• title card: white all caps text reading ‘THE LION AND THE UNICORN BY JOHN GOLDSMITH’ superimposed on a white car plummeting off a cliff
  • Purdey and Gambit politely usher the Unicorn into the Paris apartement
  • Ritter hides behind a crowd of nuns in white wimples and robes as he escapes
  • The model is shocked as her dress is ripped off during Grima’s ateempt to escape
  • Marco prepares to press the button on the detonator as Ritter stands next to him
  • Gambit’s finger hovers over the detonator button, Steed and Purdey smiling at his side - Steed’s hand is on his elbow and is about to make him accidentally press the button

The New Avengers, Series 2 — Episode 4
The Lion and the Unicorn

by John Goldsmith
Directed by Ray Austin

Production details

Produced:May, 1977

Regional broadcasts

Thames Television29/09/19778:00pm
ATV Midlands30/09/19778:00pm
Granada Television29/09/19778:00pm
Anglia Television29/09/19778:00pm
Border Television30/09/19778:00pm
Channel Television29/09/19778:00pm
Grampian Television30/09/19778:00pm
Southern Television29/09/19778:00pm
Scottish Television29/09/19778:00pm
Tyne Tees Television30/09/19778:00pm
Ulster Television29/09/19778:00pm
Westward Television29/09/19778:00pm
Harlech Television30/09/19778:00pm
Yorkshire Television30/09/19778:00pm

TV Times listing

I do not have a TV Times / TV Weekly or other contemporary British listing for this episode, if you have one, please get in touch.

Sydney Morning Herald listing for February 27 1978, 8.30pm
The Age listing for February 27 1978, 8.30pm

International broadcasts

ABN2 Sydney, Australia27/02/19788:30pm
ABV2 Melbourne, Australia27/02/19788:30pm
ABC New York, USA15/12/197811:30pm
TF1 France28/07/19798:35pm
Suisse Romande, Switzerland
French titleLe lion et la licorne
ZDF Germany
German titleEine königliche Geisel
KRO Netherlands7/11/19778:25pm
Dutch titleDe Eenhoorn
Italian titleUno scambio difficile
Spanish titleEl león y el unicornio
Netherlands: Provinciale Zeeuwse Courant listing & summary for November 7 1977, 8.25pm
USA: Chicago Tribune listing for December 15 1978, 10.30pm
USA: Toledo Blade listing for December 15 1978, 11.30pm
France: L’Impartial listing for July 28 1979, 8.35pm
Spain: ABC Madrid listing & summary for June 16 1981, 11.05pm

Continuity and trivia

  • Another Ray Austin, so another cast of thousands; the opening sequences of the car chase were lifted from a Rover commercial produced by Austin & Clemens.
  • 10:40 — Obvious overdub of someone shouting, “Brilliant!” - it’s supposed to be Steed but definitely isn’t Macnee’s voice.
  • 14:15 — if the Unicorn doesn’t drink, why is there so much champagne in his apartment?
  • 16:40 — it doesn’t look like the Unicorn, perched on the corner of the table, could possibly have been in line with the bullet passing through the mirror.
  • This is the first of the French episodes and it’s easy to spot that the soundtrack for Marco’s part was originally in French.
  • Note the Qantas, Printemps, Kansai Yamammoto and Yves Saint Laurent product placement!
  • The Parisian car chase was intended to have a keystone cops slapstick feel, but is more Benny Hill (see enlargement).
  • 24:07 — Script error or fluffed line? Steed says, “It looks suspiciously like checkmate” but I think that “stalemate” would be more appropriate.
  • 24:20 — the flustered conte shakes Purdey’s hand and kisses Gambit’s
  • This episode has a video Q&A and commentary with John Goldsmith, Ray Austin and Philip Hawkins on the Lives in the Pictures YouTube channel.

The Transport

Marque Colour Number Plate
Steed’s Rover 3500 SD1 Automatic lemon MOC 229P
Mercedes 250 E steel blue 19 KF
Volvo 244 GL navy KPH 976P
Ford Capri white, black vinyl roof HRX 200P
Ford Transit white CBM 815N?
Daimler Majestic Major limousine black ?
BMW fastback blue ?
Gambit’s Jaguar XJS red NRW 875P
Purdey’s Leyland Mini red, black vinyl roof 1577 RO 95
Security van grey-green, white roof 734 ADT95
Citroën black 2492 FN 92
Renault Saviem 602 lorry blue with white ‘Autos Camions’ writing 9968 DY 93
Streetsweeper’s three-wheeler utility orange -
Citroën 2cv van steel 834 .. ..

Who’s Killing Whom?

Victim Killer Method
The Unicorn Ritter silenced pistol
Click a name to see the face

The Fashions

Gambit’s fashions
  1. mustard jacket with epaulettes, white shirt
  2. green jacket & trousers, striped shirt
  3. white shirt, white bow tie, blue tuxedo
Purdey’s fashions
  1. sky blue dress with laced-up bodice
  2. red, green, yellow Kansai Yamamoto tunic with hot pink leggings, yellow heels, and yellow sunglasses
  3. blue overalls over outfit above
  4. pink evening dress
Steed’s fashions
  1. grey velvet 3-piece 2 vent suit, white shirt, blue tie with white spot
  2. brown jacket, beige trousers, brow tie with wh sp
  3. black tuxedo & bow tie, white shirt

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