The last of those rare beasts: a Mrs Peel episode I’ve not seen before. The opening’s great, full of tension, as a man is threatened by an intruder. We see the gun-barrel turn as the assassin squeezes the trigger… and dry fires, before leaving a calling card. It’s a decent enough idea – squeezing millionaires by playing on their frailty and vulnerability… except, it’s not clear why they are vulnerable. “You may think you’re invulnerable…” Well, yes, and why wouldn’t they? There’s no obvious reason why this outfit are particularly good at penetrating any security system, or why they have the resources or resourcefulness to be able to overcome the protection a millionaire could afford. (There’s no Hidden Tiger style gimmick, either… I think we’re just supposed to understand they’re very good, even if it’s not clear how or in what way.)
Despite its flaws, it’s a reasonably solid episode. The bridge from The Hour That Never Was and so many other episodes makes a reappearance (this time Mrs Peel gets under it, then fights a diver in the pond). Mrs Peel wears leather for probably the first time since monochrome. The design and photography is unexceptional though – save for Unwin’s wallpaper, which is exceptionally horrible.
In recent episodes, The Avengers seem suddenly to have lots of (old) friends. “I’ve known you a long time.” It’s not like the old days… When Steed and Cathy or Venus would infiltrate an entirely unfamiliar group. Now there’s a social circle so wide that almost every case they become involved with seems to entangle several friends, colleagues and old acquaintances.
Television channels, in Avengersland, apparently aren’t numbered – Unwin is told to tune to ‘Channel B’.
Unusually, Steed deploys a tracker bug. Gadgets, in The Avengers?
Incidentally, when we were reviewing The Prisoner episode The Girl Who Was Death on Fusion Patrol, I mentioned this episode as the ‘inspiration’ for No 6 finding the words ‘you have just been poisoned’ at the bottom of a beer glass – and yes, the ‘inspiration’ is very direct. One of the millionaires drinks from a tankard and finds the word ‘poison’ at the bottom.