The New Avengers 2.3 – Medium Rare

Another oddball coincidence: several months ago, I picked up the complete End of Part One from a sale at Network. The sketch comedy series, written by David Renwick and Andrew Marshall, came with a lot of recommendations, but like the almost-contemporary Rutland Weekend Television, it’s not nearly as funny as I’d hoped, and so it’s taking me forever to watch them – maybe one episode every five or six weeks, each with a couple of chuckles, but few big belly laughs.

So I watched an episode last night and wondered who the heck one of the ensemble cast was, and it’s Sue Holderness, who imdb told me that I’d be seeing in tonight’s episode of The New Avengers. She plays a fake psychic who suddenly starts picking up actual vibes about the impending death of a stranger, a man named John Steed. Holderness is fun in the role, and it’s very amusing watching Purdey feign politeness while dealing with somebody that registers as a screwball even on the Purdey scale.

Our son was briefly very annoyed by this episode. The villains’ plot is to frame Steed as being involved with what must be a half-dozen different circumstantial shady setups before staging his suicide, and our kid got really aggravated with the bad guys as they get closer and closer to success. I got really aggravated with one gigantic hole, and come on, writer Dennis Spooner should have done better than this. Steed already knows somebody is trying to frame him, and his new psychic pal has given him a hint about who he’s supposed to kill, and yet he goes charging in to investigate without any witnesses. I’m annoyed because Steed’s been around this block more than once in the Tara King years and the character should know better, and because the writer should have thrown a massive wrench in the villains’ plans by having four characters enter the dead man’s flat together, forcing the baddies to rethink and improvise. That would have been much more interesting.

Other than that, it’s not really a bad story, although if anybody watching this doesn’t figure out how the psychic is getting her weird vibes, then they must be about our son’s age. It’s definitely Dennis Spooner’s weakest Avengers installment so far, though.

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