The Mauritius Penny
"The New Rule owes nothing to what has gone before." What's to not like about this episode? Well, mistimed fights (they look under-rehearsed). A few plot flaws. Things to enjoy:
The Avenged?: Western European capitals, hopefully.
Diabolical Masterminds?: Rather too many guest villains. The urbane Shelley with his Eton tie and carnation could have been a nice "anti-Steed," and is especially nasty threatening dentistry-torture. The dentist herself, "Major Gray" (clearly Russian? It's pointed out that they're all naturalised Britons.. but why?). Lord Matterly. Goodchild. The fake policemen. A host of extras. Steed and Mrs Gale are truly on their own!
The Avengers?: Cathy makes a racket when "stealthily" hammering a crate closed with her shoe! Steed has a very bad day, getting walloped over the head with a policeman's truncheon, and is later gassed by an evil dentist. Steed's cleaning lady Hoovers around his unconscious form. Steed passes off the burglary as a wild party!
Umbrella, Charm and a Bowler Hat?: Steed has a tasteless line about the kind of artwork his newsagent sells, but Cathy's used to his facetiousness by now.
Bizarre?: A few plot non-sequiturs (Steed has been tapping the stamp shop's phone, but it's not clear why; the delivery man suddenly shows up in the dentist's with the huge crate he is taking to the auction rooms). A flawed ending (we have to infer that Cathy and Steed have caught up with Lord Matterly and forced him at gunpoint to cancel the plan, but it is not shown how the Europe-wide day of revolution has been thwarted. There is a large cast of extras as attendees at the rally; can Steed and Cathy arrest them all?). The episode is set in the future... according to Brown's ticket to the rally, it ends on December 18, 1962; the episode was shown the preceding month.
An average episode. Two bowlers.
The Mauritius Penny
Plot: Very Good. Another "take over the country" episode, but it seems believable enough. They never exactly explain how they are going to take it over, though. The ending seemed rushed—they just needed a few more minutes near the end of the episode.
Humour: Good. "If I was you, guv, I'd change my dentist." I loved Cathy's accidental bid.
Acting: Good. Nice performances from Richard Vernon, Sylvia Langova, and Alfred Burke.
Music: OK. Nice piece at the beginning of act three.
Miscellaneous: Another anti-dentist episode—see "The Hour That Never Was." But this one does provide one of the best scenes—Steed's torture. I highly enjoyed the scene with the fake CID men, which has the bit with Steed's wine cabinet in it. Very interesting piece of trivia: Grace Arnold, who plays Steed's housekeeper in this episode, plays a housekeeper in The Prisoner episode, "Many Happy Returns."
Overall Rating: 6/10
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