The GLG Reports
Page 60 of 67

The Midas Touch
By Grant L. Goggans

"Yes, Mr. Gambit, they died of everything!" "The Midas Touch" is best known for its striking images, and two in particular: Midas, dressed in red robes and skull mask, fatally spiking the punch at a masquerade, and the remarkable-that-it-aired panty shot of Purdey climbing a chain-link fence. Those are among dozens of interesting flourishes added to a so-so script by Fuest. A cut between two shots of a liquor bottle is eye-catching, and what seems like an "isn't-this-neat" scene on the then-new moving sidewalks at Heathrow is really well done. Most impressive is the way Fuest takes a very standard 70s car chase, fills it, matter-of-factly, with all the 1970s car chase clichés that you're supposed to have, like squealing tires, shots from right next to the tight turn, drivers making a 180 for no reason, and of course people dropping crates of fruit onto one of the cars, but then subverting the chase idea by having Gambit and Purdey discussing Treasure of the Sierra Madre while in pursuit. A lot of people condemn The New Avengers for being "too 70s," an accusation not entirely without merit, but what this particular episode does is take the visual language of 70s action TV (Heathrow, the car chase, a chase through an abandoned factory) and mess with the audience's expectations by twisting it. There's enough surrealism in the execution to more than make up for any deficiencies in the script.

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