|Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased)|
|Also known as||My Partner the Ghost|
|Genre||Occult detective fiction|
Supernatural horror fiction
|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|
|Distributor||Carlton Communications plc|
|Picture format||35mm film 4:3 Colour|
|Original release||19 September 1969 –|
13 March 1970
Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased) is a British private detective television series, starring Mike Pratt and Kenneth Cope respectively as the private detectives Jeff Randall and Marty Hopkirk. The series was created by Dennis Spooner and produced by Monty Berman, and was first broadcast in 1969 and 1970. In the United States, it was given the title My Partner the Ghost.
ITC Entertainment produced a single series of 26 episodes in 1968 and 1969, which was aired from September 1969 to March 1970. The pilot episode was broadcast on ITV in the United Kingdom on 19 September 1969 on ATV. London Weekend Television broadcast the pilot on 21 September 1969.
In the initial episode, Hopkirk is murdered during an investigation but returns as a ghost. Randall is the only main character able to see or hear him, though certain minor characters are also able to do so in various circumstances throughout the series, such as mediums, or drunk, or under hypnosis.
The idea for the series was conceived by Dennis Spooner, who had an office adjoining producer Monty Berman at Elstree Studios. They had already collaborated on The Champions. In March 1968 the pair conceived Department S. Spooner's interest in the paranormal, inspired by several feature films, contemplated the possibility of a television series featuring a ghost, and he thought a detective series would offer greater scope for storylines.
The idea was put to Head of ATV Lew Grade but he was not enthusiastic as the series lacked a leading American, which he felt would inhibit overseas sales. Fortunately the synopsis caught the eye of Ralph Smart, who had worked on The Adventures of Robin Hood, The Invisible Man, and Danger Man and he wanted to write the pilot. This convinced Lew Grade to green-light the series.
Jeff Randall, originally named Steven Randall, was considered for the comedian Dave Allen who had made Tonight with Dave Allen for Lew Grade's ATV. When Allen signed for the BBC attention turned to Mike Pratt who had appeared in a number of episodes of various ITC series and was deemed to be right for the part by the production team including Cyril Frankel, creative consultant on the series.
Marty Hopkirk proved more difficult and some actors were considered after scouring the pages of casting resource Spotlight, Frankel was at a new Italian restaurant in Soho, London and sitting at the next table was Kenneth Cope, with his wife, and Frankel thought he would be right for the part. Frankel told Monty Berman, directed a screen test and Cope got the part.
Jean Hopkirk, not in the original concept, is portrayed by Australian actress Annette André. She was well known to the production team, having appeared in six episodes of The Saint as well as The Baron. She had been short listed for one of the lead roles in The Champions but lost to Alexandra Bastedo, reportedly at the whim of an American CBS executive.
Filming and locations
Filming commenced with the pilot in May 1968 with the aim to shoot a 48-minute episode over a fortnight working Monday to Friday from 8:30am to 5:30pm with some filming on alternate Sundays. The bulk of filming with the main cast was on two sound stages at ABC Elstree in Borehamwood where Department S and other series were also in production. Establishing shots would use library footage. Location sequences were usually filmed by a second unit using stand-ins or the guest cast who were only needed for one episode filmed by one director while the main cast were completing the previous episode with another director. To keep costs down, a simple jump cut was used to make Marty Hopkirk disappear and reappear. Walking through walls was costly and time consuming using an image reflected on plain glass at an angle in front of the camera often used in the theatre called Pepper's ghost.
The exterior of the Randall & Hopkirk's office was a doorway at the side of Adam's Furniture Fabric on the corner of Kymberly Road and Springfield Road in Harrow now completely redeveloped as St George's Shopping Centre. Jeff Randall's flat was located at Hanover House close to the corner of St John's Wood High Street and Jean Hopkirk's flat was on Lauderdale Road, Maida Vale, London.
Numerous country houses in the northern Greater London and Hertfordshire area were used for the external shots of the many mansions featured in the series. In the "For the Girl Who Has Everything" episode the exterior of Hilfield Castle in Aldenham was used for Kim Wentworth's (Lois Maxwell's) home. The Tudor-looking Edgwarebury Hotel on Barnet Lane in Elstree, now The Manor Elstree, was used in the episodes "Who Killed Cock Robin?" and "The House on Haunted Hill" episodes and a plethora of other ITC series. The exterior of the Lambert Clinic in the comical episode "A Disturbing Case", written by Mike Pratt himself, is now the Institute of Grocery Distribution in Letchmore Heath, Hertfordshire. The Seaton Residence, a large white house with Doric columns at the front used in "The Smile Behind the Veil" episode is the Dyrham Park Country Club, the club house of a golf club in Galley Lane, Barnet. Woburn Abbey in Woburn, Bedfordshire, is featured in the episode "The Man from Nowhere" and is visited by Jeannie and a Marty imposter.
The car Jeff Randall drove was a white Vauxhall Victor registration RXD996F which was also used in two episodes of Department S; in that series Joel Fabiani's character Stewart Sullivan drove a white Vauxhall with the registration RXD997F. The red Mini used by Jean Hopkirk was registered in May 1964 and had been used in an episode of The Saint (1968), an episode of Department S (1969) and driven by Tony Curtis's character Danny Wilde in an episode of The Persuaders! (1970).
The theme music was composed by Edwin Astley who in the previous years had composed many themes and incidental music for film series produced and distributed by ITC and its forerunners. Astley used the harpsicord because of its distinctive sound and used the C minor key because of the "death" part in it. In all Astley composed 188 numbered cues used throughout the series. Music composed by Astley from The Champions was briefly used as was music by Albert Elms from the same series. Music was also used by Astley from his own library of music, the Chappell library, and other music composed by Robert Farnon, Johnny Hawksworth, Sidney Torch, Vivaldi.
Characters and cast
- Mike Pratt as Jeff Randall - a successful, albeit a "slightly seedy" and often morally ambiguous private detective whose success in solving mysteries becomes inevitably greater once he has the benefits and paranormal abilities of his deceased friend and partner Marty Hopkirk. Randall is short-tempered, becoming particularly irritated with certain situations and people, particularly the ghost of Marty.
- Kenneth Cope as Marty Hopkirk - a private detective and Jeff's partner who is murdered in the line of duty after being run down by a car travelling at high speed. Hopkirk dies instantly, but returns to help Jeff (the only living person who can see him) bring his killer to justice. Marty remains with Jeff throughout the entire series, a cynical, often perturbed character who torments Jeff as much as helps him.
- Annette Andre as Jeannie Hopkirk - the young widow of Marty who works as a secretary at the Randall and Hopkirk private investigation office. Though attractive and resourceful, she can be very naive and vulnerable, putting her own life in danger on many occasions.
- Ivor Dean as Inspector Large (5 episodes) - a lugubrious police inspector, always suspicious of Randall and looking to arrest him. Their relationship is highly adversarial, though Randall eventually helps the inspector bring the real culprits to justice.
- Richard Kerley as Sergeant Hinds (3 episodes) - Inspector Large's subordinate.
- Judith Arthy as Jennifer (2 episodes) - Jennifer is the sister of Jeannie, who comes to London to visit her sister.
- Garfield Morgan as Carlson (2 episodes)
- Michael Griffiths as Inspector Nelson (2 episodes) - a police inspector, who much like Inspector Dean, treats Randall as a criminal and the first suspect for various crimes.
Airdates given here are for London Weekend Television. It was the only ITV region to screen all 26 episodes without breaks in transmission. Other ITV regions varied airdates and transmission order.
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|
|Private Investigator Marty Hopkirk is murdered by the husband of a client but returns as a ghost to help his business partner Jeff Randall 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 to 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 and threatens Jeff to lie about his investigation. Whilst also investigating a haunting at a country manor it turns out the diamond gang are using it as a hideout. NOTE:- Jeannie Hopkirk, (Annette Andre), does not appear in this episode.|
|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. Lois Maxwell appears as Kim Wentworth. Carol Cleveland appears as Laura Slade.|
|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. Cyril Luckham appears as Laverick. Jane Merrow appears as Sandra Joyce.|
|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. Anton Rodgers appears as Calvin P. Bream. NOTE:- Jeannie Hopkirk, (Annette Andre), does not appear in this episode.|
|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 a 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. Geoffrey Hughes appears as Harper. Also Andrew Sachs, appears in a small pre-Fawlty Towers role as the English commentator during the first leg of the international football match that Marty goes to watch.|
|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. NOTE:- Annette Andre, (Jeannie Hopkirk), does not appear in this episode.|
|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. NOTE- This episode was the final episode filmed.|
|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. George Sewell and Timothy West appear as Eric Jansen and Sam Grimes respectively.|
|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.|
The 26 episodes were broadcast in the UK between 26 September 1969 – 31 July 1971; ATV dropped the show after 20 odd episodes had been transmitted. In the United States it was syndicated 1973 under the title My Partner the Ghost. The series has been shown in 2020 in the UK on the Sony Channel.
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 primarily written 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.
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, and in January 2011, Entertainment Weekly announced that Jane Espenson and Drew Z. Greenberg would be writing a pilot for SyFy. Espenson told io9 that "The version we're proposing is quite different in tone and content from the original." She added, "We took the basic premise of a Ghost Detective and his still-living partner and invented our own take on it." However, as of October 2014 there had been no further developments.
- Tibbles, Geoff. Randall & Hopkirk deceased. Boxtree. pp. 11 & 12. ISBN 9780752209159.
- Pixley, Andrew. "Programme notes Randall & Hopkirk". DVD booklet: 6.
- Pixley, Andrew. "Programme notes Randall & Hopkirk". DVD booklet: 7.
- Tibbles, Geoff. Randall and Hopkirk deceased. Boxtree. p. 20. ISBN 9780752209159.
- Pixley, Andrew. Programme notes Randall & Hopkirk Booklet. network. p. 9.
- Tibballs, geoff. Randall & Hopkirk. Boxtree. p. 24. ISBN 9780752209159.
- Pixley, Andrew. Randall & Hopkirk programme notes. Network DVD. pp. 12 & 25.
- "Locations:For the Girl Who Has Everything". Randallandhopkirk.org.uk. Retrieved 27 March 2020.
- "Locations:Who Killed Cock Robin?". Randallandhopkirk.org.uk. Retrieved 27 March 2020.
- "Locations:A Disturbing Case". Randallandhopkirk.org.uk. Retrieved 27 March 2020.
- "Locations:The Smile Behind the Veil". Randallandhopkirk.org.uk. Retrieved 27 March 2020.
- "Welcome to Dyrham Park Country Club". dyrhampark.com. Retrieved 27 March 2020.
- "Locations:The Man from Nowhere". Randallandhopkirk.org.uk. Retrieved 27 March 2020.
- Pixley, Andrew. Randall & Hopkirk programme notes. Network DVD. p. 12.
- Tibballs, geoff. Randall & Hopkirk deceased. Boxtree. pp. 30–31. ISBN 9780752209159.
- Pixley, Andrew. Randall & Hopkirk deceased 3CD original soundtrack booklet. Network. pp. 4, 21, 22, 23.
- Goldman, Lawrence (7 March 2013). Oxford Dictionary of National Biography 2005-2008. Oxford University Press. p. 90. ISBN 978-0-19-967154-0.
- Rogers, Dave. The ITV Encyclopedia of Adventure. Boxtree. p. 416. ISBN 9781852832179.
- Hibberd, James. "'Buffy' writers to pen Syfy's Brit hit". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 30 January 2011.
- Jane Anders, Charlie. "Jane Espenson tells io9 about bringing Britain's greatest ghost detective to America". io9. Retrieved 30 January 2011.