Friday, March 31, 2006


Dead Man’s Treasure – It’s Such Fun!

Tune in to BBC4 tonight at 11.30, or set your recording devices, for the last really great episode of the colour Diana Rigg episodes of The Avengers. It’s enormous fun, starting off like a standard Avengers – stolen secrets, agents murdered – but rapidly turning into larks in the countryside, as Steed and Mrs Peel just drive around enjoying themselves to fabulous music. It’s like a week’s holiday in the ‘ordinary’ Sixties instead of their usual fabulous world, complete with ‘Swingingdale’ village, sexual innuendo, Arthur Lowe and the most hilariously bad back projection you’ve ever seen. Some of it’s even deliberate.

The later colour Mrs Peel episodes are, as a rule, much less wild and less fun, with everyone seeming to have run comparatively low on verve and ideas (last week’s was positively turgid). That’s why watching this one last night made such an impression on me – everyone’s enjoying themselves, even the deeply useless villains, who seem to think they’re doing a live-action version of Dastardly and Muttley. There’s a more secret villain, too… Could it be the ditzy blonde? Surely not in The Avengers, despite the fact that her trail of outstandingly dead fiancés makes her sound like a serial killer. There’s even a scene at the end where Mrs Peel, incredibly, grows a – no, I can’t spoil it. Tune in, instead. If you watch this, you will enjoy it.

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