• title card: white all caps text reading ‘TO CATCH A RAT BY TERENCE FEELY’ superimposed on two acrobats on a dark background with two spotlights behind them. The acrobat at top right has retracted his hands and the other is now falling, arms outstretched, to his doom
  • Gunner smiles to himself as he runs out of the barn door. He wears a beige jacket and carries a rucksack
  • Purdey, Gambit and Steed crowd around the radio operator, who has picked up Gunner’s signal again
  • Gunner is perched on the top of the woodwork near the arched roof of the chirch, poised to leap on his victim
  • Steed pauses while combing his horse to smile at the young blonde German giel
  • Purdey cradles the head of the injured Gunner as he gasps, ‘Sixteen years too late’ to Steed

The New Avengers, Series 1 — Episode 7
To Catch a Rat

by Terence Feely
Directed by James Hill

Production details

Produced:June, 1976

Regional broadcasts

Thames Television30/11/19768:00pm
ATV Midlands3/12/19768:00pm
Granada Television3/12/19768:00pm
Anglia Television30/11/19768:00pm
Border Television3/12/19768:00pm
Channel Television3/12/19768:00pm
Grampian Television3/12/19768:00pm
Southern Television3/12/19768:00pm
Scottish Television3/12/19768:00pm
Tyne Tees Television3/12/19768:00pm
Ulster Television3/12/19768:00pm
Westward Television3/12/19768:00pm
Harlech Television14/11/19767:50pm
Yorkshire Television3/12/19768:00pm

This episode was shown in the Netherlands before it was broadcast on any ITV region in the UK, see below.

TV Times listing

TV Times listing for November 30 1976, 8pm (London edition)
Sydney Morning Herald listing for March 9 1977, 8.30pm
The Age listing for March 9 1977, 8.30pm

8.0 The New Avengers
Patrick Macnee
Gareth Hunt
Joanna Lumley
To Catch a Rat

By Terence Feeley
with Ian Hendry

A man pushed from a trapeze … a radio message that’s 17 years late … and suddenly Steed and Gambit are fighting the Cold War of the ’Sixties again. While Purdey faces a rat that carries a gun.
Patrick Macnee and all the gorgeous Avengers girls … meet them in a special TVTimes Souvenir Colour Extra. Read about it on page 30.
Jeremy Hawk — waiting for something wonderful: See page 79 and In View

John Steed Patrick Macnee
Mike Gambit Gareth Hunt
Purdey Joanna Lumley
Gunner Ian Hendry
Cromwell Edward Judd
Quaintance Robert Fleming
Cledge Barry Jackson
Grant Anthony Sharp
Finder Jeremy Hawk
Operator Bernice Stegers
Nurse Jo Kendall
Farmer Dallas Cavell
Mother Sally-Jane Spencer

Director James Hill; Producers Albert Fennell, Brian Clemens

International broadcasts

ABN2 Sydney, Australia9/03/19778:30pm
ABV2 Melbourne, Australia9/03/19778:30pm
ABC New York, USA16/02/197911:30pm
TF1 France15/01/19779:32pm
Suisse Romande, Switzerland30/11/19769:30pm
French titlePour attraper un Rat
ZDF Germany23/03/19789:45pm
German titleDie weiße Ratte
KRO Netherlands4/11/19768:25pm
Dutch titleRatten vangen
Italian titleCaccia al topo
Spanish titleCoger una rata

This episode was shown in the Netherlands on November 4 1976, ten days before it was broadcast on any ITV region in the UK.

Netherlands: Provinciale Zeeuwse Courant episode summary for November 4 1976, 8.25pm
Switzerland: Le Nouvelliste listing for November 30 1976, 9.30pm, with photo of Steed
France: Gazette de Lausanne listing for January 15 1977, 9.32pm
Germany: Hamburg Abendblatt listing for March 23 1978, 9.45pm
Italy: La Stampa listing for June 22 1978, 10.05pm
Italy: StampaSera episode summary, June 22 1978
USA: Chicago Tribune listing for February 16 1979, 10.30pm
Spain: ABC Madrid listing for August 23 1981, 7.35pm
Switzerland: La Liberté episode summary for November 30 1976, 9.30pm
Italy: Radiocorriere summary and photo for June 22 1978, 10.05pm

Continuity and trivia

The little girl who accidentally hits Gunner in the head with the swing is played by Ian Hendry’s daughter, Corrie. You can see them enjoying a rare moment of family togetherness on set during the scene.

Steed’s call sign was ‘the new doberman’ or the ‘new d’ for short - and he was called ‘the nudie’, naturally!

Karen Cooper and Anni Preston do not seem to appear in the final footage of the episode - they played two of the operators at the security headquarters and has been identified through the props of Karen’s ID card and Annie’s ID card.

The Transport

Marque Colour Number Plate
Volkswagen Beetle 1200 [Typ 1] 1967 white 6/7 214
Ford Cortina Mk III 1971 pond green JMD 347K
Gambit’s Range Rover Series I 1976 white LOK 537P
Steed’s “big cat” Jaguar XJ12 C Broadspeed 5.3 Litre Coupe Automatic 1976 british racing green NWK 60P
Rover 2000 TC P6 1971 police car white ?
Triumph Stag Mk 2 1974 burgundy NHP 16M

Who’s Killing Whom?

Victim Killer Method
Cledge Gunner shot by his own revolver during struggle
Click a name to see the face

The Fashions

Gambit’s fashions
  1. dark brown single-breasted 3-piece suit with flared trousers, brown tie with diamond motif, beige shirt with brown pinstripes
  2. brown suede jacket, cream rollneck, brown trousers
  3. light brown checked single-breasted 3-piece suit with flared trousers, slit breast pocket, tailored with darts,pale yellow shirt, brown tie
Purdey’s fashions
  1. pink dress with white cardigan
  2. black leather bomber jacker with fleece neck, blue & white scarf, pale grey rollneck, blue jeans, short black boots
  3. purple & white hooped t-shirt with purple cardigan, white piping, khaki plus fours (or culottes?), long purple boots
  4. orange and black Japanese print wrap-around dress
  5. purple velvet suit single-breasted with wide lapels, 3 buttons, pink pinstriping, white and grey thick striped shirt with French cuffs, wide white silk tie
Steed’s fashions
  1. slate grey 3-piece single-breasted suit, purple tie with white spot, cream shirt
  2. grey suit single-breasted 3-piece, grey shirt, green-gold metallic tie
  3. grey suit single-breasted 3-piece, with blue tie with white spot, white shirt
  4. grey suit single-breasted 3-piece, grey shirt, green-gold metallic tie
  5. dark green waistcoat, cream shirt, brown tie, beige riding trousers
  6. navy suit, blue shirt, brown tie with white spot, black bowler hat

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