No complaints about the grandeur of the vision for world domination in this one. But the competence with which it is executed is questionable. We’re in that kind of lust for empire territory – but without the Nazi efficiency of The Mauritius Penny and with the appreciation for orgies of Warlock. It’s a less successful ‘kinky’ episode than Warlock was before it, or A Touch of Brimstone will be later – it lacks the conviction for the lost glory, leaving only a pathetic delusion (Bruno Ceasar – the noblest roman of them all) and by comparison – ultimately – it’s just not very sexy.
A new black death is the means of control by which this new Rome will be forged, and the story taps into concerns over chemical farming (“You need it. We feed it.”)
There’s some champagne early on in this one – Steed sips while Cathy studies at the microscope. And there are policemen – lots of them – but only seen on a television showing footage of a riot.
When Cathy is in danger, Steed’s patience vanishes and he moves quickly (and brutally) to get to her. Go Steed!