The Young Avenger
Direction: Three out of five. Although we have a few interesting shots, the majority of this episode is rather boringly done, with only Tara's kidnap to lighten things up. We also have the camera spinning to remind us of "Stay Tuned," Don Chaffey's best episode. However, past the first fifteen minutes, it all becomes dull. Not a particularly good way to go out.
Plot: Three out of five. Although Emma Peel would have seen it coming a mile off, the actual storyline is unpredictable enough in the first three quarters to merit it this rating. There are rather a lot of villains, though, and what does happen to Bobby Cleaver to make him fall in the way that he does.
Original Music: Of course not! If one episode was Laurie Johnson's Greatest Hits, then this would be it. Just watch it, and all the memories of your favourite Emma Peel episodes come flooding back. Unfortunately, we have Tara instead, so we cannot enjoy it totally.
With Music From: "The Danger Makers," "They Keep Killing Steed," "The Living Dead," "Whoever Shot Poor George Oblique Stroke XR40?," "The See-Through Man," "You Have Just Been Murdered," "Something Nasty in the Nursery," "Escape in Time," "The Bird Who Knew Too Much," "Mission... Highly Improbable," "Invasion of the Earthmen," "From Venus With Love," "The Fear Merchants," "Death's Door," "Never, Never Say Die."
Wittiness: Two out of five. Some of the exchanges between Steed and Miranda are rather good, and particularly when they are discussing games. "My uncle was a chess grandmaster." "Well, I think I ought to warn you. I had an aunt who was a chess grand, grand..." "Mistress?"
Action: Three out of five. When Tara is captured, she has a good fight with her hideous captor, but the best bit is when Firth and his men are lured to the house where Mother is, and Rhonda knocks two of them out. Better than usual.
Cars/Sets/Locations: Four out of five. Steed shows his affinity for Triumph 2000s again, whilst dumping the Austin Cambridge he is saddled with on Cleaver. There is a good deal of location filming here, and for January/February it is rather good, but, there are such things as industrial estates, council houses and gravel car parks in The Avengers. Now that can hardly be fair.
Introduction/Tag: Two out of five. The episode gets this score as the two seem to be totally at odds with one another. The tag is Tara-like, silly and not witty, whereas the introduction is far more akin to the third, or maybe even the second season, with its standard, spy story plot.
Overall Impression: I find it difficult to believe that Tara does not see through this one instantly. Surely there would be at least one or two people that she knew in the hospital from the Ministry? There are some good touches. The pair of assassins are so different it is funny, Miranda has a great time with Steed and we learn a lot more about Steed's character than most episodes.
Rating: Four out of ten.
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