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Darkest episodes

 
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Allard
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 30, 2019 7:13 am    Post subject: Darkest episodes Reply with quote

The Avengers has a reputation for being light, entertaining, charming and comedic at times, but fans will know it has its dark moments.

The Town of No Return, an entire village has been replaced, better not even contemplate what happened to all those villagers.

Man-eater of Surrey Green, man eating plant.

November Five, an nuclear bomb nearly detonated in London.

Take-Over, the tense atmosphere of a hostage taking.

there are of course more examples.

Season four stands out in the regard for all consuming threats for man kind.
Season three the harsh disregard of secret services for individuals in the pursuit of their goals.
Season five, was maybe to happy and naive?

When, in your opinion, did the Avengers get the most dark?
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dissolute
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 30, 2019 3:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dpn't Look Behind You - both figuratively and literally, as much of the action takes place in an old house with the lights out. Cathy Gale is psychologically terrorised in the dark by an old foe and his mad accomplice.
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Brugeoise
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 04, 2019 5:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Even more so, I guess, thanks to the fact that it was shot as live. I suppose that whole hour of recording must have been particularly stressful for the actors from a psychological standpoint. In spite of The Joker being a remake of Don’t Look Behind You, it doesn’t get as dark as the original: I love the episode but it seems to me that Emma just fails to feel frightened in the way Cathy did.

Man with Two Shadows and, specially, The Wringer are other two episodes I find to be rather dark.

I agree that season five is the merriest of them all, except perhaps for a few scenes in Murdersville: when Emma finds Paul’s corpse at doctor Haynes’ surgery, the scene in which she is tortured in the pond and I also find the atmosphere around major Crawford’s house to be quite unnerving.
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mrspeel01
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 05, 2019 6:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with your points. What you say about how Cathy and Emma react in "Don't look behind you/the Joker "is very interesting. Honor Blackman has said she found it very difficult to keep her emotions in check during filming and felt she never quite managed it. We don't know how Diana Rigg felt but it seems she must have felt differently as she conveys more frustration about the goings-on rather than fear in the episode. (Though there are moments when you can see fear, such as when she sees the knife embedded in the kitchen door and in the final confrontation with Prendergast).

Perhaps, as Emma had told herself to "reason it out" in the previous "House that jack Built "story which has a similar premise-alone in a strange house, Diana Rigg felt that Emma shouldn't so easily succumb to fear. After all her character, as well as Cathy, were meant to be a departure from the all too-often "damsels in distress" type of female characters that had come before. Even though the Plots often place them in that kind of jeopardy (the finale of "The Gravediggers" and "Epic", come to mind) it's refreshing not to see them scream in fear, as was/is too often the case in Film & TV.
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Allard
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 05, 2019 10:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Wringer is a good one, with its manipulation of the mind has that threatening aspect. Another one I'm reminded of is Dressed to Kill, with the country having narrowly escaped being bombed.

Don't Look Behind You is dark for the protagonist, but not much so in general. The level of threat for the country or humanity is probably not outdone by November Five and Man-Eater of Surrey Green, the latter one also for its high body count.
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mrs_emma_peel
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 06, 2019 4:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Warlock is a superbly atmospheric episode - perhaps a forerunner to A Touch of Brimstone with dark themes of black magic and devil worship.
I think The House That Jack Built and Murdersville are also brilliant dark Hitchcockian style psychological thrillers, dealing with threads of creeping insanity and murderous witchcraft respectively.

I think Don't Look Behind You and The Joker are both splendidly realized - two memorable performances by Honor and Diana and two fine villains.
For my money, The Joker just edges it, mainly because of the superb Ola, a wonderfully unhinged character, idolizing Prendergast and relishing his sadistic intent.
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Frankymole
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 07, 2019 4:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The biological warfare agents in The Golden Eggs are quite terrifying and also the sickness is well-portrayed, not over-the-top but swift and deadly. Such agencies do not mess about, as we have seen during the recent chemical warfare attacks on British soil which the British government have been powerless to prevent or punish. Maybe such real-life dangers are too horrible for The Avengers' fantasy world but it was done well here.
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Frankymole
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 07, 2019 4:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mrspeel01 wrote:
I agree with your points. What you say about how Cathy and Emma react in "Don't look behind you/the Joker "is very interesting. Honor Blackman has said she found it very difficult to keep her emotions in check during filming and felt she never quite managed it.
Honor Blackman says she got into arguments with director Peter Hammond "because he wanted me to be very tough and ready to kill this man at the end, but I felt so sorry for the character. He moved me so much that I had tears running down my face. Peter was quite cross with me, but I couldn't play it any other way." (Honor Blackman speaking to Steven Eramo of Starlog Magazine)
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mrspeel01
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 07, 2019 5:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, I remember reading that interview. I can only imagine the director was saying that, because Cathy had been set up as a character who was meant to be "tough" and he didn;t want her to show vulnerabilty. But Honor felt differently. From the way Diana Rigg played it I feel it must have affected her in a different way. Thus two very different interpretations of the same situation.
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cyberrich
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 07, 2019 1:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

While there were darker episodes during the monochrome days, there were a few surprisingly dark ones during the colour seasons. The Joker and Murdersville were not so light in tone as the rest of season 5. As much as I love Don't look behind you, I actually prefer The Joker and find it has a much more menacing tone than the original. Take over was the darkest of Tara's episodes, and really stood out among episodes that were generally lighter and often surreal at times.
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Brugeoise
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 08, 2019 8:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I do so agree! Take Over goes even to the point of showing Steed in real danger, a situation where we rarely find him in the original series.

On The Joker, I think Emma looks more annoyed than frightened. I get the same impression from The House That Jack Built. Nevertheless, they are both terrific episodes -with The Joker being in my personal top 5.

The Tara King era feels in general to be more light tone, but it has its dark spots. The car sequence from Invasion of the Earthmen in which Steed and Tara enter Alpha Academy for the first time (“it’s like the other side of the Moon”) feels to me to be rather dark as well as some parts of Whoever shot poor George...
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Allard
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 09, 2019 5:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Episodes like Take-Over, The Joker, Don't Look Behind You stand out because they almost completely abandon the eccentricity and typical of the Avengers. Yet that episodes can vary so much in atmosphere is what makes the Avengers so worth (re)watching.
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Lee
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 19, 2019 10:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Perhaps The White Dwarf with the potential destruction of the human race from space....?
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Frankymole
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 26, 2019 3:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mentioning "Don't Look Behind You", I was amused to see The Saint on TV this week and Maurice Good played almost exactly the same character, only this time his complicated terror-vendetta was against Simon Templar rather than Mrs Gale. But the denouement was very similar despite being made over 4 years later. Poor chap must've felt typecast!
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dissolute
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2019 11:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the tip-off, Franky. I just watched "The Time to Die" and it seems to be a pastiche of "You Have Just Been Murdered" and "The Joker" along with a few other plot ideas. So, was it Terry Nation being lazy and nicking other people's ideas, or Brian Clemens being lazy in the first place and nicking ideas from Leslie Charteris? I don't know how much of the plot comes from books of The Saint.
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cyberrich
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 28, 2019 7:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks from me too! I'll look out for 'The time to die' episode. The title is almost the same as No time to die, the new Bond film. No time to die was also the title of a 1992 Columbo TV movie. I'm afraid I groaned when I read the title of the new Bond film at it's lack of originality. The Saint was never one of my favourite ITC series, but this episode sounds intriguing even if it also seems to lack originality.
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dissolute
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 28, 2019 1:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

According to thesaint.org the colour episodes of The Saint were original scripts which Charteris was contracted to suggest amendments to so it looks like Terry Nation's trademark laziness although he normally recycled his own scripts rather than stealing other peoples'.
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Frankymole
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 01, 2019 4:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, cyberrich, it is worth a watch in my opinion. one of the better colour ones. Even my 11 year old watched it and commented on it, so it must've had something!
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Allard
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 04, 2019 6:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Frankymole wrote:
Yes, cyberrich, it is worth a watch in my opinion. one of the better colour ones. Even my 11 year old watched it and commented on it, so it must've had something!



I watched The Saint colour episodes when I was eleven and loved it, that's where my love of 60s cult series started.
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