TEN THINGS I NOTICED ABOUT...
Foreign agents engineer an affair between a politician
and a young girl in order to blackmail him.
001: Guest star Anthony Steel is at the centre of the story, playing a well-respected politician who may become Prime Minister one day. Luckily for the enemies of the UK, he's a puffed up fool who readily believes that a young girl forty years his junior would find him irresistible. What's her motivation for getting involved? Drugs. Drugs supplied by a pimp who is working for the KGB. Jesus Christ.
Anthony Steel was a standard heroic British type starring in home-grown war films until he was lured to Hollywood, where he pretty much went mental, getting into fights, drunk driving and marrying Swedish boob bomb Anita Ekberg - for a few months at least. After one forgettable film he slunk back to England and tried to get himself back together - but never really did. His later performances seemingly carry the stigma of that very public failure - yes, he's well-groomed and he looks the part, but you know he's going to balls it up somehow. He's perfectly cast here as a Tory love twat: you almost feel sorry for him. Almost.
002: It's worth mentioning that this episode is remarkably sleazy, revolving as it does around sex, drugs, murder and mother and daughter prostitution. There's also an awful lot of flesh on show, and some of the younger bits of it are mauled by a variety of old, gnarled, grasping hands. It's all pretty distasteful, which is great for the drama as you very much want Bodie and Doyle to kill the dirty, amoral bastards behind it all. And kill them they do. Well. most of 'em, anyway.
003: This is Walter Gotell, a very familiar face who had a long career playing Nazis and Russians. He was in six James Bond films (five as the same character, General Gogol) and had the misfortune to be married to Joan Collins in 'The Stud'. A cultured, elegant actor, he was nevertheless always extremely sinister - here, though, he's positively repulsive. "Please, Sam" says the young hooker, desperate for a fix, "Uncle Sam" he purrs, pawing most un-avuncularly at her breasts.
004: We first see our heroes at Doyle's flat in the early hours of the morning. They're pissed up and dressed in evening wear, having just been at a works do. They have dates, of course, and Bodie's lady is literally hanging off him. People get a bit predatory after a skinful, don't they? Mind you, I don't blame her, he looks dazzling in his frilly shirt, like a Jon Pertwee Doctor Who figure with an Action Man head.
A curious detail is that Doyle appears to have a framed photograph of Cowley on his mantelpiece - and it's one of Cowley smiling. Is that what Cowley gives his agents for Christmas, do you think? Or does Doyle just really, really like his job? Perhaps it came with the frame, although that would be a pretty disastrous breach of national security.
005: ‘Hookers are women, you know – they can be nice’. So says Doyle at the beginning of the episode, the last liberal thing he will say for forty five minutes. He’s talking about Ann Seaford (Pamela Salem), who is nice, and a woman, and a hooker. When Anne finds out that her teenage daughter (who was taken from her as a baby and adopted) is now on drugs and on the game, she contacts Doyle for help. Unfortunately for Anne, her daughter is a pawn in a much bigger game, so Anne is drowned in the Thames before she can make too much of a fuss.
Her killers make it look like suicide, but Doyle isn’t fooled by that, although his keen sense of perception doesn’t seem to have twigged that her dead hair keeps changing colour, length and style.
006: In any event, Doyle drags the faithful Bodie into a freelance job, i.e. ‘it’s our day off, let’s investigate a murder’ – and bullishly goes about smashing windows and breaking into places while Bodie looks on and pulls faces. When they discover a scrap of paper with the Prime Minister’s private number on it, it becomes an official CI5 job but, as Doyle is keen to tell Cowley: ‘This is personal’. Cowley’s angry response puts the curly headed one firmly back in his Tupperware container:
"Nothing is personal, Doyle. When you joined CI5
I made that perfectly clear. The department owns you -
I own you. I can sell your body to science if I want...
while it's still alive!"
I had quite a similar discussion at my last work appraisal. My manager did actually try and sell my body to science, but science declined the transaction.
007: Their first lead is a witness who saw a big car with a black man at the wheel. Doyle of the Yard uses his Police training to connect the dots.
"Look, a big, flash car driven by a black guy.
Add 'em together and what have you got?"
"A black guy driving a flash car?"
"It adds up to a high-class pimp
for a high-class hooker!"
Actually, in this case it does, but that’s hardly the point, although it’s good to see Bodie putting forward a less ‘Daily Mail’ suggestion. Another thing – I get the notion of a high-class hooker, but a high-class pimp? Could there ever be such a paradoxical creature?
008: In a scene reminiscent of Doyle’s visit to the Caribbean Social Club, he visits a seedy dive to question a prostitute and almost immediately starts a fight. This time, however, Bodie is around to sort things out, which he does brilliantly, and literally single handedly, as he has a pint of bitter in his other mitt. This episode also appears to be the debut of the leather jacket which I always associate him with. Hello, leather jacket, it’s good to meet you. Doyle is far from heroic in this scene, by the way, instead concentrating on getting information from a young woman by threatening and squeezing her face really hard. So much for the ‘hookers are nice’ bit.
009: This robust looking gentleman is Patrick Durkin. Despite resembling Eddie Large, Patrick found steady work as a heavy in a number of film and television productions, not least ‘Raiders Of The Lost Ark’ in which he played a nasty Sherpa working for the Nazis. Here he plays a nasty Russian, working for the Russians. He’s also dubbed. He looks a bit like Leonid Brezhnev with a perm which, as we all know, is exactly what KGB agents used to look like until Putin upped the ante by being so buff.
Doyle is wounded in the leg in a gun fight with this chubby apparatchik, but manages to shoot him in the chest. An enraged Bodie pumps a few more into him, so it’s spokojnoj nochi for this particular Soviet, who ends up dead on a pile of rubbish. Good riddance to him, and the rubbish, and the communist Russian bullet in Doyle’s leg which, unlike Cowley’s fascist Spanish bullet, went straight through.
010: In the end, Bodie and Doyle walk (and hobble off) into the sunset after paying their respects at Anne's grave. Doyle is obviously pretty upset, so Bodie tells him being on crutches will be a big plus with the birds, especially if he tells them he injured his leg doing something really dangerous. That seems to do the trick, as Doyle will never mention Anne again.