The Young Avenger
Direction: Four out of five. This was actually the episode that Brian Clemens and Albert Fennell took to America to show off Ray Austin's work. It is not very difficult to see why! This must have been heaven for him, with more stunts than sense! Absolutely correct direction, nothing really wrong with it, but after "Cat Amongst the Pigeons" anything would seem dull.
Plot: Two out of five. Although this is not as slow-paced as the previous story, it does suffer a serious shortage of plot, as agent after agent is killed too quickly to feasibly comprehend. I suppose that it is fairly original, but its execution is little too rushed, and then it becomes too obvious, unless Gambit really is as stupid as he seems to be.
Music Cheese Factor: Two out of five. Luckily, the music has military overtones, which seems to prevent it from becoming too bad, but it is getting dangerously close to the theme for "K is for Kill," one of the worst themes I have ever heard. I think there is some funk guitar music in there as well. Oh dear.
Wittiness: Two out of five. There is actually a very good line in this episode, which is wickedly original, and you can see why Spooner makes it only my top ten writers list. "You know, it's funny." "Not the way I said it."
Action: Three out of five. Surprisingly few of these, considering the nature of the episode, but the points are given because even though the only real fight is versus Draker and his assistant right at the end, the rest of it is a whole shooting match against a machine. Very inspiring.
Cars/Sets/Locations: Five out of five. Even though Draker only seems to have a Triumph 2000, we are treated to an almost location-only episode, with the only studio shots being very well managed. We also have a genuinely scary car sequence, where Steed has to fight to control his Range Rover, whilst dying.
Introduction: Three out of five. A lot of agents are shot by the poison guns, and then are left to die at their leisure. If there was ever an attempt by a New Avengers episode to cram too much into the pre-title, then this is it.
Freeze Frame: One of the agents falling over in the care of the ubiquitous Doctor John Paul. Why couldn't they have someone falling on the target range?
Overall Impression: Just missing out on my New Avengers top ten by a whisker, this is a truly great episode, although the idea is all Spooner's. Unfortunately, even though we have Professor Lopez and Draker's assistant, they cannot save this from being far too obvious, although it is a surprise when Bradshaw is exposed as one of the villains. They could have done it better, though.
Rating: Seven out of ten.
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