Never mind the plot, the delight here is the domesticity. Dr Keel is fixing his doorbell. And he cooks for Steed, although Steed seems to be rather desperate to persuade him to go to a restaurant to avoid this. However, Steed then become extremely effusive about the tinned peaches he is served for afters… (The veneer of sophistication peeling away?) There is a gulf between the two men when it comes to coffee, revealed when Steed asks:
“Haven’t you any real coffee?”
“What do you mean, real coffee?”
The way into this plot is Keel involving Steed, looking out for the daughter of a friend. She’s called Bunty. (It’s the 60s.)
“This is a very big city. Once you get caught up in the seamier side of it it’s easy to get lost.”
She’s involved in photographs, which seems unusually seedy for The Avengers. Bunty has been working in a toy store and the contrast is effective and disconcerting. With the toys store setting I can’t help but be reminded of Death at Bargain Prices and there’s a precursor gag here.
“You know I don’t think I’ll buy this wigwam after all. Couldn’t get any sleep.”
Steed’s driving a rolls.
“I’ve lent it to a friend.”
“What’s her name?”
“I forgot to ask.”
There’s little tension from the plot device of having a mystery “Mr Big” to reveal (so over-used in this show) but the interesting conflict comes when Steed recruits Bunty as an agent without Keel’s knowledge. Now this maybe the typical Steed modus operandi – we know that he likes to recruit amateurs like Dr Keel (and later Venus, Mrs Gale, Mrs Peel etc.) But Dr Keel, who was never going to be impressed by this move, threatens to knock Steed’s block off.
“If you ever do anything like that again I’ll knock the living daylights out of you… If you ever go behind my back again, I’ll take you apart… If you want to be like that then be like that. But from now on you’re on your own.”
This development from cosy domesticity to outright antagonism makes this a particularly interesting episode in the development of the Steed/Keel relationship.