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6.12 - Super Secret Cypher Snatch

 
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Rate 'Super Secret Cypher Snatch'
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Total Votes : 14

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peabody
Little Wonder


Joined: 16 Oct 2009
Posts: 226
Location: MACS0647-JD

PostPosted: Sat Sep 14, 2013 8:47 am    Post subject: 6.12 - Super Secret Cypher Snatch Reply with quote

Discuss, review and rate Super Secret Cypher Snatch.

Written by Tony Williamson
Directed by John Hough
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Spaceship Dispatcher
The Ministry


Joined: 01 Jan 2014
Posts: 593
Location: Northampton

PostPosted: Fri Jan 31, 2014 9:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The design and direction of this episode is so stylish and typical of this period of the show. The use of colour, and the use of 'non-colour' with the all white uniforms, and the artistic camera angles make this a joy to watch. The narrative device of the gas attacks was effective, and the thought struck me while watching those scenes that they were something of a Goldfinger parody too. Nicholas Smith, here playing the leader of villains, had roles in at least two other classic SF dramas of the era with appearances in The Saint: The Fiction Makers and Dr Who: The Dalek Invasion of Earth. The fleet of 'window cleaners' vans looked especially good with the way the shots were directed and the vehicles driven. Of course, Patrick and Linda were both on great form too! Really enjoyed this - 8/10
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mousemeat
A Touch of Brimstone


Joined: 04 Sep 2008
Posts: 4203
Location: Elvis Central, U.S.A.

PostPosted: Fri Apr 11, 2014 11:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Spaceship Dispatcher wrote:
The design and direction of this episode is so stylish and typical of this period of the show. The use of colour, and the use of 'non-colour' with the all white uniforms, and the artistic camera angles make this a joy to watch. The narrative device of the gas attacks was effective, and the thought struck me while watching those scenes that they were something of a Goldfinger parody too. Nicholas Smith, here playing the leader of villains, had roles in at least two other classic SF dramas of the era with appearances in The Saint: The Fiction Makers and Dr Who: The Dalek Invasion of Earth. The fleet of 'window cleaners' vans looked especially good with the way the shots were directed and the vehicles driven. Of course, Patrick and Linda were both on great form too! Really enjoyed this - 8/10


pretty much good points...and the script was pretty good..on the budget they had to work with..as Steed and tara were coming into their own...
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Darren
Site Admin


Joined: 01 Sep 2008
Posts: 1740
Location: UK

PostPosted: Sat Apr 12, 2014 1:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

10/10

Tony Williamson was a writer who could deliver some great notions to the Avengers. Window cleaners as a front for stealing secrets. There are some nice surreal moments that remind me of The Hour that Never Was what with people being seemingly absent. I like it when the show exploits emptiness. The whole thing with the photo is quite clever in how they're puzzled by what it means until Steed spots the cigarette.

John Hough after years of being second unit director finally gets to helm his own episode and he really shines. It's seems effortlessly stylish, he adds dynamism to the fights and set pieces. The car chase with the ladder is so superb (and makes good use of music from Death's Door). I love Mother's offices, that bizarre large space with the toy lorries and out in a field (I love that field which also appears in Game - it feels so summery).

Macnee looks so handsome in this episode (I'm a fan of the sideburns personally:)) and Linda looks stunning and has some very flattering outfits. They both shine. I love Angela Scoular (sadly deceased) as Myra - she just screams sixties.
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Lhbizness
How to Succeed... at Posting!


Joined: 01 Feb 2014
Posts: 975

PostPosted: Fri Jun 06, 2014 12:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Maybe I'm just not getting into the spirit of the proceedings, but I found this one dull. Not bad - just dull. A few sequences went on for far too long, framed in either long shots or extreme close-ups, which had the effect of not being engaged with the action on either level - as in the fight between Steed and one of the window cleaners nearing the end. Tara once again has almost no discernible effect on the plot except to be put in danger, leaving it to Steed to do all the heavy lifting (mental and physical) until the very end.

I found the mis-en-scene uninteresting, by and large, with the exception of the CGC interior - though what the point was with Steed's comically large fountain pen, I cannot quite discern. I often feel like this series of the show tries for some sort of an absurd, surreal effect but rarely fully dedicates itself to the absurdity, either in terms of the physical surroundings or the performances, which just results in a sense of unfulfilled potential. It's all attempts at style that don't carry through the entire episode - like Mother's random office locations. Very nice for a screencap, but the style is not reinforced by any sort of dynamism within the plot itself. I think this one has some problems with pacing.

Both leads deliver their lines with such seriousness that I can only fault the direction - Thorson in particular needs to learn to speak faster and with more intonation, but Macnee has the same problem sometimes, so I think it might be direction.

In other words: I found this unimpressive at best, though I agree Macnee looks very handsome.
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Avengers Episode Reviews: The Undertakers
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Rhonda
Winged Avenger


Joined: 19 Jan 2010
Posts: 677
Location: A town, UK

PostPosted: Sat Nov 29, 2014 12:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

7 from me. Like the plot.
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Brigadier Q
Nutshell


Joined: 18 Jan 2015
Posts: 15
Location: London 1968

PostPosted: Tue Jan 27, 2015 5:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quintessential Avengers stuff herein!

I very much enjoyed this episode, one I had not watched as a child. Loved the whole concept and the white bowler hatted villains. I can't believe they could afford the fleet of vans and extras involved in this expensive looking episode.

Well worth it though, a Classicly memorable Avengers Summer episode. Plus we still have one of those ladders to this day.

I am enjoying this series! (Watching in London Regional Order, BTW)
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TrueIndigo
Thingumajig


Joined: 28 Aug 2015
Posts: 68
Location: UK

PostPosted: Wed Sep 02, 2015 3:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mother's unusual office spaces are always fun in the Tara King season, but the one in this episode has a strange detail. The generally featureless area inexplicably contains large, highly detailed models of white tanker trucks on the floor, and though Steed briefly looks at them with some interest, nothing is ever made of this. Why are they even there, they seem so out of place - if that is possible in an Avengers episode! Was it a case of editing for length and the explanation of the trucks ended up in the editing bin (I suppose access to a script would answer that). Or, perhaps they were models created for an effects sequence from another film and, since they were around the studio, it was thought a fun and surreal idea to have them in this scene (might even be an in joke of some kind). If that is correct, one contender might be the Michael Caine film Billion Dollar Brain which was released in 1967 and featured a fleet of white tanker trucks (though I don't have that movie on video to check if they are the exact same type of lorry). Those white tankers might have been duplicated in miniature for certain model shots in the climatic sequence on the ice, and if so, the special effects models might have found their way to Elstree and been hanging around at the time this episode was shot - production on Super Secret Cypher Snatch was completed in June, 1968. Any one have any ideas?
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MikeR
Epic


Joined: 19 Jul 2009
Posts: 1091
Location: UK

PostPosted: Wed Sep 02, 2015 10:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

True

You're quite correct the model tankers were originally built by Shawcraft for Billion Dollar Brain and presumably they were in storage in Elstree Studios at the time.
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TrueIndigo
Thingumajig


Joined: 28 Aug 2015
Posts: 68
Location: UK

PostPosted: Thu Sep 03, 2015 2:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the confirmation, Mike. As well as the stories and characters, I do like the production design in The Avengers - it's a memorable characteristic of the show. Recently bought your generously detailed book by the way - it's a great read for anyone interested in The Avengers.
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MikeR
Epic


Joined: 19 Jul 2009
Posts: 1091
Location: UK

PostPosted: Thu Sep 03, 2015 3:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

True

Many thanks for the kind words regarding Bowler Hats and Kinky Boots.
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highflyingbird
White Dwarf


Joined: 09 Dec 2013
Posts: 9

PostPosted: Fri Dec 09, 2016 8:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've always found it very curious that when Tara slides down the ladder from the dead photographer's window and then gives Steed a little wave from the ground, she has a completely different hair style at the bottom from the one she departed with! Curls at the top, combed flat at the bottom! Always wonder how no one picked up on that at the time.
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