2.18 - Box of Tricks

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Rate 'Box Of Tricks'

10
0
No votes
9
1
11%
8
1
11%
7
1
11%
6
1
11%
5
1
11%
4
1
11%
3
0
No votes
2
2
22%
1
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11%
 
Total votes: 9

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Rhonda
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2.18 - Box of Tricks

Post by Rhonda »

Venus Smith episode, UK 19 January 1963.

An interesting plot; 5/10.
Last edited by Rhonda on Mon Sep 23, 2013 3:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Frankymole »

A real stinker. My review:

http://www.theavengers.tv/forever/gale1-17vr.htm

As others point out, the "trick" is obvious and the story just falls flat, because there is no way that the magician could be involved and not be arrested after the second murder.

The Avenged?: A NATO committee, apparently held in the General's own home. Were they short of sets this week?

Diabolical Masterminds?: A quack "healer" who relies on his dupes having an IQ less than their shoe size. And what a bright idea, transmitting the recorded secrets (from underground?) mere yards away from the murder scene, whilst playing them on a loudspeaker. Possibly the least lethal "killer" ever; after the first ten minutes his "traps" are miserably bad, and when he has a chance to shoot Steed, he just backs out of the room and closes the door. Eh?

The Avengers?: Venus in overdrive. In the final scene she seems to be gabbling in a race against the clock, lecturing Steed on how he could have improved his counter-intelligence work. Steed tries to shut her up by asking her to dance (it doesn't work).

Umbrella, Charm and a Bowler Hat?: Steed's uncharacteristic cover role, an overenthusiastic masseur, doesn't allow much time for the "real" Steed to shine — but he's amusing as a hypochondriac millionaire. Venus' shrill songs and jerky dancing ensure it is not only Dr Gallam who has an urge to do away with her. At least they're short songs.

Bizarre?: Cosmic rays and crystals — interesting to see "New Age" ideas so early; perhaps the 60s are starting to swing?

On Target? (Score): Loses a bowler for Venus and the parade of anonymous/interchangeable blondes, plot "twist" visible a mile off, inept antagonists, desperate sets, and just general ugh-ness. Okay, I give it half a bowler for Steed's millionaire act. 1/10.
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Post by darren »

2/10

I like Venus but this episode doesn't really pull me in (I always confuse it with an Adam Adamant Lives episodes with similar backstage shenanigans). It's got Kim Mills shabby direction. It's one of those episodes where you get some dispirit locations and they don't really connect. It's got some creepy bits. Maybe if it had decent direction I'd care more for it but the Mills factor is so off putting.
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Post by Rhonda »

I think it is a feasible plot to use a bugging device and a gullible daughter, who is only trying to help her ill father, to get military secrets. The reason this one gets fewer points from me than the other Venus episodes is simply that the way girls are apparently prepared to risk their lives by doing a magician's trick where people have been killed does not seem believable. Also why were the police never called - it's a plot weakness. I like the character Venus in all of her episodes; in this one I like the way she annoys Steed a little when she opens the parcel and the final scene on the dance floor. So I still like this one and just accept a few weaknesses!
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Post by Topaze »

Image


Venus and Steed :D
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Post by Allard »

Just viewed this episodes for the second time, (first time was years ago!). It was much better than I remembered it, not that it is a very good episode, but it is not as bad as it's reputation would one have believe. There is a plot hole or two, but the problem mainly is that the story is quite boring, it seems that a bunch of ideas were stuffed in one episode without any of it being able to captivate the viewer. But it does build up tension a bit now and then and has a few funny moments. It remains one of the poorer episodes, but does not deserve to labelled as a train wreck of an episode.
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Post by Frankymole »

The basic idea of an Avenger accidentally overhearing a distant conversation in an impossible location came from an unproduced Series 1 script set overseas, which is detailed in the Richard McGinlay book.

There are lots of touches of detail which enhance the episode, notably Dallas Cavell playing - with a "large" performance - the Manager (aka "The Major"). Bit parts being given lots of character act as red herrings and make you wonder who is important and who isn't - I love that about the early Avengers. It was clearly made with love.

As one of my Dr Who friends said, no-one sets out to make a bad episode. And to be honest, it's a lot more fun and passes the time better than most other TV - then and now.
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Post by mousemeat »

been yrs, since I've seen this episode, dating back to the A & E VHS era...and I did remember seeing this, and several other Gale episodes on a BOOTLEG VHS sold in the states...

overall, not a bad episode..with the bombastic Venus ..as the writers were trying to find a niche for her, within the series parameters...
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Re: 2.18 - Box of Tricks

Post by Frankymole »

The brothers view Box of Tricks.

It's a box-tricking exercise...

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