“A Sense of History” Review

The Avengers go back to University. Still no Impact or REF, but the students are less well behaved than in School for Traitors… It begins with an ambush, masked archers collecting for rag week. But an economist ends up dead, with an arrow in his back.

There central concept relies rather heavily on the notion that it could be widely foreseen a single economist would change the political landscape in Europe. His idea – Europia – sounds rather like the European Union, but would one man’s thesis be so crucial to it being realised (or another man’s such a threat)? The story wants to make the claim that ‘history can be created’ but doesn’t deliver the evidence.

Although the plot is underdeveloped, it hangs between these interesting concepts and production that is blessed with oodles of cloisterous atmosphere. Steed and Carlyon camp in the woods in a caravan for no reason at all but it is kind of cool. Meanwhile, the behaviour of the students (hybrid scholars and Nazi youth who fetishise new ideas and combative reasoning over mere knowledgability) is, as with Build a Better Mousetrap, a very mannered portrayal of ‘youth’ that makes the piece feel very dated. Finally the plot revolves around the tiresome mystery, once again, of who the ‘big man’ (they actually call him that) will turn out to be. It’s something of a worthy failure, though it’s an episode I’m quite fond of.

Both Mrs Peel and Duboys (the leader of the students) attend a fancy dress party as Robin Hood, but their interpretations of the way he would have appeared are quite different (one is the version of Robin Hood that wore trousers).

Tag scene transport: Steed in a sidecar to Emma’s motorbike.

About Simon Wood

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

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