The Young Avenger
Direction: Four out of five. The last of Robert Fuest's episodes to be transmitted, we should have all have enjoyed this. There are some very good camera angles in this, particularly in the second half during the dreamy sequences. Shame that we couldn't have more than this for the last time ever.
Plot: Two out of five. Another "Epic"-style setting mars a very well directed episode, with another Clemens voyeuristic situation, mixed in with First World War situations which seem a little unnecessary. The pacing is very slow, and Steed does not seem genuinely worried about Tara, which for most people is a good thing. The Lassindall brother should have taken her away, so that we could have Jenny Croxton instead. All the same, it is weird that he has no sympathy for his partner.
Original Music: Five out of five. I have to disagree with my mother here. She called the music in this episode "disgraceful," but it is actually Johnson's last great score in the entire series. The number of brilliant musical cues from the certain influences that this episode contains is astronomical. The use of the strings is particularly refreshing.
Wittiness: One out of five. This episode is a trifle short on amusing bits, but there is one good line. "What I am looking for is about so high, warm, brown and extremely feminine." "Sir?" "Miss King."
Action: Two out of five. Steed has a good time disposing of the brothers, but not until they have tried to kill each other in a great bout which is reminiscent of 50s Hollywood family feuds.
Cars/Sets/Locations: Three out of five. In order to keep the Prisoner-eque atmosphere, it was obviously necessary to keep the location filming down to a minimum, and this was done. However, Julian Glover takes Tara in an obvious studio set in the car and the file room is slightly ordinary, but on the whole a good score, with the best bit being the house, which is very period. But Gregory's room, which is clearly supposed to be above the living room, is not, if you look carefully.
Introduction/Tag: Three out of five. The introduction is so wonderful, in that it makes us think that we have turned onto the wrong show by mistake. However, perseverance will show you that yes the face is plaster, and when Robert Fuest's name comes onto the screen, all is revealed. the tag is awful, though, completely ruining the entire atmosphere.
Overall Impression: I personally think of this as the second worst of Clemens so-called voyeuristic episodes. Though better than the awfulness of "Epic," it still falls down in the way that "Fog" did by simply being outdated. Emma Peel would have seen through this one in no time, and escaped. Julian Glover, James Cossins and John Laurie all give wonderful performances, though, contrary to popular belief. Wave goodbye to Robert Fuest.
Rating: Four out of ten.
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