Unfortunately, Love All was
never going to be one of the best scripts to adapt the sound medium for Springbok Radio; not only are
aspects of it very visual (notably the switch which Martha makes between slovenly cleaning lady and
colourful Sixties glamour-puss), but in the first half of the story there is very little in terms
of dialogue for Steed and his faithful sidekick to give our heroes much of a presence on the South
African airwaves. It's a very plot driven story indeed, but thankfully has many lighter elements which
one associates with the excesses of Season 5. However, while a variation of the terrible tag scene is
retained (and indeed slightly improved upon), for some bizarre reason one of the cuts made to the
televised version is the lovely moment where the Casanova Ink villains fall under the spell of Steed
and his amour-inducing waistcoat. A shame.
numerous little changes from the filmed version which most are familiar with. The 'Danger - Men at
Work' sign is merely a pointer to Mother's HQ with no man-hole involved, and Mother is busy beating
Emma at table-tennis rather than playing cricket with Rhonda. The two brisk bowler-hatted guards at
the Ministry are drawn very differently - far more gaw' blimey with accents ranging from the Albert
Square to the Bullring - and happy to compare goings on to Hamlet. Sir Rodney Kellogg
dramatically hurls himself through plate glass window in his office (beyond the budget of the TV
screen one suspects) and there is a very good extra sequence of Steed establishing his innocence of
murder by having him attempt to load Martha's gun. By retaining the originally scripted notion of
Rosemary Z. Glade being a man, there's a nice little scene between the pseudonymous author and Steed
at Casanova Ink, but we are robbed of the wacky notion of a trash-fiction generating piano.
the narration is most enjoyable with Hugh Rouse's interjections raising a smile at moments where he
objects to using the word "gooey" and on the final cliff-hanger where he acidly remarks "That kind of
love isn't just blind - it's plain daft!" The crude polyphonic synth music used to underscore the
action popples along in the background, and is by turns an charming piece of period kitsch and also
intensely irritating (and somewhat inappropriate in comparison with some of the others shows where it
is employed). There are also some sloppy moments of continuity (Sir Rodney becomes Sir Robert at one
point in the fourth instalment).
Monat's Steed is as good as ever - a worthy substitute for Lord Patrick - and his plummy tones have
a real presence, particularly in the closing episodes. Diane Appleby again fails to make any true stamp
on the role of Emma Peel - although with this script it's understandable. At first, it seems the
transition from the televised Tara King to sound-only Mrs Peel has worked rather well; Emma's
character shows more world-wise experience and authority when she voices the notion that Sir Rodney's
strange actions are motivated by passion in comparison to the lovelorn, doe-eyed, naive teenager which
Tara is portrayed as in the original. However, Emma hammering on the door of the locked ministry office
in the fifth episode sounds all wrong ... as is her falling for Bromfield which should give a sharp
contrast to her normal behaviour, which would be a rather sinister change. Unfortunately, it doesn't
Many of the
failings lie with the script being suitable for a televisual Tara King outing, but having great
difficulties when being bludgeoned to fit an audio Emma Peel adventure. Although still enjoyable, Mr.
Monat and Ms. Appleby had far better escapades than this one.