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2.25 - Six Hands Across a Table

 
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Rate 'Six Hand Across a Table'
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Total Votes : 5

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Darren
Site Admin


Joined: 01 Sep 2008
Posts: 1705
Location: UK

PostPosted: Mon Sep 23, 2013 8:43 am    Post subject: 2.25 - Six Hands Across a Table Reply with quote

Written by Reed R. de Rouen
Directed by Richmond Harding
Production completed: 15 March 1963

Starring Patrick Macnee and Honor Blackman
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Frankymole
A Touch of Brimstone


Joined: 01 Sep 2008
Posts: 4013
Location: Carmadoc research establishment

PostPosted: Tue Sep 24, 2013 6:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My review:

http://www.theavengers.tv/forever/gale1-25vr.htm#2

"I say, can we turn the heat up?"

This is a Cathy solo episode really, with Steed supplying tidbits of clues and bringing the cavalry at the end. I like the moment where Cathy plays back Steed's covert tape-recording and for a while it seems, to her consternation, like a normal board meeting—but her patience pays off. It was a clever idea to employ the very distinctively-voiced actor Guy Doleman.

The shipyard takeover plot is baffling, but that doesn't spoil the episode because everything is about the human tensions, action-reactions and double-crosses, and a clutch of the best '60s British TV actors breathe life into it all. It's really peculiar to see The Prisoner's future father in law (called Sir Charles in that series), playing another character Sir Charles!

The Avenged?: Poor old Collier junior (Edward de Souza) gets pole axed twice—no wonder he's upset. On both occasions it looks like he has been killed but he's suddenly hale and hearty again each time; Cathy must bring him luck. All the characters are sharply defined and the casting is spot on: ruthless Doleman, vacillating John Wentworth, unfortunate and uncertain Edward de Souza, Campbell Singer full of bonhomie ("I can't sit, stand, walk, or keep still—I'm in an 'ell of a fix!"), and calculating, insinuating Philip Madoc ("hide like a rhinoceros").

Diabolical Masterminds?: Waldner—he has to be classified as a real cad for betraying Cathy's trust, despite professing to be in love! Philip Madoc is an oily management consultant but changes sides at just the right time. His maneuvrings are quite fun to watch and it's good he ends on the side of the Steeds and angels. He's also rude to Cathy: "we can't all bow down and worship the idol, Mrs Gale". Oh yes we can!

The Avengers?: Steed finally gets into Cathy's bedroom, and wastes no time in rubbishing her boyfriend; she bristles wonderfully in response. Cathy is really elegant and sophisticated in her fantastic evening gown, hair up in a style that could only work in 1963. It's quite a shock to see her feminine side, especially as she has at least two clinches (as the camera cuts away!). After a huge fight in the draughtsmen's room, Cathy finds Collier/de Souza unconscious: as she patches him up, Honor Blackman has a cheeky smile on her face when Collier surmises of his assailant, "you probably frightened him off." Yes, he got frightened after being thrown through the furniture for the third time! The fight was quite unexpected as Cathy was wearing her raincoat! (When she has her leather on earlier, it was only because she's been out riding.)

Umbrella, Charm and a Bowler Hat?: Oliver Waldner (Guy Doleman) presses Cathy's buttons, it seems. He seems to have given a nickname to Cathy: "I need you, Rose... on your terms, if you like"—there's a palpable romantic tension between them, which works. I couldn't help but exclaim "Woof!" when Waldner puts down her glass and sweeps her off with late-era Steed-style charm and "I arrange my own contracts"... maybe that's what happens when someone promises to fly you from the Clyde to the Savoy. Cathy hasn't had a scene like this before, and Honor acts it exceptionally well, of course. She is not playing "second fiddle" to anyone. Full marks to Honor for making the end-of-Act One "scream" into a realistic "startled gasp/yell". Can't have our Cathy screaming.

Bizarre?: Good country-house sets. Cathy is rather annoyed with Steed gate crashing her bedroom to pontificate to her; she shushes him: "You've got a voice like a saw!" This bedroom scene is a gem, not to be missed. The "cellar room" leads out to the stables, apparently—there's a wooden (carousel?) horse on the wall. Telefantasy spotters will enjoy the actors from Sapphire and Steel, Doctor Who, The Prisoner, The Saint, The Persuaders!, etc.

It's a puzzle why this works—this episode doesn't do boardroom intrigue with the panache of "Bullseye" (which mixed in gunrunners and more murder), but by this stage of the series Cathy (and to some extent, Steed) have become familiar and important to me, and mixed with a bunch of actors who are interacting well and reacting as if it's all fresh and not over-rehearsed, so, oddly it becomes quite gripping. The plot becomes almost irrelevant.

On Target? (Score): "And you should have seen Cathy, taking those fences." Enjoyable—just don't try to follow the consortium politics. Three bowlers out of four. 7/10.
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Charlie Parker
Little Wonder


Joined: 08 Sep 2008
Posts: 181

PostPosted: Mon Jun 09, 2014 11:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Terminally boring. Lame plot, twee love story and flat direction, come back Kim Mills all is forgiven.
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Dfrise
Thingumajig


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

PostPosted: Fri Aug 19, 2016 4:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Charlie Parker wrote:
Terminally boring. Lame plot, twee love story and flat direction, come back Kim Mills all is forgiven.


A very good episode in my opinion. A rarity in that the normally steely Cathy Gale develops feelings for a character in an Avengers story. If I remember correctly, this is the only such occurrence. He quite obviously has feelings for her. Too bad she and Steed are investigating him. It can be seen by Cathy's reaction at the end that she is disheartened by the turn of events.

Steed has a great and caddish line when he sneaks into Cathy's bedroom to confer with her. Cathy vouches for the innocence of the man. "He was with me," when the victim died. Steed, "I'll bet he had his hands full." Oh! I think that Steed might have had something large and heavy thrown at him if there wasn't the need to keep quiet.
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