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  • title card: white all caps text reading 'TWO'S A CROWD' outlined in black and superimposed on the wet message bomb
  • Webster (Steed) hams it up for the audience as a blond bikini model looks on behind him
  • Psev's monitor screen shows Steed being greeted by two generals at the conference
  • Ivenko pins a riduclously large buttoniere to Webster's lapel
  • Mrs Peel leans against the fireplace, her wrists bound with cloth tape
  • Steed takes aim at the imcoming model aeroplane with his revolver
  • Steed frantically tries to find the frequency of the model bomber while Emma watches the incoming toy aircraft
  • Steed, dismounted next to his grey, meets Mrs Peel riding a chestnut mare

Series 4 - Episode 12
Two's a Crowd

6½ stars

by Philip Levene
Directed by Roy Baker

Episode Rating

Subject 0-5
Direction
3½ stars
Music 3 stars
Humour
4½ stars
Intros/tags 3 stars
Villains 4 stars
Plot 4 stars
Emma 2 stars
Sets/Props
3½ stars
Overall
(0-10)
6½ stars

The lady vanishes - was La Rigg on holidays for this one? She seems completely superfluous. Otherwise, I find this a very funny episode, but humour alone cannot carry it.

The Fashions

Emma's Fashions Steed's (Webster's) Fashions
  1. fluoro orange surplice with central pocket, the breast above the pocket diagonally quilted, over black long-sleeved skin-tight stretch nylon catsuit, high neck, black boots
  2. black rimmed round spectacles, white collared blouse with puffed sleeves and cloth buttons (four on each cuff, about twelve down torso), black knee-length skirt
  3. (2) without the spectacles
  4. (2) with a black and white spatter patterned overcoat, a pleated skirt in place of the plain one, with black court shoes
  5. (3)
  6. black velvet sleeveless top with metal buttons, black trousers, briefly with the coat from (4)
  7. wide brimmed black Bolero hat, black crew neck blouse, short black jacket with four buttons, tan riding pants, ankle boots
  1. black pullover and dark trousers, black shoes
  2. grey three-piece suit - flap pockets - with white shirt and dark rectangular patterned tie
  3. (2) with light tie and black bowler, umbrella
  4. hawaiian shirt - white ground with large red flower design, short sleeves, with panama hat with matching band, light shorts, false moustache
  5. deerstalker cap, Victorian hunting tweeds including plus fours, false moustache
  6. navy chalk striped three-piece suit with white city shirt, metal links, dark rectangular patterned tie, initially without the jacket
  7. (6) with black bowler and umbrella
  8. Hounds tooth jacket, white shirt, trilby hat, red white and blue diagonally striped tie with gold crown in centre, dark trousers, false moustache
  9. ugly furry cardigan with black skivvy and brown trousers
  10. (7)
  11. dark three-piece suit with white shirt, dark solid tie, red carnation, briefly with a black bowler and umbrella
  12. (11) with turned back cuffs, briefly with a large buttonhole with foil and ferns, later with a single red carnation
  13. brown suede fronted cardigan with wide lapels, black skivvy
  14. grey three-piece suit - single button at waist, two vents - with matching bowler, umbrella, white shirt, pale silk tie
  15. (14) with camera tiepin
  16. brown cardigan with black polo shirt, tan trousers, brown chelsea boots

The Cars

Marque/Model/Type Number Plate
(model aeroplane - Cessna) -
Humber Imperial finished by Thrupp & Maberly, and sporting a black Everflex roof AWK 948B
Lotus Elan S2 HNK 999C
Porsche 356 -
Austin A110 Westminster -
MGB (taillights) -
Peugeot 404 (maybe an Oxford/Cambridge...) -
(model submarine) -
(model aeroplane - Hurricane) -
(model aeroplane - Lancaster) -
horses -

Who's Killing Whom?

Victim Killer Method
Sergei Ivenko V* Vogel V* shot by model submarine
Pudeshkin V* Steed redirects model bomber
Shvedloff V* Steed redirects model bomber
Elena V* Steed redirects model bomber
Vogel V* Steed redirects model bomber
Click a name to see the face

Continuity and trivia

  1. 2:22 - The caption scanner has dust all over the screen, so when the titles are superimposed dust and hairs appear all over the screen.
  2. 3:43 - The War Department file on Colonel Psev is labelled COL. PZEV P/56079 - we must assume the department guessed at the spelling as the bomb for Brodny has it as "Psev" and the name is later revealed (43:43) to be an acronym derived from the lead antagonists' initials : Pudeshkin Shvedloff Elena Vogel.
    One of the files turns up again, for no apparent reason, in Small Game for Big Hunters
  3. 10:05 et passim. - Some of the extras in the back row of the reverse shots are also sitting to the left of the catwalk.
  4. 20:40 - Ivenko calls the chauffeur who answers the Embassy door to Emma, "Greesha", a Russian slang term for a bully, heavy or strongarm man.
  5. 30:40 - Ivenko's file is labelled IVENKO, SERGEI TRANSFERRED on the outside; the paper inside is headed 56076, IVENKO, SERGEI and has been stamped FOR ELIMINATION.
  6. 31:08 - Ivenko calls Steed from the Embassy, seeking asylum, but the 'phone is labelled Leadenhall 7141 - have they stolen it from the bar in Dial a Deadly Number?
  7. 32:05- passim. - The shots of Vogel at the controls and watching through the binoculars are all marred by a hair, curled into a crescent and stuck to the bottom left corner of the camera lens.
  8. 32:48 - The perenial location scout's favourite, Tyke's Water Lake, is used for the location of the Embassy gardens where Ivenko is shot by the model submarine.
  9. 36:40 - Brodny says, "Yes, yes, my mother always used to say to me... 'Sergei Dushink', she said, 'you are "slow witted" ... and as for tact, initiative -" but in The See-Through Man he says his name is Vladimir Jaroslav.
  10. 43:43 - Pudeskin is a cypher expert, Shvedloff handles sabotage and elimination, Elena handles finance and administration and Vogel handles planning and operations.
  11. 45:25 (46:51) - Macnee says "Plessey and I set out to prove it" - but the character's name is Major Carson! Diana Rigg repeats the name at (/48:53), so I've listed him in the credits as Major Plessey Carson.

  12. 47:06 - you can see the wires on the bomber as it takes off.
  13. 48:32 - there's an oft-repeated story about Diana Rigg having never ridden a horse before they filmed Silent Dust, but here she is trotting across Tyke's Water Bridge on horseback and cantering with apparent ease two months earlier.
  14. Running time: 49'53"
A note on the timecodes
Where I have listed two sets of timecodes, the first is from the 2009-11 Optimum Releasing/Studio Canal DVD sets, any other timecodes are from the A&E and Contender DVD sets from a decade beforehand.
The new releases have been remastered and their frame rate has been changed, resulting in a shorter running time. However, the picture quality has increased markedly. I assume this is because they used a simple 2:2 pulldown (24 @ 25) when converting from the original film masters (film runs at 24 frames per second, while PAL runs at 25fps, the new DVDs are in PAL format).
This pulldown was also the cause of audio errors on many episodes, especially for Series 5, as the audio sped up to match the new rate (4% faster), rather than being properly pitch-shifted. Checking the dialogue sheets, which list the feet and frames of the reels, it looks like the speed change is around 5.04%, so there may be some cuts as well - probably from around the commercial breaks and ends of reels, as they amount to about 25 seconds. All my assumptions are based on the episodes having been filmed on standard 35mm film, which has 16 frames per foot and runs at 24 frames per second, so a minute of footage uses 90 feet of film (1,440 frames).
These audio errors have been corrected in the currently available DVDs, but the 2:2 pulldown remains. There is also the addition of a Studio Canal lead-in, converted to black and white to match the episode for Series Four, but colour for Series Five, adding an extra 18 or 19 seconds to the runnning time and making it harder to match timecodes with previous releases. It's annoying that it has been slapped on every single episode, Series 1-3 didn't suffer this indignity.
The previous Contender and A&E DVD releases didn't seem to suffer from these problems, so I assume they either used soft telecine and preserved the original 24fps rate of the film (my preferred option in DVDs) or they used 24 @ 25 pulldown (2:2:2:2:2:2:2:2:2:2:2:3 Euro pull-down). Let's hope the much-rumoured bluray release will revert to native 24fps with soft telecine so we won't have these problems again.

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