The Young Avenger
Tale of the Big Why
Direction: Five out of five. It is a shame that this is the last episode which you will see me giving this rating to, but there we are. Another glorious Robert Fuest hour, with brilliantly chosen camera angles, a good pace and lovely location filming. The best of The New Avengers.
Plot: Three out of five. The plot is actually amazingly difficult to understand the first time with everyone chasing after something which is not actually found until the last five minutes of the entire thing! However, the cast seem to cope well with it, and at no time do we get the impression that they are more confused than we are, despite Roach and Poole being not very much in the know. Clemens does a very good job of distancing the new from the old, which is what should have happened in the first place!
Music Cheese Factor: Four out of five. Although very unoriginal and very like a mid-seventies backing track for an awful pop song, the music complements the episode well and at no time impinges on our enjoyment of the episode, unlike the score for "The Midas Touch" for example. I actually rather like the score, even though it is very cheesy.
Wittiness: Two out of five. There are actually some wonderful comic moments in this episode, and Gambit actually gets to pull off a great double entendre, worthy of a Philip Levene script. "Think of your soul, Gambit, think of your soul!" Steed to Gambit walking up a hill in the heat, and Gambit flagging behind him. "I frequently do."
Action: Three out of five. This episode is packed full of action to spread out the storyline, but the best moment of all has to be Gambit on the wing of Turner's aeroplane thinking that he can stop the man getting away. The scary thing is that he is right!
Cars/Sets/Locations: Five out of five. Taking advantage of the beautiful August weather, the production team wisely shot this one all on location, and it looks fabulous for it. We also get a Citroen DS23 estate, which is the ideal villain's car, a Renault 16 for George A. Cooper, which is better than a Morris Marina or similar! Purdey gets a motorbike as well, but it is a shame that the villains seem to have so little respect for it. A very good score, and the sets that there are do not disgrace the series.
Introduction: Four out of five. We have a lovely little scene right at the beginning, which is actually very similar to "The Forget-Me-Knot" in style, with the conflict going on before we actually enter it! Then we have a common New Avengers style mark, which I personally detest, but which has to happen for the great tape freeze. This is too much happening in one go, something of which The Avengers was never guilty. However, I am prepared to give this a good rating because as Dave Matthews says "it is not strictly an Avengers story." This makes me feel better about it.
Freeze Frame: Purdey speeding through a tiny gap between a wall and a Ford lorry on her motorbike, which is actually an amazing stunt and is well worthy of this new technique. If only others could have been like this.
Overall Impression: An episode which tends to polarize opinions, but I am prepared to give this one a fair write-up. On the plus side, we have George Cooper doing what he always does best, that is psychopathic villains, and a young Roy Marsden as Turner, the villain whom no-one would have guessed. All the same, Pool and Roach do seem a little unnecessary, particularly as we have Irene Brandon to add a little bit of villainy. There are some very stupid scenes as well, particularly when Gambit takes Purdey out to "dinner." However, as with many episodes, it has such a good overall air about it, particularly with Fuest's direction and it is such fun that it deserves a good rating. Watch it and see what I mean.
Rating: Seven out of ten.
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