Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Naive Avengersthon - 91. Never, Never Say Die

A fantastic postmodern opening sequence with Mrs Peel apparently watching The Cybernauts before Steed appears on her telly to say that she's needed. Note the cutting edge wired remote control.

Primed by this, we have no trouble guessing that the mysterious man (Christopher Lee) who survives being run over twice by Christopher Benjamin (returning from How To Succeed At Murder), and hates radios, might just be a robot. Even if we missed it, the fact that his name is Dr Frank N. Stone (which I missed first time round) is there to help us. The real mystery is in whether he or his sidekick Penrose (Jeremy 'Kal' Young, returning from A Touch of Brimstone), or both, is evilly motivated.

Unusually there's a companion of the week in Dr James (Patricia English making her third appearance), who gets to play a pivotal role in resolving the final fight.

It's a rule that in any story involving doubles, the regulars have to get doubled, and this is no exception; but this time their duplicates are saved for comedy purposes at the end. It's quite funny though. Unlike the closing gag itself, which is a rubbish joke about politicians.

Also seen: Arnold 'Pte Godfrey' Ridley as an old remote-controlled boat enthusiast. Alan Chuntz (the chauffeur in Seeds of Doom). Geoffrey Reed (the skipper of the Polotska in Checkmate).

Previously seen: John Junkin returning from Dressed To Kill.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Joe Orton and Doctor Who

From Joe Orton's diaries, February 5th 1967:

Yesterday I was watching an episode of Dr Who and I spotted a little boy in that called Frazer Hines.

Airdate lists suggest this must have been Underwater Menace episode 4. And what a pity Orton didn't have a cine camera handy to record the episode in which Jamie made such an impression on him.

And for April 15th 1967:

Watched Dr Who on television. Rubbish, but there's a young boy in it who is worth looking at... I mentally undress him. I'm sure the BBC would be horrified if they realised that even a science fiction series can be used erotically.

That was The Faceless Ones episode 2. Joe Orton would have made a great DW forum poster (if he'd cottoned on to the correct spelling of Fraser anyway). Incidentally, reading the diaries again last week I realised that he may be talking about Hines as possible casting for Sloane. I would have liked to have seen that.

He also overheard two women on a bus talking about a Dalek story. One thought it was too far-fetched. The other agreed: 'You know where you are with human beings, don't you,' she said.

Finally, in January 1967 an excerpt from Orton's play Loot is televised. In the director's chair is none other than a young Peter Moffat, who told Orton how much he'd like to have a go at doing Entertaining Mr Sloane on TV too. (Nothing came of it because Rediffusion were too timid to broadcast a play about a man and woman competing over a dodgy young man).

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Naive Avengersthon - 90. The Correct Way To Kill

Now this one must be the remake of The Charmers which I was warned about. It was actually a lot better than I expected - for example Michael 'Toymaker' Gough (returning from The Cybernauts) is a lot better as the Russian spymaster than the character's name, 'Nutski', suggests. And Philip Madoc (making his fourth appearance) can raise the tone of any episode, though he's wasted in this.

Anna Quayle, who I find was the awful wacky Mrs Monroe in the later Grange Hill era, is also pretty good as Steed's Rrrussian partner, an appealing blend of ugly and sexy. I was disappointed though by the way her initial scene showed her as capable of kicking serious arse, thus setting us up with the expectation that she'll use these skills again in the denouement, but she doesn't.

Peter 'Leader Clent' Barkworth from The Medicine Men, and Graham Armitage (Barney in The Macra Terror, returning from Quick, Quick Slow Death) are great as the two principal killer city gents. Their immaculate suits, bowlers and brollies give them an extraordinarily sinister air, and their Thompson Twins impression in the teaser only heightens the effect. (To be precise I refer to the Tintin duo, not the 80s pop trio, though that would have been funny).

I enjoyed this a lot more than The Charmers. The style of series 5 is a lot better suited to this kind of story.

Also and previously seen: Terence 'Lord Ravensworth' Alexander, rather ironically returning from The Town of No Return.

Also seen: not Colin Jeavons but Timothy Bateson as the chiropodist - I think he was the original Grange Hill caretaker.

Naive Avengersthon - 89. The Hidden Tiger

I liked this one: prominent people are once again being mysteriously clawed to death, apparently by a lion this time. After some misdirection at an experimental farm, the trail leads to the headquarters of the Philanthropic Union for Rescue, Relief and Recuperation of cats. I liked the succession of cut-out cats in the driveway with warning notices on them: NO DOGS, STRICTLY NO DOGS, DOGS ABSOLUTELY PROHIBITED.

Edwin Cheshire, the director of PURRR, looked very much like a young Ronnie Barker, and indeed that's who was playing him. Very cat-like, though I thought having him lap his glass of milk was too obvious and spoilt it.

The deaths are quickly seen to be rehearsals for a sinister plan on a very large scale, designed by Cheshire's sinister colleague, Dr Manx (!) (Lyndon 'Silanus' Brook). I appreciated the way that he guiltily thinks his plan has been turned on him and dies as a result of panicking. Also that the correct solution to the mystery is proposed as a joke in the first five minutes.

Also seen: Frederick Treves (Brotadac and Kenneth Williams crony).

Previously seen: Michael Forrest returning from Death Dispatch.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Naive Avengersthon - 88. The Living Dead

An interesting combination here: initially a story about ghosts appearing near the scene of a mining disaster, and then it veers wildly off into James Bond territory.

The feel of the two parts is very different: in the first part we have comedy with two rival ghost-hunting organisations, represented by the spiritual Pamela Ann 'Janley' Davy returning from Mission to Montreal and the scientific Vernon 'Chief Scientist' Dobtcheff returning from Room Without A View.

The second part on the other hand is quite sinister: similarities to Bond yes, but also the unsettling combination of ruthlessness and ridiculousness of the Village.

Previously and also seen: Julian Glover returning from Two's A Crowd, John 'Prof Krimpton' Cater making his third appearance.

Also seen: Jack 'Sgt Arnold' Woolgar.

Previously seen: Edward 'Zastor' Underdown from The Murder Market, Howard Marion Crawford from What The Butler Saw, Alister Williamson all the way from Hot Snow and Jack Watson from Silent Dust.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Naive Avengersthon - 87. The Winged Avenger

Lot of spoilers in this appreciation I'm afraid, it's the only way to give an adequate impression.

Businessmen are being killed off (again) - this time by a huge avian creature. The closeups of it climbing up buildings with its claws are excellent - unfortunately they use the same ones for two different buildings, and they don't match the masonry on either. But that's the only flaw here, the Winged Avenger is made to seem very frightening.

The trail leads Steed to the bickering writer/artist duo behind the Winged Avenger comic. The identity of the Avenger becomes clear, and as Steed is driven to the location where Mrs Peel's gone to follow up some misdirection, he flips through the latest Winged Avenger storyboards, which show a certain Elma Peem in dire peril. There's a brilliant dissolve between each successive board and Mrs Peel's identical situation.

When Steed arrives to save the day, he defeats the Avenger by whacking it over the head with boards bearing legends like POW!, BLAM! and SPLAT!, all to the cheeky accompaniment of the Batman TV theme. This scene is genuinely hilarious, and the closing gag features a PING! of its own.

I noticed at the start of series 4 that it took them a while to get into their stride with the new format, and similarly this seems to be the point in series 5 where they've found the right kind of story to tell with the new-style show. One of my favourite episodes so far.

Jack MacGowran as the flight-obsessed Professor is excellent, just the right blend of naivety and obsession.

Also seen: Neil 'The Maylin' Hallett. Frank Bellamy at the pen for the comic art.

Previously and also seen: Colin 'Max Quordlepleen' Jeavons back from A Touch of Brimstone.

Previously seen: A.J. Brown returning from Small Game for Big Hunters, Hilary Wontner from Silent Dust. Roy Patrick making his third appearance.

Naive Avengersthon - 86. The See-Through Man

A third example of the 'fantastic happenings which turn out not to be quite so fantastic' story, revolving around the possible invention of an invisibility formula, and its uses to a certain foreign power.

Unfortunately it's also an example of a komedy spy story, as can be seen from the presence of Warren Mitchell (his fourth appearance) as Brodny again. I find the constant scenes of him cringing before his political bosses very irritating.

It's not a bad story overall I suppose, the invisibility is quite ingeniously explained, though if there was a reason for the mysterious happenings in the park, I missed it.

Also seen: John 'Rev Ernest Matthews' Nettleton.

Previously and also seen: Roy Kinnear making his third appearance, Moira 'Domitia' Redmond coming all the way back from Hot Snow.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Naive Avengersthon - 85. From Venus With Love

I was wistfully hoping that this episode might feature a return appearance by Venus Smith, but sadly it was not to be.

The British Venusian Society are devoted to watching what's probably the least interesting planet to observe in a telescope. They have ambitions to send a manned mission there, and, this being The Avengers, their leader is a lady called Venus Browne (Barbara 'Dr Plaxton/Sorasta' Shelley). But their members are dying off, mysteriously frazzled by a bright light that seems to come - from Venus!

Derek 'Greg Sutton' Newark, back from Trojan Horse, is Ms Browne's associate Crawford. It was interesting to see him doing a cold, scientific character.

Their funding comes from Colonel Whitehead, who spends his time making LPs of his past military exploits Big Finish style, with an array of gramophones playing sound effects discs. He's played by some bloke called Jon Pertwee, I don't know what happened to him.

Some more cod Britishry in this one, notably Jeremy 'sitcoms' Lloyd as an aristocratic chimney sweep.

Not a bad story all in all, I rather like these ones where something science fictional is going on - or is it?

Previously and also seen: Philip 'Bigon' Locke making his third appearance.

Also seen: Arthur 'Cully' Cox. Michael Lynch, who is probably the Thal politician in Genesis of the Daleks. There are about 10 Michael Lynches so it might not be him.

Previously seen: Adrian Ropes returning from The Danger Makers.

On rewatching, it occurred to me that there are many shots in this episode of Venus seen through telescopes in full phase, and the BVS has various posters on display of the same picture. Unfortunately it's impossible to see Venus in full phase from Earth, as it's either behind the Sun, or too close to the Sun to see, when it's full.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Naive Avengersthon - 84. The Bird Who Knew Too Much

This one is a strange combination, it's 45 minutes of runaround, followed by the revelation of a very clever central conceit, certainly one that I didn't manage to guess.

The runaround concerns the search for an 'emperor among parrots', and amongst other places takes us to the familiar 60s location of a photographer's studio. Kenneth 'Vic Spanner/Packard' Cope is perfect in this role. I didn't recognise him at all.

Two rather sillier characters are bird fanatic Edgar Twitter (played by John Wood in a sort of not-quite-Kenneth Williams way) and avian elocution teacher Prof Jordan (Ron Moody, returning from Honey for the Prince).

The twee street sets I complained about in the last episode are in evidence again. They paint a picture that's almost but not quite entirely unlike London, presumably for the benefit of American audiences. (I'm not having a go because they're American. If anything I'm ashamed that they're being misled.)

To make up for this there's a rather stylish fight on a diving platform above a swimming pool between Mrs Peel and a sniper (Michael 'Ganatus' Coles).

Previously and also seen: Ilona Rodgers returning from Six Hands Across A Table. Not only was she Carol in The Sensorites, but she was also the incredible Zara Moonbeam in Pris.

Also seen: Anthony Valentine, who was the perfect Baron Gruner in Granada's Illustrious Client.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Naive Avengersthon - 83. Escape In Time

This episode was clever enough to trap me into laughing at its risible method of time travel before revealing that the time-travel element wasn't all that it seemed. Thyssen (Peter Bowles making his third appearance) is apparently using his one-armed time bandit to send fugitives from justice back into the past. The idea of having his ancestors from different eras as confederates is a good one, rather Scarlioni-esque.

I really don't like the twee street sets (a style which we'll see again) - it feels like they're pandering to lazy American ideas of what Britain is like.

Also seen: Clifford 'Major Branwell' Earl, Geoffrey 'Organon' Bayldon, Nicholas 'Mr Rumbold' Smith, Imogen 'not Valerie Leon' Hassall.

Previously seen: Roger Booth returning from The Hour That Never Was, Judy Parfitt making her third appearance.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Naive Avengersthon - 82. The Fear Merchants

Now, in colour! With extended opening credits which look nice, but make a mockery of the whole thing if you ask me. Mrs Gale would never have shot the cork off a champagne bottle unless she intended the cork to stun the villain. In the old days they took things a bit more more seriously. The 'Mrs Peel, we're needed' card pisses me off too, Steed presumably has them printed up specially? This is a culture shock worse than the one at the start of series four.

A lot of Prisoner vibes from this one, partly with the whole concept of a business efficiency bureau eliminating clients' competitors by exploiting their phobias, and partly with the presence of Patrick 'Number Two' Cargill (returning from The Murder Market) and Annette 'She even looks like a spy' Carell.

I think I'll have to console myself with assessing possible influences on other shows from here onwards; this is no longer about people doing serious things for a serious purpose. And it gets worse... just wait till we get onto the street sets in the following episodes.

Also seen: Edward 'Prof. Kettlewell' Burnham, Declan 'Till' Mulholland, Garfield 'Haskins' Morgan, Brian 'Foggy' Wilde.

Previously and also seen: Bernard Horsfall returning from The Cybernauts.

Naive Avengersthon - 81. Honey For The Prince

This was very disappointing, a sad end to the BW era. QQF, an organisation which arranges role-playing fantasies, is being used by Arkadi (George 'Klieg' Pastell) to set up the assassination of Prince Ali. Much hackneyed humour about harems, polygyny and royal whims, such as commanding Steed to bowl to him in a game of indoor cricket.

Unusually, both the opening and closing sequences are quite pleasing: we open with Steed and Mrs Peel returning happily from a party that's lasted all night, and close with them apparently on a flying carpet.

Also seen: Jon 'Count Federico' Laurimore: a gentleman and the best landlord in the world. Reg 'Man in mackintosh' Pritchard.

Previously and also seen: Ken Parry from Death a la Carte.

Previously seen: Bruno Barnabe from The White Elephant.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Naive Avengersthon - 80. How To Succeed... At Murder

I rather enjoyed this one, with its super-efficient secretaries taking over businesses through a combination of professionalism and murder, in furtherance of a female world domination plan. A plan run by Henrietta and her gimp Henry (Artro Morris returning from Conspiracy of Silence); she is not seen until halfway through the episode, and even when her true nature is revealed, there's further misdirection about who's behind her - intriguing stuff.

Christopher Benjamin has a bizarre role as J.J. Hooter, a perfume expert with a very sensitive nose, who Mrs Peel consults during the investigation.

There's a really funny bit in the final shoot-out which regrettably I can't recount because it would spoil the Henrietta reveal.

Previously and also seen: Jerome Willis and Angela Browne both returning from Intercrime, David Garth from The Big Thinker.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Naive Avengersthon - 79. A Sense Of History

Vaguely fascist students are deployed by a vaguely fascist academic to take on his vaguely progressive opponents. There were some good bits in this but it made me wish I was watching School For Traitors instead.

Patrick Mower is very charismatic as the student leader Duboys. The nasty edge beneath their Rag Week antics brings out a correspondingly nasty edge in Steed, who hasn't been this assertive since series 3. It's clever the way the writing doesn't make his sudden aggression seem uncalled-for.

The scene where Steed is under attack from flaming arrows, at a caravan in the woods where one of the academics is hiding, is quite bizarre, probably one of the strangest things in the BW era. I wasn't so keen on the reheated 'who's who?' fancy dress shenanigans, except for the bit where Mrs Peel and Duboys face off in their respective Robin Hood costumes.

Jacqueline Pearce as Marianne drew my attention, though I didn't recognise her. Also also seen: Kenneth 'It's your head on the block, Chinn' Benda, Robin 'Altos' Phillips. And John 'C.J.' Barron didn't get where he is today by not being in this.

Previously and also seen: Nigel Stock returning from Concerto, John Ringham from The Secrets Broker.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Naive Avengersthon - 78. The House That Jack Built

As I was told when this 'thon reached Don't Look Behind You, this ep is basically a remix of a previous concept - the 'companion' being invited to a big house under false pretences, subjected to psychological torture and then escaping just as Steed arrives to rescue them.

I enjoyed spotting the different conceits from the original - like the photograph motif - and how they were differently employed in the remake. This version benefits greatly from only having one annoying grotesque as a red herring, and his humourless mien is much more effective at conveying a misdirecting sense of menace than the shouty eccentricity of the original ones.

I was also impressed that they came up with a different, but equally scary, motivation and method for the torture. This time the companion is to be trapped and cared for until she tops herself, which is just as unpleasant a fate as whatever Phineas Clanton ultimately intended to do to Cathy.

I wasn't expecting to like this episode so it deserves extra credit for holding my attention. My only real problem with it was that when we start hearing Mrs Peel's thoughts, it seems like the words are actually part of the diegesis, being played to her through speakers or something. A bit of echo wouldn't've hurt.

A couple of DW aspects: the villain is one Professor Keller, and the scene where Mrs Peel reaches the centre of the house and finds him is rather reminiscent of the scenes in the control room of the City in Death to the Daleks.

There is no real B31 or any other B road with a number lower than 100. Although a number starting with 3 would be appropriate for a road in Hampshire.

Also seen: Griffith 'Kennedy' Davies as the escaped prisoner, Alan 'Herrick' Lake as the prison officer (he's not in the credits, I cheated and looked that up on imdb). Michael Wynne, who was the landlord in the Granada Shoscombe Old Place.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Naive Avengersthon - 77. What The Butler Saw

Not a very good episode, about a school for butlers supplying staff to military men with the intent of bugging secret discussions. The school scenes provide yet another opportunity for 'people being drilled in doing things in unison' komedy, and there's a bizarre top-secret conference inside a giant plastic bag.

Best bits: Steed assuming the guise of naval, army and RAF officers in succession when he visits the bugging targets, including a stylish arrival by motor launch. Steed again as a buttling student.

Mrs Peel has her moments too - principally being sent in as bait for a philanderer, and finding that he's fed up with keeping up his reputation and just wants to have a cup of tea and play ludo with her. (Perhaps in view of her recent ordeals I should explain that they use a standard ludo board, he doesn't want her as a human ludo counter or something) She also has a fight with the buttling school mastermind inside a rack of doors used for door-answering drill.

Previously seen: John le Mesurier as the chief butler, returning from Mandrake. Norman Scace from Lobster Quadrille, Peter Hughes from The Medicine Men.

Also seen: Kynaston Reeves, who's the government visitor inspecting the experiment in Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Naive Avengersthon - 76. A Touch of Brimstone

A cut-and-shut episode really - a front bit involving increasingly less harmless practical jokes on public figures, and a back bit involving a revived Hellfire Club run by Peter Wyngarde. Plenty of spectacle at the latter, including Steed ingeniously cheating his way through the initiation test and some writhing mounds of lustful people.

But again the set piece involves Mrs Peel, this time in dominatrix gear as the 'Queen of Sin'; in this outfit she has a bizarre stylised fight with an acrobat, and then gets a whipping from Wyngarde before he plunges to his doom.

It all looks pretty good, and Wyngarde is good value as always, but this was one of those 'all icing, no cake' eps.

Also seen: Carol 'Stewart Lee needs psychiatric help' Cleveland, Colin 'Max Quordlepleen' Jeavons, Jeremy 'Kal' Young, Robert 'Taltallian' Cawdron, Bill 'Ploppy' Wallis.

Previously seen: Steve Plytas returning from Immortal Clay, Martin Miller from The Master Minds.

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Naive Avengersthon - 75. The Danger Makers

Quite a good premise - a society of military officers who have become addicted to danger - but quite dull to watch except during the dangerous activities themselves. Amongst these are games of motorbike and grenade chicken, and the set piece is a test Mrs Peel is subjected to, a scaled-up version of those 'move the hoop along the wire' games at fetes; in this game she faces fatal electrocution as well as the risk of ringing the bell. A very tense, effective scene.

Also seen: Moray 'Sir Robert Muir' Watson, and Fabia Drake, who's one of the people who assesses Number Six in Arrival.

Monday, May 07, 2012

Naive Avengersthon - 74. Quick Quick Slow Death

A very silly episode but one with a whole string of delightful scenes and images. To wit and viz:

Item, Steed clay pigeon shooting with beer cans - until Mrs Peel accidentally launches a full one.

Item, an army intelligence captain who can't talk after suffering a strangulation attempt, so he whistles Morse code to communicate. Played by John Woodnutt. That's right! He is!

Item, a dying tattooist (Alan 'Bovem in The Dominators' Gerrard) pricking out a desperate last message on a garlic sausage skin. Said sausage is later handed to Mrs Peel by Steed with instructions to destroy after reading - lovely reaction from her there.

Item, Mrs Peel having moulds of her feet taken by a shoe designer with a raging foot fetish. The old 'fake accent dropped at moment of stress' gag done very well here.

The main feature is a dance school at which Mrs Peel takes undercover employment. Its purpose, it transpires, is to gain the confidence of sad, lonely men before killing them and replacing them with spies. There's a wonderful fakeness and insincerity about the school, with its band consisting of a tape recorder and five life-size cardboard cutouts of the drunken bandleader.

Robert Banks Stewart at the typewriter. It seems strange that the same man could have written Terror of the Zygons...

Previously seen: Michael 'Tavius in The Romans' Peake, Graham 'Barney in The Macra Terror' Armitage, James 'partner of Bernard Archard' Belchamber.

Sunday, May 06, 2012

Naive Avengersthon - 73. The Girl From Auntie

Not much Mrs Peel in this - for most of the ep she's replaced by 'companion of the week' Georgie Price-Jones (Liz 'Carry On' Fraser). The real Peel has been stolen by Art Incorporated, an organisation run by so-called Gregorio Auntie (Alfred Burke, returning from The Mauritius Penny).

Steed and Georgie have to track her down, avoiding Mary Merrall's murderous, knitting-needle-wielding old lady. It sounds silly but the impression she makes is actually extremely sinister. There's also a highly macabre running gag about corpses falling out of cupboards. But to lighten things up a bit, we have a very funny scene where Georgie successfully fights off the old lady while reading instructions out of a self-defence book she happens to be leafing through - eventually escaping by whacking her over the head with it.

Bernard Cribbins appears as convenor of a knitting circle (!). This provides an opportunity for one of the 'lots of people being drilled in doing something in unison' scenes which have recurred since the later part of series 3.

Mrs Peel does eventually reappear, imprisoned in a giant birdcage. I did wonder exactly why Auntie did this, and how he got her to put the sexy costume on. His receptionist has been given the task of poking her with a stick to liven her up, which I found strangely exciting. Her reaction to this treatment is a kind of bored petulance which is very amusing.

Ultimately this is another piece of series 4 fluff, but it's good fluff.

Also seen: Sylvia 'Amelia Ducat' Coleridge as a non-evil old lady, David 'Number Two in Living In Harmony' Bauer as the intending purchaser of Mrs Peel, and Maurice 'Karlton in Dalek Master Plan' Browning.

Saturday, May 05, 2012

Naive Avengersthon - 72. Small Game For Big Hunters

This was enjoyable. My only regret was that I anticipated the opening pull-back-and-reveal; after 72 episodes I find I'm automatically suspicious of anything in the show that appears a little too exotic. It was well done though, using an old-fashioned milestone to signal where we really were had a certain charm. And to be fair, I kept expecting to be introduced to a smooth safari park owner with a thin moustache, so they still succeeded in misdirecting me.

One of the characters is also being misdirected, though sadly we don't see him being given a reveal. Colonel Rawlings (Bill 'Grugger' Fraser) is being led to believe by plotters that he's still in colonial Africa, when in fact he's in a massive greenhouse in Hertfordshire. Wonderful.

Continuing the theme, it's easy for us to believe what we hear about the post-independence government of 'Kalaya' - until one of their intelligence officers makes himself known to Steed. I was quite struck by the way Paul Danquah plays Lt Razafi, black actors in 60s television aren't usually half so confident.

Also seen - James Villiers, who was Lord Cantlemere in the awful Granada version of The Mazarin Stone, and Peter Burton, who I think is the manager of the hotel visited by the works outing in Carry On At Your Convenience.

Friday, May 04, 2012

Naive Avengersthon - 71. The Thirteenth Hole

Very disappointing episode. It feels like they started with the concepts of 'people being assassinated on a golf course' and 'a bunker in the bunker' and then hastily constructed a story where it could happen. Perhaps if I liked golf I'd've liked the ep a bit more. Some outstanding shots in front of still backgrounds too.

Even Victor 'Robson' Maddern and Patrick 'Two Tribes' Allen couldn't lift it. But Donald 'Sir George Hardiman' Hewlett amuses as the club captain/bore. Also seen: Peter 'Arthur Dent' Jones and Richard 'all-purpose German/Russian roles' Marner.

Thursday, May 03, 2012

Naive Avengersthon - 70. Castle DeAth

An enjoyable episode, a bit like a serious version of The Ghost of St Michael's rammed together with the non-Zygon parts of Terror of the Zygons. Scottish aristocrats are always up to no good in film and TV drama. I'm not sure what the actual purpose of maintaining a massive submarine docking station is, or how likely it would be that the castle would have a system of suitably-sized caves beneath it, but still.

Steed's guise as 'Jock McSteed' lowers the tone rather. He's looking a bit tubby in that kilt.

Gordon Jackson is an absolute delight as Iain DeAth, hostility and propriety in perfect balance in his conversations with Mrs Peel.

Also seen: James 'Selris' Copeland. John Lucarotti at the typewriter.