Last updated : 23rd May 1999

Episode 'Miss Hit'
Story SynopsisWhen an important Mafia witness does a runner after his pickup goes wrong, Curtis and Keel have to find him before the Mob does.
WritersJeremy Burnham and Brian Clemens DirectorSidney Hayers Sweden Tx Date22nd October 1998
Dave's Comment

Despite several flaws, I like this one.

When the boys go to 'interview' the drugs squad man, the scene is clearly taken from 'Killer with a Long Arm'. (Curtis' Chuck Berry quip actually made me laugh!). Weber spoils it a bit by overacting the "likely to ruin your whole career" line and, to be honest, the two lads haven't quite got what it takes to put across the implied malevolence of their forebears. But a pretty good attempt all the same. Actually it's probably not fair to ask them to replay a Bodie & Doyle scene at all: these are two completely different actors and so any attempt to get them to do so is always gonna come off second best. Indeed it's quite possible that if they had been allowed to develop their own characters, rather than be 'force-fed' those of their predecessors, they would have come across better.

The scenes of young Cardulucci trudging through the Soho streets are quite effective and the accompanying music is good, too.

I wasn't terribly convinced by the cafe owner, though – he seemed far too gullible!

Also, it seems that would-be assassin Cathcart was only paid four grand for the hit – clearly Irish labour comes cheap!

What I can't understand is that when Keel smells Abby's perfume in Cathcart's apartment, how come it takes him the rest of the episode to realise it was her?

The strangest thing, though, is right at the end. Instead of moving in to stop Abby, the boys simply stand by waiting for her to kill the Carduluccis. Huh? OK so it makes for some splendid action but it would have been even better (and more credible) if the boys hadn’t arrived until Abby had started her run.

Despite all this it's still an entertaining forty-eight minutes... and a darn sight better than a lot of the other eps!

Ann's Comment

Now this is another highly enjoyable episode: a clever title, the joy of the Italian language, a most Cowley-like Malone, good music, good team-work and some very humorous banter. The likeable Franco is well played by Roberto Spina. While the plot is straightforward it has interesting twists and works very well. There's also another 'female factor' in shape of FBI-agent Abigail Prentice, who's sent over to assist CI5 despite Malone's protests.

Plenty of funny touches here too, such as a modern update of the plate-breaking scene in Tarkos' Greek restaurant ('Killer With A Long Arm'). In many ways there's a definite feel of the old series, such as in locations, methods, bantering and car scenes. (Mr Clemens' presence, no doubt! –Dave)

While Bodie and Doyle spent a considerable amount of time either seeing or discussing girls, not so much Keel and Curtis. So far the only real female 'interest' has been Gemma in 'Skorpion'. But while Curtis is supposed to be the more level-headed of the pair, he's nonetheless the one who seems most apt to be swayed by a beautiful woman, in particular if blonde! ;-) {Sounds like a good time to being SuperPam back! :-) –Dave} Thus when they meet agent Abigail it is Curtis who is positive about their teamwork, gallantly helping her with her luggage and suggesting lunch, etc. Keel is, in contrast, rather reluctant to co-work with an outsider, FBI (or woman) or not.

(Small fashion aside: while I favour Keel in black/dark clothes, that sort of olive-brownish outfit suits him very well too. I wouldn't mind that jacket myself! ;-)

Although Backus shows some vague 'female instincts', it is Keel who proves that instinct paired with acute senses can reveal a lot. Speaking about keeping a cool head, Keel shows a lot of that in this episode – particularly in the end, where he doesn't show a moment's hesitation as he holds his gun steadily aimed at his target.

(While Franco is credited as Cardulucci, in an onscreen database file it's spelled Cardulluci. I vote for the former being most plausible.)

Jack's Comment

Of the six that aired in New Zealand to this point, this is by far the best episode. Jeremy Burnham, in my view, gave us the best of the old series' stories ('Man without a Past') as well as an excellent Paradise Club script a few years back. He stays true to form here and works well with Professionals creator Brian Clemens.

The story may be predictable but it flows smoothly. There are remarkably few contradictions: even the police and Police Commissioner respect Malone's word this time. Director Sidney Hayers returns to form, after giving us some duffers during his time in the United States (Acapulco H.E.A.T., Knight Rider) and it has a strong feel of earlier Hayers-directed episodes from the first season of the original series. The Curtis–Keel relationship is much better here, with improved dialogue allowing the two actors a chance to work together. Not quite on a par with early Bodie–Doyle but nearly there. And there's a feeling of déjà-vu with the Italian restaurant here (see 'Killer with a Long Arm').

It's interesting to note how taken Curtis was by the blonde assassin while Keel keeps his objectivity, but this works, too.

Woodward seems more relaxed in his role, too, but do not expect the same quality of performance that you saw in The Equalizer or Callan.

Even the score has improved: the music accompanies the action well and a nice use of (electronic) piano. Some familiar cues from 'Back to Business' but used better. There is one major departure: when Cardolucci is in Soho, a song is used in the background. Normally I would find it too foreign for this series but again, it works.

Editing lets down this episode: there are several scenes which lack logic and tension as a result, but compared to the previous five we have seen here there is far, far less to fault. The satellite reading in the Ford Mondeo (yes, a Ford!) lacks verisimilitude, but that's still partly acceptable given the overall competence of this episode.

The finalé works well, despite being predictable, although it is hampered by the editing again.

Sadly, Backus remains in her secondary role as Personal Assistant to Harry Malone, informing him when he has a phone call. This is clearly a ridiculous situation: either she is CI5's receptionist or a field agent, but not both.

One's only remaining wish is that the rest of the episodes were of this quality.

Rating: 8/10

CI5 vehicles: Ford Mondeo ST24

Cast List Abigail Prentice – Emma Wollard
Franco Cardulucci – Roberto Spina
Nick Forrester – Ron Berglas
Gavin Murray – John Chancer
Gina Cardulucci – Jane Garioni
Cathcart – David Prosno
Tony Radelli – Nick Moran
Abby 1 – Heidi Ashton
Connolly – Seamus Gubbins
Security Man – Ian Thompson
Nurse – Natalie Roles
Luigi – Joseph Long
Luigi's Wife – Genevieve Allenburg
Rat – Any Lucas
Father Devlin – Mike Dowling

Dock scenes shot at the Port of Tilbury, Essex.

Other scenes shot in and around Teddington, Twickenham, Hampton, Acton, Barnes and Soho, central London.


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