Steed becomes a sex symbol. Emma is helplessly smitten.

6 x 15-minute episodes
based on the television episode
Love All (1969),
written by Jeremy Burnham

Principal Cast:
Donald Monat as John Steed
Diane Appleby as Emma Peel
Stuart Brown as Mother
Hugh Rouse as The Narrator

Production:
Adapted and directed by Dennis Folbigge
Produced by David Gooden

Transmission on Springbok Radio (7.15-7.30pm):
Episode 1 - Monday 29th May 1972
Episode 2 - Tuesday 30th May 1972
Episode 3 - Wednesday 31st May 1972
Episode 4 - Thursday 1st June 1972
Episode 5 - Friday 2nd June 1972
Episode 6 - Monday 5th June 1972
This is a best guess based on available data

Love is the Drug
One sip and you'll love
the Sonovision Avengers.

PLOTLINE

Sir Rodney Kellogg, a normally sober and staid member of the Department of Missile Redeployment, has become inexplicably infatuated with Martha, the rather dowdy office cleaner. He happily tells her details of top-secret departmental meetings until Security, in the person of Metcalfe, catches the two love birds in the middle of their discussion. However, Martha produces a pistol and kills Metcalfe, leaving "Rodders" to face interrogation by Steed. Puzzled as to why such a man should compromise himself, Steed and Mother come up with various theories, but only Emma guesses that love has something to do with it.

In fact, Martha has woven her spell over several members of the department and is working with a man named Bromfield in order to obtain secret information about the country's defence systems.

When Sir Rodney traces her to her flat, Martha (who is actually a rather attractive woman when not in her cleaner's disguise) is forced to shoot him, leaving his body in his Rolls Royce. Steed and Emma find the body, and Emma recognises the scent of "Reckless Abandon" an exclusive perfume for women in the car. She visits the perfumer's shop to try and get information on those who bought the product, then is attacked in her flat by a man intent upon stealing the list. However, she soon defeats him, and a strange ring of entwined hearts on the man's hand leads Steed to Casanova Inc., a publishing company specialising in romantic fiction. It turns out that the book house has been used as a cover by Bromfield and Martha they have produced copies of books with tiny micro-dots inserted into the pages, which force the reader to fall in love with the next person they see. This person is Martha, in the case of the men from the department, and thus she is able to wheedle out their secrets.

Unfortunately, Mrs Peel has been reading one of these books at the department, and Bromfield uses this device on her, persuading her that she must kill herself as her engineered love for him cannot be fulfilled. Steed arrives just in time to stop her leaping from a window ledge, and knocks out Bromfield and Martha only to have Mrs Peel attack him for punching her beloved! But Steed has figured out about the micro dots and has attached some to himself, so when Emma sees them she is overcome with love for Steed.

GUEST REVIEW

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.

There are 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.

As always, 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).

Donald 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 come off.

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.

Andrew Pixley

DIFFERENCES COMPARED TO THE TELEVISION EPISODE

Name Changes: Rosemary Z. Glade's latest book is Love in Budleigh Salterton in the radio adaptation as opposed to Love on the Moon in the TV episode.

Character Changes: This is one of a number of episodes adapted for the Sonovision Avengers which replaces the television character of Tara King with that of Emma Peel.

Rosemary Z. Glade is a male author in the radio serial, whereas in the TV version, the author is actually a computer made to resemble a white grand piano!

Storyline Changes: No mention is made of Rhonda, Mother's tall blond assistant in the radio version, but since her character never spoke it's no surprise that she does not appear!

Bloopers: In Hugh Rouse's narration on Episode 4, he mistakenly mentions Sir Rodney Kellogg as "Sir Robert", while in Episode 5 he refers to Rosemary Z. Glade as "Roseberry Z. Glade". One or both of these mistakes could well have manifested themselves in the script.

PRODUCTION NOTES

During the TV episode, a sign on the door of the book publishers states the company's name as "Casanova Ink".

This serial is also notable for featuring Stuart Brown in the role of Mother. The role was usually played by Colin Fish, and was also portrayed on occasion by Anthony Fridjhon.

This serial is known to have been the next one broadcast after The Quick-Quick-Slow Death.

Alys Hayes

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