Last updated : 27th March 2013
|Episode Title||Close Quarters|
|Story Synopsis||An injured Bodie captures the leader of a terrorist group but finds himself and his girlfriend trapped by the rest of the gang and unable to alert his colleagues.|
|UK Episode #||A07|
|UK Tx Date||10 February 1978|
|Production #||Block 1, Ep 9|
|Approx Filming Dates||11th - 24th October 1977|
|Guest Stars||Gabrielle Drake|
Another fave, this one – certainly in my Top Five! The tension built up inside the vicarage is tremendous and extremely well-acted.
Not only is this an all-action episode (and the car-chase is brilliantly filmed), it is also a great and surprising character study of Bodie (sorry, Doyley-fans, Martin doesn't get much of a look-in on this one!). Under pressure he resorts to cracking daft jokes as usual but finds his fellow hostages don't appreciate them like Doyle would. Although he never loses faith in his own combat abilities, he clearly can't convince the women of that!
He also reacts strangely to certain events – deaths are met with casual responses such as "Oh well... round one". He doesn't seem at all bothered about the killings (then again, neither do Julie and Sara – an oversight in the writing, perhaps?).
When the women demand to know why Bodie doesn't simply let Meyer go, instead of telling them it's because the gang will then be free to carry on killing more innocent people (which I would have thought was an obvious answer), his mysterious response is "I don't know why.... ask Cowley". Weird.
The plotline itself works well and nicely helped by Cowley and Doyle chasing around the countryside desperately trying to find their colleague.
A splendid episode indeed and leads one to wonder how different it might have been handled had Doyle been the one trapped. Unlike Sharon I would definitely recommend this ep as a starter (unless you have a particular aversion to brown cardies – why on earth did Lewis think this would impress the girls?!!). Had it been balanced with a bit more of Doyle then it would have been perfect!
Fave line comes from the injured Bodie admiring Julie: "How's the hand?" / "Terrible! But the eyes are having a great time!"
Another "Bodie" vehicle. Not his finest hour though he does muddle through to final success.
The opening briefing is a good way to show how CI5 works, and we see Jax for the first time. Doyle wears jeans for, I believe, the first time as well. Bodie is in the awful brown cardigan and spotted shirt.
One has to wonder why Bodie has handcuffs in his cardigan pocket. Kinky plans for later, perhaps?
In this episode we see how well Bodie does with action and how badly he does with planning and/or waiting. His "people skills" are sorely lacking. He makes bad jokes again and handles those in his care with all the grace of a touchy bear. He drinks on the job and under pressure. He can be charming, he can be deadly. But he is not a manager! Bodie ***NEEDS*** a partner and a boss! I feel very sorry for him – he is out of his depth. And when he castigates himself ("Shut up, Bodie") he really needs a hug! He is a lousy leader.
And hitting Julie was an interesting response. He never hits Doyle even when his partner is spitting far hotter venom at him than the woman did.
I rather like the heartfelt cry Doyle makes when he calls out Bodie's name.
The whole episode is full of lovely close-ups of Lewis. Nice, that!
Plot – good. This works even with things like the fake blood that drips from Bodie's hand wound – ah, c'mon, guys! The judicious use of background music adds to the tension. Nicely done. This is one of the few eps that I don't FF through large portions.
The discussion in the car between Cowley and Doyle is revealing and odd. Why in the world would C let two years plus go by without checking to see how the partnership was going? Nah. Don't buy it. Interesting that D knows exactly how many months as well as years. Almost expect him to give the days and hours. The "chalk and cheese" line is in here.
An uncomfortable but interesting episode. Not one I'd start a newbie with though.
Possible script rewrite: Gabrielle Drake's character is credited as "Julia" and this is the how Doyle refers to her. However in the vicarage scenes, Bodie always calls her "Julie". Odd!
In the boat scenes, the blood initially visible on Bodie's bandage later disappears! (Thanks to Elspeth Campbell).
During the car chase scene, the red Audi very briefly becomes left-hand drive! Obviously the film got accidentally reversed. Thanks to Glenn ? for spotting that one!
When Bodie, Julie and Myer reach the vicarage, an editing blunder seems to show the door opening twice! (Thanks to Jeff Stone)
Later in the episode when Cowley and Doyle are desperately trying to find the gang, a CI5 radio op announces that BRODIE's car has been found.
Possible cheat: Barrie Taylor notes that: "Bodie uses the bullets from the pistol to arm the machine gun - in fact this wouldn't be possible as each weapon requires a different type of round." However...
Peter Bahnuik has this to say: "I disagree with Barrie Taylor's observation. The sub-machine gun that Bodie uses appears to be an MP40, which fires 9mm Parabellum (or 9x19mm) pistol cartridges. Sub-machine guns are designed to fire pistol cartridges. Machine guns, however, are designed to fire rifle or proprietory cartridges. So the scene where Bodie uses bullets from his pistol to arm the sub-machine gun is valid and not a cheat (assuming Bodie's pistol uses 9mm Parabellum cartridges, which is quite likely)."
Larking around as ever, Lewis Collins egged Gabrielle Drake to row faster during the scene on the Thames, whereupon she crashed into the bank and fell into the water. Trying to help, Lewis quickly followed! Now that would have made for a great out-take!
Gabrielle later complained that she had not enjoyed filming the episode. Other than her drenching, she was not happy with the show's violent content.
Gabrielle Drake (Julie/Julia) came to prominence in Gerry Anderson's 1970 series UFO where she played the mini-skirted, purple-wigged Lieutenant Ellis. In one infamously gratuitous scene (that was usually cropped from teatime reruns) she slowly, methodically changes out of her crazy uniform into something more casual... this young lad's eyes were certainly having a great time then, oh yes!! She guested in one of the best New Avengers episodes ('Dead Men are Dangerous') but, apart from a stint in the original Crossroads soap (seemingly a last-ditch move by its producers to get more viewers!), has since concentrated on a stage career. Still looks great today, too!
Allan Surtees (the vicar) would reappear as the government minister in a few episodes of the second season. Last seen in Brookside in the early 1990s.
Hildegard Neil (Sara, the housekeeper) was a familiar face on early 1970s fantasy shows such as Doomwatch, Ace of Wands and Space:1999 but has done little TV work since.
Rowland Davies (CI5 doctor) only appears on-screen for a few seconds but got a far better role in the New Avengers story 'Tale of the Big Why'. Also appeared in the second season episode 'Blind Run' but again as little more than a cameo role. Has done very little TV work since.
|Technical Notes||Like 'Old Dog with New Tricks', there is a white "flash" during the black after the new titles, indicating that the grafting was actually carried out on the episode's negative or inter-negative.|
Click for the complete List of Episodes