The GLG Reports
Page 17 of 67

Too Many Christmas Trees
By Grant L. Goggans

"Who... is Boofums?" Everything in this episode — the vivid nightmares, the hall of mirrors, the costumes, the lumpy mask that Father Christmas wears, the Dickens costumes everybody else wears — adds up to something truly off kilter, and very much pointing the way towards more grandiose silliness in the color series. Roy Baker does a splendid job, Steed gives Mrs. Peel a teargas pen for Christmas and Edwin Richfield gets to menace and threaten our heroes quite well. What else? Well, Diana Rigg is in absolute top form this week. Not only does she realistically convey just the tiniest twinge of irritation as Steed flirts with anything in a skirt, but she comes across as Steed's very best friend. She gives him a wonderful look as he holds mistletoe over her head. Watch out also for Jeanette Sterke's "party piece" and how convincingly Mrs. Peel reacts as she realizes Steed is in some sort of trouble. The trouble itself is a real surprise. Psychic assassins? What a bold and original move for a British TV series of the '60s! Conspiracy theorists have had a lot of fun with suggestions about CIA experiments along the same line, but even if MK-Ultra did exist, it probably wasn't as visually chilling as the sťance-like atmosphere of the "experiments" in the old country manor. This is not an episode I'd choose to watch over and over again, as it doesn't capture me in the totally engrossing way that say, "A Surfeit of H2O" does, but darned if I can find a flaw in it.

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