Opening with a rather inept smothering (in which the murder fails to cover the victim’s nostrils, giving the victim a little extra acting to do) this looks like it’s going to be a particularly unedifying episode. There follows an extensive explanation of the correct cardboard to use for counterfeiting which is exceedingly boring – yes – we’re going to learn all about the impact on British industry of counterfeit copies of branded goods (yawn).
But things do pick up. There’s a classic Avengers mix here – the cosy family business, the moody artist, and, to add a bit more colour, turkish baths. (Harold Innocent as the artist seems terribly familiar, but this is actually only one of two Avengers he did.) Even the plot suddenly acquires teeth as a murderous piece of international diplomacy succeeds the international trade misdemeanours.
There is some excellent interplay between Steed and Cathy at Steed’s flat – particularly as he balances his bowler on her legs and practices niblick shots (he is, or course, completely outclassed at golf by Cathy who has a handicap of 12 to his 24). Later in the episode, Steed presents his, er, distinctive Icelandic art dealer (furs, frowns and a cigar being the requisite elements to perfect his cover, apparently). And Cathy, bruised in a fight, sports an eye-patch. I’m not quite clear why (if she really got a black eye it’s a good thing they were still filming ‘as live’ so the scenes were shot in order). She looks incredibly cool, though.