Miami Vice (1984–1989)
6 user 1 critic

Phil the Shill 

A British television personality who has dealings with a major cocaine dealer is targeted by Crockett and Tubbs.


John Nicolella


Anthony Yerkovich (created by), Paul Diamond | 2 more credits »




Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Don Johnson ... Detective James Crockett
Philip Michael Thomas ... Detective Ricardo Tubbs
Saundra Santiago ... Detective Gina Calabrese
Michael Talbott ... Detective Stan Switek
John Diehl ... Det. Larry Zito
Olivia Brown ... Detective Trudy Joplin
Edward James Olmos ... Castillo
Phil Collins ... Phil Mayhew
Martin Ferrero ... Izzy Moreno
Michael Margotta ... Tony Rivers
Emo Philips ... Rat Race Contestant
Kyra Sedgwick ... Sarah MacPhail
Richard T. Bear Richard T. Bear ... Stewart
Brigid Cleary Brigid Cleary ... Tyrell
Gary Kiefer Gary Kiefer ... Bruford


Rock icon, Phil Collins of Genesis, plays a British grifter, "Phil the Shill" Mayhew. Phil takes Stan to the cleaners (over Elvis trivia, no less) and gets himself squarely on the guys' radar. Phil the Shill can feel it in the air tonight with pretty, uptown girl Sarah (Kyra Sedgwick). The girlfriend of a very elusive and paranoid coke dealer, Sarah's life is one big party, shopping and selling coke to her uptown friends. When semi-regular Izzy Moreno (Martin Ferrero) moves in on Phil (and Sarah) Crockett, Tubbs and the crew have to get creative. Written by LA-Lawyer

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


TV-14 | See all certifications »






Release Date:

13 December 1985 (USA) See more »

Filming Locations:

Miami, Florida, USA

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


-Phil Mayhew's distinctive car in this episode is a Lamborghini Jalpa. See more »


Zito's beard only appears after the broadcast of Rat Race, although it is too full to have been grown that quickly. See more »


Izzy Moreno: I love this house, man. Limitless potency. Toreadors on black velvet. Very Hemingwayesque. Women love Hemingway. I can also re-sculpt this empty space up here into a rich, dynamic fully functional albondigas. Albondigas which qualifies you to work with one of the great minds of the Southern Florida refugee experience and score some cheap furniture at the same time.
Phil Mayhew: You must take me for a right wanker, son.
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Featured in This Is Your Life: Phil Collins (1988) See more »


Rock by Day, Roll by Night
Written and Performed by Eugene Smith
See more »

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User Reviews

Phil Collins stars in this "love it or hate it" tale
6 August 2007 | by DVD_ConnoisseurSee all my reviews

I have a soft spot for this episode as, back in the eighties, I seemed to watch it countless times. Back then, the BBC showed the episodes in the wrong order and with various trims for "excessive" violence. Season 2 began in the UK with this episode, presumably because the appearance of Phil Collins would attract new fans. Also, it's an accessible episode for casual viewers - there's a lot going on, there's a mixture of humour, action and drama, and the budget's through the ceiling.

Phil Collins' character, Phil Mayhew, is a deliberately annoying con artist who takes on who than he can handle when he tries to muscle in on the activities of a drugs dealer, played by Michael Margotta. Kyra Sedgwick plays the kooky "girlfriend", Sarah MacPhail and Emo Philips plays the contestant of "Rat Race" who makes Switek's life a misery for a while.

There's a curious blend of violence and comedy in this episode but the overall result is, in my opinion, a memorable tale.

The soundtrack to "Phil the Shill" contains Phil Collins' recorded-for-the-episode "Life Is A Rat Race", Eric Clapton's "Knock On Wood" and Stan Ridgway's "Pick It Up (And Put It In Your Pocket)".

From a trivia point of view, Crockett refers to his Ferrari's paint-job as "Tuxedo Black" in the opening sequence, a reference to the Chevrolet colour. This is a deliberate mistake - Paul Diamond who penned this tale was mildly outraged that the Daytona was a Chevy powered replica rather than the real deal! 9 out of 10.

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