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2.20 - School for Traitors

 
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Rate 'School For Traitors'
10
28%
 28%  [ 2 ]
9
14%
 14%  [ 1 ]
8
0%
 0%  [ 0 ]
7
28%
 28%  [ 2 ]
6
0%
 0%  [ 0 ]
5
14%
 14%  [ 1 ]
4
0%
 0%  [ 0 ]
3
0%
 0%  [ 0 ]
2
14%
 14%  [ 1 ]
1
0%
 0%  [ 0 ]
Total Votes : 7

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Rhonda
Winged Avenger


Joined: 19 Jan 2010
Posts: 666
Location: A town, UK

PostPosted: Thu Sep 12, 2013 4:54 am    Post subject: 2.20 - School for Traitors Reply with quote

Venus Smith episode, UK 9 February 1963

I really Like this one; 7/10.
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Last edited by Rhonda on Mon Sep 23, 2013 6:08 am; edited 1 time in total
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Frankymole
A Touch of Brimstone


Joined: 01 Sep 2008
Posts: 4007
Location: Carmadoc research establishment

PostPosted: Sun Sep 22, 2013 9:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Disliked this one. My review:

http://www.theavengers.tv/forever/gale1-20vr.htm#2

The Avenged?: Some feckless college students.

Diabolical Masterminds?: Blackmailers recruiting bright young things as future spies. Probably less interesting than the real life McLean/Burgess case that no doubt inspired it. The best line is from the ringleader, the expansive publican (bar manager) Higby: "Why is it that beer always tastes so much better after closing time?"

The Avengers?: Venus's fourth transmitted story. She still moves rather like a puppet with tangled strings. She and Steed call each other "love" occasionally, and seem to be friends at last, so I'm led to think that the antagonism is now reserved for Steed/Cathy.

Umbrella, Charm and a Bowler Hat?: Eventually. Venus fends off East who is quite smitten with her; it's unclear why, as he's a thoroughly pleasant chap and is even happy to accompany her on guitar. Foolish girl!

Bizarre?: No, but a bit of a slog. No mystery whatsoever, and ho-hum direction. A reasonable college quadrangle set, which gets overused and becomes obviously indoors, despite Venus saying what a lovely change it is to sing outdoors for a week. The most bizarre thing is that One-Seven shows up at the college to assign Steed the case, since Steed has already set up Venus to look after one the first of the blackmail victims. Why does One-Seven need to be there (apart from ABC saving on another set) even as an exposition device he adds nothing that couldn't have been explained by Steed to Venus, and he must have rushed a bit to beat Steed's speedy arrival. (Yet another boss! Steed's department seems rather top-heavy in the early years; loads of bosses but they only assign one agent, who then has to inveigle four of his reluctant acquaintances to assist him!) The villainess keeps small crocodiles because they're "elemental, like me." Er, quite.

There's a blooper as a big shadow, perhaps a production crew member, scuttles (noisily!) across the foreground in Claire Summers' hallway just before Higby reaches the door for his last scene. Venus' warning whistle is also rather feeble and breathless.

On Target? (Score): One bowler out of four (it would be two if Venus had abstained from enforced jollity with songs like "Yellow Bird" and "Put on a Happy Face," to which she is even less suited than her usual jazz repertoire). 2/10.
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Last edited by Frankymole on Tue Sep 24, 2013 6:08 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Darren
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Joined: 01 Sep 2008
Posts: 1689
Location: UK

PostPosted: Sun Sep 22, 2013 12:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

4/10

It's not all bad but I found it difficult to really like. John Standing seems to carry the episode (one of the executes wanted him as a regular).

Some blackmail plots just aren't that enjoyable.

I love the fluff scene with Macnee making a valiant attempt to keep it going.

I normally love a Venus song but these don't make me smile as much.

I don't much care for the cast in this one and the direction isn't at all stylish.
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Lhbizness
How to Succeed... at Posting!


Joined: 01 Feb 2014
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PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2014 11:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a weird affection for this episode. I don't know why - the plot's pretty ridiculous, even for The Avengers, and it isn't even the best use of Venus. I do find Julie Stevens' flub amusing, as well as Macnee's ad-libbed recovery ("Marvelous. Call me Bert"). The female baddie is one of the best in the series, actually - a truly venal, nasty piece of work, who enjoys making people suffer. Otherwise, it's a very middling episode, but I keep coming back around to it every once in awhile.
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Rhonda
Winged Avenger


Joined: 19 Jan 2010
Posts: 666
Location: A town, UK

PostPosted: Sat May 17, 2014 10:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Students and bars go together so it feels quite a likely situation in this sort of 'Coronation Street' one. The university dons popping in too makes things all the more interesting. One professor drinking beer from an (empty-looking!) tankard and licking his lips is a hoot; an early eccentric in the show for sure. But there are quite a few strong characters that Steed and Venus are up against here too, who don't let them get so much limelight. The down to earth backdrop to the story, the bar, makes it one that I enjoy watching. Must see what Venus asks for there at the start next time, I remember it's a bit cute.
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Frankymole
A Touch of Brimstone


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PostPosted: Sun May 18, 2014 1:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

With Alan Turner from Emmerdale (Farm) showing up gives it more of a Woolpack pub vibe Wink
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Spaceship Dispatcher
The Ministry


Joined: 01 Jan 2014
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 21, 2014 7:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lhbizness wrote:
I do find Julie Stevens' flub amusing, as well as Macnee's ad-libbed recovery ("Marvelous. Call me Bert")...

Its a while since I watched this one and don't remember this blooper! What happened exactly? Smile
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Lhbizness
How to Succeed... at Posting!


Joined: 01 Feb 2014
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 21, 2014 7:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Spaceship Dispatcher wrote:
Lhbizness wrote:
I do find Julie Stevens' flub amusing, as well as Macnee's ad-libbed recovery ("Marvelous. Call me Bert")...

Its a while since I watched this one and don't remember this blooper! What happened exactly? Smile


Stevens stumbles over her lines in introducing Steed/Macnee:

Venus: Jack Steed, this is John..Jack...John...John Steed, this is Jack Roberts.

Steed: Jack Steed this is Jack...anyway, marvelous!

Roberts: How do you do?

Steed: Call me Bert.
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Spaceship Dispatcher
The Ministry


Joined: 01 Jan 2014
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 21, 2014 8:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wonderful Very Happy

Thanks Lhb, I vaguelly recall it now you've described it...
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Rhonda
Winged Avenger


Joined: 19 Jan 2010
Posts: 666
Location: A town, UK

PostPosted: Wed Dec 09, 2015 7:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

When Steed's boss, One-Seven, remarks "As your literary friend says - I have found you an arguement, I am not obliged to find you an understanding", I'd no idea what he was talking about. Apparently it is an ever less known quote by Samuel Johnson. Great how Steed tolerates it and all the criticism in ths scene.

I was only looking at this bit to find out what cute drink Venus asks for at the bar - a pineapple juice! - well it was the morning.
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