Last updated : 24th March 2002

Episode 'Samurai Wind'
Story SynopsisJason Dane, a former Secret Service agent, threatens to unleash hydrogen cyanide over Tokyo unless his demand of US$ 1 billion is met – but that is not his sole aim.
WritersSteven Whitney and Duncan Gould DirectorJohn Davies Sweden Tx Date1st October 1998
Dave's Comment

Well it’s certainly great to see Patrick Mower back on TV! His performance outshines everybody else – a shame, then, that much of his dialogue is cliched and trite. It's ironic that, playing a character who claims he should be running CI5, Patrick and Lewis Collins are good friends! If Lewis had taken the role, it would have been interesting seeing him and Patrick playing alongside each other in this ep.

The guy playing Kessler causes much unintentional laughter: totally over the top acting and accent! Where did they get him from? Maybe he was dubbed?

Yet again the show descends in another standard action yarn. At least young Backus actually gets something useful to do as she finds herself in this adapted BUGS episode.

Ann's Comment

This is another episode I strangely enjoy a lot. It has some great action scenes and the chemistry between Keel and Curtis (in particular in those scenes) works well. I especially like the charismatic Patrick Mower, who's very convincing as Dane. While I'm unsure if Dane's supposed to be a madman, a genius, or both, he's undeniably highly intelligent and dangerous (and unexpectedly charming ;-). His arrogant conviction of his own superiority might explain some of his more odd moves. Doesn't quite explain CI5's odd moves, though! ;-)

The plot has quite a lot of question marks. To begin with, Dane's threat is preceded by a little "trial run" (a bit like Nesbitt in 'Private Madness, Public Danger' –Dave). While that in itself isn't implausible in most venues, Dane's demo is carried out in a very highly secured building.

Then there's the intriguing question of what CI5 can and can't do with computers that have been hacked into and overridden...

Other oddities include Dane allowing the lads to freely roam around in search of him – surely you take your adversaries out at first opportunity, preferably with a bullet in the head at point blank range? Due to Dane's personality I can sort of buy this and other strange behaviour – logical, however, it is not! ;-)

But never mind – the action, once Keel and Curtis are on location, is great. Curtis (who incidentally looks great with his hair windswept across his face for a change) is unusually aggressive here, his intensity a very interesting contrast to his usual, rather restrained self. Like at one point when he snaps at Keel that they're not indispensable. The latter part of this episode is a prime example of how Curtis comes best through when 'out of character', overall being so much more natural and alive.

My favourite scene is when Keel and Curtis come under gunfire from Dane's men (Kessler and Shaw). Curtis is surprised by Shaw which leads to a standoff with both aiming their weapons at each other, neither willing to back down. Curtis is terrific in this scene, having never looked better.

Dirty and wounded with his dark hair tousled and eyes narrowed, the total effect is quite pugnacious – deadly set, not a muscle twitching as he keeps his gun unwaveringly aimed at Shaw, looking every bit the part... brilliant!!

Speaking about guns: while I'm by no means an expert, I'm fairly certain that Curtis (here and otherwise) uses a black 9mm Beretta 92FS. While I think Keel normally uses a Smith & Wesson, in this episode (like in 'Tusk Force') he appears to be using a Beretta as well, albeit with a stainless steel finish. {Well, expert or not, you certainly know a lot more about weaponry than I do, Ann! –Dave}

Backus gets in on the action too, sort of – again being competently in the midst of bombs and computers rather than in actual combat. (The sight of her in a swimsuit might delight you guys!) Even Malone gets rough, in a most disgustingly blood-splattering way! ;-)

Jack's Comment

Quite a good episode. I cringed when I saw that Steven Whitney had had a hand in penning this, but was pleasantly surprised. It holds up better than many of the other episodes.

There were some plot holes: how come Dane couldn't hear Malone's transmissions from the helicopter as he approached the island. And, without giving away the finalι, let's just say if I were Dane I wouldn't have led Malone in that particular direction for it'd have been unwise.

However, everyone is on form here. The pre-title sequence has enough suspense and is only let down by the use of cheap sets. Edward Woodward is, as in 'High Speed', far more at home doing location work. I would argue that's why The Equalizer succeeded now: the guy just doesn't fit in to his cooped-up CI5 office at Teddington Studios. The injury that Curtis sustains works well into the script; Keel's injury in 'Tusk Force' didn't.

We learn a little bit about how CI5 became international and as with 'Glory Days' there's a reference to George Cowley. However, I felt uncomfortable with this: it's as though the reference was put in only to please fans of the original series and for no other reason. For goodness' sake, if you are going to use the past, use it a bit more wisely than this. (Having said that, the tribute in 'Back to Business' and a reference to Martin in that episode was done tastefully enough in my view to get away without my criticism.)

Finally, some action for Lexa Doig and I must say she looks as fetching in her diving gear as in that little black dress in 'Hostage'. The eye-candy aside – yes, I fell right in to David Wickes's trap – the action sequences involving Backus make sense and work well in the storyline.

Apart from the one Cowley reference there was a genuine sense of creating a bespoke New Professionals flavour here and at numerous points it surpassed various moments in the first season of the original series. I still can't really give it more than 5/10 but a very good effort from everyone here and a glimmer of hope for the series.

Cast List

Spencer – Adrian Irvine
Jason Dane – Patrick Mower
Admiral – John Carson
Shaw – Simon Jones *
Kessler – Warrick Grier
Female Officer – Joanna Wells
Male Officer – Sean Michael
Peter Strieb-Griebling – Peter Krummeck
General George Roberts – uncredited
John Preston – uncredited

* Not to be confused with the Simon Jones who appeared as Arthur Dent in The Hitch-hikers Guide to the Galaxy.

BTW Partly filmed in South Africa.

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