• title card: white all caps text reading ‘IMMORTAL CLAY’ superimposed on the water tank containing the corpse
  • Machen, on the left, shows Cathy some of the teacups he potted
  • Allen asks Mara out on a date
  • de Groot sneers at Miller for being obsessed with Mara
  • Steed and Mara cling to eachother as they hide in the wardrobe
  • Anne admits to Richard - and Steed - that she let Lander into the pottery

Series 2 — Episode 16
Immortal Clay

Teleplay by James Mitchell
Directed by Richmond Harding

Production completed: 10 January 1963. First transmission: 11 January 1963

Production details

Episode 43
Production Number : 3516
VTR/ABC/2298 & 2298A
Teddington Studio 1

Wednesday 9th January 1963

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 19.00-20.00
Line-up & Make-up 20.00-20.30
VTR Insert 20.30-21.00

Insert 2298A - Scene 39, the shoot-out in the pottery shop.

Thursday 10th January 1963

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
Sound: 4 booms, 1 Lazy Arm, 3 Slung Mics.
Telecine: ABC symbol, 21 captions
VTR: VTR Insert 2298A, length app. 3 minutes

Running time

Expected: 51'25" + 2 commercial breaks 2.05
Actual running time with bumpers: 52'07"

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 London13/01/196310.35pm
ABC Midlands12/01/196310.05pm
ABC North12/01/196310.05pm
Anglia Television12/01/196310.05pm
Border Television--
Channel Television12/01/196310.35pm
Grampian Television13/01/196310.35pm
Southern Television12/01/196310.05pm
Scottish Television--
Tyne Tees Television12/01/196310.05pm
Ulster Television13/01/196310.35pm
Westward Television13/01/196310.35pm
Television Wales & West13/01/196310.35pm
Teledu Cymru (WWN)11/01/196310.45pm
ABN2 Sydney6/01/19647.30pm
ABV2 Melbourne3/09/19647.30pm

TV Times listing

TV Times listing for January 13 1963, The Avengers at 10.35pm (January 5 1963 London edition)
Sydney Morning Herald listing for January 6 1964, The Avengers at 7.30pm
The Age listing for September 3 1964, The Avengers at 7.30pm

10.35 The Avengers
starring
Patrick Macnee
in

Immortal Clay
Teleplay by James Mitchell
Also starring
Honor Blackman

Cast

Catherine Gale Honor Blackman
Allen Marling Gary Watson
Mara Little Didi Sullivan
Richard Marling Paul Eddington
John Steed Patrick Macnee
One-Ten Douglas Muir
Miller James Bree
Anne Rowena Gregory
Josh Machen Bert Palmer
De Groot Steve Plytas
Blomberg Frank Olegario

The Avengers theme composed and
played by Johnny Dankworth
Story Editor Richard Bates
Designed by James Goddard
Produced by John Bryce
Directed by
Richmond Harding

Steed and Cathy go to the Potteries in search of an unbreakable cup

ABC Television Network Production

Episode availability

Murders

Victim Killer Method
Lander Allen Marling accidentally
hit his head
while fighting
Harry Miller de Groot revolver
Click a name to see the face

Transport

Marque/type Plate
none

Continuity and trivia

  1. It seems ironic to me that Jon Rollason, who played Dr Martin King for the first three episodes recorded for the 1962 was a potter, and wasn’t rehired to appear in this episode - perhaps this was a left over script from those early days.
  2. 2:11 (2:08) - the corpse in the tank is pretty obviously a mannequin.
  3. 2:44 - you can just see the shadow of the boom microphone at top left.
  4. 4:28 - Mara is excited about some gossip in a magazine - “Joy Tracey’s going to have a film test. Joy Tracey - this year’s Miss England” - “Beautiful raven-haired Joy Tracey, has been offered a film test by producer Ray Birch. Miss Tracey, a secretary, is 37-23-36”.
  5. 8:50 - Steed says: “This will be a breakthrough in the problem of solving the problem of friction on high-speed aircraft and rockets” The scripts reads: “This could be a breakthrough in solving the problem of friction on high-speed aircraft and rockets.”
  6. 10:42 - There’s a split second CU of Alan in profile, then the vision cuts back to the previous shot
  7. 16:55 - De Groot says: “How soon will my order be roddy?”
  8. 17:27 - Allen’s previous ‘good ideas’ included:
    • Cheap way of making porcelain (which cost them £3,000)
    • Electrical insulators
    • Teapot with a non-drip spout
    • Flameproof kitchenware
  9. 32:32 - De Groot gets it wrong again - “Paint it and put it in with the set for Laipz- Leipzig”
  10. 35:55 (35:21) - the camera crashes into the sink Miller’s working at.
  11. 39:44 - De Groot at it again! Steve Plytas ad libs then forgets his line and audibly says “fuck”. Honor Blackman prompts his line and they get back on course. (Thanks for spotting this, Pete Hazell).

    The script:
    Scene 38 - INT COUNTRY CLUB - Day
    M.S. WAITER
    TRACK BACK to hold 3-shot WAITER/DE GROOT/CATHY
    As waiter goes EASE IN to 2-shot DE GROOT/CATHY
    DE GROOT: Mrs Gale, those figurines, I like them very much.
    CATHY: You’re very kind.
    DE GROOT: I try to be.
    CATHY: No, thank you.
    DE GROOT: You are like another young friend of mine. Always worried about your waist-line.

    Actual lines:
    DE GROOT: Ah, these figurines, Mrs Gale, I like them very much, you have exquisite taste.
    CATHY: Thank you.
    DE GROOT: Ah, Cake?
    CATHY: No, thank you.
    DE GROOT: (fuck)
    CATHY: (after pause) I’m not really worried about my waist-line if that’s what you were thinking.
    DE GROOT: You are like another young friend of mine. Always worried about your waist-line.

  12. 41:09 - picture breaks up
  13. 48:18 - the director cuts to a MCU of Miller’s body, but it’s completely out of focus and the operator hurriedly focuses it.
  14. 48:39 - Steed tangles with de Groot in a very unfocused shot
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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