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The Persuaders


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#31 SecretAgentFan

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Posted 05 July 2017 - 04:54 AM

Absolutely!

 

And I´m looking forward to re-watching all of these on the blu-ray set that´s waiting on my shelve.



#32 chrisno1

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Posted 05 July 2017 - 03:25 PM

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Episode 16: A Home of One’s Own
Director: James Hill
Writer: Terry Nation

 

This is a very odd chapter indeed. Mysterious satanic happenings at a remote farmhouse result in the murder of a special police agent. When Danny purchases the cottage, in the mistaken belief it could be his dream house, he opens a weekend of peril for The Persuaders.

 

Terry Nation’s background as a sci-fi writer lends itself to the opening scenes and their inhabitants with their strange olde-worlde superstitious view of the countryside, but they mix uneasily with Tony Curtis’ dreadful overacting, which is less akin to a movie star slumming it than a school kid trying to over-impress at the annual nativity. He isn’t helped by terrible earnest turns from the ‘locals’, who include gamekeeper, innkeeper, turncoat policeman and some farmyard heavies who seem to have little to do except swing axes at heads. The villain, Rupert Hathaway (John Ronane), is beaten much too easily at every turn and offers no threat except his English accent. 

 

Cliché follows cliché: Tony Curtis protects his new abode like a wild west homesteader, poncho, rifle, et al and once again Roger Moore rides to the rescue, this time accompanied by Hannah Gordon’s winsome Lucy, a fraud investigator posing as a bird watcher [“My favourite pastime,” quips Brett]. 

 

Somewhere buried inside this untidy package is a counterfeit money laundering scheme but it arrives too late and a little too conveniently. The telling is let down by obvious double crosses, hopeless narrative editing [a plot element is a rope on a well, but it switches from frayed to brand new depending on when the scenes were shot, not on when they take place], the reuse of the same green field landing strip we’ve seen before in the previous episode, among others, and some hilariously bad ‘rose-tinted’ sequences as Tony Curtis imagines his country retreat in all its beauty. You can understand why Curtis in particular doesn’t seem to take the proceedings remotely seriously. 

 

The whole exercise is a comedic crash landing of catastrophic proportions, so terrible it's watchable, you can hardly take your eyes off it from sheer dismay.

 

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Brett's Aston Martin... Lovely colour   :P



#33 chrisno1

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Posted 06 July 2017 - 02:33 PM

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Episode 17: Five Miles to Midnight
Director: Val Guest
Writer: Terry Nation 

 

Val Guest was responsible for Angie, Angie, one of the more acceptable episodes of The Persuaders and he succeeds again here with a mini-chase movie set in Rome and Northern Italy. While those are represented mostly by back-lot externals and interiors and stock footage, the guest stars, Joan Collins and Robert Hutton, are palpably real.

 

Following the murder of a mafia kingpin and his wife, Judge Fulton (Laurence Naismith, always in sparkling form) sends Brett and Danny to the aid of Frank Rocco, an American ‘godfather’ about to turn State’s Witness who must be escorted safely over the border for extradition. Neither Persuader is particularly happy with the assignment, but spending time with Collins’ bosomy fun loving photographer Sid – short for Sidonie – would be enough to persuade any man to undertake the task. They decide to use her pick-up truck and she insists on accompanying them hoping to make a financial killing selling snap shots of Rocco’s escape to the newspapers. They’ve hardly left her apartment before the police are on the hunt and not even a nifty bit of driving at a roadblock can distract their pursuers. These early street scenes actually look as if they were shot in Italy, unlike the remainder which is probably filmed either in France or the UK.

 

Good performances abound however, particularly from Collins’ Sid, all enthusiasm and sauciness, and Hutton’s abrasive Rocco. Roger Moore too has a moment to shine; there is a quiet scene where we learn a little more about his past life and aspirations and why he works for the Judge. This kind of personal insight has been generally lacking in The Persuaders and it is nice to see a writer attempting to give a character more than a surface shine. The prerequisite humour is still in evidence, but it is presented with more style and adds to the action rather than detracts from it.

 

Brett and Danny make fairly amateurish bodyguards and it is no surprise they end up surrounded by the police in the salon of an Italian mansion enjoying the hospitality of Count Sangallo (a refined Ferdy Mayne). The team escape and the chase continues in stolen police cars and on stolen push bikes until The Persuaders send Sid and Rocco over the border while they stay holed up in an abandoned shepherd’s hut. The eventual climax is a trifle flat, with a badly choreographed western-style gunfight bringing to mind memories of ‘Butch and Sundance’, only without the ultimate death scenes. It doesn’t really spoil anything, however.

 

There’s a host of good stuff happening here: music, photography, acting and writing are all well above par; there’s even a mysterious prelude featuring a glazed, drug addled Jean Marsh – possibly the swiftest guest star role ever in a TV show – and an unexpected twist at the show’s end.

 

Five Miles to Midnight is very, very good. I could watch it again and again.

 

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And a Ferrari Dino  :D

 



#34 chrisno1

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Posted 07 July 2017 - 12:27 PM

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Episode 18: Nuisance Value
Director: Leslie Norman
Writer: David Rolfe, Tony Barwick

 

The Persuaders have decamped to the Hotel Don Juan, apparently somewhere in Spain, but it’s clearly the same set used for The Old, The New and The Deadly. Likewise, the final confrontation plays out at the same sleepy deserted town featured in The Man in the Middle. There’s no other sense of déjà vu: the remainder of this thin episode is as awful as television can get. 

 

Viviane Ventura is Lisa, a spoilt child so determined to marry her beau that she arranges her own kidnapping. Naturally Danny Wilde is implicated. To confound matters Lisa’s father, Zorakin – a scene chewing George Murcell – has past history with Danny and dislikes him intensely. Ralph Bates is the dreamer fiancé with an alternative agenda. 

 

Nothing surprises in this straightforward, comic nonsense. It’s so bad none of the actors wanted to be listed as a guest star in the opening titles. Uniformly their performances are abysmal with Viviane Ventura’s grimly hysterical heroine the biggest misstep of all, eliciting no sympathy from the audience. The titular stars don’t help, although they have very little to work with. 

 

It’s interesting to note this is the only episode of The Persuaders which credits two screenwriters. The script certainly needed rescuing, but neither has aided the other. You really can’t save this one and the only happy marriage the viewer gets is between Curtis and Moore, confirmed bachelors one and all, heading off together into a Spanish sunset. 

 

A bad one all round.

 

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#35 chrisno1

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Posted 08 July 2017 - 02:41 PM

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Episode 19: The Morning After
Director: Leslie Norman
Writer: Walter Black 

 

The Morning After marks the last appearance of Laurence Naismith’s Judge Fulton who, far from being retired, seems to have graduated to the diplomatic corps. Fulton was never more than a peripheral character in The Persuaders, but I often wish we’d seen more of him, as it gave the fighting two-some a reason for their adventures rather than simply finding themselves in awkward and dangerous situations. So it’s farewell, Judge; hello, Bride.

 

Brett Sinclair awakes with a hangover and appears to be married to Catherine Schell’s luminous Kristen. However it soon transpires this little Swedish sexpot is on the take. There’s some nice to-ing and fro-ing in Stockholm as Brett and Danny attempt to uncover the truth. The pace picks up considerably in England where a politically motivated kidnap plot begins to unfold. 

 

A generally tedious exercise is livened by some enthusiastic playing, particularly from Bernard Horsfall as the chief villain Christiansen and Yutte Stensgaard [she of nude Hammer Horror vampire movies] as Danny Wilde’s delicious sidekick Bibi. Tony Curtis for once shows his deftness of touch for comedy, something he's been eschewing since the earliest episodes.

 

It isn’t enough though. Despite a car pursuit at its climax everything just seems a little off kilter, including Sinclair’s estate Greensleeves which has a new butler and a new façade. The tale ends at the same helicopter / plane / air field we’ve witnessed in a few episodes already and, while the story may seem different, it’s really just more of the same only a little more untidy at the edges.

 

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#36 AMC Hornet

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Posted 08 July 2017 - 04:19 PM

But it had Catherine Schell!

Oi!

If I'd been Brett I would have played that fake marriage for all it was worth, whatever plot was brewing.

Catherine Schell!

Fanboy rant over.



#37 chrisno1

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Posted 10 July 2017 - 03:58 PM

But it had Catherine Schell!

Oi!

If I'd been Brett I would have played that fake marriage for all it was worth, whatever plot was brewing.

Catherine Schell!

Fanboy rant over.

 

Indeed ! How could he not ? Amazing self control. The man clearly did not, under any circumstance, wish to be wed.



#38 chrisno1

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Posted 11 July 2017 - 04:25 PM

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Episode 20: Read and Destroy
Director: Roy Ward Baker
Writer: Philip Yeldman 

 

Felix Meadows, a double agent, is exchanged between East and West, but he escapes with his liberty and the same pick-up truck used by Joan Collins in Five Miles to Midnight. He hopes to sell his memoirs to the highest bidder and holes up with old school chum Brett Sinclair while the hounds of spy-dom are let loose. 

 

Joss Ackland is excellent as Felix, evading friend and foe and two devilish ex-wives – played with just the right amount of guile and grace by Kate O’Mara and Magda Konopka. You really have to give him full marks; Mr Ackland amazingly manages to maintain a straight face throughout the whole exercise, even when revealing his hairpiece contains a microfilm of his manuscript. 

 

Meanwhile Roger Moore and Tony Curtis gallivant around haphazardly as they compete with each other trying to obtain the book for their respective governments, represented by Nigel Green and Eliot Sullivan. The stars default expressions when confronted with such tomfoolery tend to be quizzical embarrassment. There is an exciting forest-bound three-way gun battle early on, but after that its jokes all the way and the story tapers out tamely. 

 

Fun, but no memoir.

 

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A nice publicity shot of Sir Roger and our Tone. Is it my imagination or are they just a little bit too close for comfortable viewing...?


Edited by chrisno1, 11 July 2017 - 04:29 PM.


#39 chrisno1

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Posted 12 July 2017 - 05:00 PM

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INTERLUDE :

The Ex-King of Diamonds

 

I recently caught the 1968 episode of The Saint entitled "The Ex-King of Diamonds." I did so by accident and watched it with arched eyebrows. Research reveals many armchair fans view this chapter if The Saint's history as a forerunner for The Persuaders, given that it features a debonair millionaire Englishman and his side-kick, a multi-millionaire Texas oil man, who strike up an uneasy partnership.

 

The episode is a casino sting story involving Willoughby Goddard's King Boris, the deposed ruler of the imaginary kingdom of Slavonia, who is raising funds for his counter coup by gambling in Monte Carlo, utilising a special pair of sunglasses and a shipment upon shipment of dodgy playing cards. It bears a striking resemblance both to Ian Fleming's Casino Royale and to John Pearson's later "Luminous Reader" tale in The Authorised Biography

 

But I'm not really here to write about tenuous links to Bond history, rather to note how John Kruse's script evokes memories of several plots from The Persuaders. First and most obvious is the uneasy camaraderie between Roger Moore's Simon Templar and Stuart Damon's American Rod Huston, who he constantly refers to condescendingly as "Texas."

 

This friendship is predominantly played for broad laughs and is founded via an invitation to the baccarat table from the mysterious, obscenely obese Boris. They first meet on the journey to Monaco, chasing each other for kicks along the Cote D'Azur; later they argue over the finer points of French etiquette in an attempt to impress two local ladies; finally - both aggravated to extremes - they slug it out on the casino terrace while exchanging footnotes about the distinctly rigged deck of cards. All of these incidents were replicated in a similar fashion for the opening gambit of The Persuaders, "Overture."

 

One other man has also noticed the against all good odds fortune of King Boris, a French genius mathematician Henri Flambeau, who shares a spiky relationship with his daughter, Janine. Their subsequent capture, interrogation and rescue brings to mind the circumstances surrounding the Devigne's in "The Gold Napoleon."

 

The story ends with some underwater and underground skulduggery, a host of fight scenes, the foil of the gambling scam and a midnight explosion at sea. Yet none of it convinces, not on any level. It's helmed by director Alvin Rakoff and he covers all the bases of a fifty minute television adventure without venturing beyond the confines of comfort zone silliness. According to the credits Leslie Charteris was responsible for the story, but I have a feeling that is more a sop to the writer and creator of The Saint than an example of genuine input. The blame for this debacle rests, I feel, with John Kruse and Alvin Rakoff.

 

There is so much badly wrong with this example of The Saint that I really am amazed it could ever have given rise to The Persuaders. The premise itself is fine but the execution is abysmal. The acting from all concerned is some of the very worst I've ever seen. Even the cameos seem to be caught in some hopelessly exaggerated world of foreign accents and mannerisms. Stuart Damon's Rod Huston is by far the worst offence, his American twang so overblown and drawn out as to be less of a drawl and more of an obnoxious whine. It's even more bizarre when discover Damon is in fact from New York City. Similarly Ronald Radd and Isla Blair give the most hammy of French impersonations. They play their roles as if the dialogue never existed, all overblown physicality and wide-eyed astonishment.

 

There's nothing subtle about the story line either. It's got so much to pack in there isn't time for anything but the most rudimentary of back story and character development. It's a clodhopper of an experiment which even the brush stroke of humour cannot save.

 

It is quite fair to say that, similarities aside, The Persuaders was never as bad as this, not by any stretch. For that I must be thankful.

 

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Moore and Damon hamming it up as Templar and Huston. Damon later starred in The Champions, another I.T.C. cult classic.


Edited by chrisno1, 12 July 2017 - 05:05 PM.


#40 Blofeld's Cat

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Posted 14 July 2017 - 03:09 AM

You could say that ep was a Templa[r]te for The Persuaders.  :P



#41 chrisno1

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 09:19 AM

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Episode 21: A Death in the Family
Director: Sidney Hayers
Writer: Terry Nation 

 

A sort of ‘Kind Hearts and Coronets’ Persuaders-style, A Death in the Family is a yarn which feels as though it has been lifted straight out of The Avengers, what with all the strange face masks, stranger family members and even stranger than that death scenes. This should really come as no surprise, for Terry Nation wrote many episodes of that famous show throughout the late sixties.

 

I’d like to say this is as good as some of those sixties yarns, but it isn’t. This bizarre murder mystery is clearly a cast-off dusted down from the reject shelf and given a quick make-over. It’s is worth watching to see the dazzling array of star talent on show, most of it over indulging in an indolent fashion. Moultine Kelsall’s Uncle Angus is particularly silly, a Scottish caricature of debatable taste.

 

Only Diance Cilento, as Brett’s cousin Kate Sinclair, comes out with any plaudits. It doesn’t matter how hard Willie Rushton, Ronald Culver and Denholm Eliot try, they can’t contribute anything of note. Even Roger Moore’s drag queen turn as Brett’s Aunt Agatha is a feeble exercise, as are the stream of death jokes spouted by Curtis and Moore as the Sinclair relatives get bumped off with increasing regularity and decreasing interest.

 

A Death in the Family is too silly and too slow; it’s all just a bit too over the top.

 

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#42 chrisno1

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Posted 18 July 2017 - 03:10 PM

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Episode 22: The Ozerov Inheritance
Director: Roy Ward Baker
Writer: Harry W. Junkin

 

Geneva. Night time. Danny and Brett are on holiday. Danny wants to go skiing. Brett has a secret assignation. Both men’s plans are wrecked when they are assaulted at their hotel. The thugs escape, only to be replaced by the glamorous Princess Alexandra, a serenely beautiful Prunella Ransome, who offers herself to their service. 

 

The Persuaders have been summoned to Switzerland by the Grand Duchess Ozerov to help solve an inheritance problem. Out-acted by the marvellous Gladys Cooper (who also has all the best dialogue) Moore and Curtis proceed with their investigations, menaced by two brutal private detectives (those mysterious hotel thugs) as well as Gary Raymond’s sinister Sergei, an Ozerov who lacks all of the ladies’ class. 

 

There’s several bouts of realistic action in this story: two sabre duels of nasty consequences, a deadly car crash, a break in to an archivists apartment, clues and mysteries arrive at every corner. After four fairly forgettable chapters it’s great to have a story with real meat on its bones. 

 

Half-way through, Brett is dispatched back to England to meet his uncle [one not killed in last week’s episode…] who inadvertently  holds vital evidence towards the inheritance conundrum. Arnold Ridley gives a likeably dotty performance as Uncle Rodney and his interplay with Roger Moore is excellent. Danny meanwhile confronts the murderous detectives and only Brett’s return can save him and the Ozerov jewels. 

 

This is a lively adventure with genuine looking Swiss locations and a decent thorough plot which, after the initial pre-credit gambit, for once wastes no energy on The Persuaders usual frivolous antics. Much thanks must go to writer Harry W. Junkin who has laced a good story with some sparkling lines and fine set pieces. The production values are unusually high. The sets are lavish; the costumes beautiful. Roy Ward Baker helms with some aplomb, using cutaways and strange twisted camera angles to give the action a more stylised visual impact.

 

There are a few neat touches. Alexandra brushes a hair from Brett’s expensive lapel, so he gently brushes her tresses across her shoulder; the sort of intimate detail missing in most of this kind of TV fare. Later in a police station Danny, like Houdini, removes a pair of handcuffs much to Brett’s astonishment; Tony Curtis of course once played Houdini on screen. Another in-joke occurs at the expense of Curtis’ family heritage when the Duchess states with some glee: “A sabre expert like that must have Russian blood in him” to which Danny chimes: “Just a little.” Gladys Cooper, in her final role, has an early soliloquy of great power.

 

Anouska Hempel reappears, this time as a helpful stewardess, and those Bond stalwarts Yuri Borienko and Joseph Furst have minor roles, the latter shining in his pivotal role a seedy Swiss bank manager. The narrative effectively twists and turns in all the right places and with all the best results. It ends satisfactorily in a flurry of swords.

 

Very, very good indeed.

 

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Sir Roger and Our Tone, looking distinctly ruffled.



#43 chrisno1

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Posted 20 July 2017 - 10:03 AM

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Episode 23: To the Death, Baby
Director: Basil Dearden
Writer: Donald James

 

We are back in Spain where John Hatton, a desperate financial advisor, asks The Persuaders for help: the heiress Shelly Masterton has chosen the conman Carl Foster for a lover and he fears she will hand over her fortune to him. Danny is already aware who Foster is and dislikes him intensely. He’s also aware who Foster’s backer is, the despicable, leech like Cody, an admirable turn from Harold Innocent, displaying his character’s personal detachment; unusual in this sort of fare.

 

Brett meanwhile is more concerned by Danny’s ability to con real money from real conmen in high stakes poker games – until he meets the beautiful Miss Masterton, played with just the right amount of disinterest by Jennie Linden. Brett and Danny decide to vie for her attention in the hope they can persuade her to alter her affections.

 

This then plays a little like the opening episode of the series. Minus the knowledgeable input from Judge Fulton it all seems highly unlikely and our heroes efforts at seduction are distinctly chauvinistically mawkish. Carl Foster reveals his intentions and character traits much too early and all the mystery is removed. The eventual double cross is laughably inept. The humour in general is second rate. Moore and Curtis do the best they can with the material and by the episode's end they are both left suitably speechless.

 

To the Death, Baby has a terrible title and a bland plot. Thespians like Thorley Walters, Terence Morgan and Roger Delgado do okay, but they’re hampered by story familiarity and the feeling we are watching less of a thriller and more of a battle of the sexes screwball comedy. The poor sound recording and over-dubbing doesn’t help.

 

Disappointing.

 

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#44 chrisno1

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Posted 22 July 2017 - 02:52 PM

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Episode 24: Someone Waiting
Director: Peter Medak
Writer: Terry Nation

 

Peter Medak was a director on the up when he helmed this, the final episode of The Persuaders. I’d like to say it has sparkle and shine, but it really doesn’t. For better examples of Medak’s work watch A Day in the Death of Joe Egg, The Krays or Let Him Have It

 

Someone is trying to kill Brett Sinclair at the British Grand Prix. The papers are involved. The mechanics are involved. The drivers are involved. A bunch of hopeless crooks are involved. So is Lois Maxwell’s underused femme fatale, Louise, who swans around gorgeously like Lauren Bacall in her prime for one – yes, just one – excellent set-to with Tony Curtis. The only people who don’t seem to get involved are the police – a common fault throughout the series, but one which without it would allow our cheery two-some no adventures at all.

 

A whole fifty minutes passes. The apparently interconnected scenes are played predominantly for laughs; even when the action kicks in Medak interprets it like a prat-fall silent comedy. Given the plot arc of Grand Prix racing fatalities [a very prominent likelihood at every race in the seventies] I’d have expected to see or at the very least discuss more racing. We don’t, although there is another excellent moment where the injured and traumatised former driver Jenkins (John Cairney) relives his crash to a stunned Brett. Here Roger Moore is at something like his very best. 

 

Even then though Medak’s cinematic touches don’t quite make the difference perhaps because Terry Nation’s script – his eighth for the series – is for the most part well below par. You sense he’s run out of steam. There’s a good role for Penelope Horner as a journalist; Jenny Hanley and Sam Kydd put in perfunctory appearances; the denouement is reached without surprise. 

 

The story ends on a smile and a joke. Sadly, as the show wraps for a final time, it’s seems to be all just a little too easy for cast and crew and you wonder if they were already cashing their pay checks. A disappointing finale with a few flourishes that make you wish they’d spent a little more time perfecting the best episodes and left the rest in development heaven.

 

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Goodbye, my friends...

 



#45 SecretAgentFan

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Posted 24 July 2017 - 12:16 PM

Thanks a lot, Chrisno1!  Highly entertaining to read AND to look at!

 

This thread should reappear in the new forums!



#46 chrisno1

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Posted 24 July 2017 - 02:19 PM

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The Books

Author: Frederick E. Smith

 

When I was watching the episodes and writing my reviews of The Persuaders, I made a cursory search on Google for “Persuaders novels” and was surprised to be directed to an Amazon page advertising The Persuaders! Book Two by Frederick E. Smith. Further digging led me to obtain not only that but also Book Three and, from America, Book One. I now have a UK edition of the first book to complete my collection, but it is in poor condition. Published by Pan in 1972 and ’73 (the third instalment only) these novels are short perfunctory adaptations of episodes from the television series.

 

Book One kicks off with Overture and introduces us to Brett Sinclair and Danny Wilde. Curiously it omits the opening prologue where Judge Fulton explains to a bemused French police inspector why he wants to employ these two lay-about playboy millionaires for his minor espionage escapade. From that point on it’s a straight forward retelling of the screen narrative, scene by scene, line by line. The author starts well, describing the main protagonists in flimsy detail, concentrating, like the show, on the fun and fancy elements of the heroes’ lives and lifestyles. I would have preferred more character background, something about their upbringing, their rise to fame and fortune, their thoughts and feelings. This is a major failing throughout the books; there is no depth or substance. So when Brett or Danny brandishes a gun – as they do in the second instalment Angie, Angie – there’s no suggestion it may have happened before, or what it feels like, the weight, the sensory power, the emotional sensation; the writing is uniformly bland.

 

Some moments are well described. I particularly enjoyed the scene where Danny is poisoned and “his voice had the sepulchral slowness of a soundtrack breaking down… Angie’s face blurred [and] grew larger and larger until the room seemed no longer to contain it. Then it burst and the darkness that radiated from the explosion brought oblivion.” I’d have expected more of this in a tight, personal adventure, but the thoughts and emotions of Wilde and Angie are, for the most part, underwritten. Generally this is a loose exercise and both chapters pass easily with only mild attractions. In the U.S., Ballantine Books re-titled the collection The Heart Shaped Birth Mark, which (when I received it) initially made me think I was reading a fully expanded adaptation of Overture, which might have worked quite well had Mr Smith spent any length of time over it.

 

Book Two is devoted to Terry Nation and his dual screenplays Five Miles to Midnight and Someone Like Me, both of which have much to recommend them as televisual spectacles. Unfortunately the author can’t effectively replicate the chase through Italy off the screen and onto the page. He can’t develop the suspense beyond our memory, chiefly because he hasn’t given anything more than surface gloss to his characters, so we don’t care enough about them. This is disappointing as Tony Curtis, Roger Moore, Joan Collins, Ferdy Mayne and Robert Hutton do so much to bring these people to life. There is no tension to the climax either, although Mr Smith isn’t aided by the original script, which did peter out a little. Likewise Curtis and Moore’s good performances in Someone Like Me have lost all the nuances, the confusion and anger which registers from the actors. The gripping finale becomes very tame.

 

The 'novelisation' was a seventies phenomenon which has never quite gone away. In Woody Allen’s Manhattan, Isaac Davies (Allen) asks Mary (Diane Keaton) why she’s transcribing a novelisation when her own writing is so good. “It’s easy work and the money’s great,” she replies. I don’t know Mr Smith’s canon, but I understand his most famous book is the sky bound war adventure 633 Squadron, later adapted into a popular film. I think perhaps the author subscribed to Mary’s point of view. Certainly by the time of Book Three, the rot had begun to set. This time we have three adventures to contend with. The Gold Napoleon would be a tricky story for anyone to adapt given the amount of time dedicated to a car chase. Greensleeves suffers the same fate as Book Two’s duo in not revealing enough character and background in the protagonists. The Old, the New and the Deadly was a good episode on telly, but this version only echoes the good stuff I watched, lacking clarity and exposition.

 

While all three novels are okay and are remarkably easy to digest, they don’t delve far enough into the historical and contemporary lives of the characters. While we care about Brett and Danny because we’ve seen them in our living rooms, as literary characters they are dismally shallow. Their co-stars get similar scant treatment. The locations too, all those sun-kissed Riviera esplanades are sketched in broad brush strokes; there’s little sense of place and time and atmosphere. The dialogue includes all the exclamations and witticisms as performed even when delivered mid-fight or mid-chase [an entertainment staple I particularly deplore as it is so unrealistic]. I’m sure the books sold well enough to earn Mr Smith – and possibly The Persuaders producers, Roy Ward Baker and Roger Moore – a healthy commission, but they aren’t ground breaking, or even trembling, successes, just run of the mill fare and a pleasant reminder of a popular television show.

 

 

Persuaders%20Books_zpsj8twnyeq.jpg


Edited by chrisno1, 24 July 2017 - 11:05 PM.


#47 AMC Hornet

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Posted 24 July 2017 - 11:03 PM

“It’s easy work and the money’s good,”

 

Unfortunately the author can’t effectively replicate the chase through Italy off the screen and onto the page. He can’t develop the suspense beyond our memory, chiefly because he hasn’t given anything more than surface gloss to his characters, so we don’t care enough about them.

 

The same could be said of most of the 007 film novelizations, excepting TSWLM, LTK and TND.

 

I have also just finished watching the series on DVD (for the second time)  - although not in such concentrated doses. I will do so again, many times in the future, to compensate for this era not being my own past. I was born too late to participate in the sixties, but I can always recreate them one evening at a time.



#48 chrisno1

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Posted 25 July 2017 - 11:48 AM

Thanks, AMC, entirely agree, although I'd have it as TSWLM, MR & LTK - TND is the best of Benson's.

You see what photobucket has done to my thread ?

They never told me they were going to change their T&Cs. Hope I have still got the links...



#49 AMC Hornet

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Posted 26 July 2017 - 03:25 AM

IMCO, TSWLM reads like the novel on which the film was based, rather than vice-versa. Wood successfully played down some of the more fantastic elements, giving the appearance that the film expanded on those scenes. The novelization of MR was hampered by the original script which, despite Wood's efforts, was too ridiculous to be taken seriously, even with Wood's touch.

 

Also sorry to see this thread lose those img links.



#50 chrisno1

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Posted 27 July 2017 - 01:56 PM

 

Also sorry to see this thread lose those img links.

 

Me too. they want almost $400 a month to allow 3rd party hosting which is a rip off. I'm wondering if that was why my previous account was shut down and I lost all my pics for my Fan Fiction. I had to search my junk folder to find the email telling me I was infringing their new terms. Bloody hell. Technology. What annoys me is why the direct link is on the page if I'm not allowed to use it ! Ah, well, maybe I'll have to start a Facebook page with my literary and cinematic pictures loaded.  






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