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 Review The Night of the Janus
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couldron
SS novice field agent

1438 Posts

Posted - 02/19/2007 :  20:14:47  Show Profile

Sudden Death doesn’t disappoint despite the similarities to Sudden Death. The behind the scenes look into the agency is delightful. This will be the last time I point out that The Denver Mint only minted coins not dollars. This is also the last time for Jeremy Pike. He did well with the conditions he was under but in this episode he annoys me with his disguise. However, he makes up for it in the discovery of the hidden Morse code message. Anthony Eisley makes another appearance and I like this portrayal better than his gunslinger. Smoking is a no no now a days but Jim makes the most of his cigar. The remark about you have real style annoyed me. I guess because it was trite.




Mary

couldron
SS novice field agent

1438 Posts

Posted - 02/19/2007 :  22:38:47  Show Profile
For some reason, I cannot edit and for the life of me I have no idea why I wrote that first sentence like I did. It should read The Night of the Janus doesn't disappoint me despite the similarities to Sudden Death

Mary
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Ecstasy La Joie
SS novice field agent

USA
1799 Posts

Posted - 02/20/2007 :  05:02:21  Show Profile
This was not one of my favorites, either. I do love the part at the beginning when Jim is seeing to the safety of the woman. We see him give orders to someone to escort her out of town. I like seeing Jim give orders.....(the mind reels here)! I also enjoy seeing into the inner workings of the training school. I love to watch Jim get out of the "living room". He shows his talent for thinking out of the box, by going UP instead of over. Truly, 3 dimensional thinking.
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Desert Roger
SS novice field agent

4360 Posts

Posted - 02/20/2007 :  06:31:58  Show Profile  Visit Desert Roger's Homepage
back in the 1970s when TWWW was showing on re-runs on the local UHF station they had a cool commercial with clips from TNOT Janus

still remember that after 30 some years
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Herr Ostropolyer
SS 1st assignment - desk job

USA
209 Posts

Posted - 02/20/2007 :  14:02:15  Show Profile
Hey all,

Excellent reviews as always! TNOT Janus was bittersweet for me. I really enjoyed Jeremy Pike as Artemus' replacement and I wish he stayed for the rest of Artie's abscence, but it was not meant to be. His last adventure here was very good for a 4th season episode with a slight nod to TNOT Sudden Death, but thankfully not a shot for shot remake!

A downside to the episode was the weak ending to the plot, It's always about disgruntled employees. Eisley's Blessing would have been the predictable traitor, but it would have been nice to see him play the villian again, Anyhow, we finally get to see the inner workings of the Secret Agent Training school, and I thought the "room of death" was excellent. I really enjoyed the lab scenes with Professor Montague in regards to the neat inventions/weapons, but his code cracking was very over the top!

I really enjoyed how the Secret Service set up precautions to enter the mint with the infa-red stamp, which reminded me of the same stamping process that was used at the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooper's Town New York, which allowed paying attendants to enter, leave, and re-enter the facilty on the same day. I too felt that Pike's disguise as the foreign General was over the top, but I forgave it because the producers as well as Aidman probably knew this was Pike's last hurrah so Aidman got to do over the top!

Kudos to the entire cast, they were all in top form. TNOT Janus was an excellent Artieless outting and a great Swansong for Jeremy Pike!

4 out of 5 stars!

Herr Ostropolyer

"You have real Style." - Jeremy Pike to West as West lights their cigars with hundred dollar bills in TNOT Janus.


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ccb
SS Quizmaster Emeritus

3799 Posts

Posted - 02/20/2007 :  21:37:19  Show Profile
After you, Alphonse.

Thank you. The fact that we're back must mean he thinks this one's a mixed Blessing.

Spare me your atrocious puns, please. At least they gave RC's former costar, Anthony Eisley, a little more to do in this one. He plays bureaucrats well.

Snarky, aren't we? So again the producers served us the old stew, rewarmed for the crippled fourth season. We have another counterfeiting plot, with a weasel using the government's own equipment against its economy ("The Circus of Death"). We have loveable Arthur Malet back, playing another of his silly-ass eccentrics ("Circus of Death"–again; "Steel Assassin"). And those same drab corridors from "The Bogus Bandits." They're back to bore us again.

There's a nice novelty here, you must admit: West goes back to school, taking us with him into the Denver branch of the Secret Service.

I wonder if that was Paul Playdon's or Leonard Katzman's idea. For all the script-work he probably did behind the scenes as associate producer, this is the first and only episode that gave Lenny a teleplay credit. He must have labored over this script. And it does have some quirky fun: the song and the songstress. The phonograph with the music in Morse code. All the business about secret service training. The DisneyWorld security hand-stamp. Most of it makes no sense, but it's a pleasant hour's diversion.

Do you have the feeling that this episode had the potential of being a lot better? I mean, if only they had spent more money on the interiors, and made HQ more opulently appointed.

They couldn't. Either Bruce didn't have the money or wouldn't spend it. The nights of "Sudden Death" were long, long gone. Heck, by this time they couldn't afford a barber to give Conrad a decent cut and comb.

If only more suspense had been injected into the mystery. The only significant death has happened offstage before the episode even begins. If there had been a greater sense of danger, of menace, even of signficance in the tight deadline. I mean—"This date is critically important to national security because . . . because . . . because that's when they close the manhole cover!" Please. And talk about telepgraphing your plot punches: From the moment they showed us the street construction—and showed us again and again, then jabbered about it—you knew that it was A Big Deal. Otherwise, why belabor the script and throw up a tent in dressing the set?

You forget: This is the fourth season. No real danger. No onscreen deaths. West's escape from the booby-traps is fun, but, since we know he's in no real jeopardy, there's nothing at stake beyond demonstrating he's still the prize pupil—which we already knew, if we ever cared.

Is there anything you like about this episode?

Jackie de Shannon: This was another case of stunt-casting, since she had just scored as a pop female vocalist with "Put a Little Love in Your Heart."

She sings two brief songs in the teaser—one mediocre, the other putrid—then West helps her onto a stagecoach and we never see her again. Great use of a talented guest star.

Another bit of stunt-casting: Jack Carter as the heavy. This was the last of West's several excursions in hiring stand-up comics, like Don Rickles and Richard Pryor, to play fairly straight roles.

It's the least as well as the last. However, Carter didn't chew the scenery as he could have. Of course, with these production values there's not a lot of scenery to chew. Anything else?

The last of Chuck Aidman as Jeremy P. And the least of him, too. Brother, is he ever annoying in this episode. Here's where you miss Ross Martin: he could find a way to make the obnoxious hilarious.

There's two things I really like about this epoisode: Gail Billings as Myra Bates.

You said two. She's only one.

Look again at that tight blouse she's wearing!

Mind out of the sewer, please; it's time to seal the manhole. I give "The Janus" .

You have the critical edge of ravioli. —both for Gail.

Ditch your adolescent lust, and put a little love in your heart.

For Jackie:

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Ecstasy La Joie
SS novice field agent

USA
1799 Posts

Posted - 02/21/2007 :  10:51:06  Show Profile
Great debate ccb and "Alphonse". Thank you for giving me Jackie De Shannon's name. I couldn't think of it to save my life. In reading over my remarks, it occurred to me that I made no mention of Artie's absence. I would have loved to see what Ross would have done in this. His not being there is too much of a disappointment. I guess I blocked out the whole issue. I always feel bad with the Artie-less episodes. There's a great sadness due to his absence, combined with the knowledge that Jim (and Robert) both miss him, too. The Artie-less ones are difficult for me for that reason. I have too much empathy to be completely comfortable watching them.
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