The Young Avenger
They Keep Killing Steed
Direction: Four out of five. If the opening shot is anything to go by, then we have Robert Fuest keeping up the standard to all intents and purposes. This assessment is valid, for we have some of the most interesting camerawork of the series here, particularly in the quarry where Arcos holds his hordes. A fine effort by Fuest, although there is quite a long period in the middle where not very much happens that is interesting, but I think this might due to the script.
Plot: Three out of five. Very slow pacing in this episode, which seems to completely take place in the space of one afternoon, a very untypical capture for Steed and a car chase without explanation are things which detract from this episode. But, we have a brilliant hero in Ian Ogilvy, who should have been Gambit, a great villain in Arcos, and a method of making doubles which does seem to hold water. A good plot, although a little tired by 1968.
Original Music: Three out of five. With so much recycling going on, it is a bit like a Laurie Johnson's greatest hits concert. But, there is a fabulously spooky main theme, which is like a cross between the themes for "Never, Never Say Die" and "Invasion of the Earthmen," with military overtones. Rather good, but the same piece is repeated too much and there is not enough originality.
With Music From: "The Bird Who Knew Too Much," "From Venus With Love," "Dead Man's Treasure," "Invasion of the Earthmen," "The Curious Case of the Countless Clues," "The Living Dead," "You Have Just Been Murdered," "Silent Dust."
Wittiness: Two out of five. "Dedicated idealist or altruistic opportunist?" Steed to his captor, trying to find out more about his motive. The wit is as slow as the pacing!
Action: Four out of five. This episode, rather like "Dead Man's Treasure," is so full of fights that there are really too many to count. But I will mention Steed versus Steed right at the end, when Arcos changes his face and his clothes in order to look like his captive! Outside, Tara and Von Curt have two separate fights with knives, swords, rags and all sorts of things.
Cars/Sets/Locations: Five out of five. Steed steals a Triumph 2000, and engages in trying to get to the quarry, but why? There must be an explanation scene missing here. Von Curt has a fabulous Mercedes SSK, and there are Rover P5s here aplenty. Most of this episode is also shot on location, but the sets are actually rather good as well, particularly the underground bunker beneath a ruined London Taxi.
Introduction/Tag: Three out of five. When the cover comes off the helmet, and we see Steed's face, but then the double speaks and we realise that it is not him, it is a genuine surprise. This is really good, and totally inexplicable. The sunbathing tag is rather awful, though, and it does not fit in with the story at all.
Overall Impression: A very unpredictable episode, with a brilliant performance from Ogilvy. Mother's Headquarters is underwater, and this does not seem to fit in either. McAnally is a great villain, just as he was in "The Positive Negative Man," with an even more annoying voice! We see that Steed has an affinity for Triumph 2000s, given the choice of rather a few cars in the car park of the Peace Conference. Overall, it is rather an interesting episode and a really good effort. Shame it could not have been shot in Spain, as was the original intention, it might have done something about the pacing.
Rating: Seven and a half out ten.
materials copyrighted per their respective copyright holders.