The GLG Reports
Page 37 of 67

Who's Who???
By Grant L. Goggans

"Steed has poise, a touch of the aristocrat. You slouch like a peasant!" Nobody, and I mean nobody has done a "brain-switching" story as well as The Avengers. The plot, like so many from the fifth season, has also become a hoary chestnut of fantasy TV, and, like a lot of color Mrs. Peel stories, was seen several months before on Batman. In a stunning reversal of fortunes, while most Avengers that ripped off Batman were inferior to the original, this blows the template, which featured Vincent Price as Egghead, right out of the water. The principal artistes all put in stunning work, such that Freddie Jones and Patricia Haines completely change their diction to "become" Steed and Mrs. Peel, Patrick Macnee is constantly using bad posture, and Diana Rigg is, well, masterful. As Lola, Rigg go-go dances, chews gum (as would Purdey in The New Avengers' "Faces") and has a ball. Freddie Jones gets the best scenes as Steed, wearing Basil's body, laments the damage to his champagne and cigars. This acting makes the episode work, since the actors care so much about what they are doing. By comparison and illustration, Lois and Clark also did a brain-switching story in its later years, and Tim Thomerson, who played the fellow who swapped brains with Clark, never got Dean Cain's diction right. Consequently, while Dean Cain's Clark would say "I... love you," Thomerson would say "I love yuh." That failed. This works. Among the other material this hour, there's some great direction and some brilliantly understated comic flourishes, such as Jones's Steed getting hit in the nose by a door, and Rigg silencing Haines by swiveling the brain switching helmet. Major B's office is totally bizarre, with enormous Union Jacks papering the walls and ceiling. There's even an offhand reference to "doubles" stories like we had seen before and will certainly see again. It also has one of the best tag scenes of the season. This episode is pure, unadulterated nonsense and loves itself enormously. So will you.

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