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1.03 - House of Cards
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Rate 'House of Cards'
10
17%
 17%  [ 3 ]
9
23%
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8
23%
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7
23%
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6
11%
 11%  [ 2 ]
5
0%
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4
0%
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3
0%
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2
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1
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Total Votes : 17

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Darren
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 23, 2013 9:06 am    Post subject: 1.03 - House of Cards Reply with quote

Written by Brian Clemens
Directed by Ray Austin
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Rhonda
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 24, 2013 6:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

8 for me
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cyberrich
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 24, 2013 8:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

10/10 from me. A wonderful episode that even the corny ending can't spoil. Terrific script, locations, action...this one has the lot! Very Happy Rich.
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Frankymole
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 24, 2013 7:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My review:

http://www.theavengers.tv/forever/newave-2vr.htm#3

"A trifle extrovert perhaps, but it is necessary to convince you."
"Took a pot at him. By the potting shed."

The new series continues its so-far enjoyable, but not exceptional, standard. Worth a look; far better is to come. Almost a traditional counterspy tale, with some nice touches.

Production: The locations are easy on the eye, mostly rural England. As one would expect, the action sequences are reasonably-directed. The knife fight between Gambit and Spence is genuinely disturbing. A brief sequence where Purdey avoids shotgun blasts is well done too. She gets to lay out Perov with a solid punch that contrasts nicely with her usual martial arts (which are shown off early on).

The Avenged?: Petrov tries to revenge himself on Steed! Of course, Peter Jeffrey can't play his accustomed twisted genius; we get to see him as a stable, clever, optimistic character with a genuine motive. The vodka-swigging scene is marred by a silly cork-popping sound, inexplicably dubbed on.

Diabolical Masterminds?: Peter Jeffrey is perfect as a cunning masterspy who fakes his own death whilst he works to redeem himself. A drug which "suspends" the heart (with no after-effects afterwards) is hard to believe. But there's a nice twist, when it turns out that the activation of murderous sleepers was merely to trick Steed into revealing the location of a defector - the loss of whom had caused Petrov's original disgrace. We really needed more Macnee/Jeffrey dialogue scenes; Jeffrey is superb.

The Avengers?: Purdey figures it all out. This follows a nice scene where Purdey confronts Steed's girlfriend, Jo, at gunpoint; Steed refuses to "ransack through a lady's personal possessions" but eventually does, and finds proof of Jo's treachery. His homily about being married to his job is saved by Patrick's deft acting. Gambit and Purdey get some more good exchanges as they frantically pursue Petrov's helicopter in a car.

Umbrella, Charm and a Bowler Hat?: Gambit delays in revealing his presence to Purdey, as she half-undresses. So she treads on Gambit's tummy. Steed hits a lady! (By accident, and she is a Soviet spy lurking in his undergrowth).

Bizarre?: As usual, security around "Steed's Stud" is poor; enemy agents come and go at will. The white cross on Steed's car looks daft. Steed treats a thumped eye with a pork chop. The soundtrack's "rattle" nearly every time the cards are read (or referred to) becomes very distracting.

Epic?: Lots and lots of characters come and go but all economically choreographed. A light, Avengerish feel. The "old friends revealed to be suborned by the enemy" before it became a bit of a New Avengers cliché. This story could have done with more wit in the dialogue, but some bits stand out: the scene of Jo, Steed's paramour, reacting to the Cathy/Emma/Tara pictures is fun.

The minor eccentrics are acceptable - Purdey's stepfather (a kick-fighting bishop), Frank Thornton's supine rosarian, Cartney the latest of The Avengers' traditional dodgy undertakers. Sadly there is no tag scene as such, and Purdey calling Steed "beautiful" is strange, but touchingly right for their relationship.

Mercifully, there are no crash-bang car chases like in the previous episode, and no wig-out music either.

On Target? (Score): A respectable two bowlers out of four, but somehow it all doesn't quite gel. 6/10.
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NickP
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 17, 2013 12:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

8.

I really enjoyed this one, particularly the closing scenes around Turville and the windmill. Gambit would find it much easier to fly that helicopter from the pilot's seat though!
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shaunodan
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Joined: 04 Jan 2014
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 04, 2014 3:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Purdey's fighting style shows a unique element when she stays on her back on the ground and uses a legs only approach on her opponent ! Purdey's banter with Gambit is good ' Well ! How good do I look? ... and Mike's response Wink Is this rare for Purdey ... confronting an opponent (Steed's girlfriend Jo here) at Gunpoint ? ...what does this case say Question Love Frankymole's analysis Smile
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Spaceship Dispatcher
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 13, 2014 2:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm always going to enjoy a good Cold War espionage drama, and this was pretty good. Peter Jeffrey is always good value and a cunning villain of the highest order but there were some other notable if brief guest appearances with Frank Thornton, Jeremy Wilkin (Blake's 7: The Way Back) and Annette Andre (Randall & Hopkirk) all having a few lines and some good scenes. The rescue scene at the beginning of the episode, with Purdey's cheerleaders, was inventive and obviously aimed at the US audience. Probably my favourite scene in this episode is a comic one, where Steed is entertaining a lady visitor in his flat and ends up talking at cross purposes about three photos; she is looking at photos of Cathy, Emma and Tara while Steed is talking about horses. Its funnier to watch than explain, so I'll leave it there; but its pure comic genius!
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Frankymole
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 13, 2014 4:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

When I originally wrote my review (for David K. Smith's site) years ago, I was lukewarm about this episode, but now I am a big fan of it. It improves with time, and rewatching. The guest actors are all very good and sell a rather loveably outlandish story.
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Lhbizness
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2014 5:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I enjoy this episode a great deal, but I always found the "women as horses" discussion a little crass. Not on the part of Steed, who legitimately doesn't get that his girlfriend is asking about the picture of the women, but on the part of the writers who thought it was a good idea to demean them like that. It's just bad taste and a poor attempt at a joke. (Although I rather like the notion of Tara being sold to an Arabian prince...)
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Darren
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2014 11:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was very indifferent to this episode the first time as it felt like filler until the episodes I wanted to see turned up.

But it's definitely grown on me. I love the pre-titles with Purdey organising the fangirls, craving for a piece of Mike.Very Happy

I've never really cared for the photos/horse gag especially as it seems to be a not so subtle dig at Linda's weight.

Steed is still a little dry at that point in TNA (I never really liked the whole girlfriend of the week stuff) but Purdey and Gambit have some great scenes together.

I really like Purdey's dress for the scene of her visiting Annette Andre's characters house.

Purdey's fight with the always dependable Peter Jeffrey is funny with the returned slap.

8/10
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Lhbizness
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2014 11:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh, I also wish that Annette Andre and Macnee had at least one scene together (which I don't think they do?) They're so charming together in Mandrake that it would have been a great addition. She'd have made a good recurring character, actually.

I don't mind the "girlfriend of the week" theme, especially in this one which allows for an opening of Steed's character a bit more and his distress when he realizes she's trying to kill him.

I missed the dig at Linda's weight - which is ridiculous anyways, as none of the Avengers women can possibly be called less than svelte. But the whole thing is distasteful and it's a shame to lay it at the door of Steed, given that he'd rarely be so crass.
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Timeless A-Peel
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 24, 2014 4:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I really enjoy this one as well. Everyone's settled into their roles a bit, and things have started to click along. Peter Jeffrey's always good value, too.

The mix-up with the horse pictures is a highlight, and done in good fun. The whole point is for it to get progressively more and more outrageous and unbelievable given what we know about the characters. Joanna gets wound up along with us until Steed clears up the confusion for us all. Obviously we know that none of the women would tolerate such fates, and the punchline is that we actually believe it for a second. They pull the same wrongfooting trick later on when Steed talks about his "one and only marriage." None of characters are affected by it. The people really having fun poked at them are the viewers who were gullible enough to believe that any of it was true. We fall for it, then realise we should have known better.

I also suspect that the bit about "liking her oats too much" is meant to be misconstrued as a comment on sexual appetites, rather than Linda's weight, which has honestly never occurred to me. Given the nature of the Steed/Tara relationship, it seems to make sense and confirm that Steed and Tara "did it". Then they rectify the confusion, and we go back to not knowing.
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Lhbizness
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 24, 2014 5:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It just seems such an easy joke. I'm glad that we realize Steed isn't actually calling the women that he worked with "fillies" or reducing them to poor metaphors about oats and taking the whip to them. The show just reduces them without making the leading man into a total jerk, thank God.

I like TNA a great deal in many ways, but there are times when it goes for the easy laughs/puns - here and in some of the Purdey/Gambit repartee throughout. It always seems to be trying a little too hard to recapture the magic, as it were, and just winds up being a bit crass when it's not being out and out sexist. It got better as time went on, I think.
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Charlie Parker
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PostPosted: Thu May 01, 2014 2:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A nice solid spy vs spy story which is what for me has an air of the videotaped episodes about it. 6/10
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shaunodan
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PostPosted: Fri May 02, 2014 7:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is Purdey the only Avenger Girl who could fight on her back Question Love her ...Well , how good do I look to Gambit Question Cool
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Frankymole
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PostPosted: Fri May 02, 2014 7:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think Emma does some fighting on her back in one - where she's just come out of the river and has wet hair. Can't remember which episode though it is one of the colour ones.
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Lhbizness
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PostPosted: Fri May 02, 2014 7:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Frankymole wrote:
I think Emma does some fighting on her back in one - where she's just come out of the river and has wet hair. Can't remember which episode though it is one of the colour ones.


The Bird Who Knew Too Much?
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Timeless A-Peel
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PostPosted: Fri May 02, 2014 8:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Frankymole wrote:
I think Emma does some fighting on her back in one - where she's just come out of the river and has wet hair. Can't remember which episode though it is one of the colour ones.


Isn't it You Have Just Been Murdered? She climbs in the river to retrieve the suitcase, then has a fight. She drags her opponent onto the bank and then holds him in place using her ankles. She doesn't really fight him there, though--the fight's pretty much over by that point and she's using it as a hold.

I love that scene because she magically produces a towel from nowhere and proceeds to dry her hair while she interrogates the guy. Multi-tasking at its finest. Laughing
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Lhbizness
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PostPosted: Fri May 02, 2014 8:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It might happen in both, but I know that she dives into the pool in The Bird Who Knew Too Much, drags the assassin out of the pool, and holds his neck between her ankles while drying her hair. I haven't watched You Have Just Been Murdered in awhile - something similar might happen there too.
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Timeless A-Peel
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PostPosted: Fri May 02, 2014 9:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lhbizness wrote:
It might happen in both, but I know that she dives into the pool in The Bird Who Knew Too Much, drags the assassin out of the pool, and holds his neck between her ankles while drying her hair. I haven't watched You Have Just Been Murdered in awhile - something similar might happen there too.


You're right--it's Bird. She gets ahold of a gun in Murdered so she doesn't need to use her feet. Murdered's the one with her magical wet-to-dry hair, so she doesn't need a towel. Wink
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