2.12 - Forward Base

Rate every episode of The New Avengers.

Rate 'Forward Base'

10
1
8%
9
2
15%
8
4
31%
7
4
31%
6
0
No votes
5
0
No votes
4
1
8%
3
0
No votes
2
1
8%
 
Total votes: 13

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2.12 - Forward Base

Post by darren »

Written by Dennis Spooner
Directed by Don Thompson
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Post by Rhonda »

8 for me
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Post by cyberrich »

7 from me. The best of the overseas episodes, but I think it would have worked so much better around a Scottish loch. Canada looks a beautiful country, but The Avengers overseas just didn't work for all the obvious reasons. Rich.
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Post by anti-clockwise »

Good episode. The idea of under water bases I guess is not new in TA but this was well done. Nice touch with Steed baffled by Gambits and Purdeys accounts of the agent that went in the water only to come out very much dead. shot and in different clothes. nice touch. :wink:

Can't figure out why the baddies were not holding Purdey hostage at the end instead of surrendering so quickly. 7/10 for me.
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Post by shaunodan »

Rhonda in a wetsuit immediately springs to mind here :wink: My word, this stunner had a magnificient body ! Would love to have seen her in The New Avengers with Purdey 8)
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Post by Lhbizness »

Perhaps the best Canadian episode. I think it works well because it's more Avengers-ish (hidden submarine, bizarre tides, etc.), and the Canadian setting doesn't really matter: it could take place in Britain and still be the same. I quite like the fisherman who seems to have adapted to weird tides, the "chase" in the swan boats, and Steed's annoyance and confusion as his partners try to explain what they saw. It's very light and enjoyable and not straining in the same way the other Canadian episodes do.
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Post by Frankymole »

cyberrich wrote:7 from me. The best of the overseas episodes, but I think it would have worked so much better around a Scottish loch. Canada looks a beautiful country, but The Avengers overseas just didn't work for all the obvious reasons. Rich.
Do tell what the obvious reasons are! (They did go overseas in the early videotaped seasons, but just on studio sets and stock footage, so it was all a bit stereotyped.)
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Post by Mona »

This is a terrific episode all around. I agree with Liz. The plot is very quirky, and the side character fisherman highlights Canadian adaptability The swan boat is great, and the way the plot unfolds is sensible and enjoyable. Steed's overcoming the bad guy in the trinket store was excellent. First, another example of even middle-aged Steed still was surprisingly strong; his confident, bemused face when he is over-powering the bad guy is wonderful, and his ending "Butterfingers!" is hilarious. Steed's interrogation of Purdey and Gambit about what happened was great, and it's obvious that's when everything clicks together for Steed's cunning brain and he figures everything out.

Super fun episode!
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Post by Rhonda »

I love this bit in the middle of Forward Base when they’re doing surveillance on Halfhide:

Purdey “I’ve got it”
Gambit “Rhythm, Flu?”
(now, as you see, they start talking at cross purposes)
P “What we were talking about the other day; the fickleness of man”
G ”I know that face”
P ”I said that man was infinitely more changeable and more restless”
G ”I’ve seen it on file somewhere”
P “And you of course disagreed”
G “He’s a hit man, a heavy!”
P “You said that no man would ever up and leave a woman. Not if he really … cared for her”
Gambit has left

As you can see above, first Gareth then Joanna both take turns getting the funnier lines to other's straight-'man' ones.

There's an episode in Season One where they knock over the cart of fruit in their car (a scene also used in the opening titles) where they do something like this - and in most episodes I think. It's different things like this, or it might just be some music, that keep me interested and make me think The Avengers/New Avengers do have a lot going for it.
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Post by darren »

The Purdey/Gambit exchanges will always be my favourite parts of the New Avengers. They lift many a duff episode.

Forward Base. I remember reading the synopsis in The Complete Avengers book and finding it really interesting. My imagination didn't factor in the flat, bland scenery around Toronto. I was thinking more of a Vancouver look (thinking of the X-Files style locations). I pictured the lake surrounded by tall imposing trees, all very atmospheric.

I was bitterly disappointed when I finally saw the episode (I think it was shown third on the mid-90's BBC2 repeats). It had next to no atmosphere and no style.

My experience with it was akin to when you read a book and it gets adapted into film or TV series and you never like it as it just doesn't relate at all to how you'd seen it in your head.

Many years later I revisited it and going into it without unrealistic expectations I was able to watch it for what it was and found myself very entertained. As above there are some great sequences for Purdey and Gambit, the silly Swan boat chase, the poor confused fisherman.

What lets it down in being in Canada, if it had been shot in the Scottish highlands or Cumbria, it's a script that would really flourish in a location with more personality.

It doesn't help that the director's work just isn't colourful or inventive or stylish enough.

So much potential.

7/10
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