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The Saint: The Gadget Lovers (1967)
Season 5, Episode 23
8/10
Cod Comrades
24 October 2019
Warning: Spoilers
This episode is like a parody of a James Bond film. You'll never hear so many comically Russian accents in one place. Even Simon Templar puts one on, while pretending to be a KGB agent: to communicate with other Russian agents in English.

All the other clichés about Soviets and the joys of capitalist life are thrown in. It's still great fun of course. Simon Templar still finds time to play the gallant gentleman and Mary Peach, as Colonel Smolenko, is a lot more appealing than Rosa Kleb.

There is also what must be the cheapest special effect ever: the supposedly explosive sheet of letter paper.

Not to mention the Chinese soldiers using English as a lingua franca to talk to the Soviets.

The episode is at least a reflection of the new geopolitical realities of the era in which it was made, with the hostility between the Chinese and Soviet versions of Communism.
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The Protectors: Lena (1973)
Season 2, Episode 15
9/10
Ciao Bella!
21 July 2019
All that's best about the series is in this episode. Taut, exciting plot with political overtones. Glamorous location: Venice looks great in all the shots. Smartly dressed characters, not least John Thaw, here playing a suave villain, just a couple of years before he became the rough & tough detective Jack Regan in The Sweeney.
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The House of Eliott: Episode #1.8 (1991)
Season 1, Episode 8
9/10
Brains, planes and automobiles
23 June 2019
All the things we love this series for are here: the emotional drama but most of all the frocks and props. This episode also has vintage cars and planes to admire.

The only absurdity is the single-person biplane that is supposedly taking several passengers and their luggage to Paris. Even if they were lying flat on top of each other they would hardly fit in. Not that anyone would miss the view, since there are no windows in the body of the plane: always a bit of a giveaway, that! And you thought that budget airlines were a modern invention?
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The Protectors: A Pocketful of Posies (1974)
Season 2, Episode 23
5/10
Less than a full pocket
23 June 2019
This is one for pop fans. Eartha Kitt's singing is the best thing about this episode. The house party with the table - top dancing granny is also quite fun.

The next best thing is the guest appearance by Kate O'Mara. The plot itself is feeble and developed unusually slowly, so that the ending appears suddenly tacked-on with no real preparation.
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Kojak: No License to Kill (1978)
Season 5, Episode 17
9/10
The Two Musketeers
19 June 2019
This episode turned out to be far more enjoyable than i expected.

It starts with what looks like an unproductive rivalry between the NYPD's 53rd Precinct, The Bronx, and our heroes of the 11th Precinct, Manhattan South.

Kojak also has a new, junior assistant traveling with him.

There are several nice reminders of what a multicultural mix is New York.

Not for the first time in this series, the police have to try and save foolish, stubborn members of the public who can't see what danger they are in.
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The Protectors: Blockbuster (1974)
Season 2, Episode 26
5/10
Not-so-Sweet Blockbuster
17 June 2019
This episode lacks the glamorous locations we came to expect with this series. Here it's mainly the scrapyards and industrial sites of London. The plot seems clumsily contrived as well.

A rather downbeat end to the series. Perhaps it was time.
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The Protectors: Petard (1973)
Season 2, Episode 6
7/10
The Protectors clean up
16 May 2019
It is laughable trying to graft the aura of international espionage and sophistication on to a plot about industrial espionage in a cleaning products company but that's no reason not to enjoy this episode if you're a Protectors fan.

As well as our favourite glamorous heroes, there's a cameo from Carry On legend Angela Douglas as a secretary and there's the future Mrs Boswell from the Liver Birds playing a rather sexy looking office cleaner.

The car phone must have been the height of sophistication for the time and plays a suitably crucial role.
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7/10
A worthy gem of a documentary
25 October 2018
This documentary has a strangely archaic feel to it, as though it was made sometime between the 1940s and 1970s. The key difference being that most of the interviewees that were available were children during the events described. Not that it makes their testimonies less moving; quite the contrary. The use of dubbing instead of subtitles for the German interviews is disappointing, though.

There is plenty of dramatic archive footage and the film is very worthy. For anyone with an interest in Hamburg, such as a tourist and business visitor like me, it is definitely worth a look.
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Foyle's War: Elise (2015)
Season 8, Episode 3
10/10
Hilda steals the show!
21 March 2015
Warning: Spoilers
Really, Ellie Haddington's character, Hilda, steals this episode (even among what is a cast of outstanding performances.) It's a very sensitive portrayal by Miss Haddington. One of the enchantments of this series has been seeing her character develop.

In a similar vein has been the change in Tim McMullan's character, Arthur Valentine, and his relationship with Foyle. It has gone from antagonism at the start of the seventh season to mutual respect and even friendship in the last two episodes.

Perhaps here is a good point to mention one discrepancy. The surname of the character of Hilda, as given in the screen credits, changes from Pearce, for the character's first appearance in the third episode of the second season, "War Games," to Pierce by the last episode.

In the last two seasons, The Times is shown as virtually the house journal of MI5. An "In Memoriam - Private" announcement for the fictional character of Hilda Pierce appeared in The Times of 18 February 2015. The quotation used was from T.S. Elliot's poem "Ash Wednesday ". This poem would have been familiar to Foyle, as he mentions it in the third episode of the first season, "A Lesson in Murder."
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