• title card: white all caps text reading ‘The Decapod’ superimposed on an extreme close-up of the masked killer
  • Venus sings in the club, Art Morgan and Spike Heatley behind her
  • Close-up of the wrestling programme for the night: The Butcher of Islington v. The Decapod
  • Borb delivers his speech at the conference, Stepan sitting behind him
  • Steed is pinned to the floor by The Decapod, who is twisting Steed’s ankle
  • Steed, holding Stepan’s pistol, lies to Venus about never getting her in danger again

Series 2 — Episode 3
The Decapod

Teleplay by Eric Paice
Directed by Don Leaver

Production No 3507, VTR/ABC/1979
Production completed: September 13 1962. First transmission: October 13 1962.

Production details

Episode 34
Production Number : 3507
Teddington Studio 1 & Rehearsal Room 2A


First Reading

Friday 31st August 1962, 10.30a.m., REHEARSAL ROOM 2A, Teddington Studios.


31st August-Sept.11th inclusive, REHEARSAL ROOM 2A, Teddington Studios.

Camera Rehearsal & Recording

Wednesday September 12th 1962, 10.00–21.00.
Thursday September 13th 1962, 10.00–18.30 (VTR: 1830–1930) STUDIO I, Teddington.


Cameras: 4 Pedestals Mole Crane & 2 Pedestals
Sound: 3 Booms, slung & stand mics. as reqd. grams, tape, distort mic. 4 practical telephones — 3 non-prac. tape recorders
Telecine: ABC symbol, Slides, 3 mute sequences 35mm.

Running time

Actual running time with bumpers: 51′19″

The bumpers between the acts are generally 10 seconds from fade in to the “End of Act” bumper to the end of audio before the commercial, a 10 second still without audio, then cut to the next act bumper. This would play with the theme for around 10 seconds. Accordingly, with the episodes being in 3 acts, the running time of the action is approximately a minute less than listed above, minus the opening and closing credits (normally 0′16″, with a 2" fade, and anywhere from 0′41″ to 1′20″, hard cut or 1" fade or mix, respectively).

Regional broadcasts

ATV London13/10/196210.00pm
ABC Midlands13/10/196210.05pm
ABC North13/10/196210.05pm
Anglia Television13/10/196210.00pm
Border Television--
Channel Television13/10/196210.00pm
Grampian Television--
Southern Television13/10/196210.00pm
Scottish Television--
Tyne Tees Television13/10/196210.05pm
Ulster Television13/10/196210.05pm
Westward Television13/10/196210.00pm
Television Wales & West13/10/196210.05pm
Teledu Cymru (WWN)13/10/196210.05pm
ABN2 Sydney4/11/19637.30pm
ABV2 Melbourne28/05/1964*7.30pm

* There is uncertainty about the broadcast by ABV2 Melbourne as The Decapod is listed for both 28 May and 30 July, 1964. 28 May would have had it in the same broadcast order as other Australian regions. It’s quite likely that it was replaced by Mission to Montreal on the first date and not broadcast until 30 July.

TV Times listing

TV Times listing for October 13 1962, 10.00pm (London edition)
Sydney Morning Herald listing for November 4 1963, 7.30pm
The Age listing for May 28 1964, 7.30pm
The Age listing for July 30 1964, ALSO showing this episode of The Avengers in the 7.30pm

10.0 The Avengers
Patrick Macnee

The Decapod
Teleplay by Eric Paice

Also starring
Julie Stevens


Girl in shower Pamela Conway
Yakob Borb Paul Stassino
Stepan Philip Madoc
John Steed Patrick Macnee
Bodyguards Douglas Robinson
Valentine Musetti
Venus Smith Julie Stevens
Cigarette Girl Valerie Stanton
Edna Ramsden Lynne Furlong
Ito Wolfe Morris
Harry Ramsden Raymond Adamson
Guards officer Harvey Ashby

The Dave Lee Trio

The Avengers theme composed and
played by Johnny Dankworth
Settings by Terry Green
Produced by Leonard White
Directed by Don Leaver

Steed and Venus find “The Decapod” just as murderous as his namesake – the ten-armed sea monster

ABC Television Network Production

Episode availability


Victim Killer Method
Secretary Yakob Borb karate blow
Giorgi Yakob Borb karate blow
Czarko Yakob Borb karate blow
Yakob Borb Stepan pistol
Click a name to see the face


Marque/type Plate

Continuity and trivia

  1. 0:52 — the girl has just stepped out of the shower, but has full eye makeup on.
  2. 5:07 — The microphone takes a moment getting to Julie as the camera shifts, and we almost completely miss the line “No I can’t break away”.
  3. 20:33 — The false Decapod gets caught on the ropes when he tries to vault them.
  4. At the beginning of Act 2, Ito correctly says the blow was a Karate blow, from the ancient Samurai art of killing — but whoever typed the camera script is unfamiliar with it, and it’s typed as "Karati — the ancient Somali art of killing" (page 31).
  5. 21:56–8 — the cameraman is still changing lenses when the director switches to his camera.
  6. 27:09–27:41 — there’s a smudge on the camera lens, top centre, for the shots of Venus on the phone in the club. It’s there again when Harry jumps Steed in the cloakroom (28:11), when Steed looks for Borb in the hallway (32:20), when Edna comes looking for Venus (35:41), the reverse shots of Borb at the ringside (42:00–44:00) and Steed’s close-up when he’s talking to Venus after Borb’s death (49:30), so it’s definitely on the lens rather than the transfer plate.
  7. 39:15 — the Dave Lee’s trio start playing in the background, even though the action is taking place in the embassy.
  8. 46:28 — Just as Harry climbs into the ring, you can see a stage hand running off set behind the seats in the stands.
  9. 46:51 — Stepan walks up the steps in the gym at the back of the set (going to his mark for 48:05) as the two ‘decapods’ fight, and Steed and Venus ignore him completely.
  10. Borb’s final demands are changed in the film from what was in the script, probably because the lines were a bit cumbersome: Script
    BORB: I demand asylum as a political refugee.
    STEED: Fine. We can now charge you with triple murder.
    BORB: In that case I claim diplomatic privilege and demand to be returned to my own country.
    BORB: I demand asylum!
    STEED: That’s fine but we’ll charge you with triple murder!
    BORB: In that case I… I demand to be returned to my own country!
  11. 50:17 — was Wolfe Morris a late replacement or did they spell his name wrong? You can see his name has been pasted onto the caption card in the credits.
  12. The script refers to Georgi and Sakko but I have used the more likely Balkan spellings, Giorgi and Czarko.
Times are from the re-mastered 2009 Optimum Releasing DVD set, any times in brackets are from the previously released DVD sets which had frames with interference or banding deleted, resulting in shorter running times.

The Songs

Venus Smith sings two songs, accompanied by the Dave Lee Trio.

The Dave Lee Trio comprised Dave Lee, Art Morgan and Spike Heatley in 1962, all highly respected jazz players. Dave Lee also co-wrote the hit Avengers tie-in single “Kinky Boots” b/w “Let’s Keep it Friendly” with Herbert Kretzmer (who wrote the lyrics for “Togetherness” from The Murder Market). Dave also composed the Peter Sellers/Sophia Loren comic song “Goodness Gracious Me” with Kretzmer.

Lyrics in blue italic are not sung by Julie
Lyrics in green italic are inaudible.
Lyrics in red italic have been adapted or ad libbed.
You’re Getting To Be A Habit With Me
Al Dubin & Harry Warren, 1932

Every kiss, every hug,
Seems to act just like a drug
You’re getting to be a habit with me

Let me stay in your arms,
I’m addicted to your charms
You’re getting to be a habit with me

I used to think your love
Was something
That I could take, or leave alone
But now I couldn’t do
Without my supply
I need you for my own

No I can’t break away
I must have you every day
As regularly as coffee or tea

You’ve got me in your clutches
And I can’t get free -
What can I do?
I’m hooked on you, Cos’-

You’re getting to be a habit with me -

From the musical “42nd Street”
I Got It Bad (and That Ain’t Good)
Duke Ellington & Paul Francis Webster, 1941

Though folks with good intentions
Tell me to save my tears
Well I’m so mad about him
I can’t live without him

Never treats me sweet and gentle
The way he should
I’ve got it bad
And that ain’t good

My poor heart
is tempramental
Not made of wood
I’ve got it bad
And that ain’t good

But when the weekend’s over
And monday rolls around
I end up like I start out
Just crying my heart out

He don’t love me like I love him
No, nobody could
I’ve got it bad
And that ain’t good

Lord above me, make him love me
The way he should
I got it bad
And tha-t ai-n’t goo-d

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