Even more adventures of secret agent John Steed (Patrick Macnee) and his sidekick Mrs. Emma Peel (Diana Rigg). Episodes range from straightforward murder mysteries to cases involving national security to cases involving weird events (which may or may not overlap with the others). In these episodes, one straightforward murder-mystery (with extra crazy guy); delusions of grandeur with random weirdness; spies and foreign agents; and really weird and surreal. These episodes didn’t really stick in my head. I took notes while watching them a week or two ago and don’t really remember them now; my notes make no sense.
Dial a Deadly Number
The plot: Six company chairmen died in less than a year; the companies were not then taken over. Steed acts as a trust fund representative and visits the relevant bank to discuss investments; Mrs. Peel visits the funeral home to get the latest victim’s effects, and discovers that he had a beeper (was wearing it in the pocket over his heart) but it ended up missing. Steed discusses put options (a way to make money with dropping shares?) with another broker with insinuations and flirts with the secretary and discovers the name of someone who is miraculously making money with put options.
Random Thoughts: This episode was kind of boring. The murderer and the motive were obvious from the beginning; Mrs. Peel wasn’t in this one much, so there was a lack of banter; and there were no weird elements to make up for her lack. There was an attack by motorcycles, a wine-tasting duel, and a random crazy guy, though. It all seemed straightforward until the appearance of the crazy guy (the sudden appearance of his craziness, anyway). Mrs. Peel was taking a refresher course in applied medicine and was captured once. This episode did not actually require any suspension of disbelief; I don’t know if the murder method was actually feasable, but it seemed plausible.
Man-Eater of Surrey Green
The Plot: Missing horticulturalists; Mrs. Peel was friends with the latest missing person. They talk to her fiancé/coworker, who has to chair a meeting of horticulturalists when the chairman cannot (his first missed meeting in ten years). Steed visits the chairman as a representative of the Green Preservation society; his favorite plant is the venus flytrap, and he claimed to be collecting horticulturalists for a project involving a new flowering shrub; however, there is brainwashing and an oil derrick in the background, even though there is no oil in Surrey. They find a dead astronaut (died in space), and War Dept. gets involved (spacecraft collided with a plant).
Random Thoughts: This episode more than makes up for the lack of weirdness in the last one. Steed is growing roses, which tells Mrs. Peel what the case involves. Mrs. Peel was taking calls at Steed’s place, and was the driver when they went to investigate. The special effects for the plant growing were lousy. Shotguns were the weapon of choice. Mrs Peel was captured and controlled and fights Steed. At one point, it is mentioned that recent photographs show evidence of whole areas of vegitation on Mars or the Moon. The episode also features a crazy old lady expert, Zombie Horticulturalists, and Man-Eating Mind-Controlling Sentient Plants from Space!! (blocked by hearing aids!) I had a technology issue with this; I didn’t realize until late in the episode that the earplugs with wires to a pocket was a hearing aid; I think I assumed he had a radio or something and was confused when he mentioned turning it down.
Two’s a Crowd
The Plot: Col. Psev wants to infiltrate the Western Defense conference. No one has ever seen him, but they know his tastes (model airplanes, particular and unusual types of cigars and liquers) and his associates. Steed is participating in the conference, and has a watchdog for some reason. Psev and his associates are staying at a random embassy, and the overanxious ambassador is annoying; he tries too hard and is ineffective and made an otherwise interesting episode hard to watch.
Random Thoughts: Starts off ominously with a plane carrying a bomb; the bomb is released and lands in a punchbowl (it’s only a model) with a message: “Arriving at 12 o’clock. Psev”. I was surprised to see that Mrs. Peel actually rang Steed’s doorbell. Randomly, there was a fashion show for secret agent clothes. Surprisingly, the bad guys actually know about Mrs. Peel’s existence. There was stupid use of a house phone leading to Mrs. Peel being captured, and another instance by one of the embassy staff. I did not expect Psev’s identity (should have paid more attention), though I did expect the other twist at the end.
Too Many Christmas Trees
The Plot: secrets are leaking out; the only possible suspects are Steed and Frederick Marshall, an old friend. Steed is having nightmares, walking through fake snow and abstract Christmas trees, finds a pile of presents, including a picture of himself, sees an evil Father Christmas, and in the most recent dream, sees the other guy dead. Mrs. Peel visits, and Steed finds out that Marshall died the previous night. There are four people with a table and pictures of Marshall which are removed to show Steed. One of the people involved is having second thoughts. Mrs. Peel is invited to a house party where the people involved are, and is induced to invite Steed; there are more weird dreams and a Dickensian costume party.
Random Thoughts: bad fake snow (probably intentionally, a dream sequence with 60s abstract trees and with ominous music; I expected Mrs. Peel’s body, but it was some random guy’s). Mrs. Peel used Steed’s doorbell again. Someone called Mrs. Peel “Emma” which then caused Steed to go flirt with a random woman. Mrs. Peel writes articles on psychoanalysis (that are very good for the lay public). At the Dickensian costume party Christmas Eve, she is Oliver Twist (all the other women are in period dresses; Steed is someone who gets executed in A Tale of Two Cities) Mrs. Peel’s hat was knocked off and her hair was perfect underneath, of course. I don’t know why there was there a room of funhouse mirrors; the climactic fight scene was there.