Even more adventures of secret agent John Steed and his sidekick Mrs. Peel (vol. 1, vol. 2); there’s not much to say about it that I hadn’t said before (witty banter and occasional innuendo, Diana Rigg in a catsuit (usually in the fight scene), plot of random importance and coherency). I do wonder why they continue to use their real names when investigating, though. I wish these had subtitles; sometimes the accents are hard to understand.
The Murder Market
The plot: Eleven murders in six months, no clues, anyone with a motive is “conveniently elsewhere at the time”, looks organized, all had been photographed recently. The photographer only does commercial work, but does portraits for a marriage bureau. They investigate and discover that all were clients of the bureau (and all but one were single); Steed sends Mrs. Peel to attempt to warn the next victim, but she was too late and was seen by the murderer. Both Steed and Mrs. Peel become clients of the bureau; Steed gets a date (who is extremely interested in his financial situation), while Mrs. Peel is unfortunately recognized by the murderer. It turns out that the club offers quid pro quo murders (person A will inherit money when B dies, C will inherit money when D dies, so A kills D and C kills B); Steed’s first assignment is to kill Mrs. Peel. The plot in this episode was unusually plausible and coherent, and I was surprised by the mastermind.
Random observations: Mrs. Peel wanders in to Steeds apartment without knocking and makes herself at home. Apparently, they could show artistic rear nudity (a painting in the matchmaker’s office of Adam and Eve; she has her arms over her chest and a figleaf lower, he is next to her, turned around), even though the Scottish guy’s briefs were scandalous. Mrs. Peel is randomly sitting on Steed’s couch playing a tuba while Steed is practicing golf inside (and of course, hits the ball into the tuba). She was also doing ballet-type exercises at one point. Nobody was kidnapped or tied up in this episode.
A Surfeit of H2O
The plot: It’s back to the more bizarre plots: it starts off with a guy drowning in a thunderstorm; someone is writing letters to the editor about ark-building (and is actually building one), and the dead guy’s brother (Eli) goes on about the dead one having fallen into sin and about the recent torrential rains (very leaky roof, gives Mrs. Peel an umbrella inside). Eli blames the death on a factory (aka the Den of Iniquity) that makes some sort of alcoholic beverages nearby (specifically, their large vats of water). The town is rural (the dead guy was a poacher setting out snares), but the factory has lots of tubes and vials and random equipment. Mrs. Peel is posing as a newspaper reporter trying to find out more information about the death; Steed is impersonating a wine dealer in order to get into the factory. Since there is strange weather, Mrs. Peel has some knowledge of meteorology (though the writers didn’t) and runs some tests in the field where the guy died (conveniently in view of the factory windows) and finds that it is excessively humid, so they called in a meteorological expert (also, there’s a stationary cloud). They attract the attention of the factory, and the expert dies and Mrs. Peel is abducted at gunpoint and placed in the press the factory uses so they can attempt to squeeze information out of her.
Random observations: 67.8% humidity is apparently only found in the jungles of Brazil or Equatorial Africa (if they’re having constant torrential rains, I’m surprised it’s not higher). I don’t believe they left the expert in the field alone when they knew there was someone malicious around! I like the way people who drowned in the rainstorms leave body-shaped puddles behind (and wonder why the first guy’s boots were left behind as well). Mrs. Peel is the driver in this episode. The receptionist at the factory gives Steed the best crazy look as he goes off and describes wine in excessively florid terms (berries gathered by maidens, the tang of honey, etc.); she is Not Impressed by his “charm” (though I think he’s aiming for obnoxious and stupid attempting to be charming rather than actually charming). Despite their claims of impenetrable security, the factory is ridiculously easy to break into, but Steed and Jonah (the ark-builder) LEFT THE TRAP DOOR OPEN (though the receptionist would have noticed Mrs. Peel missing immediately, even without the trap door being open; I don’t know why she walked into the empty lab in the first place, but she was walking towards the trap door and looking down at it before she could see it)!. Steed is supposed to be a PROFESSIONAL!! Everyone has a different accent. All fight scenes should have someone yelling “Alleluia! The Flood is Coming!” in the background. I thought that was Lionel from As Time Goes By (Geoffrey Palmer) as Smythe, and it was! I adore this show, but I was completely unable to suspend belief enough to enjoy this episode (and apparently I’m the only person on the internet who didn’t like it).
The Hour that Never Was
The plot: This episode was a bit different from the rest. The isolation of the recently-abandoned airbase with Steed wandering around alone trying to figure out what was going on was kind of creepy. I took notes as I was watching and don’t feel like editing them down to a reasonable length, and I’m fairly sure I misidentified some characters as I was watching; I was confused at the time, though it made sense at the end (the actions, at least). It starts off with a dog running and Steed swerving to avoid it and hitting a tree; he and Mrs. Peel are going to a military camp nearby (a party for an RAF base being decommissioned). They arrive, and everything’s set up for the party, but no one’s around; everything looks abandoned in the middle of actions…there’s a car at a gas pump with gas running everywhere; the inviter’s electric razor is running; there is smoke coming from the kitchen. Eventually, they see someone running across a runway; that person is shot (the milkman, apparently; they also found a pile of milk bottles to be delivered or picked up). While investigating in the direction of the shooter, they find an unconscious rabbit. There’s a weird noise occasionally, and after one instance, the milkman’s body vanishes; Mrs. Peel finds the milk truck with the body on it. There is an extremely annoying noise, which causes Mrs. Peel to go fuzzy and Steed to fall down a hill and stagger into a fallout shelter. Steed eventually finds a bum who has been living off of the dustbins of airbases all his working life who eventually mentions that the clocks stopped striking at 11. The dog Steed almost hit comes back and apparently belongs to the guard at the gate; Steed goes to check the guardhouse at the gate and is knocked out by the gate falling and ends up back at his car without Mrs. Peel. He makes it back and the party’s in full swing; Mrs. Peel apparently called an hour before and said she couldn’t make it. Steed steps out for a breath of air and sees the dog; it leads him to the tramp’s body. The milk truck drives by with the milkman’s body in the back (maybe there were two milkmen all along; one is driving) (Mrs. Peel was last seen near the milk truck). I’m really confused; apparently the body in the back was the cooks; the milkman delivered it to the cook house; when Steed looked in, he was decorating the cake. The milkman visits the medical centre and picks up two more bodies and another man who tells him to hurry up so they can get them back before they wake up. Steed finds Mrs. Peel tied up in the medical centre; she apparently passed out earlier. She identifies a random drug as a tool for brainwashing; they deduce that someone drugged the camp and set the clocks back so no one would notice they’d lost an hour. That doesn’t explain the dead fish reviving, though (or how they knew where Steed’s car was). Apparently the dentist discovered the sound of the drill could induce a hypnotic state; he broadcast the sound and brainwashed the men so that he could auction them (30 preconditioned brains) off to the highest bidder. The fight scene includes Steed and the dentist and laughing gas. There was, of course, no explanation of why the milkman was helping (a cut of the proceeds, presumably) or who the other guy was.
Random observations: This is a different sort of episode; there are no other characters until halfway through, and a good chunk of it is Steed wandering around the empty base. Mrs. Peel’s outfit at the beginning is odd; a light-colored jacket with two-toned sleeves (and a matching sleeveless shirt underneath) with a dark band around the chest and pockets on the band (the outfit). I like the way Mrs. Peel’s other shoes are conveniently located in the front seat of the car. Running out onto a runway to check on the person who’s just been shot without knowing anything about the shooter is probably not the best idea. Steed doesn’t seem to think it’s odd that all the clocks say its 11 o’clock; he does show frustration, though (throws a glass at a wall) and spends a lot of the episode angry. An open truck is probably not the best choice for carrying bodies around. Diana Rigg’s wardrobe and shoes had their own credits in this episode (the only one on this disc with that sort of credit).