Last updated : 19th May 2013
|Episode Title||Man Without a Past|
|Story Synopsis||A bomb placed at Bodie's table in a restaurant seriously injures his girlfriend and kills several other diners. But who targeted them and why?|
|Writer||Michael Armstrong, from a story by Jeremy Burnham|
|UK Episode #||B04|
|UK Tx Date||28 October 1978|
|Production #||Block 2, Ep 5|
|Approx Filming Dates||31st July - 11th August 1978|
|Guest Stars||John Carson, John Castle, Ed Bishop, Anthony Bailey|
John Castle's talents are under-used in an otherwise excellent episode. Would have liked a bit more humour but then this is quite a hard, brutal story.
The Lads arguing in the hospital ("You great clown – do you think I don't know how you feel?!") is a terrific scene showing their knife-edged relationship at work.
We get a great early example of the show making fun of itself: the people at the bus-stop applauding Bodie trying to ambush a following car.
At least he gets his revenge in the later car chase – superbly choreographed and edited stuff, there!
The chase scene between Doyle and Arthur is brilliantly photographed. And it's difficult to tell a stunt double is being used when Doyle is run down.
The ep has blissful funk overload in terms of the incidental themes: Laurie at his absolute best here!
A classic ep - great plot, loads of action, good musical score and some self-mocking humour. Good to see it wasn't just Brian Clemens who could come up with the goods.
Cowley, carpeting Bodie over his disobedience: "You're a good team, you and Doyle. I don't want to lose either of you if I can help it."
Bodie: "Sorry, sir."
Cowley: "Like hell you are!"
Excellent twisty plot in this one. It took several viewings before I actually figured out who was what to whom and why. This was in part because the sound on the old Video Gems tapes is awful. The street scenes in particular are nearly inaudible. Nevertheless the characters are all interesting, definitely not cardboard and leave plenty of room for speculation about their background stories. Nice to see "Shotgun Tommy" (John Castle) back even as a baddie.
Showcase for Bodie. Lewis is just beautiful here. He emotes and runs around gorgeously and gives us his very best scene of all: the driving bootlegger's turn, stop, jump out, jump over, aim the gun and...
No baddies. And the pensioners at the bus stop whistle and clap. Bodie takes it with proper humor.
Bodie wears black in this one. Yummy.
It's also a preview of 'Wild Justice' and 'Discovered in a Graveyard' showing us a Bodie who will use his skills and job to exact revenge. Although Cowley does eventually sanction his work, he is very much out there for most of the story. The scene where Cowley chews him out is surprising in that Bodie has disobeyed a direct order yet Cowley allows him to get on with the investigation once he's had his tongue-lashing. Nice job by both actors in that, btw. The strength of the agent/boss relationship comes through nicely. Even when he's being bad, Cowley trusts Bodie.
The scene between the mother and daughter once the truth is out about the dad is an excellent one.
Two good car chases accompanied by stirring music. <G>
But the best part is Doyle, beaten, scruffy and suffering (oh, he whimpers so nicely) being rescued by Bodie. "You dumb crud, what took you so long?" (Doyle to Bodie) and "You look terrible." (Bodie, wearing a relieved grin, to Doyle) They care deeply about one another and verbalise this by insulting one another in times of stress, crisis and relief. Ah, male communication techniques.
Medical alert - in the last scene when Doyle raises his arms... Wouldn't happen if those ribs really were busted. Nope. Not.
Good episode - I'd like to see/hear it in decent copy.
In the scene where Cowley interrogates Mrs Forrest in her home, Gordon appears to almost trip over something (perhaps a camera cable?) when he walks from the foreground to the window. (Thanks to Amanda Cable)
During Bodie's second car chase we see him swing the steering wheel to the left but the Cari magically turns the other way! (Thanks to Baz Taylor).
This episode was one of the few that London Weekend requested be edited for UK transmission. In the original episode (available in some countries) there are scenes of the Arthur character threatening Doyle with a gun. For some reason these were deemed too violent for us delicate Brits! The Video Gems tape was of the same cut, though Contender's videocassette and DVD versions restores the scene. That said, at junder 49 minutes, the episode still seems to run short, so possibly there are other scenes still absent. Many thanks to Jan Adlington for drawing our attention to this.
Apparently Martin Shaw was hospitalised for 24 hours after being KO'd by Rod Culbertson in their fight scene!
The surreal humour of the bus-stop scene was heightened when, a few minutes after filming completed, a real bus arrived and the extras employed to applaud Bodie's driving skills jumped aboard and rode into London!
The scene of the Triumph crashing was no carefully-staged accident - it ran oot of control on the grass collided with camera op John Maskall. Luckily he wasn't hurt too badly.
Note John Castle and (a noticeably slimmer!) Anthony Bailey also appeared together in 'Heroes'.
John Carson (Forrest) regularly featured as support characters in just about every series made by Lew Grade's ITC company during the 1960s and early 70s. He also appeared as the doctor in Brian Clemens' cult classic Captain Kronos - Vampire Hunter, an episode of The New Avengers and cameod in the episode 'Samurai Wind' from The New Professionals.
Robert Rietty (Gino, the restaurant owner) is primarily a voice-over artiste but also appeared in the episode 'Hijack'.
|Technical Notes||The BRITE tape appears to have been taken from yet another source medium - this time Betacam SP. There is evidence of visual "drop-out" in a couple of places and the audio is generally more muffled than usual. The reason for this could be that this was the only full-length version - see BTW above - available at the time without having to resort to Mark 1's own copy.|
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