• title card: white all caps text reading ‘K IS FOR KILL BY BRIAN CLEMENS’ superimposed on a Russian soldier jumping over a brick wall, submachinegun in his right hand
  • Flashback to 1967: Mrs. Peel answers the telephone wearing a pink dress and red and pick checked coat - it looks like she’s just started redocrating her flat as the furninture is covered with cloth
  • The Russian infantry take position in a clearing and prepare to fire mortars at the target their officer is spotting with his binoculars
  • The lone Russian sniper takes aim from his tree-top perch
  • After death, one of the russians quickly ages and becomes an old man
  • Gambit takes cover under a truck as more Russians emerge from the woods

The New Avengers, Series 2 — Episode 8
K is for Kill - Part 1: The Tiger Awakes

by Brian Clemens
Directed by Yvon Marie Coulais

Los Angeles Times summary

Steed, Purdey and Gambit investigate a series of attacks in France by young Russian soldiers (Part 1).

Plot summary

In 1965, a Russian Army soldier burst into a Salvation Army hall in a quiet English village and killed everyone, before collapsing and aging twenty years immediately. 1977, and the same story plays out in a quiet French village, so Steed takes Purdey and Gambit to investigate. Another Russian division attacks a chateau nearby then escapes when French commandos counter attack, and a dead Russian’s papers say he was born in 1925, but he looks to be 20 year old. The dead soldier again ages thirty years, and they discover the chateau used to be Allied Security HQ, and both attack locations were near US bases at the end of the War. Colonel Stansilav arrives from Moscow to stop the accidental invasion, his own father one of the reactivated men, and the Russian ambassador learns of a thirty year old plan to use men in suspended animation. The ambassaador warns Steed that World War III is about to start, just as another Russian offensive is launched...

[continued in part 2]

show full synopsis

show plot summary

Tibet, 1945, Leiutenant Stanislav of the Red Army is investigating a lamasery which has caged rabbits - some from 1904! Two soldiers drag a monk (Tony Then) in - he protests at their invasion and is bundled away for interrogation about the rabbit experiments.
England, 1965, a Red Army soldier bursts into a small Salvation Army Headquarters, mowing down the Major (Kenneth Watson) and his band of good musicians with his machine gun. The soldier staggers off and dies - of old age - his face greying instantly! John Steed (Patrick Macnee) is called in and shown the dead Russian by Penrose (Eric Allan); he calls Mrs. Peel (Diana Rigg), telling her they may never solve the mystery.

France, 1977, another Red Army soldier (Krishna Clough) spots some youths driving an old Jeep into a garage and kills them. Steed calls Mrs. Peel and they’ve both had the same hunch so Steed takes Purdey (Joanna Lumley) and Mike Gambit (Gareth Hunt) to investigate.
Colonel Martin (Pierre Vernier) is in charge of the investigation and says the garage owner claimed to see a Russian soldier kill the hippies. He’s astonished to hear Steed’s story of 1965, and says the hippies were wearing old army surplus uniforms. The Russian meanwhile has the New Avengers in his rifle sights, but remembers Captain Stanislav (Charles Millot), in 1946, ordering them to attack only military targets.
Suddenly, there’s mortar fire from the other side of the hill. A troop of Soviets led by Lieutenant Ivan (Eric Desmaretz) is bombarding a derelict château, but melt into the woods when our heroes arrive.
The Russians ambush them and they’re waylaid by the first soldier until Gambit knocks him from his perch with a bit of karate. His papers reveal him to be Private Sokolov, Russian Army, born in 1925 — despite looking 22, not 52!
Captain Vassili (Sylvain Clément) joins his troops with Ivan’s, and shows him a map of other nearby targets before a march on Paris. Martin tells Steed that 30 years ago the château was Allied Security HQ - a prime Soviet target. French commandos arrive and the Russians pull back, seeking to avoid direct confrontation.

Dr. Jeanine Leparge (Christine Delaroche) inspects the soldier’s body and declares him a virile, muscular man in his twenties. Gambit flirts with her and arranges a date, then they look back at the gurney and the man is in his fifties! Meanwhile the Russians head south...
They attack another château after seeing generals around a table inside. Steed and Purdey arrive just after the Russians fall back and they pursue, Steed intent on capturing Captain Vassili, who Purdey defeats. Back at the second château, Martin inspects the destroyed museum pieces and mannequins while the elderly Général Gaspard (Maurice Marsac), the curator, complains about modern warfare and the damage done to the preserved World War II Allied HQ.

Purdey discovers the youthful Vassili is 65, while Gambit and Dr. Leparge find their corpse had a radio device implanted in his skull. Steed discovers there was a US airbase near the French village that was attacked, just as there was one near Wentwick - the English village attacked in 1965. Vassili is brought into the château and Gaspard remembers a Vassili he once fenced with, and cut his neck. Sure enough, the scar is there, much to Gapard’s astonishment. Vassili loosens his bonds and steals Martin’s pistol - he’s about to kill Purdey when Gambit shoots him from the doorway. The body ages before them, then more distant gunfire is heard.

At the Kremlin, Stanislav - now a Colonel and much older - enters the office of Kerov (Sacha Pitoëff), who’s admonishing some old soldiers. He’s told the satellite that blipped in 1965 has failed again, this time sending a full signal for over twenty minutes, and now France is overrun with Russian troops, all of who will die - Stansilav’s father among them. He is sent to Paris to account for those he infiltrated and visits Amabassador Toy (Paul Emile Deiber), who is told about the Tibetan monk’s secret.

The commandos have mopped up the Russians and they’re enjoying a cognac at the château when Toy calls Steed, warning him World War III may be about to start but rings off before he can explain, and more Russians attack under cover of darkness...

[continued in part 2]

Production details

Produced:June, 1977
First broadcast:
  • London: 16/11/1976
  • Midlands: 1/11/1976
  • Sydney (ABN-2): 13/03/1978
  • Melbourne (ABV-2): 13/03/1978
  • USA (CBS): 23/03/1979
  • France (TF1): 3/08/1979

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