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Rewatch - The Avengers
Spaceship Dispatcher
Very neat twist.
Reversing the polarity of the neutron flow. I bet that means something. It sounds great.

Blake's 7: Trojan Horse (s4 fanfic) - Blake's 7: Through the Needle's Eye (s2 fanfic)

Spaceship Dispatcher's fanfic site
 
trevor travis
Not a bad story, and a neat resolution, but can't believe how useless Tara was in that story.
 
Spaceship Dispatcher
Another great tag scene Grin Grin
Reversing the polarity of the neutron flow. I bet that means something. It sounds great.

Blake's 7: Trojan Horse (s4 fanfic) - Blake's 7: Through the Needle's Eye (s2 fanfic)

Spaceship Dispatcher's fanfic site
 
Spaceship Dispatcher
trevor travis wrote:

Not a bad story, and a neat resolution, but can't believe how useless Tara was in that story.

She wasn't useless, she was under drugs. Keep up at the back there, Travis!
Reversing the polarity of the neutron flow. I bet that means something. It sounds great.

Blake's 7: Trojan Horse (s4 fanfic) - Blake's 7: Through the Needle's Eye (s2 fanfic)

Spaceship Dispatcher's fanfic site
 
trevor travis
Cheers SD.

Quite a good story, but I prefer the Tara of "All Done With Mirrors". Her character was written so inconsistently. She's capable of standing up for herself, rather than relying on Steed to rescue her.

Julian Glover made the story, though.
 
Spaceship Dispatcher
Two good episodes, thanks for joining me this evening!
Reversing the polarity of the neutron flow. I bet that means something. It sounds great.

Blake's 7: Trojan Horse (s4 fanfic) - Blake's 7: Through the Needle's Eye (s2 fanfic)

Spaceship Dispatcher's fanfic site
 
trevor travis
Spaceship Dispatcher wrote:

trevor travis wrote:

Not a bad story, and a neat resolution, but can't believe how useless Tara was in that story.

She wasn't useless, she was under drugs. Keep up at the back there, Travis!


In which case, she needed to feign taking them, return to Compos Mentis, and kick Scaroth and accomplice down the stairs Grin
 
trevor travis
We'll switch over next time; you can pick Honor, and I'll pick Tara Wink
 
trevor travis
Spaceship Dispatcher wrote:

Two good episodes, thanks for joining me this evening!


Cheers SD, yes two episodes I haven't seen for a while... the latter for around 20 years or so.
 
Spaceship Dispatcher
trevor travis wrote:

In which case, she needed to feign taking them, return to Compos Mentis, and kick Scaroth and accomplice down the stairs Grin

There wasn't really a point when she wasn't already on them, since they seem to have administered the first dose while she was out from the chloroform; maybe by injection. She's actually portrayed as quite strong for fighting them as well as she does.
Reversing the polarity of the neutron flow. I bet that means something. It sounds great.

Blake's 7: Trojan Horse (s4 fanfic) - Blake's 7: Through the Needle's Eye (s2 fanfic)

Spaceship Dispatcher's fanfic site
 
Spaceship Dispatcher
trevor travis wrote:

We'll switch over next time; you can pick Honor, and I'll pick Tara Wink

Okay, whenever that opportunity comes along!
Reversing the polarity of the neutron flow. I bet that means something. It sounds great.

Blake's 7: Trojan Horse (s4 fanfic) - Blake's 7: Through the Needle's Eye (s2 fanfic)

Spaceship Dispatcher's fanfic site
 
trevor travis
As usual, I’ve checked the Avengers Forever website, for a little extra info following watching the episodes.

“Mandrake” seems to be a well-liked episode.

The webmaster gives it the maximum of four bowlers, plus the following review:

Worthy of being an Emma Peel season episode, this one has all the best elements: a shifty-eyed (literally!) diabolical mastermind, a crooked doctor, a cute innocent and a lot of corpses. The graveyard set leaves a bit to be desired, but why carp? Extra points for better use of music this time around.

And Rodney Marshall (son or writer Roger Marshall) is equally glowing:

I think the webmaster was bang on when he said that this would have made a fine Diana Rigg episode. It has all the ingredients: a memorable, deadly mastermind; style; wit; quirkiness; and a disturbing undercurrent of mystery. The basic idea, based on the true findings of a pathologist, is an excellent one and the graveyard scenes create a brooding atmosphere. The cracker shop girl and Steed share some excellent flirtatious scenes but, for me, what makes this episode one of the best ever is the mélange of guest villains. The failing doctor Macombie, beautifully played by John Le Mesurier, and the diabolical mastermind, Roy Hopkins, cleverly portrayed by Philip Locke, have a wonderfully explosive relationship. No wonder they were both asked back during the Emma Peel era. The clients Benson and Mrs Turner are also interesting, well-rounded characters. This is, IMHO, one of those few 'perfect' episodes which represent The Avengers at its very best.

The conclusions of the ‘Young Avenger’ are:

I was very hard on this episode the first time I saw it, mainly because I did not listen carefully enough to the sparkling script, which definitely sets Marshall up for "Dial a Deadly Number," the series' best ever script. Philip Locke and John Le Mesurier are totally wonderful as the pair of villains, and they add a touch of eccentricity too. The vicar is splendid too. The pacing is not as suspect as I had first thought, certainly no worse than "The Golden Eggs." The fight in the middle must not be missed! Seven and a half out of ten.

Another review is:

"They do a rattling good trade for a ghost village!" This was a heavily promoted episode in its day, due to a small role by the wrestler Jackie Pallo, who fights with Mrs. Gale in an amazing hair-pulling, boot-in-the-face brawl that left the strongman out cold in real life. Like so many stories of its day, it's a very sharp bit of television with unusual hooks, great dialogue and terrible production. Watch for the wobbly camera ducking around the fake trees when Mrs. Gale first visits the churchyard. The evil plot is straight out of classic mystery whodunits (and the soil angle has been spoiled by many guides to the show before I could get to it!) and fits the Avengers style very well.

Meanwhile, some else is less of a fan:

There is a lot that's good about this episode. It's based on a clever idea. There's witty dialogue and I particularly enjoyed Steed's flirtation with the girl at the cracker factory. But it starts with a long explanation of the villains' plot for all us dummies in the audience and then takes ages to get warmed up. In fact, it doesn't really get anywhere much until about half way through. It's the same problem I have with nearly all the Cathy Gale episodes: it's s...o... s...l...o...w... I've watched nearly all David's top ten Cathy episodes and several more he's given four bowlers. With the exception of "The Nutshell" and "Dressed to Kill," I found them all at least a bit tedious. It's a shame, because I love Cathy. She's my second-favourite Avenger of all and if she was a real person she's the one I'd prefer to know rather than the self-satisfied Emma Peel.



“Pandora” seems to get a more mixed reception.

The webmaster gives it just one solitary bowler, plus the following review:

If I see Tara grabbed and knocked out with chloroform one more time, I'll... I'll... Well, you might imagine that I am quite tired of this little device... Anyway, this one could have been better if they'd fixed almost everything. Greatest liability: one of Linda Thorson's worst performances (ironic, as it is her favorite episode). It also suffered from a lack of production creativity—Tara was drugged the whole time, but where were the fish-eye lens perspective shots? It did have a neat Night Gallery ending, as well as a cute little homage to Cathy and Emma, but it wasn't enough to earn it another bowler, I'm afraid.

The conclusions of the ‘Young Avenger’ are:

I personally think of this as the second worst of Clemens so-called voyeuristic episodes. Though better than the awfulness of "Epic," it still falls down in the way that "Fog" did by simply being outdated. Emma Peel would have seen through this one in no time, and escaped. Julian Glover, James Cossins and John Laurie all give wonderful performances, though, contrary to popular belief. Wave goodbye to Robert Fuest. Four out of ten.

However, it does have it fans:

A bizarre pot-pourri of previous Avengers storylines, "Epic" and "The Joker" to name just two, "Pandora" is an utterly delightful addition to the series. It addresses very pertinent questions of personal identity—for example, are we who we think we are, or who other people tell us we are—as well as being one of those highly entertaining just-what-the-devil-is-going-on episodes of the series. The story also contains a season-best performance from Linda Thorson, whose increasing bewilderment and insanity is extremely convincing, and demonstrates that, although Tara King may be weaker than Cathy Gale or Mrs Peel, she can be used to excellent dramatic effect. Indeed, this is a fact not undone by Tara's rescue by Steed, as there is a lack of the usual repartee between them, she is so overwhelmed by the experience. The ever-reliable Julian Glover puts in another menacing performance as the main villain of the piece, yet special mention should also go to the distinctive incidental music for the programme which compliments the tale precisely. In fact, Pandora is a brilliant example of the Steed/King season: coupling a fascinating deception with corruption in high places and depicting a surreal fairy-tale gone wrong.

It also has other people less keen:

This episode is a slight reworking of Vertigo, the Hitchcock classic—it's almost a good episode, but doesn't quite hit the mark. Despite being Linda Thorson's favourite episode, I just can't help thinking, "G-O-D, when will this end?" It's obvious why this is Linda's favourite episode as she does get her fair share of the limelight and gives one of her best performances. John Laurie is quite good as Juniper, the Fierce Rabbit(1), but it's unfortunate that the rest of the cast isn't as good. Even the usually brilliant Julian Glover has gone to shot on this episode. It's interesting that Mother allows Steed to take some time off for bereavement as in "You'll Catch Your Death." He's got a "don't get attached to your partner" attitude. A little mundane. Two Bowlers.
 
trevor travis
My own little mini-reviews:

Mandrake: One of the very best episodes from the Cathy Gale era. There’s a neat little plot, as the machinations of the villains are exposed. The guest cast is fabulous, including John Le Mesurier and Philip Locke, and it’s nice to see the slightly darker Steed of this era. There’s also a charm to the scenes where Steed flirts with Annette Andre’s character – he’s so much more gentlemanly than the crude Gambit! And then of course, there’s the fabulous and rather brutal fight in the graveyard, during which Honor Blackman actually knocked out wrestler Jackie Pallo for real. Cathy Gale is simply a great character – clever, confident and capable. 9/10.

Pandora: One strength of the Tara King era is its versatility. However, one problem is that a lot of the time it doesn’t end up feeling like the Avengers. This is one such episode, where there’s very little wrong with the simplistic plot, while guest star Julian Glover puts in the usual stellar performance, and there’s quite a neat twist at the end. But Tara is far too much the victim for my liking – the drugged damsel in distress waiting for Steed to rescue her. It’s too far removed from the highly capable character we see in other episodes. So a solid episode of television, but not a particularly good Avengers episode. 6/10.
Edited by trevor travis on 08 October 2015 09:46:20
 
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