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2.17 - Immortal Clay

 
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Total Votes : 6

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darren
Mission... Highly Improbable!


Joined: 01 Sep 2008
Posts: 2055
Location: UK

PostPosted: Mon Sep 23, 2013 8:36 am    Post subject: 2.17 - Immortal Clay Reply with quote

Written by James Mitchell
Directed by Richmond Harding
Production completed: 10 January 1963

Starring Patrick Macnee and Honor Blackman
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Frankymole
Diabolical Mastermind


Joined: 01 Sep 2008
Posts: 5081
Location: Carmadoc Research Establishment

PostPosted: Tue Sep 24, 2013 6:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My review:

http://www.theavengers.tv/forever/gale1-16vr.htm#2

What's so bad about this episode that it's often rated one of the worst? It has massive problems, although it has (a few) good points too.

The Avenged?: A minimum of misdirection; Cathy's friend is "only" guilty of manslaughter. That's okay, then?

Diabolical Masterminds?: There's a duo of not-so-super spies from Leipzig: de Groot and his muscle-bound henchman Blomberg. They're nicely played, but don't advance the soapy plot much. James Bree's weak-minded Miller sells out after some unconvincing jealousy over giggly airhead Mara. Mara manages to give quite an excruciating performance, especially when she is caught by Steed burgling de Groot's hotel suite.

The Avengers?: Steed and Cathy's scenes are light and fun, but with no real wit or bite. Steed is recognisably the urbane agent of later seasons. So, Cathy is also an expert (and author) on ceramics, as well as philately and anthropology. A pity we don't see her coach Steed for his undercover role.

Umbrella, Charm and a Bowler Hat?: There are two tiers of acting in this. Allan Marling is a believable and sympathetic figure. Sadly, he is the only person who really has any motivation or involvement, with everyone else either lurking on the fringes awaiting a few scraps of storyline (Paul Eddington) or becoming increasingly hysterical and using what can politely be called "theatre acting" (i.e. exaggerated, and not the minimalist speech and movement needed for close-up work) or less politely known as ham (James Bree). There are some eye-watering "northern English" accent attempts.

Bizarre?: Often the "unbreakable ceramic" is criticised as too mundane a plot hook. Actually, it is explained twice that this material is vital for weapons development (it's frictionless, incredibly hard and perfect for missile nosecones; it's also worth 50,000 and attempted murder). Its case is not helped, though, when One-Ten refers to it proudly as unbreakable "plastic"!

The sets of the pottery workshop are tremendous. Sadly, some of the performances and production gaffes are just unforgivable, even to a generous viewer. John Bryce once said, "A year of hard work goes into making 26 episodes, and if at any time we find it boring, that boredom would quickly show through on the screen." How very true in this case!

On Target? (Score): One bowler out of four, for those who are trying hard to make it work. 2/10.
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Rhonda
How to Succeed... at Posting!


Joined: 19 Jan 2010
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2018 11:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

5 from me for a novel idea and enjoyable scenes.
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Ron
Last Watched : Who Shot Poor George Oblique Stroke XR40?
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dissolute
The Ministry


Joined: 04 Sep 2008
Posts: 2409
Location: Sydney, Australia

PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2020 2:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One of my readers has pointed out that Steve Plytas has a dry in his second scene discussing figurines and tiles with Cathy and audibly says "f--k". Cathy comes to his rescue by prompting his next line and the scene continues.

Details: https://www.dissolute.com.au/the-avengers-tv-series/series-2/216-immortal-clay-other.html
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Mrs Peel, you're needed!
http://www.dissolute.com.au/the-avengers-tv-series/
Every episode from 1961 to 1977 plus more trivia than you can shake a brolly at.


Last edited by dissolute on Mon Apr 20, 2020 3:55 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Frankymole
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Joined: 01 Sep 2008
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2020 5:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yep!! I see what you mean. It is noticeable especially listening to just the audio without watching the picture. An old actor's trick for "as live" television, which William Hartnell picked up on The Army Game and advised young actors to cultivate: swear audibly if you mess up or dry, then they will have to go again (editing was very expensive and rare, and otherwise usually only done for technical errors). Of course, sometimes they didn't stop anyway! And even in the 1980s and 1990s when editing was routine, the occasional swear creeps through even on programmes kids watch like Dr Who and The Crystal Maze.
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darren
Mission... Highly Improbable!


Joined: 01 Sep 2008
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Location: UK

PostPosted: Fri Sep 03, 2021 8:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

When the most memorable scene is a fluff then that doesn't say much for the episode.

Some episodes just don't work.

Who'd have thought the creator of Callan would write such a turgid episode.

A factory isn't a very inspiring location for an Avengers episode.

A good cast but they can't excite things.

I just switch off as it's so un-engaging.

Quite probably the worst Avengers episode for me.

1/10
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mousemeat
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Joined: 04 Sep 2008
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 03, 2021 10:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

darren wrote:
When the most memorable scene is a fluff then that doesn't say much for the episode.

Some episodes just don't work.

Who'd have thought the creator of Callan would write such a turgid episode.

A factory isn't a very inspiring location for an Avengers episode.

A good cast but they can't excite things.

I just switch off as it's so un-engaging.

Quite probably the worst Avengers episode for me.



1/10




I RATE it a big ' 4 '....toothless episode...script and dialogue doesn't work
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Frankymole
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 09, 2021 5:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I watched this again last night and quite enjoyed it. Gary Watson in particular is impressive (as he always is, in everything, even as stupid a role as he was given in Dr Who portraying the amazing magnetic man) and so is Paul Eddington playing his brother, who is cruelly underused because his character disappears for half the story. I'd watched him in the 1970s sitcom "The Good Life" earlier and the contrast was enjoyable - he's great at drama and comedy, it was a shame he got typecast in comedy in the 70s and 80s.

The costumes are nice with a very glittery waistcoat for Steed and a similarly metallic-threaded leotard for the airhead.

As I said before, the sets are superb.

Even if it's not the best of The Avengers, it was easily better than everything else that's been on 2021 television this week. That it still stands up so well is down to the actors and also writer James Mitchell but then he's been an acknowledged genius for a long time (Callan).
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Last edited by Frankymole on Sun Oct 10, 2021 1:33 am; edited 2 times in total
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Frankymole
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 09, 2021 5:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

dissolute wrote:
One of my readers has pointed out that Steve Plytas has a dry in his second scene discussing figurines and tiles with Cathy and audibly says "f--k". Cathy comes to his rescue by prompting his next line and the scene continues.

Details: https://www.dissolute.com.au/the-avengers-tv-series/series-2/216-immortal-clay-other.html
The funniest thing is watching Honor's face as she hears the word. She's totally professional and not fazed but there is a hint of a smile in reaction Smile
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mousemeat
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Joined: 04 Sep 2008
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Location: Elvis Central, U.S.A.

PostPosted: Sat Oct 09, 2021 9:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Frankymole wrote:
dissolute wrote:
One of my readers has pointed out that Steve Plytas has a dry in his second scene discussing figurines and tiles with Cathy and audibly says "f--k". Cathy comes to his rescue by prompting his next line and the scene continues.

Details: https://www.dissolute.com.au/the-avengers-tv-series/series-2/216-immortal-clay-other.html
The funniest thing is watching Honor's face as she hears the word. She's totally professional and not fazed but there is a hint of a smile in reaction Smile



f-k, that was too funny....and I enjoyed the link dissolute provided...some great info...
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