The Young Avenger
Direction: Three out of five. Don Thompson actually improves on his direction of "Forward Base" with this one. It really is as good as someone like Robert Day on one of his less good days, and it keeps us interested for part of the way through. However, it really is not that good that it can improve the plot.
Plot: One out of five. A lame idea, which really does not live up to the high quality of the start of the episode carries us through to the end. It is Smokey and the Bandit crossed with Monty Python, but unfortunately, there really is no plot for about three quarters of the episode. Just "let's try and get the evidence to base without it getting ruined," which is hardly very good.
Music Cheese Factor: Four out of five. Just how much of the Smokey and the Bandit score is recycled here is not clear, but there is a lot of annoying country music, that seems to have been added by the Canadians. Not really my cup of tea, but then we have the chase theme from "The Midas Touch" repeated during the introduction, which ups the score somewhat.
Wittiness: One out of five. There is the peasant, sitting outside his cabin, utterly drunk, who comes up with the best line. Not very witty at all. "I like you so much, that I am going to fight you." Hmmm.
Action: Two out of five. All right, so there is a car chase, but the only fight that Gambit gets into is the slapstick one at the still with the drunk old peasant. Actually a very funny scene, it is the only one that has ever made me laugh out loud in The New Avengers. Yes, it is not that bad!
Cars/Sets/Locations: Four out of five. Although it does start in Toronto, in a rather boring area, it quickly moves out of town to give us some real Smokey and the Bandit-style locations and scenery, which is good. But then, we also have a Datsun 180Y, Purdey's Toyota making a reappearance, and the Plymouth itself. I am not very good at American cars, but it does make a good change from the normal 70s vehicles that we see.
Introduction/Tag Sequence: Three and a half out of five. We have an Emma Peel-style chase through a funfair, which is so wonderfully inexplicable. However, there is nothing to back it up, so this is why it falls down as an intro. But it is better than usual. The tag is rather good, but it is a little bit tagged on to the content of the episode. Oh dear.
Overall Impression: Not the worst of the Canadian episodes, but a mite worse than "Forward Base." The plot is sadly lacking, that music is very annoying and there is very little to carry it through to the end. Saying that, though, Miss Daly is a genuine eccentric, there are a pair of good car chases, and the whole thing rebels against the serious nature of the rest of the series. A very good effort.
Rating: Six and a half out of ten.
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