All six episodes from the first series of the Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer revival of 'Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased)'. In 'Drop Dead' detective Marty Hopkirk (Reeves) is killed on the job and then comes back as a ghost to help his partner Jeff Randall (Mortimer) solve the case. 'Mental Apparition Disorder' has Marty's bereaved fiancée Jeannie (Emilia Fox) investigate some thefts at a local casino. 'The Best Years of Your Death' sees Jeff and Jeannie go undercover at a boarding school. 'Paranoia' finds the agency protecting the author of a soon-to-be-published book about terrorism and security. 'A Blast From the Past' has Marty approach the end of his supernatural tuition course. And in 'A Man of Substance' Jeff goes to the country to investigate the case of a missing husband.
The twist of private-eye show Randall & Hopkirk Deceased
is that in the first episode, gumshoe Marty Hopkirk (Kenneth Cope) is killed off by the villains, only to pop up in an immaculate white suit as a ghost visible only to his hardboiled partner, Jeff Randall (Mike Pratt). In theory, the supernatural streak--which meant a complex set of rules about Marty's appearances and effects on the physical world--should lead the show into wilder territory, but most episodes squander the team's unique abilities on ordinary cases about blackmail and murder-for-profit. A persistent subplot has the living Jeff getting cozy with the dead Marty's widow Jean (Annette Andre) to the discomfort of her late husband. The elementary effects and the nice underplaying of the leads have a certain period charm, and the show was able to afford a high caliber of special guest villains and beautiful women. A 1990s remake with Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer hasn't obliterated memories of the original. --Kim Newman