A biker chicken running has a fatal encounter with a truck. But this thrill seeker turns out to be a decorated, 60 year old general. This is much better! As with The Master Minds, I’ve little memory of this story (except for the wire and hoop scene) and it’s not a dissimilar set up, with useful individuals being conditioned for a devious plan. In this case, the useful individuals are selected military men, prompting an interesting examination of the effects of war and the motivation of those who enlist.
It’s significant the roses in this are black – which is unfortunate, because filmed in monochrome they are indistinguishable from red roses, and it’s not stated they are black at first!
This week, Mrs Peel is an expert in… phrenology (although she may be pretending, as she’s not shown much interest in pseudoscience besides humouring Swain in Small Game for Big Hunters). The way she throws herself at the danger makers who outnumber her and Steed during the fight is an absolute hoot.
The airfield Steed visits in this is RAF Hamelin – the same airfield in The Hour That Never Was – but that was closed down. If the episodes are out of sequence, why doesn’t Steed refer to having been stationed there? It’s more likely a mistake. Fabia Drake plays a colonel who scolds Steed for his sexism – it’s not surprising to use viewing it now, but perhaps a woman at that rank would have been unusual then.
Perhaps the twist is a little too obvious (the reveal of the ‘boss’). It may not be an absolutely perfect episode, but all in all, it’s a bit good (and it’s another Charles Crichton directed episode too).
Tag scene transport: go carts.