Sunday, 13 April 2014



A hit-man with a special gun comes to the UK
 to assassinate Greek royalty as they attend Wimbledon. 

001 This is perhaps the weakest episode so far. It's still pretty good, but it is holed below the waterline almost immediately simply because the premise makes no sense whatsoever: a hugely expensive assassin (thirty grand - in 1977!) is hired to kill a member of Greek royalty using a rifle that has a range of two miles. The fundamental issue is 'WHY?' Why not just get a hitman for five grand that will kill him from five hundred yards away? Or pay fifteen and he can do it from a mile. And why, if you do have a gun with a two mile range, would you then choose a place to fire it from that has a family in it that you have to hold hostage for days on end? Is there not an empty flat somewhere that will do just as well? 

002 The hired killer is called Georgi. He's working for terrorists, but his loyalty is to his bank account, not to a cause. He's played by Michael Latimer, one time star of 'Moon'/'Man Of Violence'. Latimer does his best (he has a wonky accent and a moustache) but the character is hugely clichéd, constantly banging on about his code and 'amateurs' and, like some swarthy Samurai, refusing to have sex until after the job is done. 

It might illustrate just how daft this is by revealing that the lady he rebuffs is Diane Keen. Yes, the beautiful, sexy Diane Keen. The boy's a fool. As a general rule, if CI5 are after you, you're pretty much dead anyway, so my advice is have a drink, have a fag, have a fry up and, if Diane's keen, have her as well - it's later than you think.

003 The terrorist cell is worth a roll call: one angry, bald bloke with a shotgun, one young lad who, until recently, lived with his Mum and, when he gets caught, spills his guts immediately, and beautiful, sexy Diane Keen, who isn't Greek but 'believes in the cause', and dresses like a fortune teller when she goes out to establish her solidarity with all things Hellenic. I'm not really sure what they're for or against, but they have a poster of Acropolis on one wall and a picture of Che Guevara on the other so it's either about Greece or Cuba. Diane's character (Hilda) is clearly only in it to meet dangerous men, which she gives away by sensuously stroking the long barrel of Georgi's gun and purring 'beautiful, powerful'. Viva la revolution, or whatever that is in Greek. Or Cuban.    

004 "What do you know about Greeks?" Doyle asks Bodie; "The men all dance together and the cops all shave their heads", he replies. Doyle later interrogates a Greek restaurant owner by smashing all his plates.

005 Georgi is a ruthless bastard, testing his special gun on a scarecrow and then a golfer. Neither had done anything to deserve being shot. Well, the scarecrow hadn't. That's the trouble with these murderers, their answer to everything is to kill somebody.

006 Bodie and Doyle call Cowley 'The Cow' when they think he can't hear them. He probably can, though.  

007 With regard to the long distance assassination atempt: if you genuinely can shoot somebody famous at Wimbledon from two miles away, how the fuck did Cliff Richard ever get to do a second song?

008 I'm  a bit pathetic, so I couldn't help but snigger like a schoolboy when Cowley says:

"I want a double entry on my signal!"

Especially as he looks very serious about it, like he really, really wants it. 

On a similarly trivial note, Doyle wears an incredible outfit that uses three separate shades of green: an emerald shirt, a pistachio jacket, and a pair of flares resembling some mould I once saw on some out of date corned beef.   

009 Suzanne 'The Body' Danielle makes a couple of brief appearances. Frantic life or death mission of international importance notwithstanding, Bodie makes a date with her the first time they meet; second time around, he brusquely commandeers her flat and then uses it as a base for his final assault on Georgi. The moment he jumps out of her window to try and kill a bloke, she's his. I used much the same method to woo my wife. Fifteen years on, she couldn't be less impressed with that sort of macho bullshit.  

The climax also reveals that Georgi has appalling taste in footwear - and that he is actually quite little. That could come in handy for a hit man, but Georgi probably didn't see it that way. 

010 Finally, there's an interesting scene where Bodie derides the Greek community as 'living in a ghetto'. Doyle says "Don't knock it - ghetto means being able to depend on your own kind". "Ooh" says Bodie, "so you and me are a mobile ghetto, eh?". And that's Bodie and Doyle in a nutshell, really - a mobile ghetto - in a white Triumph Dolomite.

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