A bizarre pot-pourri of previous Avengers storylines, "Epic" and "The Joker" to name just two, "Pandora" is an utterly delightful addition to the series. It addresses very pertinent questions of personal identity—for example, are we who we think we are, or who other people tell us we are—as well as being one of those highly entertaining just-what-the-devil-is-going-on episodes of the series.
The story also contains a season-best performance from Linda Thorson, whose increasing bewilderment and insanity is extremely convincing, and demonstrates that, although Tara King may be weaker than Cathy Gale or Mrs Peel, she can be used to excellent dramatic effect. Indeed, this is a fact not undone by Tara's rescue by Steed, as there is a lack of the usual repartee between them, she is so overwhelmed by the experience.
The ever-reliable Julian Glover puts in another menacing
performance as the main villain of the piece, yet special mention should also go to the
distinctive incidental music for the programme which compliments the tale precisely. In
fact, Pandora is a brilliant example of the Steed/King season: coupling a fascinating
deception with corruption in high places and depicting a surreal fairy-tale gone wrong.
This episode is a slight reworking of Vertigo, the Hitchcock classic—it's almost a good episode, but doesn't quite hit the mark. Despite being Linda Thorson's favourite episode, I just can't help thinking, "G-O-D, when will this end?" It's obvious why this is Linda's favourite episode as she does get her fair share of the limelight and gives one of her best performances.
John Laurie is quite good as Juniper, the Fierce Rabbit(1), but it's unfortunate that the rest of the cast isn't as good. Even the usually brilliant Julian Glover has gone to shot on this episode.
It's interesting that Mother allows Steed to take some time off for bereavement as in "You'll Catch Your Death." He's got a "don't get attached to your partner" attitude.
A little mundane. Two Bowlers.
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