1.09 - Tale of the Big Why

Rate every episode of The New Avengers.

Rate 'Tale of the Big Why'

10
3
18%
9
2
12%
8
4
24%
7
6
35%
6
0
No votes
5
2
12%
4
0
No votes
3
0
No votes
2
0
No votes
 
Total votes: 17

User avatar
darren
Diabolical Mastermind
Posts: 2114
Joined: Mon Sep 01, 2008 2:31 pm
Location: UK
Has thanked: 38 times
Been thanked: 27 times

1.09 - Tale of the Big Why

Post by darren »

Written by Brian Clemens
Directed by Robert Fuest
User avatar
Rhonda
Epic
Posts: 951
Joined: Tue Jan 19, 2010 11:49 am
Location: A town, UK
Has thanked: 29 times
Been thanked: 49 times

Post by Rhonda »

7 for me
Ron
Last Watched : Castle de'Ath
NickP
Little Wonder
Posts: 140
Joined: Mon Oct 03, 2011 2:25 pm

Post by NickP »

10.

My favourite so far, this one had everything. A good story, great cast, lots of location work and not one but two Tiger Moth aircraft. what's not to like?

Favourite banter-
Purdy: "Did he book?"
Hot dog man: "No, he was just lucky".
cyberrich
Site Admin
Posts: 1387
Joined: Fri Sep 05, 2008 10:21 am
Location: Midlands, U.K.
Has thanked: 4 times
Been thanked: 31 times

Post by cyberrich »

8/10. A fun episode, though not the usual type of Avengers plot. The best thing about this one though is not the plot, but the great interplay between the three leads. In particular the scene with Steed and Gambit on their country ramble and especially the scene where Gambit takes Purdey out for a "posh" supper. :lol: Rich.
anti-clockwise
Mission... Highly Improbable!
Posts: 1678
Joined: Fri May 17, 2013 2:34 pm

Post by anti-clockwise »

A good episode. Really enjoy Purdey being taken to a hot dog stand for dinner by Gambit. And Gambit jumping on the wing of the plane was courageous of Gareth.
"He likes his tea stirred anti-clockwise."
anti-clockwise
Mission... Highly Improbable!
Posts: 1678
Joined: Fri May 17, 2013 2:34 pm

Post by anti-clockwise »

A good episode. Really enjoy Purdey being taken to a hot dog stand for dinner by Gambit. And Gambit jumping on the wing of the plane was courageous of Gareth.
"He likes his tea stirred anti-clockwise."
Lhbizness

Post by Lhbizness »

A bit better on second viewing than on the first, but I still put this one in the "meh" category of TNA episodes. It takes a long time to get going, with the first fifteen to twenty minutes centered on driving around the countryside watching characters do things. Then there's a bit more driving, and some talking, and still little to no tension. We're meant to care about whatever it is that Brandon has buried, but I certainly don't.

Things pick up a bit when Steed steps back into the picture, but even then the immediacy of the chase never really hits home. Some nice little vignettes - Purdey and Gambit at the hot dog stand, Steed and Gambit hiking hills in Surrey - but nothing that really ups the tension, not until the usual third act hurrah of Purdey being captured and the boys having to rescue her. Some nice action sequences are peppered throughout, but somehow I cannot get excited over Gambit tossing himself on wings of airplanes.

The episode suffers from Clemens's usual problems of time filling - a number of scenes (including that hot dog stand one) are contrived to fill space or to separate the characters so that a major event can take place. It takes Purdey and Gambit about an hour, we presume, to figure out that the baddies are on to Steed - even though it was established early on that the villains were following our heroes around. The villains, meanwhile, are the usual two heavies plus a Ministry official with a secret - a trope used so many times in TNA that it gets boring. The Ministry really sucks at security.

Last but not least, I'll mention once more the tendency to push Steed to the side, letting him sit at home making phone calls or go to meetings while the two young people do their thing. It's obviously an effect of having three partners instead of two that one character (usually one of the males) gets shoved to the side in a given episode. I don't think any of the writers figured out how to use three characters to the best possible advantage without sidelining one. I know there's a complaint that in Season 2 that happened to Gambit, but let's also note how often it happens to Steed. In this one, he even becomes the butt of jokes, including the hill climbing scene where he begins to sound more like a slightly dotty old uncle than a top Ministry agent. Gambit does most of the heavy lifting, as it were, but it would have been quite easy to incorporate all three characters into chase sequences or investigations. It's still my contention that Steed is the anchor of The Avengers, but so often in TNA he's almost used as a foil.
User avatar
Frankymole
You Have Just Been Posting (a lot)
Posts: 6630
Joined: Mon Sep 01, 2008 9:33 am
Location: Carmadoc Research Establishment
Has thanked: 370 times
Been thanked: 292 times

Post by Frankymole »

The Ministry sucking at security is the most realistic thing in the show, after the famous Cambridge spies debacle which echoed and re-echoed through the 50s and 60s and onwards...

Presumably why one of the very few bits of real life to intrude into the candyfloss comic-book fantasy of season 5 is the "Where is Blake?" newsstand...
Last watched: "Lobster Quadrille"
shaunodan
Winged Avenger
Posts: 415
Joined: Sun Jan 05, 2014 3:08 am

Post by shaunodan »

Purdey's red jacket looks great...Joanna Lumley looks much too thin...so noticeable beside woman (washing) :!:
Lee
Little Wonder
Posts: 132
Joined: Sun Oct 15, 2017 7:04 pm
Location: Surrey
Been thanked: 2 times

Post by Lee »

I see that just like Castle De'ath, it has been over 7 years since anyone commented on this story, so I took it as my next watch.

I've always loved this story, ever since first seeing it in the mid 80s. Some of the early TNA stories were very gritty, but this one is lighter, and I could almost imagine it being in the Tara King years, and all the driving around the countryside give it a bit of a Dead Man's treasure feel.

Our three heroes are on top form, each getting their witty quips. "Did he book?" Asks Purdey. "Nah, he's just lucky!" Gareth and Joanna really are excellent together, and if it had been necessary, could have carried the series as the new Avengers. Written by Clemens himself, the dialogue between them sparkles and they are very relaxed together. Steed does take more of a directorial role here, but he still does get some action as a shot gun is blown into his bowler - good to see it hasn't been hung up and still has its uses. It was quite interesting that even thought Purdey is in from the beginning, she doesn't say her first words until about a third of the way through the programme - and yet it doesn't seem like it.

Robert Feust from the original series makes a return visit as director, and I love his set up shots. Good, wide views of the countryside and close ups on faces to bring out some tension.

The story is well paced and moves along quite nicely. Even the comedic moments, such as the discovery of the blue perry wrinkle on top of a hill, don't slow things down. The supporting cast are great, particularly the wife of the pilot, even if Brandon's daughter is a little of a charactature.

"Purdey, it's your lucky day - I'm not nice to be around."

The music is sublime. A jazzy road trip type of music. I have an album from the early / mid 80s music from The Avengers, The New Avengers and The Professionals. This suite is on there and transfers well to the whole orchestra and I often enjoy playing it.

Over all, I give this story a 10.
You really must have a word with that cleaning lady....
Post Reply