Written by Tony Williamson • Directed by Leslie Norman

ORIGINAL ITC SYNOPSIS

It's hard to trust a ghost when he says he has seen a murder and you then find that the victim is still alive. Jeff Randall doesn't know what to believe when his ghost detective partner Marty Hopkirk repeatedly reports dramatic events which appear to be without foundation...

When Marty Hopkirk tells Jeff Randall that he has seen a man murdered in his own home, Jeff loses no time in reporting the matter to the police. Marty is even able to name the victim: it is James Haworth and he knows what the killer looks like.

But Inspector Clayton is not in the least pleased when he visits the house with Jeff - accompanied, though he doesn't know it, by the invisible Marty - and is assured by Howarth's wife Karen that her husband is alive and well. The appearance of Howarth himself confirms this. To make matters worse, Howarth threatens to sue Jeff. He is a perfectly respectable Civil Servant; a senior book-keeper.

Marty, though, is still insistent that something strange is afoot and persuades Jeff to pay another visit to the Howarth home, ostensibly to apologise. Marty goes too, and, while Jeff is talking to Karen Howarth, does some quiet exploring on his own, and comes across the killer in the study - a man he later discovers is named Rawlins. Excitedly, he warns Jeff of this, but when Jeff forces his way into the study, there's no sign of Rawlins.

A protest to the police by the Howarths makes matters even more embarrassing for Jeff, but when Inspector Clayton is threatening him with arrest he receives a telephone call telling him to forget all about the case. This alone makes Jeff suspicious and the mystery takes another turn when Marty tells him that there are two bodies in the Howarth's basement - and they are James Howarth and his wife! But when Randall agrees to break into the house, the bodies have disappeared. Even more alarmingly, he is detected and reported to the police. Though he escapes, he realises that Inspector Clayton will want to know more about this, but fortunately Marty's widow Jean provides him with an alibi, even though it means being found in a compromising situation with him when the police arrive.

So Jeff is still free but, worried about Marty's actions, he approaches a ghost expert name Plevitt, who has a simple explanation: ghosts exist in a fantasy world, populated by figments of their own imaginations. Plevitt warns: "Never trust a ghost".

Now convinced that Marty is suffering from hallucinations, Jeff is prepared to forget about the Howarth case and completely ignores Marty when told that his life is in danger. He doesn't believe it until visited by the vicious Rawlins and learns, at last, that Marty has been speaking the truth - and also learns the truth about an audacious espionage plot which would endanger the lives of numerous British Intelligence agents.

And the ghost detective displays an ingenious turn of mind in making use of Dr Plevitt to save Jeff and round up the killers...

PRODUCTION & ARCHIVE
Production Code: RH/DCW/4014
Filming Dates:
December 1968 - January 1969
Production Completed:
Late May 1969
Recording Format: 35mm Colour Film
Archive Holding: 35mm Colour Film

UK REGIONAL PREMIERES

Anglia: Sun 4 Oct 1970, 3.00pm
ATV: Fri 17 Oct 1969, 7.30pm (B/W)
Border: Fri 6 Feb 1970, 7.30pm (B/W)
Channel: Fri 17 Oct 1969, 7.30pm (B/W)
Grampian: Thu 19 Mar 1970, 7.00pm (B/W)
Granada: Fri 17 Oct 1969, 7.30pm (B/W)
HTV: Sun 16 Nov 1969, 3.45pm (B/W)
LWT: Sun 12 Oct 1969, 7.25pm (B/W)
Scottish:
Sun 18 Mar 1972, 8.05pm
Southern: Sun 2 Nov 1969, 7.25pm (B/W)
Tyne Tees: Sun 9 Aug 1970, 9.05pm
Ulster: Fri 17 Oct 1969, 7.30pm (B/W)
Westward: Fri 17 Oct 1969, 7.30pm (B/W)
Yorkshire: Fri 17 Oct 1969, 7.30pm (B/W)
(B/W) = Transmitted in Black and White
(B/W*) = Transmitted in B/W due to ITV Colour Strike
CHARACTERS & CAST
Jeff Randall
Marty Hopkirk
Jean Hopkirk
James Howarth
Karen Howarth
Inspector Clayton
Rawlins
Sandra
Dr Plevitt
Mike Pratt
Kenneth Cope
Annette Andre
Peter Vaughan
Caroline Blakiston
Donald Morley
Philip Madoc
Edina Ronay
Brian Oulton
STAND-INS
Jeff Randall
Marty Hopkirk
Harry Fielder
Dougie Lockyer
STUNT DOUBLES
Jeff Randall Rocky Taylor
ORIGINAL SOUNDTRACK

Music for this episode was recycled from stock and therefore no release of a soundtrack of Never Trust a Ghost has been issued.

DVD EXTRAS

Network DVD (United Kingdom):
Original UK Title Sequence, Photo Gallery.
Umbrella Entertainment (Australia):

Photo Gallery.

PRODUCTION CREDITS

Writer – Tony Williamson
Series Theme & Musical Director –
Edwin Astley
Creator & Executive Story Consultant –
Dennis Spooner
Creative Consultant
- Cyril Frankel
Producer –
Monty Berman
Director –
Leslie Norman

Ronald Liles (Production Supervisor)
Frank Watts (Director of Photography)
Charles Bishop (Art Director)
Philip Aizlewood (Post Production)
Harry Ledger (Editor)
Malcolm Christopher (Production Manager)
Jack Lowin (2nd Unit Director)
Gerald Moss (2nd Unit Cameraman)

Val Stewart (Camera Operator)
Michael Meighan (Assistant Director)
Sally Ball (Continuity)
Denis Porter & Dennis Whitlock (Sound Recordists)
Bill Taylor (Sound Editor), Alan Willis (Music Editor)
John Owen (Casting)
Sue Long (Set Dresser)
Bill Greene (Construction Manager)
Peter Dunlop (Production Buyer)
A.J. Van Montagu (Scenic Artist)
Frank Maher (Stunt Co-ordinator)
Elizabeth Romanoff (Make-Up Supervisor)
Jeannette Freeman (Hairdresser)
Laura Nightingale (Costume Supervisor)
Cinesound (Sound Effects Suppliers)
and Chambers + Partners (Titles).

Made on Location and at Associated British Elstree Studios, London, England
An ITC Production

NEVER TRUST A GHOST • REVIEW

A taut, clever script from Tony Williamson that casts doubt over the veracity of Marty Hopkirk's information. The audience is let in on the fact that Marty has indeed seen the things he claims to have seen, but Jeff is put through a series of embarrassing situations which call into question the accuracy of the information he has received. This is an interesting path for the series to explore, though it does require a suspension of disbelief, since Jeff should have no doubts that Marty is a reliable source after their recent cases. This makes his belief in Dr Plevitt's theory that ghosts live in a fantasy world and consequently cannot report reliably on real world events a little hard to swallow; perhaps this is the reason why the episode was screened so early in the transmission order in the majority of ITV regions? Ignoring this element, the episode is among the best in the series, and is well handled by director Leslie Norman. There are excellent roles for Peter Vaughan, Caroline Blakiston and Philip Madoc, and a one-off turn from Donald Morley as Inspector Clayton. You come away from the episode convinced you've seen Morley in the series before, when you haven't, which is a compliment to his contribution. While Brian Oulton's role is essentially little more than a cameo, he managed to imbue Dr Plevitt with character and camp to such an extent that his scenes are significantly more amusing than perhaps the script itself suggested. As always, the regular cast are superb in Never Trust a Ghost, and Williamson gives them some good material to work with. A top drawer Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased) episode.

NEVER TRUST A GHOST • DECLASSIFIED

  • Teaser... Marty Hopkirk is wandering the streets of London at night, for want of something better to do with himself. He pauses outside the Galerie Michele and peers in at a painting on display before returning to his stroll. His attention is then drawn by a courting couple across the road, who are kissing, completely oblivious to their surroundings. Marty looks on with a slight sadness, perhaps thinking of Jeannie and what he has lost. He moves on, leaving the lovers to their moment, his thoughts turning instead to the parking meters which line the side of the road. As he turns the corner, a realisation dawns upon him - did he catch sight of a man hiding in the shadows on the opposite side of the road? He casts a glance back. Yes, he was right. How odd... The man steps out into the open, and looks back up the road. He is young, with cruel features, and wears a brown overcoat. The sound of an approaching vehicle can be heard. At the sound, the man retreats back into the shadows. Very suspicious, thinks Marty. A moment later, the vehicle arrives. It is a black taxi cab - and it pulls up beside a well-to-do residence. A man wearing a bowler hat exits the cab and goes to pay the driver. Marty is concerned when he looks back to the overcoated man who had been acting suspiciously, for now he is brandishing a gun, to which he adds a silencer. Having received his fare, the cabbie drives off and the bowler-hatted gentleman opens his front door and enters. In a flash, the gunman is behind him, the weapon aimed at its target. Marty appears inside the house and watches events unfold. He is powerless to help, and his cries of warning go unheard. The would-be victim asked the assailant what he wants. "Just you, Howarth," comes the reply. Howarth throws his briefcase at the gunman and runs for the door to his study. He isn't quick enough, for the gunman recovers and shoots Howarth in the back. Marty is horrified as he watches the man slide down the door frame. The gunman looks pleased with himself. A cold smile breaks across his visage. He checks his handiwork - his victim is definitely dead. He unscrews the silencer from the gun barrel and picks up the receiver of Howarth's hall telephone. He dials a number and makes his report: "Rawlins here... Yes, it's done... No, there were no witnesses." Marty Hopkirk, at his shoulder, disagrees...


  • Production Brief... Never Trust a Ghost was the fourteenth episode to go before the cameras. It was the fourth episode to have been written by Tony Williamson, and the third to be directed by Leslie Norman. The director had previously been responsible for A Sentimental Journey and It's Supposed to be Thicker Than Water. It would prove to be Norman's final credit for Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased) as, following the completion of this episode, he moved on to Department S (for ITC) and The Avengers (for ABPC). Both these productions and Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased) were produced out of Elstree Studios, and as their crew members regularly moved between productions, he was not exactly saying goodbye to his colleagues!

  • After the director of photography role had been shared between Frank Watts and Brian Elvin during filming of the previous episode, When the Spirit Moves You, the pair went their separate ways from this one, with Watts filling the role on Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased) and Elvin returning to Department S.

  • At the start of this episode, we see Marty materialising as he walks past the Galerie Michele. This was achieved in-camera with a technique known as a lap dissolve. In the operation, a section of film would be exposed twice, with the first exposure being faded to black in camera and the second starting from black and being faded up fully. In between the two exposures, the film would be rewound to the original starting point. Obviously, when attempting to achieve this effect, it was vital to have a locked-off camera and static background. In this instance, the night-time background of the backlot street and Galerie Michele was filmed in the first pass, and then the film was rewound and actor Kenneth Cope was cued to walk into shot. The lap dissolve gives the impression that he is appearing from nowhere as he walks.

  • Production slates surviving on behind the scenes footage reveal that interior scenes featuring at least Kenneth Cope were filmed on the 6th December 1968 at Elstree, and that the exterior second unit footage showing Jeff's Vauxhall arriving outside his apartment (on St. John's Wood High Street, St. John's Wood) was filmed on 30th January 1969.

  • Exact filming dates for this episode are unknown, but it is believed to have been filmed between early December 1968 and late January 1969, with production continuing through the Christmas and New Year period. Production slates, as mentioned above, reveal that filming took place on 6th December 1968 and 30th January 1969, though it is quite feasible that filming went beyond this latter date. A fully edited version of this episode was completed by late May 1969. It would receive its first UK broadcast on Sunday 12th October 1969 at 7.25pm when it aired in the London Weekend Television region.


  • On Location... Never Trust a Ghost boasts only a modest set of locations, with its centrepiece being on the Elstree backlot. Additionally, the episode recycled footage filmed for previous episodes, and made return visits to popular Randall and Hopkirk locales. More details in Locations: Never Trust a Ghost.


  • Appearing This Week... Actor Peter Vaughan managed to be both villain and victim in this episode, since it concerns the replacement of a well-placed civil servant and his wife with doppelgangers. Peter has enjoyed a remarkable career in the acting profession which dates back sixty years to his earliest screen credit in 1954 and which continued into the 2010s with his regular role as Maester Aemon in the phenomenally successful Game of Thrones series (pictured, right). Born Peter Ewart Olm on 4th April 1923 in Wem, Shropshire, the son of a bank clerk and a nurse, he was raised in Staffordshire and attended Uttoxeter Grammar School. Peter joined the Wolverhampton Repertory Theatre upon leaving school, and gained experience there and with other rep theatres prior to the outbreak of World War II. During the conflict, he served in the British Army in Normandy, Belgium and the Far East. Back in civvy street, Peter picked up where he left off and honed his skills as a theatre performer. Television roles followed from 1954 and then feature films from 1959, by which time he was well into his thirties. In the early days of his career, he was regularly cast as villains and policemen, his height (1.83m - 6 foot), hefty frame and hollow, beady eyes making him a favourite of casting directors. He was by no means an overnight star, and it wasn't until 1964 that he won his first starring role, in the low budget feature film Smokescreen, in which he portrayed an eccentric insurance investigator. By this time, he had however made his mark on television, most notably as the vicious Bill Sikes in the 1962 BBC adaptation of Charles Dickens' Oliver Twist. For ITC, Peter had featured in the Espionage play Once a Spy, a 1964 episode of The Saint (The Saint Steps In), Essay in Evil, an entry in the Man in a Suitcase series, and Report 3424 - Epidemic: A Most Curious Crime, a Strange Report. Just prior to his work on Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased), Peter had taken the starring role in the remarkable London Weekend Television series The Gold Robbers, which concerned a gold bullion heist at an airport and the investigation that it triggered. Peter would return to the ITC fold in the Seventies, with appearances in The Persuaders! episode Chain of Events, The Adventurer - Somebody Doesn't Like Me, and as the title character Quin in The Protectors. His career since that time has hit the heights, with several collaborations with director Terry Gilliam including Time Bandits (1981) and Brazil (1985), and with James Ivory on The Remains of the Day (1993). On television, he will always be remembered for his situation comedy roles in Porridge as hardened criminal Harry Grout and as Charlie Johnson in Citizen Smith. He has also continued to impress and entertain in dramatic roles in productions such as A Warning to the Curious, Our Friends in the North, Our Mutual Friend and Lark Rise to Candleford. In his personal life, Peter was married in 1952 to actress Billie Whitelaw. Following their divorce in 1966, he later went on to marry another actress, Lillias Walker, who telefantasy fans will recall as Sister Lamont in the Doctor Who classic Terror of the Zygons (1975).

  • Actress Caroline Blakiston has a face that is very familiar to fans of vintage television. She is an actress of considerable experience, with the focus of her career being on television roles in the main. She was born on 13th February 1933 in Chelsea, London, and trained in the performing arts at RADA. Her earliest roles were on the stage, from 1957, and she gravitated towards television from the early 1960s, with Dance with Death, a first series instalment of The Avengers series being her first major screen credit, as Elaine Bateman. As the decade progressed, Caroline became a regular choice for casting directors of British adventure series, with episodes of The Baron, The Avengers, The Saint, The Champions, Strange Report and Department S figuring on her screenography. Other memorable television roles have included a fine performance as Marjorie Ferrar in the 1967 BBC serialisation of The Forsyte Saga, opposite Anthony Valentine in Raffles (1977) as Lady Paulton, and as the villainess Bess Sedgwick in At Bertram's Hotel, an entry in the classic BBC series of the Agatha Christie Miss Marple mysteries starring the late Joan Hickson. A role of particular interest to fans of fantastic television is one of her first, as Dr Ann Boyd in the ABC children's serial City Beneath the Sea (1962), and this has recently been released on DVD some fifty year after its original transmission, a testament to the power of nostalgia. Caroline's career has not, however, been entirely restricted to the small screen, and her most celebrating feature film role is undoubtedly as Mon Mothma in the third Star Wars film to be made, Return of the Jedi (1983), which of course was filmed at Elstree Studios, just like Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased). She also featured in such films as The Magic Christian (1969), The Fourth Protocol (1987) and Woody Allen's Scoop (2006). In common with her co-star in Never Trust a Ghost, Peter Vaughan, Caroline Blakiston's career has continued well into the new Millennium, with roles in Midsomer Murders, Agatha Christie's Poirot, The Line of Beauty and as former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in Coup!, a 2006 television movie for the BBC.

  • Philip Madoc, who played the sadistic killer Rawlins in Never Trust a Ghost, was an actor of great accomplishment, who flitted across genre and theatrical discipline with seeming effortless ease, with roles on the stage, screen and television in a wide range of dramatic and comedic productions. His most famous roles were hardly his most high profile, as the German U-Boat captain who demands Private Pike's name in The Deadly Attachment, an episode in the BBC situation comedy Dad's Army, and as characters in four Doctor Who television serials and the 1966 Daleks - Invasion Earth 2150AD film, but Philip was happy to be associated with these series right up until his death, appearing in retrospectives and at fan club events. He was born Philip Jones in Twynyrodyn, Merthyr Tydfil on 5th July 1934, and in his youth showed great promise in linguistics, leading to study at the University of Wales and the University of Vienna and fluency in four languages (Welsh, English, Russian and Swedish). He also had a working knowledge of Huron Indian, Hindi and Mandarin. This led to work as an interpreter in Vienna, but this was a career with which he quickly grew disenchanted, not least because the job usually involved translating for policitians. He quickly he refocused on a career in the performing arts, and trained for three years at RADA. By the time he left, he had adopted the stage name Philip Madoc - the surname in Welsh means 'man of bravery'. A remarkable career beckoned and he was soon treading the boards with the world-renowned Royal Shakespeare Company. During the 1960s, he became a familiar face on British television, appearing in Top Secret, Maigret, Armchair Theatre, and for ITC, The Count of Monte Cristo, The Baron, The Saint, Man in a Suitcase and The Champions. The following decade saw him take headline roles, in productions such as The Last of the Mohicans, Another Bouquet (the sequel to A Bouquet of Barbed Wire) and Target, and this trend continued into the Eighties and beyond. The year 1981 saw him win his most acclaimed role, as former British Prime Minister David Lloyd George in the BBC serial The Life and Times of David Lloyd George. Between 1994 and 2002, Philip starred in the detective drama series A Mind to Kill, which was filmed in a Welsh language version in parallel with the production of the standard English language edition. It aired in Wales as Yr Heliwr (The Hunter). Philip Madoc was twice married, initially to actress Ruth Madoc from 1961 until their divorce in 1981, and then to second wife Diane, but sadly this relationship also ended in divorce. He died on 5th March 2012 aged 77 as a consequence of cancer.

  • Edina Ronay, who played Jeff's unfortunate date Sandra in this episode, is the daughter of the world famous Anglo-Hungarian food critic Egon Ronay (1915-2010). Born in 1944 in Budapest, Hungary, Edina moved to England with her family after the Second World War and initially went into acting. Besides her Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased) appearance, she also chalked up roles in genre television shows Ghost Squad, The Avengers (two episodes), The Champions, Department S (two episodes) and Jason King. Edina also worked in feature films, figuring in cult classics like the Sherlock Holmes/Jack the Ripper crossover A Study in Terror (1965), Carry on Cowboy (1966), Hammer's Prehistoric Women (1967) and an uncredited role in The Beatles' A Hard Day's Night (1964). After retiring from acting in 1974 to take up fashion design, Edina reinvented herself and has become as much a name in the fashion industry as her father was in his own field. She started off by opening a boutique in Chelsea which sold lace and clothing of 1930s-40s vintage, which she would stock up on at jumble sales, markets and auction rooms. Before long, her interest turned towards designing her own garments, and these she eventually displayed at London Designer Collections, the fore-runner to London Fashion Week. They were an instant hit. Today, after creating her eponymous company in 1984, Edina Ronay is a fashion designer who has enjoyed huge international success. Her knitwear and dresses are sought after and have been carried by some of the world's high class retailers including Browns, Liberty, Harrods and Harvey Nichols in London, Barney's, Bergdorf's and Bloomingdales in New York, and Printemps in Paris. Clients for dress design have included Princess Diana, Scarlett Johansson, Twiggy, Kate Moss and Jerry Hall, among countless others. It is unclear whether she has ever designed ghostly white suits...

  • Brian Oulton, who made a memorable turn in Never Trust a Ghost as Dr Plevitt, was born on 11th February 1908 in Liverpool, then in the county of Lancashire, and it was in that great city that he first trod the boards in repertory theatre. He slowly broke into films, his first role in Sally in Our Alley - a Gracie Fields movie - not even warranting a credit, but it was television, then in its infancy, that accounted for a significant proportion of his early work. In the late 1930s, he appeared in several live television plays for the BBC, who were at the time the only British television broadcaster. His burgeoning career was interrupted by the outbreak of the Second World War, and during the conflict Brian served in the British Army, achieving the rank of corporal. Once peace was restored, he resumed his acting career from 1946, winning many character parts on stage, on television and in feature films, generally in supporting roles, but occasionally in romantic leads. As his career developed in the 1950s and 1960s, he became employed increasingly in comedic roles, often as a comic foil in feature films such as the famous Carry On series (Brian appeared in Carry On Nurse, Carry On Constable, Carry on Cleo, Carry on Camping and a Carry On Christmas television special). His involvement with ITC was intermittent, but his roles in The Adventures of Robin Hood, The Buccanneers, The Saint, Ghost Squad, Department S and Jason King were always memorable. He is probably best remembered today for his supporting roles in situation comedies like Hancock, Steptoe and Son, Doctor at Large and The Young Ones, in which he played the father of Nigel Planer's Neil, the hippie. Brian also appeared in a number of high profile films during his career, including Hammer films The Damned and Kiss of the Vampire (both 1963), Richard Attenborough's Oscar-attracting epic Gandhi (1982) and Young Sherlock Holmes (1985). As well as acting, Brian also was a playwright, who wrote and starred in stage productions such as Births, Marriages and Deaths (1975) and For Entertainment Only (1976). In later life, Brian Oulton lived in Stratford-upon-Avon, and was married to the actress Peggy Thorpe-Bates (1914-1989). He died in London on 13th April 1992.


  • Trivia... This episode sees Jeff Randall contending with another arm of the Law in the form of Inspector Clayton (Donald Morley), a character clearly based on the Inspector Large template. In common with Ivor Dean's, Clayton's raison d'être appears to be to ensure that Jeff is locked up in prison for the public good, and he reacts with positive glee when Jeff digs deeper and deeper holes for himself over the Howarth affair. It is abundantly clear from the characters' interaction in Never Trust a Ghost that Jeff and Inspector Clayton have some considerable history, little of it positive, even though we do not see this explored in any earlier episodes on television. One wonders exactly what Jeff must have done to invoke the police inspector's ire... Once again in common with Inspector Large, it is clear that Clayton beyond any previous fallouts, has little time or patience for private investigators in general, and would prefer it if they left crime detection to the police. Morley's appearance would prove to be a one-off in Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased) - Inspector Clayton was not to return.

  • Although Mike Pratt had previously been attired in his brown leather jacket in A Sentimental Journey and Who Killed Cock Robin?, this episode marked the first time that Jeff was decked out in an all brown outfit, complete with the jacket. Between Never Trust a Ghost and the end of the series, it would become his trademark look.

  • Unusually, there are three instances in this episode of rolling backdrops being used as driver side-window backgrounds for cars in motion, rather than the more commonly employed optically printed backgrounds (shot against blue screens, with the moving backgrounds added in post production). The same scenery canvas on a revolving drum is used at 03m39s, 21m17s and 22m13s. The giveaway is the very regular repetition of building characteristics and the lack of degradation of the foreground image (process shots always looked inferior to the camera negative as they dropped a film generation when combined optically with the background).

  • A static backdrop depicting the entrance to Jeff's apartment is used in the background when he telephones Jeannie from the callbox across the street. This painted backdrop matches in well with the real location.

  • Another in-studio painted backdrop represents the row of garages opposite Jeff's flat which Jeannie and then the police park. In the previous episode, When the Spirit Moves You, this same backdrop represented the opposite side of the road to the Randall and Hopkirk offices (for the shot of Perrin watching from his car). Other shots in other episodes show that there are no garages opposite either Jeff's apartment or his office!

  • Jeff gets a severe beating in this episode from Rawlins, and this scene is notable for having some very poorly covered stunt doubling. You can imagine Mike Pratt and Philip Madoc watching from the sidelines and wondering if the definition of "double" had changed overnight!

  • When Rawlins pretends to be a potential client of Randall and Hopkirk, he gives James Wentworth-Smith as his false name. 'Wentworth' appears to have been a favoured name, maybe even an in-joke, as it had been employed twice before in the series. It had first been used by writer Donald James in For the Girl Who Has Everything, which featured the characters Kim and Larry Wentworth, and Who Killed Cock Robin, written (like Never Trust a Ghost) by Tony Williamson, which made reference to the family home as the 'Wentworth Howe estate'. Williamson would later re-use the Wentworth-Howe name in The Positive-Negative Man, a 1967 episode of The Avengers, and the character, Cynthia Wentworth-Howe would be played by Never Trust a Ghost guest star Caroline Blakiston!

  • We learn in this episode that Marty can operate the keys of a typewriter by thought power alone. Marty also demonstrates that he is perfectly well adjusted and an accurate reporter of real world events when he is tested at the British Museum by ghost expert Dr Plevitt.

  • This is one of only four episodes in the series to have been presented on DVD with their original British opening titles, on the Network release of the series, the other episodes being When the Spirit Moves You, Money to Burn and The Man from Nowhere. These episodes were mastered from standard prints and the title sequence was added during mastering by Network DVD to approximate how they would have looked on their original British transmissions.


  • Only You, Jeff? Ghost expert Dr Plevitt, who is based at the British Museum, has absolutely no trouble in seeing and conversing with Marty. However, Marty finds his relationship with the somewhat dotty academic a little frustrating, as Plevitt has a number of theories about ghosts, and most of these appear to be unfounded. Particularly inaccurate is Plevitt's suggestion that ghosts do not live in the real world and are therefore unreliable witnesses to real world events. As a result, Marty has to participate in a series of tests to convince Plevitt that he is not hallucinating.


  • Ghosts and Ghoulies... Once again, Marty is the solitary spectral presence in this episode. However, Plevitt is hardly surprised by Marty's appearance in his office at the British Museum, so we can assume that the doctor has seen a steady flow of visitors from the other side.


  • The Vehicles... Appearing in this episode were the following wonders of transport...

1958 Austin FX4 Taxi Cab
Registration 627 DXB
Driven by Taxi Driver
Also appeared in:
Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased) - 'A Sentimental Journey'
1968 Vauxhall Victor FD 2000
Registration RXD 996F
Driven by Jeff Randall
Also appeared in:
Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased) - used extensively throughout the series
Department S - 'The Last Train to Redbridge'
1968 Ford Zephyr Deluxe MkIV
Registration PXD 976F
Driven by Police Officer
Also appeared in:
Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased) - 'My Late Lamented Friend and Partner', 'A Sentimental Journey', 'You Can Always Find A Fall Guy', 'Who Killed Cock Robin?', 'The Trouble with Women', 'Whoever Heard of a Ghost Dying?', 'A Disturbing Case', 'Somebody Just Walked Over My Grave' 
Department S
- '
The Bones of Byrom Blain' and other episodes

1964 Austin 7/Mini
Registration BAP 245B
Driven by Jean Hopkirk

Also appeared in:
Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased) - 'My Late Lamented Friend and Partner', 'You Can Always Find a Fall Guy', 'All Work and No Pay' and 'Somebody Just Walked Over My Grave'
Department S - 'The Man from X'
The Persuaders!
-
'Greensleeves'
1968 Lancia Fulvia Coupé
Registration UBY 96F
Driven by Rawlins
Also appeared in:
Department S - used extensively in the series (Annabelle Hurst's car)

 


  • Seen It All Before? The Elstree backlot is probably as familiar to ITC fans as famous landmarks are to most people. The sections utilised here featured the 'Galerie Michele', which viewers will remember as being opposite John Mannering's antiques shop from The Baron, and the entrance to Jeff's bank (last seen in When the Spirit Moves You).

  • An in-studio backdrop depicting a row of wooden garage doors is utilised several times in this episode - first Jeannie parks outside them when driving to Jeff's, then when Rawlins shoots at Jeff, and finally when Jeff is in the car ducking the shots. The backdrop had previously been used in When the Spirit Moves You.

  • Two studio sets were redressed for use in this episode: the lounge set as Howarth's study, and Inspector Large's office, subtly altered to accommodate Inspector Clayton.

  • The 1968 Lancia Fulvia Coupé driven in this episode was borrowed from Department S, where it featured on a regular basis as Annabelle Hurst's car.

  • After being absent for three consecutive episodes, the white Ford Zephyr police car makes a return in Never Trust a Ghost.


  • Cock Ups... At 3 minutes and 56 seconds into the episode, we find Marty alone in Jeff's flat, so whose is that shadow passing along the wall behind him?

  • At 5 minutes and 25 seconds, Jeff hands Sandra a glass of wine. She raises the glass to her lips. The shot changes and rather than the glass being at her lips, she is raising it again. One wonders whether this was due to an error made during filming, in that the continuity point was overlooked, in editing, or if perhaps this episode was sponsored by the Alcohol Abstention Brigade?

  • At 23 minutes and 31 seconds, Jeannie's Mini speeds down Greenberry Street and parks up outside a row of garages. Jeannie exits the car and we now see the car is miraculously standing opposite Jeff's apartment block. The magic of editing is that it does make sense in isolation in this episode. However, it disagrees with the depiction of the environs of Jeff's home in other episodes, notably You Can Always Find a Fall Guy.

  • That row of garages is back at 32 minutes and 25 seconds, representing the frontage of Adams Furniture, the building which contains Jeff's office. Naturally, the building has no such feature.


  • And Finally... Jeff manages to get his parter's widow Jeannie into his bed in this episode. She agrees to drive round to Jeff's in her nightgown, late at night, to provide him with an alibi - is she really that naïve? We've all tried that one, haven't we? The late night call to an attractive young woman, the tall story about why she should come round to your place in her flimsiest of negligees... Even though Marty accepts the extinuating circumstances, that doesn't stop him locking Jeff out of his own flat once the police have gone!

Plotline: Scoton Productions / ITC • UK Transmissions by Simon Coward and Alan Hayes
Review by Alan Hayes • Declassified by Alan Hayes
with thanks to Alys Hayes, Vince Cox, John Holburn, Anthony McKay, Andrew Pixley,
Sam Denham and Shaqui Le Vesconte

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