• title card: BROUGHT TO BOOK superimposed on a horse race (recreated by Richard McGinlay)
  • The police question Dr Keel at the Rising Sun: Det Sgt & Dr Keel on the left, DS Wilson centre with Lila facing away behind him, Bart & Vance, offering Wilson a peanut, on the right
  • Publicity still from TV Times - Dr Keel is surprised by the glamorous Jackie's audacity
  • Publicity still from TV Times - Steed at the snooker table with Mason in the background
  • Steed and Dr Keel fight Spicer in the bar as Lila looks on

Series 1 - Episode 2
Brought To Book

by Brian Clemens

Production completed: 12 January 1961. First transmission: 14 January 1961

This episode summary is written from the original scripts as this episode is now lost. There may have been changes made during filming.

Act 1

Prentice (Lionel Burns) is his bookmakers' office listening to the horse racing with Lale and Johns (Redmond Bailey and Laurence Archer) when they are visited by Pretty Boy and Bart (Clifford Elkin and Neil McCarthy), two of Vance's enforcers, who demand the monthly protection money. Pretty Boy is astonished when Prentice refuses, saying he's already paid someone else. Rival gang leader Nick Mason (Charles Morgan) enters the shop with Spicer and Peters (Godfrey Quigley and Charles Bird); they accost them and Mason tells Pretty Boy they're moving in on his gang's turf and to prove he means business he slashes Pretty Boy's face with a razor.

Meanwhile, at Dr Keel's surgery, the new receptionist, Carol (Ingrid Hafner) is finding Dr Keel (Ian Hendry) hard to work with, as he's distracted with tracking down Peggy's killers. Tredding (Philip Stone) sympathises with Keel and urges him to tread carefully but they are interrupted by a phone call for Keel. An unknown woman on the line summons him to the House of the Rising Sun but gives no details.
At the Rising Sun, a seedy team house cum club bar, Steed (Patrick Macnee) awaits him in one of the shadowy alcoves. He tells Keel his name - a detail he had always neglected before - and confirms it was he who shot Charlie when he saw he was about to shoot Keel then informs Keel that Spicer has returned, working for a new master. He explains about Mason taking on Ronnie Vance for the protection racket and mentions that he's working undercover - as one of Mason's gang! Spicer has been hired to murder Vance and they're get their proof at last - Keel is to infiltrate Vance's gang as Pretty Boy needs a bent doctor urgently... and Vance likes to drink at the Rising Sun. Steed has arrange a "little drama" to convince Vance.

Steed hides away when Vance (Robert James) and Bart arrive, Vance taking a stool at the bar with a view of both doors. He argues with Bart about failing to look after his brother as Keel takes another stool further down the bar and puts his medical bag on the counter as he orders a scotch. Suddenly, Inspector Wilson and his sergeant (Alister Williamson and Astor Sklair) burst in. Keel, seeing them, slips a packet of white powder out of his bag and hides it in a bowl of peanuts, then slides the bowl towards Vance. Wilson eyes Vance and has a brief word before saying they're not after him, today, then turns to Keel. He orders his sergeant to search the medical bag and asks him about failing to enter heroin on his medical register. Vance maliciously picks up the bowl of nuts and, so Keel can see, eats a couple. The sergeant finds nothing in the bag and as they turn to leave, Vance offers the Inspector a nut from the bowl! The sergeant says Keel may have already passed on the drugs and eyes Vance who protests his innocence. Wilson says it must have been to someone and searches the alcoves, but stares blankly at Steed when he comes face to face with him; "Not a soul...", he says, and the police depart.
Vance digs the packet out of the bowl and affects surprise, then quickly checks the alcoves himself to make sure they're alone - and Steed has vanished. He is elated when he discovers Keel still has a legitimate practice and offers him money to work for him and they depart together. Steed re-emerges and murmurs, "The spider and the fly...". Lila, at his side wonders which is which.

Act 2

Steed plays snooker with Mason and carelessly reveals he knows about Spicer killing Peggy but recovers by talking about moving in on Vance. Keel has meanwhile stitched up Pretty Boy's face up and met the gang's moll, Jackie (Carole White), who takes a shine to him. Vance disappoints Pretty Boy by telling him he's to stay inside and turns to Keel, returning the heroin and handing him a drink. He thinks himself a man of culture and points out his expensive furnishings to the doctor.

Back at the surgery later, Carol lets Steed, who complains of trouble with his eyes, in to see Keel. While he pretends to examine him, they discuss the upcoming plan. Keel is to unlock a door to let Spicer in to assassinate Vance but the police have been tipped off and will arrive at the right time to catch him, Vance's thugs will have been diverted by Mason moving on all the bookmakers in the area so the brothers will be alone. He hands him his phone humber and tells him to memorise it then destroy it, and gives him code phrases to indicate if Vance is alone or not.

Mason's men move in, smashing up shops and firing shotguns as they smash their way through London.* Steed phones Keel and tells him to get over to Vance's immediately.

Act 3

Vance, sure enough, mobilises his men to retalliate. Keel goes to use the phone, making Vance wary, but he says he's ringing his own bookie to place a bet on the 3.30. "Only two runners worth considering....Put fifty on will you?", he says into the phone, delivering Steed's code phrase to indicate the Vance brothers are alone. Keel hangs up and Steed turns to Inspector Wilson, telling him to be on his way. Steed then phones Spicer to tell him the door will be unlocked and is concerned when Spicer queries where Steed is. He says in a public phone booth but he'll be at the Rising Sun later. Spicer hangs up and Mason smiles at him and tells him to make it a neat job.

Jackie enters the main room at Vance's and flips on some loud dance music, which Vance immediately turns off. He orders Keel to take her for a walk, which worries Keel who was supposed to identify Spicer when he bursts in. Fortunately, Pretty Boy objects jealously to Jackie going anywhere with Keel so she leaves by herself while Keel goes to fetch a bottle of scoth from the kitchen. At that point, Vance received a phone call from an unexpected voice...
A short time later, a black car pulls up outside and a shadowy figure approaches the house carefully. Keel stares as he sees the door handle turn but is aghast when Mason enters instead of Spicer. Mason enters and reassures Vance he came alone, as promised, and tells Vance, "Someone's playing both ends against the middle...."
Just then, Wilson bursts in with his men and they frisk all those assembled and are puzzled when they find no guns. "See what I mean?", Mason whispers to Vance. The police depart, defeated, and Mason explains to Vance it was a big fix and he knows the "smooth talker" behind it - and Spicer is going to the Rising Sun to deal with him now! Vance thanks him for saving them both from being nicked and then realises the door must have been unlocked for Mason to get in, he turns on Keel, but the doctor is gone, the door wide open in his wake.

Steed and Lila wait in the Rising Sun, Steed worried about his amateur assistant. Keel bursts in to warn him to get out of there but, as Steed demurs and footsteps are heard outside, Keel punched him in the face, knocking him to the ground, and when Spicer enters, Keel is bent over Steed's prostrate figure. He keeps Steed from moving as he recovers by holding his hands down and, face averted, tells Spicer that Steed is dead then says, "You won't have to kill him now - will you, Spicer?" Spicer reacts to him knowing his name then he sees Keel's face for the first time and swears, "You!" Keel, tight-lipped, tells him Peggy was full of life but Spicer cut it short, they struggle and Spicer's gun goes off. Keel throws him along the bar a Judo move and, when he rises, Steed appear behind him and bops him with a bottle, knocking Spicer out.

Keel tells Steed everything went wrong with the plan but is determined they will learn what they want from Spicer so he throws water over him then threatens him with a hypodermic syringe (Sound familiar?). Spicer holds out for while then spills the beans on Mason, Lloyd, Peters, Jim Murphy and Bart Martin, just as Wilson arrives to arrest him. Steed is shocked when Keel tells him he would have used the syringe if he'd had to - it only contained a harmless barbituate. Steed offers Keel an ongoing job assisting him in defeating crime, telling him crime is a disease. Steed foreshadows Emma Peel by several years by saying, "We'll only call on you when you're needed - really needed".

* It's quite likely that the violent shotgun-wielding hoodlum scenes were toned down for transmission.

Cast

Prentice ® Lionel Burns regular
Lale ® Redmond Bailey regular
Pretty Boy ® Clifford Elkin regularDoctor Who
Bart Neil McCarthy regularDoctor WhoDangermanThe ProfessionalsJason KingDepartment SThe SaintRandall and Hopkirk
Nick Mason Charles Morgan regularDoctor WhoDad's ArmyThe Saint
Spicer Godfrey Quigley regularThe ChampionsDoctor WhoThe Saint
Dr David Keel Ian Hendry regularDangermanPolice SurgeonThe SaintThe Sweeney
Dr Tredding Philip Stone regular007Carry On..Indiana JonesThe SaintJason King
Carol Wilson Ingrid Hafner regularPolice Surgeon
Lila Joyce Wong Chong
John Steed Patrick Macnee regular007
Ronnie Vance Robert James regularDoctor WhoThe ProfessionalsBlake's 7
Detective Superintendent Wilson Alister Williamson regularThe SaintDad's ArmyAdam AdamantPolice Surgeon
Det-Sgt Michael Collins regular007DangermanThe Saint
Jackie Carol White Carry On..
2nd Chinese Girl Anna Shan-Khoo
Peters ® Charles Bird regular
Johns ® Lawrence Archer

Plus 6 men, 1 woman as "Rising Sun" customers, bookie's clerks and P.C.

Images from other sources: Lionel Burns from "Toy Trap", Red Bailey from "Go to Blazes", Clifford Elkin from "The Sentimental Agent": "Scroll of Islam", Charles Bird from "I'm All Right Jack", Lawrence Archer from "Steptoe and Son": "Homes Fit for Heroes".

Crew

Teleplay by Brian Clemens regularDangermanThe ChampionsThe ProfessionalsAdam Adamant
"The Avengers"Theme composed and played by Johnny Dankworth regular
Designed by Robert Fuest regular
Producer Leonard White regularCallanPolice Surgeon
Directed by Peter Hammond regular
CAROL WHITE appears by kind permission of INDEPENDENT ARTISTS
Production Assistant Paddy Dewey regular
Floor Manager Patrick Kennedy regular
Stage Manager Barbara Sykes regular
Call Boy David Granger regular
Lighting Director Bob Simmons regular
Operational Supervisor Peter Wayne regular
Senior Cameraman Michael Baldock regular
Sound Supervisor Peter Cazaly regular
Vision Mixer Del Randall regular

Production and transmission details

VTR: Thursday, 12th January 1961 18.00 - 19.00
Camera Rehearsal: Wednesday, 11th January 1961, 10.00 a.m.
Studio details: Teddington Two, Production No. 3366, VTR/ABC/1054
Transmission: Saturday, 14th January 1961, 10.00-11.00 p.m.

Schedule

Wednesday, 11th January 1961
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
Thursday, 12th January 1961
Camera rehearsal10.00 - 12.30
Lunch break12.30 - 13.30
Camera Rehearsal13.30 - 15.00
Tea break, line-up, normal scan, and make-up15.00 - 15.45
Dress rehearsal and notes15.45 - 17.30
Line-up17.30 - 18.00
RECORDING18.00 - 19.00
N.B. There will be a 5 minute break for re-setting between Acts 1 & 2. Ampex will be re-cued.

Equipment

Cameras: 4 Pedestals
Sound: 3 booms, grams, tape, distort & tannoy effects, 4 practical telephones
Telecine: ABC symbol, horse-racing film (silent, 35mm) + slides

Total running time: 57.10 = Play portion: 52.30 + 1st break: 2.05 & 2nd break: 2.35 (VTR: 5.00)

TV Times listing

TV times listing from the January 14 1961 Granada edition of the TV Times, showing The Avengers in the 8.35pm timeslot with a photograph of Patrick Macnee pausing to light a cigarette during his game of snooker with Mason

Dr David Keel, continuing his search for the murderer of his fiancee, is introduced by the mysterious John Steed to the underworld of race gangs.

Minutiæ

  1. A PDF of a rehearsal script for this episode is now included on the Optimum DVD set for Seasons 1 & 2.
  2. For many years, the Big Man in the first part of this story, Hot Snow was though to have been played by Robert James as he was the central gang leader in the second part. 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".
  3. This was the 2nd episode produced, with rehearsals scheduled from 31st December, 1960 at the RCA Building in Hammerskith. Camera rehearsals at Teddington Studio Two were on 11th January and 12th January, 1961, and recording to AMPEX tape on the 12th January, 1961.
  4. Filming took place at Studio Two, ABC TV Studios, Broom Road, Teddington, Middlesex. The production number was 3366.
  5. This episode was definitely stored on tape as it was broadcast in different regions on different dates; this early example of not being filmed and broadcast live is further evidence that all episodes were recorded onto tape and we hope the missing episodes may yet be located.
  6. A memo dated 30 March 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.
  7. Keel threatens a criminal with a hypodermic syringe which turns out to be filled with a relatively harmess liquid, something he does again in The Frighteners.
  8. The camera script has changes from the rehearsal script. There is an anecdote about Ian Hendry tearing up the original and decalring it "crap" but that does not seem to be born out by the minor changes, although some of the more waffly dialogue has been removed or edited. The most notable changes are:
    1. Keel comes up with the code phrases instead of Steed
    2. Spicer rats on Mason, Lloyd, Peters, Jim Murphy and Bart Martin instead of Mason, Freddy Martin and Lilly Vincent.
    3. The hypodermic contained a "harmless barbituate" instead of a truth serum (although the rehearsal script describes sodium pentathol as a harmless barbituate).
    4. The overly wordy ending is reduced, unfortunately losing one of the best lines and having a line about picking up kidney bowls added... strange. My first summary of the ending read:
      Steed laughs and tells him, "A few minutes ago I stood in this bar and slandered you as an amateur... I was wrong. You're as professional as they come". He offers Keel an ongoing job assisting him in defeating crime, telling him crime is a disease. Steed declines to name the organisation he works for and, foreshadowing Emma Peel by several years, says "We'll only call on you when you're needed - really needed".
  9. The episode ends with two hints of the Emma Peel future, perhaps unsurprisingly as this episode was written by Brian Clemens:
    1. Steed delivers the familiar line from the colour Emma Peel episodes, "You're needed":
      KEEL: (HESITATES) I .... have a flourishing practice....
      STEED:It won't suffer I promise you. We'll only call on you when you're needed - really needed.
    2. The very last lines of the episode foreshadows the American "chessboard" introduction sequence some four years later:
      STEED: A good professional and an inspired amateur - I 'd say, put them together and you have one of the strongest things on earth.
      (TO KEEL) And this time you saved my life.
  10. The TV Times accidentally printed the notice "(Carol White appears by permission of Independent Artists)" a week later, at the bottom of the listing for Square Root Of Evil. We assume it was broadcast in the end credits of this episode.
    The London edition of TV Times for March 26-1 April 1961, when this episode was broadcast to the region nearly four month later, still did not have the notice about Carol White appearing by permission of Independent Artists.
  11. This episode was first broadcast to the ATV London, Southern, and Tyne Tees regions on 1st April 1961, the same night as Midlands, Northern and Anglia were showing Please Don't Feed the Animals. Accordingly, to make network schedules stay in line, Please Don't Feed the Animals was deliberately given the same target running time as this episode.

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