2.03 - The Sell-Out

Rate 'The Sell-Out'

10
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9
1
11%
8
5
56%
7
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6
1
11%
5
0
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4
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3
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2
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1
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22%
 
Total votes: 9

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darren
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2.03 - The Sell-Out

Post by darren »

Written by Anthony Terpiloff & Brandon Brady
Directed by Don Leaver
Production completed: 9 June 1962

Starring Patrick Macnee and Jon Rollason
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Post by Frankymole »

My review:

http://www.theavengers.tv/forever/gale1-9vr.htm

What, no plot? Loads of filmed exterior location footage which goes nowhere fast (mainly of Steed jumping into cars and zooming about the streets, paying at a parking meter, then driving some more, being followed... Zzzz). This flat story barely breaks into a standstill.

The Avenged?: Some tedious piffle about protection for a French/UK/UN negotiator and a mole in Steed's department. Who knows? Who cares?

Diabolical Masterminds?: Harvey's motivation is the only three-dimensional aspect of the whole tired mess (he has a terminal illness, and wants to provide for his wife). However he is too nasty to be a sympathetic character.

The Avengers?: Steed gets a new boss: 20 years before appearing in Dr Who, Arthur Hewlett (One-Twelve) was already ancient! Jon Rollason as Dr King gets a dull task or two, his nurse Judy (from "Mission to Montreal") appears (but only in a filler, to answer the phone whilst the other actors change sets). There is a nice scene where Steed tries to cajole a grumbling King into helping him: "Do I ever come round needing your help? I don't even know where you live," and (tiredly) "Listen Steed, from now on I'm just going to be a doctor. I'm not going to be anything else. I'm not going be an agent, a counterspy, a gunman, a cover for you, or anything you can use in your business... so you can just leave me in peace." King fights! Not up to Cathy Gale standards, but he performs a nice rugby tackle on the gunman — then seems to get carried away, as Steed has to prevent King pistol-whipping the poor fellow.

Umbrella, Charm and a Bowler Hat?: Steed wows the ladies at a cocktail party (where he drinks whisky and soda): "What a charming man," ad-libs the rather pale lady whom he has just complimented on her tan (!). Steed's elegance is admired by the French diplomat he impersonates. Everyone makes a fuss of how beautiful Harvey's wife is, but it's impossible to see why (and she drops teaspoons all over the place).

Bizarre?: One assassin poses as a workman, but doesn't know what his target looks like, and decides shooting Steed from a distance is better than when he is just three feet away, only to get jumped by King. D'oh! The chief assassin apparently thinks it's a good idea to try to carry out his task from the centre of a packed press room, in the middle of security at 'London Airport'. Did he expect to get away with it? And, politely, he waits whilst his target completes a twenty-minute speech, allowing Steed to catch up with him. One-Twelve looks on approvingly... or more like he's forgotten his lines. The whole story is dull and lazy.

On Target? (Score): Half a bowler (out of four bowlers), for Dr King standing up to Steed. But even the great Dr King cannot save this one. 1/10.
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Post by Rhonda »

I really like this one and give it 9/10. The scene with Steed's boss at the start is a touch of class. For me it gets very dramatic for the man trying to make the money; I don't know why I should feel sorry for him but I do!
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Post by Operation E.N.G.L.A.N.D. »

Probably the worst episode I’ve seen so far. Rollason really seems to be mailing it in here. As others have pointed out, the assassin seems really confident of his ability to shoot people in crowded rooms during broad daylight and get away with it. Mark, the traitor guy, seems way too mean to actually be concerned with his wife’s future after he’s gone. Even for nastier, rougher Steed, drugging someone’s drink to deliberately make them sick seems. . .wrong. Not sure why 1-12 felt the need to bop Steed on the head if he was just going to let him go anyway; maybe he just doesn't like Steed. :( The whole thing is just way too complicated and hard to believe.
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Post by johnnybear »

I was so thinking that One Twelve was the baddie as well that I found the ending pretty disappointing because of it! Why did he appear and smile at Steed having been knocked unconscious?
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Post by Lee »

The Final in my Dr King watch along.

THE character has grown on me quite a lot over the last 48 hours, and do feel he would have been better for Steed as the main foil rotating with Mrs Gale this year. It was nice to have another doctor as an aid for Steed - so often he seemed to need the support of someone in that profession. Unlike other reviews here, I don't feel Rollison was going through the the motions, and wondered if some of the scripting given to him the middle about just wanting to be a doctor and not a spy or an agent was a deliberate placement to foreshadow for the viewers that he wouldn't be appearing again - who knows....

I quite like the intrigue as to who the traitor is: one-twelve is deliberately set up as a one off boss for Steed in order to cast suspicion with the cold aloof manner and something about him not to be trusted; the shadowy barber who follows Steed and has links with one-twelve; the minister's aid who tried to deliberately cast doubt on Steed ( in the circumstances, we the viewer know better but it could have been possible). Once the barber is bumped off you are kept guessing - and once everything had been revealed, the was a glance just before the end credits from one of the aforementioned which could still make you doubt.... Slightly.....

A nice selection of location filming adds to the sense of reality - nice in 1962 to spend so much time out of the studio. Perhaps the direction over all was a little flat, but a nice set up in the museum when Steed first meets one-twelve. Worthy of locations in later years.

So, Dr King quietly slips away to get the bus home - pity: I'm sure you had more adventure in your blood, but alas, not to be.

Overall, I gave this 8 - and enjoyable way to pass an hour.
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Post by dissolute »

I agree with Lee, I really enjoy this episode. It has a nice mix of action, dramatic and dialogue scenes and a surprising amount of location work for 1962.
I would love to have seen more of Jon Rollason, it's a shame he only had three episodes.
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Post by Frankymole »

johnnybear wrote:I was so thinking that One Twelve was the baddie as well that I found the ending pretty disappointing because of it! Why did he appear and smile at Steed having been knocked unconscious?
JB
They make it too convoluted. The script has One-Twelve asking Steed who is looking after M Roland and Steed replying "no-one", but in the televised version he says "Stanley", a character we've never heard of before (or since) and do not see. It's like a poor man's Le Carré on acid.

Good actors though.
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Post by mousemeat »

Operation E.N.G.L.A.N.D. wrote:Probably the worst episode I’ve seen so far. Rollason really seems to be mailing it in here. As others have pointed out, the assassin seems really confident of his ability to shoot people in crowded rooms during broad daylight and get away with it. Mark, the traitor guy, seems way too mean to actually be concerned with his wife’s future after he’s gone. Even for nastier, rougher Steed, drugging someone’s drink to deliberately make them sick seems. . .wrong. Not sure why 1-12 felt the need to bop Steed on the head if he was just going to let him go anyway; maybe he just doesn't like Steed. :( The whole thing is just way too complicated and hard to believe.
it was the rare poor-or-uninspired script, which in turn, affects the acting
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Post by Frankymole »

I love the bit where they call an ambulance for the shot man, Dr King pronounces him dead, and the hotelier grumpily says "I'll get rid of that ambulance, then". Presumably he knows the police are on their way, but it seems so churlish.
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