The Young Avenger
Man With Two Shadows
Direction: Four out of five. In this story where everyone is changing their faces, Don Leaver does an excellent job of keeping us guessing by keeping most of the doubles well hidden from each other. The fight at the end also has direction which is as beautiful as the accompanying music!
Plot: Five out of five. Whilst still keeping that gritty, realistic edge, which is bourne out by incidents such as the torture scene, where Steed turns violent, Mitchell gives us the first of the doppelganger plots ever used in the series, with brilliant results. He can be a good writer if you only give him a chance!
Music: Three out of five. Even though we have the standard Dankworth themes for the majority of the episode, there is not that much of it, and we have some lovely German classical music (The Blue Danube waltz) in the background of the fight sequence. Definitely an above average score.
Wittiness: Two out of five. We have some lovely interplay between a Yorkshire girl (my father comes from Sheffield in Yorkshire) and Cathy, so bonus points for this. The scene where they talk about how good he looks in a bathing suit is priceless!
Action: Two out of five. As I have mentioned above, the best fight as at the end of the episode, between Cathy and the real villain. It is as surreal and confusing as the rest of the episode!
Cars/Sets/Locations: One out of five. Although the sets are rather well constructed this time around, it is just as well that real holiday camp chalets in Britain are as tacky as that! There should have been some location filming here, as there were plenty of opportunities, but none of them were taken up. Shame.
Introduction/Tag: Three out of ten. The tag at the end is rather dull and boring, not containing any good lines, but the introduction! If you wanted a better one to put you in the picture, then you simply could not have one. It is superb, and very well directed, making the swap seem as weird as it is.
Overall Impression: We see Steed reading Tintin, and Cathy sent to kill him, in a very unusual and a truly great episode, which has one foot firmly in the real world, but a method of brain washing and substitution as stuff of pure fantasy. A real gem, showing us how James Mitchell can handle both extremes at once, and not get too bogged down.
Rating: Eight out of ten.
materials copyrighted per their respective copyright holders.