The Young Avenger
Direction: Two out of five. The move to Canada really did not do very much for the directorial aspects of the show: there are some rather good shots in this episode, but what really ruins it for me is the cheesy close ups of Gambit's feet on the pedals and his hands on the steering wheel as he chases the Toronto News Van. How pointless can you get! Admittedly, it does get quite interesting when we have the "Killer" scene, but it is far too little, far too late.
Plot: Two out of five. What had started off as a fairly interesting idea, albeit in Canada, with the zoom lens thing, goes from bad to worse, as it is so uneven. Spooner tries to do too much in too little time, and it just fails miserably. We do get a "Killer"-esque scene at the end, which is all right, but it is just at complete odds with the rest of the episode. The Canadians must have mucked around with the script.
Music Cheese Factor: Three out of five. What we have here is what happened in the Thorson series, where bits that have been used before are rehashed in order to make up for the failure of Laurie Johnson to come up with some new music. The bits that are used are very cheesy, though, including "The Lion and the Unicorn," so this explains the rating.
Wittiness: One out of five. Oh dear. All subtle, wonderful wit that used to happen has been removed from the series. I suppose that Purdey's comment that she has seen Rose Marie three times is quite funny, but that really is it! Oh, there is a good line from Gambit to the local police chief. "I would like to use your phone, if it is not a chargeable offence."
Action: Three out of five. Gambit is up to his old tricks again, and has to shoot someone seconds before he is shot himself. Then he does a lot of useless running up the side of the building, but this does not count as a fight, unfortunately. He does wrestle a woman out of her car without a word, though, which demonstrates the difference between him and Steed.
Cars/Sets/Locations: Three out of five. I do not want the entirety of the Canadian armed forces coming and destroying my home when I say this, but isn't Canada just the most boring place to film anything like this? There is no subtle classical architecture, no wonderful design, just dull, grey concrete. At least we have Gambit really getting into his Chevy and Steed getting used to driving an XJ-S like Gambit's. But Gambit's TR7 is so ugly! The sets are all right, I suppose, but then this is The New Avengers!
Introduction: Three out of five. It starts off with a boring city pan of Toronto, which is no bad thing in itself, and then a sniper perched on top of one of the buildings, looking as if he is going to shoot someone down below. But then, it is a camera! Wonderful idea! However, the subsequent cutting to the airport and then Kent (it does not look very Kent-like to me) slow it down. And the idea of Purdey being shot!
Freeze Frame: Purdey being shot. Told you.
Overall Impression: Lifeless direction, a very bad plot, a virtually witless script and boring locations prevent us from enjoying this episode. This is a shame, as the actual scenes in the building are quite good, and the identity of the building is not too obvious until Gambit and Steed both find out. This is worth watching for the funny policeman and the "Killer"-esque end of episode treat, but nothing else. Do not bother, the producers did not.
Rating: Four out of ten.
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