Captain, he who walks in fire will burn his feet.

The Golden Voyage of Sinbad (1973)   Ray Harryhausen returns to the kind of unadulterated fantasy material that made Jason and the Argonauts such a success – swords & stop motion, if you like. In between, there were a couple of less successful efforts, HG Wells adaptation First Men in the Moon and The Valley of the Gwangi (which I considered the best thing ever as a kid: dinosaur walks into a cowboy movie). Harryhausen’s special-effects supremacy – in a for-hire capacity – had also been consummately eclipsed by Raquel Welch’s fur bikini in One Million Years B.C. The Golden Voyage of Sinbad follows the expected Dynamation template –

You’ll just have to face it, Steed. You’re completely compromised.

The Avengers Season 6 Ranked – Worst to Best   The final run, and an oft-maligned one. It’s doubtful anyone could have filled Emma Peel’s kinky boots, but it didn’t help Linda Thorson that Tara King was frequently earmarked to moon over Steed while very evidently not being the equal Emma and Cathy were; the generation gap was never less than unflatteringly evident. Nevertheless, despite this imbalance, and the early hiccups of the John Bryce-produced episodes, Season 6 arguably offers a superior selection of episodes to its predecessor, in which everyone became perhaps a little too relaxed. Requiem A tiresome and irritating plot reliant

Body snatchers in this day and age?

The Avengers 6.33: Bizarre   Perhaps I was just being kind as it’s the last episode, or that I liked the final scene (which I still do like) but I had it in my head that Bizarre was a slight but agreeable way to go out. I was right about the slight part. Mother: Are you sure he was dead? Steed: No respiration, no heartbeat, ice cold. Yes, he was dead. Mainly, its problem is that, rather like Requiem, it’s deathly dull and seems to be repeating the same unfunny skit ad infinitum. There’s no tension or surprise involved (the nature of the scam is pretty

What a fantastic story. Dastardly planned, fiendish.

The Avengers 6.31: Requiem   Is this the least inspired Avengers episode? It certainly had me on the verge of giving up the will, with its crude, jigsaw, memory-association plot that seemed to consist entirely of filler in aid of a reveal that was transparently obvious from the first. Tara: Doctor, come to congratulate me on my miraculous recovery? Wells: I think you’re about to have a relapse. Even if you bought into the idea that Brian Clemens might actually have done away with Mother, everything about the villains’ plot to deceive Tara is so barefaced (having to drug her for any trips from

I’m not Pandora. I’m not!

The Avengers 6.28: Pandora   Pandora seems to be a somewhat divisive episode, with complaints ranging from it being atypical to rather dull. I might agree on the former, tonally, as it bears more semblance to a horror tale than an Avengers. That said, it recalls both 5.2: Escape in Time and Avengers girls isolated and in peril in a strange house yarns (3.7: Don’t Look Behind You, 5.15: The Joker). As to it being dull, I tended to being lukewarm on those previous excursions, but I found this one wholly compelling. That said, I do have a couple of gripes. It’s appalling to cast John Laurie (2.11: Death

Do you think the world’s ended and they forgot to tell us?

The Avengers 6.21: The Morning After   This one seems to get something of a mixed reaction, which rather surprises me. Along with the not-dissimilar-in-premise 4.15: The Hour That Never Was, it was one of the highlights of my first-run Avengers experience, and revisiting the series stands up even better than its Season Four counterpart. Much of that is down to John Hough’s superb location work and sure feel for suspense, but Brian Clemens also ensures the plot maintains a sense of mystery, while the odd couple/ Midnight Run/ The Defiant Ones handcuffed pairing of Macnee and Peter Barkworth (1.22: Kill the King, 3.16: The Medicine

But let me remind you that the course has already begun. And you can be taken away and interrogated at any time. Any time at all.

The Avengers 6.21: The Interrogators   After the dual-role disappointment of 5.10: Never, Never Say Die, the show finally does right by Christopher Lee in the role of Colonel Mannering (!), “Head of Interdepartmental Security”, operating a beast of all scams on the intelligence network. It’s a seriously-inclined episode from Richard Harris, rewritten by Brian Clemens (and directed by Charles Crichton), but with just enough of the eccentric to add flavour. Mannering: Oh, forgive me. Lieutenant, would you care for a cup of tea? Casper: Ah, thank you, sir. Mannering: Milk and sugar? Casper: No sugar. Mannering: No sugar. If there’s a flaw, it’s that Minnow

That’s Steed. Who else would smile at a time like this?

The Avengers 6.17: They Keep Killing Steed   Great title. If only Brian Clemens’ teleplay was up to the same standard. Which isn’t to say the episode is terrible, just that it’s another doppelganger Avengers. Only this time, instead of one Steed there’s a selection. Ray McAnally (5.23: The Positive Negative Man) returns, overplaying again with a silly accent. He’s better value here, but still far from one of the series’ most iconic guest stars. Baron Von Curt: It was a privilege being married to you. Indeed, young Ian Ogilvy nearly takes such honours, rocking a shock of blonde hair as Baron Von

Would you care to remark upon the remarkability?

The Avengers 6.4: Split!   The opening teaser can go a long way to cementing an Avengers as a good ’un in the memory, but it can conversely be just about all there is to a story. Such is the case with Split! in which, once you’ve seen Mercer (Maurice Good, 1.10: Hunt the Man Down, 3.7: Don’t Look Behind You, The New Avengers’ Forward Base) hear the name Boris, undergo a personality change (the clawed hand!) and shoot his Ministry of Top-Secret Intelligence (the name’s probably the funniest part of the episode) colleague Compton (Iain Anders), it’s pretty clear what’s up. The only variable is quite how

Always keep you bowler on in times of stress. And watch out for diabolical masterminds.

The Avengers 6.1: The Forget-Me-Knot   I’d best clear up one thing right away. I like Tara King. Maybe it was my age when I first saw her (eleven or twelve) or being simultaneously made aware of how unbeatable Mrs Peel was, and thus hers was a period I could “have” for myself in some way, but I didn’t perceive the assumed drop in quality. Plus, I liked her slightly dappy, make-do quality. Of course, I can see “objectively” that the relationship with Steed isn’t a patch on that of Emma or Cathy, but its biggest failing is not that it isn’t