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Evil Donald Sutherland is evil.

A man staggers through a hotel. He's clearly terrified, and appears to be hallucinating, and it's all terribly upsetting for him, I'm sure. Sadly, however, the soundtrack accompanying his desperate terrors sounds almost exactly like the intro to Wham!'s Everything She Wants. This is something of a problem. As it turns out, it's hard to really get into the spirit of a panic-stricken bid for survival when you're constantly expecting George Michael to start warbling bouncy eighties pop silliness at you.

Sorry about that, Upset Dying Man.

The next day, Sharron is at a morgue, called to identify the body of the poor fellow from the previous scene. At some point his hair has turned white, although from the look of things when we left him, it must have happened post-mortem. Anyway, Sharron knows him because he was her contact on a special Nemesis mission, investigating... something. She's on her own because Craig and Richard are... somewhere else. Geneva, presumably. Sharron's quite happy that she can handle things on her lonesome, despite being plagued by the most horrendously unctuous hotel manager ever, and therefore sets about doing so. Something odd is going on at the hotel where she is staying, however. All of the other guests appear to be in hypnotic trances, and the hotel cabaret includes a magician who should really be appearing on international TV, rather than lurking in some little hotel in Haiti. Befriended by Donald Sutherland, Sharron sets about her task with gusto. This mostly involves sitting in the lounge, drinking something with an umbrella in it.


A terrified man, apparently menaced by the shadow of something from a Weismuller Tarzan movie.


Sharron fights off the advances of the world's most annoying hotel manager.


Whilst back in Geneva, Craig and Richard hear all about the case from Tremayne, and prepare to set out to join Sharron.


Who, meanwhile, is busy being accosted in a lift by Donald Sutherland. This is not necessarily a good thing. Donald Sutherland, whilst perfectly agreeable, turns out to be almost incapable of wearing a sensible facial expression. He's stuck in over-acting mode, and consequently it's near impossible to get a picture of him when he's not looking daft.


Fortunately (although not necessarily for him) he's turned into a zombie a short time later. This doesn't necessarily preclude daft expressions, but it does at least make the gurning a little less obvious.


The hotel manager, who is much given to standing around smirking about everything. Annoying he is, but he does have some very lovely wall decorations.


The magician from the hotel cabaret, who looks suspiciously like he belongs in Doctor Who. Classic era, obviously.


Richard and Craig arrive at the hotel, and consider focusing their attentions more on the receptionist than on Sharron.


Yes, he is tall, isn't he.

When the boys try to contact Sharron, however, they discover that, just like the rest of the guests, she's been placed in some sort of hypnotic trance. As evening falls, she and her fellow zombies set off somewhere, and the boys follow. Finding a secret compartment hidden behind the elevator shaft on the ninth floor, they overhear Sharron warning the bad guys that they're Nemesis agents. Perplexed, they confront her later, only to find out that she's been faking her trance. The bad guys already knew that Craig and Richard were with Nemesis, so she was not betraying them, but merely strengthening her own cover. Together they plot to bring the organisation down.


Zombie!Sharron.


And multiple zombie!hotel guests.


Having found a secret room behind the lift, due to a feat of guesswork of gargantuan proportions, the boys listen in on Project: Brainwash.


When they hear Sharron break their cover they're baffled. Surely they should all be immune to hypnosis?


They decamp to their room to try to figure it out. For some reason they only seem to have one single bed between them. You'd think that Nemesis could spring for two.


All of a sudden a waiter turns up bearing unordered coffee. He pulls a gun, but the guys overpower him easily, and try a little hypnosis of their own.


Richard is concerned about what will happen next. Craig is more concerned about the bullet holes in his pillow.


Being a zombie isn't too bad, you know. Okay, so there's the whole mindless thing – but on the plus side, you do get a shiny cape.


The evil magician/Doctor Who alien, who has been hypnotising people for his own evil ends. Very noticeably, his hands are black. This makes it brilliantly unlikely five minutes later when he takes off his mask, and reveals himself to be Donald Sutherland. So his 'I'm in a trance' act is for what exactly? Fair enough when Sharron was still wandering around unhypnotised, but everybody thinks she's under the influence herself now. Does he just like pretending to be a zombie?!


Zombie mind tricks.


Sharron is decidedly unimpressed when the boys tackle her. She explains the purpose of all the hypnosis – brainwashing people into killing important figures around the world.


The boys practice their dramatic posing.

There's further trouble to come, however. With Craig and Richard having avoided their recent attempted assassination, Donald Sutherland has a new plan. He calls an emergency meeting of his zombies, and instructs them that their next targets are to be the two pesky Nemesis agents staying at the hotel. Off straggles his army – you know, next time, he might want to think about gathering together a fearsome army of assassins that isn't comprised of holidaying politicians and scientists. It's an army of old men and geeks, really, and to be honest it's kind of lacking the menace factor. Anyway, off they all go in pursuit of Richard and Craig, whilst Sharron breaks away from the company to try to tackle the mind control equipment. There's a sound that accompanies the hypnosis, and she's sure that if she kills the machine producing it, the trances will end. She's captured by evil!Donald, though, who threatens her with a deadly gas that produces terrible fear. Using her super-powered ability to hold her breath, Sharron defeats the gas, overpowers Donald Sutherland, and smashes the mind control equipment just in time. Downstairs, about to get skewered by a dozen old men wielding swords, Craig and Richard are somewhat relieved. Sharron, however, is irritatingly supercilious for the rest of the episode.


The zombie army collect their weaponry, and prepare to go on the offensive.


Sadly their leader has chosen to deck himself out in pink and orange stripes, which doesn't exactly spell 'Unassailable Terror', does it. More 'Barratt's Fruit Salad'.


Sharron greatly enjoys throttling a minion.


Who dresses a redhead in a pink cloak?! Two zombies home in on Craig and Richard.


Whilst upstairs, Sharron is captured by the bad guys. Donald Sutherland plots her downfall, although of course it would be too much to expect that he just shoot her and have done with it.


No, there is gloating to be done first, and his deadly fear gas to show off. She'll beg to be killed, he tells her, in Super Gloat Mode.


Sharron, however, is harder to take down than that. As he comes back in to check that the gas has done its work, she breaks her ropes and drags off his facemask.


Prompting yet another round of wild over-acting.


Downstairs, however, time is running out. Craig and Richard have been backed into a corner by the advancing zombie army.


Yikes!


They prepare to make their last defence.


Whilst upstairs, Sharron destroys the hypnosis machine.


Before going downstairs to take up the gloating where poor Donald left off.


Richard, behave. She's not that insufferable...

Next up is "Full Circle", which of course shares its name with a Doctor Who adventure. Have no fear, however. The Champions version does not feature Adric.

Comments

( 11 fierce growls — Growl fiercely )
hobbitdogs
Feb. 17th, 2010 09:10 pm (UTC)
Oh my! The shiny, bright capes outdid any of Sharrons bad wardrobe choices. Honestly. She looked quite muted in comparison.
swordznsorcery
Feb. 18th, 2010 07:21 am (UTC)
They're spectacular, aren't they! It's like something from Top Of The Pops in the early eighties. :D

What a wardrobe choice for a secret team of assassins.
elfbert
Feb. 18th, 2010 04:35 pm (UTC)
My DVD special edition arrived today!! (I ordered it on the day you told me about it, so Zavvi took their time! I was almost ready to call up the awesome trio and have them deal with it!) But anyway, not only will I now know the order of the eps, but I also have awesome extras. Am off to watch Full Circle. If I can regain the use of my eyes after those cloaks.

And to think about how Rich and Craig ALWAYS seem to share at least hotel rooms, and quite often ones with just one bed...
swordznsorcery
Feb. 18th, 2010 06:20 pm (UTC)
Cool! You must listen to the audio commentary for "The Beginning". It's so much fun. The guy who recorded the audio commentaries for the set has said that they're amongst his favourite of all the ones he's presided over, because the gang were so happy to be together again, and enjoyed doing it all so much. I'm putting off listening to the one for "Autokill" until that episode comes up in the rewatch, but apparently it's just as good.

They do share rooms a lot, don't they. And "The Night People" has them both in that lovely, carved double bed, of course. I think the inn keeper offered them rooms, plural, in that one, but even that didn't stop them from ending up in the same bed.

Not that I'm suggesting anything. Obviously...
elfbert
Feb. 20th, 2010 09:59 am (UTC)
I've just watched to 'Autokill', with the commentary - it is indeed great!!

I shall go and listen to 'The Beginning' now!

And OMG, their screen tests...Stu Damon with sideburns! I LOLed.
swordznsorcery
Feb. 20th, 2010 11:12 am (UTC)
Not seen the screen tests yet. Sounds like that's something to look forward to. :D
ladygretchen
Feb. 19th, 2010 03:09 am (UTC)
This was awesome...Donald Sutherland, great actor, but always looking daft and confused, lol. The world's most annoying Hotel manager looks like a tanned Jimmy Fallon. :P I think Sharron always looks zombiefied too, no wonder she fooled them easily. No wonder she's gloating, this seems like it was mostly her mission. I'm scared that all these scientists and politicians can be so easily seduced and duped by mind control from a tape recorder..makes you wonder! LOL! Thanks for all the great posts!
swordznsorcery
Feb. 19th, 2010 03:52 pm (UTC)
I had to look up Jimmy Fallon, but yes, you're right. They do look rather alike!

ETA: I've just realised that I've missed several chapters of your book read through. Damn damn damn.

Edited at 2010-02-19 09:14 pm (UTC)
ladygretchen
Feb. 19th, 2010 08:36 pm (UTC)
Oh, don't worry, I'm still catching up to all these great episode reviews myself. I still have the one final teeny 2 page chapter to go! lol.
birggitt
Feb. 19th, 2010 09:46 am (UTC)
*laughs insanely*
OMG! The zombies/brainwashed-shinny-people episode! *laughs*
I surly love this show *g*
And you make such awesome recap of this episode, I'm still grinning *ggg*
And you are right about the sharing one-bed rooms for Richard and Craig. Not that I complain, mind you? I like that *g*
Another lovely review, thank you!
swordznsorcery
Feb. 19th, 2010 03:50 pm (UTC)
What a very fitting icon. :D
( 11 fierce growls — Growl fiercely )

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