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5.23 - Murdersville

 
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Rate Murdersville
10
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 31%  [ 7 ]
9
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Total Votes : 22

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peabody
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Joined: 16 Oct 2009
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 11, 2013 9:33 pm    Post subject: 5.23 - Murdersville Reply with quote

Discuss, review and rate Murdersville, production completed Friday 25th August 1967.

Teleplay by Brian Clemens
Directed by Robert Asher
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cyberrich
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Joined: 05 Sep 2008
Posts: 1014
Location: Midlands, U.K.

PostPosted: Sun Sep 29, 2013 5:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I will probably be shot down in flames here, as several people on this forum hate this episode, but I have to say that I LOVE it Exclamation Some people are not comfortable with the sadistic elements of the story, but it is really quite tame compared to the nastiness seen on TV today. In Murdersville, there is a reason for the willing participation of the villagers silence providing a cover for the murderers, albeit the oldest reason in the book, greed and the taste for money. I like the idea of a beautiful sunny village hiding a sinister secret. The only scene that makes me squirm is where the lance pierces one of the villains in the library, but even this is done in the best Avengers tradition. Theatrically, and with no bloodshed.
Emma's running into the middle of the field is, as has often been pointed out, an uncharacteristically mindless action on Emma's part, but I think we have to suspend our disbelief every now and then for the story's sake. And of course, artistically, they wanted that shot with the helicopter closing down on Emma!
The very best season 5 episode. 10/10 Exclamation Rich.
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Darren
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 29, 2013 12:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't think you'll get flamed as it appears to be a very popular episode with many people.

Not for me though.Smile

It's difficult for me to say it's an outright bad episode as it's very powerful but there's just something that isn't Avengers for me. It's more like an episode of Hammer House of Mystery and Suspence.

You have a picture postcard village, normal villagers and for some money they agree to turn a blind eye to murder and a few characters get to express their own sadistic tendencies.

The Avengers of this period is crazed scientists, loopy foreign agents, reclusive eccentrics, evil organisations. In a distorted way, it's too real, these people corrupted by their greed. Mickle and Hubert are just a bit much for me. The tormenting through destroying all the crockery and furniture etc. They know the life of this person is doomed so they really go for it.

Diana Rigg getting to emote at the death of her friend is a rare and precious moment. For pretty much the first time in her whole era, you really sense her in danger. All these people and she can't trust any of them. They can't be humoured as daft eccentrics, these people are dangerous as they agree with just one dissenting voice.

Then it all ends in a funny custard pie fight and a tag where Emma can't remove her helmet.

I don't like Robert Asher's direction either. I think the visuals would have to have been more stylish to win me over. I'm not keen on the music either.

4/10
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Rhonda
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Joined: 19 Jan 2010
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PostPosted: Sat May 09, 2015 2:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I gave 9
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Avengerholic
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Joined: 01 Sep 2008
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 17, 2016 3:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Watched this again yesterday evening. It's such an entertaining episode, the only thing I found jarring was Emma's almost instant recovery from finding her life long friend dead, even to the point of being positively jocular !! The ducking stool incident still gives me the chills, quite an unpleasant scene to watch. The custard pie finale is far too comical for the darker tone of the episode. Even without the detail, and the sight of blood, Emma spearing the chap through the chest is a bit much. Why she sticks the helmet on is beyond me, I can only assume it was a vehicle to lead into the tag scene. Still, all in all one of my favourite episodes.
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Mona
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Joined: 25 May 2010
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2017 11:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have to agree with what has been said. I did not like Emma putting Steed to the side for her old friend, and we can see Steed wasn't really too happy with that, either, though he tries to hide it. It was heart wrenching to see Emma react honestly with shock and sadness at the death of her friend.

And, yes, her extreme idiocy running around in circles under the helicopter while the thick woods are, what, 20 feet away, still amuses me to this day. As I've said before, if people want to think Emma had a higher IQ than Steed, okay, but without a doubt, we see Steed having much more developed street smarts than Emma. That scene is almost as funny as Emma getting another letter from someone she doesn't know and trampling off to some secluded house where she runs into trouble and has to be rescued again by Steed.

I do think it was out of sync with the serious tone of murderous villagers to lighten it up with the pie fight, as others have said. And, yes, thrusting a spear through someone's chest is an intense action and the lack of emotional feeling from Emma doing that is hard to watch.

Take Steed shooting Henry, (How To Succeed...At Murder), after Steed in 5 seconds figures out Henry is controlling the ventriloquist dummy (vs. Emma having spent HOURS in the class for several days and still being clueless; nota bene--see street smarts comparison comment above). Steed doesn't look happy having done that rare action of his, killing a person with a gun. It helps the viewer to see his subtle but clear reaction. He doesn't LIKE killing.

I'm not too sure about Emma! (As in--flippantly machine gunning nearly a dozen men under the ground, yes, to save Steed, but without any real emotional concerns for her actions). Not that I want angst and hand-wringing, but a little normal human emotions are helpful. Perhaps that is why I like Purdey best as my favorite Avenger woman; she had normal emotions and I enjoyed seeing them.

So, although the episode was a little awkward in its mixture of seriousness and lightness, overall, it was well done. At least, for an episode will less Steed than I want/need, it wasn't such as bore like Epic or The Joker was (until Steed showed up again).

Mona
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frank
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2017 7:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The concept of the episode is as pure an Emma Peel story as you get - especially from Brian Clemens.

It strains a little bit of credibility that so many people would willingly to e accomplices to murder but the story itself is intriguing enough to get past that. At least there were hold outs. Although you would think people would notice the local constable was not around or reporting

But what gets me is not how foolish and stupid Emma behaves. It's that she behaves that way only because the script needs her to. It's a similar situation with Clemens' script for Pandora.

The whole scene with the helicopter is just the final chain of a lot of stupid actions on her.

After she beats up the doctor, she doesn't bother to restrain him so he won't give her away or interrogate him to find out what's going on? she doesn't even bother taking his gun?!! We know she has no problem weilding a firearm

She's in a village with dangerous people she can't trust and she knows some of them are murderers. Yet she wanders around out in the open! she doesn't even try to stay out of sight.

By all rights Emma should have just taken the doctor's car, snuck out of Little Storping and come back with Steed.

There should have been a better scheme of events that could have been plotted out for Emma getting captured without looking like a dimwitted victim in a second rate slasher film
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Mona
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Joined: 25 May 2010
Posts: 553
Location: Mesa, AZ

PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2017 7:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

frank wrote:
The concept of the episode is as pure an Emma Peel story as you get - especially from Brian Clemens.

It strains a little bit of credibility that so many people would willingly to e accomplices to murder but the story itself is intriguing enough to get past that. At least there were hold outs. Although you would think people would notice the local constable was not around or reporting

But what gets me is not how foolish and stupid Emma behaves. It's that she behaves that way only because the script needs her to. It's a similar situation with Clemens' script for Pandora.

The whole scene with the helicopter is just the final chain of a lot of stupid actions on her.

After she beats up the doctor, she doesn't bother to restrain him so he won't give her away or interrogate him to find out what's going on? she doesn't even bother taking his gun?!! We know she has no problem weilding a firearm

She's in a village with dangerous people she can't trust and she knows some of them are murderers. Yet she wanders around out in the open! she doesn't even try to stay out of sight.

By all rights Emma should have just taken the doctor's car, snuck out of Little Storping and come back with Steed.

There should have been a better scheme of events that could have been plotted out for Emma getting captured without looking like a dimwitted victim in a second rate slasher film


Yes, all good points. Those actions all have Emma look either stupid, or completely out of her league.

And, that is so weird--Emma Peel was designed to be equal to Steed (although, in reality, who can be equal to Steed?), or if not wholly equal, at least a highly competent amateur agent. In some episodes, we do see her shine like that.

In episodes like this,however, where she makes gaffe after gaffe, one wonders if writers/producers/directors forgot who the character was supposed to be, and the impression she was supposed to make on the audience. I also wonder if Diana Rigg or Patrick Macnee showed some discontent with how Emma was being portrayed. Even after 50 years, her actions continue to stand out as problematic.

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Sam
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Joined: 02 Sep 2008
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 20, 2017 5:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

frank wrote:
The concept of the episode is as pure an Emma Peel story as you get - especially from Brian Clemens.

It strains a little bit of credibility that so many people would willingly to e accomplices to murder but the story itself is intriguing enough to get past that. At least there were hold outs. Although you would think people would notice the local constable was not around or reporting

But what gets me is not how foolish and stupid Emma behaves. It's that she behaves that way only because the script needs her to. It's a similar situation with Clemens' script for Pandora.

The whole scene with the helicopter is just the final chain of a lot of stupid actions on her.

After she beats up the doctor, she doesn't bother to restrain him so he won't give her away or interrogate him to find out what's going on? she doesn't even bother taking his gun?!! We know she has no problem weilding a firearm

She's in a village with dangerous people she can't trust and she knows some of them are murderers. Yet she wanders around out in the open! she doesn't even try to stay out of sight.

By all rights Emma should have just taken the doctor's car, snuck out of Little Storping and come back with Steed.

There should have been a better scheme of events that could have been plotted out for Emma getting captured without looking like a dimwitted victim in a second rate slasher film


I agree 100% with that assessment. Even though I do enjoy a rewatch of this ep from time to time, Emma's actions have always seemed out-of-character to me as well. Something more along the lines of Tara under John Bryce.
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