When Steed goes on holiday, Tara gets some useless twit who she has to discard at the first opportunity. When Steed goes on holiday, he gets a proper new partner. Sadly the opportunity to work with one of his amateurs again is passed up – instead he’s partnered with the department’s Lady Diana Fobes Blakeney. It’s a nice idea to go for the full-on toff, but Jennifer Croxton is rather wooden. Is there a hint of Purdey there? There’s certainly not Lumley’s classiness… There’s almost some chemistry when they share a tot of Napoleon brandy from Steed’s flask, but basically it makes you appreciate that Tara isn’t that bad after all.
We get to see a lot of agents, and they all get killed. This is entirely because they are gullible and inept, and they make the department look pathetic (it’s even worse than in The Interrogators). The bad guys knock them off in the most inefficient and laborious way imaginable, so it’s not like they’re a particularly daunting threat, it’s just that these pillocks are utterly feeble. No wonder Steed always used to work with an amateur from outside the department – and I wonder why he stopped?
Richard Wattis guest stars, and is completely wasted (he is the forensic chap inspecting the corpses that are dry-cleaned and polythene wrapped, for no adequately explained reason). William Franklyn (Silent Dust and the second voice of the book in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy) is good but he can’t be expected to save the episode on his own.
Mother’s HQ: not particularly outlandish in this, for once. Quite restrained, in fact
Steed’s steel bowler: no sign – his hat has a hole shot in in at then gets crushed by Remek. This is of ordinary manufacture, then, and not the metal variety.
Despite Lady DFB doing all the work, Tara gets the tag scene. It’s rather feeble, though, with an inflatable dinghy filling Steed’s apartment.