The Young Avenger
Direction: Four out of five. Sharp is an utterly different director here from what he was in "Invasion of the Earthmen." There are fabulous camera angles in the most unexpected places, a good sense of emotion and good pacing. This just shows what you can achieve if you put your mind to it.
Plot: Three out of five. Philip Levene's last Avengers script, and not very much to show for it either. This effort, although it has an unusual method of escape for all the three Russian agents, seems to have a great deal of minor characters who do not do very much, like Bryant, who then proceed to get killed, or play no part in the whole plot. This is a virtual blueprint for The New Avengers. A very bad way to go out.
Original Music: Two out of five. Rather like "They Keep Killing Steed," the constant repetition of the main theme wears down on my nerves, because it is repeated so often. They could have recycled more music here, and got away with it. At least it is better than the "Bizarre" score.
Wittiness: Two out of five. There is a good line about feeding time in this episode, but where is the Levene wit?
Action: Four out of five. Steed carries a gun in this episode and he needs it to fend off Ezdorf from our dear old Tara. There are also a large number of fights in the monastery, although none seem particularly realistic.
Cars/Sets/Locations: Three out of five. The set for Paul Ryder's flat is amazingly tacky, as is the whole of the monastery, which explains the low score. We have location filming aplenty here, even in February, which proves that the production crew could always come up with the right thing if they bothered to try. There are also more than your average number of cars in the episode, which helps a lot.
Introduction/Tag: Two out of five. My mother described the acting in this episode as "wooden", and certainly it is in the introduction, although it is very weird, in the classic Levene style, when Rostov just vanishes into seemingly thin air. The tag is horrible though, just like Steed and Tara's outfits in them.
Overall Impression: Although not nearly as bad as some might have you believe (it is a lot better than "The See-Through Man"), this episode has major deficiencies which prevent its rating from getting higher than six. The pacing is a little slow, some of the acting is terrible, and Tara's clothes are particularly nasty. But, it is saved by Peter Bowles and Andrew Keir, both of whom live up to their colour series potential here. Too New Avengers, though.
Rating: Six out of ten.
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