The Young Avenger
Death at Bargain Prices
Direction: Five out of five. I was very sad to hear of the death of Charles Crichton, the great British director, who did such classics as A Fish Called Wanda. His talent certainly shows through here, and it is done in a very stately and smart style, which fits the script very well and makes us wonder why they could not all have been like this. Just watch the introduction!
Plot: Four out of five. I know that the bomb threat for cash is not exactly something new, but the way in which Brian Clemens handles it is certainly very stylish, and the idea that Kane is so crazed, and seems so old-fashioned, but then he decides to fight back with technology which is right up to date is very frightening. It might have been from an old Doctor Who script, but it makes a great Avengers episode!
Wittiness: Five out of five. Clemens' best ever script, without exception, is to be found here. This is only one of two episodes to ever make me laugh out loud whilst watching it, and makes me feel cross that Clemens descended to such depths as "Trap." Here are some examples: "Too many late nights!" remarks Steed on finding the eye on Emma's front door shut. "Ah, get your wires crossed!" says Emma when the telephone rings whilst she is engaged in serious research. "I think baby's too big" remarks Emma, when they look like a husband and wife to the shop assistant! Many more await, just watch and see!
Music: Five out of five. I could not do the score any better if I had the entirety of the series music to choose from! Just listen to that fight music at the end of the episode. The first and last time that Emma's fights are choreographed to music. Shame!
Fights: Four out of five. We have here one of the greatest fights of the whole episode's history, with Steed and Emma both engaged with difficult opponents, but Emma trying to out-click her enemy into giving her his gun. Then, Steed has a brilliant fight with a cricket bat! "Straight drive to mid off!" He could not be more right.
Cars/Sets/Locations: Three out of five. Unfortunately, although I can give full marks to the sets, the lack of location filming and the fact that there are no real shots of any important cars mean that this achieves a very low score here, which it does not really deserve, as the store itself is brilliant.
Introduction/Tag: Four out of five. Although we have a very good introduction, it is a little bit long for my tastes, and the lift thing seems a bit of a silly inclusion, but it does have those wonderful Dalek toys in it, and then Yogi bear's head being used as the freeze frame! The tag is a gem, just like all the others in the series.
Overall Impression: One of the funniest episodes ever, proof that Clemens can come up with the goods when he puts his mind to it. Great performances from Allan Cuthbertson, Andre Morey and TP McKenna make it worth putting up with the fact that the whole thing happens in one large shop, and that the pacing is a bit slow. But, like "What the Butler Saw," this is an episode that has great set pieces, which is what the thing is all about anyway. That scene between Steed and the girl at the food stand is priceless!
Rating: Nine out of ten.
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