The Young Avenger
Quick-Quick Slow Death
Direction: Three out of five. Despite that brilliant introduction when the pram runs away from Fehr, and there seems to be a camera actually the pram itself, Hill's direction does not seem to be particularly special after this. This is a shame, as we know he can direct extremely well ("Castle De'ath," for instance). Ah well, at least it is not bad!
Plot: Three and a half out of five. Although dancing schools are not really my line, and this is an episode where the plot is rather hard to get, it is just so ridiculously funny that it works. The actual method of switching the two men is a little bit silly, and does not look as if it would be feasible, but who cares? It is The Avengers!
Music: Two out of five. It starts off well enough, but when we get to the dance school, that same awful, repetitive tune plays for the last 25 minutes of the episode, and it really is an assault on the ears. The problem is, if you turn the volume down, you cannot hear the lines. My mother hated the music so much that she hid the cassette of this episode for six months!
Wittiness: Four out of five. Despite "The Master Minds" not being exactly in the top ten for wit, Robert Banks Stewart contributes a very nice second script to the series, which gives a Philip Levene script a run for its money. The best line is at the gentleman's outfitters. "We dress the whole nation, you know. Without us, Ascot Race week would look like a nudists' convention."
Action: Four out of five. As far as I remember (the tape has been hidden for six months), there is a very great fight at the end of the episode, with Steed throwing all sorts of dummies and things around in order to defeat the two villains. Emma joins in well as well, and then there is Fehr, who manages to make his opponent dumb, even though he gets shot in the process!
Cars/Sets/Locations: Two and a half out of five. I must admit that the dancing school set is utterly awful. There is a scene where Emma comes in through the door, and then it fails to close! The location filming that there is happens to be very brief and and not very good, at that. No cars of note, either. Oh dear.
Introduction/Tag: Four and a half out of five. There is what looks like a perfectly innocent scene, with a supposed father wheeling his pram around the shopping streets of suburbia, and it is all well and good. Then, he makes a phone call, but the pram escapes down the hill, and, at first it looks as if he is about to lose his baby. Then, the man falls out! What a contradiction! The tag is not absolutely brilliant, but to have Steed and Emma dancing off into the sunset is just so corny!
Overall Impression: An episode full of so many great characters, good lines and an impressive introduction and tag deserves a high rating. I do not really want to talk about how such an episode with such low ratings for important things like sets and music can get a high overall score, but let me just say that if an episode has Eunice Gayson, Maurice Kauffman (Honor Blackman's one-time husband) and that tattoo artist in it, then it must be great. If it were not for that music, then it would be among the top five of the season, it is that good.
Rating: Eight out of ten.
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