There’s something about an the declaration, on election night, that evokes the very mechanical reality of the count, ballot boxes, spoiled papers, fevered speculation. Things that don’t really seem to belong in Avengersland, which should be inhabited by peers, and where ministers seem to be born into office. Even though the assassination that follows is highly unconvincing, there’s a whiff of realism. We, audience, are then briefly bludgeoned by the hard realities of the arms race politics as Cathy and Steed discuss the theft of a warhead.
Thankfully there are some nice light touches in this. The two old ladies who pose as tourists in the house of commons but actually work for Steed (more amateurs?) are a particular highlight.
It’s interesting to note there has been something of an establishment theme to series 3 so far – abuses of the legal system (Brief for Murder), the extent to which the security apparatus gives itself licence (The Nutshell) and now Parliament and the electoral process.
Overall, though, the ludicrous plot and the peculiar linkage between a gym and the political class don’t add up to an especially thrilling story.