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5.04 - From Venus with Love

 
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Rate From Venus with Love
10
25%
 25%  [ 6 ]
9
41%
 41%  [ 10 ]
8
25%
 25%  [ 6 ]
7
4%
 4%  [ 1 ]
6
4%
 4%  [ 1 ]
5
0%
 0%  [ 0 ]
4
0%
 0%  [ 0 ]
3
0%
 0%  [ 0 ]
2
0%
 0%  [ 0 ]
1
0%
 0%  [ 0 ]
Total Votes : 24

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peabody
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 12, 2013 10:04 pm    Post subject: 5.04 - From Venus with Love Reply with quote

Discuss, review and rate From Venus with Love, production completed November 1966.

Teleplay by Philip Levene
Directed by Robert Day
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MikeR
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 18, 2013 12:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The episode that really got me into The Avengers, many many years ago. I had to give it a 10.
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anti-clockwise
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Joined: 17 May 2013
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 18, 2013 7:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It was a classic.
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Frankymole
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 19, 2013 1:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The first colour episode manages to be intriguing and a bit scary. Reminiscent of some of the best season 4 black-and-white stories. Great cast. Season 5 is off to a fine start!

8/10 (or three bowlers out of four.)

Here's my Avengers Forever review:
http://www.theavengers.tv/forever/peel2-1vr.htm#3

So what on earth (or off it) was that all about? I've seen this episode more than any other, more by accident than design. I keep changing my views on it, so it is ripe for "re-view"; sometimes it seems rather plodding, other times a spooky thriller that has some real gems of scenes and dialogue. I won't repeat the previous reviews (which I agree with). I'll just add a few positive and negative observations of my own:

Plus:

+ Diana Rigg as Emma is just as sparkling in this as in any monochrome episode. Nice to see her whizzing about the countryside, although the scene in the barn at the deserted farm features a gloriously bad wig for her double as she watches the "sphere" depart.
+ The astronomy is not bad; instead of the daftness of "Man-Eater of Surrey Green" and its "whole areas of vegetation" on the moon, the speculation that Venusians are likely to be composed of hot gas fits in well with what we know of that world's crushing, infernal atmosphere. The idea that the deaths are caused by aliens is quite unnerving and works well.
+ Accurate prediction of the uses of lasers: e.g. for eye-surgery. Though are they really used in dentistry? [Yes. DKS]
+ Some very nice visual effects: lasers, explosions, all done convincingly. And a wandering white sphere killing people (filmed the same month that "the Prisoner" began filming - synchronicity!).
+ Philip Locke, no longer playing dull "heavies" but instead a gloriously nutty scientist.
+ the other bit-parts, all played eccentrically but seriously. And who didn't think Venus was a villainess?

Minus:

- Emma is overcome too easily and doesn't take part in the final fight, but it gives Steed a chance to shine (literally, using a laser-reflecting mirror).
- Some overly-minimalist sets, including Emma's redesigned apartment. Some of them don't quite work (such as the "night sky" backdrops). More scenes set at night than usual, required because of the astronomers' working hours, do give this story an unusual atmosphere.
- Steed's really ugly plastic doppelganger. Could it be any more unlike him? I chuckle when Philip Locke does a double-take at it, fizzing away. He recovers well and acts as if he expects Steed to be alive, but it was a huge error to go and check the corpse (I assume that is why he entered the room?).

Finally, does anyone know who played Martin, Trimble's assistant who fights Emma, and why he wasn't credited? [Probably Billy Cornelius. No idea why he wasn't credited, but minimalist credits were SOP in the 60s. DKS]

Overall Rating: Three out of four bowlers.
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anti-clockwise
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 19, 2013 4:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

very nice review Franky. Makes me want to see it again.
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anti-clockwise
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 19, 2013 4:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

delete
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Last edited by anti-clockwise on Thu Sep 19, 2013 5:38 pm; edited 1 time in total
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MikeR
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 19, 2013 8:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are places on the net that credit Martin as being played by stuntman Billy Cornelius.
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cyberrich
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 20, 2013 9:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The very first original Avengers episode I saw when Channel 4 repeated them in 1982. I remember being surprised it was in colour! I also remember being surprised by how brilliant it was. I'd loved TNA which was more my era, but the originals were something else! This episode is an absolute classic. 10 out of 10! Rich.
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Frankymole
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 24, 2013 7:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Incidentally, I take issue with series 5 being described in the topic header as "Emma's glory days" and series 4 as her "formative year".

The black and white Emma episodes are much more mature and less formulaic and repetitive (or to put it less politely, series 5 is "dumbed down" for some reason compared to 4. Dian Rigg also seems more tired, and the direction is less fresh and inventive).

Series 4 was the "glory days", for both Emma's era and The Avengers as a whole.
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Lhbizness
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 27, 2014 8:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Love this one - very light and frothy, and suitably weird. I enjoy the addition of Phillip Locke, especially in his introductory scene, and how Emma is completely unimpressed by his threats (and his laser). Nice little fight at the end - they're at their best when brawling in a cramped space.
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Rhonda
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PostPosted: Sat May 09, 2015 2:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I gave 7
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johnnybear
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 21, 2021 10:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I must admit that I found Emma's colour episodes to be not as good as her b/w ones and in fact I think I preferred Tara's shows more! I really must get around to another viewing as I did quite a few Cathy Gale, Dr.King, Venus episodes a few weeks back but...
JB
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Lee
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 28, 2021 9:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A number of years agp, colour Emma episodes were my go-to episodes. No longer, as I find the year more repetative and formulaic,, with the never-never land of England quite annoying. The eccentric characters as well as plot seem to make it a little too much. I think the final subset of episodes this year were better as the series seemed to take a step back to reality without losing the off-beat predicaments, just some of the more wild characterisations.

Having said that, this is a good opener to the year. I first saw it when released on video in the early 90s and it still has a high place in my regards.

Casting is done well. Nice to see Philip Locke again - I think for the first time since Mandrake? He manages to bring a sinister element out of the character which could easily have been a chracature as many ultimately were during this season. Similarly, Venus and Crawford provide a good balance between between faith and reason. And the Doctor Who fan in me can't help but smile that Jon Pertwee is cast as a Brigadierz, and he is obviously relishing this part. I love how there is a lot of time devoted to him making his memories, which really is just a throw away idea and has no relevance to the plot, so could easily have been cut.

In moving to colour, the show did lose some atmosphere. Some of the colour combinations are questionable, I would have thought even back in the day. When shooting an outside scene in the studio, it really now does show up whereas there was more forgiveness in the previous year. Also I find some of Johnson's incidental music too comedic this year to bring out the suspense unlike the previous year. A reliance on electric bass and bass clarinet for comedy effect is over used from now on. Pity as his music was sublime the previous year. However, it isn't so bad in this episode, with the high strings reminiscent of Holt's planet suite for Venus. There were times, actually, when I noticed some early TNA strains in some of the brass. I hadn't noticed that before.

Overall, I gave this an 8.
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Allard
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 30, 2021 10:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lee wrote:
A number of years agp, colour Emma episodes were my go-to episodes. No longer, as I find the year more repetative and formulaic,, with the never-never land of England quite annoying. The eccentric characters as well as plot seem to make it a little too much. I think the final subset of episodes this year were better as the series seemed to take a step back to reality without losing the off-beat predicaments, just some of the more wild characterisations.

Having said that, this is a good opener to the year. I first saw it when released on video in the early 90s and it still has a high place in my regards.

Casting is done well. Nice to see Philip Locke again - I think for the first time since Mandrake? He manages to bring a sinister element out of the character which could easily have been a chracature as many ultimately were during this season. Similarly, Venus and Crawford provide a good balance between between faith and reason. And the Doctor Who fan in me can't help but smile that Jon Pertwee is cast as a Brigadierz, and he is obviously relishing this part. I love how there is a lot of time devoted to him making his memories, which really is just a throw away idea and has no relevance to the plot, so could easily have been cut.

In moving to colour, the show did lose some atmosphere. Some of the colour combinations are questionable, I would have thought even back in the day. When shooting an outside scene in the studio, it really now does show up whereas there was more forgiveness in the previous year. Also I find some of Johnson's incidental music too comedic this year to bring out the suspense unlike the previous year. A reliance on electric bass and bass clarinet for comedy effect is over used from now on. Pity as his music was sublime the previous year. However, it isn't so bad in this episode, with the high strings reminiscent of Holt's planet suite for Venus. There were times, actually, when I noticed some early TNA strains in some of the brass. I hadn't noticed that before.

Overall, I gave this an 8.




Good description of the Peel colours, although it doesn't lessen my love for them.
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Frankymole
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 30, 2021 12:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A similar thing happened with The Saint when it went into colour. They had pretty much run out of Leslie Charteris's original stories so the writing became more formulaic, with some notable exceptions; and it seemed being in colour meant a lot less of the moody and atmospheric lighting and interesting camera shot angles and editing. It's like the director had his hands full dealing with colour film stock and grading etc and so didn't have time to make it look interesting when shown on a black-and-white telly.
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mousemeat
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 30, 2021 1:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Frankymole wrote:
Incidentally, I take issue with series 5 being described in the topic header as "Emma's glory days" and series 4 as her "formative year".

The black and white Emma episodes are much more mature and less formulaic and repetitive (or to put it less politely, series 5 is "dumbed down" for some reason compared to 4. Dian Rigg also seems more tired, and the direction is less fresh and inventive).

Series 4 was the "glory days", for both Emma's era and The Avengers as a whole.


I would concur, always felt the b/w or monochrome episodes, were superior to the Color era. the reason the show went to color, was American ABC, requested..as the network was converting all it's programming to color...but nonetheless, I think the scripts in the B/W era, was better..and both Patrick and Diana seemed more involved, or interested in the material...but that's simply just my opinion...of course, many truly love the color episodes...and perhaps she was getting tired..inbetween fighting for equal salary, to the peaks and valleys working on a series...long hours are the norm...as Diana was probably interested in both returning to the stage..and having a motion picture career..
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