Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased)
||This article includes a list of references, related reading or external links, but its sources remain unclear because it lacks inline citations. (June 2014)|
|Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased)|
|Also known as||My Partner the Ghost|
|Format||Supernatural fiction Action Drama Comedy|
|Created by||Dennis Spooner|
|Theme music composer||Edwin Astley|
|Country of origin||United Kingdom|
|No. of series||1|
|No. of episodes||26 (List of episodes)|
|Running time||49 minutes|
NBCUniversal Television Distribution
|Picture format||35 mm film 4:3 Colour|
|Original run||21 September 1969– 28 March 1970|
Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased), first transmitted during 1969 and 1970, is a British private detective television series starring Mike Pratt and Kenneth Cope as the private detectives Jeffrey Randall and Martin Hopkirk, respectively. The series was originally created by Dennis Spooner and produced by Monty Berman. When it was transmitted in the United States, it was given the title My Partner the Ghost.
In the initial episode Hopkirk was murdered during an investigation, but returned as a ghost. Randall was the only main character able to see or hear him. At least two minor characters were able to see and hear him in separate episodes however.
ITC Entertainment produced a single series of 26 episodes during 1968 and 1969, which was aired between September 1969 and March 1970. The pilot episode was originally broadcast on ITV in the United Kingdom on Friday 19 September 1969 on ATV Midlands. LWT broadcast the pilot on 21 September 1969.
On 10 May 2010 the SyFy Channel announced that it had secured the rights to Randall & Hopkirk (Deceased) and were looking to develop a pilot.
Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased) was conceived by producer Dennis Spooner in 1967. Spooner had a keen interest in the paranormal and ghostly phenomena, which he believed would be an inspired idea for a television series, incorporating it with the characteristic crime, drama and action of other earlier productions in the 1960s such as The Avengers and The Saint.
Spooner was strongly influenced by other paranormal films, such as Blithe Spirit and Topper, which had a profound impact on him, providing him with an understanding of the elements of the fantasy genre, studying the aspects of paranormal activity upon which a television series could be based.
While working on The Baron for ITC, Spooner met the producer Monty Berman, with whom he later formed the production company Scoton. Spooner had already worked with Mike Pratt and Annette Andre in The Baron, based on John Creasey's novels, in 1966 and 1967, and had known Pratt and Kenneth Cope from other series such as The Avengers and his work on the BBC's Z-Cars. Pratt and Andre had also appeared in The Saint earlier in the 1960s which both Spooner and Berman were familiar with. Screen testing began in late 1967; soon, both Berman and Spooner agreed that the trio would make an ideal casting, and the three were soon confirmed in the major roles.
Soon after this, Scoton were informed that they were to commence the filming of Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased) in 1968 alongside the production of Department S. Filming commenced in 1968 and the cast worked strenuously into 1969 to complete the series. The first episode was broadcast on Friday 19 September 1969 on ATV Midlands, Harlech, Westward, Yorkshire, Granada, Channel and Ulster. LWT on Sunday 21 September 1969, Southern on Sunday 5 October 1969. Other regions, such as Anglia, Border, Tyne-Tees, Scottish and Grampian, which would continue to broadcast in black and white for several months after the initial colour broadcast start date of 15 November 1969, decided not to screen the series at this time. Of this initial run, only LWT screened all 26 episodes. Ulster and Granada rested the show after eight episodes, Yorkshire, Channel and Westward rested the series after 14 episodes, Harlech rested the show after 15 episodes, and ATV Midlands only screened 21 of the 26 episodes.
In the pilot episode, "My Late Lamented Friend and Partner," Marty is murdered in a hit and run during an investigation, but he returns immediately as a ghost, whom only Jeff (and the occasional psychic) can see, to help Jeff bring his murderer to justice. However, in helping Jeff with his case, Marty stays out of his new grave for too long and is cursed to walk the Earth for 100 years. Seeing the advantages of having a ghost at the detective agency, Marty stays as an invisible partner, playing the key role in helping Jeff solve crime thereafter, also meaning that he can see his own widow, Jeannie Hopkirk, who works as a secretary at the agency, every day.
Marty is instrumental throughout the series in ensuring Jeff is aware of the occurrences of crimes and more often than not is responsible for saving his partner's life in each episode by using his supernatural powers. However, his powers are very limited, in that he physically cannot touch anything and has no extrasensory knowledge of events that take place when he is not present. Whilst Marty aids Jeff immensely in his investigations, his persistence at urging Jeff to follow leads when Jeff has other engagements, where there is no obvious criminal activity or where he is putting his life and reputation at risk can seriously infuriate and terrorise the short-fused Jeff.
The comedic aspect of the series came to the surface in episode 2, "A Disturbing Case," which dealt with hypnotic suggestion. Written by Mike Pratt himself, the episode features Marty impersonating the thick German accent of the German psychiatrist Dr Conrad (David Bauer), allowing him to direct the glazed, drugged Randall to do exactly what he wants whilst he is in his pyjamas in a nursing home. Although the second episode is undoubtedly the most comic of the series, Marty's ability to control hypnosis is an important source of comedy in subsequent episodes, notably later in episode 10, "When did You Start to Stop Seeing Things?", in which he eventually manages to hypnotize a hypnotist himself to save Randall by directing him to behave like an animal (a panther) and perform like a Secret Agent in direct contrast to the behaviour a professional would usually follow.
In episode 3, "All Work and No Pay", a number of story elements important for later episodes in the series are introduced, particularly exposing the vulnerability and naivety of Jeannie Hopkirk, traits which can leave her life in danger due to her willingness to help people. Jeannie is manipulated by the Foster Brothers who, by using electronic equipment, falsely convince her that her late husband Marty is a poltergeist and that they as spiritualists will lay his spirit to rest. The brothers plan to employ Jeannie to bring other widows to them and use their supposed exorcism of Marty as a reward. Her falling into their trap nearly costs the life of another woman.
As she is invited into their manor house we see the start of a much used setting in the majority of the Randall and Hopkirk episodes, an eerie lavish country manor with a grand hallway and rooms and 1930s eccentric décor creating an element of suspense. The same set with a few alterations was used on the majority of later episodes filmed in the same studio set. The third episode also sets the scene for the themes of exorcism, paranormal spirituality, psychic mediums and placing Marty Hopkirk to rest which also feature in later episodes such as "Whoever Heard of a Ghost Dying?" and "But What a Sweet Little Room".
The appearance of psychic mediums develops in the next episode "Never Trust a Ghost" and also establishes Jeff Randall's trust in his ghostly partner for the series. Jeff visits a deranged medium to question Marty's reliability, beginning to doubt him. We see Jeff Randall become seriously frustrated with his deceased partner as he places his reputation in danger at following up Hopkirk's seemingly false leads, yet Marty persists on bothering him even when he is in the company of women. The medium believes that ghosts hallucinate but Marty whom the medium can see takes hours to convince him of his capabilities. Marty's correct deductions and his ability to stop enemy agents in the end solidifies Jeff's trust of him. The medium is also significant as he is the first man other than Jeff who can see and communicate with Marty the ghost, repeated later in the series as other mediums can communicate.
In episode 4 it really becomes evident that Randall has a distinct hatred of the police, which is reciprocated. In nearly every episode where the police are involved with enquiries some way or the other they always suspect Randall as the villain in a crime with Randall many a time treating them rather rudely in his frustration. In many episodes he conflicts with the suspicious Inspector Large played by Ivor Dean. In the eighth episode "Whoever Heard of a Ghost Dying?" and the 10th episode "When did You Start to Stop Seeing Things?" in particular Randall is suspected of not only being a criminal involved in the operation of diamond operations but is suspected as a murderer implicated to directly throw the police off guard.
The fourth episode is also the first time we really see that Jeff Randall is a womaniser, followed up in the sixth episode "Just for the Record" where he is surrounded by beautiful women at a beauty contest, offering Miss Moscow "a cup of tea" as a cover for sex. Even when Jeff does not physically make contact with attractive women it is clear there is always a mutual attraction between them for example in the 17th episode "Somebody Just Walked Over My Grave" where he flirts with the housekeeper.
In episode 7, "Murder Ain't What it Used to Be", Randall shows that he does have morals in some areas of his life, and when hired by American racketeer Paul Kirstner to look after his daughter he initially rejects at the thought of working for a criminal but eventually relents when he is given a substantial sum of money. However whilst money and earning a living means a great deal to him and is often why he initially decides to take up a case, in later episodes such as episode 12, "For the Girl who Has Everything", he turns down a send off of £250 because he feels he has not yet deserved it, demonstrating that he must work for his money. On the contrary in episodes such as "Money to Burn", he becomes directly implicated in a crime because of his indecisiveness over whether to accept £500,000 of old money that is to be incinerated.
A number of developments are made to Marty's character in episodes 7-10. "Murder Ain't What it Used to Be" is the first episode where another ghost appears alongside him, in the shape of Bugsy, the cackling Chicago gangster who was killed in the 1920s who returns to haunt his double-crosser Paul Kirstner. Marty immediately shows an inferiority to him and his abrasive attitude and is unwilling to confront him even when he pesters Jeannie. However towards the end he teases Bugsy by manipulating objects in his direction, objects that can be seen moving and crashing to the human eye. In the episode it also becomes clear that Marty as a ghost can travel back in time as Bugsy takes him back to the black and white 1920s to witness his murder over a prohibition scam.
In episode 8, "Whoever Heard of a Ghost Dying?", it becomes clear that Cecil, a psychic medium, can see Marty (unbeknownst to him) and is able to use him to deliberately put his living partner Jeff Randall off the track of a series of diamond robberies, who had been secretly filmed seemingly speaking to himself on a number of occasions. Despite being a ghost, the power of the psychic puts Marty's health in serious jeopardy to the point where he nearly disappears at the end of the episode, when the medium attempts to exorcise him at his graveside.
In episode 9, Marty proves that in many ways his feelings are still human and he shows as much fear of other ghosts and paranormal activity as any human would. In "The House on Haunted Hill", Marty shows a great fear of electronic equipment in a house attic pretending to producing the sounds and noises of ghosts. He is far more afraid than even Jeff, and he doesn't appear to have any sense of other paranormal phenomena when he can not physically see them.
Filming Randall and Hopkirk
Hopkirk's appearances were achieved by the simplest and cheapest of means, which had been in use since the earliest days of cinema. While the camera remained static, the other actors would freeze, Kenneth Cope would enter the scene and the other actors would unfreeze. Cutting out the extraneous footage in between was all that was necessary. Disappearances used the same method in reverse. Optical effects, which were prohibitively expensive and time consuming at the time, were largely avoided, although superimposition or bluescreen travelling matte shots were very occasionally used. In at least one scene, the Victorian theatrical illusion Pepper's Ghost was used.
The final episode, "The Ghost Talks" (actually released as the 21st to be filmed) contained extended flashbacks of Hopkirk alone solving a case – Jeff being out of town – before his death. This was necessitated by Mike Pratt having been injured in a fall from a drainpipe while trying to get into his locked flat. Pratt broke both his legs, rendering him bedridden in a real hospital bed (Pratt also had a nurse in attendance) on the set of a hospital room for duration of filming for that episode. Jeff's incapacity in the episode was explained by his having fallen off a balcony whilst in pursuit of a safe-cracker.
Although Marty is not supposed to have a physical presence, beds and armchairs can sometimes be seen sagging under his weight. He blows a cabinet door open in "When the Spirit Moves You" and, in another episode, he actually pushes aside a bead curtain. It is never explained why he has a shadow.
Except for some brief exterior scenes in the pilot episode and original opening titles, most of the scenes featuring the principal cast were shot in the studio. Exterior scenes were usually either simulated using blue screen, shot using body doubles or made use of the Associated British Elstree Studios lot. Unusually for an ITC series however, one episode had a significant amount of location shooting with principal cast members - at Woburn Abbey.
Cars used by the main characters were a white Vauxhall Victor 2000 FD registration RXD 996F and a red Austin Seven/Mini registration BAP 245B. The Victor was one of six loaned by Vauxhall Motors for filming the series and viewers may sometimes catch the second unit continuity out as some scenes of Jeff Randall's Victor show the car with a burgundy interior and others a black cabin. The actual car bearing the RXD 996F plate was last seen in a scrap yard in 1976. The red Mini was used by all three characters, but was Marty Hopkirk's car and driven by Jeannie Hopkirk after his death. The car was also used briefly for a scene in one episode of The Persuaders! when Tony Curtis shows up in disguise as a butler at Lord Brett Sinclair's country abode. The current whereabouts of this Mini remain unknown.
Jeffrey "Jeff" Randall
Main article: Jeff Randall
Jeff Randall is a successful but often financially struggling private detective whose success in mystery solving becomes inevitably greater once he has the benefits and paranormal abilities of his deceased friend and partner Marty Hopkirk. Randall is described as fairly tall, around 6 ft, very thin and dishevelled looking although he is mostly clean-shaven. Throughout the entire series aside from a grey or dark suit with a white shirt for work Randall consistently wears brown or beige clothing, instantly recognizable by his tan leather jacket and beige polo neck jumpers or his long beige mac.
He is quick, agile and light on his feet and is able to manoeuvre around attackers very briskly. Randall is known to have a short fiery temper and can become particularly irritated with certain situations and people, particularly the ghost of Marty who torments him as much as helps him. He smokes regularly and is a heavy drinker in stressful situations.
Jeff at times can be a highly ambiguous character. In certain episodes he can show morals and respect for other characters. However at times he can also appear as immoral and verging on criminal in his behaviour. In episode 5, "That's How Murder Snowballs", for example, Randall rather than informing the police after the murder of the theatre performer, rang a newspaper immediately to ensure that his tip off earned him a substantial amount of money for leaking story, 'blood money' as Jeannie called it, making money out of a dead man.
Randall is also a womaniser and he attracts many beautiful women from episode to episode. However any love interest also fizzles out very quickly due to his commitments to follow up Marty's leads leaving them stranded.
Martin "Marty" Hopkirk
Main article: Marty Hopkirk
Marty Hopkirk is a deceased private detective murdered in the line of duty. After being the victim of a hit and run, Marty returns as a ghost, selecting his friend and partner Jeff Randall as the only man who can see and hear him as he returns to the world of the living. Staying out in the daylight to help Jeff solve the case of his own murder, he is cursed to roam the Earth for 100 years. Marty is a highly persistent character clad in an all-white suit to mimic that of a ghost. At times his pressuring of Jeff to pursue cases and follow up leads that he has witnessed nearly puts Jeff at breaking point and haunts Jeff almost as much as he aids him in fighting crime.
As a ghost, Marty travels by teleporting from one place to the other, although he can seemingly walk as a human would in whatever location he is in. Although he cannot physically touch people or things he can manipulate objects such as vases and furniture which prove crucial in many cases in putting attackers of Jeff at bay. Marty's use of wind blowing also proves very important in distracting people allowing Jeff to manoeuvre and enter situations, which would have otherwise proved impossible. In one episode ("Just for the Record"), Marty saves Jeff's life as he is being burnt in a warehouse, by using his concentration to shatter the alarm bells.
However Hopkirk can also be a highly jealous character and is often quick to jump to conclusions. For instance in the episodes "Never Trust a Ghost" and "Murder Ain't What it Used to Be" when it appears that Jeff and Bugsy had bedded his widow Jeannie, he becomes highly irritated and angry at the situations. This also shows that while Marty can move from place to place by teleporting and has certain extra-sensory abilities his abilities to understand situations where he is not present are as limited as a humans.
Despite being a ghost, there are many situations where Marty proves that in many ways his feelings are still human and he shows as much fear of other ghosts and paranormal activity as any human would. In the episode "The House on Haunted Hill", Marty shows a great fear of electronic equipment producing the sounds and noises of ghosts in a house attic. He is far more afraid than even Jeff, and he doesn't appear to have any sense of other paranormal phenomenon when he cannot physically see them. He also shows a subservience to the 1920s American gangster ghost of Bugsy in episode 8, "Murder Ain't What it Used to Be".
In episode 21, "The Ghost Talks", which is a flashback of Marty when he was living also reveals he was physically very weak and would lose in a fight very easily. His physical strength appeared to be particularly lacking for a professional detective.
Jean "Jeannie" Hopkirk
Main article: Jeannie Hopkirk
Jeannie Hopkirk (Annette Andre) is the young widow of Marty Hopkirk and serves as a secretary at the Randall and Hopkirk Private Investigation office. She is an attractive woman with neat blond hair and a petite frame and build. Jeannie can prove a very useful character in Jeff's exploits and she has saved him many times from an early demise. She is highly resourceful and able as a secretary but often she appears as very naive and vulnerable, which has put her own life in danger on many occasions. In only the third episode, "All Work and No Pay", she believes the tomfoolery of the Foster brothers as they use electronic equipment to pretend that the poltergeist of Marty is destroying her apartment. She believes that they are spiritualists who indeed have the ability to contact her deceased husband. In episode 10, "When Did You Start to Stop Seeing Things?", she again believes the enemy when they pretend that Marty's spirit needs to be exorcised and true to her nature she is as helpful as possible in aiding them unknowingly, placing her in another difficult situation. Later, in episode 15, "The Man from Nowhere", Jeannie goes as far as to partly believe that an impostor is actually her deceased husband Marty in spirit, again emphasizing her vulnerability.
Filming took place between May 1968 and July 1969.
|Episode #||Prod #||Title||Directed by||Written by||Original airdate|
|1||4001||"My Late Lamented Friend and Partner"||Cyril Frankel||Ralph Smart||21 September 1969|
|In the pilot episode Marty Hopkirk is murdered by the husband of a client but returns as a ghost to help Jeff bring the man responsible for his murder to justice.|
|2||4022||"A Disturbing Case"||Ray Austin||Mike Pratt and Ian Wilson||28 September 1969|
|Concerned for Jeff's mental health Jeannie sends Jeff to Dr. Conrad at the Lambert Clinic where it turns out he is the mastermind of a series of robberies of his patients using hypnotic suggestion, forcing Marty to try and find a way to break Jeff from his control before Jeff has been so severely hypnotized that he loses the ability to see Marty. David Bauer stars.|
|3||4012||"All Work and No Pay"||Jeremy Summers||Donald James||5 October 1969|
|Two eccentric conmen brothers (The Foster Brothers) who claim to be spiritualists try to convince Jeannie that Marty is haunting her as a poltergeist using electronic equipment|
|4||4014||"Never Trust a Ghost"||Leslie Norman||Tony Williamson||12 October 1969|
|Two enemy agents murder a high British Secret Service official and his wife and pass themselves as their impostors in their own home to steal important documents|
|5||4011||"That's How Murder Snowballs"||Paul Dickson||Ray Austin||19 October 1969|
|When a theatre performer is murdered by a loaded gun during one of his acts Jeff joins the theatre as a mind reader to investigate his murder and hunt down the killer. David Jason appears as Abel|
|6||4019||"Just for the Record"||Jeremy Summers||Donald James||26 October 1969|
|Aristocrat Harold Pargiter and his Lords rob the British vault for a document proving that his family titles and deeds were stolen by King John in the 13th century and his succession to the throne. Starring Ronald Radd|
|7||4024||"Murder Ain't What it Used to Be!"||Jeremy Summers||Tony Williamson||2 November 1969|
|Notorious American crime boss Paul Kirstner travels to London for "business" and hires Randall to take care of his daughter. However his wicked past and his haunting by the 1920s Chicago gangster Bugsy catches up with him.|
|8||4010||"Whoever Heard of a Ghost Dying?"||Ray Austin||Tony Williamson||9 November 1969|
|Knowing about Marty, a crime syndicate, in disguise, hire Jeff to begin surveillance on a gang of criminals (themselves), knowing that he will use Marty. Using an elderly psychic they detect Marty's presence, and deliberately mislead Jeff and the police.|
|9||4021||"The House on Haunted Hill"||Ray Austin||Tony Williamson||16 November 1969|
|Jeff investigates a diamond theft in which the manager is implicated who threatens Jeff to lie about his investigation. Whilst also investigating a haunting at a country manor in turns out the diamond gang are using it as a hideout|
|10||4018||"When did You Start to Stop Seeing Things?"||Jeremy Summers||Tony Williamson||23 November 1969|
|Jeff is hired by a company to find out who is leaking information in the stock market. Finding Jeff suspiciously out of character — and also now being unable to see him — Marty finds out that the real Jeff has been captured and that the fake Jeff is an impostor, using his status to conduct murders of financial personnel. Marty uses a hypnotist to save the day.|
|11||4023||"The Ghost who Saved the Bank at Monte Carlo"||Jeremy Summers||Tony Williamson||30 November 1969|
|Marty's Aunt Clara hires Jeff as a bodyguard for a trip to Monte Carlo where she plans to win £100,000 on her self-devised gambling system. Closely followed and watched by several different gangs they only lose their would-be robbers by Marty manipulating the final game of roulette losing the money|
|12||4003||"For the Girl who Has Everything"||Cyril Frankel||Donald James||7 December 1969|
|Jeff is hired by a ghost hunter to investigate at a manor where the lady appears to be haunted. When the ghost hunter is murdered whilst on night watch Jeff investigates. When the man of the house is shot by his wife believing she saw a ghost, Jeff becomes suspicious and discovers that it was part of her plan to get rid of her draining husband and leave the country with her butler toyboy.|
|13||4002||"But What a Sweet Little Room"||Roy Ward Baker||Ralph Smart||14 December 1969|
|Jeff investigates the disappearance of a wealthy young heiress's aunt. When she is then killed by a hit and run driver he is led to a medium previously visited by the aunt and uses Jeannie as a decoy to foil a thieving operation in which middle class men rob wealthy widows by murdering them in the room of the episode title, which then transpires to be a gas chamber in disguise.|
|14||4006||"Who Killed Cock Robin?"||Roy Ward Baker||Tony Williamson||21 December 1969|
|In this murder mystery, Jeff is hired by a large estate manager to investigate a series of bird shootings in the manor aviary. Under the terms of the will of the manor's late owner, the estate is being held in trust for as long as the birds live (which could be twenty years or more), and will be divided up equally among the surviving relatives only when all the birds are dead. While Jeff keeps guard of the valuable birds, he discovers that members of the family of the manor are being murdered one by one, gradually narrowing down the suspects, leaving Jeff with the surprising culprit.|
|15||4016||"The Man from Nowhere"||Robert Tronson||Donald James||28 December 1969|
|A man enters Jeannie's life pretending that he is Marty returned from the dead. As he gradually builds Jeannie's trust with his alarming knowledge of Marty's life, Jeff, suspicious from the beginning finds that he is a runaway member of a gang and has taken Jeannie to the Cotswolds where she and Marty had their honeymoon to dig up something of the past.|
|16||4013||"When the Spirit Moves You"||Ray Austin||Tony Williamson||2 January 1970|
|Jeff becomes involved with a conman and a stash of $125,000 of stolen bonds from the United States that a criminal racket are after.|
|17||4025||"Somebody Just Walked Over My Grave"||Cyril Frankel||Donald James||9 January 1970|
|Marty finds somebody digging around his grave. He sends Jeff to investigate the cemetery and in doing so is knocked unconscious several times by a masked 18th century axe wielder. Suspecting the gardener, Jeff accepts a job for a wealthy man in the nearby mansion and stumbles on an intricate plot to steal his insane agoraphobic son through an underground tunnel pretending to hold him to ransom. It is all part of a plot to inherit his father's fortune but when he marries his young housekeeper the plan is demised.|
|18||4020||"Could You Recognise The Man Again?"||Jeremy Summers||Donald James||16 January 1970|
|When Jeff and Jeannie find a dead body in their car unknown to them at the time that the man they met outside was a killer, Jeannie is held hostage to keep Randall from confessing to the police and giving a testimony in court. And even the ghostly Marty can't locate her until the very last minute.|
|19||4004||"A Sentimental Journey"||Leslie Norman||Donald James||23 January 1970|
|A reluctant Jeff agrees to take a valuable item worth £10,000 from Glasgow to London on the overnight express. When the consignment turns out to be an attractive blonde, Jeff initially concedes that the assignment is to his liking. How gradually becoming suspicious it turns out the blonde is a traitor involved in stealing a highly valuable postage stamp.|
|20||4015||"Money to Burn"||Ray Austin||Donald James||30 January 1970|
|Randall is offered by a dodgy friend to take part in a money salvaging operation whereby £500,000 of old money is to be incinerated but is replaced with newspaper pieces. Not informing the police nor accepting any part in it, Randall watches from a nearby street and is caught by the police and imprisoned. Using his lady friend lawyer she tracks down his dodgy friend at his London club finding the real culprits are his lady dancers freeing Randall.|
|21||4026||"The Ghost Talks"||Cyril Frankel||Gerald Kelsey||6 February 1970|
|With Jeff in a hospital bed with an arm and a leg in plaster, having fallen off a balcony while attempting to apprehend a safe-cracker, Marty seizes the opportunity to tell him about a spy drama that he handled alone (Jeff being out of town at the time) while he was still alive, involving a corrupt MI5 official and spy ring, the details of which he had never revealed before.|
|22||4008||"It's Supposed to be Thicker than Water"||Leslie Norman||Donald James||13 February 1970|
|Playing postman to deliver an envelope to an escaped convict strikes Jeff as simple until he finds out it contains an invitation to murder and before long his own life is on the line.|
|23||4009||"The Trouble with Women"||Cyril Frankel||Tony Williamson||20 February 1970|
|Jeff is hired by a woman and deliberately set up her husband's murder. In disguise she misleads Randall with her club owner boyfriend she is secretly having an affair with, almost leading to his shooting at a quarry.|
|24||4017||"Vendetta for a Dead Man"||Cyril Frankel||Donald James||27 February 1970|
|A vengeance-seeking escaped convict decides that since Marty Hopkirk, the man who put him behind bars is dead then his widow Jeannie will have to suffer.|
|25||4005||"You Can Always Find a Fall Guy"||Ray Austin||Donald James||6 March 1970|
|Jeff is hired to retrieve stolen funds by a nun, only to discover the nun is not what she seems to be and he is being set up.|
|26||4007||"The Smile Behind the Veil"||Jeremy Summers||Gerald Kelsey||13 March 1970|
|Only a ghost would notice the smile behind the veil of a funeral mourner. Marty stumbles upon a hidden murder mystery.|
Main article: List of Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased) cast members
The 26 episodes were made by ITC Entertainment in 1968/69 on 35mm colour film. They were initially screened on ITV in the United Kingdom in 1969/70 by ITC's sister company ATV and most of the other ITV stations, (1970/71 in some regions that waited until full colour had been implemented by all ITV contractors) repeats lasted until 1976 in most regions, it was repeated again on ITV in 1986/87, the pilot was screened in 1992 on Channel4/S4C as part the Frank Muir series "TV Heaven" as an example of TV shows from 1969, later in the 1990s the series was bought by the BBC and shown at least 3 times on BBC2 between 1994 and 1996 (these were restored prints), this was the last time complete prints were screened in the UK. The series was also re-run on UK digital channel ITV4 from November 2005, (where the episodes were cut to 45-46 mins) until 30 October 2010. In the US they appeared in syndication from around 1972, retitled My Partner the Ghost (remembered by many as My Friend the Ghost) because audience research suggested that Americans would not understand the word "deceased".
Two versions of the show's opening titles were made. The original, which was first seen in the UK when the series was repeated on ITV in 1986/87 and is the version on all subsequent TV re-runs and video/DVD releases, features events seen through images of a finger moving a glass on an ouija board; after shots of Marty shying away from the approaching car the animated spinning hand print gives way to the series title, which fills the screen. Then, specially shot sequences of Jeff, Marty and Jeannie coming out of their office building are seen through a red handprint. When originally transmitted, and for all UK repeats in the 1970s, this sequence was replaced by a more explicit montage of shots from the pilot, which includes the final scenes at the graveside, but now with Marty explaining (a voice over by Kenneth Cope) that only Jeff can see him: "Jeff, it's all right Jeannie can't see or hear me, nobody can ... Only you Jeff, only you". This was also the version on US prints. It is unknown why the original handprint title sequence was replaced by the graveside titles for the first UK transmissions. The original ad break bumper film, available on Network DVD's 2008 release of the series, proves the current handprint title sequence is the original as it features exactly the same animation of the title graphics. Further evidence is the fact that a version of the handprint title sequence was made without the usual Annette Andre footage but with a clean shot of the office and a caption crediting Judith Arthy for the episode "The House on Haunted Hill".
The theme music of Randall and Hopkirk, like that of other ITC productions The Baron, Danger Man, The Saint, and Department S, were composed by Edwin Astley. The use of a brass band and orchestra with the prevalent use of flute, clarinet, violins, trumpets, and harpsichord on both the main title track and other soundtracks epitomised the music scores created for many action series in the 1960s. The heavy use of the harpsichord and high-pitched flutes and clarinets was intended to create a quirky atmosphere for the paranormal series, while a loud brass band was to help create all the tension needed in an action drama at the most intense periods in the series.
The series was released on seven Region 2 DVDs in 2000–2002, which were then issued as a box set by Carlton. The episodes are in the LWT broadcast order. Volume 2 includes the original UK transmission opening titles as an extra, and the US version on Volume 3. In 2002 all seven discs were released in a boxset by Carlton.
The series was released in Australian in a DVD box set 2005 by Umbrella Entertainment. It contains audio commentaries from Annette Andre, directors Roy Ward Baker and Cyril Frankel, guest stars George Sewell and Jane Merrow and production crew members malcolm Christopher and Ken Baker. It also includes two newly filmed interviews with Kenneth Cope and Annette Andre, almost 15 minutes of previously unseen production footage, extensive stills galleries, insert reprint of the original ITC promotional brochure, ITC publicity and scripts (as pdfs), all the alternate opening credits, Memorabilia gallery, cast and crew profiles, production notes and a bonus episode of the ITC series The Baron, starring Annette Andre.
The series was re-released in the UK in a further boxset in 2008 by Network, the episodes were remastered from the original negatives, and are in production order not broadcast order, this contained a similar though different set of extras to the Australian release, including a specially-commissioned documentary with contributions from Kenneth Cope, Annette Andre, Mike Pratt's son Guy and several writers and directors and 15 mins of mute production footage. Also four episodes had the graveside titles reinstated, a bonus episode of "The Man in Room 17" featuring Mike Pratt and the original ad break bumper and US titles and original music/photo galleries were also included, as was the 1946 film Angel On My Shoulder starring Paul Muni, and two extensive printed booklets of programme notes by UK television historian Andrew Pixley.
The first half of the series is also available on DVD in the North American market from A&E.
Main article: Randall & Hopkirk (Deceased)
In 2000–2001 the series was remade by Working Title Films for the BBC with a more elaborate storyline, starring Vic Reeves as Hopkirk (once again in a white suit) and Bob Mortimer as Randall, with Emilia Fox as Jeannie. Two series were made. The show was produced and occasionally by Charlie Higson, who also directed some episodes, and featured numerous writers including Gareth Roberts, Mark Gatiss, Paul Whitehouse and Jeremy Dyson. The premise of the show was the same, but the circumstances of Hopkirk's death were changed.
- Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased) at the Internet Movie Database
- British Film Institute Screen Online (60s series)