This is one of my favourites as it was one of the first episodes I ever saw. One of the highlights is Angela Douglas as Miranda. Proving she could have been an excellent Tara King (with no disrespect to Linda Thorson), her performance is wonderfully innocent and charming, and she provides a good foil for Patrick Macnee, with the two battling it out at Fort Steed. Just ignore the rather embarrassing bit where she thinks she's Austin Powers... "Groovy, Baby!"
Linda Thorson is also good in this episode, and in comparison with her earlier episodes she is much more at ease with the dialogue. Patrick Macnee is great as usual, with the Fort Steed scenes giving him a chance to be more like the "overgrown flirty schoolboy" Steed of the Emma Peel days.
There's an interesting twist to the plot, and the two henchman are nasty, particularly the very sinister fat guy.
First of all, the beginning sequence was very interesting. The baddies killing the wrong "man" because he was dressed as a woman was a very odd touch. Then, we launch right into the plot with Mother at Steed's flat, draining the liquor cabinet as usual (which strikes me as quite gluttonous and not in the least bit humorous). Tara's obvious (though in my opinion, unrequited) affection for Steed in this scene is a bit sickening to say the least, but as a consolation, we actually see her confirm later in the episode what we have suspected for years: she is stupid at times, though forgivably so.
Then, the bomb hits (literally). Mother is supposedly dead and Tara is sent to the hospital with two broken legs (or so she thinks), which brings me to what I think is the least plausible part of the episode. Wouldn't Tara, an experienced spy, become at least the teensiest bit suspicious when the doctors have to sedate her every time she wants to leave the room? And at Mother's "funeral," she believes him to be dead even though she has not seen the body, only a closed casket. Is this classic Tara dopiness, or am I missing something here?
Of course, the scenes with Steed and Miranda are priceless and make up for Tara's follies, slight though they be. My favourite scene is when Steed and Miranda are arguing about the strategy of the army battle right before they drag out all of the old toys.
Best line: "Steed would've been safe if not for my stupidity." (Cruel, I know, but we've all been waiting for that a long time.)
Tag: One of the better ones of the season. It was actually cute without being excessively goofy.
Total Score: Two and a half bowlers.
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