Last updated : 1st August 2016
|Episode 'The Untouchables'|
|Story Synopsis||A foreign diplomat offers to clear Bodie's gambling debts in exchange for CI5 secrets.||Writer||Brian Clemens|
|Guest Stars||Keith Washington, John Junkin, Nick Brimble, Vicki Michelle||Director||William Brayne|
& Filming Dates
|Block 4, Episode 13
|Original UK Transmission||Season 5, Episode 8
16th January 1983
Despite a number of flaws, I really like this episode. The plot works fairly well, though is arguably a little convoluted and perhaps gives too much away. And there are some terric one-liners and banter. I love the scene where Doyle meets the hooker "Anna" for the first time - some great, corny dialogue there – especially when he says "I want you to do a favour for a very good friend of mine..." and in walks old Cowley! Indeed there's plenty of humour throughout - see the Dialogue section below.
Performances from most of the characters are excellent - particularly that of Keith Washington, playing chief villain Rahad. However although Vicki Michelle (later to star in wartime farce sitcom 'Allo 'Allo) has a real "bimbo" part in this, she plays it like one, too - think she would have tried harder. The actress playing Clare Terringham is terribly wooden - they really should have recast.
Back to the plot: it's quite a complex affair (and therefore an edited-down copy may miss some small but important events) and arguably things work too well for CI5. It would have been nice if they had found themselves in a fix at some stage.
Also, if Hollis was careful enough to check out Bodie to begin with, surely he should have been suspicious when he learnt he was from CI5?
I like the terse dialogue between Bodie and Rahad during the card game, though some of it is slightly racist, admittedly. If there was any scene that tried to portray Lewis as a potential James Bond, it is this one. He sits there in a tux and the American character says "Too rich for my blood" - a line pinched from the Casino sequence in On Her Majesty's Secret Service!
Unusually for a Clemens script, there's little heavy action to speak of.
Big plot device, though: why should Rahad go to Hollis after he discovers CI5 are watching him? At that point he was unaware that Hollis had "bought" Bodie.
But there's a very nice twist towards the end of the story and a smart - and funny - conclusion at the final showdown with Rahad. Just a pity that the final scene is a first-season-style cheesey ending!
Cowley, referring to Rahad's latest mission: "Cultural Attache? Cultural Official Murderer!"
Terringham: "We have absolutely no proof of that."
Cowley: "It had to be Rahad, Sir John - it was his style. And the cop remembers him leaving the embassy just about that time."
Terringham: "I've seen the reports, Cowley, and I agree with you. Undoubtedly it was him - but we have no proof."
Cowley: "You need proof in order to expel him?"
Terringham: "We need something. Otherwise the official view is why disturb the current savoir faire between his country and ours?"
Cowley: "He'll go on killing - executing 'enemies of the State' as he puts it."
Terringham: "Special Branch is watching him and..."
Assistant via intercom: "A Mr Rahad to see you, sir."
Terringham, astonished: "Show him in."
Cowley: "Come to give himself up, do you think?"
Rahad enters: "Ah, Sir John, I am sorry I had to insist on seeing you - it is a matter of the greatest urgency."
Terringham: "I see. This is Mr Cowley"
Rahad: "Mr Cowley - I had heard of you. You are much smaller than I imagined!"
Cowley: "So was Henry the Eighth! Well I'll leave you to it."
Rahad: "No, no, Mr Cowley - this may concern you. I have to register the strongest complaint about the fact that I am being followed."
Terringham, feigning innocence: "Oh, really, Mr Rahad..."
Rahad: "Please don't bother to deny it, Sir John - I do know about these things."
Cowley: "As 'Cultural Attache'?"
Rahad to Cowley: "Much smaller! You will, of course, take all steps to rectify this situation. We shall regard this as an informal complaint - hopefully there will be no need to register a formal one."
Terringham, after Rahad has left: "The gall of the bloody man!"
Cowley, laughing: "Oh, I don't know - he's got you out of your pram at last!
Terringham: "We've got to do something about him. You've got to do something!"
Cowley, mysteriously: "Aye, I've been thinking about that... but I may have to borrow your daughter!..."
Clare Terringham: "I think you should know from the start that I am unofficially engaged."
Bodie: "I shall try to respect that."
Clare: "Anyway I don't really go for the older man."
Bodie pulls Clare close and kisses her on the lips: "Just remember, with age comes experience!"
Clare: "Did you get what you wanted?"
Bodie can't take his eyes off her: "Eh?! Oh in the club? Yes!
Cowley, holding out a photograph: "This is Harry Taylor."
Constable Fisk, apparently well-versed in and supportive of CI5's dubious methods: "You want him nicked, eh? Obstruction? Loitering? Breathing too hard in a public place?"
Doyle: "Blondes - tall, leggy blondes. That's Rahad's forte! He has two or three a week, by all accounts. Must be all that rice and sheep's eyeballs!"
Bodie on staging a fight: "I'll 'hit' you on the left - you won't feel a thing."
Doyle, all too familiar with Bodie's capabilities: "That's what I'm afraid of!"
Doyle, astonished at "Anna's" breeding, despite her trade: "You could be a debutante."
Anna, taking a drink: "Yes, well I was as a matter of fact. It's a question of degree. I used to do it for a dinner and a disco. I nearly did it for an earldom. Now I just do it for money. Cheers!"
Nero, outside Hollis' house: "This is as far as I go. They don't allowed coloureds in the game."
Bodie: "There's a law against that, you know!"
Nero shrugs: "Here, it's their law!"
Bodie: "Didn't expect to see you here."
Rahad: "Oh? We have met before?"
Bodie: "No, it's just that somebody told me coloureds weren't allowed in."
Rahad: "We have the oil, Mr Brodie - that makes us pure white!"
Bodie: "Bodie. The name's Bodie."
Rahad, charmingly threatening: "I shall remember it!"
Bodie: "Actually, come to think of it, I didn't know you Arabs played poker, either."
Rahad, taking a glass: "That's right, Mr Bodie. Nor do we drink alcohol!"
Rahad, after Bodie loses: "You were surprised that we play poker, Mr Bodie. You must be astonished that we are good at it, too!"
Doyle, answering the door to Bodie, who has been 'sold' to Rahad: "Oh, use the slaves' entrance will you! And mind your chains on my rug!"
Bodie: "Whose idea was this, anyway?"
Bodie: "No it wasn't - it was yours!"
Doyle: "Oh! Must have been Cowley's, then."
Bodie: "Oh! Might work, then!"
Bodie: "There's one thing about the cash: it has to be Swiss francs."
Taylor: "The currency of corruption!"
Bodie, realising that his reclaimed music centre has a broken loudspeaker: "My tweeter's gone for a Burton!"
Doyle, clearly ignorant of hi-fi terminology: "Sounds painful!"
Terringham: "Clare asked some rather awkward questions about that chap of yours - Bodie is it? Wonders if you've been feeding him too much red meat!"
Hollis: "I want to see my lawyer!"
Doyle: "One more word out of you and what you'll want is a dentist!"
For Keith Washington (Rahad) a burgeoning TV acting career in the 1970s with parts in the Sweeney (episode 'Queen's Pawn'), Lew Grade's epic Jesus of Nazareth and the final two episodes of Strangers, seems to have stalled in the 1980s. However he moved behind the cameras with directing successes such as London's Burning, the Customs & Excise drama The Knock and the hugely popular mystery series Jonathan Creek.
John Junkin was primarily a comedy writer and performer - particularly for BBC radio. But as that probably didn't pay very well, he had an occasional foray into acting and popped up in the most unexpected places and roles. Recently seen in EastEnders. Passed away in 2006.
Marilyn Galsworthy (the fake Anna) was previously eaten by a shark (!) in The Spy Who Loved Me. Also starred in Danger: UXB, a popular 1979 TV series examining the role of bomb-disposal officers in World War II. Haven't seen her since!
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