The Big Thinker
The Avenged?: Missile tracking is the subject, specifically sabotage of its development program, for the second week in a row (following "Traitor in Zebra"). But this is much more sophisticated stuff — instead of merely detecting missiles, "Plato" the computer can calculate their interception. It's the Star Wars SDI program, decades early. Oh, and superconductors — the first victim is frozen (and gassed) by Plato's coolant; rather a good effect is shown later, the body covered in frost. Quite chilling (groan).
Diabolical Masterminds?: Tony Booth plays a rather obnoxious, irritating, arrogant and chauvinistic "boy wonder" scientist. He gives the "goodies" a bad name. In fact, the villains could be argued to have won in this story (uniquely?). Their aim was sabotage and to put Plato out of action for months, which they succeed in doing.
The Avengers?: Steed takes a back seat, intending to go on vacation to Tel Aviv (he has hotel brochures) but making up excuses to stay and see how Cathy fares on her own. Although she does almost everything right, Steed cheekily tells her that she's making a mess of it (see earlier regarding the success of the sabotage!). When Steed shows up at the end to rescue Cathy, he is asked by the director of the top secret project, "who are you?" Which says it all. It's a pity Cathy's first real solo adventure isn't an unqualified success and Steed has to rescue her. What happened to all that equality?
Umbrella, Charm and a Bowler Hat?: Steed and Cathy have a humorous domestic scene in her kitchen, she taking over cooking his failed omelet, and asking if he can cope with drinking the wine instead. He doesn't appear very grateful, as usual; oh, when will he learn how to treat a woman like Cathy? (Answer: by about the time Emma shows up!) Steed has a new dog, which he leaves with Cathy when he goes off on vacation; as Cathy warms up from her cryogenic incarceration, she no longer demands that Steed keeps his dog off her furniture — is their relationship perhaps thawing a little? (groan again).
Bizarre?: Quite a lot of special effects in this one, but they're not noticeably effects (the best kind). There's no mention of what happened to Steed's Dalmatian, he only leaves the new dog with Cathy.
A thinker, not a stinker. Reasonable. Three bowlers.
The Big Thinker
Plot: Good. Almost every spy series of the 60s had a super computer in it; here is one of The Avengers episodes of that category. Of course, the soviets would want to sabotage it, so the story is credible. The story is never fully explained though, and the ending once again feels rushed.
Humour: Good. "Who are you? What are you doing?" "I was just passing through, I assure you." Steed's looks at Cathy about Dr. Kearns were great.
Acting: Very Good. Anthony Booth stole the show.
Tag: Very Good. Steed's dog is very cute. It was hilarious to have the dog licking Patrick all over the face.
Miscellaneous: It is strange that Steed and Cathy had their meeting in an arcade. Steed making the omelet had some strange humour to it. Cathy had on her strange hat again. The sets were similar to the ones in "The Nutshell." What happened to Dr. Kearn's hands when he tries to —— with the ——?
Overall Rating: 6/10
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