Visitor Reviews
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The Three-Handed Game
by Iain Clarke

There are certain people who love this episode, but for me, even though links can be made to the original episode, there is something about this one that's a little, well, silly! The use of the brain drain machine, as has been pointed out, is stretched to the limits. With Masgard and Tony Field I could just about believe the way that Juventor managed to get to them, but the Helen Mackay one is really taking the Micheal. The gritty lead up to the ineffectual (again!) freeze-frame is spoilt by the ridiculous lines that Ranson is made to deliver. Also, what was the need for the overly dippy blonde at the racetrack? Even the secretary in "Return of the Cybernauts" appeared to have more appeal and more going for her upstairs than her.

However, there are good things to say. The nude scene with Gambit is very well played, and we get some fabulous interplay between him and Purdey. We've gone back to the old married couple again—Gambit visibly shocked, disturbed and embarrassed when she walks in on him whilst he is in the buff. The scenes in the car where she's visibly winding him up over Larry, and the "who did you get?" lines, are nicely done, too. Gambit mirroring Larry in a nice way until Mike is outdone by his rival, Purdey's ribbing of Gambit breaking every door down to serve no purpose ("You do that awfully well!" "I get a lot of practice."), are great. Although one has the suspicion that Larry is going to be another cocky Turner type (see "Cat Amongst the Pigeons"), you gain respect for him by the time he's through.

Steed gets more to do here too, the scene at the racetrack is marvellous. The Jag is finally given the job is was made for—racing. It looks fantastic, even if was hell to drive, and Pat handles the whole thing in his fantastically cool way! His glowing pride in the Cabinet room is nice to see, but as with the others, he gets to be made to look a tad incompetent when their ward is taken.

Another problem is Juventor. Played by Stephen Grief he had a wonderful mix of charm, malice and danger. With David Wood, it's like Carry On Avenging! He's just way too camp to take seriously. He says, "I am Juventor," and you half expect to hear an "Oh Matron!" in the background. You can see that Terry Wood (who was good and should have left it here) has trouble believing in it, and we're not surprised. They could have made a lot more of the "schizophrenic" side of of the Ranson/Juventor body—the uncontrollable tapping was a nice idea that should have been followed up better.

Could have been better—just a bit too silly! 4.5/10.

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Page last modified: 5 May 2017.

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