Friday, February 4, 2011

Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased) – Season 1, Episode 5: “That’s how they murder snowballs” – 1969

This is the series I was able to get thrown in with my order of “Please Sir!”. It’s a cute show and I found it fun to watch. Haven’t seen all the episodes yet, but Robin’s is only 5 episodes in. The show is about two guys, Randall and Hopkirk, who are partners (and good friends) in their own detective agency. In the first episode Hopkirk is murdered and comes back as a ghost to help out Randall with all the future cases. I read where it once aired on American TV under the name of “My Partner the Ghost”…I guess to appeal to dumb Americans who need everything spelled right out for us ;)

In Robin’s episode Randall is attending a variety show type performance at a theater. During the mind-reading performance, the performer is shot dead. Randall applies for the job of mind-reader in order to go under cover to figure out who the murderer was. He gets the job, thanks to Hopkirk’s help. Robin has a minor part as an “Act Pageboy” – the guy that runs around backstage at the theater and tells performers when they need to go on. He has a few lines pertaining to that subject, but nothing substantial to the plot. He also has a few scenes of standing around backstage looking puzzled at the goings-on. I kept hoping when police / reporters / detectives were asking questions they’d take him aside to see what he knew and he’d have some brilliant insight into the case. No such luck. He makes the most of the few scenes he was given, though, and acts very enthusiastic.

I liked the two actors who played the title characters. They have very distinct personalities. Kenneth Cope is Hopkirk, the ghost, and was a very youthful looking age 38-39 (born 1931) He’s still alive, and has done quite a bit of acting. But, from looking at more recent photos of him, looks very very old now at age near-80. Mike Pratt, born the same year, seemed much older at the time, had that aging-smoker look. And, unfortunately, died of lung cancer in 1976. Interesting piece of trivia I saw on Wikipedia: his son Guy Pratt was in Pink Floyd for awhile.

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