Written by Gerald Kelsey • Directed by Jeremy Summers

ORIGINAL ITC SYNOPSIS

Only a ghost would notice the smile behind the veil of a funeral mourner - and when Hopkirk does so, it reveals a strange murder mystery.

When ghost detective Marty Hopkirk visits his grave when his widow Jean is placing flowers on it, he stays behind to watch the funeral of a girl racing motorist, Caroline Seaton. Her brother Donald Seaton and his wife Cynthia are among the mourners, and his suspicions are aroused when he realises that Cynthia is smiling behind her veil.

Was it really an accident that Caroline had died in - or murder? Marty tries to persuade Jeff Randall to investigate, but has to trick him into visiting Donald Seaton's country home. The surprised Randall, innocently revealing that he is a private detective, is immediately overpowered, knocked unconscious and thrown into a river.

Marty succeeds in effecting his rescue by attracting the attention of a fisherman, who pulls the drowning Jeff to safety, and then claims that he is Donald Seaton.

The second Donald tells him that the other man has stolen his identity, explaining that at the age of 18 he had had a row with his father - a youthful escapade had resulted in his going to prison - and that he had been living in Australia until returning recently for a death-bed reunion. But his father had died before this could take place. Now the impostor is claiming the estate to be his completely since the death of his sister Caroline.

But which man is the impostor? The first Seaton's housekeeper, Mrs Evans, is convinced that her employer is a fake and finds a newspaper cutting which throws another puzzle into the mystery. Cynthia is undoubtedly the genuine Mrs Seaton.

Her discovery is a threat to Mrs Evans' life as well, and when further efforts are made to kill Jeff Randall, saved on one occasion by the murder of the wrong man, it's clear that whether genuine or not, the man claiming to be Seaton, and Cynthia, are ruthless killers.

When Cynthia and the man who has returned from Australia come face to face, the truth is revealed - with even more danger for Jeff, who finds himself at the bottom of a wishing well, with Marty Hopkirk as the only person who knows of his plight. And how can a ghost get a man out of a well?

PRODUCTION & ARCHIVE
Production Code: RH/DCW/4007
Filming Dates:
August-September 1968
Production Completed:
Early March 1969
Recording Format: 35mm Colour Film
Archive Holding: 35mm Colour Film

UK REGIONAL PREMIERES

Anglia: Sun 13 Dec 1970, 3.00pm (B/W*)
ATV: Fri 9 Jan 1970, 7.30pm
Border: Unconfirmed
Channel: Sun 8 Mar 1970, 9.10pm (B/W)
Grampian: Wed 3 Jun 1970, 8.00pm (B/W)
Granada: Sat 1 Mar 1970, 11.25pm
HTV: Sat 5 Sep 1970, 5.50pm
LWT: Fri 13 Mar 1970, 7.30pm
Scottish:
Sun 14 May 1972, 11.35pm
Southern: Wed 21 Jan 1970, 8.00pm
Tyne Tees: Unconfirmed
Ulster: Fri 21 Aug 1970, 11.00pm (B/W)
Westward: Sun 8 Mar 1970, 9.10pm (B/W)
Yorkshire: Tue 9 Jun 1970, 7.30pm
(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
Donald Seaton
Cynthia Seaton
Donald Seaton
Mrs Evans
Hooper
Grant
Brooks
Dyson
Male Hiker
Female Hiker
Police Constable
Policeman
Mike Pratt
Kenneth Cope
Annette Andre
Alex Scott
Hilary Tindall
Gary Watson
Freda Jackson
Peter Jesson
Robin Hawdon
George Howe
John Bott
Michael Radford
Clare Jenkins
David Forbes
Peter Lawrence
STAND-INS
Jeff Randall
Marty Hopkirk
Harry Fielder
Dougie Lockyer
STUNT DOUBLES
Jeff Randall Rocky Taylor
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):
Photo Gallery.
Umbrella Entertainment (Australia):

Photo Gallery.

PRODUCTION CREDITS

Writer – Gerald Kelsey
Series Theme & Musical Director –
Edwin Astley
Creator & Executive Story Consultant –
Dennis Spooner
Creative Consultant
- Cyril Frankel
Producer –
Monty Berman
Director –
Jeremy Summers

Ronald Liles (Production Supervisor), Gerald Moss (Director of Photography), Charles Bishop (Art Director), Philip Aizlewood (Post Production),
Harry Ledger (Editor), Jack Morrison (Production Manager), Jack Lowin (2nd Unit Director), Brian Elvin (2nd Unit Cameraman),
Denis Porter & Bill Rowe (Sound Recordists), Russ Hill (Sound Editor), Deveril Goodman (Music Editor), John Owen (Casting), Sue Long (Set Dresser),
Bill Greene (Construction Manager), Val Stewart (Camera Operator), Michael Meighan (Assistant Director), Elizabeth Wilcox (Continuity),
Peter Dunlop (Production Buyer), Gerry Fletcher (Make-Up Supervisor), Jeannette Freeman (Hairdresser), Laura Nightingale (Wardrobe Supervisor),
A.J. Van Montagu (Scenic Artist), Frank Maher (Stunt Co-ordinator), Cinesound (Sound Effects Suppliers) and Chambers + Partners (Titles).

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

THE SMILE BEHIND THE VEIL • REVIEW

One of only two scripts for the series by Gerald Kelsey, The Smile Behind the Veil is an enjoyable, if workmanlike, effort. The "which one's the real one" plot is staple of ITC series and they hardly invented the idea, but Kelsey and director Jeremy Summers (another newcomer to the series) deliver it well, without losing the interest of the viewer. The "let's punish Jeff" agenda seems to really find its feet in this episode and he manages to get beaten up, knocked unconscious, chucked in a river and then later a wishing well and is nearly blown up by a homemade bomb, all in the space of a day or two. A less well-adjusted private investigator might think someone had it in for him... As always, Mike Pratt is the scene stealer, but there's top support all the way down the cast in this one, from the regulars (despite Annette Andre desperately needing more screen time), and from the likes of the excellent Alex Scott, Hilary Tindall, Gary Watson and Freda Jackson (fairly fresh from her sublimely tough appearance in the first episode of Adam Adamant Lives!). Even the 'goons', Peter Jesson and Robin Hawdon, are excellent value. Location work is distinctive and the sites well chosen, with Dyrham Park Country Club standing out as a classic Randall and Hopkirk locale. A good episode held back a little by its pedestrian plot, but containing some welcome humour to go alongside the violence which is served very cold.

THE SMILE BEHIND THE VEIL • DECLASSIFIED

  • Teaser... Jean Hopkirk is visiting her husband Marty's grave to leave some fresh flowers for him. As she performs this devoted task, the ghost of Marty, who she cannot see, appears and watches over her from an adjacent tomb. Once she is satisfied with the arrangement of the blooms, Jean takes a last look at the grave and makes to leave the cemetery, but stops and reflects as a funeral cortθge passes, heading for a neighbouring plot. As the coffin reaches the graveside, Jean leaves. With little else to do, Marty decides to remain and pay his respects to the newly departed. As the funeral ceremony at the graveside progresses, he notices that a female relation of the deceased can barely contain her happiness, evidenced by a broad smile she fails to hide behind her mourning veil. Her husband warns her that she should hold off smiling until she hears the reading of the Will...


  • Production Brief... The Smile Behind the Veil saw another name added to the Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased) writing credits, that of Gerald Kelsey, who would go on to contribute one further script to the series, The Ghost Talks. Kelsey was an experienced scriptwriter who had had his big break in television in the early days of Independent Television when the series Steve Hunter, Trouble Merchant that he had co-created with writing partner Dick Sharples was produced by Associated TeleVision (ATV). The series lasted two short seasons transmitted in late 1955 and early 1956, did not set the world on fire, but Kelsey gradually found scriptwriting commissions becoming more regular by the early 1960s. His association with ITC, which would last for twelve years, can be dated back to 1961 and Ghost Squad, for which he wrote three episodes, all co-written  with Sharples, as were his three episodes of The Saint in 1962. Shortly afterwards, Kelsey went solo and contributed scripts to ITC series The Prisoner and The Champions, before joining the writing teams responsible for the concurrently produced series Department S and Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased). After writing a single entry for Jason King, Gerald Kelsey ended his time with ITC by writing two episodes for the 1973 series The Adventurer starring Gene Barry. Outside of ITC, Kelsey's credits include Sergeant Cork, The Mind of Mr J.G. Reeder, Dixon of Dock Green and The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes. In 1990, he wrote an instructional guide entitled Writing for Television which was issued by A & C Black Publishers Ltd. It was well-received and went to three editions, the most recent of which was published in 1999. Gerald Kelsey died in March 2006.

  • The episode also marked the first work for the series by director Jeremy Summers, who would be called on to direct a total of seven episodes for Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased). Born in 1931 in St Albans, a cathedral city in Hertfordshire (and one visited by this episode, surely no coincidence), Summers grew up in a family with a theatrical tradition and in entering the film business, he was in fact following the footsteps of his father Walter Summers (1896-1973), who had been a successful film director during the silent and early sound eras. Jeremy Summers' own directing career began in 1960, when he assumed the role on the film Depth Charge, for which he also contributed the script. Although he continued in cinema, his most renowned work being on comedian Tony Hancock's first post-Galton and Simpson project, The Punch and Judy Man, Summers quickly found his niche in television, directing episodes of Desert Hijack, Interpol Calling and International Detective in 1961, before entering into a contract with ITC which would see him behind the camera for episodes of Man of the World, Court Martial, Gideon's Way, Danger Man, The Saint, The Baron and Man in a Suitcase before he settled down to direct his Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased) episodes. Subsequently, he continued his association with ITC by directing an episode of UFO, nine of Jason King, a remarkable seventeen of The Protectors and three episodes of Return of the Saint in 1978. Summers also directed the Gerry and the Pacemakers musical film, Ferry Across the Mersey (1965), and films and television as varied as The Vengeance of Fu Manchu, Riptide, The Boy Dominic, Shoestring, Tenko and Brookside. He retired in 1999.

  • With the prodigal Donald Seaton having returned from many years in Australia, casting director John Owen had to consider the question of employing actors who could provide convincing accents. The role of the fake Donald Seaton was given to Alex Scott, an actor of Australian-British descent born in the Australian state of Victoria in 1929. Scott had become a familiar face on British television from 1955 and was regularly used by ITC in their productions. The genuine Donald Seaton was played by Shropshire-born British actor Gary Watson. Watson's mimicked Australian accent is softer than the genuine Australian accent delivered by Scott and in many ways this is appropriate if we consider Scott's Donald Seaton to be a genuine Australian and Watson's to be an Englishman whose natural accent would not have been totally lost.

  • While filming at the Elstree backlot which doubled as the cemetery containing Marty's grave, the series' three regular stars took a break aboard a hearse to share in a bottle of champagne, as this quite marvellous photograph reveals!

  • This episode marks the second time that we see Marty's grave and the cemetery 'location' on the Elstree Studios backlot. The grave is positioned similarly to how it appeared in its first appearance in My Late Lamented Friend and Partner, but in subsequent episodes, it is seen to have moved somewhat to an entirely different graveyard (New Southgate Cemetery in the episodes Whoever Heard of a Ghost Dying? and Somebody Just Walked Over My Grave). It would seem it's not just Marty's spirit that is restless...

  • Exact filming dates for this episode are unknown, but in his DVD liner notes, Andrew Pixley states the filming as taking place around August to September 1968.

  • Post production work on this episode was completed in early March 1969. It would, however, not receive its first UK broadcast until it aired in the ATV region on Friday 9th January 1970, some ten months later.


  • Appearing This Week... The actress Hilary Tindall, seen here as Cynthia Seaton, was born in Manchester in 1938 and broke into showbusiness in her early twenties. She appeared for ITC in The Baron, The Champions and of course, Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased) and went on to even greater mainstream success by starring in The Brothers, the highly popular BBC television drama series centred around a road haulage firm. Appearing as one of the major characters, Anne Hammond, Hilary Tindall stayed with the series for the first four runs and returned for three further episodes in the seventh series (coincidentally, Mike Pratt featured in ten episodes of Series 6). She also appeared in the excellent ATV hospital soap opera Emergency Ward 10, The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin, Tales of the Unexpected and the Channel 4 pilot episode Max Headroom: 20 Minutes into the Future. Her career was tragically cut short by bowel cancer, a disease she fought for six years before succumbing to it at just 54 in 1992.


  • On Location... Centre-piece location in this episode was the striking Dyrham Park Country Club, a beautiful Palladian mansion set amid two hundred acres of Hertfordshire countryside. Also visited were the bridge over Tyke's Water Lake (most famously employed in the title sequence of the Tara King series of The Avengers), Well End, Shenley, the city of St Albans and other locations as far afield as the water tank on the backlot behind Elstree Studios in Borehamwood! More details in Locations: The Smile Behind the Veil.


  • Trivia... Equalled by that of The Ghost Who Saved the Bank at Monte Carlo, the pre-titles sequence at the cemetery weighs in as the shortest teaser in the whole series, lasting just one minute and thirty-seven seconds.

  • This is another case where Jeff stands to earn no money, having been tricked into investigating the death of Caroline Seaton by Marty, who suspects foul play.

  • The 2000 remake of Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased) paid tribute to its illustrious predecessor in the episode A Blast from the Past by using a clip from this episode of Mike Pratt in ghostly attire.


  • Only You, Jeff? As has now been well established, Marty is able to been seen by or at least irritate members of the canine family, and here succeeds in riling the guard dogs (not seen on screen) in the grounds of the Seaton mansion.

  • In an unexpected turnaround, Marty is able to see the ghost of Jeff when his friend is drowning. The spectre fades away as Donald Seaton, fishing at the shore, manages to rescue and revive him. It is implied, although not implicitly stated, that Jeff survives because Marty wills Jeff's spirit back into his body.


  • Ghosts and Ghoulies... Not just our Marty, also our Jeff!


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

1968 Vauxhall Victor FD 2000
Registration RXD 996F
Driven by Jeff Randall and Grant
Also appeared in:
Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased) -
used extensively throughout the series
Department S - 'The Last Train to Redbridge'
BMC Vanden Plas Princess 3 Litre
Registration 937 DLO
Driven by Grant and Hooper
Also appeared in:
Department S - 'The Ghost of Mary Burnham'
1961 Hillman Minx Series IIIb
Registration YXT 750
Driven by Brooks
 
1967 Lotus Elan Plus2 (Type 50)
Registration LPW 120E
Driven by Cynthia Seaton
Also appeared in:
Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased) -
'All Work and No Pay'
Department S - 'The Last Train to Redbridge'

 


  • Seen It All Before? The cemetery location built on the Elstree backlot had previously appeared in the opening episode of the series, My Late Lamented Friend and Partner.

  • The lounge and hallway sets seen previously were drafted into service once more as elements of the Seaton mansion at Stonehurst.


  • Cock Ups... In the teaser during the cemetery scene on the Elstree backot, one of the gravestones in the background can be seen blowing about in the wind.

  • There are a couple of instances of Marty being just a little too corporeal for his own good in The Smile Behind the Veil. The first example of this is in the pre-title sequence, where at the funeral the wind blows Cynthia's veil into Marty's face but it does not pass through it. Clearly, since this is shown in big close up, it has to be considered a directorial choice, but it does rather make a nonsence of Marty's supposedly intangibility. The other instance takes place at circa 18 minutes into the episode, at which point Marty disturbs the branches of a tree while moving down the river bank (in reality, this setting is at the edge of the water tank on the Elstree Studios backlot).

  • In the scene on the bridge, there are a couple of oddities. The first is where Rocky Taylor (doubling for Mike Pratt as Jeff Randall) is pulled from the villains' car and thrown from the bridge into the waters below. Peter Jesson as Hooper seems to be offering the stuntman some reassurance by rubbing the man's backside gently before tipping him over. Maybe they were just fond of each other?

  • The second bridge-based oddity is that the camera crew appear to be reflected in the opening driver's door of the villains' Vanden Plas Princess.

  • Finally, a location to studio continuity mismatch. When Jeff and the real Donald Seaton are taken to Dyson's farm to be locked up, they enter the farm building and once the shot moves inside from location studio, the green painted door seen on location becomes a plain wooden slatted door in the studio and a wall not seen on location can clearly be seen outside it!


  • And Finally... Not only is Jeff unpaid as a result of this case, but he is also beaten up, twice knocked unconscious, thrown from a bridge into a river, dropped down a wishing well and nearly blown up in his office. However, we learn in this episode that aside from his remarkable fortitude in the face of adversity, Jeff is also perfectly comfortable defusing home made bombs!  

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

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