“The Gilded Cage” Review

It’s good in the opening to see Cathy in charge. She’s the one who knows the people, and the procedures, that are going to enable The Avengers to rob a bank. I’m still not clear why entrapment was either a necessary or permissible strategy to bring down wheelchair bound super villain JP Spagg, but never mind. We get our second criminal super butler (following Death of Great Dane) in Fleming, a lovely performance from Norman Chappell (this being his second episode, after a doing a now lost Keel story – he’ll be back for another three, two of them particular favourites of mine).

We get both policemen and a black man in this episode (though the policemen turn out to be fake). Cathy also finds herself in prison for a second time (after an undercover visit in Intercrime) though it’s a jarring transition – she is drugged, but we must guess how much of the effects she is faking (it’s not until she talks about Steed that it becomes clear she’s sticking to a script).

I’d question whether an assassin with a rifle would be convinced they’d hit their target if the glass, being bullet proof, did not shatter – no matter how convincingly the target falls over.

Steed appears to be carrying a gun again in this (he fires one, and it’s unclear how he obtained it if he wasn’t carrying it himself).

Ultimately this feels like it misses the mark by minimising the most entertaining elements. Rather than centring on the interesting criminals (Spagg and Fleming) we have a rather undistinguished gang who roar with laughter implausibly frequently. Ultimately, there’s no espionage or high concept criminality in this, just a bunch of reputedly competent robbers.

About Simon Wood

E-learning officer, lapsed mathematician, Doctor Who fan and garden railway builder. See simonwood.info for more…

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