The GLG Reports
Page 34 of 67

The Superlative Seven
By Grant L. Goggans

The story of "The Superlative Seven" has been told a million times before, and this half-pastiche knows it. All the clichés of the And Then There Were None story are dragged out and dissected, and for some time there is real confusion over the killer's identity. Unfortunately, there's a huge cheat which, as a fan of detective fiction, I can't quite forgive. Before then, Sidney Hayers does an effective job of misdirection, and the events before landing on the island are really good television, from the simple and effective teaser to the location work at the airplane and the party. Once the plane lands, on a set that looks like a standard "deep woods" mockup from The Wild Wild West or an Irwin Allen show, it sinks several stages, but never totally bombs. Of course, having been told that one of the seven is a killer, they have to split up. That's one of the rules of this hoary plot that The Avengers could have broken. Donald Sutherland is unbelievably weird, and his climactic gunfight with Charlotte Rampling is one of the strangest scenes in all of the series. "The Superlative Seven" is a great showcase for Steed, and it's never dull, but it's never as good as its potential, and it could easily have skewered more clichés. Maybe Terry Nation should have written it.

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