Last updated : 1st August 2016
|Episode 'Blood Sports'|
|Story Synopsis||When the son of a South American president is assassinated, CI5 move in to protect his daughter.||Writer||Gerry O'Hara|
|Guest Stars||Ruby Wax, Jonathan Morris, Pierce Brosnan (all cameos)||Director||Phil Meheux|
& Filming Dates
|Block 4, Episode 5
|Original UK Transmission||Season 4, Episode 8
26th October 1980
Practically no storyline whatsoever! Doubtless had the fourth season been green-lit by LWT with more advance notice, this script would have either been rejected or significantly rewritten.
Bodie playing cricket hardly helps to promote the show's usual action-packed character - though the pay-off is a very funny scene with him trying to change out of his whites while being thrown around in the back of the Capri!
Doyle's so-called relationship with Anita is a non-event, despite some fairly good scripting: "Listen, there are certain aspects of my job I'm not entirely happy with, you know?!" / "I can imagine." / "Can you?" / "We too have Secret Police in my country." / "It's not the same!" But there isn't enough decent, sparky dialogue to save the episode.
Not really much action to speak of, either and the whole thing just plods mechanically along.
I did wake up when I spotted the blonde flying around in the bronze TR7, though! <G> (Incidentally her character is credited as 'Helen Tippett'). Definitely the highlight of the ep. In fact I tend to replay this bit over and over and fast-forward through everything else. Hi Sharon!
As in 'Need to Know' there are tell-tale skid marks on the road BEFORE Martin spins his Capri around!
And yes, folks, it's time for the good old gunsight-in-the-sunlight routine! Will these terrorists ever learn?! Or will the writers ever think of a more innovative way of catching them?
I agree with much of what Dave says about this episode. The plot (ha ha) is pathetic. If it had been presented to me as a short story, I'd have said "nice first draft". Could do without the hokey Spanish guitar riffs, too.
But I like watching it. There are such wonderful moments. (and I don't mean the blonde in the sports car - sorry, Dave)
I don't care why Bodie is playing cricket - he looks cute doing it. And Doyle spending the afternoon watching what I understand to be a very tedious spectator sport (YEP!! -Dave) just because his partner is playing is endearing. Bodie undressing in the back seat while Doyle drives is a High Moment in Pros. <G> And when he reappears it's in black leather. What's not to like?
The small scene where they move the car to avoid the bomb is wonderful. Has nothing at all to do with furthering the nonexistant plot but it's typical of the Best of Pros.
Other small wonderous scenes: the restaurant where they're spying on Anita. Doyle and Anita - there was real chemistry between them. Bodie bugging Anita's flat. (By the way, he seems to be wearing the same tight fawn trousers he had on in 'Blackout') Banter in the buggy-boo - Bodie seems to be deliberately annoying here, pushing Doyle's buttons one after the other. <G> Pierce Brosnan. The entire buggy-boo sequence including the fore and aft sections with Doyle on R/T is nicely done comedy. Lew at his best.
Larger wonders: Bodie with the automatic rifle on the golf course. Doyle kissing Anita. Doyle in blue, Doyle in yellow, Doyle in green....
Not a good episode at all. But my goodness there are moments!
The young Cabreros boy is called Francisco throughout the episode, but the end credits name him as Jaime! In fact the original script names him as Jaime and the change occurred at the last minute. Clearly somebody forgot to change the credits!
At the polo match, the villain's car has a registration number of WLX 672S, yet its tax disk says XEX 902S. (Thanks to Rainer Schmidt)
Lizzie Spender who played the CI5 agent in the TR7, Helen Tippett, kindly got in touch recently with some interesting revelations about the episode...
"Mine was supposed to be on ongoing part as Gordon Jackson's sidekick [but] when I arrived on set they realised that I was taller than [Martin] and [Lewis], so I was not allowed to stand up (hence always in the car) and all my other scenes (like running through the tube station with them) were cut. Poor me! I made friends with Lewis Collins years later when I ran into him in a scriptwriting class in LA."
It sounds like Lizzie fell victim to the production chaos that surrounded the fourth season.
Lizzie didn't spend much time with an acting career and eventually settled into writing in Australia with husband Barry Humphries of Dame Edna Everage and Sir Les Patterson fame.
Jonathon Morris (Francesco/Jaime) is best remembered for Scouse sitcom Bread. Has done practically nothing since, though I think he presented a kids gameshow for the BBC in the mid-90s and recently competed in a "celebrity" mini-Olympics for Channel 4, "The Games".
Ruby Wax (the American student) is now extremely well-known in the UK (are our American friends familiar with her?). Starting out with minor acting roles in films such as Chariots of Fire and Omen III, she rapidly progressed to writing and producing comedy such as the sitcom Girls on Top and then went on to presenting her own shows interviewing other celebs. Along the way she co-scripted Absolutely Fabulous.
Stephen Bent (Norman) appeared in a couple of Sweeney episodes and as an SAS officer in Who Dares Wins.
It's somewhat ironic that Pierce Brosnan (the radio operator in the "buggy-boo"), here in an extremely minor role, would usurp Lewis Collins as a contender for James Bond when he happened to visit the set of For Your Eyes Only (his then wife, Cassandra Harris, had landed a role in it). Cubby Broccoli was convinced he'd found a new 007 for whenever Roger Moore decided to hang up his Walther PPK. At the time, though, Brosnan had just completed scenes for the gangster film The Long Good Friday - another minor role in which he got no more than about three lines and was still a struggling young actor. According to Professionals casting director Esta Charkham he took the Bloodsports role just so he could earn enough money to pay the fare to fly to the US, where he had been offered a role in a mini-series called The Manions of America (I don't know if this was ever shown in the UK). Manions was a good move as it led directly to the popular detective show Remington Steele. Unfortunately his contract with that show prevented him from becoming Bond in 1986 and he had to wait a further seven years. Other stuff to watch out for include the all-action thriller The Fourth Protocol, Mrs Doubtfire, Mars Attacks! and the recent remake of The Thomas Crown Affair.
Ben Roberts (CI5 op 9-4) became better known to fans of The Bill.
Mike Savage (mechanic) played the father of long-suffering pupil Rowland Browning in Grange Hill.
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