Passing secrets at a seance as if from ‘beyond the curtain’ is a splendidly Avengersesque conceit. This is a solid episode with an ebullient performance from Jack May as a wine-merchant whose manner, for some reason, puts me in mind of Geoffrey Rush in The Tailor of Panama. But it plods along in places, with the blackmail threat centring around a rather unsympathetic (ok, irritating) couple’s affair (Cathy sees through her moments after meeting her and her husband).
Steed, placing an order with the wine merchant, avoids stating his address (he either evades the question – or eventually hands over a business card) so we still don’t know where he moved to after he left 5 Westminster Mews.
Cathy’s hi-tech apartment with its video intercom system provides a cue for a dig at The Avengers still being in black and white (“I’m not going to be on your tellyscreen again. Not until you have colour.”) It’ll be black and white for another season (and all the better for it, in my opinion) but production values will soar when it goes onto film.
There’s a good fight in the wine cellar – though it can’t match the one we’ll see in Dial a Deadly Number….