The Young Avenger
The Midas Touch
Direction: Five out of five. Avengers fans around the world must have been rejoicing when, more than eight years after the last Fuest episode had aired, they suddenly saw his name on the credits. Fortunately, Fuest does not let us down, showing that he can still direct in a wonderful Avengers style, even for this new series. Take the chase through the deserted railway factory and yard, for example. We have a great mixture of long and close-up shots. Then we have the paratrooper sequence, where Purdey favourably acquits herself. Right up to the old standard.
Plot: Two out of five. I know that the plot is about as original as Clemens gets, but it is all so confusing. There seems to be a string of random events, which only have tenuous links between them. Naturally, this is not the kind of thing that one would wish to hear about the series, but this is the way it is. I only actually understood the episode after watching it three times, and as I got Immortal Clay the first time, I do not think that it is anything to do with a lack of intelligence. Another New Avengers experiment gone wrong.
Music Cheese Factor: Five out of five. It's all here. Funk guitar, bass guitar, drums, all the usual seventies accessories. The two worst scenes are an assassin being chased through the railway yard/factory and also when Steed and Purdey arrive at the quarry where they have arranged to meet Freddie. Not good at all.
Wittiness: Two out of five. "I swear to you on my mother's grave..." "Harry, you couldn't even find your mother's grave. You sold it for development years ago." "Hong Kong small place. My mother big lady. She took up two blocks." Not very witty really, just like the rest of the series.
Action: Five out of five. All over the place in this episode are action sequences. We have Gambit versus a martial arts expert, then versus a guard, and then finally ending up facing Midas himself. Brave men, but he still looks like a Mack truck. At least Purdey saves his life at one point, before which they have a great scene talking about Humphrey Bogart films in the middle of a car chase!
Cars/Sets/Locations: Three out of five. This score would be far better if the villain had not suddenly decided to change his car halfway through the chase sequence. For most of the sequence, he drives a yellow Aston Martin DBS. Then, miraculously at the end, the car that slews to a halt outside the gate is an Audi 100 Coupe S. Both these cars, and the white Citroen that Gambit steals in The Eagle's Nest, have the same registration, MCO 731P. This is very disturbing. The sets are all right, and the country house is great, but this serious flaw marks it down.
Introduction: One out of five. This is as confused as the tag sequence. We start in the frozen arctic wastes, where one of the contacts of the British government is sending a message to them. Unfortunately for him, his radio is smashed before he can say any more. Then, we cut to Steed on a night out in Eton, where he is met by an old friend of his, who rather rudely interrupts him. Then, we have Professor Turner's mob arriving at Freddie's wasteland retreat. And you thought this was a good episode?
Freeze Frame: One of Turner's henchmen kicking down the door of an abandoned building. And they thought this was a good idea?
Overall Impression: One of the most complicated plots masks some brilliantly random scenes, which, although almost totally unrelated to the plot, make this a well-remembered episode. One of them is Purdey climbing over a fence revealing a little too much of her underwear. Another is the crazy party, which pushes the music cheese factor out of window, and just seems totally random. Fuest does not seem to be enjoying it either. Ah well, at least it was him who made it rather than someone like Don Sharp.
Rating: Five and a half out of ten.
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