2.04 - Death Dispatch

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30%
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Total votes: 10

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darren
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2.04 - Death Dispatch

Post by darren »

Written by Leonard Fincham
Directed by Jonathan Alwyn
Production completed: 23 June 1962


Starring Patrick Macnee and Honor Blackman
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Post by Frankymole »

This is a good episode for those who find Steed and Cathy Gale's episodes a bit too frosty compared to Steed with his subsequent partners. As an early episode, before they'd decided on a more antagonistic relationship (with occasional thaws) this was one where Steed and Cathy show genuine delight in each others' company.

My review:

http://www.theavengers.tv/forever/gale1-13vr.htm

Cathy's first recorded episode. It looks like it's going to be another Martin King-style snooze-fest (after the dreadful "The Sell-Out"), what with loads of obvious stock footage of Jamaica, and a hilarious piece of "waiting for her cue" acting by the beach ball belle. How wrong can one be? As soon as Macnee meets up with Honor, the screen smoulders and Steed's lounge-lizardness transforms into fun banter.

The Avenged?: Nice to see a teaser-scene agent who actually suspects he's going to be attacked. Perhaps the Civil Service doesn't always employ nincompoops as some episodes suggest! The South American revolution plot depends on assassination, so more is at stake than just some stolen papers. But the plot is purely a (successful) vehicle for getting some Jamaican sunshine into the British viewers' bleak midwinter.

Diabolical Masterminds?: Various murderous types hired by a politico. They give up a bit easily near the end, but there's genuine tension as Cathy infiltrates (in disguise, of course!) and comes close to discovery several times.

The Avengers?: Great scenes where Steed decides to ruin Cathy's reputation (spying from her room all night, wearing out one eyeball at a time). Steed running rings around the inept sub-consul, Travers. Steed getting tough in the tavern, pulling the barman over the bar by his neck (that looked genuinely painful!). And Cathy's charms must have worked wonders on the male viewership in this one — decent indeed!

Umbrella, Charm and a Bowler Hat?: Steed's holiday clothes and poolside manner are horrendous! But he has been up since before 3 AM (Jamaica time) and we can blame it on jet-lag and his "liquid breakfast".

Bizarre?: Cathy dresses very femininely and sometimes is barely dressed at all! She'll soon don the fighting gear in which she looks so much more comfortable...

On Target? (Score): Three jet-setting bowlers out of four (or 8/10). Slightly unfocussed, and the jaunty music soon goes downhill, but who cares — you can't go wrong when there's so much fun on the screen with Patrick, Honor, and Gerald Harper.
Last edited by Frankymole on Thu Mar 24, 2022 11:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Lhbizness »

Another one I love. I enjoy the James Bond edge that Steed has in these early episodes - the difference being that, for all his flirting, he genuinely seems to like women, avoiding the charges of misogyny we can lay against Mr. Bond. The plot is very thin on the ground, but that's OK - it takes a backseat to the repartee between our heroes, who seem to be having a lot of fun together. Cathy's not as hard-edged as she is in other episodes - the sea and sand are evidently softening her up for the time being. In no other episode do I think that Steed could show up in her room in a bathrobe and start kissing her without her tossing him over her shoulder. The scene with Steed and the attache is hilarious and pretty much solidified my love for Steed/Macnee.

Since we just have to focus on the fact that Cathy takes off her shirt, this also happens to be one where Steed shows a bit of skin (not to the extent of The Removal Men, but we can't have everything). You know, for the female viewers among us.
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Post by Operation E.N.G.L.A.N.D. »

Wow, amazing how things pick up with our first Cathy episode! Much better plotting and pace to this one. Nice to see a disposable character who actually has a clue, even if he meets a redshirt’s fate anyway. The bits between Steed and the consulate secretary are hilarious, and the repartee between him and Gale while they’re waiting for Pasco is sparkling. Steed being a cad actually produces good comic effect in this one, both in the hotel scenes with Gale and the opening in Jamaica with him scoping out the babes and 1-10 trying (and not always succeeding) to keep both Steed’s and his own attention focused. The only false notes are our heroes actually threatening the innocent daughter to get the best of the final confrontation, and how did Monroe get down into Pasco’s room to kill him, anyway? Other than that, quite suspenseful (particularly during Cathy’s confrontations with Monroe) and this episode, unlike a lot of others in this period, moves along at a good pace without dragging at any point.
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Post by Rhonda »

6 from me. Good characters and I remember the daughter being sent away and all the goings on at the doors where Cathy and Steed are staying.
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Post by dissolute »

I'm revisiting series 2 at the moment and really enjoying it - so much so that I found myself at 1am this morning, having just finished this episode.
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Post by Brugeoise »

It's a 9 for me. A very enjoyable episode overall, with a special mention to the "proto- Peel-era" Steed and Cathy's rapport.

It misses the 10-point score for me because, as it happened (and still does) with many productions that depict Latin America, everything south of the Rio Grande looks like Mexico though the story is set in Chile. Nevertheless, it is worth noting that, unlike many productions of the day, the Spanish spoken in the episode (particularly Cathy's) is actually very good.
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Post by mousemeat »

Lhbizness wrote:Another one I love. I enjoy the James Bond edge th



good point on your perception of Steed, early on. They were making the transit from being Keel's side kick, to being his 'own' man...and those early episodes with Cathy Gale, had substance...despite at times, the lines, etc were basically written for Keel...and Honor simply adapted..
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Re: 2.04 - Death Dispatch

Post by Frankymole »

The brothers cover Death Dispatch (Medusa Cascade has recently done it on Patreon, at full length, too):

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