Visitor Reviews
Page 148 of 164

by Nick Griffiths

I'll bet there is a herd of people reading this review who are going to say, "how can he enjoy this piece of hokum compared to "The Bird Who Knew Too Much"? But, well, everyone's entitled to their opinion.

Yep, this is one of my favourite New Avengers episodes. I can't see why David hates this—to me it as pure classic, a classic in the same way that "Trap" is a classic episode and Plan 9 from Outer Space is a classic film. Yup, I think this is a so bad it's good to the extreme. It is quite nice to have some villains who aren't trying to rule the world, so I must admit it's fairly unusual.

This is more a Gambit/Purdey episode with very little Steed appeal. The very basis of the episode is quite interesting; as with the almost dreadful "The Golden Fleece," there is a little problem with moral values. Julian Holloway has never really been one of my favourite actors; as in The Professionals "First Night," he seems to underplay the part of his character. Here, Thornton, despite a gruff exterior, is a good natured chap, so it's a pity we don't get to see more of his below the surface character. Peter Cellier, on the other, hand excels as Carter, his cowardly assistant who, like most, comes to a sticky end.

The main problem with the plot is that it is obvious what the killer is—even the attempts at the Jaws references are unable to disguise it. With a title like "Gnaws," the episode isn't even supposed to be taken seriously—the best sort of spoof is one which doesn't acknowledge it's a spoof. The Gambit/Purdey interplay in this one is quite good, and Purdey, with her Emma Peel- like intuition, again acts like she could almost be a good assistant to Steed, which is common in all of The New Avengers episodes scripted by Dennis Spooner. Jeremy Young again resurfaces, excelling in his role with a fantastic fight. Ray Austin's direction is good, with some emphasis on the scenes where the victims are eaten by the rat. The episode's biggest let-down is the conclusion—the rat is stopped by a gun and looks like a Doctor Who monster gone wrong; I expect it was meant to be ironic.

A monstrous three and a half bowlers.

by Iain Clarke

What the...? There's really not much to say here. Probably the lamest script that I have ever seen in an episode of The New Avengers, the cheapest sets that could be found anywhere, special effects that make episodes of Doctor Who look high-budget, a bad score... aaaarrrrggghhhhh! What can we say here? At least Purdey's feisty nature gets to shine. Gambit gets to go over the top with weaponry. Patrick Malahide manages to impress in an all-too-brief role, and the fight with Chislenko is impressively staged.

Apart from that, we have a badly played villain by Julian Holloway, essentially a man who was trying to do a good thing but went about it the wrong way and wound up paying the price, all played with about as much feeling as wet lettuce. I have other things to say about the other bad episodes, but you can laugh at them and point them out and get really angry. Here, everything is so indifferent or bad, not even in an ironic way, that you end up embarrassed more than enraged.

Dennis, you were doing so well to start, too!


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Page last modified: 5 May 2017.

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