Wednesday, 9 April 2014



An international hit man comes to the UK to kill Cowley.

001: The late Roger Lloyd-Pack is a poor choice to play Ramos, the super-cool international playboy assassin who is the 'very, very best', especially as he dresses like a cross between Jimmy Savile and Roy Orbison. Like all maniacs, Ramos often talks about himself in the third person, which somehow seems appropriately dissociative as Lloyd-Pack's voice is clearly dubbed.

002: Ramos is wearing a pair of those bloody glasses from the last episode. They look awful, but were obviously cheap in bulk. I would imagine that dark glasses would be a potential nightmare for a hired killer, bearing in mind that they have to keep all of their senses on a state of high alert at all times. These don't even look cool.

003: While we're talking about the last episode, here's that prison set in its natural state, i.e. not a prison but a gym / squash court with a female operative doing Kung Fu in it. The lads look good though, don't they? Doyle doesn't wear socks, you know, which doesn't make me like him any more than I already do.

004: Bodie is off the chain in this story: grimacing, gurning, hamming it up like mad. Lewis Collins takes what's on the scripted page and enhances every single word and nuance with every last little fibre of character in his beefy body. He's a hoot. Later on, he interrogates a millionaire and uses a really rich, fruity actorly voice for no particular reason other than it clearly amuses him.   

005: Ramos hides in the bushes and watches Bodie and Doyle as they mess about in a surveillance tower pretending to be Cowboys in a fort. I do hope he's kept the receipt from 'Scientific & Technical', however, as the magnification and clarity of his enormous and obviously very expensive binoculars is woeful. 

006: Cowley hates rats, but knows enough about them to know that this one has had its neck broken.

007: Ramos keeps a vital hostage in the most unsecure place imaginable, a block of half-demolished flats in London. I mean almost anyone could come along - kids, builders, a passing Bobby on the beat, maybe even a Beefeater. It's also full of jagged surfaces and looks really easy to get out of - if his hostage wasn't so set on lying around feeling sorry for herself she could have cut through her bonds on some broken glass and been home for tea days ago. Still, it's all ultimately worth it for the rather touching sight of a rueful looking wrecking ball.  

008: CI5 are assigned to protect the US Secretary of State, Dr. Harbinger (it's little things like this that make the programme look daft, you know), so when Harbinger (played by our favourite Yank in the UK, Ed Bishop) wants to go for a run, Bodie and Doyle accompany him in matching sportswear. This leads to some great shots of the trackie triplets jogging through the countryside looking very much like part of the all conquering seventies Liverpool team on a training run. Doyle even has Terry McDermott's haircut.  

Just as they are coming in for a shower and a much needed change of clothes, Ramos strikes. He fails, but Bodie and Doyle are left to chase after him still wearing those awful fucking tracksuits, reminding me of a time when I saw two blokes dressed as the 118-118 guys chasing down a student who had made one too many sarcastic remarks. Ramos gets away, so Bodie and Doyle do their angry faces. Don't worry, lads, you'll get him later. Sort of.

009: In order to get into CI5 HQ, Ramos gets his associate to knock on the door in the pretence of looking for directions, then ruthlessly guns his pal and the answering agent down. I was struck by the poignancy of these two complete strangers (and enemies) dying in each others arms. It's tough stuff, this international espionage and murder business, you know - you take love where you can get it, I suppose. 

010: Finally, there is a scene where Gordon Jackson is wearing just a towel. Even though I really wanted to, I couldn't tear my eyes away from the screen, especially when he started walking around the office on his surprisingly large feet. All I could do was pray that the towel would hold and hope nothing stirred.

1 comment:

  1. Oh man. The binocs, the tracksuits, the towel... so powerfully ridiculous.

    Looks like the Cohen brothers might've based some of the visual aspects of Anton Chigurh in No Country For Old Men on Ramos here. It's almost a certainty that the lads are big fans of Bodie and Doyle.