In common with many ITC productions, Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased) utilised the famous (infamous?) 'ITC White Jag' footage, a sequence originally shot by director John Llewellyn Moxey in November 1965 for Something for a Rainy Day, an episode of The Baron. Over the years, it was used in most ITC series at one point or another and became something of a running joke - if a character got into a white Jaguar, they were in for a very rough ride with a smashing finish.
 

The sequence in the It's Supposed to be Thicker Than Water episode of Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased) is made up of footage newly shot for the episode along with film from stock, which had originally been shot for two episodes of The Baron (Something for a Rainy Day and Time to Kill) and a Department S (Who Plays the Dummy?). By checking the episodes of these series and particularly the high definition version of Something for a Rainy Day on the Network Retro-Action Volume 3 Blu-ray disc, Randall and Hopkirk (Declassified) can reveal not only that four different Jaguar cars that were utilised in the sequence, but we can even furnish you with their models and registration numbers:
 

Jaguar Mk II
Registration 469 EXO
Driven by Ramon and Johnny Crackan
 
Jaguar Mk II
Registration M 2543
Driven by Johnny Crackan
Also appeared in:
Department S - 'Who Plays the Dummy?'
1957 Jaguar Mk I
Registration M 431 428
(This is undoubtedly a car with fake Continental registration plates.)
Driven wildly by Johnny Crackan!
Also appeared in:
The Baron - 'Time to Kill'
Department S
- 'Who Plays the Dummy?'
Jaguar Mk I
Registration WRP 344
(Registration on the front of the car was NMK 76, which was most likely the actual registration.)
Driven over a cliff and crashed by Johnny Crackan!
Also appeared in:
The Baron - 'Something for a Rainy Day'
The Saint - 'The Queen's Ransom'
The Champions
- 'The Final Countdown'
Department S - 'Who Plays the Dummy?'
The Adventurer - 'Icons are Forever'
Hammer House of Mystery and Suspense - 'Black Carrion'
 

The climax of the sequence originally filmed for The Baron was shot in two different locations. The first shots, where we see one of the white Jaguars (a Mk I, with fake Continental registration plates - M 431 428) out of control on the road and hitting the verges at the side of the road was filmed on Ivinghoe Beacon in the Chilterns. Next, we cut to a shot of a different Jaguar (another Mk I, registration WRP 344) which careers down a steep slope towards the precipice - this was shot near Zig Zag Road on Box Hill, Surrey. The sequence then cuts to a shot from a camera at the base of the cliff (in Betchworth Quarry, beneath Box Hill) and we see it launched from the summit into the void. The camera follows the doomed vehicle on its descent and it impacts heavily on outcrops of rock before disappearing from view. There were two cameras covering the action at the summit and at least three cameras were rolling below in Betchworth Quarry, as different angles of the launch and descent are seen in the different series that the sequence appears in, often subtly re-edited. Of particular note is that the Jag appears to have lost its fake front registration plate by the time it comes to rest and through the wonders of high definition transfers, we can see that it reads NMK 76. It would seem that WRP 344 was a fake plate used throughout the Something for a Rainy Day episode of The Baron, possibly to permit two filming units to use what appeared to be the same car simultaneously. The rare photograph below, kindly supplied by Jaz Wiseman, demonstrates this oddity further.
 

 

An automatic camera was placed in the Jaguar car that was to be launched into the quarry. The camera was later recovered from the smashed vehicle in the quarry and the film retrieved for processing. There was of course the danger that the impact might have damaged the camera and rendered the film unusable - in this instance, the director's calculated risk paid off and the film footage obtained is breathtaking. It gives the viewer a stomach turning point-of-view from behind the steering wheel as the vehicle flies over the edge and dives headlong into the quarry below. We recommend vertigo sufferers shut their eyes at this point of the episode! The smashed car was recovered and returned to the studio at Elstree, where it was called into service one last time, looking exceptionally sorry for itself in a studio mock-up of the quarry. This sequence was shot to conclude the Something for a Rainy Day episode of The Baron, and featured Steve Forrest (as John Mannering) and Sue Lloyd (as Cordelia Winfield), neither of whom filmed scenes at the quarry location (stand-ins were used on location, as also regularly occurred with Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased)).
 

 

The same filming location was utilised in January 1966 to shoot a further such sequence, this time involving a red Renault Dauphine, for And Suddenly You're Dead, another episode of The Baron. This time it was decided not to place a camera inside the car, and so it would often be intercut with the white Jaguar in-car footage in subsequent ITC productions, with the red car suddenly inheriting a white bonnet!
 

Known appearances by the ITC White Jag in ITC productions:

The Baron - 'Something for a Rainy Day' and 'Time to Kill'
The Saint - 'The Queen's Ransom'
The Champions -
'The Final Countdown'
Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased) - 'It's Supposed to be Thicker Than Water'
Department S - ''Who Plays the Dummy?'
Jason King - 'Toki'
The Adventurer - 'Icons are Forever'
Follyfoot - 'Uncle Joe'
Hammer House of Mystery and Suspense - 'Black Carrion'
 

The red Renault Dauphine footage appeared in the following productions:

The Baron - 'And Suddenly You're Dead'
The Saint - 'The Counterfeit Countess'
The Champions - 'A Case of Lemmings'
Department S - 'The Man Who Got a New Face'
The Persuaders! - 'The Ozerov Inheritance'
The Benny Hill Show - at least 3 episodes (1985, 1986, 1989)
Father Ted - 'Hell'
 

If you've spotted additional occurances of either of these sequences,
please drop us a line at
declassified.web@gmail.com
 

 

The whole 'white Jag' enterprise was an unusually expensive one by ITC standards, which is one of the reasons that footage of the stunt turns up time and again in their productions. It was even licensed for re-use in the popular American television comedy series, Saturday Night Live from 1989-1993 in which it would regularly appear in Toonces, the Driving Cat, and footage from a 1992 special can be seen on YouTube. Closer to home, it appeared on Spitting Image and in the ITC spoof The Preventers in 1996. Meanwhile, the red Renault Dauphine footage later showed up in Hell, an episode of the sublime Channel 4 situation comedy Father Ted.
 

 

Michael Cassidy's Jaguar at Mitcham Common (photo Michael Cassidy, 1965)

 

Another ITC White Jag, albeit not one which was as ill-fated as many of them, appears in The Saint: The Queen's Ransom. Michael Cassidy takes up the story...
 

The Mk I Jaguar used in The Queen's Ransom was a 1959 3.4 SE, and I had owned it! I bought the Jaguar, with the registration number UKV 668, from a pilot in East Grinstead in July 1964. I paid 300 for the car, and can still 'feel' the pleasure I had when driving it. The inside was red leather, and it had a switch on the dashboard for Overdrive. Fuel consumption was about 18mpg in London, and 23mpg on a good run. The fastest I ever went in the car was 120 mph, with the rev counter showing 3,500 rpm just ticking over really!
 

Another view of the Mk I at Mitcham Common (photo Michael Cassidy, 1965)

 

In 1966, I used to live in Roehampton, almost opposite the old KLG spark plug factory. There was a very wide pavement outside my house, so I put the car on the pavement with 'For Sale' notices in it. Lots of people stopped! One said he was an agent for a company that hired cars to film companies, and gave me his card. He gave me all the information he could about the Jaguar needed for The Saint. My understanding was that the cliff scene at Betchworth Quarry had already been filmed, and that they wanted a decent white Jaguar for the scene leading up to the crash. The car that went over the cliff was grey and 'whitewashed', he said. I just wanted to sell the car, so when I sold it, to a young man in Castlenau, by Hammersmith Bridge, I passed the agent's card on to him.
 

Michael's Mk I on Winsham Grove SW11 (photo Michael Cassidy, 1965)

 

I sold the Mk I Jaguar in March 1966 for 100, and in September 1966 it appeared right at the end of The Queen's Ransom. The car sported French number plates (169 LN 75), but tellingly the driver's mirror was on the dashboard. I always watched The Saint, so when the new series started in September 1966 with The Queen's Ransom, I tuned in with a special interest. You can imagine my excitement at seeing 'my' Jaguar, and my frustration at not being able to prove it. I had to wait to the era of video recorders before I could finally confirm that it was the Jaguar Mk I that I'd owned. The near side scratches confirmed it!
 

I recently did a check, and UKV 668 is not registered today with DVLA. Of course, it is possible that the car is still running with a different number. Unless, of course, it was driven off a cliff...
 
 

Feature and Research by Alan Hayes A Saintly Coda by Michael Cassidy
Thanks to
Michael Cassidy, Sam Denham, Geoff Dodd, Graham Macdonald, Andrew S Redding,
Anthony Stevenson, Jaz Wiseman and Jack Yan

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