Last updated : 9th April 2006
|Story Synopsis||An old collegue offers Cowley the name of a highly-placed double agent in exchange for protection.|
|UK Episode #||C03|
|UK Tx Date||10 November 1979|
|Production #||Block 3, Ep 1|
|Approx Filming Dates||23rd April - 4th May 1979|
|Guest Stars||James Laurenson, Michel Gothard|
A little formulaic, though fast-paced, brutal, action-packed.... and endlessly thrilling! "I hate flashy drivers!"
The plot is complex and if you have to watch it a couple of times to understand what's going on, I don't blame you! However, unlike the later 'Runner', this one does make sense! The whole episode ultimately revolves around the huge twist at the end - and Cowley happily keeps his men in the dark all the way through.
A question: when the lads hear Cowley being shot, they race up to the airfield but stop to open the barrier - why didn't they simply drive straight through it??!!! Actually it looks as though it was a metal one (thanks to Diane Lilley).
The action scenes here are terrific - some great camera-work and direction.
Cowley acts like a real swine during the interrogation of Malenski - you can almost feel sorry for the incarcerated Pole: "You use people, innocent people, old people, anyone to get what you want!". The scene kicks off with some humour, though: "I will tell you nothing." / "I haven't asked you anything yet, laddie!". Good little performance by Morgan Shepherd there.
For the first time in the series, I think, Cowley begins to doubt the competence of his own team: "You were my best men." / "There's no answer to that!".
Loved seeing the Granada being put through its paces at the end!
"I'm quite looking forward to seeing Kodai again." / "Oh, yeah - can't wait!" / "Oh he's not such a bad sort. A bit careless with firearms, I'll concede but..." / "Yeah and he loves animals and children, I know!"
This is a great action episode. Lots of excellent shooting and driving stuff. The driving stunts are particularly good. The plot is terrific.
Cowley is at his best - ferocious, snappish, self-sufficient and secretive, not even fully trusting his two best agents. Note that toward the end Bodie whines a bit about this only to be told (rather viciously) that he can't act.
The little bit with the drunk serves no plot purpose but is great fun.
Both Lads look very good. Bodie seems to have gained some weight and doesn't move quite as quickly, but the extra bulk looks fine and makes him even more impressive when he "looms". At the finale when he sneaks up on the bad guys, he is particulary deadly-looking even with the gum chewing. <g>
The reuse of several houses is bothersome but understandable.
The pub scene that was likely used as a filler is one of my favorites . Cute banter and teasing, but nice character development as well. A worried, pensive Doyle, drinking in a pub with a relatively carefree and happy Bodie while gnawing on a problem, is a beautiful sight to behold. <g>
A fine episode with some particularly good aspects. High praise to the stunt folk!
Malenski's house is in Sherwood Street, North Finchley (thanks to Brendan Delaney), while Bryn Dyer suggests the house used by Kodai and Radouk is situated just round the corner in Friern Barnet Lane. (It was also used in 'Not a Very Civil Civil Servant'.
The airfield is White Waltham (Thanks to Steve Sharpe).
|BTW||The amusing pub scene that Sharon mentions was never in John Goldsmith's original script but had to be added later (by another writer - probably Brian Clemens) when the production team realised the episode only ran to 46 minutes!|
James Laurenson (Meredith) has had a busy film and TV career as a character actor with appearances in British classics such as Women in Love and Elizabeth R. American TV-movie producer Bobby Roth cast him as a lead in three of his productions, Heartbreakers (1984 - not the recent movie of the same name!), Rainbow Drive and The Walraff Affair (aka The Man Inside) . He also starred in the Edward Woodward Cold War thriller Codename: Kyril. More recently he's been a semi-regular in the popular period action drama Sharpe and played a police commander in the brilliant one-off docu-drama This is Personal: The Hunt for the Yorkshire Ripper. But my favourite appearance for him has to be the crazy 1980 horror film The Monster Club!
Michael Gothard (Kodai) will be familiar to James Bond fans for he played one of the villains in For Your Eyes Only. Earlier highlights included the unforgettable Vincent Price horror flick Scream and Scream Again and the hugely controversial Ken Russell film The Devils. He also starred alongside Lewis Collins in Jack the Ripper. According to the IMDB he tragically committed suicide in 1993.
Morris Perry (Radouk) will be remembered by Sweeney fans as Commander Maynon in many early episodes of that series. He was also a lead character in Terry Nation's mid-70s classic apocalypse drama Survivors.
|Technical Notes||The picture quality on this episode benefits from virtually no dirt or damage. However the dialogue track is rather muted in comparison to the Music & Effects track.|
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