The Avengers 5.8 – The Hidden Tiger

Mood affects enjoyment so much, and a bad mood can knock even a favorite thing down six or seven notches. My “favorite” example is an visit about a decade ago to Dave Poe’s BBQ in Marietta GA. It’s one of my ten or eleven favorite Atlanta-area barbecue places, and the sibling squabbling of my two oldest kids ruined the meal so much that I didn’t bother returning for at least three years.

Last night, I was preoccupied with some business as we watched Philip Levene’s “The Hidden Tiger,” which is one of everybody’s favorite color Avengers episodes. I’ve loved it since the first time I saw it, maybe thirty years ago, and because it was the wrong darn night to watch a great episode of television, it all fell flat to me. Bah. We should have postponed everything and tried again later.

On the other hand, our son really enjoyed the story and says that it’s also one of his favorites, so I’m glad he got the chance to see it as soon as possible. I like the way there’s such an effective shift in tone about halfway through. It’s a played-straight hunt for a large wild animal for about twenty minutes, and then it becomes a whimsical investigation into three criminals with cat names, Mr. Cheshire, Miss Angora, and Dr. Manx, played by Ronnie Barker, Gabrielle Drake, and Lyndon Brook. I think our son appreciated some villains who weren’t at all scary. I know he really loved Mr. Cheshire’s silly habit of drinking milk by lapping it gently with his tongue! Add in some awful puns and lots of cats roaming the corridors of the PURRR organization, and you’ve got a silly hour that kids are guaranteed to enjoy more than any grouchy grownups on the sofa.