Last updated : 9th April 2006
|Episode Title||Need to Know|
|Story Synopsis||An old colleague of Cowley's is arrested for being a double agent, which, in turn, implicates the CI5 chief.|
|Writer||Brian Clemens, from a story by Chris Menaul|
|UK Episode #||D05|
|UK Tx Date||05 October 1980|
|Production #||Block 3, Ep 6|
|Approx Filming Dates||9th - 20th July 1979|
|Guest Stars||Simon Oates, Tom Georgeson|
A well-plotted story with a neat, if a little predictable, denouement. This Clemens script arguably provides the best actual plot of the fourth season.
Arguably it's a little too contrived – Cowley is taking a HUGE gamble that the Russians will do exactly as he predicts. And how could he be sure Number One would be used to debrief Drake? Nevertheless this is a thoroughly enjoyable story – particularly watching Niall Buggy's understated performance as the crazy commie (more Avengers influence?) and the scenes with the lads dressed up as coppers add a touch of humour.
This is another ep where Cowley does all the thinking and the boys do all the legwork – again without really knowing what the "wily old fox" is really up to.
Admittedly this doesn't fall into my personal Top Ten but it does have its moments.
Strange event: Cowley picks up the lads after the abduction and they all drive off leaving poor, unconscious Choy sprawled out on the tarmac!!
"Minimum of force: no shooting unless we absolutely have to, and then no kill-wounds." / "We could go in with our hands tied!"
While I fast forward through a great deal of this episode to get to the parts where The Lads are, I do like it. The story is twisted and unresolved until the end.
Two criticisms: the Soviet characters are ludicrous and the finale when Cowley shoots Manton is wooden and without impact. Poorly done given what happens: Doyle's predicted officially sanctioned murder.
Good things: Bodie's faith in Cowley has never been clearer and when he has to face the fact that his boss has caused him and Doyle to be hit with stun grenades, he is very sullen and hurt. Doyle, on the other hand, is just plain angry. Several nice scenes revolve around that incident.
Pleasant to see The Lads in Uniforms. The fight scene in the Chinese gambling bar was a bit contrived and didn't feel "real". But as usual now the patter between the two leads makes up for other failings. Listen carefully to what they say - it's worth it.
Notice the "art" on the walls of Bodie's flat.
Cowley's character comes through strong and clear– nice work when he begins to control his own interrogation. The man is driven by his goals and will not let anything or anyone stand in his way. Like Doyle appears to be, I'd be very nervous working for such a boss! Bodie, however, just pouts.
And Cowley gives him an extra comforting pat when he's administering oxygen. Who's the Blue-Eyed Boy, then? Actually that scene with Cowley tending The Lads is one of my all-time favorites as is the following one where Bodie just glares and Doyle fusses.
And let us not forget the dialogue surrounding the tulip in the granade box! Little touches that make Pros so great! Lewis is perfect when he's sputtering about privacy.
Skid marks on the road - they practiced. <G>
Not a great episode but certainly one worth rewatching.
Cowley's mews flat is in Ennismore Gardens, Knightsbridge. (Thanks to Tony Mackay and Tamara Cartwright-Loebl)
The police station is at Windsor.
The scenes with the lads hijacking their own convoy were shot on the B3018 road just south of Shurlock Row village. The bridge is over the M4 motorway. (Thanks to Simon Stoyle).
The lads' police caps disappear when they are in the club but reappear later!
In the scene where Ryan is being handcuffed while unconscious, the actress (Karin McCarthy) appears to instinctively raise her hand to help the other actor, realises she shouldn't and lets it fall again! (Thanks to Sue Law for reminding me of this one!)
After Cowley picks up the lads in the aftermath of the gas grenade attack, he begins to unveil the plot to them. In a couple of shots however, we hear him speak but his lips aren't moving. (Thanks to Baz Taylor).
Towards the end of the story, the lads are prowling around the farmhouse, looking for a safe way in, Bodie and Doyle go through an outer door, despite the fact that there is a direct route to the inner one, which Cowley promptly takes! (Thanks to Andrew Williams).
|BTW||Not really a blooper but watch the scene where the lads spin the Capri and "ambush" the police van. There are already skid-marks on the road. Either Lewis had a few practice runs or the shot required a retake.|
Simon Oates (Tully) starred in a number of Avengers and New Avengers episodes and actually played John Steed in the 1971 stage version of the show. Best remembered, though, for the apocalyptic drama series Doomwatch.
Bernard Gallagher (The Minister) is best remembered for the early episodes of Crown Court and Casualty.
Karin McCarthy (Ryan) appears to have dropped out of acting shortly after this episode was filmed, having never found much success. Perhaps her best-remembered role was that in the mid-seventies office sitcom The Squirrels, wherein, if I recall correctly, her male colleagues were perpetually enamoured by her knee-length leather "kinky boots"!
Anthony Chinn (Sikor, one of the two "planted" Chinese agents) often pops up when a TV production needs an oriental "heavy". Can be spotted (usually uncredited) in several early Bond films. Was a regular in the first season of Gerry Anderson's bland 1973 series The Protectors.
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