The Young Avenger
Direction: Three out of five. Although not totally on form this week, Peter Sykes makes his directorial debut in style, with some lovely shots in the barns around Brian Clemens' country house, doubling as the rest home. There are some truly Western style shots here, which of course is the idea. But just a wait a few weeks, and we shall have "Love All," one of the finest episodes around, which he directs.
Plot: One out of five. There really is no plot to speak of, just the simplest revenge, rather like "Return of the Cybernauts," except that we have not seen Kafka before. Apart from that, you might as well turn off your brain.
Original Music: One out of five. There really is no excuse for the horrid, dated Western style music that blurts out of the TV speakers when Howard Blake really gets going. Good to see some excellent use of the "Murdersville" music, though.
Wittiness: Two out of five. Tara and Steed discuss collective nouns for spies. "A contentment of agents?" "Agents aren't particularly contented." "This one is." The reference to the Berlin Wall is good, as well, but on the whole, not very much.
Action: Four out of five. Rather like The New Avengers, this is jammed pack full of shooting, kicking, hanging from ropes and all the other trappings of violence. The way Sykes goes about it is rather good, fortunately.
Cars/Sets/Locations: Four out of five. If you want any more location filming than this, you would have to actually stand there yourself! It is easy to see why it took more than twenty days to film this episode. No cars, apart from a London cab, unfortunately, but the sets are first-class. One point deducted for an obvious studio hospital, though.
Introduction/Tag: Two out of five. The introduction is very brief, with only about three lines in it, but it puts us straight into the plot, which is rather good, if it is a little clichéd and a bit obvious. The tag is rather silly, but it is the Tara King season, isn't it!
Overall Impression: A slow-moving episode, which makes up for it by some very good fights all the way through, and some lovely eccentrics. But, Steed is a little bit sidetracked, and Tara does not solve the situation as quickly as Emma would have done. She would have seen through it, and got him out of there in five minutes. We do have a great villain, though, although he has no good lines. It's great to see Mother in Steed's flat!
Rating: Six out of ten.
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