The GLG Reports
Page 50 of 67

They Keep Killing Steed
By Grant L. Goggans

"These holiday romances...they never last!" I had no idea how good this episode is. When I first saw it, years ago, it was one of the most faded of all the old American film prints that A&E had, with muddy sound and picture, and I was so distracted, I couldn't enjoy it. Despite the effort in concentration it took to sit through it this time around, I found it a real surprise, and I'm sure I'll enjoy it even more once I get around to the DVD. The plot is just outlandish enough to hold your attention and keep your eyebrows raised, and the overly stylish direction is just stunning. If you don't spot this as a Robert Fuest hour before his name appears on screen, then you haven't been watching this series for very long. The villain's lair is a real visual treat, an underground bunker accessible by a wrecked car in the bottom of a quarry. Compared to that, Mother's base-of-the-week, a submarine, isn't that unusual. Ian Ogilvy, later of Return of the Saint, languishes under an embarrassing peroxide blonde job, but is pretty good, and Fuest has fun placing him in some hyper-dramatic shots, with the sun framing him in silhouette. Ray McAnally, who had starred in Granada's Spindoe earlier in the year, is a great villain, who has a fine rapport with Steed as they play chess. Unfortunately, McAnally chooses to give Arcos a rather annoying, high-pitched accent. The hours-long final fight scene, which comes after an hours-long car chase, features swords, knives, guns, bullfighting techniques, two Steeds and woefully obvious stunt doubles, but at least Tara gets to do some serious butt-kicking. It all comes together as something not quite brilliant, but altogether impressive, entertaining and occasionally quite funny.

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Page last modified: 5 May 2017.

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