Series 5 - Episode 119 stars
by Brian Clemens
Directed by James Hill
Steed catches a falling star
Emma makes a movie
|Set Design||3½ stars|
This is called the polarisation of your audience. I love this episode - maybe only The Hidden Tiger is better. The use of the same set for outside Emma's flat, and Schnerk's representation of outside her flat is inspired, and the symmetry doesn't stop there. Great acting, great clothes (well, mostly...), a fantastic score and wickedly funny lines. What more could you want?
A man resembling Steed is auditioned for a non-speaking part -
Mrs Peel is already needed before Steed can get in the door, summoned to a remote country lane by an anonymous telephone call. Steed tags along, fearing a trap, but only an old priest on a bicycle disrupts the blustery calm of the country. The priest is in fact an old actor, who has just filmed Mrs Peel for a screen test as the star of a film, "The Destruction of Emma Peel". Mrs Peel is kidnapped by the villains, Von Schnerk, Syn and Kirby - played wonderfully by Peter Wyngarde, who was so excellent as the villain in A Touch of Brimstone. Chased around the set, shot at and attacked with swords and tomahawks, then finally tied to a circular saw, Mrs Peel looks set to have her dying moments filmed... Steed makes himself the understudy for the actor playing his corpse and finishes Von Schnerk's plans to make the epic of the century.
Emma decides she would rather not see an old Stuart Kirby film at the Plaza, and the Avengers decide to stay in for the night.
|Lotus Elan S3||glacier blue||SJH 499D|
|old bicycle||black, wicker basket||-|
|Austin taxi||black||VGF 345|
|Rolls Royce limousine||black||EXY 689|
|Rolls Royce Hearse||black||MUL 296|
|Bentley Speed Six 1926||British racing green||RX 6180|
|Actor||Stewart Kirby V*||Pistol|
|Policeman||Stewart Kirby V*||Tommy gun|
|Z.Z. von Schnerk V*||Steed & himself V*||Shot while struggling for pistol|
Continuity and trivia
- 3:38-3:49 - There's dust on the caption scanner and probably the acetates as well - when the titles fade in spots appear all over the screen and there's even more when the Steed & Emma subs appear.
- 6:00 - Mrs Peel appears to record all her incoming phone calls.
- 8:27-8:37 - We see Mrs Peel in the back of the cab, then cut to other angles of the cab drtiving through what looks like Watford. When we cut back to Mrs Peel, the cab is still passing the same building as it was in the first shot!
- 13:00 - the long shot shows the whole side of the set open, so how come Mrs Peel didn't react until she opened the door and saw the cameras?
- Never Never Say Die (seen through the doorway when Steed is inside the cottage) is in the background of the scenes where Emma encounters Kirby dressed as a priest and undertaker.
- 15:56 - there's suddenly a lot more gravestones on that hill.
- "From Venus With Love" is in the props back stage: at 16:46 you can see the silhouette painting down the hall from "Steed" and at 17:07 Emma walks past the full painting. Not only that, but both copies of it - with and without the silhouette - turn up in two episodes of The Saint ("A Portrait of Brenda" and "The Power Artist"). The non-silhouette version reappears in an episode of Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased).
- 17:15 etc. - The chair and cherubs were last seen in The Murder Market.
- 21:30 (21:17) - Why doesn't Mrs Peel notice Z.Z. von Schnerk & Damita on the stairs in the saloon scene?
- 22:38 - Product placement for Mrs Peel's simply enormous Ansafone.
- 27:45 - The wagon that Emma hides behind and she and Kirby later fight on top of appeared in From Venus with Love.
- 28:02 (27:51) - Mrs Peel discards the gun loaded with blanks (26:12) just before fighting Kirby. encountering the policeman, but is suddenly carrying it again as she leads him back to the dead body.
- 29:34 - The Simon Roberts & Son sign (undamaged version) from "The Winged Avenger" can also be seen in the back lot. David Lodge, playing a policeman, falls on it.
- 35:08 - The timing in the second fight scene goes wrong - Kirby swings at Emma before she can finish saying "ah ah ah!" to Damita.
- 42:27 - Schnerk tells them he needs more footage of them gloating over her before they throw the switch - but his camera is in the wrong place to film the mid-shot!
- 43:40 - The dead stand-in for "Steed" is on the prefab cobblestones from The Correct Way to Kill.
- 45:00 - Z.Z. von Schnerk sits down to play "the right music" - rollicking dramatic silent movie soundtrack stuff - with Mrs Peel as the star of "The Perils of Pauline".
- 45:50 - Emma is already at the control switch for the band saw but when the angle changes to Steed fighting Kirby alongside the saw, she hasn't quite reached it yet.
- 47:15 (47:00) - How did Emma and Steed obtain new outfits for the tag scene?
- 48:10 - Steed reflects, "Unbridled passion... why don't we just spend the evening at home?"
- Running time: 49'17"
- Isa Miranda suffered a cut to the forehead during filming when she was hit by a chair.
- Peter Wyngarde (Stewart Kirby) had been the brilliantly evil John Cartney in A Touch of Brimstone and went on to be the lead in the two ITC shows Department S (see more trivia here) and Jason King. He played the character of Jason King in both.