The Young Avenger
To Catch a Rat
Direction: Three out of five. Although not as on form as he was for "Something Nasty in the Nursery," Hill still manages to show off here that he is a very versatile director. Unfortunately, this only lasts for the pre-title sequence. The rest of the episode is actually very boringly shot, especially when we see Purdey and Gambit going around a field in a circle. Hmmm.
Plot: Three out of five. Very like a a cold war spy novel, this episode seems to have a bit of an unfeasible plot and not really very much development. It seems to be a bit of an excuse to show off Hendry's talent, which is no bad thing, but if they had had anyone else, it might not have worked as well as it did.
Music Cheese Factor: Three out of five. The music actually gets progressively worse the further in you go. Not a good sign.
Wittiness: Half a point out of five. The only vaguely witty line in this episode is from Gambit. Not a good recommendation. "They said it was an under cover job." Ho ho.
Action: Two out of five. Apart from Gunner's fight at the beginning with a swing, there really is not that much here. However, Purdey attacking Cromwell on the trapeze is classic, and it is good that we do not have to find out what happens to Gunner at the end.
Cars/Sets/Locations: Four out of five. Amazingly, Gunner gets about without a car. However, we do have Cromwell driving a Triumph Stag (lovely car) and Steed tuning into the racing results on his car radio, before it turns into Gunner. Another location episode, but the sets are actually rather tacky this time, which is unfortunate. It is not their construction, it is just what taste they are in.
Freeze Frame: Gunner having jumped from a trapeze, and the catcher missing him. Rather impressive, but what happened to the stuntman?
Overall Impression: Ian Hendry acts everyone else off the screen with this superb performance, showing that even though he had last made an episode fifteen years before, he could still come back and play a completely different role, and yet remain fully in the spirit of the thing. However, it is very slow moving, and old-fashioned, and the threats from the past business is highly unoriginal. I do think it is a shame that Macnee and Hendry do not get more screen time together.
Rating: Six out of ten.
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