5.07 - The Living Dead

Rate The Living Dead

10
1
4%
9
8
35%
8
3
13%
7
6
26%
6
3
13%
5
0
No votes
4
2
9%
3
0
No votes
2
0
No votes
1
0
No votes
 
Total votes: 23

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peabody
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5.07 - The Living Dead

Post by peabody »

Discuss, review and rate The Living Dead, production completed January 1967.

Teleplay by Brian Clemens
Directed by John Krish
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Post by cyberrich »

I'm currently watching season 5 and this was the episode I watched last night. Terrific fun! 9/10 from me. I'm sure Chris Carter, the creator of The X files, must have watched this one, as the FOG and SMOG premise of the the believer and non-believer was at the core of the X files. Rich.
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Post by Frankymole »

Ah! One of the few colour Emmas that I bothered reviewing:

http://www.theavengers.tv/forever/peel2-7vr.htm#3

"It's far too elaborate for a private fantasy."

After a lovely "We're needed" scene, the first half of the story is very atmospheric, directed and lit almost as well as a monochrome Emma episode. The chapel, graveyard, and pub sets are small but employed extremely well. The mystery of the Duke's malevolent staff, lurking observers, hidden solarium, and top-secret cellar are set up suspensefully—much of the fun being due to Steed's heavy-handed investigation (his comments on how well-painted he considers the flouted "Keep Out" sign are hilarious). He approaches "flushing out" spies with all the subtlety a game hunt beater uses to put pheasants to flight—and it works!

The cast: Julian Glover again plays an arrogant militaristic heavy. Why does he never get cast as eccentric villains, the way other recurring actors such as Peter Bowles did? A waste. Kermit the Hermit is a babbling annoyance, and both Dukes are non-entities. But the competing SMOG and FOG investigators (Pamela Ann Davy and Vernon Dobtcheff) provide some fun, and Jack Watson's former miner/landlord is a great ally for steed. Emma's finding of the SMOG man's corpse is particularly well done (swinging on a church bell rope, impaled by a crusader effigy's sword). Best of all is the diffident firing squad commander, who is more nervous than his intended target!

Steed shows his steel... I enjoy the rare occasions when the coldly determined "no-nonsense" agent briefly emerges from the urbane-debonair gent. Teasing Masgard on his transparent "Englishness," repeatedly gripping Kermit's arm to prevent the alcoholic tramp from taking a sip until he's coughed up the information, and impassively polite and patient when faced with execution.

Was Diana on another holiday? Emma gets little to do, but her final scenes are fun and we rarely get to see her using a sub-machinegun in anger! Cyd Child mentions that her own "guard-spinning" fight in the cell caused worries among the production team because her face was fully visible, but no viewers noticed on transmission. Well, I may not have noticed originally, but watching this scene proves what a magnificent woman Ms Child is, effortlessly manhandling the guard in true Emma tradition and in the process looking just as lovely in an "Emmapeeler" as Ms Rigg.

The music seemed unusually limp... perhaps I'm spoilt by the preceding season and Tara soundtracks. Writing? It's hard to believe this story was plotted by the chap who wrote No Sex Please, We're British (a long-running stage farce); Brian Clemens does his best but it lacks the usual wit and charm.

Finally, I'm starting to get a bit disturbed by the way every bar set in The Avengers looks very very similar — having just watched "The Living Dead", the pub "The Duke of Benedict" bears striking similarities to the jolly old Gremlin in "The Town of No Return," and also the pub interiors in "Silent Dust" and "Man-Eater of Surrey Green." Sadly Emma doesn't sip a pint of ale in this one. It felt especially odd seeing Emma-horsewhipping Juggins (Jack Watson) return from "Silent Dust" as the friendly landlord in this episode. Maybe his "scrumpy" ran out!

"That isn't the cold. It's the vibration." Better than I remembered—I can almost forgive the retread of the "The Town of No Return" plot. Three out of four bowlers. There's better to come!

6/10.
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Post by anti-clockwise »

I felt the story line in this was not so inspiring but the acting really made up for it. Pamela Ann Davy I thought did a superb job. Never figured out why they just didn't get a lighter guy for Cyd to throw around.
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Post by darren »

9/10

I really took to this one as I love it when the show does creepy and atmospheric.

I believe that director John Krish did a few public warning films that terrified children. He's not one of my favourite Avengers director but I like what he did here.

I missed off the top mark as the episode loses me once the action moves to the underground. I don't quite believe the scale of it and the trapping everyone underground, lots of seeming normal young people just feels at odds with the show.

But all the stuff before with the ghost hunters is lots of fun. I love Mandy Mackay. Oho ooh Uuuuummmm etc. I love the artificial stylised graveyard - it's almost Grimms fairy tale in look. I never spotted Cyd Child's until it was pointed out. It's got a great cast of solid character actors all oozing that Avengers guest actor quality.
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Post by peabody »

Darren wrote:I believe that director John Krish did a few public warning films that terrified children.
I think you're referring to this one, a short from 1977 called "The Finish Line":

http://youtu.be/slJyhOEo-SY

It's really rather good, pretty way out and definitely a bit scary.

He also directed one of my favourite documentaries, "The Elephant Will Never Forget":

http://youtu.be/rc9gtJndKE4
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Post by Topaze »

a strange episode like I love :!:
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Post by Rhonda »

I gave 7
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Post by cyberrich »

The Living Dead is the latest episode under review. I'd love to know what you all think of this one. Rich. :)
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Post by mrs_emma_peel »

Pub talk and nervous glances...
Image

Great first two-thirds, but the last third isn’t quite as effective.

‘The ghost… it took Mrs Peel!’
Emma, captured by ghosts...
Image

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Bat-girl Emma, just hanging around.

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An army of ghosts?!

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Ballerina Emma, pirouetting on tip-toes.

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Ghost-buster Captain Peel standing to attention... saviour of Steed
Last edited by mrs_emma_peel on Sun Oct 30, 2016 4:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
James/Mrs Emma Peel
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