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3.19 - The Wringer

 
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Rate 'The Wringer'
10
57%
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9
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Total Votes : 7

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Darren
Site Admin


Joined: 01 Sep 2008
Posts: 1719
Location: UK

PostPosted: Thu Sep 12, 2013 12:32 pm    Post subject: 3.19 - The Wringer Reply with quote

Written by Martin Woodhouse

Directed by Don Leaver

Production completed: 20 December 1963
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cyberrich
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Joined: 05 Sep 2008
Posts: 1027
Location: Midlands, U.K.

PostPosted: Wed Sep 25, 2013 1:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

10/10! One of the very best Cathy episodes. Terrific sets and equally terrific script and acting. This type of episode typifies season 3, and is to the Harry Palmer films what the Emma Peel episodes were to the Bond films. Rich.
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Lhbizness
How to Succeed... at Posting!


Joined: 01 Feb 2014
Posts: 975

PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2014 7:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Such a rough episode, but probably one of the best of this era. Top-notch acting from all involved, but especially Blackman and Macnee. Watching Steed break down is most painful, and Cathy's care for him is quite touching.
Steed often appears flippant and invulnerable, yet here he shows the naked emotion and vulnerability that he works so hard to conceal. Macnee so completely inhabits the role of Steed that it seems he’s feeling what his character feels.
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Avengers Episode Reviews: The Undertakers
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Dfrise
Thingumajig


Joined: 05 Sep 2008
Posts: 87
Location: Pennsylvania, USA

PostPosted: Sun Oct 09, 2016 12:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This must be the darkest episode of The Avengers. Steed is falsely accused of treason and must prove his innocence in a secret hearing. Failing to prove his innocence he is sent to a secret government facility where those in charge put him in solitary confinement. Then he is subjected to several methods to disorient his mind. A mention of "disposal" is made about his fate.

Contrast that to the real life British traitor Alan Nunn May. He was unmasked as an atomic spy for the Soviet Union by a defecting Soviet cypher clerk. He confessed and was convicted in court of treason in 1946. He was sentenced to 10 years and was out in less than seven.

Or contrast that to Klaus Fuchs, a naturalized British citizen who also confessed to being an atomic spy for the Soviet Union in 1950. He was sentenced in court to 14 years in prison and was out in nine. He was allowed to emigrate to East Germany, where he went to work to aid Soviet nuclear research.

The Wringer is a top-notch piece of fiction. But why the author of this episode created such an awful fate for Steed is beyond me. He must have been aware of the fates of real-life British traitors, who never had to face a secret hearing, and never had to fear "disposal."
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dissolute
The Ministry


Joined: 04 Sep 2008
Posts: 1470
Location: Sydney, Australia

PostPosted: Sun Oct 09, 2016 4:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think some spies did disappear quietly at that time.
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Every episode from 1961 to 1977 plus more trivia than you can shake a brolly at.
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Dfrise
Thingumajig


Joined: 05 Sep 2008
Posts: 87
Location: Pennsylvania, USA

PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2016 1:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

dissolute wrote:
I think some spies did disappear quietly at that time.


But that is speculation. What is fact is that these 2 atomic spies for the Soviet Union lived out their lives in peace after early release from prison. One got to continue helping the Soviets. If anyone was a candidate during the Cold War for being "disappeared," these 2 would have to head the list.

The author of this well-written episode portrayed British justice as a clone of justice in Stalin's Soviet Union. It just wasn't so.
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Ian Wegg
Little Wonder


Joined: 15 Sep 2011
Posts: 246

PostPosted: Tue Oct 17, 2017 12:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm wondering what the job of "story editor" was in this series, there seems to be very little consistency of style at this time. This is a very different story to the Agatha Christie like "Dressed to Kill" that precedes it, and both are different again to the almost surreal "The Little Wonders" that follows. I wonder what the audience of 1964 made of these weekly shifts in style, but perhaps that is part of its attraction.

A terrific, straightforward spy story here; sort of John le Carré meets The Prisoner and well executed. It kept me engaged throughout (where some earlier episodes have failed to keep me awake).

It would be captious of me to mark this down for not being Avenger-ish as the term isn't yet fully defined.

9/10
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dissolute
The Ministry


Joined: 04 Sep 2008
Posts: 1470
Location: Sydney, Australia

PostPosted: Wed Oct 18, 2017 1:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's interesting isn't it? They try a different genre every other week, it feels like a new show feeling its way rather than an established show. Of course, the show was reinvented in the next two series so maybe this presages that.
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Every episode from 1961 to 1977 plus more trivia than you can shake a brolly at.
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Ian Wegg
Little Wonder


Joined: 15 Sep 2011
Posts: 246

PostPosted: Thu Oct 19, 2017 7:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As someone who grew up in the Emma Peel and Tara King eras I thought I had a clear idea of what constitutes an Avengers episode. Coming to the Cathy Gale series for the first time I initially found it difficult to rate some episodes which didn't seem to be The Avengers at all, but were nevertheless cracking stories.

I've realised that the only way to do it is to score how much I enjoyed watching each show in isolation and putting aside the concept of "Avengerness".
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