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Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased) (ITV 1969-1970, Mike Pratt, Kenneth Cope)

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Quirky fantasy crime drama series Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased) was about a private detective partnership that is still kept going even after one of the partners dies – when he comes back as a ghost. The American title My Partner the Ghost says it all really.

Marty Hopkirk is killed in a hit and run accident whilst on a case, given 24 hours to try and solve it he fails to return to his grave in rtime and is condemned to life as a ghost. His partner Jeff Randall is the only one who can see him.

Marty dressed in a white suit and was able to pass through solid matter and make objects move and so on. Marty’s wife Jeannie played by Australian actress Annette Andre helped out Jeff in the office. The hardest part of all for Marty was that she couldn’t see him and he had to watch her grieving and see other men take an interest in her.

Randall and Hopkirk

Annette Andre as Jeannie Hopkirk flanked by Kenneth Cope (left) and Mike Pratt as the titular stars.

The plots tended to be either straight ahead comedy or out and out crime based. Similar in style and content to most of the other ITC shows of the time such as Department S or The Champions and glossily shot on film R&H made much use of such stock footage as the infamous White Jaguar flying over a cliff which cropped up in almost every ITC show.

Kenneth Cope as Marty wore a Beatle style wig and had the use of only a couple of the white suits, Cope claimed in an interview that the production staff were terrified he would get them dirty and slow down filming. This was another ITC series that suffered at the time from a disjointed airing schedule taking over a year for all 26 episodes to be shown across the various ITV regions.

2000-2001 saw a reasonably good revival on BBC-1 with comedians Vic Reeves as Marty and Bob Mortimer as Jeff.

production details
UK / ITV – ITC – Scoton – ATV / 26×60 minute episodes / 19 September 1969 – 19 December 1970

Creator: Dennis Spooner / Titles: Chambers+Partners / Music: Edwin Astley / Producer: Monty Berman

cast
MIKE PRATT as Jeff Randall
KENNETH COPE as Marty Hopkirk
ANNETTE ANDRE as Jeannie Hopkirk

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Ape And Essence (The Wednesday Play BBC-1 1966, Alec McCowen)

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In Scifi drama Ape and Essence, based on the novel by Aldous Huxley, a group of New Zealand scientists conduct a survey on a Britain ravaged by atomic war 80 years previously.

Series: The Wednesday Play Season 2 Episode 29

cast
Alec McCowen as Alfred Poole
Robert Eddison as Arch Vicar
Derek Sydney as Chief
Jenny Lee as Flossie
Yvonne Antrobus as Young Girl
Sydney Bromley as Craigie
Martin Carroll as Director of Food
Hazel Douglas as Mies Hook
John Falconer as Patriarch
Petra Markham as Loola
Ken Parry as Science Praet
Amanda Reiss as Polly
Jonathan Scott as Int. Priest
Fiona Fraser as Part of Crowd
Ann Mitchell as Shaven-Head
Jacki Salt as Mulatto Girl
Carol Blake as Shaven-Head
Gordon Craig as Part of Crowd
Robert Cude as First Man

crew details
Writer: John Finch
Book: Aldous Huxley
Music: BBC Radiophonic Workshop
Producer: Peter Luke
Director: David Benedictus.

production details
Country: UK
Network and Production Companies: BBC One
Duration: 1×75 minute episode
Aired From: 18 May 1966

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Plane Makers, The (ITV 1963-1965, Patrick Wymark, Barbara Murray)

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Plane Makers Patrick Wymark

Drama series The Plane Makers took us behind the scenes in the boardroom and shop floor of the Scott Furlong Aircraft Factory. After two seasons the lead character John Wilder took a place on the board of a merchant bank and the series was then renamed The Power Game.

cast
Patrick Wymark as John Wilder
Jack Watling as Don Henderson
Barbara Murray as Pamela Wilder (Seasons 1-2)
Ann Firbank as Pamela Wilder (Season 3)
Reginald Marsh as Arthur Sugden
Alan Dobie as David Corbett

crew details
Creator: Wilfred Greatorex
Producers: Rex Firkin (seasons 1-2), David Reid (season 3)

production details
Country: UK
Network: ITV – ATV
Duration: 57×50 minute episodes
Aired From: 4 February 1963 – 12 January 1965 black and white

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Running Wild (ITV 1987, Ray Brooks, Janet Key)

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Sitcom Running Wild was about the ups and downs of separated couple, Max and Babs, trying to get on with their lives. In season two Max wants to return to his wife but Babs is not so keen.

cast
Ray Brooks as Max Wild
Janet Key as Babs Wild
Sharon Duce as Wanda
Michelle Collins as Stephanie Wild
Peter Amory as Rob
Berwick Kaler as Tom Coleman (Season 1)
Brigit Forsyth as Jenny (Season 2)

crew details
Writer: Philip Trewinnard
Producers: Marcus Plantin (Season 1), Derrick Goodwin (Season 2)
Directors: Vic Finch (Season 1), Derrick Goodwin (Season 2)

production details
Country: UK
Network and Production Companies: ITV – London Weekend Television
Duration: 13×25 minute episodes
Aired From: 6 March 1987 – 4 June 1989

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