Episode Sixteen: When The Spirit Moves You

Original Air-Date:
2/1/1970
Duration: 48'22m
Screenplay by: Tony Williamson
Directed By: Ray Austin
Availability: Try store



Starring: Mike Pratt (Jeff Randall) and Kenneth Cope (Marty Hopkirk).

Guest-Starring: Ivor Dean (Inspector Large), Keiron Moore (Miklos Corri), Anton Rodgers (Calvin P. Bream), Michael Gothard (Perrin), Peter Jay Elliot (Wilks), Reg Lye (Manny), Anthony Marlowe (Cranley), Richard Kerley (Plain Clothes Police Sgt.), Penny Brahms (Girl in luxury flat) and Bill Reed (Parkin).

Technical Personnel: Ronald Liles (Production Supervisor), Frank Watts/Brian Elvin (Directors of Photography), Charles Bishop (Art Director), Cyril Frankel (Creative Consultant), Edwin Astley (Musical Director), Philip Aizlewood (Post Production), Jack T. Knight (Editor), Malcolm Christopher (Production Manager), Jack Lowin (2nd Unit Director), Gerald Moss (2nd Unit Cameraman), Denis Porter/Bill Rowe (Sound Recordists), Guy Ambler (Sound Editor), Alan Willis (Music Editor), John Owen (Casting), Sue Long (Set Dresser), Bill Greene (Construction Manager), Val Stewart (Camera Operator), Gino Marotta (Assistant Director), Sally Ball (Continuity), Peter Dunlop (Production Buyer), Elizabeth Romanoff (Make-Up), Jeannette Freeman (Hairdresser), Laura Nightingale (Wardrobe Supervisor), A. J. Van Montagu (Scenic Artist), Frank Maher (Stunt Co-Ordinator), Cinesound (Sound Effects Suppliers), Chambers + Partners (Titles), Dennis Spooner (Creator/Executive Story Consultant) and Monty Berman (Producer). An ITC Production.


Jeff Scraps: Perhaps more testosterone-fuelled without the presence of Jeannie, Jeff lays out a gangster (before being KO'd with a chair from behind as Marty distracts him) then later knocks over the same man plus the head of the criminal gang. Fortunately for Jeff the police arrive before the tables have time to turn, but regardless, it's a nice 2-1 addition to his patchy record.

Marty: Marty discovers that a drunken man can see him when he consumes enough alcohol. Whether this extends to all drunks is something we never find out.

Story: A conman known as Calvin Bream is trying to con an elderly businessman into giving him money for non-existent bonds. Unfortunately for Bream the businessman is associated with gangsters who wish to buy all of Bream's bonds and won't take no for an answer! Bream visits Jeff, putting on a fake American accent and claiming he wants to hire Jeff as a bodyguard. With an offered opening fee of 10,000 (around 119,600 today) then Jeff is hooked, but sadly all Bream really wants him for is a fall guy. Believing Jeff to be the "Mr. Big" of the bond laundering operation then the lead gangster Miklos Corri sends two of his henchmen after Jeff, one of whom gets accidentally shot in the process. Arrested by Inspector Large on suspicion of murder, Jeff is granted his freedom only on the proviso that he can snare Corri. Realising he'll need Bream's skills as a conman to pull it off, Jeff enlists Bream's help in the sting. Initially Bream doesn't want any part of it, fearing for his safety, but is convinced to go along with it when it transpires that he can see Marty when drunk, and Marty threatens to haunt him if he doesn't help. The two parties meet at midnight, Corri to meet up with Jeff and deposit 125,000 in Jeff's account, Bream to deposit the bonds under one of Corri's henchmen's supervision. Unfortunately for Jeff and Bream the henchman takes the bonds off him, realises they're fake, and reports back to Corri. Realising that he'll be found guilty of having illegal money in the country if Jeff tells the police to check his bank account, Corri arranges to blow up Jeff's bank, and Jeff in the process. Fortunately for Jeff then Marty has once more appeared before a drunken Bream and got him to phone the police... Inspector Large arrives in time to save Jeff from being blown up in the safe explosion. The gangsters are arrested, Jeff is released without charge, and Bream promises to remain sober for life.

Production Order: This was the thirteenth episode to be filmed.

Trivia: Although Annette Andre does not appear in this episode, she is still credited on both the opening and closing title sequences.



Viewpoint:
"I DO NOT live in a cemetery!"
"That's the address on your death certificate."


Watchable stuff with a continually advancing plot, but still pretty throwaway all the same. In an earlier review of this episode I'd given it four "hand stars" out of five, but really it's just average at best. Anton Rodgers was something of an ITC regular at the time, having appeared in Danger Man, Man In A Suitcase, The Saint and The Prisoner before this, and Department S after it. If you see one of those episodes where he's playing it straight (such as The Prisoner's The Schizoid Man) then he's very, very good.

Sadly he's called upon to be humorous in this story, and the broad, playing-to-the-gallery double act that he and Ken Cope put on is not only quite painful at times, but it also reacts quite badly against the more serious set up with the gangsters. It's rather a shame that a decent actor would continue down this route, and now, two years after his death, the thing that people in his home country most remember him for is MOR sitcom Fresh Fields.

There are some funny moments involving Jeff's more underplayed reactions, but really this one strains under broad comedy and a shaggy dog story... the total absence of a speaking part for females also gives it an odd feel. It's decent, diverting stuff alright, but not the sort of thing you'd have to worry about if you accidentally missed it. Oh, one last thing... considering Marty's stock-in-trade is blowing things, a gift he'd even shown in this episode, then why didn't he just blow out the detonator at the end?