The GLG Reports
Page 67 of 67

K is for Kill
By Grant L. Goggans

"Fish? Fish are nesting in the trees?" This is almost a great episode, but some workmanlike direction and appalling acting from every single guest artiste really help to spoil things. Compounding matters is a larger than average number of bad, almost American lines as our heroes keep telegraphing their plans to each other, which makes me suspect the Canadian co-producers slightly re-jigged the script. Purdey never, ever said "It's quiet...too durn quiet" before this, and rarely, if ever, did we meet macho spies from foreign powers. Steed says, quite honestly, "Bailey works alone," and isn't taking the mickey out of his Canadian colleague like we'd expect him to. For the most part, Purdey and Gambit avoid these clichés and get around to their usual delightfully surreal dialogue. This time, Purdey tries to reopen an argument they had the previous Tuesday as though no time has passed, but Gambit's completely forgotten it. There's also one of the weirdest chase scenes in TV history, as Purdey and Gambit chase Halfhide through a lagoon in slow-moving motorized swans. Purdey has another of her weirdo outfits in this episode, featuring not just her name on the back of a wetsuit, but the New Avengers logo on the front! This also has what is probably the only appearance of or reference to the American comedy Happy Days in any British drama. Can you spot it? On the whole, though, the rather good script, which features a really great scheme by the Russians, is damned by the production. "Forward Base" is the sort of show where ugly men in flared trousers jump from seaplanes and march straight into the camera... not an image we'd prefer to associate with The Avengers.

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