Last updated : 27th March 2013
|Episode Title||When the Heat Cools Off|
|Story Synopsis||A young woman claims to have sufficient evidence to cast serious doubt on her father's conviction for murder. Doyle agrees to re-open the case but is his burgeoning relationship with the girl clouding his judgement...?|
|UK Episode #||A09|
|UK Tx Date||24 February 1978|
|Production #||Block 1, Ep 11|
|Approx Filming Dates||8th - 21st November 1977|
|Guest Stars||Lalla Ward, Bernard Kay, Peter Hughes<|
A well-plotted episode, on par with Brian Clemens' usual standards.
At last we get a Doyle-based episode. The flashback to 1971 works well though funny to see he had a daft perm even back then! <G>
Although the plot is terrific, for me it doesn't quite work... though I'm not sure why!
The ep is also well-paced as all the little pieces fall into place. Most of the best scenes work so well because Martin's tremendous acting abilities shine through. For example Doyle chasing Haydon after the shooting – the way Martin portrays Doyle's reaction to Syd's death, both in radioing HQ and the venom behind "Haydon, you murdering bastard... you're BUSTED!!".
Also, the lads together after the night out with the girls and Martin's blistering delivery: "Now tell me, Bodie, how would YOU feel about it?".
That said, there are scenes - notably the opening one in the pub - that was hammily done by most of the participants.
The final scene is excellent, with Haydon being held in freeze-frame – very effective.
"I back my men to the hilt." / "Even if they are wrong?" / "Until they are proved wrong!"
In this episode we see the relationship between the two agents taking on more depth. The plot is set up years before by the killing of Doyle's police partner and thereby giving them the chance to express (not in words but in behavior) how they feel about one another now that they are partners.
This is a particularly good Doyle-watching episode. We get to see him young, in shirt sleeves and uniform, and undoylishly obedient to his older partner's orders. He obeys, wait and then obviously chokes with emotion over his friend's death. The jeans that Doyle the CI5 agent wears are nicely tight and the scene where he's washing his hands and wearing the black tee shirt is very replayable! Last but not least is the naked-to-the-waist scene while the character mulls over the problem while in bed.
The scene in Doyle's flat when he fills Bodie in on why he's been so nasty to the young woman is a marvel of male communication. They have a drink, Doyle yells, Bodie mumbles a reply, looks stunned then concerned about his partner and remains that way throughout the rest of the story. If you watch closely, there are very few moments when Bodie takes his gaze off his partner. Ray is concerned with justice; Bodie is concerned with Ray. (Lewis does a wonderful bit of underplayed acting in that "Well, how would you feel, Bodie?" scene. Just the eyes and they speak volumes!)
(Also this episode brings us the first mention of "that gymnast". She is referred to again in 'First Night'. Enquiring minds would really like details!)
Doyle dresses casually throughout; Bodie dresses more formally until the finale when they both wear the brown leather jackets. Yum.
Cowley has some nice dialogue in this one. Good small comedy between the agents and the boss in spite of the seriousness of the situation. The three actors play well together. Movement and dialogue seem so natural we could be peeking into a real moment. The "tea (or coffee) machine" scene, for instance, is marvelously easy. BTW note that Bodie gets a cup for Ray without being prompted or asked. This is a story about Bodie doing what's best for Ray.
I believe this episode also has the first "Lewis played a joke but we kept filming" event when Bodie give Ray a drink and MS almost chokes on what is obviously real alcohol. Watch Lewis' face – he's having a great time!
Bodie drives in this one. And watch their profiles/faces in the final driving scene after they've learned the truth. Both are furious.
The plot works – got a little tired of the flashbacks, but just FF through those now. The first time I watched I had no idea how the conclusion was going to work out.
It has to be said that the chronology of the episode is slightly out-of-kilter in places. For example the pre-titles segment makes it clear that it is the summer of 1971 and Doyle mentions to his sergeant that CI5 is being set up. Yet Brian Clemens' own writer's guide stipulated that the squad wasn't even given consideration until the November of that year.
One script blunder which I'm sure everyone has spotted is that the murder of Fitch and Parker took place six years previously, yet Haydon has been in prison for "seven years and five months" according to his daughter.
Another problem - albeit unavoidable given the time of year the ep was filmed - is that in the "long, hot summer of '71" scenes, the trees are bare! (Well spotted, Gareth Bevan)
Also, according to Martin Day and Keith Topping, the summer of 1971 was actually one of the coldest!
|BTW||In terms of production order, this episode marks a sad departure: it was the final episode Bridget Brice filmed for the series.|
Lalla Ward (actually Lady Sarah Ward of Bangor), fresh out of The Duchess of Duke Street, went on, in 1979, to play another in a long line of screamers, sorry, "assistants", in Doctor Who and was even briefly married to Tom Baker. Since then, however, appears to have left acting.
Gerald Sim (the Minister) was a popular and regular support character in Avengers/New Avengers stories. He also starred alongside Lewis in Jack the Ripper and played a judge in the Harrison Ford blockbuster Patriot Games. Most recently seen in the short-lived revival of The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin (1996). Most recently reprised his role as the vicar in the one-off revival of the BBC sitcom To the Manor Born.
Geoff Hinsliff (cameo'ing as the police station Sergeant) is best remembered for his long role as amputee taxi-driver Don Brennan in Coronation Street but also starred in the popular 1984 comedy-drama Brass.
Michael Sheard (here in a cameo as Merton the forensics man) is best remembered for his portrayal as teacher-from-hell Mr Bronson in early-80s Grange Hill. He often plays Germans - particularly Himmler or Hitler for his close resemblance to them! Indeed he appeared as the fuhrer in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. Also starred as the Dusseldorf building site manager in Auf Wiedersehen, Pet. Early appearances include the excellent children's Look and Read serial "Cloudburst" and various roles in 1970s Doctor Who. Passed away in 2005.
Shelagh Fraser also appeared in 'A Stirring of Dust'. Died in 2000.
Arthur White (the barman) is the brother of popular comedy actor David Jason. Arthur, however, hasn't had the meteoric success of little bro. (Thanks to Ann Critchley)
|Technical Notes||No prizes for spotting the original title sequence here but why only this one and none of the other first season eps (other than Contender's "customisation" on 'Everest Was Also Conquered')? The end titles are the alternate 1977 version along with the orange caption card displaying the original pre-August 1978 LWT logo. Of the current set of masters, this episode is very nearly identical to its first transmission - all we needed was the "London landscape" end credits.|
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