“What’s going on here? What’s happening to me?”
Plot – Gene arrives in Scotland and is immediately knocked out and taken away to an underground car park to be brainwashed by the chauffeur. Said chauffeur is actually a member of ‘an anti-militant group who pretend to be non-violent’, in this case by brainwashing our man Bradley to murder a top army officer…
Starring – ‘Gene Barry and Barry Morse as Mr Parminter’, who this week is mostly helicopter-watching.
Guest Cast – Natasha Pyne (Ann Somerby), John Collin (John Campbell), David Lampson (Carl Bruner), Alexandra Bastedo (Lola Wells), Bob Cartland (Peter Maller), Cec Linder (General McCready), Karl Held (Major), Hugh Walters (Pestrade), Paddy Ryan (Zenn), John Dunbar (Police Inspector), Stuart Sherwin (Driver), Norman Atkyns (Shopkeeper).
Uncredited – David Graham as the voice of the police inspector.
Writer – The first and only Adventurer script from the late great Brian Clemens, of The Avengers and The Professionals fame…
Director – Barry Morse. Yes, our second lead does some directing work on the side. Hopefully he got paid more for that as he does a terrific job here, even getting in a Man from U.N.C.L.E. style switch-pan which is a sign of the highest level of classiness.
Locations – There’s some location work at Waverly Station where Gene’s fans gather, and then there is a big house and another big house and some fields too. No idea whether this is really in Scotland or not. I’d lean more towards not though…
Mission Briefing – Again, no mission. I miss the crazy info-dumping of the first few episodes…
The Bradley Way – Not much to say here. Gene isn’t above sneaking away from his fans, and we also learn that he apparently served in the army at some stage in his long and varied life (and once went out on a mission in Korea where apparently the only he succeeded in doing was getting himself lost), but that’s about all. He overcomes his brainwashing through being so damn hard and by sneaking a message to obsessed fan Ann, which alerts the General to the danger and saves the day. Well done Gene.
Mr Parminter is a Very Cautious Man – Parminter makes a few phone-calls as he checks up on Gene’s disappearance, and then gets a trip to the morgue, but otherwise he doesn’t do much.
“What About Diane?” – Oh, oh, Diane…will I love you, I will, always…
“And Gavin?” – No Gavin, quelle surprise – however Parminter seems to have a an army Major on hand played by Karl Held. Said Mr Held appears to have done a fair bit both this side and that side of the Atlantic throughout the sixties and seventies. British series he’s been in include Strange Report, Space:1999 and Return of the Saint, whilst he appears to have had larger parts in American series like Mission: Impossible, The Girl from U.N.C.L.E. and The Incredible Hulk. He’s also the only Adventurer guest artist to have featured in the original Star Trek…unless I’m wrong, which has happened before.
Anyway, his career seemed to have hit some sort of block in 1991 with a bit part on that L.A. Law episode where Diana Muldaur fell down the elevator shaft, but IMDB reports he’s in some film or other this year, so that’s alright then.
The Oldest Swinger in Town – Not much fashion to note here (it’s bad, obviously, but not notably bad), and the standard end-of-episode fight scene happens off-screen. All we get to see is one of Gene’s patented fist-slaps…
“Alright, old friend – let me see you!” – It’s this episode that this line comes from, with the old friend being General McCready. He’s a General, and…stuff.
“Shall we take them?” – Gene’s kidnappers consist of John Campbell (posing as a chauffeur), Carl Bruner (director/producer and seemingly in charge of the operation), Lola Wells (Gene’s leading lady, playing ‘The Countess’), and two other guys whose names I can’t remember. What they want is unclear and their plan is insanely complicated, so obviously they’re perfect Adventurer villains.
Quotable Quotes –
PARMINTER – “The Scottish police just found Gene.”
MAJOR: “Found him? That’s great. Where?”
PARMINTER: “Face down in a ditch…dead.”
“Dead? That’s great too!”
GENE: “Are they for love in Blackpool?”
ANN: “Oh, yes!”
GENE: “Where you from?”
Boing! Wah wah wah waaahh…
Cracking Cliffhangers – Ann ‘Stalker’ Somerby discovers Gene’s empty car, and notes that he has disappeared. Ooh er…
The Irony of It All – “This scene has to have pace and mood…”
“What’s it all about, Gene?” – Evidently Gene’s army of waiting fans knew that he would be smuggled out through a side exit, but they still waited out the front anyway. The fools.
Ann apparently has x-ray vision – she can deduce exactly what Gene is wearing and what he’s doing whilst he’s in a car in front of her.
Bruner’s accent seems to switch between English and Australian without warning.
The baddies are escorting Gene to be brainwashed when one of his fans (played by Hugh ‘Vogel’ Walters) stops him and asks for an autograph, whereupon he gets carried away to be killed. That’s not good thinking, baddies, if you want to be inconspicuous. And anyway, there’s a great big brainwashing machine right there – why not just make him forget all about it?
Oh, and apparently Gene has given Vogel ‘great pleasure’…mmm hmm.
Speaking of Vogel, his dead body is later found and mistaken for Gene’s because he was carrying a photo from Gene’s fan club in his pocket. The unlikeliness of this mistake only makes sense if he was found by someone without eyes.
“It’s all rather difficult.” – Ann is meant to be close behind Gene’s car at the start of this episode. Cut to Gene, and the back-projected road behind him is clear for about a mile.
Near the end of the episode, we have some more bad dubbing…or maybe we’re hearing his internal thoughts?…as Gene cries “I’ve gotta find that reporter!” I’d also like to know what Alexandra Bastedo’s line is as the baddies toast their success, I can’t make it out…
Also this episode is in pretty bad condition, with vertical lines throughout. Or maybe that’s just the strings…
The Defining Moment – Um…no, not a lot. Except this.
Ramblings – I quite like the different positioning of the writer and director credits for this episode.
Ann’s not a very good reporter, is she? She follows Gene’s limo in a bright white car and doesn’t even think to drop back a little when it arrives at the mansion, proceeding to wander around the grounds loudly reporting on everything in great detail. (“1.25p.m. Subject on castle terrace, drinking what appears to be coffee.”) So, not just x-ray vision but general super-vision, given that she can judge the contents of Gene’s cup from about a mile or so away. She does have binoculars, but-
“Or maybe tea!”
Perhaps not then. In fact, the girl seems just a tad unhinged. She’s a stalker, that’s what she is, and Gene’s just asking for trouble by taking her off for an ‘exclusive interview’ at the end of the episode…
I quite like Gene’s ‘hypnotised’ performance in this episode – kind of both childlike and drunk. Oh, and Alexandra Bastedo should never be not-blonde.
Rating – 4/5. This is nice. OK, it’s still terrible, but…it’s terrible in a different way to normal. It certainly makes a change from the usual Adventurer fare. Gene gets repeatedly gassed into submission, which is good, there’s a nice bit of mystery and a good guest cast. Yes. I like this episode quite a bit.