Last updated : 1st August 2016





Episode 'The Gun'
Story Synopsis After a pusher murders a drug-addict, his hastily-discarded gun is found by a young boy. The pusher must get to the boy while being pursued by his own people. Writer Chris Wicking
Guest Stars Barry Angel Director Denis Lewiston
Production Order
& Filming Dates
Block 4, Episode 1
16th to 30th June 1980
Original UK Transmission Season 4, Episode 10
9th November 1980
Dave's Comment
Story
Action
Pace
Humour
Violence

Most fans seem to agree this is a dire episode. It's even more disappointing in that it was written by the usually reliable Chris Wicking who had already contributed the excellent 'The Madness of Mickey Hamilton' and later the amazing 'Discovered in a Graveyard'. Given that the fourth season was commissioned at the last minute and there was a mad dash to get scripts ready - with this being the first to be filmed - I suspect this is a story recycled from some other TV series as, although CI5 had a wide remit, this is very firmly Drugs Squad territory.

In fact it looks like even Laurie Johnson gave up on this one as his incidental themes here are uncharacteristicly lacklustre, too.

The lads do plenty of talking but don't get much opportunity for the heavy stuff in this one. The brief fight scenes in the warehouse - well-choreographed and violent as ever - and at Franco's place are easily the highlights of the episode. In contrast, the story is weighed down with bags of "filler", particularly the football match. The scenes with Harry Devlin provided some nice action but are inconsequential.

The whole thing is rather reliant on coincidences. Tony just happens to be a pupil at the same school Paul attended. Inger just happens to be refereeing the school football match that Tony is due to be playing in. The story almost suggests that the school is the only one in the district and Inger is its only teacher! Furthermore, having apparently killed his friend and with a witness on his trail, why on earth would Tony's first thought be to fulfill his obligation to play? Surely he'd be looking for somewhere to hide?

The story leaves loose ends, too. Nobody gives a toss about the fate of Inger's CI5 bodyguard... nor young Jerry Lee - the very, ahem, "trigger" for the whole episode!

There is no "punchline" or explanation to Doyle's car being missing, either. It's tempting to speculate that as this was the first episode to be filmed for the rushed-into-production fourth season, a suitable car simply wasn't available in time (The RS2000 having been sold off by this point). However this was no ad-libbed idea: all lines of dialogue around it were in the original script.

As fans we tend to bemoan the mess of the original broadcast order of the series' episodes but, in this case, it deserved its mid-season transmission slot.

Anyway, can't sit around here chatting all day...

Sharon's Comment

The Gun is almost a complete dud. If it were not for a few good moments I'd never bother watching the episode again. It plays as if The Lads and CI5 are stuck in here and there just because it's running as a Pros ep. I could go on, but I'll just say this one is my least favorite of the entire lot.

The Good Things:

The ongoing gag with Doyle's car. Doyle's dirty laugh in the opening scene. Bodie in a robe, hunting for junk food and whining about his libido. Bodie being extremely untactful with Inge about Paul's death. Bodie (Lewis) clowning around on the play set with the Nazi helmet. Both men look good though rather weary.

And that's it, folks. To review it I watched with my nose held and one finger on the FF button.

The Bad Things:

The pacing's awful, the music sucks and the editing is unbelievably bad. Watch the finale in the house where the heck does Doyle suddenly come from? Very, very poorly done. Further, now that I'm on a roll, the characterization even of the three leads is off. Nothing seems "right". For example: Doyle [with his Drugs Squad background -Dave] not aware a baby of a heroin addict would be suffering withdrawal? Puleeze.

Augh. Too many problems that are too annoying to waste my time listing them here.

Was someone in a hurry?

Dialogue

Patricia Buchanan: "CI5 ?"

Doyle: "Yeah, it's kind of like MI5."

Patricia: "What's the difference?"

Doyle: "Well they invent the problems - and we have to solve them!"


Bodie, driving: "How come we're always using my motor? Oh, of course, you've lost yours!"

Doyle, indignant: "I have never lost a motor!"

Bodie, needling: "Think someone could have stolen it? Could be very humiliating. Reported it gone?"

Cowley, over the R/T: "Doyle?"

Doyle, spooked by the coincidental interruption: "His mother was a witch!"

Bloopers

When Gary is being interrogated in the back of Franco's car, they appear to drive past the same house (and row of cars) twice. (Thanks to Mark Gibbon)

Sidenotes

Original episode title was 'The Gun, The Horse and The Mules', slang references to the drugs and the couriers. The shortening appears to be an attempt to avoid audience puzzlement over the terms but some of the characters use the "horse" term without explanation anyway.

In one scene Doyle arrives outside Franco's house in a green Ford Cortina. Apparently this was to be Ray's official mode of transport for the entire season but, naturally, the production unit - and probably Martin Shaw himself - deemed such a plain "bread-and-butter" car to be inappropriate for one of CI5's action men!

This episode's problems may be due to the fact it was the first to be filmed for the fourth block and underwent a number of hurried revisions. 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 it wouldn't be surprising to find that Chris Wicking simply adapted an existing work.

Perhaps as a result of the urgency, some scenes were dropped from the script. The opening was to have been of Gary in his flat preparing to track down Paul by lubricating the gun and showing the audience that it had an unusual safety catch. A final scene of Bodie and Doyle leaving the CI5 computer room to pursue some of the "mules" in Bodie's car was also dropped.

Young Tony was originally to be called Jesus (pronounced "Heysoos"). Zoot Money's rock-star character was originally to be called Tom Dooley. That change may have come about so as there was (and still is) a real-life band called The Dooleys, who had a number of hits in the late 1970s.

It is rumoured that Doyle losing his car was to cover for the RS2000 having been stolen just prior to filming on this episode. However there does not seem to be any evidence of a theft and all the dialogue about it being missing was in Chris Wicking's draft scripts, anyway. I suspect it was merely a plot device to generate more of that much-loved car banter. The final scene was to see Doyle producing a large set of car keys from his pocket and saying to Bodie: "It's amazing how many people leave their keys in their car". I'm not sure if this is supposed to be some kind of joke but I'm not surprised it was dropped.

Deja Vu

Celia Gregory (Inger) starred in the legendary mid-70s apocalyptic drama Survivors, private eye series Hazell and mini-series such as Reilly: Ace of Spies and the cheesey American effort Lace. Quit acting in the mid-1990s and sadly passed away due to cancer in 2008.

Barry Angel (Tony) played the lead in the well-remembered 1983 series Codename: Icarus concerning a school for gifted children being duped into creating weapons for the Russians. Hmmm... all sounds a bit far-fetched now!! Angel seems to have dropped out of acting after this.

If you think Sylvestra Le Touzel (playing Patricia Buchanan) looks very young here, us forty-something Brits should recall her from the 1971 cult classic (and, for me, absolutely terrifying) The Boy From Space. In the 1980s she appeared several times on Alas Smith and Jones impersonating Princess Diana (Charles, watching TV: "Diana, where's the channel-changer?" / "Oh, it's his night orff!"). I think she also starred in a 1985 ad for Heineken which was a spoof of My Fair Lady, wherein she played a posh young woman being taught how to speak with a Cockney accent. In 1993 she starred as Tony Clark's girlfriend in the superb police procedural series Between the Lines. Most recently seen in the amusing vetinary sitcom Beast.

Locations
The episode opens with the lads in Bodie's car - with Doyle having lost his - driving along Netheravon Road, Chiswick. The uniform design of the gateposts and garden walls are a good identifier here. Subsequent to this - as Bodie receives a call from Inger - they turn into Beverley Road and Airedale Avenue, as per genuine geography. After the opening titles, Netheravon Road is used again!
Meanwhile Bodie's girlfriend schoolteacher Inger finds an old pupil, Paul, in trouble at a at the Olde Canal Snack Bar, 130 York Way, King's Cross. But while the little cafe remains, the surrounding area has been completely transformed since 1980.
Drug dealer Gary Benesch has been looking for Paul and the chase continues down Treaty Road, King's Cross. The tenement block in the background of the screengrab has had a mild facelift since 1980.
Paul escapes to his boat. It is moored by what is documented as Railshead Road, Hounslow.
Gary's boss Franco emerges from 'The Ace High' nightclub and walks to the underground carpark. Both locations are documented as actually being The Eurocrest Hotel, Empire Way, Wembley, though long since gone.
Having dealt with Paul, Gary looks to disposing of his gun driving along Jersey Road, Osterley. The oddly-shaped houses in the screenshot are instantly recognisable.
On hearing a police car siren, Gary panics and dumps the gun over a garden wall. This was filmed on Jersey Road. Spotting the exact location is difficult but the white house in the background appears to match, albeit the chimney has been moved. Either way, the streetsign is seen as Gary subsequently drives away...
... It's 350 Jersey Road. Huge thanks to Jonathan Lumley-Kelly, who once lived at number 348 - he informs me that the two houses were built together (in the 1930s), though 350 was much larger. Sadly it no longer exists as it was demolished and replaced by a small housing estate...
... Here we see Gary drive past number 348. It's difficult to show in a single shot but we see Gary drive past an "alcoved" gateway.
Gary telephones Franco admitting to having carelessly dumped the gun. Franco's place is 13 Park Place Villas, Maida Avenue, Maida Vale - for both interiors and exteriors.
The exterior and interior scenes for Inger's school were shot at Henrietta Barnet School, Central Square, Hampstead.
Having found Gary's gun while playing in the garden, young Tony Domenguin accidentally shoots the owner's son, Jerry-Lee Lesley. Fleeing the scene but still carrying the weapon, he runs up some stone steps. This is documented as Bridge Road, Wembley and I think they must have been on the north side: there is now some very obviously new brickwork occupying a place where the steps may have once met the bridge.
With Paul missing, Inger has asked Bodie for help. Doyle goes to speak with Paul's girlfriend. A heroin addict, she is is being kept at what is documented as Northwick Park Hospital, Harrow. This was also used for when Lesley visits his injured son.
His overseas tour interrupted by the shooting of his son, Lesley arrives back in the UK at what is documented as the TWA Air Terminal at 380 Kensington High Street, Kensington. However this has since been converted into a hotel.
Tony turns up in a distressed state for a school football match at what is documented as the Hampstead Heath Extension, Wildwood Road, Hampstead.
Still unaware of the events that led up to the shooting, the lads discuss the idea of following Lesley while driving along Beverley Road, Chiswick - and then turn into Netheravon Road and then Chiswick High Road. (There is a brief shot looking through the windscreen but this is actually footage seen earlier in the episode taken in Gary's Jaguar!)
The lads and Cowley discuss the case further at CI5 HQ. This week it is documented as being filmed at the Kienzle Data Systems, 224 Bath Road, Slough - long since gone, however.
En route to the football match, Bodie needles Doyle about his missing car while driving along Constantine Road into Agincourt Road, Hampstead.
Gary abducts Tony and drives him along Jersey Road, Osterley.
Other CI5 ops assigned to watch over Inger give chase but stop the wrong car on what is documented as Middleway, Hempstead. In the episode we see what appears to be the small bell-tower on the aforementioned Henrietta Barnett School.
Tony escapes from Gary by Richmond Lock, Ranelagh Drive, Richmond.
Gary recaptures Tony and the pair go to the former's house, 80 Dagmar Avenue, Wembley.
CI5 traces Gary's car but it's registered to a Harry Devlin. The lads drive to Devlin's workplace, which is actually The Royal Free Hospital in Hampstead. In the episode the lads arrive at one of the Fleet Road entrances, though the buildings opposite have undergone a little redevelopment since 1980.
With Gary becoming an increasing liability, he and Tony are taken to Franco's house via Maida Avenue, Paddington.
Although Inger is preparing to put on a play at the school, there was apparently a cheat here because she is setting up the stage at what is documented as Hampstead Garden Suburb Church Hall, 11 Northway - though we only see the interior.
Having made a connection between Gary and Franco, Bodie drives to the latter's house via the junction of King Street and Beavor Lane, Hammersmith.
Bodie turns into Central Square, Hampstead. We see Cowley's car head down the same road in a subsequent scene.



Click for the complete List of Episodes