1 9 6 9 – 1 9 7 0 (UK)
26 x 60 minute episodes
In the course of investigating a murder case, private investigator Marty Hopkirk (Kenneth Cope) was mistaken for his partner Jeff Randall (Mike Pratt) and had a contract placed on him. A hired assassin subsequently knocked him down and drove away, leaving Marty dead in the road.
After the funeral, Jeff encountered Marty’s ghost, dressed all in white, and together they decided to bring those responsible for Marty’s death to justice.
While Marty couldn’t be seen by anyone other than Jeff and was unable to touch anyone or anything (so couldn’t help Jeff in the constant fistfights he found himself in), the two made a formidable – if erratic – team.
Unable to interfere physically, Marty often assisted Jeff (such as informing him if someone was hiding behind a door waiting to offer violence, thereby allowing Jeff to prepare himself) and was capable of making his presence felt – he could create hurricane conditions by simply blowing, while extreme concentration resulted in the shattering of mirrors.
The supernatural element of the episodes was principally used for comedy relief and throughout the series, various people overheard snatches of Jeff’s conversations with the invisible and inaudible Marty, quickly arriving at the conclusion that poor Jeff was somewhat insane.
This concept reached its natural conclusion in the episode ‘A Disturbing Case’ when Marty’s widow Jean (Australian actress Annette Andre) and her sister Jenny had him committed to a mental hospital for observation.
Jeff also often found himself running foul of Detective Inspector Large (Ivor Dean, pictured) of the local plod.
Randall’s office is just off Trafalgar Square and much of the action was set around the Soho area of London.
Accordingly many episodes featured nightclubs, seedy bars, illegal casinos and dancing girls.
Randall was constantly on the brink of financial ruin and resorted frequently to borrowing from Jeannie (her car, her money) much to Marty’s disgust.
The show was designed to appeal to a trans-Atlantic audience but despite its popularity in both the UK and the US (where it was unimaginatively retitled My Partner the Ghost) the show failed to get a second series.
The format was resurrected in 2000 by the BBC as a vehicle for comedy duo Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer. Unfortunately, the revival failed to recapture the appeal of the original series.
My Late Lamented Friend & Partner | A Disturbing Case | All Work and No Pay | Never Trust A Ghost | That’s How Murder Snowballs | Just for the Record | Murder Ain’t What It Used to Be | Whoever Heard of a Ghost Dying? | The House on Haunted Hill | When did you Start to Stop Seeing Things? | The Ghost Who Saved the Bank at Monte Carlo | For the Girl Who Has Everything | But What a Sweet Little Room | Who Killed Cock Robin? | The Man From Nowhere | When the Spirit Moves You | Somebody just Walked over my Grave | Could You Recognize the Man Again? | A Sentimental Journey | Money to Burn | The Ghost Talks | It’s Supposed to be Thicker than Water | The Trouble with Women | Vendetta for a Dead Man | You Can Always Find a Fall Guy | The Smile Behind the Veil