Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 06:38
Location: New Scotland, Canada
Favourite: The New Avengers
Right, so I've gotten myself a copy of the first draft of "Last of," dated March, 1976 by Brian Clemens. Since "Eagle's" didn't even shoot til April, you can tell that Clemens is still feeling out how to write his new characters in some scenes, particularly Gambit. Some scenes are brand new, some are altered, and some are exactly the same. I'm going to go through and point out all the discrepencies, particularly my favourites. If I don't mention a scene, it's stayed the same. One of these days I'll scan the pages in question for ya, but for now summaries will have to do.
Right, the changes start on page one. The opening birthday is at Gambit's, not Steed's, and it's night. The set-up is the same as the novelisation (pull it out and give it a read)--all the jokes about Gambit, the bellows, and a wish. Steed's on the brink of dissing the creme brulee until Gambit reminds him Purdey whipped it up.
Kane is described as athletic and handsome. Er, not from what I remember. He actually gets out of the car park and hits a petrol tanker on the road.
Birthday 2. Huge change. Purdey prefaces her little chat with Steed about last year by telling him she's not crazy about birthdays. She meets Steed's eyes and "a secret is tacitly shared." She tells him the creme brulees were abominable, despite Steed's attempts to assure her otherwise. "They were. Gambit didn't have a broulee iron so I had to scorch them under the grill." How brilliant is that? I can just see her reaming poor Gambit out for not having the culinary equipment. She asks what happened to Tricia from last year. Steed reveals that she left him for a merchant banker. Purdey: "They don't discard you, Steed." Another moment, then Gambit wanders in (get in there, Mike!). "Hey, no sneaking into corners and holding hands!"
P: "We're not holding hands."
G: "You can hold hands with your eyes. I know." Old Gambit's got eyes. He knows what's going on. There seems to be a closer connection between Steed and Purdey here, as though Brian's not quite latched onto the Purdey/Gambit tension yet. Seems pretty heavy here--I feel like he realised that it would be better to tone one down for the other and tried to change the balance, finding his feet as it were.
Malov strikes his match over Steed's picture at Kane's, and smokes a cigar while talking to Goff instead of doffing an imaginary bowler. Professor Armstrong is renamed Dormeil, another link with the novel.
Steed tells Laura he learned his snooker at the Boy Scouts--"It beats tying knots." (Nothing about his misspent youth here).
Whole new scene--no sign of Laura getting a horse. Instead, we have Purdey just finishing a jump on horseback, with Steed timing. She ties him art a minute 32. Gambit's turn, with the prize Champagne--natch. Steed's sure he'll win--"it's my stopwatch." Gambit goes. Purdey asks if Steed cheated her on her time, despite his hurt look. She admits she started a fraction ahead, and Steed tells her he compensated by ten. Purdey claims two or three, but Steed blames the government and decimalisation. He's set for a "John Steed..." scolding, but Gambit suddenly veers off into a thicket. They run after him.
Gambit's taken out Fitzroy this time--with his horse! Fitz is laying under the horse. G saw him sneaking through the shrubbery--F sighs about running into "another set of those finely honed reflexes." S introduces F to P and G, claims he's told them about F. P and G and S then ignore F as they argue about this. Steed claims he mentioned Fitz "when we were working out on the mats," so S is obviously doing the gym with the other two, obviously dropped in the eps. Purdey lists off a bunch of names, but Fitz isn't among them. We get a snippet about Mike--he claims that Fitz couldn't have been mentioned because he knew one "When I was with the regiment." An actual mention in the show of his military service. And they dropped it. Only sailor jokes for you, Gambit dear.
Post-Cybernaut attack on Mason. The hit guard is a little more helpful--mentions feeling the roof fall in on him. Purdey talks about Gambit chopping building bricks for breakfast, and concludes no man could take out the door if Gambit couldn't.
Purdey and Gambit's Scrabble session. There's no mention of Gambit joining her at the barre, and he definitely doesn't cover her hand with his so she pulls away. Again, it looks like Brian added little P/G touches later on, maybe after he'd seen Gareth and Jo interact a couple times.
Steed tries to hook his brolly around the Cybernaut's ankle to trip it at the lab instead of staring at it gormlessly like he does in the ep. Should have left that in, Bri.
Steed sees Purdey, and then Gambit when he wakes up. He grips Purdey's arm--very high up! All before he touches her cheek. Gambit's the only one to help him up. Gambit uses the phrase "one will get you ten" instead of "even money" when he offers a bet on what hit Steed. We also get a brilliant note:
"NOTE: All this high-key dialogue is BECAUSE they are so relieved to find Steed O.K. This should be detected. Banter is covering real emotion."
How many times have we written that into our fics? Brian would be proud. Anyone got a time machine I can borrow? We could get a few episodes in. :-)
Purdey crashes Gambit's at night, not in the morning. I like the description:
"He doesn't stir--she reacts--then pushes a button--and Gambit's bed slides back into the wall--as it is a flush fit, he does not go with it--but ends up in a heap of bedclothes on the floor. He blinks bearily up at Purdey."
That is until she wants him--then his eyes flash. "He is on his feet holding bedclothes around him--making a concerted movement towards her--but she pushes button--bed comes out again--hits him behind the knees, and he ends up sitting on it."
Purdey actually picks up his clothes and chucks them at him, too.
I find it amusing that the word "Overrides" is used a lot with Purdey's dialogue. Don't mess with her when she's on a roll! Also, Gambit's the one who grins, not her, when he tells her about the missing PJ's.
J.B. Foster gets a short scene, reading the sports paper when he hears a knock (yes, the Cybernaut knocks before punching through the door. How polite).
Gambit doesn't sing "And I'll be in Scotland before ye," despite the high/low road quip--I wonder if Gareth adlibbed? JB's is supposed to be a house converted to flats, not a standard apartment block like we got.
Gambit doesn't kick the Cybernaut--instead he dents it and hits it once in the body to make it fold a little. Purdey arrives and "breaksaway" her dress--basically rips off her wrap-around skirt, I guess. She was supposed to wear more leotards underneath in the planning stages, but it looks like this was cut.
Gambit asks where Purdey learned her nursing. "Just now. Picking up hints every minute." She tells him he won't play the violin again, not the piano. Steed takes it as hope the robots can be beaten. Gambit: Yes, all it a takes is a mangled fist. A party trick. A convenient flight of stairs...and a lot of luck.
"Steed regards Gambit with immense respect": Correction. Guts, not luck.
(Yes, Steed was encouraging!)
Fitzroy appears. They gave the head the U.S.--utmost scrutiny.
No two week break--Gambit's fist stays in the wrapping. G: "It looks like a Christmas pudding!"
P: "There are two kinds of packaging. One--to present the product. And two--to preserve it. You've got the latter."
She tells it'll hurt, but that means it's getting better, then says they should go, and uses "Ciao!" at Steed. Gambit goes to follow, but Steed calls him back, gives Purdey the excuse "Man-talk." (Presumably the scene where she beat him over the head with his brolly for being a patronising git was cut out.)
Steed tells Gambit to keep an eye on Purdey because of Kane. Gambit's already thought of it. Gambit asks who will watch out for Steed. S: "I've survived this long."
We actually see Gambit's legs pass Purdey's window on the way downstairs. She hears him rather than sees the knob move.
Gambit sees Kane while sitting in his car, but doesn't clue in. Kane sees him, though: "Two for the price of one." He actually taps on Mike's window, and he rolls it down, sees the mask, grabs for his gun, but Kane slices right through the door "So hard that he is crushed against the other side of the door." Ouch! Presumably they didn't do this because trashing one of the Jags wasn't an option.
Fitzroy dispels any doubt about the print to Steed--talks about oils and such, explains it must be recent.
Purdey "breaksaway" her dress again to fight Kane--but her floaty dress is referenced explicitly--"feminine."
Steed parks beside Gambit's car and opens the door to get him out. He has to lean on Steed, but Steed tells him to take the front, so he shakes it off and Steed wanders off to the back of Purdey's place. He spots a sign, but we don't see what it is.
Interestingly, they toned down Purdey and Kane's fight in the ep--he only ever grabbed her arm a couple times. Here he actually hits her so hard she flies across the room. Clemens describes her as "slightly" battered, but that's still more than we see. Steed starts calling Kane from behind her place, taunting him "It's me you want. Or can you only deal with women?" (Yeah, Steed's kind of sexist in this one. Good thing he cleared that up. It gets annoying).
Kane goes out the back after Steed. Gambit comes in the front. Here's the slight bit of angst:
"He quickly moves to find and cradle the beaten, frightened Purdey."
*swoon* That's how it struck me. And again, she sounds a lot more damaged than she was in the ep. Gambit holding her in his arms will put that right soon enough. But they sadly have no time to gaze into each other's eyes--they hear Steed beckoning Kane and rush to help him.
Steed has lured Kane onto a patch of fresh tar--he actually steps in it and then falls, getting all gooed up. Works much better actually. Purdey and Gambit show up, and Steed holds up the "Keep off--wet tar" sign from earlier. He tosses it away and delivers the closing line.
"Not with a bang--but with a whimper."