• title card : HOT SNOW superimposed on a view up a quiet, rain-swept street in Chelsea
  • Peggy hugs Dr. Keel around the neck and shoulders in the parlour
  • Spicer stares in shock at the phone as it rings
  • Spicer chomps a sandwich while Johnson looks nervous and Charlie is peevish
  • Peggy slumps against Dr. Keel in the street
  • Publicity still: Steed seeks Dr. Keel’s help with the case

Series 1 — Episode 1
Hot Snow

by Ray Rigby, based upon a story by Patrick Brawn

Production No 3365, VTR/ABC/1040
Production completed: December 30 1960. First transmission: January 7 1961.

Production details

AMPEX recording: Friday, 30th December 1960 18.00 — 19.00
Studio details: Teddington Two
Production No. 3365
Tape No. VTR/ABC/1040
Transmission: Saturday, 7th January 1961


Thursday, 29th December 1960
Camera Rehearsal10.00 — 12.30
Lunch Break12.30 — 13.30
Camera Rehearsal13.30 — 18.00
Supper Break18.00 — 19.00
Camera Rehearsal19.00 — 21.00
Friday, 30th December 1960
Camera Rehearsal10.00 — 12.30
Lunch Break12.30 — 13.30
Camera Rehearsal13.30 — 15.15
Tea Break, Line Up, Normal Scan, Make-up15.15 — 16.00
Dress Rehearsal16.00 — 17.30
Line Up17.30 — 18.00
AMPEX RECORDING18.00 — 19.00


Cameras: 4 Pedestals
Sound: 3 Booms, Grams, Tape
Telecine: A.B.C. Symbol, 35mm mute inserts and slides

Running time: 59.45 = Play portion: 55.05 + 2 commercial breaks; 2.05 & 2.35

Regional broadcasts

ITV BroadcasterDateTime
ABC Midlands7/01/196110.00pm
ABC North7/01/196110.00pm
Anglia Television--
Southern Television18/03/196110.00pm
Tyne Tees Television18/03/196110.00pm
Television Wales & West18/03/196110.00pm
Ulster Television18/03/196110.00pm
Westward Television--
Scottish Television--
Border Television--
Grampian Television--

TV Times listing

TV Times listing for January 7 1961, 10pm (Northern edition)
TV Times listing for March 18 1961, 10pm (London edition) - in addition to the Northern edition, it has a call-out box announcing ‘First of a new series’

Teleplay by Ray Rigby
Based on a story by Patrick Brawn
Also starring

Dr. Tredding Philip Stone
Peggy Catherine Woodville
Dr. David Keel Ian Hendry
Spicer Godfrey Quigley
Charlie Murray Melvin
Johnson Charles Wade
Det.-Supt. Wilson Alister Williamson
Stella Moira Redmond
Sgt. Rogers Astor Sklair
Steed Patrick Macnee
Mrs. Simpson June Monkhouse

“The Avengers” theme composed and
played by Johnny Dankworth
Designed by Alpho O’Reilly
Directed by DON LEAVER

First of a new series in which personal
tragedy propels young Dr. David Keel on
an adventure with undercover men and
dope gangs

Episode availability

  • Video - the first act, recovered from the UCLA library, is available on DVD and Digital download, released by Studio Canal. There are two versions of a reconstruction of acts II and III, also on these DVDs
  • Audio - reconstruction in The Lost Episodes vol. 1, by Big Finish
  • Script - unmarked archive copy of the original camera script, plot outline, properties list, wardrobe & make-up list, and script extracts, from private collections
  • Publicity Stills - 2
  • Tele-Snaps - none


Marque/type Plate
Humber Hawk Mk. IV GBD 222
Austin taxi DGP 912

Continuity and trivia

  1. The plates outside the surgery read Dr. D.H. Keel and Dr. R.J. Tredding
  2. 3:48 — there’s a spot on the camera lens in the top right corner.
  3. 6:43 — Tredding’s phone number is SLOane 0181, which ties in with the external shots filmed around Chelsea and Sloane Square. SLOane 0181 was a special telephone number reserved for television use, it turns up in other ITV productions of the time.
  4. Spicer and the gang drive a Humber Hawk Mk. IV 1959 saloon, licence plate GBD 222, we later see a decidedly ancient Austin taxi, licence plate OGP 912.
  5. 12:06 — loss of focus as Charlie dials Vance’s number.
  6. 14:01 — slight zoom in and blur as vision switches to Keel outside Vinson’s.
  7. 14:40 — there’s no sound when Spicer fires his sniper rifle, which may be intentional: the draft script mentions a silenced rifle but the prop rifle does not appear to have a suppressor attached. The camera script does not indicate any FX to be used is the scene.
  8. For many years, the Big Man was though to have been played by Robert James as he was the central gang leader in the second part, Brought to Book. This assumption was made in Dave Rogers’ books and the error has been repeated ever since. However, a camera script of Hot Snow has been found and it makes no mention of who plays the Big Man at all. Watching and listening to the parts with the Big Man partially on screen, I’m guessing he was played by Philip Stone, who also plays Dr. Tredding, putting on a cockney accent and donning a smoking jacket for his Blofeld-style scenes (noting that this was filmed before Blofeld had ever been described or filmed) - it’s certainly not Robert James’ bony hands in those shots!
    Vance being the Big Man would contradict Spicer’s confession at the end of this episode, which implies Mason was the gang leader in question. He also names Peters who was the other thug alongside Spicer when Mason slashes Pretty Boy. Another possible indicator is the actor playing Mason, Charles Morgan, actually was a big man, whereas Robert James who played Ronnie Vance was tall and skinny. This is also backed up by Vance’s gang all being new characters in Brought to Book. Spicer continues but Charlie is dead and Johnson seems to have gone missing. Maybe he “floated out on the tide”.
  9. It would seem Terence Young was a fan of The Avengers and borrowed ideas from the episodes for his James Bond films. The Big Man only seen as a close-up of him petting an animal in his lap here is much like Blofeld in From Russia with Love - Fleming’s books never mention Blofeld having a cat. Also in The Yellow Needle, there is a description of Ali that reminds us of Philip Locke’s character Vargas in Thunderball - although that might have been from Fleming’s description of Blofeld in the Thunderball novel.
  10. A memo dated March 30 1962 proposed a replay season for the nine episodes not broadcast by ATV and Anglia and also the first two episodes, which had been seen on ATV but not Anglia. This proves that all live episodes had been recorded any may yet be out there somewhere.
  11. This episode was first broadcast to the ATV London, Southern, Tyne Tees, Television Wales & West, and Ulster regions on 18th March 1961, the same night as ABC Midlands, ABC Northern and Anglia were showing Hunt the Man Down. Accordingly, to make network schedules stay in line, Hunt the Man Down was deliberately given the exact same running time as this episode.

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