1.08 - Faces

Rate every episode of The New Avengers.

Rate 'Faces'

10
5
38%
9
0
No votes
8
4
31%
7
0
No votes
6
2
15%
5
2
15%
4
0
No votes
3
0
No votes
2
0
No votes
 
Total votes: 13

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1.08 - Faces

Post by darren »

Written by Brian Clemens and Dennis Spooner
Directed by James Hill
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Post by cyberrich »

10/10!!! Although Target is my favourite, Faces is the most fun episode to watch. My very favourite Purdey and Gambit scenes are in this one. The cast look as if they had a hoot filming this one, something the viewer can't help surrendering to. Rich.
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Post by Rhonda »

10 for me
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Post by Frankymole »

My review:

http://www.theavengers.tv/forever/newave-9vr.htm#2

"Togetherness. I want to feel that you two absolutely trust, respect and adore each other."

The background of the plot is not elaborate, but it takes a surprisingly long time to set up. Especially considering the tempo of the three previous "face swap" stories in the Avengers canon. Once it gets going there are twists and turns aplenty.

Production: The direction veers between expansively adventurous (Bilston hunted by his "döppelganger" through abandoned streets, then slain above a derelict concourse), and spartan (the refuge hostel is suggested by a rain-lashed sign). The only true fight is a fine melée between Purdey and ace archer Mullins.

The Avenged?: Steed has an "oldest friend" again, "known him since I was so high": Mark Clifford, not to be confused with Mark Crayford in "Dead Men Are Dangerous". Steed has to go against his usual gentlemanly instincts and disappoint Mark's widow: all part of doubling the doubles...

Diabolical Masterminds?: It skips the character development, as the two vagrants conceive the scheme (when did they meet Prator?). Then again, the preamble is already too long and lacks mystery: the story structure is totally unbalanced! None of them are brainy enough to be true masterminds. David De Keyser is the best: affably avuncular with a dangerous fearlessness, and with a nice final scene.

The Avengers?: Joanna Lumley performs very impressively, in a trio of personas; Purdey plans and works alone brilliantly. Gambit's accent is passable to an English ear (the villains don't seem to be Irish). Steed talks of coveting Wendy (his oldest friend's wife) and even claims to have loved her: most peculiar.

Umbrella, Charm and a Bowler Hat?: Purdey and Gambit's interchanges are very amusing, despite a tawdry scene that has Gambit goosing Purdey (or Lolita). Steed's mild disapproval of Gambit's use of a pump-action shotgun is part of a nice in-character scene.

Bizarre?: Did Purdey wear a curly wig when approaching Prator as Lolita? If so, he should have been more suspicious when he began grooming her as a "fake" and found Purdey's hairstyle underneath! Perhaps she found time to get a perm and dye. The mole under her eye must be genuine, and usually partly-concealed with makeup (we can just still see it after "Lolita" becomes Purdey, so surgery hadn't remove it).

Epic?: The threat feels lightweight because the villains seem to be running a business rather than pursuing any ultimate goal. It seems they have infiltrated the secret service for five years just to sell secrets to the highest bidder. And they lack personality, wasting good actors. The story improves on re-watching, with the Gambit/Purdey relationship being particularly good. Gambit mischievously retains his double's role, to find out what Purdey really thinks of him! But since she said in "Target!" that she loves him (he didn't quite hear!), and since she cries real tears here when she thinks he is killed, there's not much doubt. The big mystery is why they don't become lovers, but its fun to speculate on the reasons.

Gambit: "I haven't forgotten about that big kiss."

Purdey: "I haven't forgotten about that little black book!"

The pair exit, bickering...

Steed (to camera): "Irreplaceable."

On Target? (Score): Some weak areas and a few strong ones, averaging out at three bowlers (out of four). 8/10.
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Post by NickP »

5.

Enjoyable, but only averagely so for me I'm afraid. I found the plot a little too contrived.
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Post by shaunodan »

...why they don't become lovers...Purdey probably doesn't see Gambit as strong enough to tame her ... Steed has a lot of notches on his belt and Purdey may see a challenge to stretch her here :wink:
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Post by Frankymole »

Myself, I think Purdey did love Gambit, hence her tears in "Faces" when she thinks he has been killed* - not the reaction of a hardened agent to the death of a mere colleague, like the others we see (even ones Purdey was attracted to/dated). It's part of Gambit and Purdey's style to tease each other and play hard to get. That's their form of foreplay - even when it takes years. And you can tell they both know the game.

(*If Gambit ever thinks Purdey's been killed the he turns even more grim and murderous.)
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Post by Timeless A-Peel »

Frankymole wrote:Myself, I think Purdey did love Gambit, hence her tears in "Faces" when she thinks he has been killed* - not the reaction of a hardened agent to the death of a mere colleague, like the others we see (even ones Purdey was attracted to/dated). It's part of Gambit and Purdey's style to tease each other and play hard to get. That's their form of foreplay - even when it takes years. And you can tell they both know the game.

(*If Gambit ever thinks Purdey's been killed the he turns even more grim and murderous.)
You take the words right out of my mouth--beautifully put, Franky. 8) Purdey also has a tendency to take Gambit for granted. When she thinks she's lost him, the mask slips and her true feelings come out.
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Post by Lhbizness »

Such an odd episode - I admit that the theme trading identities always makes me uncomfortable, drawing into question whether we can trust our own eyes. This one comes off pretty well, though, and I especially like the confusion between Gambit and Purdey as to who is really who. Draws their relationship in particular into sharp relief - there's an element of distrust between them at times, much like Steed and Cathy much earlier, but a definite underlying affection. In general, the whole episode is a bit like The Man with Two Shadows (how many times has Steed been replaced over the course of the series?). Gambit's accent grates a bit - he sounds like an imitation Barry Fitzgerald, and I do wish that Purdey had the opportunity to just punch him for all the suffering he put her through.

As always, wish that Steed had a bigger part, but that's my own bias - I do like that he more or less gets the last word, telling the audience literally that he's the irreplaceable one in all of this.
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Post by Frankymole »

Good grief, surely Purdey punching Gambit would be unjustified domestic violence on anyone's terms!
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