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5.15 - The Joker
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Rate The Joker
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Total Votes : 23

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peabody
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 11, 2013 9:45 pm    Post subject: 5.15 - The Joker Reply with quote

Discuss, review and rate The Joker, production completed Tuesday 11th April 1967.

Teleplay by Brian Clemens
Directed by Sidney Hayers
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denis rigg
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 24, 2013 10:00 am    Post subject: Re: The Joker Reply with quote

Today I present a Russian Olga Svecharnik's review from fan club Steedumbrella, the chief editor of the website. Written in the spring of 2011. I have translated it into English - but not good enough, I spent about an hour on it. Hopefully, the translation of relatively adequate. A detailed analysis of The Joker!



Olga Svecharnik

Episode of "The Joker " in many ways atypical for "The Avengers". There are almost no action, the characters did not show their super quality, because they are unable to do this, and notes of humor only sounds in two scenes - first, when Steed in thick fog stumbles upon a banner reading "It has a beautiful view of the entire four counties", and in the second, when he turns to Emma and said, "Honey, I'm not too scared him?". This Steed's joke sums up the whole point of the episode.
Prendergast skillfully creates an atmosphere of fear around Emma, and this is truly Hitchcockian atmosphere is the main component of the "Joker". Ola and "Baron" plays the performance, going subtly and artfully scare the heroine. Not an easy task, because Emma - exceptionally brave woman. In an episode "The Fear Merchants" villains did not manage to find her weak spot. She used to rely on logic and common sense. In the episode "The House that Jack Built", we watched as she commanded himself "tnink logically" and from that moment Emma was hard to beat - it brought the situation under control and successfully solved the problem without the help of Steed. It is appropriate to recall that the name of Emma Peel comes from the abbreviation "M. Appeal" and it is devoid of the usual sensitivity to women and their emotions carefully suppressed, trying not to listen to them (the critic Jaeger James suggested that a physical fight for Emma - a means to throw out repressed emotions). Paradoxically, but this trait of her character almost turns her into a superwoman (in the episode "Man-eater of Surrey Green" she says proudly: "This plant will not touch me, because it only eats people!"), is at the same time its weakness. She does not trust the feelings and intuition, sometimes because of it falling into the traps that are more sensitive woman would have avoided. "The Fear Merchants" could frighten her, because she's not afraid of anything that can be realized. But the things that she can not understand and control, are able to take it out of balance. That shows "perverse humor", Prendergast - to deprive its main weapon - composure, make her lose face. She believes that "any fact there is a reasonable explanation" (The Superlative Seven) - Prendergast surrounds her inexplicable facts.



I think of the episode "The Joker" there are so many symbols and allegories. The authors refer directly to our emotions, the subconscious mind, bypassing the mind: a swinging pendulum clocks, cut photo, knives, Ola talk about teeth ("to show the teeth" - a symbol of aggression, especially in combination with the expression "terror that hurts") and a cover of the book, showing the terrible human hand with twisted fingers and bloody inscription. Of course, present here an abundance of foreign words: Ola recites some phrases in Italian, the song "My Love, My Rose" sounds in German, and "Baron" in the name prefix "background". Language - means of human communication, and foreign language not understood - the most striking symbol of the incomprehensible.



The song "My Love, My Rose" written specifically for the episode, giving it unusual for the Avengers romantic note. The timbre of the singer's voice penetration, his tone - tone is the seducer. The song represents the world of unbridled passions and passionate confessions. This world is completely alien to Emma, ​​who more than anything else is afraid of losing control of the situation (including - of his emotions ) and be at the mercy of uncontrollable forces. We have seen how she seduced the enemies in the interests of business ("What the butler saw" and "Honey for the Prince") , but the pleasure she's clearly not delivered - judging by the expression on his face, Emma would most like to hit the enemy than - something heavy and move to fresh air. The fact that Max Prendergast calls "love", she said weakness (and if she can not afford to be weak?). Flirting - not her element. She politely but firmly rejects all attempts on the part of courtship Steed, preferring to play with him in the children's play (play with the telescope, to beat each other's by toys, etc.). In "The Joker" is indicative scene: Emma does not respond when the "Baron" threatened her with a knife, but his offer to accompany her to the bedroom leads into a rage the heroine - she sling Baron on the street, almost breaking his arm...



There is no doubt ... that Emma was bored with Ola and the "Baron". Everything they said and did was to serve as a climate of fear, but Emma has demonstrated just wonders immunity: it is not guarded behavior Ola locked wine cellar, frank lies about calling Sir Cavalier - the heroine herself suggested Ola his car and was trapped. Telephone wires were cut, in an empty house clearly someone is hiding, the flowers are cut off the head, the book is not in place, and it continues to believe that it fooled completely harmless idiots and do not worry about it , about to lie down , to pass the time reading! Only after Emma finds out the cut in the photo , she realizes that she is in danger. But too late - the door is locked, the gun discharged, the trap was sprung, and unflappable an intellectual with the highest "IQ" caught in it.



Deprived of the ability of discernment , because everything that happens is not amenable to logical analysis, it soon turns out to be really on the verge of insanity. She is torn by the old house where refined interiors flash alarming combination of blue and red ... Theme of song, reminiscent of "theme of madness" from the Hitchcock film "Spellbound", emphasizes its status. At one point she loses all sense of reality so that the hand touches the rose , as if checking to see if she does not dream of going on. How fortunate that the correct Steed arrived in time in time. The enemy is defeated, and our favorite characters together again - the knights in the fight against evil. Perhaps, instead of analyzing their problems and complexes, is to see them as a virtue, opposed to chaos and meaninglessness. In fact , because it is so...


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cyberrich
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 24, 2013 1:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As much as I love Don't look behind you, my fave Cathy episode, The Joker is even better. Beautifully staged and filmed. Much more than just a TV episode, this plays out almost like a theatrical drama. A very polished production that equally matches any British cinema release from that year, and outshines a good many of them Exclamation Terrific set. One of the best. Great plot. Very suspenseful, and almost feels like a Hitchcock movie. In my top 3 from season 5, this could well be the best colour Mrs Peel. 10/10.
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cyberrich
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 19, 2013 10:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Watched this two nights ago and I've just noticed I only gave it 10/10 in my last post Exclamation Should be 11 Wink This is simply 50 minutes of TV heaven, and quite possibly the best season 5 episode. It contains all the best elements of theatre, and you even feel as if you're watching a stage play with this one. It is also a beautifully filmed episode with a terrific set. High on atmosphere with a sense of claustrophobia and impending doom creeping into the house along with the fog. SUPERB! 11/10. Rich.

Last edited by cyberrich on Sun Apr 27, 2014 7:07 am; edited 1 time in total
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anti-clockwise
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 19, 2013 7:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice reviews. Especially love the pics and review you did Denis! This is inspiring me to watch this one again. Nothing more inspiring than listening to fan's reviews like this. It is contagious. Laughing
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Topaze
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 22, 2014 11:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, a very nice reviews to remember this fantastic episode Smile
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anti-clockwise
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 23, 2014 11:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Topaze wrote:
Yes, a very nice reviews to remember this fantastic episode Smile
That is one hot Purdey avatar Topaze. Timeless would approve! Wink
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Topaze
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 23, 2014 12:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I love how Purdey fights!
In an episode I don't remember which one, Steed says to the father's Purdey:
" I recognize the kick of the family" when he saw the father fight Laughing
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anti-clockwise
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 23, 2014 1:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Topaze wrote:
I love how Purdey fights!
In an episode I don't remember which one, Steed says to the father's Purdey:
" I recognize the kick of the family" when he saw the father fight Laughing
whih episode was tha? i think we need Timeless Laughing
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Frankymole
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 23, 2014 6:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It was "House of Cards", with Derek Francis as "The Bishop", Purdey's stepfather. (I think her blood father was shot as a spy before the events of the series.) Derek Francis is a famous comic actor and can be enjoyed in, amongst other things, Doctor Who playing Emperor Nero!!
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Topaze
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 23, 2014 11:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you Frankymole!
I must watch this episode again Cool
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Timeless A-Peel
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 24, 2014 4:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Frankymole wrote:
It was "House of Cards", with Derek Francis as "The Bishop", Purdey's stepfather. (I think her blood father was shot as a spy before the events of the series.) Derek Francis is a famous comic actor and can be enjoyed in, amongst other things, Doctor Who playing Emperor Nero!!


Franky's beaten me to the punch (no pun intended), and he's dead-on about the fate of Purdey's actual father. Smile
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paulpdjh
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 26, 2014 9:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have to admit that this is an episode I could never get into and its popularity has always baffled me. It just feels like a pointless remake when the original was so much more atmospheric. I guess for me it just reinforces the feeling of a general lack of innovation in season five and the desire to play things safe, which is why season six came as such a breath of fresh air.
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Frankymole
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 26, 2014 9:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good point, Paul. It's certainly not as interesting as the Cathy Gale version, which had a much better sense of danger. With Emma, we just know she'll despatch any threat, like Superman she's too invulnerable to engender a proper sense of jeopardy. Also, what is that weird veiny POV shot about? Does Max Prendergast have some awful eye disease?
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Lhbizness
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 26, 2014 12:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I actually prefer this episode to the Gale one - I think it's better suited for film. The Gale episode feels a little confined in terms of camera movement etc. due to its live format.

I think the episode does a spectacular job of building Emma's vulnerability and fear. At first she's convinced that she can handle anything that happens, but the terror of the house slowly begins to get the better of her. It's a rare instance of taking a very strong character and placing her in a position where she begins to doubt her own abilities, and finally gives in to terror. It avoids victimizing her, but also gives her the space to be vulnerable and show real confusion and terror. It works because it builds slowly to her breakdown - much like The House that Jack Built. Arguably the finest episode of Season 5, and the best use of suspense and the talents of the leading lady in any season. Rigg plays it beautifully right across the board. It works because it's subtle and it builds - if you want young women screaming off into the night, you won't get it. But if you want a strong female character actually showing vulnerability and trying to maintain control even in the face of danger and terrifying odds, then it's brilliant. Practically a haunted house episode. Nothing before or after managed to equal it.
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Frankymole
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 26, 2014 12:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Joker is a darn sight less subtle than Don't Look Behind You - even the incidental characters are less underplayed. Maybe it's a consequence of the "comic strip technicolour" season 5 direction, maybe it's because of trying to appeal to a broader, international audience, and so having less British underplaying and hints of subtlety (that might be missed or construed as woodenness). But like the shadows, the layers seem to have been thinned out.
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Lhbizness
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 26, 2014 1:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I do think that The Joker is developed as a late-60s thriller - it does have broad strokes, and as such is more caricatured in a certain sense, but it likewise establishes an undercurrent of surreal menace the like of which is more akin to a Bunuel film than to Carol Reed, whose style is very similar to the mis-en-scene of Don't Look Behind You. So some of it might be what is most appealing to the individual viewer. I do think that Don't Look Behind You is limited by its set-up, while The Joker allows for the central female character to have a greater range of movement.

It does have subtlety, particularly in the performance by Rigg, but it is a different kind of subtlety than the Cathy Gale episode. Both have their points; I would simply argue not to dismiss The Joker as a lesser version. It's a different version, which I personally prefer. (In fact, I once wrote up an extensive analysis of the episode which demonstrates just how layered it truly is, but I cannot find it at the moment).

I really won't comment on the "international appeal" bit, which is just far too subjective and impossible to determine to be worth argument (and kind of insulting).

Anyways, I like The Joker. I think it's an excellent episode, and one of the reasons why I like Season 5 so very much.
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paulpdjh
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 27, 2014 1:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lhbizness wrote:
Anyways, I like The Joker. I think it's an excellent episode, and one of the reasons why I like Season 5 so very much.


The variety of styles over the years is one of the great things about The Avengers. People are drawn to different aspects of the show - I'll probably never get the love for season five, just as, no doubt, you're baffled by my love of season six (which, for me, it's up there with season four as the two best Avengers seasons).

My opinion on this episode is also hugely coloured by the fact that I find the character of Cathy Gale much more interesting than Emma Peel. Cathy's relationship with Steed intrigues me far more than any of his other partnerships - just when I think I've worked it out, something happens that makes me question my conclusion.
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Darren
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 27, 2014 1:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Clemens simply reused the script as he loved Don't Look Behind You and wanted to show it to a wider audience. I wonder how many long term UK viewers noticed.

I love both equally, they both shine in different ways.
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paulpdjh
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 27, 2014 2:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I doubt many did notice. The first time I watched either of these episodes was when they were released on videocassette - I watched them one after the other, which probably helps explain my feelings about The Joker.

I did quite enjoy the audio version of The Joker from the South African radio series, which I didn't listen to until many years later.
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