2.09 - Bullseye

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Total votes: 6

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darren
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2.09 - Bullseye

Post by darren »

Written by Eric Paice
Directed by Peter Hammond
Production completed: 20 September 1962

Starring Patrick Macnee and Honor Blackman
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Post by Frankymole »

My review:

http://www.theavengers.tv/forever/gale1-4vr.htm#2

"You're really trying to impress me with your lack of morality, aren't you?" Pleasure from start to finish. It's funny how you can tell within 5 - 10 minutes whether an episode will entertain; from the moment of Cathy getting pushy at the shareholder's meeting (whilst Bernard Kay lurks more actively than any villain ever lurked), I knew this would be a joy. Then cheeky Ronald Radd shows up, perhaps the first TV villain to bother explaining why he wears shades indoors (no, his vision is fine). The season 2 trademarks are all there — constant red herrings and reversals as to the real criminals, novel locations (the houseboat), old charmers (the delightful Brigadier, the Foreman, Cale), Peter Hammond shooting through an upturned wine glass(!) and his always-moving camera (just follow it in that closing confrontation!). Moody lighting too.

The Avenged?: Legitimate arms dealers killed by mercenary gunrunners. It's a fuzzy moral distinction.

Diabolical Masterminds?: One or two older fellows in this profess immunity to women; so all the chauvinism is concentrated in the ageing Lothario, Mr Young (who attempts a rather horrid sexual harassment of the young "white slave cargo" intern aboard his house-boat, ending with a biting incident; then has the cheek to describe his wife's affair as "sordid"!). Misdirection works well, not for the first time. The obvious villainess then isn't the villainess, as the men conspire to get away. Then she turns out to be anyway! And the too-obvious killer, Ronald Radd's "Napoleon of commerce," turns the tables on everyone — even Steed can't drag Cathy away before she secures a final dinner-date with him! That last scene is great fun. I love their childish thumbs-up sign to each other.

The Avengers?: Cathy gives Steed a hard time in the stock-exchange, fuming at his interference in her police case. She smokes a lot. Steed's action is all off-screen: from supplying huge wodges of cash, to posing as Cathy's window-cleaner! To a new viewer, it would seem Steed is Cathy's minor informer.

Umbrella, Charm and a Bowler Hat?: Steed takes a back seat. Eric Paice shows the way for other writers; Cathy is the star of this one. She's tremendous, too; "I've been up all night doing it!" (stocktaking). However, Radd/Cade gets all the best lines: "I can afford ideals." And asked to describe his taste in decor: "Vulgar!"

Bizarre?: Miss Ellis fires several blanks at Cathy from an assault rifle, just a few feet away (Cathy is thus not particularly brave here, as she'd previously asked the Foreman to load it with blanks). Real blanks expel compressed cardboard at great velocity from the muzzle, still sufficient to make holes in someone at a range of less than 50 feet. So Cathy's top must be well-reinforced!

This story has a good film print and clear soundtrack.

On Target? (Score): Four bowlers out of four (10/10). A season 2 classic.
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Post by darren »

10/10

This was my first Peter Hammond Avengers episode after being aware of him from his work on Sherlock Holmes and he didn't disappoint. It's not one of his incredibly stylish episodes but it's so effectively handled, just how he punctuates the action and the dynamism in the camera moves that give life to what could be a rather stilted episode if not handled well.

Eric Paice was an excellent writer (I believe that he won an award for his Avengers scripts). This is such a finely crafted episode, with great characters and plenty of intrigue. I didn't guess the murderer until nearer the end (even if Judy Parfitt is usually guilty:)). I like how it builds Cade as the amoral bad guy (brilliantly played by Ronald Radd). The pacing is excellent.

This is a Steed holiday episode if you hadn't noticed. You find a lot in season 2 that when there is a Venus Smith episode of which Macnee takes the lead, the surrounding Cathy Gale episode will be effectively a solo piece for her thus releasing Macnee for the rehearsal of the Venus episode (Golden Eggs and Conspiracy of Silence surrounded by Venus episodes). But he still makes his presence felt hugely, the scenes in the stock exchange are always a delight.

Honor Blackman is sooo good in this episode. She really could have carried a series on her own with good material. She really makes an impact and everyone is so impressed with her. I really like her in that overblown check cloak coat thing.

The design by Robert Macgowan is really strong. We get the rather stuffy Anderson offices contrasting with the "crude and vulgar" modernism of Cade's office - all of which Hammond makes great use of like the strange sculpture.

Fred Ferris turns up as the police inspector (a role he returns to in Brief for Murder).

Part of extended The Avengers theme makes it into the incidental music for one of the houseboat scenes.

This episode is so effortlessly classy that it puts many episodes in season 2 to shame.
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Post by Rhonda »

4 from me as a story about guns sin't ever a favourite but it all ends well.
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Re: 2.09 - Bullseye

Post by Ian Wegg »

Episode 4. My random musings...

I found this episode took more concentration than any of the previous ones, I had to rewatch some scenes that I had allowed to wash over me the first time. Even then, I didn't recognise that it was Peter Hammond in the director's chair until his name came up at the end.

Some great lines and characters, the stand-out for me being Cade played by Ronald Radd, his interactions with Cathy were delightful.

As I'm old enough (just) to be able to think in pre-decimal British currency, I was distracted trying to keep a running tally of the profit Steed was making. Unnecessarily, it turns out, as Piers has already posted all the calculations on his site.

Better than the last one I thought.
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Re: 2.09 - Bullseye

Post by Frankymole »

The lads view Bullseye:

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Re: 2.09 - Bullseye

Post by Allard »

This episode has the typical "obstacles" of the early episodes. The confined setting due to limited number of sets and bit on the "explanatory" side.
But nevertheless an excellent episode. The absence of Steed one only notices afterwards, the pace of the episode keeps on captivated. Although the episode is a bit uneven with personas and plot elements introduced late, it really picks up towards the end, becoming a real thriller and Cahty's and Ronald Radd character getting a really interesting and fun dynamic to watch.
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