The Young Avenger
Direction: Two out of five. The boxing scenes are just terribly unconvincing, I have to say, and there are random long shots, where one cannot see the action properly, followed by unnecessary close ups. At least there are no technical errors in this episode.
Plot: Three and a half out of five. I must say that this episode has a plot which many of the next season's episodes would be in envy of, for its exceptionally strange qualities, which seem to me to be the essence of a good episode in this season, which is why things like "School for Traitors" fail miserably. The idea that a beauty and fashion designer can somehow be mixed up with a boxing club seems to be able to only happen in the series.
Wittiness: Two out of five. Lucarotti wrote a simply superb script for the fourth season, which was sadly his last one, but this one has a few good lines as well. "Why would they kill him?" "I forgot to ask."
Action: Four out of five. If one counts those boxing matches as fights, then these make up a lot of the episode. I am sure that the actors who were playing the boxers tried very hard indeed to make their tussles look realistic, but I am afraid that, as the direction is not really up to standard, then it is impossible to enjoy them. Oh well, at least we have Steed, Joey and Cathy involved in the fight at the end.
Music: Two out of five. For the last episode of the season, one would have thought that Dankworth, knowing that this would be it for some time, should make an effort to get this episode a little more excitement than normal, but unfortunately, if turns into the same old boring sounds that we have heard for a long time before, and doubtless will hear for a long time afterwards.
Introduction/Tag Sequence: Three out of five. The scene is instantly set for us, as we know that the episode is going to take place in the gym that we see before us, although it is strange to see Steed so instantly involved in the plot. In spite of this, we have not actually seen enough of the fights to notice the terrible direction. The tag is very good, however much it might be disappointing for Emma Peel fans.
Cars/Sets/Locations: Two out of five. No cars, no location filming, and some sets which frankly look rather embarrassing. This episode does not look very sturdy, especially when one considers that the doors to Pancho Driver's office look as if they are made of cardboard, and they obviously have no glass in them. Oh dear, I wonder what Douglas James was thinking of.
Overall Impression: A rather unusual episode which seems to have lost focus around the edges. Also, there is the fact that there are "Models from the Frederick Sweet Collection" in it, which makes the show a bit sexist. However, I do give very high marks to Patrick Magee as Driver, and John Bailey, who tries ever so hard to be a Frenchman, and fails rather disappointingly. The mix of plot is rather satisfying, but what this episode is let down by is the direction.
Rating: Six and a half out of ten.
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