The GLG Reports
Page 16 of 67

Two's a Crowd
By Grant L. Goggans

"Come now, Mrs. Peel. If I had a twin, I'm sure Mother would have mentioned it!" This episode is a delightful mix of comic indulgence and espionage melodrama, introducing the wonderful Ambassador Brodny, who represents both extremes. Brodny is played by Warren Mitchell, who would receive national acclaim for his long-running role of Alf Garnett in Till Death Us Do Part, the template for our Archie Bunker of All in the Family. This episode was transmitted several months after the Till Death pilot aired on Comedy Playhouse, but before the show's proper first season, so Mitchell wasn't the major star he would be when Brodny returned in season five. The character is a perfect comedic adversary for Steed, as he sputters and blusters, totally failing to get the respect he thinks he deserves. Steed joyfully runs rings around him. This is obviously a fun episode for Macnee, who not only gets to one-up Mitchell while playing Steed, but gets to stretch his legs as the thoroughly "corruptible" Gordon. Julian Glover is also fun to watch in what would be the only really good role of his several Avengers appearances. Apart from the acting, there's a solid and multi-layered plot with many misdirections and unexpected turns. It certainly begins with one, with the appearance of an obvious model airplane buzzing over London. It's shot like we're supposed to be seeing a real plane, and the revelation that it really is a radio-controlled toy is a surprise, and caps another winning pre-credits teaser. The unveiling of Ambassador Brodny as a comedic buffoon is another turn, and it's safe to say that, while something's obviously weird about Colonel Psev, nobody in the audience is going to guess his true identity. It's not a complicated story, and the twists don't require your attention, but they will certainly entertain you.

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