5.01 - The Fear Merchants

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5.01 - The Fear Merchants

Post by peabody »

Discuss, review and rate The Fear Merchants, production completed early September 1966.

Teleplay by Philip Levene
Directed by Gordon Flemyng
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denis rigg
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Re: The Fear Merchants

Post by denis rigg »

I think that many wondered, what is a original role of the actor Declan Mulholland in an episode "The Fear Merchants", where he got a name Saunders in the credits, although on the screen had a very short appearance as a extra.
Photographic press agency and picture library "Rex Features" demonstrates us the deleted scene in the gym. Rex Features recently made ​​a new system of preview images, pictures previously could only be seen in the thumb resolution.

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Post by Rhonda »

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Post by denis rigg »

Recently I fifnished the work for first color episode of season 5. I compared the prints: A&E (USA), StudioCanal (French from 2000s), Optimum (British) and Russian TV version. Except for the shortened Russian print, which I think is one from the British prints for TV transmissions with longer advertising inserts (although it is interesting that there were no advertising insertions in the episode at all, when it was shown on Russian TV6) the rest of the prints are not have differences in addition to presented screen resolution and the amount and quality of damage on the film. As usual, while Optimum prints presents, seems, original screen resolution, the other prints. I mentioned. have a bit of enlarged pic.
I will not go for the topic of damage on the film, since the Optimum print does a significant improvement work, but I will turn to some other speculations - in area stunts (sorry, there is no certainties or exciting news):

1. Stunt driver of Diana Rigg.

It was nice to notice on Optimum print that I could more clearly see the face of stunt driver of Diana Rigg. I was wondering if it was Annabelle Wise (aka Annabelle Covey, maiden name, and Annabelle Heath, now).
I decided to watch all the scenes with Emma Peel in Lotus from the episodes of the first color block (from The Fear Merchants to Who's Who???) and discovered that only the other two episodes from this block showed the stuntwoman's face as enough well: Something Nasty in the Nursery, and The Joker. Yes, dear Avengers fans, the woman's face looked the same for me in all these episodes and this leads to some preliminary conclusion.
In the book The Ultimate Avengers by Dave Rogers, is mentioned that Annabelle Wise was a stuntwoman of Diana in scene Lola fights Emma from the episode Who's Who???
Annabelle personally said that she worked six months in the series as stunt driver.
Based in fact that Cyd Child mentioned Diane Enright in episode Dead Man's Treasure, it seems that the order of things was such: Annabelle Wise participated as stunt driver (sometimes stuntwoman, and likely as stand-in too, I think) in first color block, while Diane Enright come since second color block.
Well, let's do a mathematical calculation:
As according Annabelle, she worked six months on series, this fits well into the first block. The production period was since some point of September 1966 to April 18, 1967, which is seven months, more or less, but I absolutely sure the scenes with Emma's Lotus began to be shot later - likely from October 1966, when the team returned to Elstree from Pinewood. So we get these six months, from October 1966 to April 1967, and this says there is big probability that stunt driver of Diana Rigg, in period from episode The Fear Merchants to episode Who's Who???, is Annabelle Wise.


2. Rocky Taylor as stunt double

One scene in the episode always led me to two variants of the most possible explanations. Now I found that I began to adhere more to one of them.
The mystery scene is the following: the bulldozer falls into the pit and we see how Rocky Taylor grabs the push frame of transport and climbs on it for surviving.
Question: Did Rocky stunt for Garfield or did he continue to play stunt for Patrick in this scene?

Personally, I come to the conclusion that in fact Rocky played exactly stunt for Patrick, and I think there was not really any stuntman for Garfield in this scene as it looks he doing the stunts there himself.

Let's take a more detailed look at the scene.

Gilbert throws Steed aside in the pit and our hero watches as the bulldozer falls into the pit. Yes, this part well suggests certain thoughts that since Steed is looking to the side of a falling bulldozer, it says that Rocky is playing stunt for Gilbert, who is trying to survive. Things seem logical. But is it really so? :wink:
There are big oddities in all it. :?

a) The scene with Rocky Taylor and Bulldozer shows that Gilbert survived, as I personally understand it.

b) If Rocky did a stunt for Garfield, why is he dressed in Steed's suit in that scene?

c) Why Rocky should was to play a stunt for two different actors, Patrick and Garfield, in scenes "Pit" at all?

I think in fact there is a mistake in editing the scene, a thing that often happened in the series. A good example is the scene "Steed's visit to Brigadier Whitehead" in the episode From Venus with Love.
When Venus leaves the house, the entrance to the building is located on the first floor, so to say, and Steed even heads towards him. Changing the shot, Steed suddenly starts to climb the stairs to the entrance. Fantastic.

I think that the scene with Rocky Taylor on the bulldozer was late add shooting or reshoot of another scene.
It seems the original looked like it, I think:
Gilbert throws Steed aside in the pit and our hero watches as the bulldozer falls into the pit (we do not see on the screen event "bulldozer in pit").
or
Gilbert throws Steed aside in the pit and our hero watches as the bulldozer falls into the pit (we do see on the screen some event "Gilbert's death") which when editing looked out of place and was decided to be removed.).

So they shooting another option when Gilbert dies, as variant, but the bulldozer falls on Steed.
Indeed, I recommend that you look at the scene again with the view that Rocky Taylor is always as understudy for Steed and you will see that this is more logical for the final in the pit: when a shot is changed, Steed is rescued, shake his bowler and walk away from the bulldozer. :wink:


3. Stunts

Sadly I was not able to identify other stunt doublers in episode The Fear Merchants , but the general state of affairs in this area in my opinion is the following there:

Patrick Macnee (stunt fighter Rocky Taylor) (stunt driver: Paul Weston - ?) (stand-in: ?)
Diana Rigg (stunt driver: Annabelle Wise - ?) (no stunt double)
Patrick Cargill (no stunt double)
Brian Wilde (no double)
Anette Carell (very likely there is stuntwoman - ?)
Garfield Morgan (no stunt double) (stunt driver (s) - ?) (stand-in - ?)
Andrew Keir (stand-in in car - ?)
Jeremy Burnham (stuntman - jump in window -?)
Edward Burnham (maybe there is stand-in)
Bernard Horsfall (no double)
Ruth Trouncer (no double)
Declan Mulholland (no double)
Phillip Ross (no double)
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Post by Avengerholic »

I find this one utterly, utterly boring.
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Post by Allard »

This one is difficult to judge for me as I missed it in taping it and only got to see it once I bought the DVD's. It stands out for me from the other Peel colours.

I would say nice plot idea, but badly executed. As TAF notes the names are messed up and there is some miscasting. The idea of using fear is quite good, but it looks a tad ridiculous on screen and the fear of the dark at the end of the baddies was not conveyed very well earlier on.

It lacks some real eccentrics, the D.M. doesn't really work well, even though Cargill is fine actor for the part. The scenes are a bit lame apart from the sandpit fight, which despite the obvious doubles is quite thrilling. And the bad guys plot simply isn't clear nor grand enough.
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