• title card: THE RADIOACTIVE MAN superimposed on an exterior shot of an electronics repair shop (recreated by Richard McGinlay)
  • Publicity still: Steed struggles to take the gun off Marko

Series 1 — Episode 8
The Radioactive Man

by Fred Edge

Production No 3372, VTR/ABC/1156
Production completed: February 25 1961. First transmission: February 25 1961.

Production details

Studio details: Teddington Two
Production No. 3372
Tape No. VTR/ABC/1156 (off air)
Transmission: 25th February 1961, 10.03.30–11.00.40 p.m.


Friday, 24th February 1961
Camera Rehearsal14.30 — 18.00
Supper Break18.00 — 19.00
Camera Rehearsal19.00 — 21.00
Saturday, 25th February 1961
Camera Rehearsal10.00 — 12.30
Lunch Break12.30 — 13.30
Camera Rehearsal13.30 — 18.15
Supper Break18.15 — 19.15
Line-up, Normal scan, & Make-up19.15 — 20.00
Dress rehearsal20.00 — 21.30
Line-up21.30 — 22.00
TRANSMISSION22.00 — 23.00


Cameras: 4 Pedestals
Sound: 3 booms, Grams, Tape, 1 slung mic, Office intercom., Telephones.
Telecine: ABC symbol, Slides, 6 specially shot sequences (35mm Compot).

Total running time: 57.10 = Play portion: 52.30 + 2 commercial breaks: 2.05 and 2.35

Regional broadcasts

ITV BroadcasterDateTime
ABC Midlands25/02/196110.00pm
ABC North25/02/196110.00pm
Anglia Television25/02/196110.00pm
Southern Television--
Tyne Tees Television--
Television Wales & West--
Ulster Television--
Westward Television--
Scottish Television--
Border Television--
Grampian Television--

TV Times listing

TV Times listing for February 25 1961, 10pm (Northern edition)

Teleplay by Fred Edge
Also starring

Cast includes:

Marko Ogrin George Pravda
Mary Somers Christine Pollon
Carol Ingrid Hafner
Dr. Keel Ian Hendry
John Steed Patrick Macnee

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

Dr. Keel hunts the radioactive man, know-
ing that every moment makes the danger
more deadly — death more certain

An ABC Television Network Production

Episode availability

  • Video - none
  • Audio - reconstruction in The Lost Episodes vol. 2, by Big Finish
  • Script - clean archive copy of the original camera script, from a private collection
  • Publicity Stills - 1?*
  • Tele-Snaps - none

* The photo is very grainy and not absolutely proven to be from this episode, see below.

Continuity and trivia

  1. This episode was a teleplay originally written by Fred Edge for the CBC series General Motors Theatre. It was broadcast on January 14 1958 in Canada and sold to the BBC for broadcast on January 28 1959. It was adapted for The Avengers by the series script editor, Patrick Brawn. Brawn received no credit on air or in print for the adaption which only billed Fred Edge. The adaption took longer than expected so the episode slipped down the schedule from fifth place to eighth, with other episodes moving ahead of it.
  2. Industry stalwart and regular guest actor Gerald Sim was cast to play Dr. Graham but was replaced by Arthur Lawrence (possibly Arthur Laurence, slightly miscredited). This was perhaps due to illness or unavailability, as the episode was moved back in the production schedule from fifth to eighth spot.
  3. The original scripts lists the characters: Frane (Zvone), played by Mira Tomek, and Inica (Janez), played by Madeleine Kasket.
    The names in parentheses are not surnames, but Patrick Brawn’s references to Fred Edge’s original screenplay for Canadian television where the characters had those names instead of those used by the re-write for “The Avengers”.
  4. The Hayes and McGinlay books on series one refer the the characters of Zvone and Janez both changing name and gender - both becoming female - but this is an error as the actor playing Frane, Mira Tomek, was a man.
    The script hints that it’s a man as well: At one point, Milan asks Frane to help lift Marko onto the sofa when he collapses. Also, at the end of the episode, Frane gives Marko his gun just in case he needs it, then Milan asks his to check if the back is clear when the police arrive. These days a female character could be expected to do that but not in 1961, I think!
  5. 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.
    This episode was proposed to be run sixth so must not have been well regarded by the producers, despite being in the second category of viewer ratings when first broadcast.
  6. The Avengers by Dave Rogers (ITV Books/Michael Joseph 1984 paperback reprint, p. 16) has a photo which is captioned “Steed is faced with death and forced to fight desperately for his life in The Radioactive Man”. Researchers since then have questioned that it belonged to the episode as Steed does not appear for Act 2 or most of Act 3, only arriving after Marko is taken into custody. However, it does appear to show Steed wrestling a gun out of George Pravda’s hand, so I suspect the climax was rewritten to add more action than the camera script had, replacing Inspector Tudor with Steed when they reach Milan’s house. This picture has been added at the top of this episode page.

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