It’s hard to believe that ‘My Late Lamented Partner and Friend’ – the very first episode of Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased) – was shown on British television fifty years ago. To mark the occasion, here is my tribute to the series where you’ll find some of my favourite photographs and stories.
To join this celebration please feel free to send me your thoughts and memories from the show, and let me know which are your favourite episodes and why. You can send your reminiscences to: email@example.com
Please see the bottom of this page for a very special Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased) competition and prize.
Series on DVD and BluRay…
SPECIAL FEATURES INCLUDE:
Randall and Hopkirk (Revisited): An exclusive documentary on the origins and production of Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased).
Mike Pratt Remembered: A warm-hearted appreciation by co-stars and crew.
Commentaries on selected episodes
PR, Behind-the-Scenes and Episodic Image Galleries with accompanying suites of Edwin Astley’s music and much more!
Newly remastered in HD from the original 35mm film elements for this Blu-ray edition, Randall & Hopkirk (Deceased) has been given a new lease of (after) life!
Collectors Item: Book
By Geoff Tibballs. Introduction to television’s first ghost detective, who helped his very-much-alive partner to solve baffling cases.
Compiled and remastered from the original analogue master tapes, this release comprises the theme and incidental scores for Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased), containing over 200 pieces of music which were especially composed for the series.
Edwin Astley’s whimsical score captures the adventures experienced by a pair of down-at-heel detectives with a difference – one of them is a ghost!
Including a comprehensive liner notes booklet by archive television historian Andrew Pixley, this is an essential purchase for soundtrack collectors.
The Original Trailer…
My Late Lamented Friend and Partner: When private investigator Jeff Randall goes out of town after collecting evidence for a woman about her cheating husband, partner Marty Hopkirk takes his place to settle the account. While waiting to see the woman, she dies in the bathtub, supposedly of a heart attack, but Marty thinks otherwise. Before he can convey his feelings about the woman’s death to Jeff, he dies. When Marty’s death is dismissed as a hit-and-run, his ghost returns, visible only to Jeff, to tell him it was murder.
A Disturbing Case: Jean and sister Jenny arrive at the office to find Jeff in the middle of a knock-down, drag-out argument with Marty over the use of Jean’s car (which Marty, although dead, still considers his). The combination of lack of work, impending bills and Jeff’s car stolen and used in a robbery that the police suspect him in lead Jean and Jenny to think that Jeff has snapped. They plant a tape recorder in the office to gather evidence, which they present to a psychiatrist who is behind a crime spree. The psychiatrist must reprogram Jeff to forget about Marty in order to prevent Marty from relaying information about the crime spree.
All Work and No Pay: When things start flying around her apartment, Jean comes to the conclusion that her late husband Marty is trying to contact her. She has fallen for the trap set by the Foster brothers, who claim to be “scientific spiritualists” and approach Jean with a job offer: she will introduce them to people who are interested in contacting “the other side”. What she doesn’t know is their “scientific approach” involves murder .
Never Trust A Ghost: A government employee, James Howarth, is murdered in his home. “There were no witnesses”, the murderer boasts. But there WAS a witness: Marty Hopkirk. Trouble arises when Marty convinces Jeff to investigate. He finds the “murdered” man very much alive — and upset. Marty stays on the case, but every time he convinces Jeff that something is wrong Jeff finds things completely different than the way Marty described it. Jeff can only conclude that Marty is hallucinating — if that’s possible for a ghost.
That’s How Murder Snowballs: The highlight of the mind-reading act of Fernandez and Abel is a blank cartridge placed in a revolver, then the correct chamber containing the cartridge predicted. This time, the cartridge isn’t blank, it’s real–and Abel fatally shoots his partner. Jeff, who was in attendance at the fatal show, gets a job as a solo mind-reader (thanks to his ghostly partner) to try to find out who was responsible for putting the real bullet in Abel’s gun.
Just For The Record: Jeff and Jean are hired to be escorts for various contestants in the Miss World beauty competition. Jeff draws the assignment of escorting Miss London, who is working with a man to steal some documents from the Hall of Records that will prove he is the rightful heir to the throne.
Murder Ain’t What It Used To Be!: American mobster Paul Kirstner arrives in London for business and hires Jeff to look after his daughter. Kirstner also brought company with him: the ghost of Bugsy Spanio, his one-time business partner whom he betrayed and murdered 35 years earlier. Bugsy wants Kirstner dead, and uses threats against Jean to convince Marty to talk Jeff into killing Kirstner.
Whoever Heard of a Ghost Dying? A criminal gang is feeding Marty false information (which he gives to Jeff, who in turn tells the police) to keep the cops away from real burglary targets. Once Marty has served his purpose, he will be exorcised by a clairvoyant gang member, who has been working on Jean’s emotions to make her an unwitting participant in the plan to dispose of Marty.
The House On Haunted Hill: For once, business is booming at the Randall and Hopkirk office. An insurance company hires Jeff to investigate the disappearance of a shipment of diamonds. At the same time a real estate agent hires Jeff to sort out rumours about Merston Manor, a house scheduled to go on the real estate market, being haunted.
When Did You Start To Stop seeing Things? Marty, in a particularly good mood, materialises on Jeff’s desk one Monday morning. Jeff, however, fails to respond to Marty’s voice. He doesn’t even look at Marty. What’s worse, he acts as though he could care less about the sudden disappearance of his ghostly partner. Jeff seems to have two things on his mind: his new case involving the leaking of stock market information at the Towler Corporation, and Jean’s figure. Marty becomes more alarmed when he witnesses Jeff kill a Towler Corporation executive.
The Ghost That Saved The Bank At Monte Carlo: Marty’s aunt Clara has spent five years perfecting a “system” that guarantees a win at roulette. She hires Jeff and Jean to escort her to Monte Carlo as “bodyguards”. They have plenty of work to do: three different groups of people seem to be after Aunt Clara and her “system”.
For The Girl who Has Everything: Self-proclaimed “ghost hunter” James McAllister offers Jeff half the money he’s making from millionaire Kim Wentworth to prove that her home, Crake Castle, is not haunted, even though McAllister claims to have seen the ghost. After Jeff and Marty join the case, McAllister turns up murdered.
But What A Sweet Little Room: Julia Fenwick asks Jeff to find her missing aunt. The aunt stayed to herself, only going out once a week to seances. Jeff asks Jean to pose as a wealthy widow trying to contact her departed husband “John” to see what connection there is between the seances and a financial consultant who was the last person to see Julia’s aunt.
Who Killed Cock Robin: Bird lover Mrs. Wentworth Howe left her estate in trust, stipulating in her will that the money would not be distributed among any relatives as long as a bird remained alive in the aviary at the Howe mansion. When one of the birds is shot dead, estate trust attorney Laverick hires Jeff to investigate. When Jeff shows up at the mansion, the list of possible suspects grows shorter and shorter as the relatives are murdered one by one.
The Man From Nowhere: In the bathroom, fresh from her shower, Jean Hopkirk hears a male voice call her name. She finds a strange man lying on the sofa, newspaper in one hand and drink in the other, making himself very much at home. The strange man has an even stranger claim: he is Marty Hopkirk, reincarnated.
When The Spirit Moves You: Calvin P. Bream is a cocky con artist, until his boast of an unlimited number of bearer bonds puts him in contact with a ruthless criminal by the name of Miklos Corri. Desperate to save his own neck, Bream says he’s only the “middle man”. Bream finds the name of a detective agency in the classifieds and heads there to throw Corri off his own trail. The agency he picks is Randall and Hopkirk.
Somebody Just Walked Over My Grave: Marty’s headstone is knocked over, and Jeff is knocked out by a man dressed in 18th century attire when he goes to investigate. What does it have to do with a wealthy man and his agoraphobic son who live in a mansion next to the cemetery?
Could You Recognise The Man Again? Jeff and Jean see a man leave their car after a party. The man left a body in the back seat. The case is open-and-shut, with both Jeff and Jean identifying the man in a police line-up, but the day before they are to testify Jean is kidnapped by the man’s mother. Marty tries to find her, but every time he concentrates on Jean’s location he ends up at their apartment.
A Sentimental Journey: Jeff is hired — much against his will — by two rival criminals. The task seems simple: go to Glasgow, pick up an item worth £10,000, and bring it back to London. Things become complicated when the “item” turns out to be the girlfriend of one of the criminals — and she promptly takes off, leaving Jeff to take the blame for a double-cross.
Money To Burn: An old friend of Jeff’s shows up with a “money making” idea: steal old notes on the way to the incinerator. Jeff could certainly use the money, as no one who owes him is paying. When the money turns up missing, Jeff is jailed for the robbery, even though he had no part in it. He is also uncharacteristically tight-lipped to Marty, who feels betrayed once Jeff’s alibi fails to collaborate his story.
The Ghost Talks: Thanks to a broken leg, Jeff is a captive audience (in a hospital bed) while Marty recounts the greatest case the Randall and Hopkirk office ever handled, involving MI5, spies, and a list of British agents Marty was tricked into stealing from a defence minister’s home.
It’s Supposed To Be Thicker Than Water: Joshua Crackan is having a birthday party, gathering his relatives from various parts of the world. The assignment for Jeff is easy: he has to make certain that only those with invitations enter Crackan’s property. Before the party Jeff and Marty have an argument and Jeff asks Marty to leave him alone. Now that the party guests are dying, Jeff is having second thoughts about handling the case without his ghostly partner.
The Trouble With Women: Jeff is on a “cheating husband” stake-out, his least favourite thing. A man is shot outside a club near where he is parked. After Jeff finishes talking to the police he returns to his office, where he meets a woman waiting to hire him. She claims the murdered man was mistaken for her husband. Jeff takes the case, then finds himself accused of murder when the woman’s husband is found dead.
Vendetta For a Dead Man: Eric Jansen breaks out of the psychiatric unit of prison shortly before the anniversary of his arrest with vengeance on his mind. One problem, though: the man responsible for putting him behind bars, Marty Hopkirk, is already dead. Jansen decides that someone named “Hopkirk” is going to pay, so he sets his sights on killing Marty’s widow, Jean.
You Can Always Find a Fall Guy: Jeff is charged with a break-in at an electronics company. He’s obviously been set up, given that the first thing he saw when he walked into his apartment after an all-nighter was a nun telling him the electronics company was a convent. Everything has been made to look totally unbelievable, which is why Jeff has difficulty trying to convince the police to give him time to prove he has been framed.
The Smile Behind The Veil: Marty sees a funeral near his grave. Based on what he overhears he’s certain that his “new neighbor” suffered the same fate he did: a murder made to look like an accident. Jeff has an appointment with a prospective client and is unwilling to do something for Marty for free, so Marty must trick him into looking into the death.
Really? Fifty years? Amazing. My memories are of a wonderful really different series. Drama, comedy and one of the most wonderful themes tunes ever. I could mention another great theme tune from another cult tv series you did but won’t. I know your time on that one episode was not a happy one. I recently collected Randall & Hopkirk (Deceased) on blu ray. It took me right back to my childhood. I deliberately only watched one episode per week to recreate the feeling and excitement of those wonderful days having to wait a whole week for the next one and when the world seemed a much nicer place.
The series was beautifully filmed and directed. The guest star line up was also brilliant with some of them going onto better things.
And of course there was you. Beautiful, alluring, sexy and missed in some episodes.
I also bought your excellent autobiography to soak all that was Annette Andre.
Thanks for the wonderful memories
I bought my wife the box set of Randall & Hopkirk, and we have watched them many times over. We still watch it on tv when it’s shown as well. An all time classic series. My favourite, although I like them all are the one when you all went to Monte Carlo with Marty’s auntie, and the one with George Sewell as the escaped convict. Just wish there were more of them to enjoy,but thank you for the great memories.
Graham & Janet Newton
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