The Young Avenger
Who Was That Man I Saw You With?
Direction: Four out of five. Particularly in Tara's scenes, Don Chaffey gives us very claustrophobic camera views so that we get the impression of just how difficult it is in order to break into a government building. Chaffey also then shoots most of the footage of when Tara is under suspicion from most of the department. Very standard direction mars the rest of the episode, unfortunately.
Plot: Four out of five. Although this would later be reused in The New Avengers episode, "Hostage," it is actually the first time anything like this has been done in The Avengers. Burnham, very surprisingly given his recycled attempts of "You'll Catch Your Death" and "Love All," really does seem to successfully adopt the new, more realistic approach that the producers were trying to take.
Original Music: Four out of five. The best Howard Blake music score that I have ever heard, this certainly does not run out of ideas half way through. The use of the flute to accompany some of the action sequences is very different, and satisfyingly refreshing. He does his last score for the series in style.
Wittiness: Two out of five.
Action: Four out of five. At the end there is a superb fight between Dangerfield, Steed, Tara and Zaroff, accompanied by Howard Blake's own action theme, which is always pleasing to hear, and then one in Tara's flat between Phillipson and Tara. Amazingly, Tara wins and does not look stupid doing so either, like in so many other episodes. A very good score, but it is a shame that we do not have Fairfax as well in a fight as he looks as if he could handle himself far better than Tara or Phillipson for that matter.
Cars/Sets/Locations: Four out of five. Steed gets a new Rolls-Royce in this episode, though one would hardly know the difference. Considering that this was filmed mainly in January, there is some very good location filming, even though it is actually raining in some of the scenes. The sets are also very good, especially the sporting club where Dangerfield has his hideout. The control centre is a very dated set, but still, it is not too tacky by 1969 standards. Fairfax gets his hands on a great Austin 3-litre.
Introduction/Tag: Four out of five. What starts off as a very standard sequence, seemingly filmed on the set of "Fog," develops into one of the best introductions that I have ever seen, with Dangerfield's character being clearly defined, the best mastermind of the Tara King series. The tag is rather good as well, symbolising the easy relationship that Steed and his partners have, with some interesting direction by Chaffey. A very good score.
Overall Impression: Another one of my favourites for this season, just displacing "Stay Tuned" to make the top five. Great acting from Alan Wheatley and William Marlowe makes this one episode that one would never forget. We also have a great eccentric who can lip-read better than anyone else in the country. But surely, the system would not be as vulnerable as to be able to let Tara get in so easily? Ah well, such things come at the end of the Thorson series, in preparation of The New Avengers.
Rating: Eight out of ten.
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