The GLG Reports
Page 45 of 67

By Grant L. Goggans

"Clearly the handwriting of a strong, weak, happy, sad, anxious, carefree man." Visually, this story has a lot going for it. Some of the sets, particularly Dr. Constantine's stark red lab, are striking. There are some good fights, a hysterical scene of Tara and Lord Barnes showing their security passes to four men along a hallway, all in sight of each other, and a truly remarkable moment when Steed slaps a nurse in the rear and locks her in a closet. The tone is surprisingly grim, with the only moment of levity coming from Christopher Benjamin's lisping expert in handwriting. The acting is great, with Julian Glover and Bernard Archard putting in fabulous work with stock, charmless characters. This characterization, or lack thereof, is one of two problems that eventually sink "Split!" beyond redemption. There isn't a single character in this script with a personality you can bounce a dime off. Dr. Constantine doesn't even start as a good villain, but by the end, he's happily explaining the entire wicked plot to his subordinate Petra, who should have known about it all anyway, for the benefit of the audience at home. That's the other problem: the script seems like it was written by... well, not by Avengers writers anyway. Apart from that pathetic "so that's the plan" moment, there are holes in the plotting that just don't make sense, like Lord Barnes's manor estate being literally three minutes drive from Steed's London apartment. Basically, it's one hour of awful adventure TV cliché, raised several notches by the excellent visuals, without which it would have scored far lower.

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