Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 06:38
Location: New Scotland, Canada
Favourite: The New Avengers
Sadly, it's not complete--there's no sign of the bit from the opening titles, and there's another piece with Joanna fighting a guy that I've found in another promo film for the show that isn't in there, either, so the whole "action" scene seems to be gone. It also doesn't have any sound, sadly, so you can't hear what they're saying, and I'm no good at lip-reading (all I managed to work out is that Joanna says "Gambit" at one point, but that's not really enough to get the gist of what they're saying. )
But man oh man, it's brilliant! It starts with Joanna's half of the conversation--she's clearly exchanging dialogue with Gareth, but we never cut to him, so we see her sitting there as she listens to him talk. Eventually he walks over and sits beside her, and the chemistry between them is something to behold. Considering that they had likely met approximately five minutes before, they manage to convey a stunning amount of intimate closeness between the characters. They joke and grin at each other like they've known one another forever--it makes me wonder whether this was the exact moment that their 30-year long friendship got started, and according to Gareth, it more or less was. Which is pretty amazing to watch.
Actually, their chemistry is so good, it looks like Brian Clemens may have actually told them to tone it down, because by the way they keep looking at each other, it'd be pretty hard to not think Purdey and Gambit were having a thing (as opposed to the series, where I'm pretty sure they weren't, just dancing around it). I can see Brian Clemens watching it and telling them that he wanted to keep a little more mystery to it than that.
They cut that scene eventually, and then there's another, short bit with Gareth, which looks like his half of the dialogue that focussed on Joanna at the start of the last clip. He walks off camera at the end, presumably to go sit beside her. It's frustrating because you can't hear what's being said, but it looks like Gareth may have messed up his lines, because it looks like he looks at the director, and then as he walks out of shot he does a kind of exaggerated wince/"whoops!" expression that's total Gareth and not Gambit. Brilliant.
Apparently right after they finished shooting this, Gareth and Joanna went and perched on an antique table onset, and broke it. I wish they had that on film because it'd be priceless, but alas they don't. Both Gareth and Joanna immediately thought it was their fault and that it killed their chances of getting the part. If only they knew...
Interestingly, the clapperboard gives the date of the test as February 25, 1976. This is only eleven days before they were introduced as Purdey and Gambit at the Dorcester photocall on March 8, 1976, so they must have made a decision on it pretty soon after this. Joanna must have run out and done a really quick dye-job, because she's blonde there and definitely a brunette in the test!
Anyway, I'm really glad I got the set, because it's totally worth it for the clip, even if it's less than two minutes long.