“The Thirteenth Hole” Review

Not a bad story, centred on the unimaginably advanced prospect of a satellite television link, marred somewhat by repeatedly cutting to astonishingly poorly lit studio shots during the many fairway scenes. There are reflections and shadows on the painted backdrops – this is an extraordinary lapse from the incredibly high production standard of this series, and does distract. Perhaps a stronger story would have held the attention – the collection of golf club bores are no substitute for the usual collection of eccentrics – although I did like the set-up with the bunker-under-the-bunker despite there being apparently no reason for its location whatsoever. (Also, I’m not quite sure what use a non-geo-stationary TV satellite would be, but still…) The premiss does date this a bit, but it is fun to see the villains going to such lengths to secure the equivalent of a Skype video call.

Steed turns out to be rather good a golf, though he gets a little help from Mrs Peel, who is a hoot as his ‘fairy godmother’ hiding in the bushes to reposition balls to his advantage. Steed’s comedy golfing foibles are not a problem in themselves, but they do slow the pace of an already sluggish story.

Steed has a hat lined with chain mail, and choice which, as Mrs Peel drily observes, is “the height of pessimism”. This saves him from a golf ball gun (cool) though ultimately Steed manages to disincentives the boss baddie just by driving into him.

There’s a reasonably good fight for Emma in a bunker, and after being inelegantly incapacitated with a chair in the opening, gets to beat her captors with a chair she’s been chained to during the climax.

Tag scene transport: the golf cart, of course.

About Simon Wood

Lecturer in medical education, lapsed mathematician, Doctor Who fan and garden railway builder. See simonwood.info for more...

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