The Young Avenger
Cat Amongst the Pigeons
Direction: Five out of five. John Hough makes a welcome return to the series in his only New Avengers effort. There are amazing shots aplenty here. In fact there are so many that one just needs to watch it to enjoy it totally. The best directed episode of The New Avengers. Hough also makes brilliant use of the good weather in order to make this episode have a great sunny feel to it. Shame that this was his only effort.
Plot: Four out of five. Actually a very original plot, Spooner comes up with a villain who actually has a very decent motive for what he is doing. A very good effort, and Spooner's best of the series, I do not know why others do not agree.
Music Cheese Factor: Two out of five. One of the best scores of the series. If they had all been as funk-guitar-free as this one is, then people would remember how good the music was, just like they do with the original series. It is possible that Laurie Johnson wanted to maintain the link with Hitchcock, as Patrick Macnee says so himself, which gives a reason for the brilliant score. If he did, all credit to him I say.
Wittiness: Two out of five. Again, we suffer the torment of a wit-free episode, even if there is some very good Purdey-Gambit interplay, satirising the Ministry, which is something that Steed and Emma all used to do. Gambit does come up with a good line, however, even if it is incredibly sexist. "Sounds like a man I should meet." After being told that there is a man who really understands birds "of the feathered variety."
Action: Three out of five. I do not really know if one could call them fights, but the number of people who are attacked by birds in this episode is so big it is beyond comprehension. Steed has a great fight with a falcon in his Range Rover, incidentally. Sorry if that spoils the entire plot for you.
Cars/Sets/Locations: Five out of five. The best of the summer weather was used to film this episode, and this was a very wise move. Almost all the bird attacks are indeed out in the open, which makes it a lot better. Then, we have Zacardi driving a Humber Hawk whilst transporting a bird of prey. I could not think of a more suitable way if I tried really hard. The sets, as always, are first class.
Introduction: Three out of five. We should really just have had Burton being chased in the introduction, rather than the lame pet shop scene. Burton is actually a fantastic character, wearing sixties glasses, and driving a 1960s Facel Vega convertible. If they did not have to pause it with him in mid air, and instead had him on the ground, focusing on the broken glasses, just like the old days, then it would have been better. Shame there is no tag.
Freeze Frame: Burton being forced to fall backwards into a large ditch by unseen assailants. Now, where have we seen that before?
Overall Impression: If there was one episode wanting to recreate the atmosphere of the Rigg series, then this is it, and is certainly succeeds in all respects. It is so easy to imagine the character of Gambit being wiped out, and instead us seeing more of Emma. This is why I will give it such a good score, as the best episode of all of the season. It could have achieved ten with a little more pace, it really is that good.
Rating: Nine out of ten.
materials copyrighted per their respective copyright holders.