The Young Avenger
Direction: One out of five. Ray Austin seems to have picked up too many bad habits in his career as a director: he has gone from bad to worse. "All Done with Mirrors" had lovely, inspired direction, but this is either plain dull or really cheesy. Just watch the shots of the Chinese soldiers going through the jungle. Cheese alert!
Plot: One out of five. I think I am being quite generous here when I give it this high a score: Clemens should be ashamed of himself. Things like drug lords, CIA operatives and fake plane crashes this late in the series? Half the time, you are not sure of what is going on, and the other half, the plot is just so obviously cheesy that it is terrible. Slow pacing and too many minor characters do not help.
Music Cheese Factor: Five out of five. Johnson hits new heights of kitsch when he plays the awful jungle theme where the Chinese soldiers are storming through the undergrowth in search of our three heroes. The first time I watched this episode, I had to turn the volume down to stop the assault on my ears. What a terrible score!
Wittiness: No points. Not a stroke of any form of wit, not even between Stuart Damon (who got all the best lines in The Champions) and Joanna Lumley. Then there is the closing line. Makes you want to throw the remote at the TV. "Chinese takeaway!"
Action: Three out of five. All right, Gambit lovers (all two of you) should make sure that they watch the sequence when Gambit defeats four of the guards on his own. But then he gets captured, so it is lost. At least Steed has a clever little joke with his hand at the end.
Cars/Sets/Locations: Three out of five. What is Soo Choy (who is not Chinese anyway, in real life, and does not even look it here) doing in East Anglia? Why is there a multi-storey car park, albeit with some interesting cars in it, in the series? The sets are all right apart from this, though, but this is a very bad score for the season. What the heck was Clemens doing?
Introduction: Two out of five. The agent crosses into East Anglia, and then sits outside the house. All right, so we learn about the drug drop, but this tells us nothing, is not witty, funny or inexplicable, as an intro should be. The tag gets 0. It is not funny, it is racist, and it is just silly.
Freeze Frame: An agent falling over a fence after being shot. As awful as the rest.
Overall Impression: There is nothing to recommend this episode at all. If you ever want something to put someone off The New Avengers, show them this. It is just racist, dated rubbish, with an awful script, and silly interspersed New York footage. Stuart Damon and Terry Wood are great actors wasted in their roles, there is too much going on to keep track of, and then it grinds to a halt, and the acting is the most wooden ever seen. Add to that awful music, and you can definitely say that this is the worst episode.
Rating: Half a point out of ten.
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