Jarringly – after the lightweight nonsense of Mousetrap – we’re thrown back into cold war politics in this tale of a general once seen as such a threat to security that Steed’s outfit tried to assassinate him and now so crucial to a trade deal they have been assigned to protect him. One of the men they sent on the former mission turns up.
There’s little whimsy to be evoked from 5 years of imprisonment and torture – and the story is dragged down by a lot of business with another of Steed’s bosses – so the Avengersland colour is inserted by hiding this department (called PANSAC) beyond the fridge of a butcher’s shop.
This has to have been – until Gerry Anderson’s UFO – the worst cover ever invented. We do discover Cathy is a vegetarian, though. (Can this be true? Now I’m trying to think of anytime we’ve seen Cathy eating…) Steed buys some meat but Cathy reminds him he can’t cook (contrary to what we saw in Death a la Carte and confirming what we saw in The Big Thinker).
Cathy carries a gun – wearing a dress. “Where do you keep it in that?” Steed asks; Cathy shows us her thigh holster.
Steed is reading Tintin again.