The Young Avenger
Page 108 of 110

Forward Base
By Joseph A.P. Lloyd

Direction: Two out of five. Although there is nothing really wrong with Don Thompson's direction of the episode (it is no worse that Robert Asher in "The See-Through Man") it is just boring with a capital B. No interesting shots at all, just cheesy 70s clichés to liven it up.

Plot: Three out of five. Although it starts with a flashback to 1969, it really is the only Canadian episode to have a decent plot, which we can recognise as an Avengers one. There is the big hidden base, swan boats, and an eccentric scientist. Not a lot more could have been done to make it better.

Music Cheese Factor: Two out of five. Surprisingly, Laurie Johnson manages to give us a decent score, with the only bad bits being recycling from "Gnaws" (not a good thing) and some from "Tale of the Big Why." Plus, we have some from "Cat Amongst the Pigeons." Extra Points here!

Wittiness: One out of five. Disappointingly for an episode which succeeds so much in some other areas, we have very little wit to back it up. There is plenty of humour, but very little wit, unfortunately. Here is the best line. "What do you mean by extrovert?" "The opposite of introvert."

Action: Three out of five. Steed even gets in on the action this time, so rare for a New Avengers episode. Then there is Bailey versus the ugly man, Gambit versus an even uglier man in a raincoat and the final underwater fight when Purdey is abducted. Shame we could not have an underwater camera, really.

Cars/Sets/Locations: Four out of five. At the beginning, Steed is seen walking through the streets of Toronto again, but once we get to the side of the lake, it gets a lot more interesting. We have Steed in a Toyota Land Cruiser (defector!), and Purdey in a Toyota Corolla, for goodness sake! Then there is the good construction of the underwater base, and the beautiful lake scenery, especially for the swan chase. Not too bad, really.

Introduction: Three out of five. We have the dark scene, somewhere in Russia, followed by the disappearance of the sea, in a scene that is straight out of A View to a Kill, but better done, in my opinion. Then there is Steed and co in the Land Cruiser. However, then we have to endure that ugly man jumping out of his seaplane and hitting Bailey. Urgghh!

Freeze Frame: The ugly man going for Bailey, and being shot at the same time. Not a good idea was it? Blame Canada!

Overall Impression: It is great to see Maurice Good, who gave such a good performance in "Don't Look Behind You," in a role this late on, and he gives us a convincing accent as well, which is good. But what was he doing in Canada? Other than this, we have some very good humour, Steed not being wasted for once, and Purdey in a wetsuit for quite a while. But why couldn't we actually have her going in and getting abducted by the divers underwater? That would have made it even better than it is. Way above the rest of the Canadian episodes.

Rating: Seven out of ten.

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Page last modified: 5 May 2017.

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