The Avengers pay a first visit to the realm of Higher Education in this slight but entertaining and atmospheric episode. The corner of academia that is evoked in this belongs more to Avengersland than 1960s reality, I’m sure, but I suspect neither would be terribly recognisable to those of us in today’s universities (I mean to say, they don’t mention Impact, the REF or NSS, can you believe it?) I’ll happily settle for extraordinarily well-behaved students politely strumming, drinking and fornicating their way through their studies while blackmailers and spies chase one another through the cloisters.
Steed’s boss in this one (One-Seven) also ‘disapproves of amateurs’ in regard to Steed’s use of Venus, echoing the line One-Ten utters in Immortal Clay in regard to Cathy, but since we haven’t seen him before, it’s possible that unlike his colleague, he’s consistent in this view. For once, Steed appears to have briefed Venus on her rôle (keeping an eye on things while he was in Cairo) but he still manages put her in danger of having her face burned by acid, a fate only averted by pure accident.
Venus is without the Dave Lee Trio in this – she’s accompanied by the Kenny Powell trio instead. She sings Put On A Happy Face. That should be her theme.
And @lone_locust will want to note that the barmaid is this one is not called Doris either, she’s called Sally (although Professor Aubyn seems convinced she’s called Moira).