Last updated : 27th January 2002
|Story Synopsis||When a tortured friend of Curtis' asks for his help, Curtis drags the unwilling team into a caper involving Nazis and a frightening WWII 'souvenir'.|
|Writer||Brian Clemens||Director||Ray Austin||Sweden Tx Date||5th November 1998|
Although the idea of cloning Hitler has been done before, it's still an interesting idea in these days where we seem to be very close to cloning humans (who knows perhaps it's already been done?).
Like so many other episodes, though, this really is a slow-mover after the first ten minutes or so.
Some plot irritations: how on earth does Dietrich (I barely recognised Prentis Hancock, by the way!) know Keel's telephone number? How does he even know who Keel is? And given Backus' (so-called) computer expertise, it seems unlikely she'd make the mistake of not covering her tracks after copying the files. The technology used to recreate the map is unbelievable and if it takes Spencer only a few moments to recreate it, why is it going to take him a few hours to get a hard copy??
Backus' by-the-book trait grates and seems to be a weak attempt to give her character. But it also has the effect of leaving the viewer confused over just what CI5's 'jurisdiction' is these days. And again we get the cliched, cringe-inducing "Never get emotionally involved" rammed down our throats. AAAARRGGHHH!
Highlights, however, include the car chase, of course. Apart from that, this ep has little else going for it.
Incidentally: that woman who was holidaying with Malone was it his girlfriend or grand-daughter??!
As TV echoes reality, let's just say that this is one plot I hope no-one will EVER attempt to execute in real life! This original and entertaining story includes another explosion plus a gunfight that's very interestingly filmed in slow-motion. There's also a great car chase at breakneck speed involving Curtis. Especially in that and the preceding scene he is really intense (and so much more fluid in speech) and all the more worth watching, wry humour and all.
With Malone away on holiday, Curtis draws CI5 in on a personal matter despite objections from his partners - foremost from Backus, who seems to be a real stickler for protocol. Reluctant to help him, she gets angry when Curtis points out it's personal to obstruct a friend too. (Indeed!!) It makes me wonder how much own initiative the ops are allowed to take, and just what does CI5's brief include anyway?
At least Backus gets believably in on the action in a night-time recce with Curtis. It's quite funny when at one point they have to take cover behind a door. As it is opened, Backus is forced into Curtis' embrace. Standing there trapped face to face, she presses her hands against the wall on either side of him while his arms are wrapped around her waist protectively, of course... ;-) I swear he's not groping her, in fact he doesn't seem to move a finger, but whatever the reason she pushes him away at first opportunity, clearly not sharing his enjoyment!
(Come to think of it, it would be interesting to see those two get together in a non work-related aspect of some kind; of the three of them I think that would be the most likely match. One would think that with a mixed team like this, something would be bound to happen in the male/female area, if only as a source for tension or differences. But apart from the occasional little joke there's nothing like that at all. Which, by and large, is rather a pity...)
There's an interesting but brief scene in this vein early on. Having presumably come back from a night out on town, Curtis, Keel and Backus plus a nameless blonde ('Amanda'?) arrive at Keel's place for breakfast. I take it she's a fairly new acquaintance since she doesn't really seem to know any of them. Maybe Keel invited her over, since a message from a woman on his answering machine does not please her, nor does his hastily made-up explanation that it's for Backus - yeah right, as if that would sound better! ;-) Sadly not much more is learnt since they're all off within minutes!
(As an aside Keel looks very handsome in that monochrome outfit: black pants, that smashing black leather coat plus a surprisingly tight, black top. Curtis looks good as well in that grey suit, although I personally think he looks even better in darker colours, just like he does in those favoured blues and reds.)
The ending is rather abrupt, kinda anticlimax like. And I thought CI5 basically never needed a search warrant? (Yeah this is a bit unclear see comments for 'Hunter/Hunted' Dave) But while taking a firm hand with some things, Malone is surprisingly lenient towards Curtis.
I do wonder why Curtis misspells his friend's name "Deitrich" on the computer rather inexplicable, all things considered. (As is Backus' change of clothes after that interrupted breakfast, unless she dropped by her place on her way or borrowed something from Keel's wardrobe or maybe already had some of her clothes there? Nah... ;-)
Tx date in New Zealand: December 15, 2001
A promising episode: Malone is on holiday so it's up to the rest of the team to follow-up a phone call that Curtis receives. I've found Edward Woodward's performances to be very lacking in TNP and I was a huge fan of The Equalizer in its day, so I welcomed his absence.
While there are some improbable parts, this episode shows excellent interaction between Curtis, Keel and Backus. The UK locations help bring some familiarity. The photography is of a much higher quality than many of the other episodes', and even the score seems better suited to the action.
Shortcomings include the investigation of the lab: why aren't the guards too concerned about Keel's motorcycle antics? If they were, it didn't show: no rushing to the gates to see what's going on; nor were there many worries internally. The arguments between Backus and Curtis seem forced, though the CurtisKeel relationship is energetic.
I felt a little nostalgic with Dietrich repeating 'Monday' in a daze ('Black Out') although by now I have given up comparing TNP to the originals.
Almost everything, it seems, is back on track: a strong episode with good acting and a mystery to link us to the end. Until Malone returns. I'm sorry, but I still feel Edward is dictating his lines in a most unnatural fashion. The script deteriorates from this point.
The finalι is rapid and unlikely: the members at the meeting are able to hide Adolf Hitler's portrait but not the video cassette or the souvenir itself. The huge task force that Malone arrives with seems to have disappeared by the time the action transfers indoors, as have all the members of the neo-Nazi group.
After Bodyguards, The Paradise Club and other 1990s British efforts, this was still appalling.
CI5 cars: Nissan 200 SX
|Cast List||Spencer Adrian Irvine
Henry Kensal Norman Rodway
Vandorf Audrey Jenkinson
General Markov Nicholas Selby
Oscar Daniel O'Grady
Carl Dietrich Prentis Hancock
Rinstead Ray Lonnen
Dr Fine Martin Turner
Dr Lillie Sam Graham
Mrs Burns Paula Jacobs
Dr Simpson Graeme Du-Fresne
Armed Guard Toby Davies
Amanda Joanna Thirsk
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