Last updated : 21st May 2005
|Story Synopsis||An amnesiac girl is the only clue to a possible terrorist attack.|
|UK Episode #||D07|
|UK Tx Date||19 October 1980|
|Production #||Block 4, Ep 3|
|Approx Filming Dates||14th - 25th July 1980|
|Guest Stars||Ben Cross|
Although commencing very promisingly (the ambulance coming under fire, with Doyley getting a chance to do some "gymnastics" was great!) I think the episode soon runs out of steam. There is too much "padding" as the lads chase around country lanes, bizarrely stopping off for ice-creams, pints of beer, games of skittles, etc. (As one of the other CI5 agents remarks: "This pub-crawl you're on....".) However it would be unrealistic if they had found the house straight away, of course.
There are a couple of interesting developments here, though. We meet Murphy for the first time. And some folk have speculated that Ben Cross (as CI5 op Stuart) may have been a "try-out" as a replacement for Martin. Hmmm.... there's no evidence for that, as far as I'm aware. Some good, revealing dialogue between those two characters. Note how even though B & D often have "lively discussions" as soon as Stuart suggests Bodie gets up people's noses, Doyle jumps straight to his partner's defence.
In this 1980 story Doyle says he has spent three years with CI5, yet in the 1977 episode 'Close Quarters' he had already served "two years and three months". A surprising continuity glitch, given both stories were written by Brian Clemens. Anyway, it's just a small point.... hardly worth mentioning really!
A couple of instances of the show making fun of itself here: firstly Doyle complains that Bodie's fast driving will wear the tyres out. And later the young copper whose only mode of transport is a push-bike says "They'll probably expect me to jump into my high-powered motor, go screaming round corners, tyres screeching... just like on television!"
In fact there is a fair amount of humour, here, which makes up for the weak plot.
Despite all this the episode never really fires the adrenalin, to be honest. In fact neither does the disrobed Linda Hayden!! (I don't believe I just said that!). The action-packed ending just looked banal to me.
Although there are some good dialogue moments, Mr C appeared to be having an "off day" in terms of the storyline.
Cowley to helicopter pilot: "Block off the shot with the chopper if you have to!" / Pilot: "Oh thanks a bunch!"
I enjoy this episode but it's not a favorite. The "tone" is off. It's as if they weren't sure whether to do comedy or suspense and settled for a touch of both without focus.
Cowley speaks German better than Gerda!
Good things: Ray rolling and shooting during the attack on the ambulance and howling Bodie's name when he returns from destroying everyone. Bodie, clearly in need of some brew and tired of driving in the country, playing the "bad cop" with Gerda: "C'mon, Fritz...." Doyle, resplendant in green & white during the road trip.
Cute touches: the watch. Bodie with a dislocated shoulder and/or broken arm whining after he's killed the bad guys. Doyle & Stuart fencing - Doyle defending Bodie! Bodie getting Cowley some booze and coffee – that whole exchange is good. Bodie sounds so military! Bodie and his poetry - "blushy dawn". Doyle as the milkman. Doyle and Stuart working the stairs together - nice, nice.
I like the entire sequence once Bodie figures out about the bad guys. His violent approach to the bank folk and his headlong attack on the missile, etc are Pure Bodie. Very fine work by Lew! There is no one who can move from killer to cuddly as well!
Not a great episode but worth watching more than once.
The ambulance hijack was filmed on The Straight in Southall, a location used many times in the series. (Thanks to Bob Rocca)
Maidenhead town centre was that seen in the rocket attack scenes. Unfortunately much of the location work we see in these scenes is now gone. Fan Maureen Wilson very kindly supplied the following "guided tour":
"The actual bank building was a branch of the Nationwide and the entrance was in King Street. When Bodie is approaching the bank you can see a pub called The Bell in the background, which is on the corner of Queen Street and King Street and is still there today (opposite Maidenhead Station)...
"However the whole of the Grenfell Island site, as it was known, including the bank building, was demolished around 1998 and is now a multi-screen cinema, multi-storey car park, an office block, health club, and various restaurants and bars. King Street itself has now been pedestrianised with more cafes and bars where the shops can be seen in this episode."
The Capri has Disappearing Headrests Syndrome!
Gerda tells Bodie to turn left at one point - but he actually turns right!
When Bodie stops to buy three ice-creams, they have clearly been prepared before he has even asked for them! Lewis ad-libs "That was quick!".
This is another ep that was written hurriedly when LWT made its sudden decision to renew the show in 1980. This may explain why the story uses elements from one Brian wrote entitled 'The Girl in Pink Pyjamas' for the early 1960s Patrick McGoohan series Danger Man (thanks to Bob Rocca)...
... Intriguingly when a copy of the script was sold on eBay some years ago, it was signed by Brian with the postscript "An example of how NOT to write 'em!"
The story as originally written ran to less than the usual 50 minutes, so the scenes involving the pub and skittles were very late additions to the script, penned either during the last few days of primary filming, or afterwards, to be picked up by a Second Unit.
Ben Cross (Stuart) is best remembered for his lead role as Harold Abrahams in Chariots of Fire. Still acting today but, apart from the 1984 mini-series The Far Pavillions, has not done anything particularly memorable since.
Linda Hayden (Gerda) appeared in various British horror movies of the 1970s and did a couple of Confessions of films. Very little work over the last fifteen years, sadly.
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