Episode Nineteen: A Sentimental Journey

Original Air-Date:
23/1/1970
Duration: 48'22m
Screenplay by: Donald James
Directed By: Leslie Norman
Availability: Try store



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

Guest-Starring: William Squire (Sam Seymour), Tracey Crisp (Dandy), Drew Henley (Tony), Victor Maddern (Det. Sergeant Watts) Antony Baird (Hamilton), John Rae (Alexander), Larry Taylor (Man in phone booth), Michael Bird (Sleeping car attendant) and Billy Cornelius (Albert)

Technical Personnel: Ronald Liles (Production Supervisor), Brian Elvin (Director of Photography), Charles Bishop (Superising Art Director), Cyril Frankel (Creative Consultant), Edwin Astley (Musical Director), Philip Aizlewood (Post Production), Bob Cartwright (Art Director), Tom Simpson (Editor), Ernest Morris (Production Manager), Jack Lowin (2nd Unit Director), Gerald Moss (2nd Unit Cameraman), Denis Porter/Len Abbott (Sound Recordists), Guy Ambler (Sound Editor), Alan Willis (Music Editor), John Owen (Casting), Sue Long (Set Dresser), Bill Greene (Construction Manager), David Harcourt (Camera Operator), Denzil Lewis (Assistant Director), Sally Ball (Continuity), Peter Dunlop (Production Buyer), Gerry Fletcher (Make Up Supervisor), Laura Nightingale (Warbrode 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: Although this episode was reputed to be recorded early in the run (see review), Jeff notes of Marty that "I've been hanging around with you [apparently implying Marty-as-ghost] for so long now."
Jeff Scraps: A repeated series of beatings for Jeff here... though he manages to knock down one gangster under the cover of darkness and kick down another in some gymnastic, climbing frame-related scenario, he generally takes a pounding for the entire duration. Altogether he gets five separate beatings off various gangster parties, while even the Detective Sergeant gives him a brief hiding for good measure. Altogether's Jeff's series record falls even further to 18-27 in bouts.

Marty: Marty can make lights flicker on and off, finds his "wind breath" is so powerful that he can cause a small private plane to nearly take off, and can be summoned by a glass turned upside down, Ouija-style. When Jeff accidentally breaks the glass Marty notes that "you nearly did me a serious injury."

Story: Jeff's home is broken into by gangsters who want him to courier an object worth 10,000 from a London mob to a Glasgow mob for a 50 fee. However, Jeff refuses on moral grounds, even when the fee is raised to 75. Beaten for his refusal, he reluctantly agrees, feeling he has no other choice... though demands 200. When Randall arrives at the pick up point he finds the object is a briefcase attached to a young woman known as Dandy Garrison. Together they catch a train back to the London gangster's headquarters, though they are accosted by a Detective Sergeant Watts along the way where it's discovered that the briefcase contains no more than Dandy's change of clothes.
When Dandy and Jeff get back to the lair of London mob boss Seymour, Seymour opens his safe to take out a receipt in exchange for the return of Dandy... however, Dandy has rigged the safe to set off a small charge, knocking every down and putting out the lights. In the confusion Dandy makes a run for it, as does Jeff. Escaping from the criminals, Jeff is once more approached by the Detective Sergeant who asks for Jeff's co-operation. Jeff agrees, and, thanks to Marty, manages to locate Dandy in a London hotel. Determined to get the bottom it all, Jeff goes to speak to her, only to find that she's with one of Seymour's henchmen, Tony, and together they're planning to double-cross Seymour. Tony makes Jeff hand over the receipt at gunpoint then knocks Jeff unconscious, phoning the Glasgow mob and telling them Jeff has stolen the receipt while he and Dandy make a run for it.
As Tony and Dandy drive off to a private airfield to cross the channel Jeff decides to go back to Seymour to tell him everything. Initially not believing him, Seymour arranges another beating for Jeff, but soon realises he's telling the truth. He lets Jeff go, knowing that if Jeff can't locate Dandy then the Glasgow mob will kill him... fortunately for Jeff he's again picked up by the Detective Sergeant and taken to the police station. While there Marty travels with Tony and Dandy in their car, and witnesses Dandy asking Tony to get out to check what she thinks is a fault with the car. As he does so, Dandy speeds off, having double-crossed Tony in return. It transpires that the receipt in question is one of two stolen stamps worth 10,000 each. Stolen in a joint operation between the London and Glasgow firms, Dandy was taken as a hostage by Glasgow head Hamilton in order to ensure trust between them, with a neutral party (Jeff) selected as someone they could both trust to do the hand over.
Marty sees the private telephone number in Dandy's car and asks Jeff to ring it from the police station... when Jeff does so, Dandy takes it and places it on the seat alongside her to stop it ringing, allowing Marty to give Jeff directions over the line. Together Jeff and Detective Sergeant Watts go to visit Seymour, where Jeff reasons that Seymour is keeping his stolen stamp inside a fob watch... his hunch turns out to be correct and Seymour is arrested. Jeff and the DS then travel to the private airfield where Dandy is due to take off, Marty stalling her by blowing the propellor of her private plane. As the plane remains just outside her reach, Dandy is arrested.

Production Order: This was the fourth 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.

Look out for 5'27m in, when what appears to be an in-joke first arrives on screen. On the wall behind Jeff is a graffiti drawing of The Saint's fey emblem, with the words "is bent" written underneath. Not only did this episode's writer Donald James - Randall and Hopkirk's most prolific writer - write three episodes of The Saint but the Director Leslie Norman directed 21 episodes of the series. In fact, five of the seven Directors on Randall and Hopkirk had also worked on The Saint, and both Mike Pratt and Annette Andre had had guest star parts on the series. For further evidence of what appears to be a very un-PC intertextual reference, then see the image below left.

32 minutes into the episode there's a scene where Dandy Garrison is supposedly showering naked, much to Marty's discomfort... actress Tracey Crisp can clearly be seen wearing underwear throughout.

Viewpoint:
"He's dead right."
"Thanks Jeff."


Recorded fourth, A Sentimental Journey is a fascinating look at what the series could have been. There's not just curios like Jeff summoning Marty with a glass or Jeff's hair being notably shorter than previous (broadcast order) episodes, but the whole tone of the story. While there's some small spots of humour here and there, three uses of the anti-catchphrase "typical" show a series unsure of what it should be or who its audience was. This is Randall and Hopkirk being slightly more adult than usual, and a series attempting to play it straight. Even Victor Maddern's likeable Detective Sergeant Watts is a stark contrast to the equally likeable yet far more broad character of Inspector Large, who appears in five episodes.

One criticism of many of the ITC adventure series around the time is that they can have episodes and plots that are a bit "samey"... this is disrupted here by a slightly off-kilter, almost cold atmosphere throughout. With the absence of Jeannie, added attempts at realism and almost perpetual hardship that Jeff goes through it can leave viewers feeling a little lukewarm towards it. When A Sentimental Journey ends, the one question you'll be asking is whether the series would have been better or worse had it continued down this route. Whatever the answer, the best word to describe the episode is probably, ironically, "atypical".