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2.01 - Mission to Montreal

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Rate 'Mission to Montreal'
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 16%  [ 1 ]
 33%  [ 2 ]
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Total Votes : 6

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Site Admin

Joined: 01 Sep 2008
Posts: 1782
Location: UK

PostPosted: Mon Sep 23, 2013 8:10 am    Post subject: 2.01 - Mission to Montreal Reply with quote

Written by Lester Powell
Directed by Don Leaver
Production completed: 12 May 1962

Starring Patrick Macnee and Jon Rollason
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A Touch of Brimstone

Joined: 01 Sep 2008
Posts: 4020
Location: Carmadoc research establishment

PostPosted: Tue Sep 24, 2013 5:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The best thing about this episode for me is that its guest star, Patricia English, replied to my email (I wrote to her when someone told me she loved to hear from fans).

My review:

The Avengers Afloat! The unusual locations continue, this time with a splendid cruise ship, courtesy of some tremendously atmospheric sets and lighting. It all looks quite solid and expensive. There is barely a fluff in sight, and a rather good collection of characters to spice things up. Quite enjoyable is the superbly sinister John Bennett, as a "luxuriously" named bodyguard who spends the entire episode almost getting into fights, before being floored by a fairly docile old drunk. Lots of well-known faces in this one for nostalgic cult TV fans.

The Avenged?: A runaround after stolen microfilm, enlivened by the violent ring of enemy agents infiltrating the ship. Quite a good punch-up featuring Patrick Macnee, too.

Diabolical Masterminds? Indeed. Mark Eden and Alan Curtis as reluctant and murderous agents respectively. There is also a nice twist or two, whereby Eden's character is secretly the husband of the leading lady, and the masterspy in charge of the agents turns out to be quite a surprise. This latter twist is cleverly revealed by Steed who quotes the masterspy's recognition phrase, unaware that the character has already revealed their identity to the audience by its use.

The Avengers?: Murder mysteries on board ships rely on the cast of characters being temporarily cut off from the outside world. However, a new angle is tried: Dr King boards at the start; Steed comes aboard at the first port of call (France). Steed already has a helper called Sheila in place, and King brings his nurse. With at least three enemy agents, things start getting crowded, but it all works rather well.

Umbrella, Charm and a Bowler Hat?: All present and correct, once Steed sheds his servile steward rig. Some chuckles are to be had with his ribbing of King over the latter's chinoiserie dressing gown: "Don't let her see you in that dressing gown, old boy, it's death to the most rudimentary form of romance!" Steed gets rebuffed for a dance with the film starlet, and she takes quite a shine to Dr King for his integrity. Their growing regard for each other is well-handled, with the ring of truth: Carla: "Do you think that means I'd like to have an affair with you, subconsciously?" Dr King: "And how would you do that subconsciously?" Patricia English adeptly juggles neurosis, fear and hope.

Bizarre?: There are some rather nasty stabbings, usually just when it starts to feel like a jolly romp. The whole ship seems awash with alcohol, too, though Steed doesn't touch a drop until the end credits roll!

On Target? (Score): Very enjoyable, 10/10 (four bowlers).
Last watched: The Man in the Mirror.
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Winged Avenger

Joined: 19 Jan 2010
Posts: 682
Location: A town, UK

PostPosted: Wed Oct 02, 2013 5:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm giving 7/10. I remember a lot of scenes in the cabin with the celebrity actress and thinking that the filming was well done when we saw out on deck... and Steed was good.
Last Watched : Killer, 19.05.2018
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Charlie Parker
Little Wonder

Joined: 08 Sep 2008
Posts: 181

PostPosted: Mon Apr 14, 2014 1:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A little dull to be fair, The direction is flat and there isn't really enough plot to go round, but the characterisation and portrayal of the neurotic film star is one of the finest performances in the series.
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How to Succeed... at Posting!

Joined: 01 Feb 2014
Posts: 975

PostPosted: Tue May 06, 2014 8:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Exhibit A as to why Dr. King didn't fly. I don't know if Ian Hendry would have made more out of this script, but as it stands it's still one of the dullest episodes of The Avengers. King and Carla have no heat between them, and the absence of Steed for a good bit of the opening means that the poor doctor has to carry the show - which he's entirely incapable of doing. Things pick up a bit when Steed appears and King has someone to play off of, although the two never really get sparks going - I find the holier-than-thou character of King quite grating in many ways. The party scene is good fun, as are some of the fights, but on the whole it's a boring piece of work even compared to the other King episodes.
"It's a conflict of science and humanity! Equations, isotherms...I have a dynamic too."

Avengers Episode Reviews: The Undertakers
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Operation E.N.G.L.A.N.D.

Joined: 19 Jun 2016
Posts: 17
Location: Oreland, PA

PostPosted: Tue Jul 19, 2016 4:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think this is the best of the King episodes; better production values than Dead on Course and better story than The Sell-out. Jon Rollason seems to be more into to this one than the other two as well. The hyper actress is convincingly played and the way you find out about the double agent is effective (though one wonders if Steed got in trouble for not vetting his hires better!Wink) Also amazing how much time they spend setting up the silly drunk who barges into the actressís party (taking out the bodyguard in the process!) just to then kill him off immediately. Sad At the end, we also have the first instance (at least in the episodes we have) of Steed dressing really sharply.
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