Visitor Reviews
Page 47 of 164

Mandrake
by Experience Steedophile

This is a top-quality episode, as good as any with Emma Peel.

On the sexual politics of making tea: you can assess the relationship of Steed and his partner by watching who's making tea for whom. In this episode, Steed brings Mrs. Gale a present of some cream (note for Yankees: probably clotted cream, which is spread on bread like butter), and explains, "I take it with Swiss cherry jam, thin brown bread, and Indian tea, and at about quarter past 4:00" (looking at his watch). Mrs. Gale responds sweetly, "Do you? I like it for breakfast." Since she's not interested, it doesn't happen. This is progress from the previous episode, "The Wringer," where Mrs. Gale serves Steed tea twice, the second time in spite of her arm being in a sling! At the end of "Mandrake," they're off to have their tea, but it's on Mrs. Gale's terms. (See also my reviews of "The Town of No Return" and "The Forget-Me-Knot.")

There's a scene of exemplary lewdness where Steed chats up the salesgirl in a cracker factory. She feeds him a sandwich from atop her thighs(!) and at one point says "try this for size!" then turns around, giving Steed a nice view of her rear. She's actually talking about crackers, I think. Steed says the same line in a flirtation scene in "The Murder Market."

There's a questionable bit of dialogue when Steed and Mrs. Gale are discussing what symptoms Mrs. Gale should present to the diabolical mastermind doctor. Mrs. Gale says, "well, I can offer him any of my bruising," and Steed replies, "That's all that vigorous company you keep!"—yet this is before Mrs. Gale's fight with the gravedigger. Bruising from what? Perhaps her judo lessons?

Speaking of the gravedigger, he has a few lines of dialogue with Mr. Hopkins. I can make out "Thank you, guv," but after that his accent is so thick he may as well be speaking a foreign language.


Mandrake
by Simon D

There is a lot that's good about this episode. It's based on a clever idea. There's witty dialogue and I particularly enjoyed Steed's flirtation with the girl at the cracker factory. But it starts with a long explanation of the villains' plot for all us dummies in the audience and then takes ages to get warmed up. In fact, it doesn't really get anywhere much until about half way through. It's the same problem I have with nearly all the Cathy Gale episodes: it's s...o... s...l...o...w...

I've watched nearly all David's top ten Cathy episodes and several more he's given four bowlers. With the exception of "The Nutshell" and "Dressed to Kill," I found them all at least a bit tedious. It's a shame, because I love Cathy. She's my second-favourite Avenger of all and if she was a real person she's the one I'd prefer to know rather than the self-satisfied Emma Peel.

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Page last modified: 5 May 2017.

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