Visitor Reviews
Page 38 of 164

The Medicine Men
by John Lockwood, Washington, DC

I confess to modest disappointment in this episode. At one point, Mrs. Gale is supposed to be in a Turkish bath, but by golly, we hardly see anything of her except her back, and not much of that! If the show had been a tad more daring, we could perhaps have had some towel-clad image of Cathy Gale to rival Emma Peel as the Queen of Sin.

Also on the disappointment front, there is a scene wherein one of the villains, an artist, tells some acquaintance that he has a model in the next room sitting in a tub of paint (this was before the 1964 Goldfinger movie), but we are never shown this! We are shown the character a few minutes later, cleaning her skin at the Turkish bath, but only a faint dribble of paint is visible on one shoulder.

At least they didn't chicken out on the Queen of Sin.

The Medicine Men
by Mike Cheyne

I disagree about it being a "Public Service Announcement"—it seems more like a way to use a real-life issue (dangerous imitation products) in a dramatic way. The villains' plot—to alter the oil concession of a country by creating an anti-British sentiment—is interesting and seems more larger-than-life than some of the Cathy Gale episodes.

The plot is generally easy to follow, with little of the convolutions that get in the way of some of the third season episodes. My major quibble is in making Peter Barkworth's character the head villain, as it seems pointless to have two higher-ups in the soap company working for the bad guys (Barkworth and his secretary). I hope that they were getting paid a great deal, as the company's name would be worth zippo after the mass poisoning incident, too.

The guest stars are pretty nice. Barkworth stands out as the soap manufacturer, but Harold Innocent's pretentious artist is also quite humorous, as he babbles on about his flashes of genius. John Crocker also is funny as the quizzical printer. It's also fun seeing Steed put on a fake accent, in a precursor to the ludicrous disguises he would take in the following seasons, as he plays an art dealer from Iceland.

All in all, a solid entry. With perhaps better direction during the fight scenes (I still find it difficult to follow any of the gun battles in the Cathy Gale episodes) and a less repetitive Dankworth score, this could have been one of the top ten of the season. My favorite scene is one that I would have loved to see done on a glossier scale with better sound effects next season. Steed is taken captive by Barkworth, who whips out a gun and ushers him into his office. "Sorry, I couldn't find one with a silencer," he sneers. Steed suddenly removes his own gun and shoots the villain's gun out of his hand. "I did," Steed retorts.

The Medicine Men
by Nick Griffiths

This episode is strange in various ways. Firstly, the whole thing is incredibly dull. Somehow copyright issues and cheap imitations of products doesn't really make attention-grabbing drama. This is another episode to be directed by Kim Mills, whose direction, shall we say, is not up to the standard of Peter Hammond or Bill Bain.

But this episode is fairly good. It's not the best of the third season—far from it. It's also not the worst, either, but it is entertaining, despite the signs that it shouldn't be.

The story, like many from its season, is mainly character-driven, and there are few fights to be seen. Maybe it's the guest cast which spices things up a bit. Harold Innocent delights as always, this time as the murderous action painter, in a way this is a clever way of the run-of-the-mill "lets get the oil" story (other examples include "Honey for the Prince"). The highlight of the episode has to be the scene where Steed pretends to be an Icelandic art collector and delivers some witty remarks.

Also, Peter Barkworth is good in his role, even if his role as villain doesn't really make that much sense. And Kim Mills puts in some unusually good direction at times, with interesting sweeps of the Turkish bath and the art studio.

Overall an average 3 out of 5.

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