The Young Avenger
Direction: Three and a half out of five. There are some points in this episode when it is very difficult to establish what is actually going on. The case in point is the gunfight at the end, where Bain does seem to attempt to be a little over-ambitious in the effect that he thinks he can achieve, and where the two opponents are is not always clear. However, in some very important scenes, such as Cathy's attack in the gym, Bain shows the dark and brooding side of the episode, thus confirming that the action sequence is merely an isolated blip in an otherwise rather well directed episode.
Plot: Four out of five. With hindsight it is interesting to see that this episode was made a mere two months before the murder of John F. Kennedy, so the ramifications of the foresight of this episode are rather far reaching. It might be difficult to understand how Dyter could actually have got the warhead into The House of Commons, and also just how the convoy was set upon and the thing stolen in the first place, but all in all it is an intriguing episode.
Wittiness: Three out of five. Steed is working a typewriter and says, "Blunt F, squint I, H above the line... a very good description of my Auntie Queenie." Now, why didn't this kind of thing happen in similar situations in other episodes? Dove's ranting about his wife also does the episode some favours in terms of caricature as well. But will The Avengers ever stop trying to have bad Celtic accents? The problem is that David Davies is actually Welsh.
Music: Two out of five. Not very much to remember about the music in this episode means that it is pretty much scored in the same way as many of the other Cathy Gale episodes. It seemed that even before the fight in the gym started that the tune which would be played was obvious, which is not a good thing. Certainly not a memorable episode from this point of view.
Action: Three out of five. The fight in the gym near the start of this episode does have some of the more predictable music that I have ever heard, even in this series, but that does not mean it is not enjoyable to watch. The second fight in the gym is also rather good, although the dark lighting makes it hard to see what is going on. The House of Commons fight leaves a lot to be desired, however, especially the direction. It does show us who gets killed, however, and the lighting is rather effective, so it is not all bad.
Cars/Sets/Locations: Four out of five. One of the highest scores ever for this category in this season belongs to this episode, simply because of that Mark St. John image consultant set. When Steed opens the door it does look as if the whole thing is going to topple over, but this is more than adequately made up for by the design of the door itself. Full marks to the production crew for coming up with something as good as this. Shame about the implied vehicles and the lack of location filming (apart from the stock firework footage), however.
Introduction/Tag: Three out of five. It is a shame that such a very appropriate and powerful pre-title sequence (albeit with some very fake pieces of set in it) is not balanced by a worthy tag sequence. Dyter's assassination is really very like a real returning after a British election, and the way in which he does fall off the stage seems very real at the time. The running joke in the tag does make the whole thing seem to wear a bit thin as well.
Overall Impression: An excellent depiction of Tory/Conservative (Swinburne) and Labour (Dove) candidates does actually make for an episode which is worth watching for far more than just the one set pointed out in the category above. Although hard to follow in places, the plot does hold together very well for an episode which is essentially about politics. Of course Cathy would be a Tory. If Steed doesn't vote Conservative, then who does? The actual set of the House of Commons is a good attempt as well. It is a shame that this episode is not more accessible to foreigners, but unfortunately it was not designed for the international market.
Rating: Eight out of ten.
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