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  • title card: white all caps text reading 'THE FORGET-ME-KNOT' superimposed on a knotted handkerchief lying forgotten on the seat of a taxi
  • Burton peers out from his false tree hide and admonishes Tara King for tackling Steed
  • Emma and Mortimer wake up in the disused 'Glass House' factory and wonder who and where they are
  • Tara is surprised when Steed leaps out behind her when she returns home
  • Mortimer poses strangely and pulls a face in order to distract their captors so Mrs Peel can overcome them
  • Emma peers around a brick pillar and firest the amnesia dart gun
  • video - Emma's husband has been found alive in the jungle and she lightly kisses Steed on the cheek as they say a sad goodbye to each other; Steed is astonished to discover he looks exactly like her husband

Series 5 - Episode 25
The Forget-Me-Knot

6½ stars

by Brian Clemens
Directed by James Hill

Episode Rating

Subject 0-5
Direction 3 stars
Music 3 stars
Humour 2 stars
Intro/tag 3 stars
Mastermind
3½ stars
Plot 3 stars
Emma
2½ stars
Set Design 4 stars
Overall
(0-10)
6½ stars

Why have the cross-over episode? After all it'd never been done before. Maybe Clemens was worried about the quality of the new material (as was Macnee!) and wanted to associate it with that which came before. On reviewing, I'd have to say that it's not a bad story, and pretty engaging, but would have been better without the slapstick humour.

Mortimer turns up outside Steed's apartment, not knowing where he is, who he is or why he's there. He recovers sufficiently to tell Steed that there is a traitor in Mother's organisation, the shadowy "Ministry" but he cannot remember whom.

Mrs Peel also forgets what she learns, shot by the same amnesia-drug gun as Mortimer, when the goons recapture Mortimer. Steed is taking the forgetful Mrs Peel to Mother when they are ambushed - Mrs Peel kidnapped and Steed pumped full of the drug. His only clue to his identity when he regains consciousness in a hospital is Tara's 'phone number, hidden in his boot.

He seeks the help of the new recruit, Tara King, and together they trace two thugs to their hideout. The real traitor is George Burton who has defected to a country that has developed memory-killing darts. With confusion reigning at the Ministry, Steed overpowers the gang with the help of Tara and Mrs Peel, though no one is quite sure why.

Peter Peel, Emma's missing husband, has been found alive in the Amazon jungle and she leaves Steed in the capable hands of Tara King, telling her to stir his tea anti-clockwise. Looking out his apartment window as the Peels drive away, Steed is astounded to discover that Peter Peel is the spitting image of himself.

The Cars

Marque/Model Colour Number Plate
Austin taxi black -
Mini pale blue -
Hillman Hunter pale blue -
Daimler V8250 silver -
Norton motorcycle with sidecar box red, black box 431 BY
Triumph motorcycle black NKH 741
Bentley 4.5 litre 1927 British racing green YT 3942
Rover P6 powder blue LAN 586D
Rover P6 powder blue LYE 579C
AC 428 Frua maroon LPH 800D
Rolls Royce Silver Shadow convertible by Mulliner Park Ward (these were restyled in 1971 and relaunched as the Corniche) silver sand YMB 20F

Who's Killing Whom?

Victim Killer Method
NONE. What a nice episode for Emma's farewell...
Click a name to see the face

The Fashions

Emma's Fashions Steed's Fashions
  1. tan cotton skivvy & orange pants, white shoes ... red coat
  2. yellow collared coat with diagonal ribs, rest of costume not visible
  1. light grey suit with flap pockets and a felt collar, pale blue shirt, blue tie with black spot
  2. above with pale brown/grey bowler, grey umbrella and Chelsea boots
  3. above with plain blue silk tie
  4. black overcoat, suit, red tie white shirt, black bowler hat & umbrella, boots
Tara's Fashions
  1. tan combat outfit (skivvy, jeans-style pants, boots)
  2. green coat, black skivvy
  3. green rollneck skivvy & miniskirt
  4. blue/green scarf, camel coat & black gloves over above
  5. blue dressing gown & white towel wrapped around head
  6. black elbow length gloves & thigh boots, beige sleeveless culotte suit, black belt, leopard print fur-lined coat
  7. orange jacket & miniskirt, cream rollneck

Continuity and trivia

  1. 1:26 - Notice the variation in the opening credits? Steed makes a golf swing with his umbrella, instead of one of his fighting-stick moves.
  2. 1:34 - Another variation in the opening credits - Steed and Mrs Peel are facing away from the camera in silhouette, instead of towards it as usual.
  3. 5:00 - Why do Steed and Mortimer come in the kitchen door? Is there a quick side entrance Steed prefers to use?
  4. 6:38 et passim. - Steed's yellow front door doesn't seem to appear in the street scenes at all, it ought to be nearly opposite the black door with the marble heads, but there is a row of blue stable doors instead.
  5. 9:06 - There are curved corners at the top and bottom left corners of the screen, presumably from a large flare guard on one of the cameras, as they come and go throughout the episode: They disappear abruptly at 24:57, return at 28:10, dispappear at 34:16 then immediately reappear at 34:21 for the close-up of the crossword. At 34:55 they're back, then disappear again at 36:10. I can only assume they were on Camera 1 as they appear so often.
  6. 9:10 - There's a hair caught at top left of the screen, probably on the camera lens as it remains for the duration of the shot then vanishes.
  7. 9:33 - Emma tries to jog Sean's memory with some word association:
    black/white, up/down, bed/sleep, attack/motorbike
  8. 17:30 - Steed takes 3 lumps of sugar in his tea.
  9. 21:07 - The "Glasshouse" is the disused "Mitrum Glass Works".
  10. 23:00 - Filson is very quick to decide Steed is a traitor, does he have a grudge against Steed?
  11. 25:10 etc. - Flashbacks: When Steed is coming round in the county hospital, where he's being treated by the shockingly unsympathetic Dr Soames (see below), he experiences a couple of flashbacks to previous episodes with Mrs Peel as he gazes at the lovely Sally. He also experiences some flashbacks when he sees Tara, and when he gets home.
    • 25:10 and 26:00 - "Escape in Time"
    • 26:40 - the tree fallingm and ensuing crash and fight, as well as "Escape in Time"
    • 26:58 - Sally blurs out and becomes Emma in "Escape in Time"
    • 30:18 - Tara blurs out and becomes Emma in "Escape in Time"
    • 33:21 - back home: "Escape in Time" again, the kitchen conjured up "Return of the Cybernauts" and the sofa reminds him of "You Have just been Murdered"
    Nurse Sally Escape in Time Return of the Cybernauts You Have Just Been Murdered Tara King
  12. 25:55 - Dr Soames doesn't bother with the medical evidence and leaps to the conclusion that Steed is a drunk. He then makes the worst possible medical decision and prescribes him a sedative. Nurse Sally is suitably shocked.
  13. 28:30 - Tara wears an outfit very similar to that worn by Mrs Peel in Dead Man's Treasure - tan overcoat with a green scarf.
  14. 29:35 - "he loves me/not - leads Emma to think of Steed
  15. 31:37 - filing cabinet
  16. 31:56 - There's an obvious model hotel & railway bridge outside Tara's window. The curtains earlier appeared in the offices of The Litoff Organisation in The £50,000 Breakfast.
  17. 34:21 - The crossword is filled with gibberish, and none of the answers is "anecdote".
  18. 36:10 - Music from the Mackiedockie Court scene in "Escape in Time" plays as Steed enters the grounds.
  19. 37:25 - Steed knocks Filson out with metal bowler
  20. 47:14 - he likes his tea stirred anti-clockwise
  21. 47:25 onwards - Peter Peel is played by Patrick Macnee for the close ups and mid shots, while Paul Weston does the driving away in the long shot.
  22. 47:25 - the view of the Rolls from Steed's window is impossible - the car couldn't have been driving directly away from it down the street.
  23. Running time : 49'17"

Production notes

  1. Some people have claimed that there's proof that this episode was started before Diana left the show, then completed later, as Steed's sideburns change length in different scenes, but I couldn't see it myself. .
    Brian Clemens, in fact, revealed in the commentary for Split! and Murdersville in the Optimum DVD releases that The Forget-Me-Knot was not an unfinished Diana Rigg episode that was reshot, as has been claimed in the past - he wrote it in three days when reinstated as producer and convinced Diana to return to take part in four days of filming.
  2. Brian Clemens revealed in the commentary for Split! in the Optimum DVD release that the idea of Mother's office set from The Forget-Me-Knot was stolen from a Powell-Pressburger film (Guards/Guardsmen??). He also revealed that the set was not "dismantled and too expensive to build again" - one need only look at it to see how cheap it would be to build. They simply wanted to have Mother appear in different locations all the time.
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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