• title card: The Springers superimposed on a guard patrolling outside some prison cells
  • Straker menaces Dr. Keel in his cell
  • The corrupt Haslam menaces Dr. Keel
  • Steed, disguised as a Naval officer, meets Groves and Lisa at their school
  • Melanie infiltrates the school and meets Caroline
  • Dr. Keel holds Neame and Arthur at gunpoint

Series 1 — Episode 14
The Springers

by John Whitney and Geoffrey Bellman

Production No 3411, VTR/ABC/1283
Production completed: May 11 1961. First transmission: May 13 1961.

Production details

VTR: Thursday, 11th May 1961 18.00 — 19.00
Camera Rehearsal: Wednesday, 10th May 1961 and Thursday 11th May 1961.
Studio details: Teddington Two
Production No. 3411
Tape No. VTR/ABC/1283
Transmission: Saturday, 13th May 1961, 10.00–11.00 p.m.


Wednesday, 10th May 1961
Camera Rehearsal10.30 — 12.30
Lunch Break12.30 — 13.30
Camera Rehearsal13.30 — 18.00
Supper Break18.00 — 19.00
Camera Rehearsal19.00 — 21.00
Thursday, 11th May 1961
Camera Rehearsal10.00 — 12.30
Lunch Break12.30 — 13.30
Camera Rehearsal13.30 — 15.30
Tea Break, Line Up, Normal Scan, & Make-Up15.30 — 16.15
Dress Rehearsal16.15 — 17.30
Line Up17.30 — 18.00
AMPEX RECORDING18.00 — 19.00


Cameras: 4 Pedestals
Sound: 3 booms
Telecine: A.B.C. symbol, 35mm mute inserts, slides

Total running time: 57.10 = Play portion: 52.30 + 2.05 & 2.35 Commercial Breaks

Regional broadcasts

ITV BroadcasterDateTime
ABC Midlands13/05/196110.00pm
ABC North13/05/196110.00pm
Anglia Television13/05/196110.00pm
Southern Television13/05/196110.00pm
Tyne Tees Television13/05/196110.00pm
Television Wales & West13/05/196110.00pm
Ulster Television13/05/196110.00pm
Westward Television13/05/196110.00pm
Scottish Television--
Border Television--
Grampian Television--

TV Times listing

TV Times listing for May 13 1961, 10.00pm (London edition)
TV Times publicity photograph for Margo Andrew (Northern edition). Caption reads: Margo Andrew plays Caroline Evans in tonight’s The Avengers story, The Springers (10.0)
TV Times listing for May 13 1961, 10.00pm (Northern edition)

Teleplay by
John Whitney and Geoffrey Bellman
Also starring

Cast includes:

John Steed Patrick Macnee
Dr. David Keel Ian Hendry
One Ten Douglas Muir
Pheeney David Webb
Straker Charles Farrell
Haslam Brian Murphy
Mr. Groves Arthur Howard
Caroline Evans Margo Andrew
Neame Donald Morley

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

An escape route from prison is investigated
from the “inside” by Keel and from the outside
by Steed

An ABC Television Network Production

The London edition ends with An ABC Weekend Television Network Production

Episode availability

  • Video - no original footage is known to exist; a video reconstruction is available on the Studio Canal series 1&2 DVD set
  • Audio - reconstruction in The Lost Episodes vol. 3, by Big Finish
  • Script - Barbara Forster’s copy of the original camera script, annotated in biro and pencil, from a private collection; also available is paperwork for artiste contact lists, dressing room allocations, extra requirements, programme budget, properties list, set dressing list, and wardrobe & make-up list
  • Publicity Stills - 1 (portrait of Margo Andrew, stock publicity portrait and not from this episode)
  • Tele-Snaps - 84, 9 repeated at a larger size


Marque/type Plate
Lisa’s car - maybe an MGA

Continuity and trivia

  1. This episode is well illustrated in Leonard White’s scrapbook with John Cura’s Tele-Snaps but they don’t seem to ever capture Charles Saynor or Tom Payne, whose likenesses come from The Man in the White Suit and Ghost Squad, respectively.
  2. The camera script has a hand-written edit on a pink page replacing pages 1&2 of the script, making the film insert of Keel arriving at the prison be a pre-credits teaser instead of after the titles. This is not captured in the Tele-snaps so it’s unclear if it happened or not. There are two other episodes in series 1 which had a pre-titles teaser in the script - Square Root of Evil and Double Danger - but neither of those has a pictorial record of it either.
    John Cura may have simply just started capturing when the credits appeared and missed the pre-credit teaser, there are no pictures of the arrival at the prison in the 84 Tele-Snaps covering 52 minutes with varied frequency and most of the location shots are not captured.
  3. Barbara Forster’s copy of the camera script notes that the camera men for this episode were 1. Mike (Baldock), 2. David, 3. Dickie (Jackman), 4. Dave.
  4. Barbara’s script also notes that the running time over-ran by 1.36 and was as follows:
    Act 1 : 17.35; 2.05 break. Act 2: 20.27; 2.35 break; Act 3: 16.04 (Total 58.46). It’s possible this was edited down to a shorter running time on 12th-13th May 1961.
  5. The 35mm film inserts telecined into the episode were: Keel arriving at the prison; the escape from the prison; the arrival at the barge and the barge departing; Skewer at the lock.
  6. The Extras Requirement letter sent to Dodo Watts & Clifford Castle of the Richard Hayward Agency on 28th April 1961 asks for two speaking extras - one as Prison Governor (40, Well-bred) and one as prison officer (Good build, slightly villainous face). Ian Ainsley filled the first of these. The letter also asked for two non-speaking extras as a non-speaking prison officer and the real Dr. Fenton. The wardrobe list and dressing room allocations list dated 2nd May both mention three male extras although the camera script only list the one “Prison Warder (Speaking)”. Given the description of the speaking prison officer - “Good build, slightly villaneous (sic) face.” - it’s possible that that rôle was filled by Michael Forrest, leaving just one prison warder extra and the Dr. Fenton non-speaking rôle.
  7. While a non-speaking extra is specified for Dr. Fenton, with make-up to apply a facial scar to match Ian Hendry’s, the script has a scene where Steed plays a tape recording of Fenton speaking to Arthur. It’s most likely that one of the other paid actors double to do the Fenton voice-over rather than have the extra expense of a non-speaking walk-on part become a speaking part.

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