She can't see me, Jeff! I chose you. You're the only one.
— Marty Hopkirk to Jeff Randall
Why can't you stay dead like anyone else?Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased)
— Jeff Randall to Marty Hopkirk
is a Buddy Cop Show
(well, Buddy Detective Drama
) from the 1960s with a difference. When Marty Hopkirk, of the Randall and Hopkirk private detective agency, dies in a hit-and-run, everyone including his partner, Jeff Randall, assumes it was a tragic accident. That is, until someone insists that it wasn't, it was murder, and Jeff must investigate.
Why does Jeff believe them? Well... because the person who insists is
Marty, in ghostly form (denoted by his white suit), has every reason to believe he was murdered and you can't get a better witness than that! Actually, you can, because only Jeff (and the odd psychic) can see and hear Marty
so he can't exactly give a testimony. So together Jeff and Marty try to solve the murder and Marty can rest in peace... or he could, if he hadn't stayed out of his grave too long, so now he's stuck on Earth. It's not too bad, though, as having a ghost for a partner who has a few useful powers—walking through walls, teleportation, the ability to shatter glass and call up gusts of wind, telekinesis (though this is just to make up for Marty's intangibility, anyway)—is quite handy on cases.
On the other hand, it is very trying to be in a Love Triangle
where the girl you like can't even see your rival and he gets stroppy with you for pursuing her anyway... to be fair, though, she is his widow. That and people think you're crazy because of all the (real) Dead Person Conversations
you keep having.
It ran 26 episodes from 1969 to 1970 on ITV
, starring Mike Pratt and Kenneth Cope. It had a Remake
in 2000 (by the BBC
) for a moderately successful 13-episode run over two seasons as Randall & Hopkirk (Deceased)
(note the ampersand), a much sillier series (though the original was silly, too... just not nearly as
silly) featuring Comedy Duo
Vic Reeves (as Marty) and Bob Mortimer (as Jeff). The revival series also added extra powers and Wyvern, a ghostly tutor for Marty, played by Tom Baker
The original series provides examples of:
In addition to many of the above, the remake provides examples of:
- Action Girl: Jeannie is much more savvy and sensible than in the original series — the first time we see her in the remake, she knocks a man out by karate chopping him in the face.
- British Brevity: Two seasons of six and seven episodes respectively. (The original series doesn't count because it got a full US-style season, having been made with sale to the US in mind.)
- Cool Old Guy: Wyvern.
- Creator Cameo: Or rather, producer; Charlie Higson appears in virtually every episode, sometimes in small walk-on parts but occasionally in bigger roles.
- Deadpan Snarker: Marty.
- Dead All Along: Freya Cargill turns out to have been fatally electrocuted long before her appearance in the episode "Revenge of the Bog People," and so resorts to appearing in places such as a hospital and a fitness club so that her ghostly white attire won't be conspicuous to Jeff.
- Edited for Syndication: The BBC America airings were completely botched by this.
- Everybody Knew Already: One episode sees Jeff hired to protect a former civil servant who is in danger from various political groups (and a jilted former lover) due to a speech he's about to give which will potentially blow the lid on a number of political scandals. When he actually gives the speech, it turns out that the "scandals" are such common knowledge — like the existence of the Mafia, and the fact that a few government ministers are homosexual — that everyone involved is left feeling like an idiot for ever being worried.
- Forgot About His Powers: Marty has several powers (particularly his memory wipe) that could have been useful several times throughout the series, but never get mentioned again. Justified in the case of his "Sleepwalking" powers, as it tends to screw up his other powers, and makes Marty feel whatever Jeff happens to be feeling at the time (which is quite problematic, given Jeff's habit of drinking himself to sleep).
- Fright Deathtrap
- Haunted Technology: One of Marty's first post-death appearances to Jeff was in a First-Person Shooter video game.
- Hey, It's That Guy!: Pretty much everyone; aside from the main cast, regulars from The Fast Show would show up almost constantly in guest roles (as they always have done in Reeves and Mortimer productions).
- Instrumental Theme Tune: More "sultry sixtiesish" and James Bond-y than the original series' theme.
- Love Triangle: Shows up in the original, but pushed more in the remake: In the new series, Jeannie is Marty's fiancée and her surname is Hurst.
- Mind Screw: Marty's "sleepwalking" ability has the side-effect of giving Jeff some seriously surreal nightmares based on what Marty and his ghostly buddy Nesbitt are doing.
- Mind Rape gets subverted however — Marty is the one whose head (temporarily) gets messed up as a result of the sleepwalking, while Jeff just thinks he had a really strange dream, which he blames on the booze he was drinking the night before.
- Mood Whiplash: The last episode. While the series in general was darker and more serious than most of what Vic and Bob have done, the final episode still stood out.
- The Other Darrin: Felia was played by Jessica Hynes in the first season, and replaced by Pauline Quirke for her sole appearance in the second season. Considering that her characterisation seemed to totally change between the two seasons (Hynes's version was confident and self-assertive, but Quirke's version was a neurotic crybaby with OCD), it seems kind of strange that they bothered to keep her as the same character.
- Remake Cameo of sorts. Mike Pratt died in real life between the two versions of of the show, but was seen, via stock footage, in one heaven scene of the remake. It was left to the viewer to decide if he was there as himself or as the original Randall, now also deceased.
- Shout-Out: The finale episode has what at first glance appears to be a reference to Psycho, with a mysterious figure in a chair watching Jeff and Jeannie's progress through the store, only for it to turn out that the figure is actually a mostly-decomposed skeleton. In actual fact it's a reference to the Doctor Who story "Death to the Daleks", which has a near-identical scene (the finale episode was co-written by Mark Gatiss, a famous Doctor Who fan who would subsequently become a writer on that show's revival in 2005).
- Spiritual Predecessor: Many consider the 2000-01 series to be a prototype of sorts for the 2005 Doctor Who relaunch. In addition to the obvious link of having Tom Baker as Wyvern, as well as David Tennant as the man who kills Hopkirk in the first episode, many of the production team on the Randall & Hopkirk remake would later pop up on Doctor Who, including writers Mark Gatiss and Gareth Roberts, as well as composer Murray Gold.
- Widowed at the Wedding: Poor Jeannie finds out at the altar about her fiancé's demise.