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REVIEW • "ESCAPE IN TIME (REMAKE)"

Episode One
Mother, who is trying to figure out the escape route of some wanted criminals, is ensconced in the Tower of London. There’s a growing suspicion that he’s working, eating and sleeping there. The atmosphere makes him complain, " 'Tis a dreary day, forsooth" which soon leads him and those he influences to some Shakespeare. Telling the first agent Clive Paxton that all clues point to a Mr. Thyssen he sends him off as Lady Macbeth does the lords: "Stay not upon your going but get cracking, now". Paxton is soon being cruelly told, "Good night sweet prince, the rest is silence".

When Mother phones them, Mrs. Peel tells Steed "Methinks the bell doth toll", very like the bell that summoned Duncan to heaven or to hell. He greets them like some soldiers in Henry VIII and Hamlet, "Good morrow and well met. You come most timely upon the hour". On hearing the assignment, Steed is feeling like Hamlet having seen the ghost and mutters, "Oh cursed spite that Steed was ever born to put it right". Learning that all the criminals come to England to escape, Mrs. Peel has a quaint and amusing reply: "Odds Bodkins, it is mighty curious”.

Meanwhile a second agent on the case, Tubby Vincent, is stabbed. "Dead. Dead for a ducat," says the assailant but unlike the hiding Polonius, he manages to escape to Steed’s flat and so help the case. Maybe some other line would have been more appropriate.

Episode Two
The exchange between a couple following Mrs. Peel, "What do we do to get rid of her? Why get rid of her", sounds just as earnest as Richard III's 'Chop off his head' about Hastings.

Mrs. Peel escapes and she and Steed find Mother, like Hamlet searching for the ghost, very cold and remarking, "The air does indeed bite shrewdly". Steed appropriately tells Mrs. Peel it’s time for action with Henry’s "Once more unto the breach dear friends," as Mother, trying to keep the casualties down, reminds them, "exactly, but do be careful not to close up anything with our English dead" or it will be "Sweets to the sweet, farewell", as said to poor Ophelia. Following the escape route, Steed says he is prepared to give "half my worldly possessions"; quite reasonable really compared to what Shylock thought might happen to him.

Episode Three
Steed meets Thyssen, convinces him that he too wants to escape, and for a trial has a hankering for the Eighteenth century which is the same one Patrick Macnee often says he fancies! Returning, but unable to find Mrs. Peel who is following the escape route behind him, he goes to the Tower where Mother, as was to be expected sometime, reminds him "One mustn't loose one's head". It was an appropriate point, as Steed - like Hastings - had been talking a lot. He suggests that Steed's "lean and hungry look" - a look that Caesar saw in the sensitive Cassius - might be improved with some Raven pie. His earlier fears that the absent Mrs. Peel might be in danger lack a sense of urgency at this point.

The three existing episodes are great to listen to. As for how it continues - the rest is silence.

by Ron Geddes