For a long time you might think this was the reciprocal episode to Girl on the Trapeze, given how little David Keel features. In fact, truth be told, he’s really not needed in the episode at all although the Big Finish version does allow him to have some interaction with “one of Steed’s bosses” (a neat way of covering the various different people who have appeared in that guise during this first season). It’s very much a Steed-centric affair, and Julian Wadham really takes every opportunity to show the various sides to the man – a fight scene towards the end is particularly well done, with Steed going from being choked to recovering his urbane suavity extremely quickly once he’s out of danger.
It’s quite a simple story – Steed arrives at the island of Crescent Moon to help find a kidnapped girl, but discovers that things are not as they seem. It becomes quickly engaging though through the repartee that writer/adapter Phil Mulryne gives Wadham and Jot Davies as Carlos, and the cliché-avoiding performance by Dan Starkey as Vasco. In keeping with the period and setting, there’s some violence of a sort that you wouldn’t take for granted nowadays, but which is most appropriate here.
Director Ken Bentley is now an old hand at creating a viable 1960s landscape – between The Avengers and Counter-Measures, he and producer David Richardson must feel as if they’re living five decades ago sometimes! – and the soundscape for this episode is equally credible… particularly for the old rattletrap of a car that Steed is ferried around the island in!
Verdict: It feels a real shame that we’re coming to the end of these adventures – as these reworkings prove, there’s plenty of tales to be told from these dirtier days of Avenging. 8/10