The twist of this private-eye show is that in the first episode, gumshoe Marty Hopkirk (Kenneth Cope) is killed off by the villains, subsequently popping 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 recent remake with Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer hasn't obliterated memories of the original. This disc contains episodes one and two: "My Late Lamented Friend and Partner" and "A Disturbing Case". --Kim Newman [show more]
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