Month: June 2020

Charlotte Rampling and Diana Rigg

The Avengers: Series 5, Episode 12 – The Superlative Seven

  Charlotte Rampling, Donald Sutherland and Brian Blessed are the standout names in The Superlative Seven, a title suggesting this episode is going to borrow heavily from The Magnificent Seven of seven years before. In fact it’s more a reworking of Agatha Christie’s Ten Little Indians, with a bit of

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Mrs Peel surrounded by a halo reading a ZZ Schnerk Production

The Avengers: Series 5, Episode 11 – Epic

  When writers run out of ideas, they either start cannibalising their own old ones (see the episode from two weeks’ prior – The Correct Way to Kill), they duck into comedy (no refuge for a series that already has its tongue boring a hole through its cheek) or they

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Diana Rigg, Patrick Macnee and Christopher Lee

The Avengers: Series 5, Episode 10 – Never, Never Say Die

  Christopher Lee! Christopher Lee of Dracula fame, intelligence operations during the Second World War, later a Bond villain, Saruman of Lord of the Rings and a heavy metal artist in his 90s, yes, that’s the man, lumbering about like Frankenstein’s monster (another role) the first time we see him,

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John Steed with pet cat

The Avengers: Series 5, Episode 8 – The Hidden Tiger

  Well written and brilliantly cast, The Hidden Tiger is also very neatly directed by Sidney Hayers, who starts the episode with a point-of-view shot of a butler being dispatched by forces unseen while he is putting out a bowl of milk for the cat.   In death the man

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John Steed pecks Mrs Peel on the cheek

The Avengers: Series 5, Episode 7 – The Living Dead

  The zombie movie was sleeping fitfully in its crypt – George Romero would wake it in 1968 with Night of the Living Dead – when The Avengers episode The Living Dead first aired in February 1967.   Steed and Peel, it seems, are now ghosthunters as well as murder

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Emma Peel in cartoon form being menaged by a giant bird

The Avengers: Series 5, Episode 6 – The Winged Avenger

  The Winged Avenger, self-referentiality to one side, is a comic-book title and a comic-book episode – look at the framing throughout – and intriguingly suggests that The Avengers now has another genre reference point, having conclusively ditched noirish crime fiction as a motherlode even before Honor Blackman left the show

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Steed and Pell with chemistry apparatus

The Avengers: Series 5, Episode 4 – The See-Through Man

  After time travel in the previous week’s episode, Escape in Time, The Avengers’ augmented interest in sci-fi gets another workout in The See-Through Man, a plot all about invisibility and its dastardly uses.   Comedy is the overarching tone and self-parody the effect as first one person then another

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Emma Peel and John Steed cower in a doorway

The Avengers: Series 5, Episode 3 – Escape in Time

  Escape in Time is a good chance to see what the great documentary maker John Krish can do when handed an episode of The Avengers to direct.   The results are a mixed bag: visually interesting but dramatically a little flat, though the premise – a time-travelling bolthole into

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