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3.06 - Man With Two Shadows

 
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Rate 'Man With Two Shadows'
10
22%
 22%  [ 4 ]
9
27%
 27%  [ 5 ]
8
11%
 11%  [ 2 ]
7
11%
 11%  [ 2 ]
6
11%
 11%  [ 2 ]
5
0%
 0%  [ 0 ]
4
5%
 5%  [ 1 ]
3
11%
 11%  [ 2 ]
2
0%
 0%  [ 0 ]
1
0%
 0%  [ 0 ]
Total Votes : 18

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darren
Mission... Highly Improbable!


Joined: 01 Sep 2008
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 12, 2013 12:06 pm    Post subject: 3.06 - Man With Two Shadows Reply with quote

Written by James Mitchell

Directed by Don Leaver

Production completed: 21 June 1963
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jaz
Have Fingers... Will Type!


Joined: 23 Sep 2008
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 28, 2014 12:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is a truly great episode
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darren
Mission... Highly Improbable!


Joined: 01 Sep 2008
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Location: UK

PostPosted: Sun Jun 29, 2014 9:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

10/10

This was writer James Mitchell's final Avengers script but he went on to create Callan. I can see the heavy spy link. It's a very intense script with some sad and scary ideas going on.

The scene of Steed and Mothe...sorry Charles going to see Peter Borowski is stunning. Terence Lodge is an incredible actor as he jumps from one imposed character to another and his mind is severely messed up. And we get the crueller version of Steed as he kicks Peter to the floor. I love the set design of the cell with its almost german expressionistic qualities of the distorted walls and the spikes around the skylight.

We get to see Steed upset by the playback of Borowski's interrogation - he asks Cathy to turn it off. A rare insight into something deeper than the happy go lucky persona he projects.

Don Leaver next to Peter Hammond is easily the best videotape era director (and he was no slouch on film in season 4). He's so wonderfully controlled and stylish. He's very economical in his approach getting just what is needed. A good example is the camera move and actor blocking of Steed with the Dentist's in the Holiday camp chalet. They all move in and out of shot as necessary but it never looks awkward as the camera is synchronised with them.

Future director (though not on the Avengers) Paul Bernard designs some very stylish and minimalist sets. I love the false perspective of the corridor outside Borowski's prison cell, that's something I wish the show had done more of as it just add an almost surreal quality. The Vienna room is just free standing doorways, chandeliers, a central fountain yet it works.

Honor has some wonderful moments like when Cathy doesn't know who she can trust. You can really feel her unease around the possibly fake Steed. She gets one of her best fights in the Vienna room with lots of flying tables and chairs all played out against a waltz instead of stock drumming. Probably helped by the larger space but it was easily the most dynamic and epic fight scene at that point.

For all the fantasy of doubles and spying, it has the mundane and human qualities like fake Gordon's relationship with Julie which we know plays out even after the episode has finished. It's quite a dark ending with them knowing full well that Gordon is a fake and yet is allowed to continue as he's useful to the goverment.

I really like that colour photo of Steed and Cathy on the love seat in the Vienna room!
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Avengerholic
The Big Thinker


Joined: 01 Sep 2008
Posts: 1438

PostPosted: Thu Nov 17, 2016 3:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Every time I watch this episode I'm completely distracted by Cathy's static nylon hair. I assume they eventually coloured it brown and passed it on to Linda Thorson !
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Mona
Winged Avenger


Joined: 25 May 2010
Posts: 567
Location: Mesa, AZ

PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 2016 7:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is an amazing episode all around. The different views of Steed are fascinating, and his honest portrayal of the disturbing aspect of seeing himself dead was very interesting and clearly allows us to see depths of his humanity. Yes, he loves being an agent, but life and death are precious and having him relate the vision of his own eventual death, what he likely will look some day when things go wrong and he doesn't win, was chilling.

This episode was brilliant; from the intense meeting with the emotionally damaged man at the beginning, to the setting of the resort, it certainly kept my attention.

Also, at the very end of the episode, in the tag scene, it seems very clear that Mrs. Gale has seen a nekkid Steed, since the implication is made that she would be able to identify him by seeing his body.

Tangential thought based on that scene: I imagine Steed and Mrs. Gale did have sex once, and when she found out he had no intention of having any serious relationship with her, she was just one of his ever changing harem, she put the immediate kibosh on their intimacy, and he, being the cad he is in that series, always wants more. I imagine Steed appreciated Mrs. Gale's bosom as much as Pat appreciated Honor's.

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Ian Wegg
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Joined: 15 Sep 2011
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 19, 2017 11:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

3/10 from me, and I see I'm not alone.

There are obviously some big fans of this episode but I could barely make it to the end, sorry.
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Lee
Little Wonder


Joined: 15 Oct 2017
Posts: 130
Location: Surrey

PostPosted: Fri Oct 20, 2017 12:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've given this an 8.

I really like this episode. Who's who?
Very disturbing interrogation scene with some really strong acting.
Great concept.

An interesting episode as an earlier, rather than a later, series 3 episode.
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Rhonda
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Joined: 19 Jan 2010
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2018 2:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

6 for me. There are some strange interior locations that make it all a bit unreal. Steed and Cathy's exchanges keep it interesting.
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Allard
The Ministry


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 28, 2020 2:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is an episode one sees with different eyes when having seen Callan episodes. A show created by the writer of this episode.

In both a central theme is the dark side of the spying business, this makes it stand out somewhat from the other Gale era episodes and certainly a lot from later seasons.

A great episode, that dares to go a bit deeper and makes it stand out. Also one of the most interesting for Steed & Cathy's relationship.

Minus point is the cabin set, it just shouts being fake. A holiday park should be spacious and bright, this is dark and confined. Strangely some of the other sets are very good.
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Frankymole
Diabolical Mastermind


Joined: 01 Sep 2008
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 24, 2021 11:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Charles's exchanges with Cathy Gale over ice cream are sublime. When she asks him "Who guards the guards?" in Latin, he replies "Rem acu tetigisti", which means "You have touched the matter with a needle": you hit the nail on the head. Nowadays the TV company would have to explain it to viewers they think are thick, even though you can look it up in seconds now. IN the 60s, even on "inferior" commercial television they considered you intelligent enough to not talk down to you. Another reason I love "old" TV and film, especially drama.

I love Steed's dig to Cathy about going home to her "buttons and buzzers" - I know he's meant to be an 18th century man and she, like Emma, is a 21st century woman but her apartment is ridiculously full-on. I'm glad they scaled this back for Emma because Cathy's dystopian nightmare of a home reminds me of the hilarious 1970s comedy episode in Michael Crawford's series "Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em" where he becomes entrapped in and wrecks someone's "fully-automated" modernist house.

Lovely script from a real master of the craft. Some moments of proper jeopardy, and the doppelganger plot wasn't yet a cliché in the series - the switches between shots of the two Steeds in different costumes was remarkable for an "as live" production.
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Last edited by Frankymole on Wed Nov 24, 2021 11:15 am; edited 4 times in total
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Frankymole
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 24, 2021 11:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cathy is already deep in Steed's Department and acting as the first female James Bond 007 before Sean Connery has really got his feet under the table. Charles, Steed's boss, orders her to kill Steed. She needs no other licence. This is brutal stuff, utterly rivetting when watching the series in order - nothing like this has happened before. I'm glad the genius behind Callan got to develop Cathy and indeed the whole organisation in this way, bringing a much-needed dose of pseudo-realism in amongst the spy-fi, to make it feel dangerous again.

Best reaction in it:

Gordon (pretending to be keen on settling down to married life with his "cover" girlfriend, but in reality knowing Steed is about to go off and be killed): "What I'm looking for, Steed, is security."

Steed (breaks into a self-reflective resigned chuckle, clearly thinking of his never-ending arduous job of trying to preserve national security): "Aren't we all?"
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mousemeat
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 24, 2021 12:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

great episode..in fact, I think it's my favorite Gale ..good dialogue ..etc
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Frankymole
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 24, 2021 1:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In the final scene it hits you over the head with perfect line after perfect line. "Am I the same Steed you knew over a year ago?"; "What's for breakfast?" "Cook it and find out"; "Doppelganger is as doppelganger does, that's what I always say". Wonderful Steed/Cathy scene. Great actors, great writing, great plot. No wonder the Avengers went on to be a TV classic, as did Callan, in the hands of such expert dramatists.

There's realpolitik too as the literal "double agent" ends up being allowed to continue to operate and even marry an English girl... spied on by the Department of course.

10/10.
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Frankymole
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 24, 2021 1:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I love this bit in the script. "Adjust as necessary". Where the real flair of the actors and director joins the writer, as the cameras record the raw emotion and adrenaline of an "as live" recording. They don't make 'em like that any more.


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mousemeat
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 24, 2021 3:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Frankymole wrote:
In the final scene it hits you over the head with perfect line after perfect line. "Am I the same Steed you knew over a year ago?"; "What's for breakfast?" "Cook it and find out"; "Doppelganger is as doppelganger does, that's what I always say". Wonderful Steed/Cathy scene. Great actors, great writing, great plot. No wonder the Avengers went on to be a TV classic, as did Callan, in the hands of such expert dramatists.

There's realpolitik too as the literal "double agent" ends up being allowed to continue to operate and even marry an English girl... spied on by the Department of course.

10/10.




cripes, i couldn't stated it any better....snappy dialogue ...and more
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Frankymole
Diabolical Mastermind


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 24, 2021 4:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We still wonder what Steed whispers to Cathy to prove he's the "real Steed" - long before the "Are you the man who dallies with me?" Forget-Me-Knot sequence. They both laugh, but is it relief at reaching the end of the studio recording session, or some naughty joke? We will never know.
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