2.07 - Mr Teddy Bear

Rate 'Mr Teddy Bear'

10
7
44%
9
3
19%
8
3
19%
7
1
6%
6
1
6%
5
1
6%
4
0
No votes
3
0
No votes
2
0
No votes
1
0
No votes
1
0
No votes
 
Total votes: 16

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2.07 - Mr Teddy Bear

Post by darren »

Written by Martin Woodhouse
Directed by Richmond Harding
Production completed: 4 August 1962

Starring Patrick Macnee and Honor Blackman
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Post by Frankymole »

My review:

http://www.theavengers.tv/forever/gale1-1vr.htm#2

"Perhaps you've noticed: I'm not a gentleman." Cathy dons her leather 'action suit' for the first time. She doesn't get a fight this week, but she does grapple playfully with Steed (he moves as if to kiss her and gets pushed to the floor for his pains). In story production order, Cathy is by now really getting into her stride (before taking a break for Venus Smith!).

The praise this story receives is deserved, but it's true that it is best watched after some of Cathy's others. Between the hard-nosed crime stories before it, and the more fanciful tales to come in the third and fourth seasons, only at this point in the series could a scene like Cathy's final confrontation with the 'superb technician' assassin have such an edge of uncertainty as to its outcome. Gripping! She's used a gun before and looks prepared to kill, resolute in the face of the threat of sudden death from an expert in its techniques.

Cathy is abrupt with Steed; "I've already thanked you" when he reminds her that he saved her life, and "not on the furniture!" when he brings his dog around to her flat. He holds his ground when she says he should go to the bottom of the class: "Well, you should be caned in front of the class!" Kinky. We also see Steed's home for the first time — it comes with en-suite atropine antidote!

The Avenged?: A long line of victims, the last of which is Michael Robbins' hapless biker, discovered in a scene that made me jump! Steed revels in the ageing biker's misery: "I see here it says you've been driving trucks for years. But I suppose it's a bit too difficult to follow anyone in a truck!"

Diabolical Masterminds?: Why did Mr Teddy Bear swallow the pill? He could just have given up. But he probably had pride of some sort, and couldn't face losing and a probable hanging for murder. He apologises for lying to Cathy. One almost feels sorry for the downfall of this complex man, although his charm hides ruthless professionalism (as does Steed's). The scene-setting of One-Ten explaining Mr TB's wartime resistance background is time well spent. His mistake of returning to the scene of an earlier crime is an apparent plot hole.

The Avengers?: Cathy is clever, witty and charming. She gives as good as she gets with Steed, though. The famous "why aren't you dead" is delivered with real venom, hinting at a real sense of loss when she thought he'd died, and also anger at his casual lack of reassurance. Watch her seething as he discusses the photogenic quality of his corpse.

Umbrella, Charm and a Bowler Hat?: Steed strips (not all at once) for a booby-trap check. However it seems "you can leave your hat on" as that doesn't seem to get checked — odd when Mr TB reminded Steed to take it with him. He's gangsterish with Cathy: "So forget about concealing six-shooters in your stocking-tops, baby blue eyes!" And Cathy doesn't do 'charm'. She does something far better: directness. Oh, and what a gorgeous Chinese silk jacket.

Bizarre?: For all its reliance on high-tech gadgetry and long-distance assassination, this episode works as a brilliant character piece. Don't let the awkward intro scene put you off, they are the only unconvincing performances in the piece. It twists and turns and raises a smile. Even One-Ten seems a bit more lively than usual. Fun scenes include Steed carrying on a conversation with his unseen foe while whacking merry hell out of a gadget-laden room with his umbrella, Cathy's clever exchanges with Mr Teddy Bear, and Steed's teasing of the trucker/biker.

On Target? (Score): 8/10 (Three bowlers out of four).
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Post by cyberrich »

A wonderful episode to introduce us to Cathy (even if it wasn't the first one to be filmed!) Great plot and even better villain. Terrific interplay between Cathy and Steed even at this early stage. The second best episode of season 2, behind Mauritius Penny. If only all of season 2 had been this good. 9/10.
I do find season 2 rather patchy, some great episodes, but too many average ones. It was early days though, and season 3 fortunately leapt light years ahead, in terms of style and quality. Rich.
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Post by Rhonda »

6 from me. I quite like this one and I think I remember a scene with Cathy at a desk speaking to an unseen Mr. Teddy Bear?
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Post by johnnybear »

I've just rewatched this episode on the orange coloured french set which is a very nice quality picture indeed! I haven't seen it since 2005 I think? Bernard Golman who played the baddie here sadly died in 1966 and this is his only contribution to the show!
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Post by Frankymole »

From Piers's website: "A TV host (Tim Brinton) introduces an episode of 'The Man and the Place', this week covering Colonel Vernon Wayne-Gilley (Kenneth Keeling), a noted travel writer. The colonel sits stiffly as he's introduced, then keels over, suddenly dead, when asked to nominate a favourite country."

I love how the actor who keels over in the intro is someone called "Keeling". Keeling by name, keeling by nature :) I thought that as soon as I saw the credits at the end!

I noticed some of the dialogue was a bit rushed or muffled. I'd love to read the script to see what those bits were. Also, the explanation of the "sleeping pills" that Mrs Gale was going to take is not made clear - were they lethal? Why didn't he just shoot her, in that case?

The DVD commentary with Martin Woodhouse was revealing, especially how a friendly disagreement between him and Patrick about the relative importance of actors and writers led to the "tighty whities" underpants striptease scene for Steed. To his credit, Macnee does it with gusto.
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Post by mousemeat »

cyberrich wrote:A wonderful episode to introduce us to Cathy (even if it wasn't the first one to be filmed!) Great plot and even better villain. Terrific interplay between Cathy and Steed even at this early stage. The second best episode of season 2, behind Mauritius Penny. If only all of season 2 had been this good. 9/10.
I do find season 2 rather patchy, some great episodes, but too many average ones. It was early days though, and season 3 fortunately leapt light years ahead, in terms of style and quality. Rich.
that's how it was with many of season two episodes..up and down..in terms of scripts, dialogue , etc..as the series was changing from the original keel / steed series
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Post by dissolute »

Frankymole wrote:I love how the actor who keels over in the intro is someone called "Keeling". Keeling by name, keeling by nature :) I thought that as soon as I saw the credits at the end!
That was probably intentional, Martin loved his word play.
Frankymole wrote: I noticed some of the dialogue was a bit rushed or muffled. I'd love to read the script to see what those bits were. Also, the explanation of the "sleeping pills" that Mrs Gale was going to take is not made clear - were they lethal? Why didn't he just shoot her, in that case?
Yes, they were lethal - I think it's implied or made explicit in one scene (but it's been a while). He was lying about never killing a woman but he was too narcissistic to want her to have a bad opinion of him.
Frankymole wrote: The DVD commentary with Martin Woodhouse was revealing, especially how a friendly disagreement between him and Patrick about the relative importance of actors and writers led to the "tighty whities" underpants striptease scene for Steed. To his credit, Macnee does it with gusto.
Ha ha, I can imagine Martin doing this. He was in touch with the fandom for a short while before he died and he always had a tale to tell.
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Post by mousemeat »

dissolute wrote:
Frankymole wrote:I love how the actor who keels over in the intro is someone called "Keeling". Keeling by name, keeling by nature :) I thought that as soon as I saw the credits at the end!
That was probably intentional, Martin loved his word play.
Frankymole wrote: I noticed some of the dialogue was a bit rushed or muffled. I'd love to read the script to see what those bits were. Also, the explanation of the "sleeping pills" that Mrs Gale was going to take is not made clear - were they lethal? Why didn't he just shoot her, in that case?
Yes, they were lethal - I think it's implied or made explicit in one scene (but it's been a while). He was lying about never killing a woman but he was too

narcissistic to want her to have a bad opinion of him.
Frankymole wrote: The DVD commentary with Martin Woodhouse was revealing, especially how a friendly disagreement between him and Patrick about the relative importance of actors and writers led to the "tighty whities" underpants striptease scene for Steed. To his credit, Macnee does it with gusto.
Ha ha, I can imagine Martin doing this. He was in touch with the fandom for a short while before he died and he always had a tale to tell.

Always loved it when actors like Martin, would share their ' stories' with fandom..and over the years, have read about some outrageous events..etc..LOL
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Post by Frankymole »

Martin Woodhouse is the writer, though.
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