The Young Avenger
Direction: Four and a half out of five. Don Chaffey, not normally known for incredible direction in the series, manages to make a fine job of this great Williamson script, with its wonderful atmosphere, and great camera angles. Just watch the scene where Steed is pursued by Proctor through the London back streets! I doubt even Fuest could have produced something of this quality.
Plot: Three out of five. This is an interesting slant on hypnosis from normal, and actually predates the famous déjà vu sketch in Monty Python's Flying Circus by some months. Williamson obviously spent a long time researching this, but there are so many holes in the plot that I can find that I cannot give it a better score.
Original Music: None. Actually, the theme from "The Joker," used a lot in this episode, complements it extremely well. The best unoriginal score in the series.
With Music From: "The Joker," "The Town of No Return," "What the Butler Saw," "Who's Who???," "The See-Through Man," "The Forget-Me-Knot," "The Danger Makers," "Get-A-Way!" (about ten episodes before this was transmitted!), "The Positive Negative Man," "Silent Dust," "Escape in Time."
Wittiness: Three out of five. Steed has to see Father, a blind colleague of Mother, and she touches him in order to know who he is. There are two witty lines arising from the situation. "You shouldn't touch me. You never know where I might have been." Steed to Father. "You're still using the same tailor." Father, having stroked his lapels.
Action: Three out of five. Predictably, Tara is tied up, and she has to avoid get out. For once, it is a woman tying her up, so she rather skillfully talks her captor off her guard, and then fights her. What a fight it is? If Tara is a bad fighter, then Lisa is twenty times worse! Actually, it is quite fun, especially when Tara throws a chair through mirror glass in order to knock out her second captor.
Cars/Sets/Locations: Four out of five. I am sure that John Shostrom could provide the answer, but I cannot decide whether Proctor's car in this is an NSU Ro80 or an early Audi 75. Any offers? Steed has real trouble in this episode getting in and out of Tara's car, so we can see why Europas were not bought by tall men! The sets are rather good, and there are no glaring continuity errors, but the location filming count is near zero. A good score, nonetheless.
Introduction/Tag: Four out of five. The introduction is very strange in that it features Steed himself, but it has a weird air about it, and there is very well-chosen music from "The Town of No Return" to complement it. When Steed is hit, it is a genuine surprise. The tag is the same, only it is Tara, so it is suitably silly, but did you see Tara's costume?
Overall Impression: This was my favourite Thorson story for many years and it still has that wonderful air about it. Chaffey's direction, excellent performances from Bond and Macnee combine to make this a great one for suspense, especially when Steed misses Mother when he shoots, and hits Proctor on the way out! Brilliant, but just not good enough for my top five.
Rating: Seven and three quarters out of ten.
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