Last updated : 1st August 2016
|Episode 'Discovered in a Graveyard'|
|Story Synopsis||When a campaign against a hated Oriental ex-leader spills over into the streets of London, CI5's intervention leads to Doyle being shot in revenge... and unable to decide whether to live or die.||Writer||Chris Wicking|
|Guest Stars||David Yip, Philip Latham, Derek Waring||Director||Anthony Simmons|
& Filming Dates
|Block 4, Episode 9
|Original UK Transmission||Season 5, Episode 5
5th December 1982
When the ep kicks off, you think it's going to be yet another routine duffer with the lads doggedly trailing a couple of bombers through the London streets. You couldn't be more wrong! This is an amazing episode: lying comatose after being critically wounded, Doyle spends much of his time in a surreal, nightmare netherworld arguing with the spirits of Cowley and Bodie whether to allow himself to die. I could easily write a small book examining this segment alone! In the 1980s such an idea may have seemed preposterous to much of the audience but true-life cases of similar circumstances have emerged over the years.
This is an episode that has two stories: CI5 trying to stop the assassinations escalating and, more significantly, Doyle trying to come to terms with the horror his job entails. The excellent scripting and direction make the two threads work very well together - helped, of course, by the fact that the two murder attempts are linked. The sheer skill in the writing is yet another reminder of just how far ahead the series was compared to dross and "pretenders to the throne" like Dempsey and Makepeace.
Good brief moment of photography in the car park when all we see are the lads' shadows trying to chase the bombers' van.
Cowley is in fine form here - strong-minded and clear-headed. Yet this doesn't stop him from snapping at the surgeon and the government minister. He's also short-tempered with Bodie quite a bit and even drags him away from the hospital as Doyle goes into surgery: "There's nothing you can do here!"
Tackling Colonel Lin Foh at the inquest, Cowley warns that Britain has already endured too much terror - "We won't let you invade our streets - we've had enough!" - this may have been a reference to the 1970s bombing campaigns by the IRA.
The episode really kicks in from the moment Doyle is shot, which is effectively filmed with the right balance of shock and surrealism - and replayed a number of times during the episode to heighten the "atmosphere". In his tortured mind he even begs to be killed off. Strange camera angles, visual effects and percussive sounds are used to ready us for Doyle's descent into his frightening underworld.
There is some good attention to detail in the shooting scene, too. For example the presence of the exotic Chinese Garden that Doyle previously had been "forced" to buy from Mayli. The shooting itself is well-realised in that Doyle is bodily flung through the air: a point that Martin Shaw himself had made a couple of years previously about the effect of gunfire on the human body.
Bodie's reaction to the murder attempt is interesting: he finds his badly wounded partner and, instead of getting all emotional about it (as Doyle would have done had Bodie been the one to take the bullet), his military discipline takes over and he coolly, quickly, wordlessly and efficiently checks Doyle over, staunching the blood as much as possible and then summons help. There is but a slight suggestion of panic and he only starts to emote once Doyle is safely in the ambulance.
Next we have a scene from Doyle's "dream" where he and Bodie apparently meet for the first time. This is the start of some great "characterisation" scripting: B warns D that he needs to stay cool in order to survive in CI5, yet he still considers D could make a good partner. There is the motionless shadow of an unseen man in the background - is it Cowley? In all these scenes the dialogue is done as voiceover - as though the characters are communicating telepathically. And Doyle is constantly wearing his bloodsoaked T-shirt while his face is positively cadaverous... particularly in the scene where he witnesses his own funeral.
All this is interspersed within the real-world Cowley and Bodie trying to piece together what happened. Much of the story is told in flashback as Bodie tries to recall the events leading up to the shooting and finding a link to the attempt on the Oriental, Lin Foh. With the clipped dialogue and sharp editing we've come to love, these scenes are well worth watching too.
The scene with Cowley tackling his minister is great - as the government does not wish to make enemies with Lin Foh's successors, who are probably covertly supporting the student activists, it has not yet "worked out a policy" on what to do with the bombers. Cowley therefore finds his hands officially tied and, quite rightly, goes bananas!
Plenty of great action scenes as young Mayli makes her own attempt on Lin Foh.
Admittedly there's not much humour to speak of - in fact the funniest line in the original script was cut during production (see the Dialogue section below) - but comedy would hardly be appropriate here.
As you might expect from horror writer Chris Wicking, the episode is a bloodbath - and, other than one scene of Mayli opening fire on a squad member being cut for timing reasons, well done to Mark 1 and London Weekend Television for not toning it down. Perhaps the script's only fault is that we don't learn of what becomes of the other CI5 agents caught up in it. Doyle ultimately makes the right decision... but nobody wins.
Nice to see some experimentation with the format – and it works! I always think that this episode would have been the best way to finish the series.
Cowley: "My Government accepted your presence here despite warnings as to what might happen if they did so. Because, Colonel, we will not be dictated to. Certainly not by blackmailers with bombs in their hands. But we will not let you invade our streets - we've had enough. If you want to kill each other then go home and do it - not here! I don't know why they want to kill you, Colonel - I don't know why you would want to kill them - but I'm sure you would if you had them in your hands. The bodies of two young boys had to be stitched together in the mortuary before we could hold this inquest. We don't want any more bodies - yours, mine, any poor young kid, a beggar, a tramp or an old lady who happens to be passing on the same street. We don't want your war here, Colonel!"
Phantom Bodie, meeting Doyle for the first time, in a bar: "You sweat it out and you pour it back - stay cool. Saw my medical report: 'slow heartbeat, slow metabolism' - it's gotta be cool. Sneaked a look at yours, though: very uncool! 'Hot temperament' Still, a good man, the tops, worth knowing - you won't fall if they push. Can't afford to give a damn - might make you hesitate. Forget 'the book': you shoot to kill - he will!"
Bodie, on Doyle's survival chances: "He'll make it."
Cowley: "Will he? Does he want to? How strong is his will?"
Bodie: "The strongest."
Cowley: "I'm not so sure. He's an idealist - as much as anybody can be, given the job he does."
Dr Seigel: "His system's basically dormant, idling - it's doing just enough to keep him alive. But the brain activity... The brain is the first organ to truly die. It sounds a romantic notion, I know, but, to me, with the system idling and the brain activity so intense, I think it's as if he's trying to come to a decision."
Cowley, surprisingly clued in: "Whether to live or die?"
Cowley: "He's done more, seen more, to make him want to throw it all in than almost anybody his age."
Seigel, chillingly: "Then let's hope he's got more reasons to want to go on."
Phantom Cowley, reading from a report: "Police career, good. Quite a few run-ins with your superiors."
Doyle: "There were reasons."
Cowley: "Good reasons, no doubt. You care. The issues in this trade are complex, tangled. Compassion can be a big step towards solving them."
Doyle: "Noble sentiments. I hope I live up to them."
Phantom Doyle, walking to his own funeral: "A row of graves: that's the bottom line of all your noble sentiments. Lives wasted."
Cowley: "Yours too?"
Doyle: "Why not? It's why I was nailed."
Cowley: "Because you were careless?"
Doyle: "No - but I didn't care enough."
Cowley: "You don't want us to get who nailed you?"
Doyle: "Maybe I was asking for it."
Cowley: "You're not even curious to know who it was? Might be after me, too, or Bodie, or all of us. Do you want us to die?"
Seigel: "The diamorphine seems to have settled him down."
Cowley, demanding: "I am counting on you to have him stay that way!"
Seigel, irritated: "A doctor I am - God I am not!"
Oriental newpaper editor: "Intellectually I do not condone terrorism."
Doyle: "And emotionally?"
Editor, referring to his friends and Lin Foh's regime: "The men they wanted to kill were butchers!"
Doyle: "Who was 'Charlie'?"
Editor: "I do not know this 'Charlie'!"
Bodie: "And if you did, you'd grow old and die before you'd tell us, right?"
Editor: "Let us say I might grow old and die trying to decide whether to act intellectually or emotionally!"
Bodie: "Inscrutable bastard."
Doyle, sarcastically: "Yeah, full-blooded pacifist, mate."
Bodie: "Wonder what he'd say if he saw somebody raping his sister?"
Cowley, prompted by Doyle's seeming doubts, wonders about Bodie: "Have you ever thought of getting out of CI5 ?"
Bodie: "Yeah - every time I take the physical! Still, what else would I do?"
Cowley: "What would you do?"
Bodie: "I haven't thought that far, sir."
Cowley: "This job doesn't get easier."
Bodie: "It's no wonder with all the sophisticated weaponry they've got... and we've got to stop them! Mind you, once you start wondering why, I suppose that is the time to get out!"
Phantom Cowley: "Think of all the lives your actions saved. Those people want you well again, doing your job."
Doyle, exasperated: "Doing my job? In this chaos? Give me one good reason!"
Cowley: "You have a contract."
Doyle: "I can break it - I can resign."
Cowley: "Fine - do you want to put that in writing?"
Doyle, sarcastically: "Yeah... can I start 'Dear George'?"
Minister Hogan, discussing the students' actions: "It's a weird one, George, as they're not taking hostages or causing trouble. The targets they are after are sort of their own people."
Cowley: "So what are you saying? We just let them kill whoever they want?"
Hogan: "I'm saying it's a new kind of situation. We have to clarify our attitude."
Cowley, astonished: "We have one: to keep blood off the streets, to protect life and property."
Hogan, mocking: "Oh, George! You're wise enough in world politics - you know very well that the people in power over there now are the people we were trying to keep out! They don't like us very much."
Cowley: "But we're anxious for their friendship?"
Hogan, hesitant: "Well we certainly don't want to make unnecessary enemies. Particularly ones who might trigger off another Cambodia."
Cowley: "They tried to kill one of my men!"
Hogan, nonchalant: "Oh well I'm sure it won't happen again, George. Of course it would have been altogether different if this, um, er, Doyle of yours had died. I think we're very lucky that her aim was a little off - perhaps she doesn't have the stomach to be an assassin. Her embassy felt obliged to fill me in."
Cowley, angry at the time spent trying to identify Mayli when Hogan knew all along: "But you didn't feel obliged to fill me in?!
Hogan, realising he's put his foot in it: "George! Obviously I should have briefed you. I... I had no idea you would do such a fast job putting all this together."
Cowley, now furious to the point of disloyalty: "I hope you'll enjoy reading about this in tomorrow's papers!"
Hogan, taken aback: "Read about what, George? There's nothing to print!"
Cowley: "Our newspapers are fearless: they'll happily print rumour, hearsay, innuendo...!"
Hogan: "Oh nobody gives a toss about these blasted people!"
Cowley: "But they care about Doyle, gunned down by an international terrorist and an official spokesman who says 'Hands off - they won't do it again'!"
Hogan: "Your man is a faceless nothing to the people out there: they care as little about him as the two bombers who died! What are you going to do, George? Resign?"
Cowley: "No, I'm going to do what I conceive to be my duty."
Hogan: "Yes, of course - that's exactly what we want you to do. George, all I'm saying is don't expect any help from us until we've worked out a policy."
Cowley: "And just let the targets sit back and wait for a bullet? What do you want us to do with Mayli?"
Hogan: "That depends an awful lot on whether or not you kill her. And, off the record, I sincerely hope that won't happen."
Cowley's turn to mock: "At least until we've 'worked out a policy'?!"
Bodie: "Pity we couldn't have more people on this stakeout, sir - five's not really enough."
Cowley: "It's better than four, Bodie!"
Attractive female hotel guest to Bodie: "Hi! Is that a gun in your pocket are you just pleased to see me?!"
(Cut from original script).
Bodie: "How does it feel to be amongst the land of the living then, mate? You were technically dead, you know?!"
Doyle: "Well now I've done it once, it'll be easier next time!"
A debatable one. When Doyle is shot, his backward motion across the floor arguably doesn't tally with the position in which he lands. (Thanks to Chiara Fantoni).
The opening scene shows Latowa and Charlie's van turning right at a road juntion, with the lads following them, mixing with other traffic. However the later flashback has different cars making up the traffic. Clearly a different "take" of the scene was used - but why?!
The old van used by the bombers proved to be unreliable and broke down several times. For these reasons the scenes in the underground carpark were curtailed somewhat and some outside shots were deferred for several days to allow the van to be properly repaired.
The original script called for even more use of flashbacks, particularly where we see Doyle in combat, the idea being to suggest he is reflecting on his violent past. Indeed they were actually filmed. Yet they were dropped for timing reasons in post-production editing and a lot of the footage in Doyle's flat was repeated instead. Seems an odd decision.
In the script, Bodie performs an impression of the newspaper editor commenting "You Inglis [sic] Johnnies all look the same to me!". It was probably cut for its racist overtones - particularly after the 'Klansmen' debacle.
The script was revised numerous times after filming had already commenced. Indeed it seems that writer Chris Wicking was no longer available as the amendments were largely co-written by the episode's director, Anthony Simmons, and series script editor Gerry O'Hara. The lads searching Charlie's flat, interrogating the newspaper editor, the funeral fantasy and Doyle's short "Stupidity!" monologue to Mayli were such additions. Also Wicking's original script had no transition from Doyle's comatose state to him returning to normal life: his recovery in hospital - and the funny scene of him being dragged out his wheelchair into the Capri - was very much an afterthought!
The poem Cowley finds in Doyle's flat is actually extracts from Max Ehrmann's Desiderata.
David Yip (the newspaper editor) was soon starring in his own series, the short-lived Chinese Detective. You'll spot him in minor roles in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom and A View to a Kill. He had a short stint on Mersey soap Brookside before realising it was going downhill and then suddenly turned up in the long-running German 'tec series Tatort.
Philip Latham (the minister, Hogan) is one of those great actors who is instantly recognisable but, surprisingly, did relatively few TV shows in his long career. Starred in the little-remembered 1976 soap The Cedar Tree. His best-known film work was on Force 10 from Navarone. I assume he has now retired from acting.
Derek Waring (the surgeon, Doctor Seigel) had previously appeared in the New Avengers ep 'Tale of the Big Why'. He had a three-year stint on the long-running proto-Sweeney series Z-Cars but rather oddly for such a good actor was later limited to odd guest appearances in various sitcoms. Passed away in 2006.
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