1.05 - To Catch a Rat

Rate every episode of The New Avengers.

Rate 'To Catch a Rat'

10
2
12%
9
2
12%
8
3
18%
7
7
41%
6
1
6%
5
2
12%
4
0
No votes
3
0
No votes
2
0
No votes
1
0
No votes
 
Total votes: 17

Lhbizness

Post by Lhbizness »

Frankymole wrote:I do care, but there are ways of discussing things without spoiling others' enjoyment of them, so I'll leave it there.
I'm not trying to spoil anyone's enjoyment! I said what I liked and didn't like about this episode - which I thought is what we're supposed to do here - and then what I didn't like was picked up on and so this discussion happened. I touched on almost nothing that wasn't said before, except for that one scene that I found kinda off-putting and sort of expressed my primary reservation with TNA in general. If you don't agree with me or you'd prefer not to consider what I say, that's fine. There are many variations and interpretations, little black and white here, and that's what's so cool about The Avengers. That's why I like it, for both its flaws and its exceptional nature.

I'm very sorry - I honestly thought it was just an interesting discussion about how the show deals with sexism. Not meaning to upset anyone or ruin anyone's love of the show. It makes me a little frustrated that when I say that I really like something (as in The Joker) the response I get is an explanation as to why it's shallow, but when I make a similar criticism I'm ruining it for everyone else. I think there's a lot that's good and bad in all the seasons, including TNA.
Last edited by Lhbizness on Sat May 03, 2014 11:47 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Post by Timeless A-Peel »

Lhbizness wrote:
Timeless A-Peel wrote:Yes, it's necessary to build these characters up as nasties if you're going to justify knocking them down later. And I never feel like Purdey's at a disadvantage or afraid to go against Cromwell in any of her scenes, nor that we're meant to favour his actions over hers. She holds her own, knows exactly what his intentions are, and makes it quite clear that she'll decide when she's had enough of him. Given that he works in another department on the same assignment, she probably doesn't want to alienate him entirely because it'll make the job harder. But she's not averse to putting a stop to his advances if she's had enough.
And you don't see it as problematic that a female character continues to put up with a sexually aggressive male, including having dinner with him, because she doesn't want to alienate him? I'd like to see either Steed or Gambit being put in that kind of a position...
Of course it's problematic. Cromwell's a scumbucket. End of. But as I said, she's perfectly confident in her ability to send him packing whenever the mood hits her. I'm just suggesting she's being strategic about it given the job at hand, but she certainly wouldn't put up with it any longer than she was willing to, job be damned, nor should she have to. I'll leave it there.
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Post by Frankymole »

Lhbizness wrote: I'm very sorry - I honestly thought it was just an interesting discussion about how the show deals with sexism. Not meaning to upset anyone or ruin anyone's love of the show. It makes me a little frustrated that when I say that I really like something (as in The Joker) the response I get is an explanation as to why it's shallow, but when I make a similar criticism I'm ruining it for everyone else. I think there's a lot that's good and bad in all the seasons, including TNA.
People are free to disagree. It's a free country, last time I checked. And if we don't like something - an episode, a scene, an attitude, a post - we can say so. As da kidz say, we all have to "deal with it" :)

I'd love to read more about the good you see, as well as the bad - not just in the Emma seasons but in others too. It's just a TV programme at the end of the day, not a philosophical treatise like The Prisoner ;)
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Post by Lhbizness »

No, I think The Avengers is more interesting than The Prisoner because it doesn't wear anything on its sleeve. The most interesting media products are often the ones with no political or philosophical agenda - they say the most because they're not trying to say anything.

Anyways, I'm mostly commenting on things as I think of them/rewatch them, and right now I've been working through TNA and the Tara series again, both of which I have a greater number of problems with than the Gale or Emma series.
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Post by shaunodan »

They all should have been introduced to Purdey :wink:
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Post by Spaceship Dispatcher »

We did a group rewatch of this episode online last week, on Blake's 7 Horizon where we have a small number of Avengers fans, and we quite enjoyed it but found the plot lacking anything to really engage us. My defence of this was that I actually do enjoy straight forward espionage drama without needing anything quirky to keep my interest, but I also see the point of view that it was perhaps a little too much a snippet of Le Carre to fit the Avengers brand perfectly. One of my favourite sequences was Gambit and Purdey driving around in the Range Rover and I loved their banter as they playfully traded sarcasm and feigned indifference. Its a very British kind of cutting conversational humour, where all parties take well intentioned digs at each other in a faux-offensive manner that is known to be inoffensive because of the tone of voice and facial expression. My favourite actual shot was the one where we see the Range Rover pass before the camera in the foreground, and then we zoom in on the car driving along the lane about a quarter of a mile away. The camera work to get that shot to work well was excellent, but the direction to position and time the shot was simply amazing! As for the other actors and their characters, we all enjoyed watching Ian Hendry but I would agree that its a shame he didn't share screen time with Patrick Macnee; but as has been pointed out already, that's showbusiness and sometimes these things just don't work out. The other characters didn't really have much of an impact either way really, but all the performances were good.

Regarding the earlier conversations on this thread, which I did enjoy reading and certainly have not spoiled the episode for me: the scene with Olga didn't really work for me, because she is such a 'throw away' character mostly, but I didn't really see her as a victim of discrimination on that viewing. The way the actress plays her, she doesn't seem to want to talk to Gambit so its her choice that there's no conversation, but she does seem happy to be there so is probably happy to be in Steed's company; therefore I would not say she is a victim within the fiction of the story. But... I do fully agree that the SHOW does objectify women sometimes as 'eye candy' without giving a pay off for either cast members or viewers, as here. All attractive young ladies are going fulfill that role, but what's important to me is that their part in the drama is more than that. Often in TNA, it isn't. But that for me is a minor criticism because so much else about the show is so good, and we do have some strong female roles in The Avengers like Emma and Purdey etc. I'm a sucker for a pretty damsel in distress and don't have any issue with a female character being in a threatening situation as long as she herself is depicted in a strong way emotionally. Purdey is always in control of the situation here, so she's not really even in a threatening situation as the man does not have power over her; but even if she was its how the female herself is portrayed that influences my view of whether the scene is right or not. But that's just my view, I'm not saying its definative.

Overall rating? This is a decent spy story with good performances, but maybe no real spark. 6/10
Lhbizness

Post by Lhbizness »

My problem is often more with the way the show handles secondary female characters than the way the characters themselves handle them - hence, the camera fragmenting Olga as Gambit objectifies her bothers me more than the conversation itself. It's symptomatic of what I perceive as a structural and casual sexism within the show, not necessarily a sexist character. (All of The Avengers has a problem off and on with this, but TNA it feels the most obvious). It is certainly casual, not misogynistic, but it's still bothersome. The same goes for the way that Purdey relates to Cromwell - less that it is problematic in terms of character, more problematic in terms of the structure as a whole - his villainy lies not in his aggressive pursuit of the female character, and her apparent enjoyment of it, but in his treachery. At least, that's what I think.

TNA in general seems to be less subversive in its gender politics than the original series. There are not as many role reversals, or fluidity of gender stereotypes. Steed gives the impression of having settled into the role of country gentleman/Whitehall man, while his female counterpart is an agent but also a former ballerina - unlike the other females who were historians, scientists, and recruited professional agents, all of which would probably be considered classical male roles.
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Post by Spaceship Dispatcher »

Lhbizness wrote:My problem is often more with the way the show handles secondary female characters than the way the characters themselves handle them... (snippage)
Good points raised, with which I'm inclined to agree - the show doesn't treat its non-regular female characters badly as such, but it doesn't promote them either. There was no chance, for example, of meetinhg another 'Forbes' in TNA...
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Post by shaunodan »

...another 'Forbes' in TNA...how well would that have worked :?: :?:
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Post by Spaceship Dispatcher »

shaunodan wrote:...another 'Forbes' in TNA...how well would that have worked :?: :?:
Why not? She's a strong character, not entirely unlike Purdey really. But imo a good series should have such characters in guest roles.
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