Randall and Hopkirk (deceased)
Jeff Randall and Marty Hopkirk are a pair of private detectives, trouble is that Marty is dead. A classic 1960’s comedy drama pairs Mike Pratt and Kenneth Cope as the eponymous heroes. Jeff runs the agency on his own but relies upon the ghost of Marty to get him through all of his investigations. Marty shows up dressed in a white suit and follows supsects around to give Jeff help. He can also manage to have an effect on some physical objects but he must concentrate extremely hard. Marty appears and disappears in an instant, blinking as he does so. A great source of conflict bewteen the two is Marty’s wife Jeannie, played by Annette Andre, as Marty suspects feelings between Jeff and her.
Tonight’s episode of Randall and Hopkirk (deceased) sees Jeff arrested for the robbery of money due for incineration by the Bank of England. Jeff had learned about it from a character called O’Malley, who had devised the plan but failed to implement it. Somebody does implement it and as Jeff is the only other person that knows of it he is implicated in the crime. Jeff assumes that O’Malley has done the job and O’Malley assumes Jeff has. Things get worse for Jeff when £20,000 is found under the floorboards in the agency office. As the year is 1968 this is a significant amount of money and so Jeff is charged.
O’Malley is a smooth, rich Irish charmer whose accent varies from broad leprachaun to Sloane-ranger within a single sentence. Aso in the frame is Jeff’s lawyer, Elizabeth, who has the improbably unmoving but very big hair. She is sussing out O’Malley in the form of a restaurant date at his own restaurant. He disappears off to find a missing singer who lives above his club, who is packing and ready to do a runner with half a million pounds worth of used fivers. As he threatens to take her to the police her accomplice and senior partner turns up and she has a gun. O’Malley is eventually clattered around the head with a chair, whilst the pair of women escape. He follows with Elizabeth and the spiritous Marty in Eliabeth’s very small and very full Triumph sports car.
The two women manage to hop into a light aircraft and take off whilst the GT6 is negotiating a corner. Marty hitches a lift and manages to affect the compass on the plane getting them to land in Surrey, rather than France, where the police are waiting. Jeff should thus be released but his lawyer, Elizabeth, is otherwise engaged with O’Malley.
Randall and Hopkirk (deceased) is a fabulous old series where the terrible special effects are overcome by neat stories and a great buddy combination. Kenneth Cope was wonderful as the departed but still quirky Marty but Mike Pratt nicely plays Jeff down as a great counter-point. The re-working by Reeves and Mortimer in 2000 was a nice idea but the original series still stands up as classic British television.