The New Avengers never reaches the same heights that The Avengers achieved at its best, but it manages to equal its lows at its worst. And it’s hard to imagine how this episode could be any worse. It’s certainly neck and neck with Look (Stop Me…) in the worst-episode-ever stakes.
The worst – and most offensive – aspect of the story is the Chinese villain Soo Choy who is played by a portly white guy with slicked back hair and an unfortunate case of laryngitis (Terry Wood), despite their being several Chinese actors playing other parts.
Soo Choy is a member of a crime syndicate composed of the most inept and indecisive villains ever portrayed on screen. Thwarted in a drug deal, Soo Choy draws attention to his failure by flying his colleagues across the world to see him (fail) to save face by (failing) to kill the thwarters (our heroes). His colleagues dither around, clearly unimpressed, by with insufficient natural authority to just leave (or even not turn up in the first place). But Terry Wood does his best to distract attention from this with his extraordinary car-crash performance,inexplicably rasping his appalling dialogue in a husky whisper.
“We are the inscrutable ones.”
NO, PLEASE, NO.
But no effort is wasted elsewhere to make sure this episode is a complete disaster. Our heroes themselves do fairly badly, being tricked of their guns, getting kidnapped and crashing a plane. They then must evade capture by many troops in a tiny forest and the best they can come up with in terms of tactics seem to be: a) to be very very lucky b) to have crap enemies.
But it gets worse. Steed decides to pretend to be Chinese.
“How do I look?”
“I just hope I can found a voice to go with it.”
He then swaps his Ls and Rs….
NO, PLEASE, NO.
Our heroes work with a member of the CIA. Those Americans, they’re so smooth… He takes a fancy to Purdey:
“She’s not bionic is she? I mean she’s just so perfect I thought maybe someone had made her.”
When the call comes, Steed and Gambit both have women with them. But Purdey leaves an empty bed. Fair?
There are an absurd number of plot holes.
- DRUGS! The drug deal is worth £10m. It involves one courier and when he’s killed, we clearly see the entire consignment: one packet of maybe 1kg. 2 at the very most.
- CRASH! There is a plane crash in which the only bits of the plane brakes up into a handful of neat and shiny bits of unsinged metal and all our heroes walk away – albeit with Steed suffering a broken arm.
- GEOGRAPHY! Starting from London, the plane flies due East. They crash in Soo Choy’s territory, which one of The New Avenger’s colleagues drove away from by road – to a point where Gambit and Purdey found him, again by road – i.e. it is in the UK. The territory is 20 miles wide, yet they are certain the plane has landed within it.
The episode never seems to stop getting worse, ending with an appalling gag about ‘Chinese takeaway’.
But it’s the absurd Soo Choy and casual racism that remains in the memory.
“All these western faces look alike to me.”
NO, PLEASE, NO. MAKE IT STOP.