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1.20 - Tunnel of Fear

 
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Rate 'Tunnel of Fear'
10
33%
 33%  [ 4 ]
9
8%
 8%  [ 1 ]
8
25%
 25%  [ 3 ]
7
8%
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6
8%
 8%  [ 1 ]
5
8%
 8%  [ 1 ]
4
0%
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3
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2
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1
8%
 8%  [ 1 ]
Total Votes : 12

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Darren
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 24, 2017 4:46 pm    Post subject: 1.20 - Tunnel of Fear Reply with quote

Written by John Kruse

Directed by Guy Verney

Production Completed: Thursday 3rd August 1961
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Darren
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2018 1:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'll leave off a score until I'm more familiar with the episode.

I've just finished watching the new dvd release.

It's so wonderful to finally see this episode and it delivers for me.

I always knew this would be a good one as the fairground setting is such an Avengers location and Steed looking getting to be a showman and look after a troupe of female dancers was always going to be fun.

Patrick Macnee obviously had lots of fun doing this episode. I'm not sure what accent he's going for with the announcements but it made me laugh. His early performances are so spirited and full of energy - he seems so much calmer and laid back by the end of the show.

Ian Hendry is so much more contained by comparison but he's still just as enjoyable to watch. I laughed at his response to the fortune teller pocketing his money. He's a very likeable performer.

It's lovely to see more of Carol. Keel tries to send her home at the beginning but she totally ignores him and just helps anyway.

Watching the three performers just makes you long for more series one to make a surprise resurfacing. And of course One-Ten is thrown in for good measure and get to provide some humour by dog sitting Juno (a gorgeous dog - such a shame...).

The more season one episodes I see, the more I prefer them to season two. The level of energy and pace is just so much more consistent. They never seem to hit a lull. The vibrancy is there throughout. It must be a credit to either the actors thrashing out the script or maybe John Bryce as script editor.

Whilst director Peter Hammond will always be one go to for the best - one off director Guy Verney certainly contributes a lot to the episode. It's a shame he didn't do more episodes as he really keeps the energy going. There's a lot of movement to the cameras. Terry Green and James Goddard's set design is wonderful, a lot of visual interest.

Yes, a strong, fun episode that doesn't disappoint.
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Ian Wegg
Have Fingers... Will Type!


Joined: 15 Sep 2011
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2018 10:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Works for me too. I agree with most of the points above, and have to say I also enjoyed this more than most of the series 2 episodes I've seen.

I thought the screaming girls were a bit over the top.

8/10
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MasterMind
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Joined: 17 Sep 2017
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2018 6:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Darren wrote:
The more season one episodes I see, the more I prefer them to season two. The level of energy and pace is just so much more consistent. They never seem to hit a lull. The vibrancy is there throughout. It must be a credit to either the actors thrashing out the script or maybe John Bryce as script editor.


I dunno. I'm not sure how you can make a blanket statement about 1 as a whole on the basis of what, three episodes? compared to the 40-something of 2 and 3.

I mean, it's absolutely great that "Tunnel of Fear" is such a terrific story with good direction and fine performances, but I'm not sure you can extrapolate about the whole rest of the season based solely on that and the not-even-handful of other eps that survive.

I'm totally willing to concede the possibility that 1 was better in some ways, but I'm not sure the evidence is there in sufficient quantity for an informed judgement on that.
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MRotten
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Joined: 14 Oct 2009
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2018 1:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The episode really didn't kick in for me until the interrogation scene, roughly 37 minutes into it. I thought Harry's mother had far too much dialogue and screen time. I think "The Frighteners" is an absolutely GREAT episode, with fabulous guest actors and razor-sharp dialogue, but "Tunnel Of Fear" doesn't match up IMHO.
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Steed3003
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Joined: 18 Sep 2008
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 21, 2018 4:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We just published our review (four stars) on Tunnel of fear, as well as additional trivia around the episode :
http://lemondedesavengers.fr/chapeau-melon-bottes-de-cuir/saisons/saison-1/the-tunnel-of-fear
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MasterMind
Thingumajig


Joined: 17 Sep 2017
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 21, 2018 7:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's another review of "Tunnel" that I cross-posted on my Avengers blog: https://therealavengers.wordpress.com/2018/04/19/the-avengers-tunnel-of-fear/[/url]
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MRotten
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PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2018 11:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Who was it, Leonard White (?) who thought Season 1 was awful? After viewing the disappointing "Tunnel Of Fear", I'm not surprised. Maybe I'm in the minority here, but Ian Hendry seems to be the least memorable Avenger, even beating out Jon Rollason and Julie Stevens for that distinction. I have a hard time warming up to him.
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QuiteQuiteFantastic
Thingumajig


Joined: 02 May 2018
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Location: Atlanta, GA, USA

PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2018 2:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Personally, I really liked "Tunnel of Fear". I think Hendry was a low-key and subtle performer whose personality and character would have taken a while to unfold. It's sad that we can't see the full season to see how it went. I sincerely doubt that Leonard White would have thought Hendry or the season was bad since they fought so hard to create a vehicle for him after the failure of Police Surgeon.

Since Jon Rollason was essentially the same character, an imitation with barely a change, it also seems improbable that his doctor could be better than Hendry's.

Venus Smith was an idea that just didn't have a place in the show, an unskilled assistant whose involvement was increasingly contrived beyond all reason with each successive adventure.

Michael
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MasterMind
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Joined: 17 Sep 2017
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PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2018 2:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

MRotten wrote:
Who was it, Leonard White (?) who thought Season 1 was awful? After viewing the disappointing "Tunnel Of Fear", I'm not surprised. Maybe I'm in the minority here, but Ian Hendry seems to be the least memorable Avenger, even beating out Jon Rollason and Julie Stevens for that distinction. I have a hard time warming up to him.


Then it's a minority of at least two, because I also find Keel ... unexciting. I've watched the surviving eps and have been reading through the surviving scripts to see whether my attitude might change, and it hasn't, so far.

I did enjoy Tunnel of Fear, but mostly because Steed is always fun to watch, and he's in his element here as the carnival barker and then later in the faceoff with the villains. As far as I can tell, Steed just seems to have been the more interesting character in Season 1 overall.

Bringing in Cathy Gale and constructing her character the way they did was probably the smartest thing they could have done to keep the show going and to improve it, and groundbreaking on so many levels. She's a much better partner for Steed in a lot of ways, and also more interesting than Keel ever was.
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QuiteQuiteFantastic
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PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2018 8:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Look at it this way. I'm not saying that Ian Hendry is great or the best companion for Steed of all time. It's just that I feel we can't judge him that well since so much is missing. Imagine if everything of the series was missing except for three episodes, one of which was primarily a mediocre Steed-based episode, kind of how "Girl on the Trapeze" is for Dr. Keel, one was a Steed-light episode like "The Frighteners", and the last one was one with a balance between the two, and all of them were from the videotaped era.

For example, "The Mauritius Penny" (balance), "Dressed to Kill" (Steed-heavy), and "The Golden Eggs" (Steed-light). We'll throw in the second part of "Hot Snow" for good measure instead of the first part, because that part introduces Steed just like part one introduces Dr. Keel. And that's all that existed. Imagine that.

How great of an impression would we have of the character? I imagine we'd probably be talking a lot more about Cathy Gale than anyone else and think that Steed was a bit boring by comparison. True, he might come across as more interesting than Dr. Keel, but not by much. And scripts don't really provide much of a clue since it's all about the actor's performance, how the words are delivered.

Michael
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Lee
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Joined: 15 Oct 2017
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Location: Surrey

PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2018 9:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wanted until had seen the episode a couple of times before reviewing.

How great to have something nearly 57 years old in the DVD collection. A pity more (any?) restoration wasn't carried out, as that would enhance the viewing pleasure. I think for a lot of people print quality is a barrier to archive television, with its more sedentary storytelling and studio bound sets. If the sound and picture were as good as they could be, it changes things. Certainly made a difference to William Hartnell and Patrick Troughton's DVDs in the Doctor Who range.

Anyway, I digress...

Most of what we have from Seaon one is earlier in the series. I found it an interesting contrast to see something that came later. Our only other reference to Keel and Steed together is The Frighteners. I find this more of a mediocre story, protections rackets and beatings on the street - perhaps nothing that I would class as slightly unusual. Not really what we would recognise as an Avengers scenario in my opinion. In that respect, Tunnel of Fear was different. Set in a funfair, ghost train / tunnel which people go into at the start but do not come out again - quite series 4.

The relationship between Keel and Steed also seems a little more relaxed. In The Frightners, it almost seems that Steed summons Keel to his taxi and is all mysterious about it, whereas here he is walking his dog and casually pops into the surgery for a chat - a little when he and his dog casually visit Mrs Gale.
I suppose it is helped that the setting changes quite dramatically and isn't confined to one area.

Something that did strike me was the smooth and calm way in which Hendry portrays Keel. He seems to underplay each scene and is totally believable. On the contrary, Macnee seems to be relishing in making Steed larger than life and more akin to the character that we are more familiar with. He does, however, turn in few beautiful subtle lines in the middle of everything, the taking of a phone call to One-Ten, for instance. Speaking of whom - is this his first appearance in the series? Both Stted and Keel seem to feed beautifully from each other, but I do miss the male- female rapport of the years to come.

Other little things to enjoy: the circle out from the bumper slate into part two, Steed's dog bringing One-Ten her bowl, filmed inserts setting the foreground / beach setting, intact ABC ident (sorry - one of my archive interests).

It did pad a little in the middle, but the final 'showdown' was quite engaging, and a nice line for Keel to end on.

Overall, I gave this a 7.
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MasterMind
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PostPosted: Sat May 12, 2018 3:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

QuiteQuiteFantastic wrote:
Look at it this way. I'm not saying that Ian Hendry is great or the best companion for Steed of all time. It's just that I feel we can't judge him that well since so much is missing.

For example, "The Mauritius Penny" (balance), "Dressed to Kill" (Steed-heavy), and "The Golden Eggs" (Steed-light). We'll throw in the second part of "Hot Snow" for good measure instead of the first part, because that part introduces Steed just like part one introduces Dr. Keel. And that's all that existed. Imagine that.

How great of an impression would we have of the character? I imagine we'd probably be talking a lot more about Cathy Gale than anyone else and think that Steed was a bit boring by comparison. True, he might come across as more interesting than Dr. Keel, but not by much. And scripts don't really provide much of a clue since it's all about the actor's performance, how the words are delivered.


Oh, I absolutely agree that the performances matter. But so do the words and the actions of the characters as they're put down on paper. There are things about Keel that I just don't find appealing that have nothing whatever to do with Hendry's performance of him, and the converse is true of Steed even in the absence of Macnee's performance.

Besides, in terms of Cathy vs Keel, in Cathy we have a woman who is a PhD in anthropology, a big game hunter and crack shot, and a judoka, all of which are unusual skills and accomplishments for a woman especially in the early 1960s. And if we take "Warlock" to be their first case together (and I think there are good reasons for doing so), we also have a woman who jumps into an investigation of a black magic coven without so much as a by-your-leave, leaving Steed a bit nonplussed at first, but then he thinks she is just the best thing ever. And when they're in the final showdown, surrounded by baddies, Steed doesn't treat her as a damsel in distress. In fact, it's Cathy who moves to take HIS six, as a battle buddy and an equal.

And in Keel we have a man who is ... a doctor. Yes, Keel also is brave and dedicated to justice, but it's no big deal for a dude to be any of those things. Men have always played doctors, men have always played people who are brave and dedicated to justice and who go after the baddies. Women not so much.

I mean, the show treated Cathy not as Steed's subordinate or sidekick but as his partner and equal, and did so completely unironically. That is something that had never been done before and has only very rarely been done even since. It's the qualities of her character and the way she was written in terms of her relationship to Steed that lead me to say that just in terms of the structure of the character Cathy is already much more interesting than Keel is.
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Mona
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2018 5:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Okay, I just was able to watch this episode, having ordered it from the UK, andt then having it turned into an American DVD.

For me, David Keel is very boring. He has one attitude, one personality, and that's it throughout the whole show. I never thought he was a very good actor, and although it may have been the role, as Dr. Keel he is terribly uninteresting to me.

Steed, however, from the moment he walks into Keel's office, he is electric! His charisma is apparent from the first moment, he is alive, energetic, and he can really act. Even just from his eyes, as when we see them nearly growl when he is holding his cigarette and he says "Take it" to Wickham. One can fully understand that the loss of Ian Hendry and the reliance on Macnee as star of the show is what truly allowed it to take off and be the hit it was.

My main problem with the show was I could not understand the plot at all. At the end of the episode I have two major questions:
1. Why did they have to frame Henry?
2. How did they steal state secrets to transmit them to whomever?

If that was explained in the episode, I and my friend watching with me, never got it. I could not understand numerous sentences and I do not know how it all came together.

I liked the mother and the girlfriend, and Henry grew on me, too. One wonders how he escaped from jail, but let's just say he did.

Overall, it's very interesting watching these early episode, but get rid of Hendry, have Macnee the star, and NOW i am one big happy Avengers fan! Thank goodness Hendry thought he could be a movie star and left!
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