Visitor Reviews
Page 43 of 164


Dressed to Kill
by Ron Geddes

Starting the morning after Steeds Christmas I felt the New Year Party that Steed is invited to would be just as riotous. It's easy to take no notice when he asks if Cathy wants to come too. There's quite a buzz as the excursion train fills up with revelers but it feels like something is up when the list of guests for the Club Car is seen. The guests are still in great spirits as they reveal a little about themselves. It works really well and with so many recognisable guest actors has something special about it. Ironically dressed as Robin Hood, the self-confident businessman is quite in his element and is a bit of a challenge for the usually confident Steed.

It's a bit unexpected how the mood changes for the worse when midnight arrives, a good idea. As the station's real name is discovered, it's quite spooky and a sense of only being safe in a group builds up. So it could be dangerous for the hooded figure outside as soon as the identity is revealed—a really cleverly created scene, my favourite.

Why they were all invited aboard the train is well explained and it's easy to believe their reasons for wanting the areas of land. The deadline is a weakness to the plot perhaps; few estate agents work on January the first. On the other hand, not much has changed really, since then for someone like the Pussycat who says she's "Mortgaged up to me whiskers"—I had to laugh. She was attracted to Steed, so no wonder Cathy rolls her eyes while Pussycat is trying to decide whether to unlock their handcuffs. If only Steed had kept talking until she'd found the key, she might have released them I thought.

Steed lives up to the title of this episode to finish things off in a scene that would fit in a Western. How long has that gun been loaded? Finally, I love him not seeming to care if their sips of bubbly can be heard over the phone; he must be pretty sure his superior is pleased with him.

4 Corks.

Dressed to Kill
by Simon D

This episode and "The Nutshell" are the only two Cathy Gale episodes I've seen that I thoroughly enjoyed. I also found it far superior to "The Superlative Seven," the Emma Peel episode with a similar plot. I like it so much for a number of reasons. First, unlike other Gale episodes, the story moves at a fair pace. Second, as Francis Hui noted in his guest essay, the storyline is unpredictable and has a number of twists, giving it genuine suspense. The solution has all sorts of problems of plausibility and logic when you think about it, but this is The Avengers. Third, there is good characterisation. The other people invited to the party are well-drawn and interesting characters. The best of them all is Leonard Rossiter, as a character uncannily reminiscent of Rigsby, the disreputable landlord he played in Rising Damp over a decade later. Fourth, there is plenty of humour in the episode—a lot by comparison with most of the Gale era. Rossiter's character is responsible for much of that.

It's an episode that, despite the technical and budgetary limitations of the production, can be compared favourably with the best of later eras of the series. Definitely worth four bowlers.

All materials copyrighted per their respective copyright holders.
This website Copyright 1996-2017 David K. Smith. All Rights Reserved.
Page last modified: 5 May 2017.

Top of page
Table of Contents