The Avengers

Series 1, 1961

Episode Guide

Legend for this table

Episode Audio Status Lead Produced First broadcast London
1 Hot Snow vol. 1 DVD,R,F - 30/12/60 07/01/61 18/03//61
2 Brought to Book vol. 1 ®,F - 12/01/61 14/01/61 1/04/61
3 Square Root of Evil vol. 1 #,®,F Steed 21/01/61 21/01/61 -
4 Nightmare vol. 5 #,®,s Keel 28/01/61 28/01/61 -
5 Crescent Moon vol. 5 #,®,s Steed 04/02/61 04/02/61 -
6 Girl on the Trapeze vol. 5 DVD,F Keel 11/02/61 11/02/61 -
7 Diamond Cut Diamond vol. 5 ®,s Steed 18/02/61 18/02/61 -
8 The Radioactive Man vol. 2 #,®,F Keel 25/02/61 25/02/61 -
9 Ashes of Roses vol. 2 ®,F Carol 04/03/61 04/03/61 -
10 Hunt the Man Down vol. 4 ®,P,s - 12/03/61 18/03/61 -
11 Please Don't Feed the Animals vol. 2 #,®,F - 30/03/61 01/04/61 -
12 Dance with Death vol. 2 #,®,F - 12/04/61 15/04/61 15/04/61
13 One for the Mortuary vol. 1 T,R,F - 26/04/61 29/04/61 29/04/61
14 The Springers vol. 3 T,R,F - 11/05/61 13/05/61 13/05/61
15 The Frighteners vol. 6 DVD,T,F - 25/05/61 27/05/61 27/05/61
16 The Yellow Needle vol. 3 T,R - 08/06/61 10/06/61 10/06/61
17 Death on the Slipway vol. 6 T,R - 22/06/61 24/06/61 24/06/61
18 Double Danger vol. 3 T,P,R - 06/07/61 08/07/61 08/07/61
19 Toy Trap vol. 3 T,P,R - 20/07/61 22/07/61 22/07/61
20 Tunnel of Fear vol. 6 DVD,P,T,R,F - 03/08/61 05/08/61 05/08/61
21 The Far Distant Dead vol. 7 T,P,R Keel 14/08/61 19/08/61 19/08/61
22 Kill the King vol. 4 T,P,R Steed 30/08/61 02/09/61 02/09/61
Actors' Equity strike interrupts programming
23 Dead of Winter vol. 4 T,P,R - 18/10/61 09/12/61 09/12/61
24 The Deadly Air vol. 7 T,P,R - 07/09/61 16/12/61 16/12/61
25 A Change of Bait vol. 4 T,P,R - 20/09/61 23/12/61 23/12/61
26 Dragonsfield vol. 7 T,P,R Steed 27/09/61 30/12/61 30/12/61

During the "live" era, the producers decided on an alternating story focus, so each of the lead actors could have a down week where they did not have as many lines. Accordingly, there were "Steed stories" and "Keel stories" - and one "Carol story", these are marked above in the Lead column. This ended when the series changed to a fortnightly schedule in March 1961 as it was broadcast across the ITV network and alternated with the ATV serial Deadline Midnight except for several later episodes when Ian Hendry and Patrick Macnee took holidays. Patrick Macnee was the only principal cast member to appear in "Dragonsfield". When the series resumed after the equity strike, The Avengers returned to a weekly schedule.

Leonard White, the producer for this series, hired John Cura to make his "Tele-Snaps" for the show starting with episode 13, "One for the Mortuary". Tele-snaps are off-screen photographs of television broadcasts taken on a half frame of 35mm film at a 1/25th of a second exposure and they provide imagery of many television shows which are now otherwise lost.

Episodes are listed in transmission order.In the list I use:

  • The Audio column lists the volume number that has the episode as an audio adaptation released by Big Finish, these volume numbers are linked to the volume information on the Big Finish website.
  • For the Status column,
    • DVD indicates the episode is available as video on DVD or digital download, these are illustrated with screen captures and have a full synopsis.
    • # indicates the episode has no known photographs still in existence.
    • ® indicates the episode has a title card recreated by Richard McGinlay from the episode paperwork.
    • F indicates the episode has a full synopsis based on (depending what's available) video footage, original scripts, previously published synopses including TV Times listings, production or publicity stills, Tele-Snaps, newspaper articles and the research of other authors.
    • s indicates the episode has a short synopsis based on previously published synopses including TV Times listings, newspaper articles and the research of other authors.
    • P indicates the episode has a large number of production stills in existence (these have been supplied by Canal+ Image and Optimum Releasing and are on the DVD sets).
    • T indicates the episode has Tele-Snaps made available by producer Leonard White (these have been supplied by Canal+ Image and Optimum Releasing and are on the DVD sets).
    • R indicates that the episode has a video reconstruction using still images and narration on the StudioCanal sets.

Cast lists for the missing episodes previously had the guest actors' portraits in sepia indicates those illustrated from other productions, but I am discontinuing this as I work through the 60th anniversary revisions. I am instead putting the symbol ® against the links for those images as they are updated and listing their sources in the cast sections. Actors portrayed from publicity material or screenshots from the episodes themselves are not marked with the symbol.

Production dates have been updated based on Alan Hayes' recent discovery of a shooting script for "A Change of Bait" which was shot a week earlier than previously believed, and also numbers the episode as number 24. With these new discoveries, the production order of the last four episodes is completely reordered from what was previously the consensus opinion. Episodes 3-9 were broadcast "live to air" and recorded off transmission. Many commentators had previously believed these episodes to have been wholly live and not recorded at all, but the paperwork disproves this. Other paperwork suggests both overseas sales and a catch-up London run for the episodes that were skipped in the original run. Neither of these seem to have occurred and the rumours of a cache of them held at ABC Sydney's Gore Hill studios seem to not be true. Still, one lives in hope that the lost episodes may one day be found.

The 1961 Actors' Equity strike against ITV channels started in November and continued for five months. Production was suspended completely and the television stations, after an almost complete shutdown, started broadcasting previously recorded material and feature films from the United States and the BBC. The last four episodes of the season fall into this category, all being broadcast in December 1961, the last of them being filmed two weeks before the strike started.

By the time the strike lifted in April 1962, Ian Hendry had decided to leave the show and pursue a feature film career.

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