Visitor Reviews
Page 36 of 164

The Gilded Cage
by Stephen Brooke

I recommend "The Gilded Cage" to anybody venturing into the Cathy Gale series for the first time. While I love "The Nutshell," this beats it as Best of Gale for my mind. A really good yarn, filmed exceptionally and with strong performances all around.

Abe Benham steals the show outright. His fellow hoods are a classic collection of Dick Tracy-type quirky villains that don't really inspire confidence; I was half expecting one to be called "Fingers." JP Spagge is a really horrible man. I'm sure I've seen him play a similarly nasty, whinny type role in something else—I just can't remember what. Flemming the "manservant" (can't help but think of Blackadder II when I hear that "just pop your manservant on the table...") is top rank. He would have made an excellent partner/cohort for Steed instead of Venus or Martin King.

Excellent filming, with such gems as the fake police arresting Mrs Gale while the images were a mélange of a dead Spagge. The introductions of the gang to Mrs gale were done cleverly, too.

I agree that the only low point (and it ain't that low) was a fairly jittery fight scene at the end. But that is small beer indeed considering the rest.

Being "stranded" temporarily in Hawaii with mainly Cathy Gale episodes to watch (the rest are in storage), I am building a keen appreciation for the series. I am rapidly reaching the conclusion that (oh, god! he's going to rock the boat) these episodes reflected Steed at his professional peak. Mrs Gale is a partner who was really the one ahead of her time. I love Mrs Peel, but Cathy Gale is really the standard bearer for the "modern independent woman" for which Diana Rigg has always seemed to be credited. Perhaps it was because the Blackman episodes weren't shown in the US until the 1990's. Well, us limeys/poms have always known. If in doubt, ask an Englishman.

Interesting that Mrs Gale was doing a bullion heist. A rehearsal for the big one she did in the US the following year, perhaps? After all, she seemed to be well up on what Fort Knox had in stock. I wonder what Honor thought when she read the script of Goldfinger. (PS. For fans of another top 60s show, Department S with the marvelous Peter Wyngarde as spy thriller writer Jason King, you may be amused to note that one of his fictional heroines was called Hussy Abundant. I laughed and laughed.)

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Page last modified: 5 May 2017.

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