The GLG Reports
Page 19 of 67

Small Game for Big Hunters
By Grant L. Goggans

"By Jove, the natives are restless tonight!" "Small Game" starts with what can only be described as one of the best pre-title sequences in television history and drops like a rock after that. Things pick up after twenty minutes of the story moving at the same pace as cold tar, but sadly never approaches the bizarre coolness of the opening scene. Bill Fraser is wonderful as the disenfranchised Colonel Rawlings, forced from his retirement home in Kalaya by the new government but unable to accept change. This is really a Steed story, as Mrs. Peel, jarringly, spends most of the hour by the bedside of a sleeping farmer. Steed briefly allies himself with one of the few examples of an agent from another friendly government this season offers (Paul Danquah as Kalayan agent Razafi), which widens the show's scope and range about a millimeter, but at least they tried. Macnee is in top form here, and his undercover turn as a major who lost his rubber plantation to the coup is fun to watch. Chiefly, the overall problem is the pace. Things get increasingly manic after the dull first act and rush to a conclusion, leaving quite a number of unresolved subplots and dangling threads. This is a common problem with Philip Levene scripts, but thankfully his dialogue is so good it's often easy to overlook it.

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