Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Randall & Hopkirk (Deceased) - Episode Four: Never Trust A Ghost!

Never Trust a Ghost was the fourth episode of the classic 1969 ITC British Television Series, Randall & Hopkirk (Deceased) starring Mike Pratt, Kenneth Cope and Annette Andre. The episode was first broadcast on 12 October 1969 on ITV and was Directed by Jeremy Summers.

While out on a late-night stroll Marty Hopkirk witnesses the murder of a Mr. Howarth by the hitman, Rawlings as Howarth enters his home.

He travels back to Jeff's apartment to wait for him, whereupon Jeff turns up in the early hours of the morning with a beautiful girl in tow. Marty demands Jeff send his date home and call the police, which he eventually begrudgingly does, travelling with Inspector Clayton to the house where the murder took place. However, when they arrive they find his wife and it appears that Mr. Howarth is back alive and well.

Jeff leaves after Howarth threatens to sue him, only to arrive back the next morning to apologise to Mrs. Howarth, again at Marty's insistence. Marty sees Rawlings in the study and calls Jeff in, by which time Rawlings has disappeared into the secret room branching off it. Engrossed with the case, Marty spends time in the Howarths' house, whereby he learns that both Mr and Mrs Howarth have been murdered and replaced by impostors. Insisting Jeff returns after he locates the bodies in the basement, Jeff returns to the house again, only to find the bodies are no longer there.

Jeff now in serious trouble uses Jeannie as an alibi to escape a third police warning, but is growing increasingly concerned by Marty's behaviour. He visits a psychic medium Professor Plevitt at the British Museum who convinces Jeff that Marty like all ghosts is hallucinating. Driving home, as a result of Plevitt's advice Randall disbelieves Marty's warning that Rawlings is out to kill him, only convinced when he narrowly avoids being shot in his car. Later Rawlings turns up at Jeff's office pretending to be a James Wenworth-Smith of Westminster". However, Marty warns Jeff and the two struggle, whereupon Jeff is knocked unconscious by the highly physically trained Rawlings and tied up back at the Howarths', with their plan to frame him for the murders.
However, under Jeff's guidance Marty visits Professor Plevitt in order to get him to call the police. The process takes a great deal of time and Marty finds it extremely difficult to convince the medium that he is an extraordinary ghost with excellent capabilities. It appears that disguises were being used to impersonate the murdered Howarths (the female agent's name is revealed as "Karen"), and that Mr. Howarth was in charge of savings for the Secret Service. His murder meant that the enemy impersonators had access to the full names and details of every undercover agent in the UK. The police arrive and arrest all three, though Marty winds up Jeff by pretending to hallucinate for seeing a body in a cupboard, getting his revenge on Jeff for his disbelief.