• title card: DIAMOND CUT DIAMOND superimposed on an airliner coming in to land (recreated by Richard McGinlay)
  • Publicity still: Steed makes a phone call while Fiona sobbs against his shoulder

Series 1 - Episode 7
Diamond Cut Diamond

by Max Marquis

Production completed: 18 February 1961. First transmission: 18 February 1961

TV Times summary

Two beautiful women make it difficult for John Steed to keep his mind on his work when he joins an airline to find a murderer

The following episode summary is written from the published synopses and other previously published material as this episode is now lost. The final filmed production may have been different.

John Steed (Patrick Macnee) has a meeting with his boss, One-Ten (Douglas Muir), at a house near Heathrow airport that used to be the residence of an air steward called Harcourt. One-Ten tells him to impersonate another air steward called Ryan who had been arrested in Australia for smuggling as he suspects Harcourt before his supposed suicide was a smuggler and may have in fact been murdered by his bosses. The next day, Steed shows up to Globe Airlines to start his new job and meets Fiona Charles (Sandra Dorne), the young blonde nurse who assists the airline's medical officer, Dr Collard (Hamlyn Benson). He also meets a pilot called Sharp with whom he'll be flying to New York the next morning.

The return flight goes without a hitch and, now baptised by an Atlantic run, Steed is invited to a raucous party with all the air crew that night.

Steed is woken by a phone call the next morning and a sinister, muffled, voice on the line tells him to read the papers then check his garage. He sees all the headlines reporting a hit and run murder by a lunatic driver and, to his dismay, he finds his car with a bent radiator and mudguards, one covered in blood. He travels to Dr Keel's surgery where Carol Wilson (Ingrid Hafner) lets him in. Steed tells Dr David Keel (Ian Hendry) that he's being blackmailed - he has no recollection of anything after the party1. Dr Keel performs a few tests and tells him he couldn't have driven at all last night as he had been pumped full of depressants.

Steed returns to the house and receives a visit from a tearful Fiona who tells him that she, too, is being blackmailed. She hands him a package saying that it must get to a contact in New York otherwise she's doomed. On cue, the phone rings - it's the voice again, delivering careful instructions for the package's delivery. Fiona tearfully begs him to do what he's told for both their sake and Steed agrees.

Steed and Sharp once again fly to New York uneventfully but this time Sharp and Steed go to a party in New York and Steed meets the glamorous Stella Creighton (Joy Webster) who takes the package from him.

Upon his return, he discovers Dr Collard and Fiona waiting for him at Harcourt's house. The doctor pulls a gun on him and tells him they are the smugglers and they have decided he's too risky a courier after his furtive visit to Dr Keel. Harcourt tried something similar and he had to die. Fiona is shocked when Collard waves the gun at her as well, saying she has compromised his operation by bringing Steed in. Collard sneers at them and explains his plan: The police will find their bodies and come to the conclusion that Steed killed her and then shot himself in remorse. Before he can carry out his plan, Dr Keel arrives and he and Steed overpower the startled Collard.

Steed turns on Fiona and explains that they had already worked out the set-up and had set a trap for them. Bursting into tears once more, Fiona agrees to turn Queen's evidence so the gang will be rounded up.


1. This part of the plot bears a striking resemblance to the plot of the Dangerman episode The Professionals

Cast

Legend:CreditedCredited but not listed in TV TimesUncredited
John Steed Patrick Macnee regular007
One-Ten Douglas Muir regularThe Saint
Fiona Charles Sandra Dorne regular
Dr Collard ® Hamlyn Benson
Carol Wilson Ingrid Hafner regularPolice Surgeon
Dr David Keel Ian Hendry regularDangermanPolice SurgeonThe SaintThe Sweeney
Stella Creighton ® Joy Webster
Sharp unknown

Images from other sources: Hamlyn Benson from "Up In The World", Joy Webster from "During One Night".

Crew

Legend:CreditedCredited but not listed in TV TimesUncredited
Teleplay by Max Marquis
"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
the AVENGERS NEXT WEEK THE RADIOACTIVE MAN
An ABC Production

Production and transmission details

Studio details: Teddington Two
Production No. 3371
Tape No. VTR/ABC/1141 (recorded off TX.)
Transmission: 18th February 1961, 10.00-11.00 p.m.

Schedule

Camera rehearsal would have taken place on 17th February and 18th February, 1961 in a schedule similar to the other episodes of this time.

TV Times listing

TV times listing for February 18 1961, showing The Avengers in the 10pm timeslot (February 10 1961 Northern edition)

10.0 THE AVENGERS
starring
IAN HENDRY
in
DIAMOND CUT DIAMOND
Teleplay by Max Marquis
Also starring
PATRICK MACNEE

Cast in order of appearance:

John Steed Patrick Macnee
“One Ten” Douglas Muir
Fiona Charles Sandra Dorne
Dr Collard Hamlyn Benson
Carol Wilson Ingrid Hafner
David Keel Ian Hendry
Stella Creighton Joy Webster

Theme composed and played by
Johnny Dankworth
Designed by Robert Fuest
Producer LEONARD WHITE
Directed by PETER HAMMOND

Two beautiful women make it difficult for
John Steed to keep his mind on his work
when he joins an airline to find a murderer

Some editions of the TV Times showed the photograph of Fiona Dorne and Patrick Macnee at the top of the page with the listing.

Regional broadcasts

ITV BroadcasterDateTime
ABC Midlands18/02/196110.00pm
ABC North18/02/196110.00pm
Anglia Television18/02/196110.00pm
ATV--
Southern Television--
Tyne Tees Television--
Television Wales & West--
Ulster Television--
Westward Television--
Scottish Television--
Border Television--
Grampian Television--

Episode availability

  • Video - none
  • Audio - reconstruction in The Lost Episodes vol. 5, by Big Finish
  • Script - none
  • Publicity Stills - 1
  • Tele-Snaps - none

Minutiæ

  1. This episode is almost entirely lost - no scripts and no film; all we have is a single publicity still which was printed in TV Times. The scant information we have is taken from newspaper articles and the TV Times listings of the day (including that photograph), and from Dave Rogers' researches in the 1980s and 1990s, which seem to have been based on original paperwork from the show which is now missing. Dave Rogers' first book simply reproduced the TV Times summary but The Complete Avengers and The Ultimate Avengers have a longer synopsis.
  2. This episode seems to have much of the same plot points as the Dangerman episode, Sabotage with a bit of The Contessa and The Professionals mixed in. Interestingly, Australian actor Alex Scott appeared in two of those episodes.
  3. Originally not in the first run of eight episodes, this story was slotted into the seventh position due to delays with Patrick Brawn's adaptation of Fred Edge's Canadian TV script for The Radioactive Man. Ashes of Roses was also move down ,ending up in ninth spot.
  4. 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.
    This episode was proposed to be run fifth so was not a favourite of the producers but was considered better than some others as it had been in the third category of viewer ratings when first broadcast but was proposed to run before some of the more popular episodes (unless they were trying to regulate ratings by sandwiching bad ones between better ones).
  5. This was the first episode broadcast on Anglia Television, skipping Hot Snow and Brought To Book which several other regions showed when they started broadcasting The Avengers a month later, on 18th March 1961.
  6. With Anglia joining ABC in showing The Avengers, Leonard White ordered that from this episode onward the closing slide should read "An ABC Production" instead of "An ABC Network Production".

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