Series 4 - Episode 167½ stars
Small Game for Big Hunters
by Philip Levene
Directed by Gerry O'Hara
A wildly improbable scheme, but it just might be possible. Jungle fights and silk sarongs enhance a rip-snorting episode (a lot of the snorting coming from Bill Fraser). Another episode that reminds me of The Goodies, so bonus points there.
- white PVC raincoat worn with a black and white" "target" beret, black sleeveless (almost singlet) top, zipped up back, white hipster pants - two black bands at the hems with wide white belt, Edward Rayne's black and white boots, black and white handbag, diagonal black and white driving gloves
- (1) without the coat, beret and gloves
- "Chemin" black and white fur coat over (2)
- white PVC coat of (1) over black singlet top and black vinyl hipster pants with white belt, black and white boots, black and white gloves
- (4) without the coat
- floral sarong (stripped from Lala - barely reaches from breast to thigh, single wrap, tied at waist), hibiscus flower in hair, gold medallion
- rollneck long sleeve blouse, turned back cuffs, white hipster pants and b/w boots
- dark three-piece suit with dark tie (flower motif), white shirt, initially with surgical mask
- (1) with black overcoat, bowler, umbrella and leather gloves
- navy chalk stripe three-piece suit (single vent, long skirt, flapped pockets) with black bowler and umbrella, pale silk shirt and dark silk tie with diamond pin, black chelsea boots
- (3) with regimental diagonally striped tie and marigold in buttonhole
- white cotton blazer and matching trousers (thin light belt) with tie, shirt and shoes from above, initially with a pith helmet, and briefly without the blazer
- black overcoat and yachting cap with white rollneck skivvy, black trousers
Click a name to see the face
Continuity and trivia
- 1:13 - The establishing shot of the woods pans past the same tree twice.
- 2:00 - The Goodies stole the idea of a man fleeing throgh the jungle, only to end up by a milestone outside London for their episode, "The Lost Tribe" - only they played it for laughs.
- 16:04 - When Lieutenant Razafi ransacks Steed's Bentley, he opens a War Department archive box containing the file on Colonel Rawlings, which strangely also contains one of the files from the Colonel Psev incident - Two's A Crowd - spelled the same way and with the same serial number, 56079.
- 18:50 - Kalaya is in Africa, so why is there a tiger's head on the clubhouse wall? Actually, where is Kalaya? The native population vary between African, American and Asian, the clubhouse has lions, tigers, boars, a zebra, and a leopard and an array of native implements and weapons - Zulu and Indian - I'm sure I saw a knobkerry, and the poison darts seem to be South American.
- 21:20 (21:50) - As Steed and Simon Trent first enter the indoor Kalayan jungle, the folliage in the upper right foreground moves quite noticeably as the boom bumps into it while moving backwards.
- 21:30 - The old favourite prop, the cast-iron spiral staircase makes another appearance.
- 26:20 - Post-modernism: Col Rawlings dreams of returning to Mother England and buying a house in Hertfordshire, which is of course what he's already done.
- 38:53 - It seems a bit bright for midnight when Emma crosses the garden.
- 46:52 - That's not Patrick Macnee swinging out of that tree, it's his stunt double Rocky Taylor (best seen in Escape in Time).
- Running time: 49'02"
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.