The Young Avenger
Small Game for Big Hunters
Direction: Three out of five. Gerry O'Hara made a superb debut in the excellent "The Hour That Never Was," but here, he is reduced to plain and simple dullness. There is nothing really wrong with his direction, particularly in the introduction, but at the same time there is nothing exceptional about it.
Plot: Three out of five. For once, the plot is slightly complicated and I actually get it, but unfortunately it is not particularly good. The idea of colonialism was certainly still rife in 1960s Britain, but unfortunately the team seems to have gone too far in trying to get a story which can have black characters in it. They should have used them all throughout the series in order that they should not seem so "foreign" as here.
Music: Three out of five. I must say that some of this music does get on my nerves after a while of hearing it repeated again after again in the same fashion during the episode, and then recycled in "Have Guns - Will Haggle." It is all new, and appropriate, I grant that, but it becomes very tedious after a while. Almost as tedious as the pacing.
Wittiness: Two out of five. From his place at second on the writers' list, one might have expected more from Philip Levene. Unfortunately, there are really no very good lines in the entire episode to get excited about. This mark is for overall impression, because there are some very funny scenes, even if they are witless. However, Emma does have a good time on the telephone to the operator. "Kalaya. K for Katy, A for Apple, L for... love?"
Action: Three out of five. There is a rather good fun fight at the end which seems to start a lot earlier than it actually does, and is a very confused affair indeed, but once one gets a glimpse of both of them doing their separate thing, Steed and Emma seem to be enjoying it as much as the viewers enjoy the spoof element in it. Not as good as others, however.
Cars/Sets/Locations: Two out of five. All right, most of this episode was in fact filmed on location in some very good weather, but this was the only location that was actually used in the entire thing. Now, there are very good episodes involving one location, and some equally superb ones with just a couple, but this one has two really being one, which is not a happy combination. The sets are a bit dull, as well, apart from the very good attempt to do the jungle. Only one car of note as well.
Introduction/Tag: Four out of five. The introduction obviously formed the basis for the one in "Dirtier by the Dozen" and is much better than the episode which takes after it, as Peter Thomas is chased through what looks like a jungle, but then turns out to be merely somewhere close to London. The idea of Steed and Emma in a canoe is bound to be good for a laugh as well.
Overall Impression: A good episode to show off the work of Bill Fraser and Liam Redmond, but I am afraid that nothing much ever happens, especially to Emma, who is utterly sidelined throughout the entire episode. It is great to see a real, live black actor in the series, and I only wish that there had been more of them, for Steed does not seem particularly prejudiced against them. Rawlings' retreat is a novelty, but this is all that is. Not a very satisfying episode.
Rating: Six out of ten.
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