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Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased) was a British private detective television series aired from 1969 to 1970. It starred Mike Pratt and Kenneth Cope as the private detective’s Jeff Randall and Marty Hopkirk, respectively. The series was created by Dennis Spooner and produced by Monty Berman for ITC Entertainment.
The series had a unique premise: Marty Hopkirk was murdered in a hit-and-run incident but returned as a ghost to help his partner Jeff solve his own murder and other cases. Jeff was the only one who could see or hear Marty, though some other characters could occasionally sense his presence under certain circumstances. To visually show that Marty is now a ghost, he appears dressed all in white, as do any other ghosts who pop up during the series.
The series consisted of 26 episodes, each about 49 minutes long. It was originally broadcast on ITV in the United Kingdom and on NBC in the United States under the title My Partner the Ghost. Despite being popular with viewers, the show was cancelled after just one season.
The series had a catchy theme tune composed by Edwin Astley, who also wrote the music for other ITC shows like The Saint and The Champions.
The British television series Randall & Hopkirk (Deceased) was revived in 2000 by Working Title Television for BBC One. The show starred Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer as Marty Hopkirk and Jeff Randall, respectively and Emilia Fox as Jeannie. The revival ran for two series in 2000 and 2001, with the first episode airing on March 18, 2000.
In the remake, the show explored Hopkirk’s afterlife more than the original series did. The show introduced a new location called Limbo, where Hopkirk could interact with other ghosts. A new character named Wyvern, played by Tom Baker, was also introduced as a mentor to Hopkirk. Jeannie’s character was also given a larger role in the remake and her relationship with Hopkirk was changed from widow to fiancée.
The show revolves around the partnership of private detectives and close friends Jeff Randall and his business partner, Marty Hopkirk. It starts with a pilot episode where the two investigate a divorce case for Mrs Fay Sorrensen. They had collected evidence against her husband before she met an untimely death. Following this, Mr Sorrensen realises that Hopkirk has worked out that she was murdered and so has him killed in a hit-and-run, leaving Randall devastated.
Hopkirk returns as a ghost, visible only to Randall and some minor characters. Although visibly shaken, the two continue to work together and solve cases as private detectives. Marty uses his ghostly powers to help Jeff solve his murder and other cases that come their way. He could spy on suspects, eavesdrop on conversations, pass through walls and doors, and occasionally manipulate objects or people with his mind. However, he also had some limitations: he could not enter holy places or cross running water, be affected by strong magnetic fields or electric shocks, and be exorcised by mediums or hypnotists.
The series is known for its comical and light-hearted episodes, and one of the recurring themes is that only Randall can see Hopkirk as a ghost, which often leads to humorous situations where others are unaware of the ghostly presence. However, there are also circumstances where others can see Hopkirk, such as when he possesses someone else’s body or when the supernatural is involved in the case.
Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased) opening Titles and theme tune
Marty Hopkirk is killed.
Marty returns as a ghost
Trailer for the 2000 remake of Randall and Hopkirk with Vic Reeved, Bob Mortimer and Emilia Fox
Cast and Characters
– Jeff Randall (Mike Pratt): A tough and cynical private detective who could handle himself in a fight. He was loyal to his partner Marty, even after his death. He often wore a beige raincoat and drove a Vauxhall Victor.
– Marty Hopkirk (Kenneth Cope): A friendly and humorous private detective who became a ghost after being killed. He wore a white suit and a red carnation, which made him stand out among other ghosts. He tried to help Jeff with his cases but sometimes caused more trouble than he solved.
– Jeannie Hopkirk (Annette Andre): Marty’s widow who worked as Jeff’s secretary. She was unaware of Marty’s return as a ghost, but she sometimes sensed his presence. She cared for both Jeff and Marty and often got involved in their cases.
– Inspector Large (Ivor Dean): A police inspector who had a love-hate relationship with Jeff and Marty. He sometimes cooperated with them but also resented their interference in his investigations. He was suspicious of Jeff’s strange behaviour and tried to catch him out.
Cars played a significant role in Randall and Hopkirk Deceased. Of the cars featured in the show, one of the most notable was the white Vauxhall Victor driven by Jeff Randall. This classic British car with a registration number of 546 LCU became an iconic part of the show and was frequently featured in chases and action scenes. Interestingly, this car also appeared in other popular TV shows of that era, including The Saint and The Adventures of Robin Hood.
Another car that gained significant popularity through the show was the red Mini that belonged to Jean Hopkirk (played by Annette Andre), the wife of Marty Hopkirk. With a registration number of MYK 1F, this Mini was an integral part of the show and added an element of excitement to the various car chases in the series.
|1||My Late Lamented Friend and Partner||Marty Hopkirk is killed by a hit-and-run driver while investigating a case of adultery and returns as a ghost to help his partner Jeff Randall expose the murderer.||8.2/10||21 Sep 1969|
|2||A Disturbing Case||Jeff is hypnotized by a crooked psychiatrist who wants to use him as an assassin, but Marty intervenes to save him.||7.8/10||28 Sep 1969|
|3||All Work and No Pay||Jeff and Marty are hired by a woman who claims her husband is trying to contact her from beyond the grave, but they discover a sinister plot to swindle her out of her inheritance.||8.0/10||05 Oct 1969|
|4||Never Trust a Ghost||Jeff is accused of murdering a client’s husband, but Marty’s testimony as a witness is not accepted by the court. They have to find another way to prove Jeff’s innocence.||7.9/10||12 Oct 1969|
|5||That’s How Murder Snowballs||Jeff is hired by a pop singer who is being blackmailed by his former manager, but the case turns deadly when the manager is killed and Jeff becomes the prime suspect.||8.1/10||19 Oct 1969|
|6||Just for the Record||Jeff and Marty enter a contest to win a fortune by finding clues hidden in a record, but they are not the only ones after the prize.||7.7/10||26 Oct 1969|
|7||Murder Ain’t What It Used to Be!||Jeff and Marty encounter another ghost, a former gangster who wants them to help his old partner escape from a rival mob boss.||8.3/10||02 Nov 1969|
|8||Whoever Heard of a Ghost Dying?||Marty’s ghostly powers start to fade when his grave is threatened by a construction project. Jeff has to find a way to save his friend before he disappears forever.||8.4/10||09 Nov 1969|
|9||The House on Haunted Hill||Jeff and Marty investigate a haunted house where a wealthy recluse lives with his mysterious daughter and a sinister butler.||7.6/10||16 Nov 1969|
|10||When Did You Start to Stop Seeing Things?||Jeff is framed for stealing a valuable painting from an art gallery and has to rely on Marty’s invisible assistance to clear his name.||8.5/10||23 Nov 1969|
|11||The Ghost Who Saved the Bank at Monte Carlo||Marty helps his widow Jean win a fortune at a casino in Monte Carlo, but they attract the attention of some unscrupulous characters who want to get their hands on the money.||7.5/10||30 Nov 1969|
|12||For the Girl Who Has Everything||Jeff falls in love with a beautiful heiress who is being targeted by her greedy uncle, who plans to kill her and inherit her estate.||8.6/10||07 Dec 1969|
|13||But What a Sweet Little Room||Jeff is lured into a trap by a woman who claims to be in danger, but turns out to be an accomplice of a ruthless killer who wants revenge on Jeff for sending him to prison.||8.7/10||14 Dec 1969|
|14||Who Killed Cock Robin?||Jeff and Marty are hired by a journalist who has uncovered a political scandal, but he is shot before he can reveal his source. They have to find out who killed him and why.||8.8/10||21 Dec 1969|
|15||The Man from Nowhere||A mysterious man claims to be Marty’s long-lost brother and offers to help him return to life, but Jeff suspects he has ulterior motives.||7.4/10||28 Dec 1969|
|16||When the Spirit Moves You||Jeff and Marty go undercover as gamblers to expose a crooked casino owner who is cheating his customers with the help of a psychic.||8.9/10||02 Jan 1970|
|17||Somebody Just Walked Over My Grave||Marty discovers that his death was not an accident, but part of a conspiracy involving his former boss and a corrupt politician. He and Jeff set out to bring them to justice.||9.0/10||09 Jan 1970|
|18||Could You Recognise the Man Again?||Jeff witnesses a murder, but the killer escapes before he can identify him. He later learns that the victim was a secret agent and that the killer is after a vital microfilm.||9.1/10||16 Jan 1970|
|19||A Sentimental Journey||Jeff is hired by two rival criminals to transport an item worth £10,000 from Glasgow to London, but he doesn’t know what it is or why they want it so badly. Things become complicated when he meets an old flame along the way.||7.3/10||23 Jan 1970|
|20||Money to Burn||Jeff and Marty are hired by an eccentric millionaire who wants them to burn his money before he dies, but they soon realize that he is not as crazy as he seems.||9.2/10||30 Jan 1970|
|21||The Ghost Talks||Marty’s voice is accidentally recorded on tape during one of Jeff’s cases, and the tape falls into the hands of a reporter who wants to expose the truth about Randall and Hopkirk.||9.3/10||06 Feb 1970|
|22||It’s Supposed to be Thicker Than Water||Jeff’s estranged brother shows up after years of absence and asks for his help in clearing his name of a robbery charge, but Jeff doesn’t trust him.||7.2/10||13 Feb 1970|
|23||The Trouble with Women||Jeff gets involved with three women who all have something in common: they are all married to the same man, who is planning to kill them one by one for their insurance money.||9.4/10||20 Feb 1970|
|24||Vendetta for a Dead Man||Marty’s killer returns from abroad and tries to eliminate Jeff as well, but he doesn’t know that Marty is still around as a ghost and ready to protect his partner.||9.5/10||27 Feb 1970|
|25||You Can Always Find a Fall Guy||Jeff is framed for a crime he didn’t commit and ends up in jail. Marty has to find the real culprit and clear Jeff’s name before it’s too late.||9.6/10||06 Mar 1970|
|26||The Smile Behind the Veil||In the final episode of the series, Jeff and Marty investigate the death of a woman who supposedly committed suicide, but her sister believes she was murdered. The clues lead them to a small coastal town with a dark secret.||9.7/10||13 Mar 1970|
Where Can I Watch it?
Randall and Hopkirk is often broadcast on the Great! TV network which is Freeview 50, Sky 157 and Virgin 189. Elsewhere there is the odd episode on YouTube or watch all episodes for free on ITVX (Ad Supported). Or you can pay for each episode on Amazon Prime or on Apple TV+ . Lastly you can buy the Complete Series on DVD or Blu-ray from Amazon.