• 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

This 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.

Steed 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 Keel's surgery where Carol lets him in. Steed tells Keel that he's being blackmailed - he has no recollection of anything after the party. 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 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 how the police will find their bodies and come to the conclusion that Steed killed her 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.

Cast

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
Not billed in TV Times magazine
Sharp unknown

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

Crew

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
Not billed in TV Times magazine
Story Editor Patrick Brawn regular
Story Editor John Bryce regular

Production and transmission details

Studio details: Teddington Two, VTR/ABC/1141 (recorded off TX.)

Transmission: 18th February 1961, 10.00-11.00 p.m.

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

TV Times listing

TV times listing from the February 18 1961 Granada edition of the TV Times, showing The Avengers in the 10pm timeslot

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.

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, 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. 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).
  4. This was the first episode broadcast on Anglia Television, skipping Hot Snow and Brought To Book which most other regions showed when they started broadcasting The Avengers.

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