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2.24 - A Chorus of Frogs

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Total Votes : 10

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How to Succeed... at Posting!

Joined: 19 Jan 2010
Posts: 770
Location: A town, UK

PostPosted: Thu Sep 12, 2013 4:59 am    Post subject: 2.24 - A Chorus of Frogs Reply with quote

Venus Smith episode, UK 9 March 1963.

A lively episode; I really like it; 7/10.
Last Watched : The Living Dead

Last edited by Rhonda on Mon Sep 23, 2013 6:05 am; edited 1 time in total
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A Touch of Brimstone

Joined: 01 Sep 2008
Posts: 4064
Location: Carmadoc research establishment

PostPosted: Sun Sep 22, 2013 9:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My review:

This is minor league stuff for both Steed and the series. It does have its moments: there's a murder by harpoon, the ship sets are another step up from the good ones in 'Mission to Montreal' early in the season, and there's a hotheaded gun-brandishing woman who gets some great dialogue with Steed. Sadly, it also has Venus singing a lullaby and reverting to a childish petulance with Steed. For once, Steed hasn't set her up; but one can forgive her for thinking he has. Thank goodness it's her last episode.

The Avenged?: Two members of an elite diving/salvage/smuggling group called "The Frogs". Their confusion over their national identities (or lack of them), and their childhood friendships, hint at some restless characters with lots of possibilities, but there isn't much time to explore them. Ariston's desire to look beyond the vendetta into the reasons for the deaths is refreshingly intelligent.

Diabolical Masterminds?: Anna Lee, who works for an unnamed Government that doesn't like British investigations. She's sarcastic and a little sadistic, but not given anything very interesting to do.

The Avengers?: One-Six is back as Steed's boss, sadly in little more than a cameo. None of the delightful sparring with Steed from his earlier appearance. He's flown out to Greece to interrupt Steed's vacation. What kind of expense accounts do Steed's bosses have, jetting all over the world simply to give him a few orders? Haven't they heard of telegrams? Venus is shown learning Cantonese from a book and a record, a scene probably inserted to dispel the idea that she is an idiot (a hopeless task). The more vibrant female character of Helena makes Venus look even more of a drip than usual. When Venus is told by steed to stay in her cabin, she pouts. When Helena is told the same, she mutters, "I make no promises," then eventually gets her gun out and soon locks the door on Steed and Mason!

Umbrella, Charm and a Bowler Hat?: Steed's holiday-wear (striped shirt) looks simply shocking. When he invites himself to stay in her cabin, Venus says she hasn't rinsed his socks because the stewards would gossip.

Bizarre?: Mason's stateroom looks like a palatial set that has had a few portholes added. Luckily this suits the character perfectly. I kept thinking that Anna Lee was referring to a company owned by Mason when she talked about "Pelago" providing the facilities, yet she appears to think this is Mason's name. Perhaps because the ship is called the Archipelago. Either it is her government's codename for Mason, or she believes Mason's name is Archie Pelago!

By the final "storming of the barricades" gunfight I was expecting another twist or layer of plot to tie it all together. But really all there is to know is revealed quite early on—it seems Stephanopoulus volunteered for the experiment that killed him, and Anna was responsible for harpooning Jackson to protect her country's investment in developing mini-subs.

On Target? (Score): Starts well, then treads water. A middling two bowlers, 5/10.
Last watched: The Man in the Mirror.
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2014 3:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I actually really like this one, as Venus Smith episodes go. Thin on plot, but the secondary characters are great fun (especially John Carson as Ariston) and the running gag with Steed taking the girl's gun away. In fact, it has some of the best comedic moment for Macnee in the second season - he's sort of the charming uncle to a whole series of very foolish teenagers. For once Venus is not totally grating too, and actually has some good repartee with her partner.
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Spaceship Dispatcher
Winged Avenger

Joined: 01 Jan 2014
Posts: 594
Location: Northampton

PostPosted: Sat Sep 26, 2015 9:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I really liked this one too! The laboratory set was nicely realised and the cast included some familiar faces, but most of all I enjoyed the feel of a game being played out rather than a straight forward confrontation. Also, I like the character of Venus and this was definitely a good episode for her.
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The Bird Who Wrote Too Much

Joined: 01 Sep 2008
Posts: 1845
Location: UK

PostPosted: Thu Dec 28, 2017 3:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Definitely Venus' best episode. She's really written with more spunk and has some great one liners at Steed's expense. Any scene with them in her cabin is a joy. Julie Stevens is so personable. I love how she plays the interrogation in the laboratory - taking no nonsense and fighting back.

The cast are excellent. I always like John Carson in the show as he's so different in all his roles. Macnee really looks like he enjoying the characterisation of Steed as he's so playful like when confronting the greek agents who keep trying to interrogate him.

I could really describe what the plot is - I lost that amongst the fun but it's a good, well paced yarn.

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