Dave Matthews presents the Authorised Guide to

Episode Guide

Last updated : 9th December 1996

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Here is a guide to the 26 episodes that made up the two seasons of The New Avengers. Almost every story was written by either Brian Clemens or Dennis Spooner.

Please note that the episodes are listed in PRODUCTION ORDER, not transmission order. Although I've given Transmission Dates for the UK, these are only approximate because, as discussed elsewhere, the series was not truly networked (and, in fact, never was until the BBC screenings in late 1995). Another complication is that some TV regions didn't even stick to the same transmission order – so, again, the Episode TX # doesn't necessarily reflect that in your own TV region. 'Emily' is a case in point here – several TV stations screened this story midway through the second season instead of towards the end. The transmission order I have given is that for the Thames Television area (London).

Jump to Series Two

Episode TitleThe Eagle's Nest
Production Episode #A01
Episode TX #1-1
Approx UK TX Date22nd October 1976
Story SynopsisProfessor Von Claus, an expert in cryogenics, is kidnapped and taken to a remote Scottish Isle. The island is inhabited by monks... who use fishing rods baited with poison to kill 'unwelcome guests', having already disposed of one of Steed's colleagues. They need Von Claus to recover "Germany's Greatest Treasure"...
Guest StarsPeter Cushing, Derek Farr, Frank Gatliff
CommentAn excellent start – in fact this is one of the best episodes of the series. All the old Avengers elements are there – bizarre situations, unusual locations, witty scripting, action – the lot!

Episode TitleThe Midas Touch
Production Episode #A02
Episode TX #1-4
Approx UK TX Date12th November 1976
Story SynopsisProfessor Turner is an expert in disease carriers and has developed a way to allow a man, known as Midas, to carry some of the most deadly viruses yet remain immune – however the merest touch from Midas spells infection and death for the victim. Turner wishes to sell Midas to the highest bidder – in exchange for gold, which he is obsessed with. The buyer plans to use Midas' ability to take power in his country.
Guest StarsDavid Swift, Ed Devereaux, John Carson, Ronald Lacey, Jeremy Child
CommentAgain a splendid, true Avengers episode with some well-choreographed car and foot chase sequences. David Swift, star of Drop the Dead Donkey hasn't aged much since!

Episode TitleHouse of Cards
Production Episode #A03
Episode TX #1-2
Approx UK TX Date29th October 1976
Story SynopsisWhen Russian agent Perov attempts to recapture defector Professor Vasil, Steed steps in to foil the snatch. Perov, unable to face being sent home in disgrace, fakes his suicide and activates the 'House of Cards' plan in which several sleeper agents are 'awakened' with orders to kill Gambit, Purdey and Steed.
Guest StarsPeter Jeffrey, Frank Thornton, Annette Andre, Ina Skriver
CommentStill keeping up the standard! Frank Thornton in an extremely rare appearance outside of Are You Being Served?.

Episode TitleThe Last of the Cybernauts....?
Production Episode #A04
Episode TX #1-3
Approx UK TX Date5th November 1976
Story SynopsisThe Avengers set out to ambush double agent Felix Kane but the ensuing car chase results in Kane crashing and being engulfed by a huge explosion. Unbeknownst to Steed, however, Kane survives and spends a year secretly recovering. He then kidnaps Goff, an engineer who had helped develop a series of cybernauts a decade previously. For Kane is hellbent on revenge and intends to use the robots as killers.
Guest StarsRobert Lang, Oscar Quitak, Robert Gillespie, Basil Hoskins, Gwen Taylor
CommentThird encounter for Steed and the metal monsters. Again, well up to standard. Oscar Quitak's quirky, nervy performance as Malov is absolutely brilliant – the best of the series.

Episode TitleTo Catch a Rat
Production Episode #A05
Episode TX #1-7
Approx UK TX Date3rd December 1976
Story SynopsisIn 1960 British agent Irwin Gunner almost succeeded in eliminating a double agent known only as 'White Rat'. However the Rat managed to keep his identity secret and escape. He, in turn, arranged to have Gunner killed but the staged accident simply left Gunner with amnesia. Seventeen years later a bump on the head restores Gunner's memory and he continues his search for the White Rat. Gunner contacts Steed at headquarters using an obsolete code but the White Rat also receives the transmission. The Avengers must find Gunner and identify White Rat before the double agent gets to Gunner first.
Guest StarsIan Hendry, Edward Judd, Barry Jackson, Anthony Sharp
CommentDisappointing because it is the kind of story that could have been used in any secret agent series. The casting of original Avenger Hendry was coincidental and took place long after the script was written.

Episode TitleCat Amongst the Pigeons
Production Episode #A06
Episode TX #1-5
Approx UK TX Date19th November 1976
Story SynopsisA man named Zacardi has discovered a way to control and communicate with birds. He is concerned about ecologists' views to reducing the world's bird population in the name of conservation. Zacardi sets out to eliminate his adversaries using his feathered friends.
Guest StarsVladek Sheybal
CommentAgain, well up to the old Avengers standard and style but perhaps needed just a little more pace.

Episode TitleTarget
Production Episode #A07
Episode TX #1-6
Approx UK TX Date26th November 1976
Story SynopsisA training course for agents involves target dummies which actually fire back! However the ink pellets that are normally used by the mannequins have been mixed with a deadly poison by enemy agent Draker. One hit spells death in a matter of hours. Several agents succumb and then it's Purdey's turn....
Guest StarsKeith Barron, Robert Beatty, Roy Boyd, Frederick Jaeger, John Paul
CommentAnother splendid episode with all the usual Avengers ingredients.

Episode TitleFaces
Production Episode #A08
Episode TX #1-9
Approx UK TX Date17th December 1976
Story SynopsisA plastic surgeon is transforming down-and-outs to replace key members of the Government. The Avengers find it impossible to detect the imposters. They can't trust anybody – not even each other...
Guest StarsDavid de Keyser, Neil Hallett, Donald Hewlett
CommentA real tangle this one. The storyline is much more akin to the old colour series. Clever but perhaps too preposterous.

Episode TitleTale of the Big Why
Production Episode #A09
Episode TX #1-8
Approx UK TX Date10th December 1976
Story SynopsisEx-con Bert Brandon claims to have evidence that could bring down the Government. Although Ministers don't quite believe him, they ask the Avengers to look into the matter. Meanwhile two enemy agents also follow Brandon and in attempting to get the information accidently kill him. When they fail to find it, they suspect Steed already has it and kidnap Purdey – the evidence being the ransom...
Guest StarsDerek Waring, Gary Waldhorn, Roy Marsden, George A Cooper, Rowland Davis
CommentPerhaps not strictly an Avengers story, but highly entertaining nevertheless.

Episode TitleThree-Handed Game
Production Episode #A10
Episode TX #1-11
Approx UK TX Date21st January 1977
Story SynopsisEnemy agent Juventor has stolen a device that can transfer the thoughts of one person to the mind of another. He can use this to discover the details of a top-secret document – a third of which is each memorised by three agents, each piece useless without the other two. The Avengers must stop the plan falling into Juventor's hands.
Guest StarsDavid Wood, Stephen Greif, Terry Wood
CommentA well-plotted episode and definitely an Avengers-type storyline. Great stuff!

Episode TitleSleeper
Production Episode #A11
Episode TX #1-10
Approx UK TX Date14th January 1977
Story SynopsisThe Avengers attend a demonstration of a new sleeping gas – to be used as a non-violent weapon. Afterwards, however, the gas is stolen by a man named Brady – his intention being to put London to sleep while he and his gang rob several banks...
Guest StarsKeith Buckley, Prentis Hancock, Gavin Campbell, George Sweeney
CommentA rare foray into street-level crime, this is nevertheless very enjoyable and retains much Avengers style and format. Gavin Campbell would later go on to present That's Life – and has hardly aged at all since this 1976 episode!

Episode TitleGnaws
Production Episode #A12
Episode TX #1-13
Approx UK TX Date28th January 1977
Story SynopsisTwo scientists are developing a chemical that will enhance the growth of vegetables. However some of the liquid is accidently poured down the sink into the sewers. The growth drug doesn't just work on plants...
Guest StarsJulian Holloway, Peter Cellier, Jeremy Young, Patrick Malahide
CommentA blatant and pointless rip-off – indeed a dire episode. Quite amazing that Clemens allowed this one.

Episode TitleDirtier by the Dozen
Production Episode #A13
Episode TX #1-12
Approx UK TX Date7th January 1977
Story SynopsisA special army unit that had been set up to recruit less-disciplined men seems to be getting bored with peacetime and decide to start their own war in the Middle East using a kidnapped British general as bait. Purdey and Gambit are sent to infiltrate...
Guest StarsJohn Castle, Shaun Curry, Alun Armstrong, Brian Croucher, Stephen Moore, John Challis, Ballard Berkeley
CommentAn excellent episode very much adhering to the old Avengers style. John Castle is brilliant as the eccentric unit leader Colonel 'Mad Jack' Miller and Ballard Berkeley plays a very similar character to his loopy Major in Fawlty Towers.

Jump back to Series One

Episode TitleHostage
Production Episode #B01
Episode TX #2-7
Approx UK TX Date21st October 1977
Story SynopsisPurdey is kidnapped, the ransom being the top secret Allied Attack Plans which Steed must deliver without alerting any of his colleagues. However his superior, Mackay, starts to suspect and then the kidnappers frame Steed for the murder of another agent. Mackay sends Gambit after Steed leaving Steed to not only outwit the junior but also to rescue Purdey. But then things take another twist...
Guest StarsWilliam Franklyn, Michael Culver, Barry Stanton, Simon Oates
CommentThe plotline is hardly original but the little twists and turns along the way and the action and pace keep it going fairly well. Simon Oates played the part of Steed in the doomed 1971 stage production of The Avengers.

Episode TitleTrap
Production Episode #B02
Episode TX #2-6
Approx UK TX Date14th October 1977
Story SynopsisWhen the Avengers foil a drug drop arranged by a Chinese overlord, they find themselves on the run from his men, the Oriental being determined to have their heads on plates.
Guest StarsTerry Wood, Bruce Boa, Larry Lamb
CommentClemens' poorest story for the series – more surprising for its lack of real Avengers material. Also, why did they use the obviously Caucasian Terry Wood with 'Oriental' make-up – particularly as he had already starred in 'Three-Handed Game'?

Episode TitleDead Men Are Dangerous
Production Episode #B03
Episode TX #2-1
Approx UK TX Date9th September 1977
Story SynopsisTen years previously agent Mark Crayford had defected to the East – but not before Steed managed to shoot him. Now the bullet lodged close to his heart is threatening his life and Crayford wants revenge. He returns to England and starts on a campaign to tear up Steed's life.
Guest StarsClive Revill, Gabrielle Drake, Trevor Adams
CommentActually much better than it sounds – this is a very psychological episode (regarded by Clemens as the best ever). Strongly directed and mostly well-paced. An excellent performance from Revill.

Episode TitleMedium Rare
Production Episode #B04
Episode TX #2-3
Approx UK TX Date23rd September 1977
Story SynopsisWhen Paymaster Mason discovers one of his own men, Wallace, lining his pockets from funds, Wallace kills him. However Mason was a good friend of Steed's and Wallace realises that Steed will be determined to find the killer. So Wallace decides that he must also deal with Steed. Meanwhile a fake medium discovers that she really can predict the future and 'sees' that Steed's life is in danger. Steed refuses to take her seriously but then she correctly predicts Steed will be framed for murder...
Guest StarsJon Finch, Jeremy Wilkin, Neil Hallett
CommentA so-so episode ruined by a daft and illogical denouement. Jon Finch was later offered, but turned down, the role of Doyle in The Professionals and this story features a character called George Cowley! No resemblance to the other one, though!

Episode TitleAngels of Death
Production Episode #B05
Episode TX #2-2
Approx UK TX Date16th September 1977
Story SynopsisA health farm is regularly frequented by men in top Goverment and Military positions. However the treatment they are receiving from the nurses – the Angels – is actually a form of subliminal brainwashing. Directly after the 'treatment' the patients feel fine and refreshed, but on later receiving a coded signal they instantly go mad and die. The manner of death, though, always appears to be natural causes. The Avengers become alerted after 47 such deaths and Steed eventually finds a link to the Health Farm. But that only means he must succumb to the 'treatment'...
Guest StarsTerence Alexander, Caroline Munro, Michael Latimer, Lindsay Duncan, Pamela Stephenson, Dinsdale Landen
CommentAbsolutely brilliant! One of the best of the whole 26-episode run. A typical Avengers situation, spiced with psychological tension, a hint of believability and lots of beautiful girls! Pamela Stephenson would go on to star in a number of early Professionals episodes and then Not the Nine O'Clock News. Annette Lynton, in a non-speaking part here, went on to become the monitor in Treasure Hunt with Anneke Rice. Caroline Munro was a semi-prominent star in the seventies, often in Hammer productions but also in the terrific Bond film The Spy Who Loved Me, which one would have thought would have provided her Big Break. Strangely, though, she opted to hostess the dire 3-2-1 gameshow instead. Having met her recently I can report she still looks absolutely stunning (you’d never guess she’s aged twenty years!!) and a warm, lovely, intelligent person: completely opposite to the airhead, bimboesque image she often had to portray in films! Such a terrible waste – as she told us: “Once an actress reaches forty, filmmakers tend to forget you!”. Anyway where did Michael Latimer, who made regular TV appearances in the seventies, disappear to?

Episode TitleObsession
Production Episode #B06
Episode TX #2-5
Approx UK TX Date7th October 1977
Story SynopsisAfter seven years Purdey comes across her ex-fiancee, fighter pilot Larry Doomer. At the time they split Larry's father had been executed by a group of Arabs. Larry had tried exact revenge by killing their leader but Purdey had stopped him, causing the couple to break up. Now the Arab is back in Britain and Doomer is just as determined to avenge his father...
Guest StarsMartin Shaw, Lewis Collins, Tommy Boyle
CommentA rare exploration of human emotions for the Avengers. On those terms it is an excellent story (if not quite fitting in with Avengers tradition) which, quite coincidentally according to Brian Clemens, paired Shaw and Collins – though plans for The Professionals were well in hand by then. Collins to Shaw in the final scene: "Maybe we should work together again sometime? A good team".

Episode TitleThe Lion and the Unicorn
Production Episode #B07
Episode TX #2-4
Approx UK TX Date30th September 1977
Story SynopsisThe Avengers are holding enemy agent 'The Unicorn' in Paris. However in an assassination attempt on Steed it is the Frenchman who dies – accidently and unknowingly killed by his own people. Steed realises it will only be a matter of time before the gang discover their leader is dead and will assume he killed him – therefore making him a target for revenge. The Avengers decide to maintain the illusion that the Unicorn is still alive, to allow them enough time to make their escape. In the meantime, however, the gang takes a Royal Prince hostage – to be exchanged for the Unicorn. But, of course, the Avengers have nothing to swap...
Guest Stars
CommentThe magnificent car chase at the start of this segment was actually filmed as a promotion for Rover's then-new SD1. This isn't a bad story, but certain parts are handled cornily – and how come once the Prince is safe, Steed bundles him into a cupboard without untying him or removing the sack from his head?! Bizarre!

Episode TitleK is for Kill – Part 1: The Tiger Awakes
Production Episode #B08
Episode TX #2-8
Approx UK TX Date28th October 1977
Story SynopsisThirty years previously the Russians had planted over 200 soldiers in France. These soldiers literally slept until awoken by a satellite signal, which they received via an implant in their brains. The idea was that in the event of war, these soldiers would be reactivated simply by instructing the satellite. However the satellite is now malfunctioning and erroneously transmitting its signal. As the soldiers awake – drugs, hypnosis and sleep having prevented them from ageing – they naturally assume a war has started and start attacking French targets. Or at least what were once targets...
Guest Stars
CommentAn interesting, though hardly credible idea. Quite a bit of padding, too. A treat is a flashback to 1965 and Steed phoning Mrs Peel – courtesy of some unused footage of Diana Rigg.

Episode TitleK is for Kill – Part 2: Tiger by the Tail
Production Episode #B09
Episode TX #2-9
Approx UK TX Date4th November 1977
Story SynopsisThe Avengers learn that two of the soldiers, known as K-Agents, had some sort of separate, special mission – and soon after an old General is murdered by them. Again he appears to be an out-of-date target. But Steed is puzzled and worried that the picture of the General the K-Agents were carrying is up-to-date...
Guest Stars
CommentPerhaps not quite as much padding here. However it is illogical that the son of one of the K-Agents is much older – even despite the thity-year sleep, you would expect them to be of similar age.

Episode TitleComplex
Production Episode #B10
Episode TX #2-10
Approx UK TX Date11th November 1977
Story SynopsisA highly dangerous enemy agent, code-named Scapina, has long evaded capture. A break for Steed comes when a Canadian agent arranges a meeting to reveal Scapina's identity. However the Canadian is murdered before he can talk and all Steed finds is a blurred photograph of a man leaving a large building. The Avengers depart for Canada...
Guest Stars
CommentFirst of the Canadian episodes. Not bad, though Scapina's identity is revealed to the audience long before our heroes crack the mystery.

Episode TitleThe Gladiators
Production Episode #B11
Episode TX #2-12
Approx UK TX Date25th November 1977
Story SynopsisKGB agent Karl Sminsky is recruiting criminals to train as supremely skilled fighters in order to smash Canada's security system. The Avengers find themselves up against a team of supermen.
Guest StarsLouis Zorich
CommentZorich puts in a wonderful, if not altogether sincere, performance as Sminsky – he certainly looks as though he's enjoying himself. However the acting from some of the Canadians is appalling – hammier than Miss Piggy! Nevertheless the plot itself is pure Avengers, if a little too violent at times.

Episode TitleForward Base
Production Episode #B11
Episode TX #2-13
Approx UK TX Date18th November 1977
Story SynopsisIn 1969 a typhoon hit the Lake Ontario area of Canada, temporarily knocking out all radar and sonar. Afterwards the locals were surprised to find a piece of coastline that wasn't there before! Even more bizarrely, it occasionally disappears!! Eight years on and the Avengers are called in when a Russian agent visits the area to drop a highly sought-after Missile Guidance Unit. Another Russian comes along to retrieve it – and promptly throws it into the lake! Purdey manages to retrieve it but finds it isn't the same one...
Guest Stars
CommentBrilliant! This episode proves that the change to Canada wasn't the complete disaster that Clemens claimed. A mix of bizarre, comedic, entertaining and pure Avengers material including a chase across Lake Ontario in plastic swans! Nick Nichols' wonderfully over-the-top Russian accent is a treat.

Episode TitleEmily
Production Episode #B13
Episode TX #2-12
Approx UK TX Date17th December 1977
Story SynopsisSteed is trying to discover the identity of an enemy agent known as The Fox. Despite tracking him down, the masked Fox escapes, but leaves a handprint on the roof of an old car. Steed decides to drive the car across country to the forensics lab in Toronto...
Guest Stars
CommentA positively dire episode, by far the worst of the entire 26-episode run – Dennis Spooner hang your head in shame. Kicks off with a cliched plotline, then proceeds into one long car chase across Canada with lots of padding. Cringeworthy at times – the best part being Purdey going through the car wash to protect the handprint. A bad, sad way to go out and I suppse a blessing that this was not the final episode transmision-wise.

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