Season three continues confidently and this episode has a terrific opening – classic Avengers bizarre – as undertakers arrive for a body that, as they sing in Spamalot, is not yet dead. However, larger than life starts to become grating, in the form of Lally Bowers extremely OTT performance as Mrs Renton. It’s all very upper class Avengersland, with a plot centred around death duties.
There’s more international travel alluded to for Steed – he’s due to be going to New York (cue a cutting riposte from Mrs Gale that at least she’ll get some of her own work done – and a volley of further cutting witticisms).
On the technical front, everything seems to go fine in front of the camera, but on the recording there’s lots of what I believe is termed “wow and flutter”, something that especially evident on the bumpers.
When Steed mixes Cathy a cocktail it looks like there might be no champers in this one – but following an excellent shootout in the garden among the impressive statues, there is champagne.
The theme of undertakers in The Avengers will be revisited in another episode, also by Malcolm Hulke, in the fourth season: The Gravediggers – possibly my favourite episode of all.