The Young Avenger
The Morning After
Direction: Five out of five. This episode has actually got better direction than its New Avengers rival for your affections, "Sleeper." We see touches such the low camera angles, the policeman's helmet dropped on the ground, and other things. Very good, but they might have made him some good sets to complement the direction!
Plot: Three out of five. I have seen both nuclear and deserted town stories before in The Avengers, but the combination of the two is particularly skilful. Again, we dispose of Tara (Hooray!) and we get Jenny, who is actually rather a good replacement for her. At least she has clothes which are age-appropriate.
Original Music: Three out of five. Again, rather a good score to accompany the plight of Steed and prisoner Merlin across a deserted town, but it does get a little repetitive after a while. Reasonable.
Wittiness: Two out of five. This script does not need wit, only striking visual imagery. But there is a good line between Steed and Merlin. "I'm too young to die!" "You're over 21." "If I were eighty, I would still feel the same."
Action: Four out of five. Considering the whole episode is one straight game of getting away from the law, there are a fair amount of fights here, between all sorts of different people, with Merlin's hypnotic gas being used quite a lot. Not as bad as "Sleeper," though.
Cars/Sets/Locations: Five out of five. We have a sinister VW Camper Van, and all sorts of other cars: Rovers, Austins, Fiats, Saabs, you name it. The sets in this episode are too tacky, really, but fortunately that does not detract from the entire feel of it, so I will not detract a point, although I should.
Introduction/Tag: Three out of five. In the tag, Linda Thorson may have horrid patterns on her dress, but did you see her hair? It looks fabulous, much better than most of the time. She actually does seem rather attractive in that dress, so why did they not pay attention to the fans? Oh, sorry, the introduction. For a start, we have to introduce Merlin, and this is done rather badly, making two episodes this season where it starts like this. I do like the detail of Merlin's chair still rocking when the telephone rings, by the way.
Overall Impression: A very well-directed episode, with brilliant performances from Joss Ackland and Brian Blessed, both Shakespearean actors in their own right. Yates is a bit irrelevant, although very hip, and Merlin is great fun, even down to the tag where he sends them the box of luminous dust. We also get to see real evacuation footage from WWII where the people have to leave their town. Another story about "rage against the machine", but very different in style. Overall, then, rather good, but not good enough for the top five.
Rating: Seven and a half out of ten.
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