• title card: white all caps text reading 'DEATH ON THE ROCKS' superimposed on jewellery lying on a dressing table
  • The assembled dealers, standing around the table, look nervous as Fenton conducts his auction of illicit diamonds
  • Mrs Daniels is strangled with her pearls
  • Nicky, standing between Fenton and Liza, is shocked by their callousness
  • Fenton draws his gun as he and Liza enter Steed's house
  • Steed leans on a ladder as he and Cathy reflect on the case

Series 2 - Episode 10
Death on the Rocks

Teleplay by Eric Paice
Directed by Jonathan Alwyn

Production Schedule

Episode 39
Production Number : 3512
VTR/ABC/2161 & 2161A
Teddington Studio 1

Wednesday 14th November 1962

Camera rehearsal 09.00-11.15
Line-up 11.15-11.45
PRE-VTR (VTR/ABC/2161A) 11.45-12.00
Camera rehearsal 12.00-12.30
Lunch break 12.30-13.30
Camera rehearsal 13.30-18.00
Supper break 18.00-19.00
Camera rehearsal 19.00-21.00

Insert 2161A - Scene 24, Cathy is confronted by Liza and Daniels and a gun fight breaks out.

Thursday 15th November 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
Dress rehearsal 16.15-17.30
Notes 17.30-18.00
Line-up 18.00-18.30
VTR 18.30-19.30

Running time

Expected: 51'25" + 2 commercial breaks 2.05
Actual running time with bumpers: 52'21"

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).


London 1st December 1962
Sydney 23nd December 1963
Melbourne 16th July 1964


Cameras: 4 Pedestals 4 Pedestals
Sound: 3 booms, 3 pract. telephones (Suburban Living Room, Diamond Workshop and Ross's Office), 1 slung mic. for Wharf, echo, grams & tape. 1 boom
Telecine: ABC symbol and caption scanner only. 1 insert


Victim Killer Method
Mrs Ross Liza Denham suffocated
Van Berg Fenton revolver
Mrs Daniels Liza Denham strangled
Click a name to see the face


Marque/type Plate


  1. 21:34 - severe distortion of the picture.
  2. 14:08 & 45:47 - Fenton's illicit auctions aren't very successful. In the first, he sells a single parcel of diamonds for £26,400 to Mr van Klee and then Van Berg interrupts just as he introduces the industrial diamonds.
    In the second, he sells a single lot to Mr Sid Jacobs for £150,000 and then the auction is interrupted by Ross's stand against Fenton.
    The same dealers are present at both auctions - van Klee, Jacobs and four others, with Ross and Daniels joining them for the second, along with Liza. Nicky, Fenton and Sid are of course at both.
  3. 21:52 - Cathy asks Jackie, "Do come and meet my mother in law, she's quite a character"; Steed reaction is priceless.
  4. 25:50 - Cathy tries to back Nicky into a corner by getting him to repair a watch that appears illicit, but she reveals that she bought it in a customs auction.
  5. 33:48 - Fenton expects to realise £200,000,000 a year once he's gained control of the market.
  6. 34:50 - Cathy is furious with Steed for withholding information and accuses him of setting her up as a clay pigeon for the smugglers to take shots at, as he knew from the start the dealers' families were being used as leverage.
  7. 35:27 - as Steed crosses the room, we briefly see the black studio ceiling and the flare from one of the arc lights.
  8. 37:00 - Was Mrs Daniels was killed by Fenton's goon, mistaken for Cathy, or did Daniels arrange for the disposal of her to entrench his credentials?
  9. 38:27 - the cameraman doesn't both to keep focus as Steed and Daniels walk toward the back of the set and instead allows them to soften then sharpen abruptly when they reach the next mark.
  10. 41:12 - theres a small speck of dust on the lens, top right.
  11. 48:27 - the camera zooms in too close and when it swings around to favour Fenton, we can't see all of him, and the operator has to track upwards to ge the right POV.
  12. 49:00 - the zoom on Fenton as he's taken away is slightly out of focus.
  13. 50:00 - there's a big smudge on the camera lens.
  14. It doesn't make any sense that Daniels was the ringleader - the smugglers would have behaved differently towards Steed and Cathy after Mrs Daniels' death as they showed their hand to him then.
  15. 50:51 - when Steed pats the lion's head he's just mounted on the wall, it swivels slightly anticlockwise, and then mysteriously rights itself as he speaks. Moments later when he delivers the punchline, it spins.
  16. 51:30 - there are three small spots in a triangle at the top left of the lens.
  17. 51:31 - when Steed admonishes Cathy for taking a chance on Daniel's having a six-chamber revlover instead of, say, an eight-chamber .38 she says, "You sound as if you care!"
    Steed smiles and replies, "My dear, for better or worse..."
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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