The Young Avenger
Direction: Five out of five. Cliff Owen's direction is amazing, considering that this is his series debut, and he never directed another episode. Just watch Steed's progress in the factory designed for murder. Absolutely wonderful.
Plot: Five out of five. A really excellent plot, with a very original pretence, and we finally dispose of Tara. What a replacement we get for her! Tall, thin, and stunningly beautiful, she even wears the same clothes as Emma did, and drives a similar car. Oh, sorry, the actual plot. I know we have another example of "rage against the machine" here, but it is so skillfully done, and you would never expect the actual computer thing until it is revealed to the audience.
Original Music: None. For once, it does not matter that we are listening to the same old record. We need no new music for Jennifer Croxton, she is good enough without it. And we have the archives of the Emma Peel series scoured for the best ones. Whoever is choosing the music is doing a good job.
With Music From: "Death at Bargain Prices," "Never, Never Say Die," "Dead Man's Treasure," "Death at Bargain Prices," "Invasion of the Earthmen," "The Fear Merchants," "The Curious Case of the Countless Clues," "From Venus With Love," "The Cybernauts," "You Have Just Been Murdered," "The £50,000 Breakfast," "The Murder Market," "Who's Who???," "Silent Dust."
Wittiness: One out of five. This is actually not a very funny episode, but it is made up for in other areas. There is one good line, however. "Why kill someone in so many different ways?" "Practice?"
Action: Three out of five. A brilliant piece of plot puts Croxton, in literally her third scene, into a great fight with one of the villains. She does actually look far, far better than Tara ever did or ever will. Then we have Steed and Forbes versus a man with a shotgun in a wood, a real corker! Trancer gets a good scene before he is shot, as well.
Cars/Sets/Locations: Four out of five. Remak himself is a bit badly constructed, but he is supposed to be a computer and this is an adequate representation of one for the time. Jennifer Croxton actually drives the then new MGC, not MGB, as you will find everywhere else. The MGC was a B with a six cylinder engine under the bonnet, as you can tell by the bonnet bulge. Steed also has his Rolls-Royce again, after going back to 1960s cars in Invasion of the Earthmen.
Introduction/Tag: Three out of five. The introduction, complete with The Fear Merchants music, is really rather good, but again we have the problem of a weak tag. When will they learn?
Overall Impression: Jennifer Croxton should have been introduced into the series immediately, and made to re-shoot all the King episodes thus far produced, so that we could all enjoy them. Cliff Owen should have been brought back to direct them, as well. But, we lose both of them at the end. Oh dear. Grant Taylor and William Franklin are a great pair of villains, and they are joined by the equally corrupt Bleach, until they destroy him. A very god episode, all told, and a great plot. We need more like this, except that Steed has shrunk and put on weight since "Escape in Time."
Rating: Nine out of ten.
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