, is dispatched to track Sam down. The police house is 2 South Field View, Dorney, near Windsor.
PC Fenton cycles to what is documented as the reservoir by Amerden Lane, Maidenhead.
Bodie checks in with Cowley on High Street, Maidenhead. As this is pedestrianised, most of the scenes shot here can't be navigated via Google Street View. However in the aerial shot, the three grey-coloured shapes are the towers that form part of the building we see Bodie standing by.
Government Under-Secretary Mr Humber seeks Cowley's assurance that the meeting will go ahead safely. They meet at the south end of Blackamoor Lane, Maidenhead, at the point in which it runs north/south to east/west.
With CI5 still patrolling the town centre, Murphy and comrades catch up with Bodie as they emerge from what is now Francesco's restaurant, King Street, Maidenhead.
Suspecting that Parker is being held at the town's branch of his bank, Bodie makes "discreet" enquiries! The bank was actually two separate buildings, with the ground floor being the South of England Building Society, on the aforementioned King Street. The upper floors, however, utilised Berkshire House, High Street, Maidenhead.

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