Monday, November 22, 2010

Mr Peel to the Rescue---Again

I just found a great video on youtube of the end of one of my favorite Avengers episodes. It is entitled "The Superlative Seven". At the beginning its tag tells us that:

Steed flies to nowhere
Emma does her party piece.

The title invokes "7 Samurai" of Kurosawa note or "The Magnificent Seven". Steed flies off in a robot controlled plane with 6 other people. Each including him are shrouded in mystery. As the show goes on it is revealed that each is the master of something. A champion weightlifter. A western sharpshooter. A master of guerilla warefare. An expert fencer. A bullfighter. Steed of course is a secret agent. They are told upon reaching a remote island that planted among them is an assasin whose
job is to kill the other 6. So this is a combination of the "Seven" films mixed with a touch of Agatha Christies "And Then There Were None".

"The Avengers" was unique in that the heroine often rescued the male lead. This was the opposite of a formula that was used several times in the Diana Rigg episodes. Mrs Peel would be on her own to battle against strange and almost unbeatable odds(The House That Jack Built, The Joker, Murdersville). Steed would come in at the end of these episodes and for a change rescue her. This was Steeds chance to play a more or less solo role for most of the episode with Mrs Peel coming in at the end. When I first watched it I was afraid she was going to be missing for the entire episode. She comes in at the end to electrifying effect. Of course I watched the show mainly to see her.

Of note are an actor (Donald Sutherland) and actress(Charlotte Rampling) who both went on to some notoriety. John Hollis plays the bald headed man. He is a '60's and '70's version of Patrick Stewart. Mr Hollis also appeared in "The Empire Strikes Back" in the original "Star Wars" trilogy.

The assasin is supposed to be virtually unbeatable, and to prove this, is pitted against this team of experts. However, as you can see, he proves no match for Mrs Peel. I am pretty sure it is Diana Rigg in the fight scene.Her movement was choreographed to be more sensual than actually martial. And you get no argument from me on that point. I have all the Diana Rigg episodes on dvd, but it concerns me that "The Avengers" on dvd is no longer on sale. I am glad that they have a home, at least for now, on youtube. So here is the conclusion to "The Superlative Seven":


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