Episode Six: Just For The Record

Original Air-Date:
26/10/1969
Duration: 48'24m
Screenplay by: Donald James
Directed By: Jeremy Summers
Availability: Try store



Starring: Mike Pratt (Jeff Randall), Kenneth Cope (Marty Hopkirk) and Annette Andre (Jean Hopkirk).

Guest-Starring: Ronald Radd (Pargiter), Olivia Hamnett (Anne Soames), Nosher Powell (Lord Dorking), Danny Green (Lord Surrey), Jan Rossini (Miss Moscow), Michael Bent (Senior Official), Jack Woolgar (Old Man), Kataja Wyeth (Miss Budapest), Clifford Cox (The Attendant), Ken Watson (Police Sergeant), and Kevin Smith (The Photographer)

Technical Personnel: Ronald Liles (Production Supervisor), Brian Elvin (Director of Photography), Charles Bishop (Art Director), Cyril Frankel (Creative Consultant), Edwin Astley (Musical Director), Philip Aizlewood (Post Production), Rod Nelson-Keys (Editor), Malcolm Christopher (Production Manager), Jack Lowin (2nd Unit Director), Gerald Moss (2nd Unit Cameraman), Denis Porter/Len Abbott (Sound Recordists), Rydal Love (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), Elizabeth Romanoff (Make-Up), Jeannette Freeman (Hairdresser), Laura Nightingale (Costume 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: Jeff describes being out of work as "situation normal". This is also one of his most successful episodes in terms of romance, with Miss Moscow fully enamoured of his charms, only finally put off by the misunderstanding that Jeannie is his other lover.
Jeff Scraps: A lot of Jeff scrapping his week, with him getting knocked out by a hairbrush on the back of the head, and getting an indisputable kicking off "Lord Dorking". However, his relative youth and Tarzan-like antics do see him get the better of "Lord Surrey".

Marty: Marty shows his gentlemanly side by hiding his eyes from an undressing Miss London. However, he later enjoys putting his arm around Miss Moscow - at least until Jeannie walks in. He also uses his psychic powers to break a street lamp and a fire alarm.

Jeannie: Jeannie shows a low-key bitchiness with her comment to Jeff about Miss Moscow's lacking requirements: "A little intelligence might help."

Story: Jeff and Jeannie are given work as escorts for the Cities of the World beauty contest. While Jeff begins a romantic involvement with Miss Moscow, Marty quickly becomes aware that Jeannie's charge, Miss London, is an undercover spy. Severing alarm systems in order to let her employer, Mr. Harold Pargiter, steal files with electronic equipment, the facts of the case are gathered by an observant Marty but Jeff is too busy with Miss Moscow to take any notice.
It transpires that Pargiter believes that his ancestors' family titles and deeds were stolen by King John in the 13th century, and that he should have been King Harold the Fourteenth. Determined to realise his place as heir to the throne - an activity that turns Miss London (Anne Soames) against him, mistakenly believing they were out to rob banks - Pargiter is tracked down to his lair by Jeff. Beaten and tied by Pargiter's henchmen, the "Lords" of Dorking and Surrey, Jeff and Anne are both sentenced to be burnt for treason. Jeff escapes with Marty's help and continues pursuing Pargiter. Trapped by Jeff, the police and a fortuitous bad parking lorry driver, an insane Pargiter abdicates to Jeff before he is arrested. Back at Jeff's apartment, Miss Moscow mistakenly believes Jeannie is Jeff's lover, causing Jeff to be left alone with his tea for one...

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

Trivia: The hue on the blue screen for Jeannie's car can be seen quite prominently 8'29m in.

Marty's teleporting into the picture at 15'38m causes the electronic arm to jump forward, as its ascension hadn't been correctly maintained between takes.



Viewpoint:
"Why don't you come back to my place for a cup of tea?"

Oh God. Watching the series again, Randall and Hopkirk has a reassuringly high hit rate, but this one's so bad it's not even funny. Jeff crossing the line from likeable bachelor to seedy old man (and using Cockney rhyming slang!) is only the tip of the iceberg. Add to this unappetising mix a Russian girl called Natasha who goes around saying "I am not understanding you" while Jeff shows her "an English custom" and you can begin to see how dire it all is.

It's not even supposed to be a comedy, but the plot of top secret files and robot hands is just ludicrous. Mix in a Miss World competition and spectacles that sever alarm systems and you can clearly see that this lot have been influenced by 60s caper movies. Unfortunately, it's less The Self Preservation Society, more The Drunken Hams Reunion Ball.

Coming from such a polished writer/director partnership this really isn't good enough, and the sloppy jump cuts when Marty appears (he even manages to nudge a pillow after Jeff is knocked unconscious with a hairbrush, 23'24m in) make this one off the ITC conveyor belt. The only episode to feature a character flicking the v-sign, have I even mentioned how staggeringly, jaw-droppingly padded the whole thing is? The worst part is that by the time you get to the end of the episode you realise it has no relation to what preceded it, almost like it was several stories edited together, or that the author improvised it under the influence of crack.

Having said all this, despite featuring more cheesy zooms than possibly any other programme in existence, I just watched it again for the character/story details and found I quite enjoyed it despite myself. With tongue more than a little in its cheek, Just For The Record is almost certainly the most badly-made episode of the bunch, but if you're in the right frame of mind it does have its kitsch appeal. That said, the original low rating does still stand: