Randall And Hopkirk (Deceased): Complete Series [DVD]
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All 26 episodes of the cult 1960s series. In 'My Late, Lamented Friend and Partner' detective Jeff Randall (Mike Pratt) is devastated when his friend and partner Marty Hopkirk (Kenneth Cope) is killed by a hit-and-run driver. However, Marty's ghost returns from the grave to inform Jeff that his death was no accident. 'A Disturbing Case' has Marty's widow Jeannie (Annette Andre) commit Jeff to an asylum when she sees him talking to himself. 'All Work and No Pay' finds Jean convinced that the moving furniture in her flat is the work of her late-husband Marty's restless spirit, but of course Jeff and the ghostly Marty know better. 'Never Trust a Ghost' sees Marty convinced that a man has been shot dead in his London home after inadvertently witnessing the killing. In 'That's How Murder Snowballs' Jeff uses Marty to help him form a variety act when he investigates the murder of a mind reader. 'Just for the Record' finds Jeff acting as bodyguard to a beauty contest entrant, but the job is not as simple as it at first seemed. 'Murder Ain't What It Used to Be!' has Marty cross swords with another ghost - deceased gangster Bugsy, who wants revenge on his former partner-in-crime. Unfortunately, Bugsy's intended victim is Marty's partner Jeff's latest client! 'Whoever Heard of a Ghost Dying?' sees Jeff and Marty being used as fall guys when a master criminal and a clairvoyant discover their secret. In 'The House on Haunted Hill' Jeff asks Marty to help solve the mystery of a 'haunted house' which is being used as the front for a diamond robbery. 'When Did You Start to Stop Seeing Things?' finds Marty worried that Jeff can no longer see him. 'The Ghost Who Saved the Bank at Monte Carlo' has Jeff help Marty's aunt elude a gang of crooks desperate to get their hands on her winning gambling formula. 'For the Girl Who Has Everything' sees Jeff called in by the wealthy Kim to investigate whether or not her castle really is haunted. In 'But What a Sweet Little Room' Jeff sets Marty to work investigating the suspicious death of a client. 'Who Killed Cock Robin?' has Jeff hired to guard an aviary which forms the centrepiece to an unusual bequest. 'The Man From Nowhere' finds Jeff more than a little suspicious when a man turns up claiming to be the reincarnation of his late partner Marty. 'When the Spirit Moves You' sees Marty making a new acquaintance when it transpires that a would-be fraudster can actually see him - but only when drunk. 'Somebody Just Walked Over My Grave' has Marty shocked to discover someone digging in his grave. 'Could You Recognise that Man Again?' finds Jean kidnapped and held hostage in order to stop her testifying at a murder trial. In 'A Sentimental Journey' Jeff is asked to take some valuable goods from London to Scotland. 'Money to Burn' sees Jeff accused of stealing money intended for the incinerator. 'The Ghost Talks' has a hospital-bound Jeff forced to listen to Marty's account of a case he was once involved in. 'It's Supposed to be Thicker Than Water' finds Jeff delivering an envelope to an escaped convict on the run. In 'The Trouble With Women' Jeff is again framed for murder, and Marty has to attend a Spiritualist meeting in order to rescue him. 'Vendetta for a Dead Man' sees an enemy of Marty's return to wreak his revenge. 'You Can Always Find a Fall Guy' has Jeff come to the aid of a nun who is not all that she seems. Finally, in 'The Smile Behind the Veil', Marty notices a smiling griever at a funeral, and deduces foul play.
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 cosy 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 could afford a high calibre of special guest villains and dolly birds. A 1990s remake with Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer hasn't obliterated memories of the original. --Kim Newman
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Top Customer Reviews
However, as much as I love the Persuaders, it was always Randall and Hopkirk that I held most dearly to my heart. Maybe, and quite bizzarly, I think it was the more accessable characters in Randall and Hopkirk that won the day. Kenneth Cope and Mike Pratt's character's, albeit one of them a ghost, were much more regular, everyday, likable chaps, whereas Wilde and Sinclair were from a more glamorous lifestyle - as well as being played by two superstars of the day - and that made them seem a little less real perhaps, whilst still being, for me, one of the best and most natural double acts to grace the small screen. So, whilst both programmes were the two stand out quality productions of ITC, it's Randall and Hopkirk by a whisker.
I missed the previous DVD release of the show, and have eagerly awaited this special edition. I haven't had time to watch all the episodes yet, but have been pleased with the presentation quality of the episodes I have seen. The extras too are great, with an informative documentary on the programme featuring stars and production crew, an affectionate look at the life of Mike Pratt (not a bad word about him, which, as a fan is exactly how I liked it) and more that I will be delving into in the near future.Read more ›
As good as I remember it from 40 years ago.
Some of the Plots are a bit creaky, but it remains a well written, well produced and well acted gem, a perfect balance of Comedy and Drama and a fitting tribute to the late Mike Pratt.
Buy it, It's not on television often enough!
Network certainly appear to have done the series proud with this SE Boxset.
On the episodes that I have already watched the picture quality is crisp and clear whilst the sound - although only mono - is also of good quality.
I have also read a good bit of the first booklet which contains production notes and the first instalment of the episode guides. I am happy to report that these are indeed extensive and sure to bring added value particularly to those viewers with an eye for detail who enjoy plenty of additional background information.
Although I have yet to watch any of the extras (aside from the stills galleries on the first 4 eps, which are very good and contain snippets from the fine original musical score) the list of these is mouth-watering and I eagerly look forward to watching them in due course.
If you have seen any of the re-runs of the show and prefer it to the Reeves & Mortimer remake of a few years ago (and let's face it, who wouldn't?) then this Special Edition Boxset of a complete and unedited cult TV Series from the late '60s / early '70s is definitely for you!
If you've not and are holding blurred memories of that gaudy little programme you saw repeated on BB2 in th nineties or on daytime telly in the 80s then you've got the one. If you sat down and watched with regularity you'll need no persuading this is worth the money.
If not, why not.
True, the whimsy may be a tad affected and the special effects are barely up to what Doctor Who was up to at the time, but this is charming and funny and gritty.
Mike Randall is a downest of down at heels detectyives who solves his cases with the aid of the mischievious sprite that is the ghost of his dead partner, Marty Hopkirk. This much you should already be aware of. If you thought Emilia Fox was a fox, however, just wait until you get to know Annette Andre's wonderful widow, Jeannie.
The three actors work wonderfully well together and the double act of the titular characters is as pleasanly grating, as Jeannie is pleasing to the eye.
It's gritty because so many of the cases the get involved with are pretty humdrum affairs with their fair share of base criminals and ineffectual shyters. Occasionally there'll be a supernatural twist but it's a sideline for the most part.
It's set in a seriously real world where heroes lose fist fights no matter how many times they win through iin the end and the fantasy aspects sparkle through with gusto.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I love this tv series, when it was on TV, many years ago in the 1970s, I'm looking forward to receiving it, tomorrowPublished 2 months ago by skinner60
Haven't got through all the DVDs yet but it won't take long as they are SO addictive. Being in my early 50s I can't say I remember much about them first time around though I was... Read morePublished 2 months ago by D A FREEMAN
Son never heard of Randall and Hopkirk so bought this for him he thought the series was greatPublished 4 months ago by Janet Hughes