The GLG Reports
Page 21 of 67

The Danger Makers
By Grant L. Goggans

"She's recreating the Indian Mutiny in the potting shed." This is a very unusual but totally winning episode. The investigation, which moves at an oddly slow pace, tackles an unusual sort of case for our heroes. The first murder committed by the Danger Makers happens after Steed and Mrs. Peel are already on the case, prompting Steed to note at one point to complain the investigation is about a group of men acting like "irresponsible beatniks." This case really isn't keeping him very interested at first, as all they are doing is trying to find a link between men who died in self-caused accidents. It's only after the bodies start accruing that Steed takes his usual keen interest in events. On the way, he meets a great eccentric, the easily-offended Colonel Adams, the last of a military line who doesn't take kindly to unintended remarks about women in the service. The direction is really excellent in this one, even above Charles Crichton's usual high standard. A scene with Robertson and Peters daring each other to hold primed grenades as long as they can is really tense, but it's nothing compared to Mrs. Peel's initiation into the society, which is one of the most nail-biting sequences of the entire series. In this well-remembered scene, she must walk across two see-saws carrying looped handles along uneven tracks of charged metal, without letting the handles touch the tracks. It's the sort of don't-dare-blink tension that most big-budget suspense thrillers shoot for, done here in an itty-bitty, well-lit studio. The only down side is with the acting. Douglas Wilmer is not very convincing as a psychologist, spouting rather unbelievable babble that our heroes accept a little too readily. If you're looking for a slower-paced Avengers that develops into a really tense one, this would be a good suggestion.

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