The GLG Reports
Page 30 of 67

The Hidden Tiger
By Grant L. Goggans

"Shall I put the cat out?" This remarkable episode succeeds in every area where the previous hour failed. Rather than undermining what seems like an unreal premise with an all-too common scheme by ordinary villains, this takes an acceptable, if a little unusual, beginning (a hunt for a lion or tiger) and throws it completely on its ear when it transpires something far more off-kilter than a lion is on the prowl. Along the way, Levene has a great time with the dialogue by dropping a hysterical number of cat puns into the script. The scene where Steed uses Mrs. Peel's name as the name of his (non-existent) cat is utterly priceless, as Cheshire unwittingly drops a few double entendres back in his lap. Macnee's eyebrows rarely raised so high. Then there's "Pussies galore!", a triple entendre that's so self-referencing, it could almost be used to define this entire season. In fact, much of the episode makes little tips of the hat to the Avengers past, even tossing in a "big game hunt" musical cue from a previous Levene script, "Small Game for Big Hunters." On the other hand, it looks determinedly to the future by using some of the most comical dialogue possible for what looks like a standard action-adventure series, and by giving us some eccentric nutballs who are nutty even for Avengers nutballs. To give away Cheshire's mannerisms would be criminal, so let's just say he's pretty well named. Comedy legend Ronnie Barker is absolutely superb as Cheshire, and the cast even features the very catty Gabrielle Drake (later in UFO) as Angora. In short, this one's an absolute masterpiece.

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