2.03 - Dead Men Are Dangerous

Rate every episode of The New Avengers.

Rate 'Dead Men Are Dangerous'

10
10
48%
9
4
19%
8
1
5%
7
3
14%
6
1
5%
5
1
5%
4
1
5%
3
0
No votes
2
0
No votes
 
Total votes: 21

Lhbizness

Post by Lhbizness »

I love and hate this episode. I love it because it really is an excellent dramatic story, good script, great performances by the whole cast, proper tension and an excellent pay-off. I hate it because it seems to catalyze the obsession with putting Steed through as much suffering as possible. The final shot of him standing over the dead body of a man who, despite everything, he considered a friend; the fact that his past and his deep concern for his friends and loved ones has been used so violently against him; the destruction of things, even if they are just things, that he loves; and the fact that neither one of his much younger partners are able to share that pain with him, because they haven't seen half as much as he has, makes this both a powerful episode and a slightly cruel one. Macnee proves that he really is a fine actor and reflects both the pain and the nobility that makes Steed such a wonderful character. At the same time, I wish that Clemens and the other writers throughout this series had not felt it quite so necessary to constantly assault the soul of their franchise.

Ahem. I have feelings about this episode. :)
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Post by Frankymole »

There's no drama without conflict. Steed's sufferings are almost Odyssean :)
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Lhbizness

Post by Lhbizness »

I just think that it's unnecessary to put him through as much as he gets put through in TNA. It would be one thing if it was just this episode, but there's a thread that runs through the series of "let's see how we can make Steed suffer today." It sacrifices other character development, is an easy out for the writers to create "drama," and at times seems borderline mean-spirited. In terms of emotional suffering and loss, he doesn't really catch a break.

But this episode is an excellent one, and it's a probably a testament to how good it is that we're made to feel so much for our hero. I still prefer the first half of season 2 to anything else in TNA, not least because Steed finally gets to do something.
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Post by cyberrich »

Dead men are dangerous is the latest episode under review. Please add your reviews here. Thanks, Rich. :)
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Post by Rodders »

There are so many wonderful things about this episode, including the fabulous folly location and a number of first class guest actors. However, it is arguably too dark with only Gambit's flirtation to lift our spirits. I too think that the recurring leitmotif of Steed suffering in Series 2 was overplayed. I gave it 9/10 because dramatically it is very powerful. Lacking the light wit to give it a full 10!
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Post by cyberrich »

This is possibly the darkest TNA episode, and also one of the most personal. Everything that Steed holds dear is destroyed by Crayford, played with understated menace by Clive Revill. These are not easy scenes to watch. I always feel particularly uncomfortable seeing Steed's beloved Bentley reduced to a burning chassis. There isn't much humour in this episode, though Gabriella Drake gives a fun breezy performance. (Didn't Gabriella audition for Charlie, the name originally assigned to Purdey. If memory serves me right her screen test was with Lewis Collins. Have I remembered this correctly :?:)
There are many genres covered in The Avengers, but I always like the psychological thrillers best of all. Stay tuned, Too many Christmas trees, The Joker, too many to mention. Dead men are dangerous is almost, but not quite, in the same league as these classics. If TNA had returned for a third season I would have hoped to have seen more of these deeper kind of stories. This episode is by far the strongest in season 2 of TNA. Angels of death is a worthy runner up, but overall season 2 doesn't live up to either season 1 or this classic episode. 10/10. Rich.
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Post by Spaceship Dispatcher »

Dead Men Are Dangerous was a great choice for the Review Circle, one of my favourite TNA episodes. Much is debated about the style of the show and whether it follows on from the stylish spy-fi approach of the sixties. For me, much of TNA actually fits into the late 70s crime/action genre that also included shows like The Sweeney and The Professionals. However, just as there are some episodes that do harken back to the moody 60s fantasies, there are some episodes that very much tap into the Le Carre and Forsyth populated espionage field of fiction. This is one of them, and that’s why I love it so much. The action is there to illustrate plot developments, rather than fighting actually being the plot, and even then much of this happens off camera such as the raid on Steed’s apartment. As in serious spy fiction, we discover events at the same time as the characters even if we know who the antagonists are. The narrative approach of this kind of story appeals to me, with a darkness and tension created while still having a feel of normality for the characters. Too many writers make events that are subjectively big for the characters into overblown events that also look big on screen, but the beauty here is how the episode never tries to be spectacular but still shows a meaningful impact on our heroes. All of the non-regular characters get their moments on screen, and it’s especially nice to see Gabrielle Drake given an interesting character with depth and her own motivations to play. I always felt she was underused in UFO. The locations are also a success in this production, with the tower used for the climax’ exteriors being especially memorable. And maybe best of all for me is the softly haunting incidental music as Steed’s past creeps up on him. It was the kind of music you might associate with horror or fantasy, and worked well with the impression from Steed’s viewpoint that he was being stalked by a dead man.
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Post by Rodders »

As Alex says, the guest characters/actors are first class. Terry Taplin - one of Britain's most underrated actors - is sublime as the seedy henchman, Hara. His violent relationship with Crayford is fascinatingly disturbing.
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Post by dissolute »

I love this episode, easily one of the best of The New Avengers. Some great cinematography from Ernie Steward and direction from Sid Hayers coupled with a fun if clicheed plot makes for some fine viewing.
We have that great suspense with the bullet creeping closer to Crayford's heart which is sidelined into a subplot as the episode continues, then arises at the climax.

The locations are very well chosen, in particular the folly and the German forest.

Gabrielle Drake is fantastic as the week's love interest for Gambit, it's a shame she never made a return appearance.

It sites well with the first half of the second series of TNA, which is very strong.
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Post by Mona »

This is definitely a 10; one of the best in the TNA canon.

It's always great getting some past history of Steed, and how his earlier cases went. Crayford surviving and coming back into Steed's life, solely for revenge, is a good originating plot. I found the second theme of Crayford's shrapnel getting closer to killing him added well to the tension, especially at the marvelously well directed ending in the folly. Luckily, Gambit missed most of it (yay!), so we could focus on Steed.

In terms of acting--notice the clear fear in Steed's eyes, and his one step back, as he sees Crayford's gun pointed directly on him. Such subtle movements for such dramatically expressed emotions. Marvelous acting by Macnee showing both the fear and both the English way of confronting it.

We also solidify quite clearly Purdey's love for Steed and Steed's love for Purdey; nothing is clearer and more apparent in this episode than their feelings for each other. I'm not saying "in love," but it's made crystal clear that they do really love and deeply care for each other.

Steed's nobility is impressive and touching to the audience. After all his years as a spy/agent, Steed has climbed to higher levels of integrity, uprightness and worthiness both as an agent and as a gentleman. When we see other agents going bad, becoming drunkards, turning traitors, seeking revenge, and when we remember the early Steed, the Steed of Keel and Gale, we see that it is pretty rare for a man getting surviving to the later stages of his active agent life to be a better man than he was in the early stages.

I think the suffering of Steed was a wholly elegant method of us to learn more about his past, and also about him, and we are left applauding his nature and the magnanimity of his soul.
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