My Partner the Ghost: Season 1, Episode 9

The House on Haunted Hill (16 Nov. 1969)
"Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased)" The House on Haunted Hill (original title)

TV Episode  -   -  Action | Comedy | Crime
8.5
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Jeff is asked to investigate whether Merston Manor, a house which is impossible to sell, is really haunted after two previous psychics were scared off. He is looking into a jewel theft and ... See full summary »

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Title: The House on Haunted Hill (16 Nov 1969)

The House on Haunted Hill (16 Nov 1969) on IMDb 8.5/10

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Cast

Episode complete credited cast:
Mike Pratt ...
Kenneth Cope ...
Judith Arthy ...
Jennifer
Jeremy Burnham ...
Walter Previss
Peter Jones ...
Frederick P. Waller
Dermot Kelly ...
Henry Mace Horsfall
Duncan Lamont ...
Langford
Keith Buckley ...
Lattimer
George A. Cooper ...
Garfield Morgan ...
Carlson
William Kendall ...
Col. Jarrett
Carol Rachell ...
Miss James (as Carol Rachelle)
David Sinclair ...
Smith
John Kidd ...
Simpson
Terry Duggan ...
Jackson
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Storyline

Jeff is asked to investigate whether Merston Manor, a house which is impossible to sell, is really haunted after two previous psychics were scared off. He is looking into a jewel theft and sends Marty to the manor instead. Marty initially believes the ghostly sounds to be genuine but they are actually being made by the jewel thieves who are using the house as their den and want to scare off visitors. The gang capture Jeff and Jenny, Jeannie's sister but Marty comes to their rescue by appearing to one of the psychics previously frightened off, who summons help. Written by don @ minifie-1

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16 November 1969 (UK)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Judith Arthy, playing Jeannie's sister, replaced an indisposed Annette Andre. See more »

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"Immense fun with plenty of the good chemistry between Pratt and Cope that made show so memorable."
9 June 2010 | by (Poole, Dorset) – See all my reviews

Jeff Randall (Mike Pratt) is faced with the problem of solving two cases at the same time. The first is a fifty-thousand pound diamond robbery from Maudlands and the second is a haunted house case, Merston Manor. This property is owned by an estate agent called Webster (George A Cooper) who is having great difficulty selling it because of the hauntings, which are also causing great disturbance among the locals. Randall thinks there is a simple solution to the problem when he puts Marty on Webster's case because after all he is a ghost, "...perfect for you" he says. This leaves Randall free to concentrate on the diamond case. A tip off leads him to a dockland warehouse where he meets Walter Previss (Jeremy Burnham), the sales director at Maudlands who bribes Randall by offering him five grand to conclude that the robbery was an outside job. He refuses. Jean Hopkirk is out of town so her sister, Jennifer (Judith Arthy), is filling in at the office until her return. Previss's gang abduct Jenny and Jeff traces her back to Merston Manor - both the Maudlands and the haunted house cases are connected. The gang has made the house their headquarters and through some scary sound effects, they have created the illusion that the manor is haunted. Jeff is overpowered and the gang make preparations to murder both him and Jenny. Can Marty find someway of getting help to them before it is too late?

The House On Haunted Hill (not to be confused with the Vincent Price shocker) is immense fun despite the absence of Hopkirk's widow, Jean, which was due to Annette Andre being taken ill. The character of Jean's sister, Jennifer (played by Judith Arthy) was written into Tony Williamson's script, which gives the character some amusing scenes. Jennifer is always formal by addressing Jeff as Mr Randall all of the time. Marty responds by saying to Jeff "Mr Randall...oh come on Jeff!" He adds that "...if you play your cards right we could become brothers-in-law." Jeff does not take this too seriously but later he eyes the good looking Maudlands secretary, Miss James (Carol Rachelle), with whom he is successful in getting a dinner date. But Jennifer inconveniently arrives on the scene with news that if he isn't back on the job, his other client, Webster, will fire him. Jeff explains that Jennifer is his secretary and asks "What about tomorrow?". "Do I make an appointment?" Miss James responds as the elevator doors close on his face. There are also some good moments between Mike Pratt and Kenneth Cope who were well matched in this show and the chemistry between them was one of the things that made the series so memorable. Here they argue because Marty was unhappy about the haunted house case as the ghost sound effects scared him stiff. Jeff is dismissive saying "I live with a ghost but I don't go screaming every time you appear." Marty tells Jeff to check out the house for himself, which he does, but he too is scared when he hears the sounds. His only retort as he is too stubborn to admit he was wrong is to tell Marty that he's fired from the case adding that he only wanted him to take one lousy look at the place. There are good performances too especially from Duncan Lamont and Keith Buckley who are both old hands at playing ruthless villains and they are contrasted nicely with Jeremy Burnham's Walter Previss, the nervous, inexperienced one doing his once in a life job who gets in too deep never once thinking that his accomplices would go as far as murdering people who get in the way.

Overall, an immensely enjoyable episode with plenty of the good chemistry between Mike Pratt and Kenneth Cope that made the show so popular. Even though Judith Arthy's character appears only once due to Annette Andre being ill during the shoot, she is given enough to do so that she does not merely seen as a thinly drawn character popped in to fill the gap. The very able direction is by Ray Austin, a former stuntman who also worked extensively on The Avengers. It was on this series where he made his directorial debut with the classic Linda Thorson episode, All Done With Mirrors.


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