The Young Avenger
Page 11 of 110

Man in the Mirror
By Joseph A.P. Lloyd

Direction: One out of five. This episode sends me to sleep to such an extent that not even Mills' lame attempt to inject some excitement into this episode by moving the camera around a lot does not excite me in the slightest. Such a trick has been used by this director before, and it has never worked to the extent that someone with a real understanding of direction like Peter Hammond has. The fight scene at the end is simply boring.

Plot: Two out of five. The pretext of this episode is utterly standard spy plot, the sort of thing which might have made a good early episode of The Saint if it had been spruced up a bit. The main problem is that the actors don't seem to have been bothered to put much effort into it, so the plot twists come as you are falling asleep, and then you wake up at the sound of the gunshot wondering what on earth is going on and why so many unnecessary changes have happened.

Music: One out of five. For some reason, to accompany the "action sequence" Dankworth, or whoever the music editor was at the time, seems to have chosen one of the dullest themes to accompany it, which is a variation of the main theme played just on drums and percussion. This is terrible. However, it is not as bad as Venus' singing, which we must endure twice in the episode. If Britney Spears had been around in 1963, this is probably what she would have been like.

Action: Two out of five. The direction in the fight at the end is rather too terrible to actually show us clearly as to what is happening, as I have already said, but I doubt that even Peter Hammond could have made it exciting, as there are so many different bits to it that it does not even seem great like the scuffle at the end of "The Murder Market" to have two separate fights going on at once. A very bad way to end it all.

Wittiness: Nil points. When the funniest thing about an episode is Steed asking for a cup of coffee at a seedy cafe in a fairground, then there must be something wrong with it. This is the case here.

Introduction/Tag Sequence: Two out of five. The tag is heavily unfunny and seems like an effort to better the ones which have gone before it, but it fails to have any kind of noticeable effect on the laughter scale, which it might have been meant to. The introduction is, typically, a bit of a mess, and does seem totally unnecessary. Who is the chap being killed? Why didn't they have Venus taking the photographs as the introduction?

Cars/Sets/Locations: Two out of five. The most interesting set in the entire episode is that of the headquarters of One-Six, which is a standard cinema/briefing room. This says a lot for the whole state of the episode. The funfair set looks as if it is about to fall down at any minute, especially the door by the tea bar, and the less said about the "spooky" house of horrors, the better.

Overall Impression: Not even Venus could be scared by such a lame attempt at a scary scene as in this episode. Despite Steed and One-Six fighting it out at one point, which would suggest that this episode was going to have something to remember about it, it ultimately falls flat. The briefing turns out to have nothing at all to do with the mission which Steed has embarked on, and it seems rather silly that Steed should have to be in charge of one of the lesser aspects of the case, even if One-Six has given it to him, why shouldn't there be more ramifications? Steed is his usual self in this episode, which is just as well, because the direction is terrible, there are no memorable guest star performances, the music is more grinding than usual, and the plot is so terribly thin that it fails in the first five seconds of the introduction. A truly awful episode.

Rating: Two out of ten.

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Page last modified: 5 May 2017.

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