Last updated : 9th August 2003
|Episode Title||Weekend in the Country|
|Story Synopsis||Off-duty and unarmed, Bodie, Doyle and their girlfriends are captured by fugitive criminals.|
|UK Episode #||D13|
|UK Tx Date||14 December 1980|
|Production #||Block 3, Ep 11|
|Approx Filming Dates||8th - 19th October 1979|
|Guest Stars||Bryan Pringle, Brian Croucher, Louisa Rix, Ray Burdis|
A cliched plot, but highly watchable (especially Jacqueline Reddin! <G>) and some great dialogue moments.
The cutting dialogue is superb throughout for all the main characters, with the tension of the situation never letting up until the end – the villains even start squabbling amongst themselves.
Despite being bashed about a bit, Bodie has the best time with his jibing at the villains, making fun of their ignorance ("What do you do for a living?" /. "Civil Servants" / "Ha – dead boring!" / "I would have thought doing time was 'dead boring'!"), while Diligent Doctor Doyle stays calm and quiet, though villain Albie suspects he "might be the dangerous one!"
The villain Georgie appears to be straddled with a familiar-looking Awful Tan Leather Jacket - no wonder he's psychotic!
The episode finished a little too quickly for my liking - the lads suddenly burst into action when it isn't really safe to do so. Still, one of the better fourth season eps, IMHO.
This episode is dear to me because it was the first I ever saw. The tape was in dreadful condition and I could barely make out faces. I have better copies now.
While the story moves slowly and fairly predictably, it is a reasonable plot. Not great, but reasonable. The outdoor setting is quite nice.
Two wonders at the outset: Doyle on horseback. Sweet-tempered Bodie, cheery and fishing. Doyle on horseback. Watch the scene with the fish – is Lewis messing around there or what! Doyle on horseback.
I love their clothes. Visions in Weekend Gear.
There are numerous "looks" exchanged between the two of them all through this show. Non-verbal, partner communication. Worried about the "civilians" more than they are concerned about their macho images or nabbing the villains. This threw me at first but it reflects the philosophy of CI5 perfectly.
More wonders: Doyle in a blood-spattered tee shirt, doing living-room surgery. Bodie, slightly battered, with his sleeves rolled up and his hands dirty. Bodie's private grin when the bad guy questions him about his job. Doyle as the "dangerous one". Bodie, playing chess with the boy.
A fun moment comes when Cowley chews out the local coppers. I like Sally – wish we'd seen more of her. Cowley's role throughout is good – another case of television fiction moving close to real life. Save for the coincidences, this event could have actually happened. Fairly nice work.
Numerous gorgeous close-ups. This isn't the best of Pros, but it's a decent episode.
Simon Stoyle used to live just yards from the farm used in the episode and kindly volunteers the following info. The action takes place around Scotlands Farm, Newell Green, just to the north-east of Bracknell. If you follow the hyperlink, the farm is arrowed in the centre grid cell. (Bizarrely if you "zoom in" the map, the the farm and most of the track disappear!). The best view of the farm is from the north end of the track. Apparently the crew left the place very untidy!
The ditch in which poor Starlight ended up is about a kilometre to the north east of the farm, just beyond the small village of Warfield at the junction of Church Lane and Malt Hill.
About a mile to the west of Newell Green on the B3034 is Cabbage Hill. This is where villain Georgie forced Liz to try to hitch a lift. Meanwhile Cowley and Sally land their helicopter just a few hundred yards north, on the south lawn of Warfield Hall. Simon says he and his brother watched this scene being filmed and had to be chased out of shot by the production assistant!
Bryn Dyer suggests the golf course used in the episode is the one in Friern Barnet, north-west London.
In the scene where the villains are about to escape in the Land Rover, Bodie's sleeves are rolled up as he enters the house but are not so when the camera angle changes. (Thanks to Stephen Brungar)
According to actor Brian Croucher (Georgie), the episode's original director James Allen ran into "difficulties" and was replaced (uncredited) by Bill Brayne, with substantial reshooting required. (Thanks to Gareth Bevan)
Bryan Pringle (Albie Case) more usually appeared in comedies such as Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em and Rosie. Perhaps best remembered as the long-suffering barman in the second season of Auf Wiedersehen, Pet, though had myriad other guest roles to his credit. Died in May 2002.
Brian Croucher (Georgie) is best known for playing psychopathic Federation commander Travis in the cult seventies sci-fi Blakes' 7, though he actually replaced the original actor in the role, Stephen Greif (later to appear in the Professionals episode, 'Lawson's Last Stand'). More recently seen as a regular in the BBC's soap EastEnders.
Louisa Rix (barely recognisable here with dark hair as Judy) starred alongside comedian Mel Smith in the amusing sitcom Colin's Sandwich and Gareth Hunt in the lame Side by Side. Better known, however, for playing the long-suffering mother of one of comic Harry Enfield's characters, Kevin the Teenager, in his sketch shows.
Ray Burdis (Vince) starred in both the TV and film adaptations of the controversial young offenders drama Scum. Went on to the lame sitcom Three Up, Two Down but subsequently moved behind the cameras to write and/or produce on films such as The Krays, the oddball police comedy Operation Good Guys and, more recently, comedy drama Manchild.
Sarah Lawson's (Mrs Shaw) most prolific role was as one of the governesses in the classic 70s prison drama Within These Walls.
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