In common with many ITC productions, Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased) utilised the famous (infamous?) 'ITC White Jag' footage, a sequence originally shot 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!

Here is a list of 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'
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'

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.

Feature and Research by Alan Hayes
Thanks to
Sam Denham, Geoff Dodd, Graham Macdonald and Jaz Wiseman

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