• title card: white all caps text reading ‘THE MAURITIUS PENNY’ superimposed on Peckham’s body slumped over his desk
  • Brown watches the auction from behind a brass eagle
  • Brown shoots Goodchild in the middle of the auction hall when the auctioneer’s gavel falls
  • extreme close-up of Cathy being shocked
  • Dr. Gray threatens Steed with her dental instruments
  • Matterley announces to the facists that the day of New Rule has been postponed

Series 2 — Episode 7
The Mauritius Penny

Teleplay by Malcolm Hulke and Terrance Dicks
Directed by Richmond Harding

Production No 3510, VTR/ABC/2075
Production completed: October 18 1962. First transmission: November 10 1962.

Production details

Episode 37
Production Number : 3510
VTR/ABC/2075
Teddington Studio 1

Wednesday 17th October 1962

Camera rehearsal 10.00–12.30
Lunch break 12.30–13.30
Camera rehearsal 13.30–18.00
Supper break 18.00–19.00
Camera rehearsal 19.00–21.00

Thursday 18th October 1962

Camera rehearsal 10.00–12.30
Lunch break 12.30–13.30
Camera rehearsal 13.30–15.30
Tea break, Line-up,
Normal scan, Make-up
15.30–16.15
Dress rehearsal 16.15–17.30
Notes 17.30–18.00
Line-up 18.00–18.30
VTR 18.30–19.30

Equipment

Cameras: 4 Pedestals (1 Pathfinder for Act One only)
Sound: 4 Booms, 1 stand mic., non-prac. tape recorder, grams., tape, 2 prac. telephones
Telecine: ABC symbol, 17 Slides, 6 captions

Running time

Expected: 51′25″ + 2 commercial breaks 2.05
Actual running time with bumpers: 51′56″

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

BroadcasterDateTime
ATV London10/11/196210.05pm
ABC Midlands10/11/196210.05pm
ABC North10/11/196210.05pm
Anglia Television10/11/196210.05pm
Border Television--
Channel Television10/11/196210.05pm
Grampian Television--
Southern Television10/11/196210.05pm
Scottish Television16/05/196310.45pm
Tyne Tees Television10/11/196210.05pm
Ulster Television10/11/196210.05pm
Westward Television10/11/196210.05pm
Television Wales & West10/11/196210.05pm
Teledu Cymru (WWN)10/11/196210.05pm
ABN2 Sydney2/12/19637.30pm
ABV2 Melbourne25/06/19647.30pm

TV Times listing

TV Times listing for November 10 1962, 10.05pm (London edition)
Sydney Morning Herald listing for December 2 1963, 7.30pm
The Age listing for June 25 1964, 7.30pm

10.5 The Avengers
starring
Patrick Macnee
in

The Mauritius Penny
Teleplay by Malcolm Hulke
and Terrance Dicks
Also starring
Honor Blackman

Cast

Goodchild Philip Guard
Percy Peckham Harry Shacklock
John Steed Patrick Macnee
Catherine Gale Honor Blackman
Boy Anthony Rogers
Gerald Shelley David Langton
Maitland Edward Jewesbury
Brown Alfred Burke
Lord Matterley Richard Vernon
Porter Raymond Hodge
Burke Alan Rolfe
Andrews Edward Higgins
Charlady Grace Arnold
Lorry driver Edwin Brown
Lorry driver’s mate Anthony Blackshaw
Miss Power Delia Corrie
Sheila Gray Sylvia Langova
Foreign delegate Theodore Wilhelm

The Avengers theme composed and
played by Johnny Dankworth
Settings by Philip Harrison
Directed by
Richmond Harding
Producer Leonard White

Steed and Cathy find that the world’s rarest stamp is the key to an evil and fantastic plot

ABC Television Network Production
Design for danger – pages 14–15

Episode availability

Murders

Victim Killer Method
Pechkam Goodchild revolver
Goodchild Brown revolver
Click a name to see the face

Transport

Marque/type Plate
none

Continuity and trivia

  1. 2:31 — the cameraman takes 3 seconds to adjust the focus for the MLS from Steed’s MCU. The mike’s in a bad place as well, and Cathy sounds like she’s at the bottom of a well until she stands up.
  2. 3:08 — Cathy tells Steed that having the Mauritius penny on a list of sale is like finding a Da Vinci at your local newsagent and Steed quips, “You’d be surprised at the artwork my newsagent sells” (by which of course he means under-the-counter illicit pornography). On the way out, Cathy discovers that Steed has a copy of “The World’s Rare Stamps”, marked at the page for the Mauritius Penny; realising he knew full well the value of the stamp all along, she smiles wryly.
  3. 4:20 — Parking was already a problem in London in 1962, Steed spends much of the episode reacting to his parking buzzer, which reminds him his meter is about to expire.
  4. 4:30 — If you look closely at the page describing the penny, you can see it’s John Galsworthy’s foreword to The Queen’s Gift Book In Aid of Queen Mary’s Convalescent Auxiliary Hospitals for Soldiers and Sailors Who Have Lost Their Limbs in the War:
    The place I came to seemed a green and fortunate haven for th… … Ah! Ships you can refit, making them as good as n… … four hundred men in their blueish hospital garb and t… …ies can never be made good as new. You can only … …them, and do your best. Legs and arms, legs and a… … one or the other, and some want both. etc.

    The foreword starts with:

    The place I came to seemed a green and fortunate haven for the battered. Ah! Ships you can refit, making them as good as new; but these four hundred men in their blueish hospital garb and their red neckties can never be made as good as new. You can only make shift for them, and do your best. Legs and arms, legs and arms they all want one or the other, and some want both.

    They have just passed to dinner — a long procession — in wheel chairs, on crutches, or walking strangely, the freshly fitted leg thrown out a little apart, stiffly as yet; or seemingly quite whole and active men, till you observe they have only one arm. One of them has lost two legs and an arm, another an arm and a leg and an eye. So they go, young, pathetically strong — cheerful fellows, wonderful fellows, stoics. Some one says: They’re not worrying that’s Tommy all over-never thinks of to-morrow. Well, it would seem the better ground-philosophy for armless men, legless men, who by no measure of thought for to-morrow will ever have two arms or legs, or even perhaps one, again.

  5. 6:30 — Steed does badly when trying to bluff his way through the stamp shop — he finds some ordinary cheap Empires interesting, and dismisses a Napoleon III set as sonething he collected as a child, at which Goodchild says they’re worth £85 — and they’re labelled £100
  6. 8:10 — Goodchild’s test for Steed was to offer him a false stamp — a Maltese twopenny blue — The Maltese 2d. stamps were grey (1860, 1903, 1914, 1921), or purple and grey (1903) and a brown and blue in 1922; the blue stamp was 2½d.
  7. 11:18 — Richard Vernon misses his cue and Patrick Macnee looks quizzically at him several times before he makes his bid of £25, having expected him to say something earlier. This also causes the auctioneeer to ad lib, and he takes a bid of £20 then repeats the “Eighteen pounds” lines, trying to ellicit a response from Vernon.
  8. 12:00–12:30 — Cathy buys the late Major Wilder’s entire stamp collection of 25 albums for a mere £50 by accident — she was waving at Steed — and tells the porter for Grosvenor Auction Rooms Ltd. to deliver them to Steed’s address, 5 Westminster Mews, SW1.
  9. 15:27 — The main piece of the auction is an Unperforated 1857 Ceylon 9d. brown with 4 clean margins, starting at £500, sold to Lord Matterley for £1,000.
    Stanley Gibbons (2006):
    						1857 Imperf.
    						8		9d. brown	£35,000.00 £900.00
    						

    It’s gone up 3500% in value in 44 years!

  10. 17:57 — The coded list from Paris mentions such lowlights of the philatelic world as:

    There is, of course, also the remarkable highlight that gives the episode its name:

  11. 18:30–18:46 — The lists of stamps in Goodchild’s pocket was from Pollerin et Fils, Paris. Steed finds three strip club membership cards and a ticket to a turkish bath in Goodchild’s pockets and jokes to Cathy that he was clearly a clean-living young man. He also notes six trips abroad in the last year in Goodchild’s passport.
  12. 19:13 — Sheila Gray’s surgery is at 33 Wimpole Street, W1.
  13. 20:33 — shot 131 — there’s a speck of dust on Camera 1’s lens at top right and — 21:13, shot 132 — a smudge on Camera 2’s, centre top.
  14. Patrick Macnee ad libs and adds the line “I don’t think there’s anything earlier than 1600.” when Burke asks him if he has the Dead Sea Scroll in his bookshelf.
  15. 26:00 — The coded list that Brown reads out, that apparently means Norway and Denmark and starting operations the same time they do, is: Brown then says “You don’t have to look at your catalogue to know what that means, do you?”
  16. 32:45 — Steed’s teeth: Upper right 8, present; Upper right 7, sound; Upper right 6, MOD cavity; all sound to the Upper left 5, which has an occlusal filling.
    At this point Miss Power waves a card on which she had written “This is not Goodchild”
  17. 36:36 — Steed and Shelley are both Old Etonians, Shelley saying he was in Young’s house.
  18. 41:17 — a technician wearing headphones can be seen at bottom right pulling some cables out of the way.
  19. 48:33 — Lord Matterley’s very short speech to the fascists is:
    I have not had the pleasure, of addressing you before. You have been led to believe, that a great day in British history has arrived. (sotto voce) But it is now my duty to inform you, that owing to unforseen developments, the day of the New Rule must be postponed.” (uproar ensues).
  20. 48:59 — The camera collides with something — probably one of the bren guns — as it tracks backwards up the aisle. It’s almost certainly Steed’s gun as he has his umbrella hanging off the end of the magazine, and the umbrella falls off, clattering to the ground at 49:04.
  21. 50:10 — Cathy claims to have found a British Guiana 1856 4 cent black with 4 perfect margins in one of the late Major Wilder’s stamp albums. There were no black Guiana 1856 stamps, they were all black ink on coloured paper, printed locally as an expected issue of stamps had failed to reach the colony, and countersigned by postage clerks to prevent forgery. All known examples have marks and countersignatures, so a stamp with 4 perfect margins doesn’t exist at all. The 1c magenta is said to the world’s rarest stamp, now worth US$935,000 and as there’s only one in existence, Gibbons doesn’t bother to give it a value. UPDATE, 2022: Stanley Gibbons PLC paid $8.3 million for this stamp at an auction in 2018.
    Stanley Gibbons (2006):
    						1856 Imperf.
    						23 6	1c. black on magenta
    						24		4c. black on magenta		£7,000.00
    						25		4c. black on blue	£23,000.00 £9,500.00
    						26		4c. black/blue (Sept)		 £42,000.00
    						1856 (b) Paper coloured through.
    						27 6	4c. black/deep blue (Aug) 	 £60,000.00
    						
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.

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