Marty Hopkirk

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Kenneth Cope as Marty Hopkirk

Martin "Marty" Hopkirk is a fictional character played by English actor Kenneth Cope in the television series Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased) from 1969 to early 1970. In the 2000-2001 remake, he was played by actor and comedian Vic Reeves.

Original Series[edit]

In the original series, Hopkirk was murdered, run down by a speeding car. Hopkirk dies instantly, but 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. After 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 always dressed in a white suit to mimic the attire 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 (leaning against walls excepted) he can manipulate objects such as vases and furniture which prove crucial in many cases in putting attackers of Jeff at bay. In one case ("Just for the Record") Marty saves the trapped Jeff from a burning warehouse by using his concentration to shatter the fire alarm glass. Marty can also generate remarkably powerful wind squalls by simply blowing.

However, Marty can also be very jealous, and often jumps to conclusions. In the episodes "Never Trust a Ghost" and "Murder Ain't What it Used to Be", he becomes enraged when it appears that his widow Jeannie has been unfaithful. While Marty possesses certain extra sensory abilities, his capability to understand situations where he is not present are as limited as a humans. In the episode "The House on Haunted Hill" Marty appears terrified of the ghostly noises in the attic of a deserted house, more so than even Jeff, and he doesn't appear to have any sense of other paranormal phenomenon when he can not physically see them. He also shows a subservience to the 1920s American gangster ghost of Bugsy in the eighth episode "Murder Ain't What it Used to Be".

Remake[edit]

In the remake the situation is similar; his murderer tries to run him down with his vehicle, this time a jeep. On this occasion however the scenario is more dramatic: the denouement has Marty toppling over a cliff with the vehicle.

As before, Marty is able to generate gale forces of winds by blowing, shatter glass with sufficient concentration- although this power was primarily triggered by Marty's jealousy of Jeff's new relationship with Jeanie-, topple and levitate small objects, make lights flicker, mimic voices, and enter computer systems. He also demonstrated the ability to possess people and animals, but strong-willed individuals such as Jeff could resist his possession, and it left them fatigued and often unconscious afterwards. His powers grow increasingly limited the further he goes from Jeff. The length of time he is cursed to walk the earth is also changed from a century as in the original series to when Jeff dies.

In contrast to the old series, which had Jeff as the womaniser, here Marty is the flirtatious one, with Jeff once commenting that he would have thought Marty's obsession with sex would have ended due to his lack of a body (Much like Al Calavicci in Quantum Leap, who spent much of his time watching the attractive women encountered during the Leaps despite their inability to see him). Another Quantum Leap analogy is drawn when it is mentioned that Marty can be seen not only by Jeff and various mediums, but also by animals, the insane, and babies.