Shot on videotape, this is the second and largely studio bound season. Steed has several partners, including a Doctor, the singer Venus Smith and of course Honor Blackman. We are just coming up to viewing the last three episodes.
Based on this season, it seems that the production team is trying out various partners for Steed and also trying very hard to make up for the inconveniences of being almost entirely restricted to the studio. It could well be live action, as was much of the TV of its day. This Dutch DVD set has subtitles that can be switched off and the soundtrack is in English.
The picture quality is poor to good depending on the episode, but it's all OK to watch. The sound is adequate, but on a few episodes is dreadful and a bit of a strain to hear clearly. I'd fogotten the ABC logo and intro tune at the start, and that was quite cute to see. Johnny Dankworth's theme tune I find a bit annoying, but I can put up with it.
The scripts are variable, but some are excellent and a couple were remade later in the Diana Rigg and Linda Thorson shows. The acting is also of a high standard, and Patrick Macnee is just John Steed and no-one else ever can be. The relationship between Steed and Mrs Gale is somehwat more abrasive than later, and Steed can be a bit of a con artist himself to achieve what he wants!
Venus is an oddity as are the jazz song performances interspersed in those episodes, but she has grown on me and I quite like her. The Doctor character as well fits well when used. Cathy Gale is going to be the one for season 3, but so far she's no Emma Peel. Based on this season it's not a classic yet, but it's quickly getting there, and on a few occassions the spark lights up.
Overall, ratings as follows:
The season as a whole
The best episodes , limited by the technology of the day
The principle characters
The supporting cast
The director and overall production, allowing for their available resources
I'm enjoying it very much, which I guess is the main point.
Discussion and Review area for things read and seen
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