2.01 - Mission to Montreal

Rate 'Mission to Montreal'

10
3
25%
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8
2
17%
7
3
25%
6
2
17%
5
2
17%
4
0
No votes
3
0
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2
0
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1
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1
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Total votes: 12

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darren
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2.01 - Mission to Montreal

Post by darren »

Written by Lester Powell
Directed by Don Leaver
Production completed: 12 May 1962

Starring Patrick Macnee and Jon Rollason
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Post by Frankymole »

The best thing about this episode for me is that its guest star, Patricia English, replied to my email (I wrote to her when someone told me she loved to hear from fans).

My review:

http://www.theavengers.tv/forever/gale1-5vr.htm#3

The Avengers Afloat! The unusual locations continue, this time with a splendid cruise ship, courtesy of some tremendously atmospheric sets and lighting. It all looks quite solid and expensive. There is barely a fluff in sight, and a rather good collection of characters to spice things up. Quite enjoyable is the superbly sinister John Bennett, as a "luxuriously" named bodyguard who spends the entire episode almost getting into fights, before being floored by a fairly docile old drunk. Lots of well-known faces in this one for nostalgic cult TV fans.

The Avenged?: A runaround after stolen microfilm, enlivened by the violent ring of enemy agents infiltrating the ship. Quite a good punch-up featuring Patrick Macnee, too.

Diabolical Masterminds? Indeed. Mark Eden and Alan Curtis as reluctant and murderous agents respectively. There is also a nice twist or two, whereby Eden's character is secretly the husband of the leading lady, and the masterspy in charge of the agents turns out to be quite a surprise. This latter twist is cleverly revealed by Steed who quotes the masterspy's recognition phrase, unaware that the character has already revealed their identity to the audience by its use.

The Avengers?: Murder mysteries on board ships rely on the cast of characters being temporarily cut off from the outside world. However, a new angle is tried: Dr King boards at the start; Steed comes aboard at the first port of call (France). Steed already has a helper called Sheila in place, and King brings his nurse. With at least three enemy agents, things start getting crowded, but it all works rather well.

Umbrella, Charm and a Bowler Hat?: All present and correct, once Steed sheds his servile steward rig. Some chuckles are to be had with his ribbing of King over the latter's chinoiserie dressing gown: "Don't let her see you in that dressing gown, old boy, it's death to the most rudimentary form of romance!" Steed gets rebuffed for a dance with the film starlet, and she takes quite a shine to Dr King for his integrity. Their growing regard for each other is well-handled, with the ring of truth: Carla: "Do you think that means I'd like to have an affair with you, subconsciously?" Dr King: "And how would you do that subconsciously?" Patricia English adeptly juggles neurosis, fear and hope.

Bizarre?: There are some rather nasty stabbings, usually just when it starts to feel like a jolly romp. The whole ship seems awash with alcohol, too, though Steed doesn't touch a drop until the end credits roll!

On Target? (Score): Very enjoyable, 10/10 (four bowlers).
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Post by Rhonda »

I'm giving 7/10. I remember a lot of scenes in the cabin with the celebrity actress and thinking that the filming was well done when we saw out on deck... and Steed was good.
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Post by Charlie Parker »

A little dull to be fair, The direction is flat and there isn't really enough plot to go round, but the characterisation and portrayal of the neurotic film star is one of the finest performances in the series.
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Post by Lhbizness »

Exhibit A as to why Dr. King didn't fly. I don't know if Ian Hendry would have made more out of this script, but as it stands it's still one of the dullest episodes of The Avengers. King and Carla have no heat between them, and the absence of Steed for a good bit of the opening means that the poor doctor has to carry the show - which he's entirely incapable of doing. Things pick up a bit when Steed appears and King has someone to play off of, although the two never really get sparks going - I find the holier-than-thou character of King quite grating in many ways. The party scene is good fun, as are some of the fights, but on the whole it's a boring piece of work even compared to the other King episodes.
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Post by Operation E.N.G.L.A.N.D. »

I think this is the best of the King episodes; better production values than Dead on Course and better story than The Sell-out. Jon Rollason seems to be more into to this one than the other two as well. The hyper actress is convincingly played and the way you find out about the double agent is effective (though one wonders if Steed got in trouble for not vetting his hires better!:wink:) Also amazing how much time they spend setting up the silly drunk who barges into the actress’s party (taking out the bodyguard in the process!) just to then kill him off immediately. :( At the end, we also have the first instance (at least in the episodes we have) of Steed dressing really sharply.
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Post by Allard »

Where's Steed? If there's one thing I noticed its how little we see of Steed. The episode is not that Avengerish, but there is a little bit of chemistry between the characters here and there. But the microfilm is retrieved before the finale and the diabolical mastermind is a good one but is revealed at a point where there's no she doesn't get to have a confrontation with the hero's anymore.



Few questions/remarks.
The opening scene on the film set, could it be that they used a set of some other TV show to save money?

Clearly there is footage uses of a completely different ship at one point, a ship very similar to the Titanic, again maybe uses from some other production?
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Post by Frankymole »

Where's Steed? Mostly hiding in Dr King's closet!
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Post by MRotten »

I give this a 10 for 2 reasons; Iris Russell and Patricia English. The opening scene is amusing where the director talks to an aide, telling him to do something with Carla (English) who, according to him, looks like "death warmed up" (when she actually appears fresh as a daisy).
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Post by Lee »

With my wife out for the evening, Idecided to have a Dr Martin King watch as I hadn't seen these episodes for a while.

A curious little episode.

Unlike some, I can see Dr King working well with Steed over his episodes, and perhaps would have been the better alternative with Mrs Gale than Venus Smith over all. Jon Rolloson gives a good performance, but I'm not sure he can carry the episode solo for nearly half the running time until Steed turns up.

Being the first of the Dr King episodes to be broadcast, and with no opening credit for the actor, audiences in the day must have been wondering what was happening and who this character was, particularly as Steed doesn't turn up for nearly 25 minutes.

Some good performances, including the principle female lead;however, I wonder if the playing of the neurotic women was a little too cliched. I do like the way the chief adversary gives themselves away in a seemingly totally innocent scene, only for Steed to revel a little later how it happened, leaving the audience in the know.

Design elements seem to be strong, including rolling night time clouds seen from the cabins - a little touch which helps with the studio bound action.

In season 2, a number of episodes were set internationally, which seemed to die out after this year, perhaps with the exception of Second Sight in season 3, I can't think of any episodes set in a different country until TNA comes along.

Overall, not the strongest episode in season 2, or of the Dr King episodes - I gave this 6.
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