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The Young Avenger
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The Golden Fleece
By Joseph A.P. Lloyd

Direction: Four out of five. Although the name at the top will be enough for some, what gets me is the scenes in the garage, especially when the sadistic Lo runs over Jones. The windscreen of the car actually cracks as it happens, not very nice at all. Just the start of the episode is enough to give it this very good score.

Plot: Four out of five. An intelligently written and well researched story, every detail of the episode seems to have been thoughtfully planned so that no holes are obvious. The two themes of the Orient and the army do not seem at all at odds with each other, as they should be, and the good work of the three conspirators makes a refreshing change from the normal Avengers plot.

Music: Three out of five. No new music, apart from the Oriental themes, but these blend very well with each other, and with the nature of the episode, but it is getting on in the series, and again, it turns into a contest to see how many of the familiar themes can be fitted into the episode.

Wittiness: Four out of five. Marshall does not lose one bit of his ability by taking on an extra partner: this script is almost as good as "The Hour That Never Was." Just at the start, there is a good pair of lines. "I've been trying to call you all morning." "I was in the bath." "For four hours?" "Some people take longer than others."

Action: Two out of five. Cathy slams the least senior of the conspirators against a fence, which looks as if it is about to fall over through bad construction, in the middle of her fight. With Hammond, any fight has good direction, and is made more exciting, and this is no exception. However, this seems to be it, unless you count, "he who lies gets cushion in eye."

Cars/Sets/Locations: Three out of five. The Chinese restaurant at the beginning seems almost to be a real place, so good work Anne Spavin! The actual army barracks is nothing like the camp at Aldershot (which just happens to be in Hampshire), but never mind. The garage also seems to be real enough, and one spots a Land Rover and an old Morris in the episode. But no location filming. Shame.

Introduction/Tag: Three out of five. The scribbling on the wall, the unexpected shot of Jason closing the door, and the three men sharing the tea and the plans of "14th September 1963" certainly make this unconventional and better than most of this series. Not good enough for a top rating, unfortunately.

Overall Impression: This one certainly has a sharp script, good direction (although not Hammond's best, in my opinion) and a genuine Chinese actor to make up for Room Without a View (filmed two years later). The philanthropy of the three men is amazing, and so is their desire to go to whatever lengths possible to complete their objective. I must point out that The Hampshire Times does not exist as a paper: it is The Hampshire Chronicle, published ever since 1772 in Winchester. Such a story would definitely have got a mention in it! Warren Mitchell plays, in my opinion, his best role for The Avengers here, and shows that he can be a versatile actor. Steed and Cathy also have a great time, Steed once again showing himself up by wanting Cathy to move in with him. In rather a good season, it comes out merely good, not outstanding, however.

Rating: Eight out of ten.

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Page last modified 5 November 2002.