The New Professionals

Episode 11 - High Speed

       Well, there can't be many shows that can travel from Bosnia to Brand's Hatch and still maintain internal coherence! And I love the cars...

       This was something of a strange episode, though, I thought. Don't get me wrong, there was nothing wrong with it - quite the opposite, in fact: there were some lovely scenes here. But as a whole High Speed felt oddly unfinished. I came away frowning, thinking, "Shouldn't there be more?"

       The overall plot - war criminal smuggling ill-gotten gains out of homeland and into Swiss account by duping innocent people - is a variation on a familiar theme, although given more immediacy than usual by utilising the situation in Bosnia as its starting point. And using a racing team as the courier was a neat twist. I'm not entirely convinced about the 'solid gold engine' though. Gold is heavy. Wouldn't somebody notice something? (Though thinking about it, I suppose not, unless they were suspicious in the first place...)

       I found Elkie the Transport Manager a real pain. She has the sort of smug smile I want to hit (John Major and Geraldine Mather have the same smile - and the same effect on me.) She simply didn't have enough authority to be in such a responsible position. I won't comment on her description of Pradic's ethnic cleansing as 'patriotic'...

       That little scene with Curtis and Backup turning at the same instant and simultaneously shooting Vance was wonderful! Very dramatic, perfect timing - I'd love to see them dance together...

       Braking a car by skidding it?! Hey, I just have to try that! I'll leave 6-9 at home, though. He gets nervous enough just driving up the motorway. (He can't drive. I can. I like speed. He doesn't. Well, nobody said it was a perfect partnership...)

       I really like the way Malone is so often out there, in the field, with his operatives. (I liked it when Cowley did the same.) I also like the way he cares for his people. He doesn't show it much, but the feeling is there. He's so self-controlled and cool - even when angry, which is quite frightening. And there's not many men who can come out with a cliché and make it sound sincere. My only complaint with the end of the episode - and it's one that applies to all those guilty of war crimes - is that Pradic will get off far too easily. Death's too good for him...

I have a few queries about this one - anybody help me out?

1) Sunray. Is this Malone's codename (like Cowley's was Alpha 1)? I rather like it - even if it does summon up the delightfully incongruous image of a giant golden manta leaping from the sea...

2) Do all CI5 operatives make a habit of stopping work every time something momentous happens at Backup or Spencer's terminal? Don't they have enough to be getting on with of their own?

3) Does Keel's footwear really change from black to red while he's driving the racing car, or am I seeing things?

4) Swiss coffee? I never knew coffee grew in Switzerland! Or are we talking coffee with something extra added (as in Irish or Russian coffee)? And if so, what? Gruyère?

5) I would have thought there was quite a difference between flying a fighter (in three dimensions) and driving a car (in two.) So while I appreciate the sentiments (Keel can be trusted to handle the car well. He handles everything well. Except perhaps his anger, but we'd expect that...) I'm not altogether sure they make sense.

Was it Brand's Hatch? I've no idea - I'm not a Formula 1 afficionado (Back to the text.)

" are a travesty of a human being and I really do hope you rot in hell." (Malone to Pradic) (Back to the text.)

What a vilely innocuous term for a wholly evil act... (Back to the text.)

I picked up the Yuletide TV listings for the UK terrestrial channels today... The 1983 version of The Hound of the Baskervilles is showing on Channel 5 at 3.30pm on Dec. 22nd (for some entirely inexplicable reason this version isn't in my '98 Halliwell's Guide, but I'm pretty sure it's the one with Martin Shaw - I don't think there were two Hounds made that year) and then on Dec 23rd at 12.05pm on Channel 4, we have The Golden Voyage of Sinbad (not only Martin but John Philip Law! Remember him as Pygar in Barbarella? Yum!) Well, I'm going to be a happy cat that week...

Can't find anything with Lewis Collins, unfortunately... I wish I'd known about him being in the Tarzan series - I'm sure that was the one showing on Sky1 earlier this year. Ah well. It'll probably be repeated: I'll try and catch it then.

This is getting silly - my endnotes are becoming bigger than the reviews! Sorry about that, folks. Will try and improve for next week...


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Orbit (Episode 10)

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