“The White Elephant” Review

Never work with children and… and… well, the animal photography in this is terrific, so animals must be fine. Yes, that title is because it’s literally about an elephant. And though the elephant has disappeared, lots of its zoo-based colleagues get featured extra roles. The plot – which concerns smuggling – involves custom built cages. As well as producing chains for animals, the company produces chains for more….kinky purposes. Ooh er, Madam Restraint.

Steed is at his playful, eccentric, charming best in this one. And Cathy the adventuress is in her element too. It’s fun to watch them.

Returning guests include Edwin Richfield (following The Girl on the Trapeze and The Removal Men, but with 3 more appearances to come) and Judy Parfitt (following Bullseye) who still reminds me of Susannah Harker (or maybe Raquel Cassidy).

Steed is carrying in this again (he gives Cathy a gun) but there is then an excellent fight in which his is unarmed – dodging, using the umbrella as a weapon. The sound design during this fight is terrific – no music, but the sound of the surrounding animals instead.

Steed – concentrating on a daffodil – explains to Cathy he is practising yoga. Cathy is sceptical here (echoes in Mulder and Scully here?) Steed, for once, mentions Cathy’s hunting days in Africa. Despite an awareness of Steed’s motives in involving her in this one, Cathy is quite bitter at the end. “You always manage to win something Steed… You’re using my experience to cover you indolence.”

About Simon Wood

Lecturer in medical education, lapsed mathematician, Doctor Who fan and garden railway builder. See simonwood.info for more...

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