Visitor Reviews
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The Curious Case of the Countless Clues
by David Willingham

OK, so there's not much Avengers whimsy in this episode. It lacks arch villains and cybernauts... there's not even a Positive Negative Man zapping victims into the ozone.

Still, it's a solid detective story that held my interest in spite of the straightforward villains. And though I wouldn't want a steady diet of merely mortal bad guys, it was a refreshing change to see Steed and King pitted against flesh-and-blood adversaries this time.

The opening was particularly effective. As the director intended, I was lulled into believing I was watching a pair of police investigators at work until their victim arrived home and they revealed themselves to be killers.

The closing fight was equally well done. I was rooting for Tara to overcome the villains in spite of her lame ankle, and was pleased when she managed to save herself without much help from latecomer Steed. (And didn't Steed look wonderfully out of place driving a tow truck?)

This episode, in fact, made me feel much more kindly toward Tara. It didn't matter, I decided, that Tara wasn't Emma Peel. She wasn't meant to be Mrs. Peel, and I could learn to admire Tara for her spunk and other good qualities.

A few random comments and quibbles:

  • Loopy Sir Arthur Doyle added a nice touch to the story. Apparently, he had never read Dashiell Hammett's "The Tenth Clew [Clue]" or he might have realized he was being fed fake information.
  • Was there any real point introducing Steed's old flame into the plot?
  • How could Steed get so busy throttling Villain #1 that he let himself be conked on the back of the head by Villain #2?
  • Do English aristocrats really wear those goofy hunting pinks? Silly stuff, but probably no worse than a Packer fan wearing a giant cheese head on game day.

All in all, a sound episode worth 2.5 bowlers.
 


The Curious Case of the Countless Clues
by Nick Griffiths

I'm going to say something which may shock some of you and may enrage others. This is a good episode in my book, a classic Tara episode.

The opening sequence is wonderful, with a the cop-like detail of describing the scene of the crime. Anthony Bate is great as Earle, setting him up quite well as a sinister detective straight out of film noir, with Kenneth Cope doing an excellent job as Gardener in Watson style. I still think it is great when it turns out that they aren't the, police but the murders.

The clues are set up quite well, which could give an indication to the possible assailant. However, this is where the episode has dated. DNA evidence can be used these days to trace down criminals, notably where Earl puffs on a cigar, which leaves saliva. Still, for the time it does work.

The plot is a very simple blackmail/extortion racket which does sound slightly out of place in the Tara season. However, I get the feeling this was commissioned by John Bryce before he was replaced. The grainy quality of the film adds a bit of feeling to the episode. And the music is quite good with its tension mounting before each murder.

The guest cast is quite good: Peter Jones is great as Sir Arthur Doyle dressed in a deerstalker, giving no illusions as to who they are getting at. Edward de Souze is good as the snobbish Flanders, complete with horsey-set riding gear.

Tara in a wheelchair for an episode is a great device as it does add the new dimension of Steed seemingly reporting back to her. There are plenty of nice little touches of banter between Tara and Steed in these sequences.

Direction-wise this is good fun. Particularly during the scene where Tara is trapped in her flat, this has an illusion to Rear Window in a sense. Only Tara manages to beat the villains effortlessly—eat your heart out, Mrs Peel!

A neglected gem. Four Bowlers.

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Page last modified: 5 May 2017.

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