Written by Ralph Smart Directed by Cyril Frankel

ORIGINAL ITC SYNOPSIS

A private investigator finds himself with a ghost as a partner - the ghost of his own former partner who has been murdered. And a strange new relationship begins.

Jeff Randall and Marty Hopkirk are private investigators. They are not only partners but close friends - that is, until the day Marty Hopkirk is run down by a car and killed.

An accident? So it seems until the startled Jeff Randall is faced by Hopkirk, suddenly materialising to tell his former partner that the killing was deliberate murder, the outcome of a divorce case the firm was working on for a Mrs Fay Sorrensen. They had collected evidence against her husband, but she had met her death in a bath, apparently from heart failure.

In turn, Marty Hopkirk had been killed because Sorrensen guessed that Hopkirk suspected Fay Sorrensen had been murdered.

Hopkirk now wants to avenge not only his own death but bring Sorrensen to book for the murder of his wife. A girl named Happy Lee has also to be cleared because the police suspect her of having been the hit-and-run driver who killed Hopkirk.

The ghostly Hopkirk explains that Jeff Randall is the only person who can see him when he materialises. Even Hopkirk's wife, Jean, will be unable to do so. And another reason for Hopkirk's materialisation is that he is worried what will happen to his wife: he wants to ensure that Randall will take care of her - but not romantically!

Randall soon discovers the advantages of having a ghost as a partner. Hopkirk can get from one place to another instantaneously. He can also walk through walls, and does so when they are seeking a beatnik who witnessed Hopkirk's murder but has been bought off by Sorrensen's agents.

Sorrensen walks into a trap set for him when Randall deliberately allows himself to be the bait for a further murder attempt. But this time, there's a ghost at hand to prevent the murder and avenge his own death.

Unfortunately for Marty Hopkirk though, he hasn't been able to complete the case before dawn, and now he is earthbound for the next hundred years. Jeff Randall has a ghost as a permanent partner!

PRODUCTION & ARCHIVE

Production Code: RH/DCW/4001
Filming Dates:
May-July 1968
Production Completed:
October 1968
Recording Format: 35mm Colour Film
Archive Holding: 35mm Colour Film

UK REGIONAL PREMIERES

Anglia: Sun 20 Sep 1970, 3.00pm (B/W)
ATV: Fri 19 Sep 1969, 7.30pm (B/W)
Border: Fri 9 Jan 1970, 7.30pm (B/W)
Channel: Fri 19 Sep 1969, 7.30pm (B/W)
Grampian: Thu 19 Feb 1970, 7.00pm (B/W)
Granada: Fri 19 Sep 1969, 7.30pm (B/W)
HTV: Fri 19 Sep 1969, 7.30pm (B/W)
LWT: Sun 21 Sep 1969, 7.25pm (B/W)
Scottish:
Sat 8 January 1972, 11.10pm
Southern: Sun 5 Oct 1969, 7.25pm (B/W)
Tyne Tees: Sun 12 July 1970, 9.05pm (B/W)
Ulster: Fri 19 Sep 1969, 7.30pm (B/W)
Westward: Fri 19 Sep 1969, 7.30pm (B/W)
Yorkshire: Fri 19 Sep 1969, 7.30pm (B/W)
(B/W) = Transmitted in Black and White
(B/W*) = Transmitted in B/W due to ITV Colour Strike

CHARACTERS & CAST

Jeff Randall
Marty Hopkirk
Jean Hopkirk
John Sorrensen
Happy Lee
Night Porter (Sid)
Beatnik (Hendy)
Fay Sorrensen
Hotel Proprietor
Assassin
Detective
Doctor
Manservant (Minos)
Electrician
Mike Pratt
Kenneth Cope
Annette Andre
Frank Windsor
Dolores Mantez
Harry Locke
Ronald Lacey
Anne Sharp
Anthony Sagar
Harold Innocent
James Donnelly
Tom Chatto
Makki Marseilles
Dave Carter

UNCREDITED

Passer-by Harry Fielder
STAND-INS
Jeff Randall
Marty Hopkirk
Harry Fielder
Dougie Lockyer
ORIGINAL SOUNDTRACK

Selections from the incidental score for this episode have been issued on Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased): Original Soundtrack by Edwin Astley, Network, 2008.

DVD EXTRAS

Network DVD (United Kingdom):
Commentary by director Cyril Frankel and actors Kenneth Cope and Annette Andre,
Photo Gallery.
Umbrella Entertainment (Australia):

Photo Gallery.

PRODUCTION CREDITS

Writer Ralph Smart
Series Theme & Musical Director
Edwin Astley
Creator & Executive Story Consultant
Dennis Spooner
Creative Consultant
- Cyril Frankel
Producer
Monty Berman
Director
Cyril Frankel

Ronald Liles (Production Supervisor), Gil Taylor (Director of Photography), Charles Bishop (Supervising Art Director), Bob Cartwright (Art Director),
Philip Aizlewood (Post Production), Stephen Cross (Editor), Ernest Morris (Production Manager), Jack Lowin (2nd Unit Director),
Gerald Moss (2nd Unit Cameraman), Denis Porter & Len Shilton (Sound Recordists), Guy Ambler & Roy Lafbery (Sound Editors), Alan Willis (Music Editor),
John Owen (Casting), Clifford Robinson (Set Dresser), Bill Greene (Construction Manager), David Harcourt (Camera Operator), Ken Baker (Assistant Director),
Elizabeth Wilcox (Continuity), Peter Dunlop (Production Buyer), Elizabeth Romanoff (Make-Up Supervisor), Olive Mills (Hairdresser),
Laura Nightingale (Wardrobe Supervisor), A.J. Van Montagu (Scenic Artist), Frank Maher (Stunt Co-ordinator) and Chambers + Partners (Titles).

Made on Location and at Associated British Elstree Studios, London, England
An ITC Production

MY LATE LAMENTED FRIEND AND PARTNER REVIEW

A terrific opener to the series which is rich in location work (often featuring the principal cast) and gives the unitiated viewer a succinct but engaging introduction to the series main themes and protagonists. Jeff and Marty's relationship is established early on and is the lynchpin of the whole series, a close friendship that survives death. Marty's widow Jean's role is initially small, going from the young wife to the widow, but Annette Andre's contribution should not be undervalued. Her chemistry with her male co-leads is, in my opinion, far and away the best in an ITC adventure series. All three leads bring something distinctive to the show - Mike Pratt as the down-at-heel enquiry agent who combines a hand-to-mouth existence with a strong moral code (indeed, the former is often a consequence of the latter!), Kenneth Cope as the incomparable ghostly partner who brings the series much of its humour and universal appeal, and Annette Andre, the perfect foil for them both. Ralph Smart's script rocks along at a great pace but still allows the audience to familiarise themselves with the characters and the situation. Director Cyril Frankel translates the script to the screen with his trademark finesse and visual flair. Among the supporting cast, Frank Windsor, Dolores Mantez and Ronald Lacey all deliver memorable performances and Harold Innocent does a fine job with his role as an un-named 'assassin'. A great start for the series, which remains one of the very best Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased) episodes made.

MY LATE LAMENTED FRIEND AND PARTNER DECLASSIFIED

  • Teaser... Jeff pays a call on Fay Sorrensen, who has engaged his services to track her unfaithful husband John. He has plenty of evidence, photographs of Sorrensen out on the town in the company of other women, and Mrs Sorrensen decides she has grounds to file for divorce. She is adamant that her husband will be unable to retain any interests in the family concern, a company called Steel Presses. Later, when Randall has gone and her husband has returned, Fay delivers an ultimatum. Sorrensen is unrepentant and insists that he will not allow her to beat him. He makes a telephone call to an underworld organisation which can arrange for people to be killed in apparent accidents or by seemingly natural causes. He is to bring an umbrella to a meeting point and rest his hat upon it to identify himself. Before going out to the rendezvous, Sorrensen pops in to say goodbye to his wife. The camera pans down and we see his hat, which rests upon the hilt of his umbrella handle.


  • Production Brief... The success of My Late Lamented Friend and Partner is as much down to scriptwriter Ralph Smart as it is to series creator Dennis Spooner, perhaps more so. Spooner's original outline proposal is certainly quite some distance from what was ultimately realised on film. The proposal document describes Steven 'Steve' Randall as being in his late-twenties, ambitious, athletic and a magnet for the ladies, whereas in the series, Jeff is ten years older, is down on his luck and could only be described as ambitious in terms of hoping something might turn up to pay his next meal bill. Meanwhile, Martin 'Marty' Hopkirk is accident prone rather than the diligent, realist worrier we are introduced to in the opening scenes of My Late Lamented Friend and Partner and there is no sign of Jean, his wife and soon-to-be widow. Smart and Spooner worked in tandem to transform what was perhaps standard ITC fare of the time into a series that remains today one of the best regarded of those fondly remembered British adventure series of yesterday. Ralph Smart was also vital to the series being commissioned by ITC mogul Lew Grade in the first place. Dennis Spooner, interviewed by Andrew Smaje in Time Screen magazine in 1986, recalled that "Ralph was a sort of father figure as far as ATV (went)... At that time, it was touch and go as Lew Grade was never sure about Randall and Hopkirk, but Ralph Smart saw it and thought it was terrific. He said, 'I wanna write the pilot!' So I was delighted he wrote the pilot because that convinced Lew that we should in fact make the series." Such was the Danger Man creator's track record and reputation within ITC that Grade's initial misgivings were quickly overcome.

  • Director Cyril Frankel, who also served as Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased)'s Creative Consultant, simultaneously held the same role on Department S and when joining the Randall and Hopkirk crew to direct My Late Lamented Friend and Partner, he had just finished directing chores on the Department S episode, The Man in the Elegant Room. He commented during the commentary which he, along with Kenneth Cope and Annette Andre provided for the Network DVD edition of this episode that "this episode was the way I saw the fundamental part of the series. (Kenneth Cope) however, introduced more comedy. I remember that when I came back for an episode, Kenneth said to me that "we've changed it a bit from your way." Cope went on to say that "Both Michael and I realised it could really go somewhere and we both tried so hard to make it work."

  • Two action scene impacts - Marty being hit and knocked down by Sorrensen's hired killers on Lauderdale Road and the climactic car crash on Fore Street at the end of the episode - were not in fact impacts at all. There is no footage in the episode of Kenneth Cope or a stunt double actually being hit by the car and in slow motion it is possible to see the stuntman preparing to hit the deck after the car has passed (see screengrab, right). The impression of a collision is achieved entirely through editing, sound effects and music. The crash involving the Sorrensen and the two assassins in their Ford Cortina at the episode's conclusion was again achieved in editing and no actual crash was filmed. We see the vehicle head towards the crash position and then cut away to a shot of Marty looking on. As we hear the sound effect of the accident, Marty winces and can barely look. The action then cuts back to the roadside and we see the Cortina with its front wheels up on the kerb, its bumper lightly touching against a lamppost, with its bonnet up and engine steaming. The villains slowly emerge dazed from the car and the police arrive to mop up. All achieved in editing and the vehicle could go back to the supplier undamaged!

  • Three standing sets were constructed for this episodes which would be used throughout the remainder of the series: the Randall and Hopkirk office and Jeff and Jeannie's respective flats. Other sets were built, some specially for the episode and others redressed from stock and these would appear many times throughout the run of Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased), though thanks to clever redressing, they are often hard to spot!

  • As is now practically Randall and Hopkirk legend, Kenneth Cope's wig was incorrectly applied in My Late Lamented Friend and Partner and for the next two episodes filmed, But What A Sweet Little Room and For the Girl Who Has Everything. Kenneth Cope recalled, when interviewed by Annette Hill for Time Screen magazine, that "I had it on back-to-front... because we had this Canadian hairdresser and she was rubbish! It was alright, but I looked like the middle one of The Three Stooges." Marty's parting in these episodes is on the left-hand side rather than the intended right-hand parting which he sports from A Sentimental Journey onwards.

  • While Marty's clothing is all white, the soles of his shoes are clearly black.

  • When Marty appears to walk through the hotel walls while looking for the beatnik Hendy, an age-old technique was employed to achieve the effect known as 'Pepper's Ghost'. The trick has long been used on the stage, in the cinema and even in haunted house rides at fairgrounds and is named after John Henry Pepper, who first demonstrated the technique in the 1860s. It achieves its illusory effect by use of a large plate glass angled in front of the camera, with the 'ghost' subject harshly lit at 90 degrees to the glass (and to the side of the camera). The image (in this instance, of Kenneth Cope running back and forth) was then reflected on to the glass and was filmed as a live, combined image. This technique allowed the performers to exchange dialogue in a natural fashion, but set up times were very long and Kenneth Cope later commented that it was very difficult for him, being a part of the action but in reality completely removed from it: "It got very lonely doing that behind the camera... playing shots with Michael with my back to him." In the end, a compromise was decided upon which would involve the the actors 'freezing', Cope moving into or out of shot as required and then Cope and his fellow performers starting up again on a given cue. The final effect would be achieved by editing out the frames between freezing and continuing. As viewers will note, some actors were superb at this discipline - Mike Pratt for starters - while others, normally visiting artistes, were less well versed in the technique and so the effect is rarely seamless. This is how the vast majority of Marty's appearances and disappearances were achieved in the series and the 'Pepper's Ghost' process was employed sparingly from this point onwards.

  • Post production work on this episode was completed in early October 1968 and was noted on ITC documentation as the episode that "must be transmitted first". It would, however, not receive its first UK broadcast until nearly twelve months later, when it was transmitted by the ATV, Channel, Granada, HTV, Westward, Ulster and Yorkshire ITV regions on Friday 19th September 1969.


  • Appearing This Week... One of Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased)'s unsung heroes is the man who was for a year the regular double for Mike Pratt in Second Unit sequences, Harry Fielder (or 'Aitch' as he is better known). It should be pointed out that Aitch is a something of a legendary figure in fandom, having appeared in just about every British television series and film ever made, or so it seems. Among hundreds of roles, he has chalked up, parts in many ITC series, plus Doctor Who, Blake's 7, Secret Army and even Star Wars. Harry also makes an uncredited appearance in My Late Lamented Friend and Partner as the male passer-by who goes to the scene in the aftermath of the hit and run incident in which Marty Hopkirk is killed (see image, right). The voice we hear is, however, dubbed by another actor. Most of the rest of the time in the series, you only see his face by accident, as generally he would be seen from behind, to mask the fact that he was not Mike Pratt. According to Kenneth Cope, this reputedly caused the studio to require Aitch to diet, so that he would look more like the slim actor whom he was doubling. Such dedication! You can read more about Aitch and his experiences working on Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased) and many other films and series at his website: www.harryfielder.co.uk. His autobiography, Extra, Extra, Read All About It, is recommended by Randall and Hopkirk (Declassified) and is available from his website.


  • On Location... This episode positively explodes with lush location work, taking in a large number of central and west London locales. The second unit Eaton Place location work in Belgravia, London SW1, was filmed on Friday 19th July 1968 and this footage would form the first scenes of the episode - and therefore would be the first footage to be seen by audiences.

  • The Eaton Place location would go on to be more famous as the setting for the classic LWT drama series Upstairs Downstairs, with 'the house' being one of the properties on the other side of the road, number 65 (re-numbered 165 in the series).

  • Particularly notable is the setting for the scenes in which Sorrensen and his hired killers hunt Jeff down towards the end of the episode, as whereas we are often in the position of discussing locations used that have since been demolished, these locations, in the main, were actually under construction while the sequences were being filmed, making the Then and Now comparisons at this site all the more interesting. More details in Locations: My Late Lamented Friend and Partner.


  • Trivia... We learn that at their respective homes, Jeff lives in flat number 41 and Jeannie in flat number 8 - though not in the same buildings, of course!

  • After interrogating the beatnik Hendy, Jeff and Marty follow a lead to the driver of the car that hit Marty. They proceed to 2B Tower House on the Fulham Road and this is the only setting in the episode that is not introduced with a second unit or stock establishing shot. Although Fulham Road is a genuine road name, there is not a 'Tower House' there in reality.

  • The regular Randall and Hopkirk players had a unique way of welcoming guest artistes, as Kenneth Cope recalled on the commentary for the Network DVD edition of My Late Lamented Friend and Partner: "It's very difficult coming into a show just to do a day's work on a show that's already established. It's so tricky and you remember anyone who is ever kind to you. Mike, (Annette) and I used to give (each of them) a paper cup of champagne - just one - to make the visiting people happy and more relaxed." This pleasant atmosphere was not exactly replicated across the way in the other series being made at Elstree in tandem with Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased) - Department S. Annette Andre commented that "Joel Fabiani (who played Stewart Sullivan in Department S) used to come over to us because he hated the set over there so much." Kenneth Cope went on to explain why perhaps their series was so great to work on: "We were OK because we had a live guy, a dead guy and a woman. There was no competition anywhere. There was nobody vying for anything."

  • This episode, due to its being scheduled prior to the start of the staggered ITV colour switchover, was transmitted in black and white in all regions bar one, despite it being filmed in colour. The exception to the rule was Scottish Television, and this was due to their decision not to take the series until much later than all the other ITV regions. Scottish transmissions commenced with My Late Lamented Friend and Partner on Saturday 8th January 1972 and they are unique among the ITV regions in that they did not show a single episode of Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased) in black and white on first run.


  • Only You, Jeff? Being the first episode, it is no great surprise that only Jeff Randall can see Marty in his spectral form. We also learn that Marty's voice canno be recorded, at least via a tapped telephone, despite Jeff being able to hear it.


  • Ghosts and Ghoulies... Marty Hopkirk is the solitary spectral presence in this episode, returning as a ghost after being killed in a hit and run incident.


  • Poetry Corner: The ghostly rhyme that leaves Marty cursed to walk the Earth for one hundred years, in full...

Afore the sun shall rise anew,

Each ghost to his grave must go.

Cursed be the ghost who dares to stay

And face the awful light of day.

He shall not to the grave return

Until a hundred years be gone.


  • The Vehicles... Appearing in this episode were the following wonders of transport...

1968 Vauxhall Victor FD 2000
Registration RXD 996F
Driven by Jeff Randall
Also appeared in:
Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased) -
used extensively throughout the series
Department S - 'The Last Train to Redbridge'

1964 Austin 7/Mini
Registration BAP 245B
Driven by Marty Hopkirk

Also appeared in:
Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased) -
'You Can Always Find A Fall Guy', 'All Work and No Pay', 'Never Trust a Ghost' and 'Somebody Just Walked Over My Grave'
Department S -
'The Man from X'
The Persuaders!
-
'Greensleeves'

1965 Rolls Royce Silver Cloud III
Registration CDK 978C
Driven by John Sorrensen's chauffeur

Also appeared in:
The Avengers - 'You'll Catch Your Death'
1964 Thames 10CWT 400E
Registration FGN 365C
Driven by 'Electrician'
 
1965 Humber Super Snipe Series V
Registration EHP 416C
Driven by 'Electrician'
Also appeared in:
Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased) -
'A Disturbing Case'
1968 Ford Cortina 1600E MkII
Registration OYR 877F
Driven by 'Assassin'
 
1958 Austin FX4
Registration YYW 297
Driven by Taxi Driver
 
1968 Ford Zephyr Deluxe MkIV
Registration PXD 976F
Driven by Police Officer
Also appeared in:
Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased) -
'A Sentimental Journey', 'You Can Always Find A Fall Guy', 'Who Killed Cock Robin?', 'The Trouble with Women', 'Whoever Heard of a Ghost Dying?', 'Never Trust A Ghost', 'A Disturbing Case', 'Somebody Just Walked Over My Grave' 
Department S
- '
The Bones of Byrom Blain' and other episodes

 


  • Seen It All Before? In this episode, Annette Andre, as Jean Hopkirk, wears an outfit previously worn by Alexandra Bastedo in the 1967 ITC series, The Champions.


  • Cock Ups... When Jeff Randall drives down Eaton Mews North towards Happy Lee's flat, he parks the Vauxhall in the middle of the road alongside a green Volkswagen Beetle. The shot then cuts to a view of Jeff's car in front of Happy's flat and not only is the Vauxhall parked tight to the side of the road, but the green Beetle is ahead of it. In the first shot, the car is driven past Happy's flat and for the second it has been reversed! 

  • In the same sequence, Jeff approaches the door to Happy's flat. The exterior of the door is a dark blue on location, but a white when the action cuts to the studio.

  • Actress Dolores Mantez, who portrayed Happy Lee in this episode, was mistakenly credited as Dolorez Mantez in the end credit sequence and in the ITC synopsis.


  • And Finally... The filming location for Marty's funeral was actually an area of the Elstree Studios backlot and the cemetery set was re-used swiftly afterwards in the Department S episode, The Double Death of Charlie Crippen. Marty's grave was, however, not seen.

Plotline: Scoton Productions / ITC UK Transmissions by Simon Coward and Alan Hayes
Review by Alan Hayes Declassified by Alan Hayes with thanks to Vince Cox and Andrew Pixley

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