1.03 - House of Cards

Rate every episode of The New Avengers.

Rate 'House of Cards'

10
3
17%
9
4
22%
8
5
28%
7
4
22%
6
2
11%
5
0
No votes
4
0
No votes
3
0
No votes
2
0
No votes
 
Total votes: 18

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1.03 - House of Cards

Post by darren »

Written by Brian Clemens
Directed by Ray Austin
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Post by Rhonda »

8 for me
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Post by cyberrich »

10/10 from me. A wonderful episode that even the corny ending can't spoil. Terrific script, locations, action...this one has the lot! :D Rich.
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Post by Frankymole »

My review:

http://www.theavengers.tv/forever/newave-2vr.htm#3

"A trifle extrovert perhaps, but it is necessary to convince you."
"Took a pot at him. By the potting shed."

The new series continues its so-far enjoyable, but not exceptional, standard. Worth a look; far better is to come. Almost a traditional counterspy tale, with some nice touches.

Production: The locations are easy on the eye, mostly rural England. As one would expect, the action sequences are reasonably-directed. The knife fight between Gambit and Spence is genuinely disturbing. A brief sequence where Purdey avoids shotgun blasts is well done too. She gets to lay out Perov with a solid punch that contrasts nicely with her usual martial arts (which are shown off early on).

The Avenged?: Petrov tries to revenge himself on Steed! Of course, Peter Jeffrey can't play his accustomed twisted genius; we get to see him as a stable, clever, optimistic character with a genuine motive. The vodka-swigging scene is marred by a silly cork-popping sound, inexplicably dubbed on.

Diabolical Masterminds?: Peter Jeffrey is perfect as a cunning masterspy who fakes his own death whilst he works to redeem himself. A drug which "suspends" the heart (with no after-effects afterwards) is hard to believe. But there's a nice twist, when it turns out that the activation of murderous sleepers was merely to trick Steed into revealing the location of a defector - the loss of whom had caused Petrov's original disgrace. We really needed more Macnee/Jeffrey dialogue scenes; Jeffrey is superb.

The Avengers?: Purdey figures it all out. This follows a nice scene where Purdey confronts Steed's girlfriend, Jo, at gunpoint; Steed refuses to "ransack through a lady's personal possessions" but eventually does, and finds proof of Jo's treachery. His homily about being married to his job is saved by Patrick's deft acting. Gambit and Purdey get some more good exchanges as they frantically pursue Petrov's helicopter in a car.

Umbrella, Charm and a Bowler Hat?: Gambit delays in revealing his presence to Purdey, as she half-undresses. So she treads on Gambit's tummy. Steed hits a lady! (By accident, and she is a Soviet spy lurking in his undergrowth).

Bizarre?: As usual, security around "Steed's Stud" is poor; enemy agents come and go at will. The white cross on Steed's car looks daft. Steed treats a thumped eye with a pork chop. The soundtrack's "rattle" nearly every time the cards are read (or referred to) becomes very distracting.

Epic?: Lots and lots of characters come and go but all economically choreographed. A light, Avengerish feel. The "old friends revealed to be suborned by the enemy" before it became a bit of a New Avengers cliché. This story could have done with more wit in the dialogue, but some bits stand out: the scene of Jo, Steed's paramour, reacting to the Cathy/Emma/Tara pictures is fun.

The minor eccentrics are acceptable - Purdey's stepfather (a kick-fighting bishop), Frank Thornton's supine rosarian, Cartney the latest of The Avengers' traditional dodgy undertakers. Sadly there is no tag scene as such, and Purdey calling Steed "beautiful" is strange, but touchingly right for their relationship.

Mercifully, there are no crash-bang car chases like in the previous episode, and no wig-out music either.

On Target? (Score): A respectable two bowlers out of four, but somehow it all doesn't quite gel. 6/10.
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Post by NickP »

8.

I really enjoyed this one, particularly the closing scenes around Turville and the windmill. Gambit would find it much easier to fly that helicopter from the pilot's seat though!
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Post by shaunodan »

Purdey's fighting style shows a unique element when she stays on her back on the ground and uses a legs only approach on her opponent ! Purdey's banter with Gambit is good ' Well ! How good do I look? ... and Mike's response :wink: Is this rare for Purdey ... confronting an opponent (Steed's girlfriend Jo here) at Gunpoint ? ...what does this case say :?: Love Frankymole's analysis :)
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Post by Spaceship Dispatcher »

I'm always going to enjoy a good Cold War espionage drama, and this was pretty good. Peter Jeffrey is always good value and a cunning villain of the highest order but there were some other notable if brief guest appearances with Frank Thornton, Jeremy Wilkin (Blake's 7: The Way Back) and Annette Andre (Randall & Hopkirk) all having a few lines and some good scenes. The rescue scene at the beginning of the episode, with Purdey's cheerleaders, was inventive and obviously aimed at the US audience. Probably my favourite scene in this episode is a comic one, where Steed is entertaining a lady visitor in his flat and ends up talking at cross purposes about three photos; she is looking at photos of Cathy, Emma and Tara while Steed is talking about horses. Its funnier to watch than explain, so I'll leave it there; but its pure comic genius!
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Post by Frankymole »

When I originally wrote my review (for David K. Smith's site) years ago, I was lukewarm about this episode, but now I am a big fan of it. It improves with time, and rewatching. The guest actors are all very good and sell a rather loveably outlandish story.
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Post by Lhbizness »

I enjoy this episode a great deal, but I always found the "women as horses" discussion a little crass. Not on the part of Steed, who legitimately doesn't get that his girlfriend is asking about the picture of the women, but on the part of the writers who thought it was a good idea to demean them like that. It's just bad taste and a poor attempt at a joke. (Although I rather like the notion of Tara being sold to an Arabian prince...)
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Post by darren »

I was very indifferent to this episode the first time as it felt like filler until the episodes I wanted to see turned up.

But it's definitely grown on me. I love the pre-titles with Purdey organising the fangirls, craving for a piece of Mike.:D

I've never really cared for the photos/horse gag especially as it seems to be a not so subtle dig at Linda's weight.

Steed is still a little dry at that point in TNA (I never really liked the whole girlfriend of the week stuff) but Purdey and Gambit have some great scenes together.

I really like Purdey's dress for the scene of her visiting Annette Andre's characters house.

Purdey's fight with the always dependable Peter Jeffrey is funny with the returned slap.

8/10
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