• title card: white all caps text reading ‘TRAITOR IN ZEBRA’ superimposed on the coat of arms of the base - a zebra in a shield surmounted by a crown, surrounded by laurel leaves
  • Steed, standing behind Sub-Lt Crane, questions him
  • Rankin carefully records the darts on the board
  • Sub-Lt Graham conducts an experiment in the lab, flanked by Dr. Thorne and another scientist
  • Franks insinuates that Linda is on a slippery slope
  • Franks is apprehended by two sailors as Steed holds a gun on him

Series 2 — Episode 11
Traitor in Zebra

Teleplay by John Gilbert
Directed by Richmond Harding

Production No 3513, VTR/ABC/2171
Production completed: November 29 1962. First transmission: December 8 1962.

Production details

Episode 40
Production Number : 3513
VTR/ABC/2171 & 2171A-C
Teddington Studio 1

Wednesday 28th November 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 19.00–19.45
Line-up & Make-up 19.45–20.15
VTR Inserts 20.15–21.00


  • 2171A - Scene 1, Crane is marched into Nash’s office - 0:22–1:41
  • 2171B - Scene 4, Steed speaks to Crane in his cell - 4:34–7:06
  • 2171C - Scene 42, Nash concedes Crane is innocent - cut from the final print, it would have appeared at 46:12

Telecine inserts:

  • 1 — (25") - Steed arrives at the gates of HMS Zebra - 4:12–4:34
  • 2 — (20") - Rankin walks his dog down the street and ties a message to its collar - 14:49–15:15
  • 3 — (20") - Rankin watches Graham cross the green and enter the shop - 15:26–15:40
  • 4 — (25") - Mellors drives up to the Glen-Dower Arms - 20:07–20:26
  • 5 — (20") - Mellors is strangled by Franks in his car - 21:27–21:48
  • 6 — (15") - Franks crosses the green and enters the shop - 30:27–30:39
  • 7 — (20") - Steed and Cathy driving towards Franks’ newspaper office - 43:44–43:55

Thursday 29th 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


Cameras: 4 Pedestals
Sound: 3 booms, 2 slung mics., 2 practical telephones, grams., tape.
Telecine: ABC symbol, specially shot film with dubbed sound (aaprox. 3 minutes total length), 18 captions, & 5 slides.
VTR: Three VTR Inserts (approx. lengths 1 minute, 2½ minutes & 30 seconds).

Running time

Expected: 51′25″ + 2 commercial breaks 2.05
Actual running time with bumpers: 51′32″

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 London8/12/196210.05pm
ABC Midlands8/12/196210.05pm
ABC North8/12/196210.05pm
Anglia Television8/12/196210.05pm
Border Television8/12/196210.05pm
Channel Television8/12/196210.05pm
Grampian Television--
Southern Television8/12/196210.05pm
Scottish Television20/06/196310.45pm
Tyne Tees Television8/12/196210.05pm
Ulster Television8/12/196210.05pm
Westward Television8/12/196210.05pm
Television Wales & West8/12/196210.05pm
Teledu Cymru (WWN)8/12/196210.05pm
ABN2 Sydney30/12/19637.30pm
ABV2 Melbourne23/07/19647.30pm

This episode was broadcast in Italy on 7th January 1966 (10:15pm, RAI 2) under the title of “La formula segreta”. It was one of a limited run of ten episodes from series 2 and 3 that were broadcast on RAI intermittently throughout 1965 and 1966 under the title “Agente speciale”.

TV Times listing

TV Times listing for December 8 1962, 10.05pm (London edition)
Sydney Morning Herald listing for December 30 1963, 7.30pm
The Age listing for July 23 1964, 7.30pm
La Stampa listing for January 7 1966, 10.15pm
La Stampa episode synopsis

10.5 The Avengers
Patrick Macnee

Traitor in Zebra
Teleplay by John Gilbert
Also starring
Honor Blackman


Escorting officer Richard Pescud
Nash Noel Coleman
Crane Danvers Walker
Maggie June Murphy
Catherine Gale Honor Blackman
John Steed Patrick Macnee
Mellors Ian Shand
Wardroom steward Michael Browning
Graham William Gaunt
Franks Richard Leech
Rankin John Sharp
Linda Katy Wild
Thorne Jack Stewart

‘The Avengers’ theme composed and
played by Johnny Dankworth
Settings by
Terry Green
Leonard White
Directed by
Richmond Harding

Steed joins the Navy and Cathy makes artificial rubies to help track down a saboteur

ABC Television Network Production

Episode availability

  • Video - original footage held by Studio Canal, available on the Studio Canal series 1&2 DVD set
  • Script - Tony Pelly’s copy of the camera script and scene breakdown, amended to show that the episode was originally going to episode 37, but was moved down the order to become episode 40.
  • Publicity Stills - at least 18


Victim Killer Method
Mellors Franks strangled
Graham Franks poison
Rankin Franks stabbed
Click a name to see the face


Marque/type Plate
Alvis Speed 20 SC Vanden Plas Tourer 1935 (Steed’s)CPT 75
Morris Minor TravellerUJY 292

Continuity and trivia

  1. 1:00 and throughout - there’s intermittent horizontal banding of the picture during the opening scene.
  2. 2:45 — Cathy reminds Steed, “You don’t keep you hat on between decks” (i.e. inside).
  3. 5:00 — there are three smudges on Camera 2’s lens, top right of the screen, and another lust left of centre, when Steed enters Crane’s room. It’s beeen cleaned by 11:00 when Camera 2 is used in the control room scene (scene 7).
  4. 5:27 — The new defence equipment is run by a ruby crystal and the formulae and calibration for it were found in Crane’s locker, along with maps and a foreign dictionary which suggested he was planning to visit a foreign country. Crane had previous expressed positive opinions about the unnamed Eastern European country.
  5. 11:40 — a hair gets stuck in the transfer plate and stays at the bottom of the screen until 20:46, it’s joined by a second one 12:15–12:30.
  6. 30:54 — Richard Leech gets his line wrong and asks, “Something wrong, Cathy?” instead of “Is there anything wrong, Linda?”
  7. 31:38 — the original script has Steed enter the shop after Franks threatens to kill Linda, and he tries some gentle interrogation (shots 169–174) but it was dropped and we cut straight to Cathy and Graham in the lab.
  8. 34:32 — the cameraman loses focus for a split second.
  9. 40:37 — the boom microphone dips into shot at the top right corner of the screen.
  10. 42:41 — Steed is in a hurry to chase after Rankin but checks himself and says, “Sorry, after you, ladies first”, ushering Maggie and Cathy before him. This is completely ad lib, it’s not in the script at all. Steed’s last words in the scene according to the script are “I think I know where...”
  11. 42:44 — another scene is cut, actually a VTR insert (shots 229–231), where Nash and Thorne lament it took two murders for them to realise that Crane was innocent, and hope that finding the culprit will let them join the NATO exercises.
  12. 46:41 — Patrick Macnee crosses the back of the set, visible through the open door of the control room.
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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