The Town of No Return
- Episode aired Sep 1, 1966
Steed and Emma visit a mysterious coastal town where several agents have vanished, and where the locals are not all they seem.Steed and Emma visit a mysterious coastal town where several agents have vanished, and where the locals are not all they seem.Steed and Emma visit a mysterious coastal town where several agents have vanished, and where the locals are not all they seem.
Immediately you sense a change in style, from the bright, new Laurie Johnson theme tune, the complete change in Patrick MacNee's John Steed character to a sophisticated English gentleman in bowler and umbrella, both like him, with a steely edge and the introduction to Rigg as his new partner, the sexy, smouldering and very athletic Mrs Peel. It's as if the show had finally caught up with the rest of swinging England in the mid 60's, with the future colour episodes even more memorable as I recall.
The interplay between the two leads is arch and occasionally risqué - check the racy dialogue between the two as Steed unties Peel from her bonds in a stable - but never crosses the line into knowing vulgarity. The storylines are sharper too, nodding to the influence of the Bond movies as the narratives become lighter, more escapist and at their best, almost surreal.
This episode of introduction for Mrs Peel works a treat, penned by the excellent Brian Clemens and gives equal lead-time to both. The story here involves impersonations, murders and subterfuge in a little town in the middle of nowhere, as was so often the case in the show, with many a twist and turn along the way. The fight scenes could do with some work, but otherwise most of the constituent parts that made the show such a success are present and correct. Rigg's fashionable outfits are also in place as is the show's use of first rate supporting actors, like Terence Alexander and Juliet Harmer here for instance.
Really wonderful show, probably the best of the many stellar ITC series of the mid and late 60's.
- Sep 13, 2018