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4.03 - Dial a Deadly Number

 
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Rate Dial a Deadly Number
10
26%
 26%  [ 6 ]
9
13%
 13%  [ 3 ]
8
30%
 30%  [ 7 ]
7
26%
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6
0%
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5
0%
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4
0%
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3
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2
4%
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1
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Total Votes : 23

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peabody
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 11, 2013 9:13 pm    Post subject: 4.03 - Dial a Deadly Number Reply with quote

Discuss, review and rate Dial a Deadly Number, produced mid Monday 11th January 1965 to c. Friday 22nd January 1965.

Teleplay by Roger Marshall
Directed by Don Leaver
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Rodders
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 11, 2013 12:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Claustrophobic studio-bound with one of the best ever Avengers scenes: the wine duel. What could be more Avengerish?
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anti-clockwise
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 18, 2014 9:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The murder weapon here of a cell phone like beeper in the shirt pocket being programmed from afar to kill with a deadly needle, is actually before its time. This method of killing is in a way similar to what Dick Cheney, previous vice president in the US, was fearful of. He had a pacemaker and he feared that from afar a terrorist could tamper with his device and kill him. I think Roger Marshall's idea was way ahead of its time.

The theme of greed in this episode involving bankers, is ageless. I was thinking of the recent mortgage debacle involving bank schemes.

The parody and humour around the elite and their fine wines is also timeless. And of course as many have pointed out, the idea of a cell phone pager is actually before its time.

I have to admit the witticisms carried the show. The plot of an honest banker being swindled seems unlikely.

And one very minor point. The method of murder and instant death by ways of a needle into the heart is uncertain and maybe even unlikely. I was curious so I looked it up and there have been several medical reports of patients putting sewing needles into their hearts and surviving. I think the problem lies that the pager as a murder weapon can never be precisely placed. In todays world there would be imaging to be more precise. Although I have to say it is more likely that eventually you might slowly bleed to death but that might take awhile. Just some triviality.
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mousemeat
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2014 10:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

anti-clockwise wrote:
The murder weapon here of a cell phone like beeper in the shirt pocket being programmed from afar to kill with a deadly needle, is actually before its time. This method of killing is in a way similar to what Dick Cheney, previous vice president in the US, was fearful of. He had a pacemaker and he feared that from afar a terrorist could tamper with his device and kill him. I think Roger Marshall's idea was way ahead of its time.

The theme of greed in this episode involving bankers, is ageless. I was thinking of the recent mortgage debacle involving bank schemes.

The parody and humour around the elite and their fine wines is also timeless. And of course as many have pointed out, the idea of a cell phone pager is actually before its time.

I have to admit the witticisms carried the show. The plot of an honest banker being swindled seems unlikely.

And one very minor point. The method of murder and instant death by ways of a needle into the heart is uncertain and maybe even unlikely. I was curious so I looked it up and there have been several medical reports of patients putting sewing needles into their hearts and surviving. I think the problem lies that the pager as a murder weapon can never be precisely placed. In todays world there would be imaging to be more precise. Although I have to say it is more likely that eventually you might slowly bleed to death but that might take awhile. Just some triviality.
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I would concur...Marshall's script broke new ground...and the pager as an potential weapon, was brilliant..and scary...in that era....I remember seeing the first similar type pagers...and they were both amazing and scary in my mind...and thinking back to this episode, which I saw as a teen...reminded me how spooky at times, the show could be...The monochrome scripts, and episodes, were clearly the PEAK of the run
of the avengers...not too many misfires...and the acting was top notch
before boredom set in...Would this show,been improved filming in color?
Probably not...then again, they can always colorized it...LOL
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anti-clockwise
The Bird Who Wrote Too Much


Joined: 17 May 2013
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2014 1:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mousemeat wrote:
anti-clockwise wrote:
The murder weapon here of a cell phone like beeper in the shirt pocket being programmed from afar to kill with a deadly needle, is actually before its time. This method of killing is in a way similar to what Dick Cheney, previous vice president in the US, was fearful of. He had a pacemaker and he feared that from afar a terrorist could tamper with his device and kill him. I think Roger Marshall's idea was way ahead of its time.

The theme of greed in this episode involving bankers, is ageless. I was thinking of the recent mortgage debacle involving bank schemes.

The parody and humour around the elite and their fine wines is also timeless. And of course as many have pointed out, the idea of a cell phone pager is actually before its time.

I have to admit the witticisms carried the show. The plot of an honest banker being swindled seems unlikely.

And one very minor point. The method of murder and instant death by ways of a needle into the heart is uncertain and maybe even unlikely. I was curious so I looked it up and there have been several medical reports of patients putting sewing needles into their hearts and surviving. I think the problem lies that the pager as a murder weapon can never be precisely placed. In todays world there would be imaging to be more precise. Although I have to say it is more likely that eventually you might slowly bleed to death but that might take awhile. Just some triviality.
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I would concur...Marshall's script broke new ground...and the pager as an potential weapon, was brilliant..and scary...in that era....I remember seeing the first similar type pagers...and they were both amazing and scary in my mind...and thinking back to this episode, which I saw as a teen...reminded me how spooky at times, the show could be...The monochrome scripts, and episodes, were clearly the PEAK of the run
of the avengers...not too many misfires...and the acting was top notch
before boredom set in...Would this show,been improved filming in color?
Probably not...then again, they can always colorized it...LOL

I think Dial fits better in B and W
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mousemeat
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PostPosted: Sun May 18, 2014 12:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

anti-clockwise wrote:
mousemeat wrote:
anti-clockwise wrote:
The murder weapon here of a cell phone like beeper in the shirt pocket being programmed from afar to kill with a deadly needle, is actually before its time. This method of killing is in a way similar to what Dick Cheney, previous vice president in the US, was fearful of. He had a pacemaker and he feared that from afar a terrorist could tamper with his device and kill him. I think Roger Marshall's idea was way ahead of its time.

The theme of greed in this episode involving bankers, is ageless. I was thinking of the recent mortgage debacle involving bank schemes.

The parody and humour around the elite and their fine wines is also timeless. And of course as many have pointed out, the idea of a cell phone pager is actually before its time.

I have to admit the witticisms carried the show. The plot of an honest banker being swindled seems unlikely.

And one very minor point. The method of murder and instant death by ways of a needle into the heart is uncertain and maybe even unlikely. I was curious so I looked it up and there have been several medical reports of patients putting sewing needles into their hearts and surviving. I think the problem lies that the pager as a murder weapon can never be precisely placed. In todays world there would be imaging to be more precise. Although I have to say it is more likely that eventually you might slowly bleed to death but that might take awhile. Just some triviality.
_________________


I would concur...Marshall's script broke new ground...and the pager as an potential weapon, was brilliant..and scary...in that era....I remember seeing the first similar type pagers...and they were both amazing and scary in my mind...and thinking back to this episode, which I saw as a teen...reminded me how spooky at times, the show could be...The monochrome scripts, and episodes, were clearly the PEAK of the run
of the avengers...not too many misfires...and the acting was top notch
before boredom set in...Would this show,been improved filming in color?
Probably not...then again, they can always colorized it...LOL

I think Dial fits better in B and W


yes, after recently viewing it again...and it looks just fine in b & w...colour simply would have added nothing to the visual landscape.
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Lhbizness
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PostPosted: Mon May 19, 2014 1:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another favorite (really, I should just list the episodes from Season 4 that aren't my favorite, of which there are...maybe one?). But I like the very noir plot. It's not quite a throwback to the Cathy Gale era - the boardroom machinations, the sly conversations at dinner, the wine duel, the sadistic villain...all very much in keeping with Season 4, but doing something different with the formula. The wine duel has almost nothing to do with the final outcome, and Boardman is actually not the villain, but it's one of the tensest and well-shot sequences in The Avengers. This and The Hour that Never Was are practically stand-alone short stories.

The undercurrent of sexual rivalry plays out beautifully here. Mrs. Boardman is venal and delicious, and her flirtations with Steed packed with tension. The same goes for the relationship between Steed and Mrs. Peel - they're very competitive, from Steed's challenging of her story about being from Barbados, to her annoyance at his comment about Mrs. Boardman's promiscuity. There's a battle going on here, and Macnee and Rigg give it a subtlety that means it's present, but doesn't override the rest of the episode.

For the total spectrum of enjoyment, from noir-tinged darkness to light and bubbly, I put the whole of Season 4 up against anything in the rest of the series. No two characters complement each other the way Steed and Mrs. Peel do. There's a reason why they're icons.
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Frankymole
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PostPosted: Mon May 19, 2014 2:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some viewers detect a distasteful undertone of misogyny in the clock-maker/beep-maker character and his interaction with Mrs Peel... I'm sure that's excusable though, in a villain.
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Lhbizness
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PostPosted: Mon May 19, 2014 3:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Frankymole wrote:
Some viewers detect a distasteful undertone of misogyny in the clock-maker/beep-maker character and his interaction with Mrs Peel... I'm sure that's excusable though, in a villain.


Definitely. It's a very disturbing scene, and one of those instances of the threat of sexual violence in the series that is quite uncomfortable. It's also dismissed rather quickly (by locking her in a cupboard), so I'm not certain what we're to make of it. It's a question of whether it's the misogyny of the character or a misogyny in the show - I personally think it's the former, but there's a lot of complicated sexual dynamics going on this episode. I'd have to think about it.
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Frankymole
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PostPosted: Wed May 21, 2014 6:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Agreed - I still can't come to a conclusion. John Carson is a very careful and skilful actor though, so he certainly would have developed the portrayal and scenes with great attention to the director's intentions and the script.

It'd be interesting to know how the writer thinks about it these days, compared to how he felt about it at the time (if his writing wasn't "story edited" to within an inch of its life).
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anti-clockwise
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PostPosted: Wed May 21, 2014 7:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Frankymole wrote:
Agreed - I still can't come to a conclusion. John Carson is a very careful and skilful actor though, so he certainly would have developed the portrayal and scenes with great attention to the director's intentions and the script.

It'd be interesting to know how the writer thinks about it these days, compared to how he felt about it at the time (if his writing wasn't "story edited" to within an inch of its life).
That was Roger Marshall's script through and through and he had more time with it than the usual script. I agree that scene with Mrs. Peel was very violent and misogynistic but i think the villain was fair and non discriminating in that regard. The hatred and I think homoerotic charge he got from sticking needles in mens' hearts he clearly relished and I think was just as sexual and violently perverted. He seemed more interested in men than women to me. But the reason I think it may draw more attention is it is right in our face seeing him with Mrs. Peel, whereas with the men he was metaphorically sexually killing, it was remote and less apparent.

I thought he was truly one of the creepiest villains in TA but his scenes were so short it was also short lived in the viewer's mind as well.
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Lhbizness
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PostPosted: Wed May 21, 2014 7:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

anti-clockwise wrote:
Frankymole wrote:
Agreed - I still can't come to a conclusion. John Carson is a very careful and skilful actor though, so he certainly would have developed the portrayal and scenes with great attention to the director's intentions and the script.

It'd be interesting to know how the writer thinks about it these days, compared to how he felt about it at the time (if his writing wasn't "story edited" to within an inch of its life).
That was Roger Marshall's script through and through and he had more time with it than the usual script. I agree that scene with Mrs. Peel was very violent and misogynistic but i think the villain was fair and non discriminating in that regard. The hatred and I think homoerotic charge he got from sticking needles in mens' hearts he clearly relished and I think was just as sexual and violently perverted. He seemed more interested in men than women to me. But the reason I think it may draw more attention is it is right in our face seeing him with Mrs. Peel, whereas with the men he was metaphorically sexually killing, it was remote and less apparent.

I thought he was truly one of the creepiest villains in TA but his scenes were so short it was also short lived in the viewer's mind as well.


I don't particularly think that the villain in this case equals an inherent misogyny in the script or in the show, but rather in the character. Structurally at least, the episode doesn't demonstrate any kind of sexist or misogynistic undertones that I can find (and I'm pretty good at finding those) although the characters might be said to - I always find Steed's little reference to Mrs. Boardman's promiscuity interesting, as well as Mrs. Peel's reaction.

Very interesting point about his enjoyment in killing men. He's faced with killing a woman and obviously gets a sadistic charge out of the "tenderness" with which he'll murder her. His unzipping of the catsuit (near her breast) is what changes the dynamic - suddenly there's a sexual threat inherent in the physical threat.
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Frankymole
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PostPosted: Wed May 21, 2014 7:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lhbizness wrote:

Very interesting point about his enjoyment in killing men.
You'll love Margo's chapter about this episode in the Bright Horizons book then. It intrigued me immensely!
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Dan
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 02, 2015 12:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What a great tag scene this one has!
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Rhonda
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PostPosted: Sat May 09, 2015 2:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I gave 8
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