The Young Avenger
The Girl from Auntie
Direction: Three and a half out of five. In this episode, which plays like vaudeville in most parts, Roy Baker shows some of the brilliance which put him high on the directors list. There is the "drive round the block" moment, which is certainly very good, as it uses exactly the same angle for the whole shot, but apart from this, it is a rather standard episode.
Plot: Three out of five. It is a little bit simple in story terms when one considers some of the amazing plots this season contains, such as "Dial a Deadly Number" and "A Surfeit of H2O," but then the surreal touches, such as the Knitting Circle being right next to the Art Incorporated Offices, then it becomes what most people remember the series as being. However, as we all well know, plot is secondary in The Avengers.
Music: Three out of five. The main theme does get very irritating after a while, but it does not grind in the same was as the one to "Who's Who???" does. However, after a while, we do get some good recycled music from "Too Many Christmas Trees" and "Death at Bargain Prices," all of which is superb, so it means that I can sit through this one without complaining too much.
Wittiness: Five out of five. When I first watched this, I was not very conscious of the immensely funny lines that were appearing on the screen in front of me, and this was a real shame, because this really is a very well-scripted episode, which comes rather close to "Dial a Deadly Number" in the humour stakes. The best line is David's favourite as well: "Six bodies in an hour and twenty minutes, what do you call that?" "A good first act?"
Action: Four out of five. One of the more bizarre fights of the series, and for once one not involving Steed or Emma, is when Georgie reads Ray Austin's book of self-defence and manages to defeat her adversary with just what is written in front of her, even if the old woman gets away, and she has to throw away the book. Then, Georgie has a wonderful time with Steed at the end, where she throws a rug onto the two jousting figures. Shame Emma was not really involved.
Cars/Sets/Locations: Two out of five. A bit of a disappointing score, but this is only because the sets which the story calls for are rather downmarket and not particularly interesting in themselves. However, there is a good attempt to recreate Heathrow Airport by actually going there, for once, which is not something many people bothered to do in 60s TV series.
Introduction/Tag: Four out of five. In this episode there is the confidently strange sight of a girl in a bikini coming out of a party, and then only to hug a man wearing a pig's head and a dinner jacket. But then we have Emma, attired like the girl, coming to her car, but not before she witnesses an accident, where the old lady who has fallen off her bicycle plunges a needle into her. A bubble car would have been strange enough, but then to have Georgie in the Bentley as well means that this is one to remember.
Overall Impression: An impressively witty episode with a some lovely set pieces to it. Georgie Price-Jones is even better than Kim Lawrence was in "The Charmers," and it must have been a good holiday for Diana Rigg. This is possibly the height of surreal comedy in the fourth (and best) season, especially with the knitting needle trick and the superb guest stars. What lets this down are lacklustre sets, some unimaginative direction, and irritating music. It is good fun, however.
Rating: Seven and a half out of ten.
materials copyrighted per their respective copyright holders.