Story three from the old Diana comic has been brought to life by Paul Magrs – once again, using the story as a template rather than slavishly following it beat for beat (at least one of the key characters isn’t in the comic strips!). Elements from the original story found their way into the audio version of The Miser, and their exclusion from here actually helps the story to flow better.
Haute couture queen Madame Zingara gives Jacqueline Pearce a chance to have a great deal of fun and the story embraces the slightly xenophobic attitude of the 1960s Avengers to great effect. Christopher Naylor’s Emile is an excellent addition to the tale (leading to what appears to be some incredibly callous behaviour on the parts of Steed and Mrs Peel when they learn his apparent fate), and Magrs creates some suitably eccentric Englishmen to act as Madame Zingara’s foils.
Julian Wadham and Olivia Poulet again sparkle: the scene where one of them is hypnotised into attacking the other works very well because we just know that John Steed and Emma Peel wouldn’t act that way and a slight change in vocal tone sells the deception.
Verdict: Another cracking tale. 8/10