• title card: white all caps text reading ‘THE WHITE DWARF’ superimposed on a reel to reel tape deck
  • Cartwright takes the phone call from Max
  • Richter stoops to see as Cathy discovers Rahim’s body
  • Johnson, seated, seems unsure of Max’s plan
  • Cathy is surprised by the simplistic nature of Steed’s research
  • Steed takes cover from Max’s gunfire behind a brick wall

Series 2 — Episode 21
The White Dwarf

Teleplay by Malcolm Hulke
Directed by Richmond Harding

Production No 3520, VTR/ABC/2366
Production completed: February 16 1963. First transmission: February 16 1963.

Production details

Episode 47
Production Number : 3520
Teddington Studio 2 & Rehearsal Room 2A

First Reading

Sunday 3rd February 1963, 10.30a.m., Rehearsal Room 2A, Teddington Studios.


Monday 4th February-Thursday 14th February inclusive, Rehearsal Room 2A, Teddington Studios.

Camera Rehearsal

Friday 15th February 1963, Studio Two, Teddington


Saturday 16th February 1963, Studio Two, Teddington.

Running time

Expected: 51′25″ + 2 commercial breaks 2.05
Actual running time with bumpers: 51′46″

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 London17/02/196310.35pm
ABC Midlands16/02/196310.05pm
ABC North16/02/196310.05pm
Anglia Television16/02/196310.05pm
Border Television--
Channel Television16/02/196310.35pm
Grampian Television17/02/196310.35pm
Southern Television16/02/196310.05pm
Scottish Television6/06/196310.45pm
Tyne Tees Television16/02/196310.05pm
Ulster Television17/02/196310.35pm
Westward Television17/02/196310.35pm
Television Wales & West17/02/196310.35pm
Teledu Cymru (WWN)15/02/196310.45pm
ABN2 Sydney2/03/19647.30pm
ABV2 Melbourne1/10/19647.30pm

TV Times listing

TV Times listing for February 17 1963, 10.35pm (London edition)
TV Times listing for February 17 1963, 10.05pm (Northern edition)
Sydney Morning Herald listing for March 2 1964, 7.30pm
The Age listing for October 1 1964, 7.30pm

10.35 The Avengers
Patrick Macnee

The White Dwarf
Teleplay by Malcolm Hulke
Also starring
Honor Blackman


Professor Richter Keith Pyott
John Steed Patrick Macnee
Catherine Gale Honor Blackman
Minister Daniel Thorndyke
Henry Barker Peter Copley
Cartright Philip Latham
Fuller Vivienne Drummond
Rahim Paul Anil
Luke George Roubicek
Maxwell Barker George A. Cooper
Johnston Bill Nagy
Miss Tregarth Constance Chapman
Butler John Falconer

The Avengers theme composed and
played by Johnny Dankworth
Settings by Terry Green
Directed by
Richmond Harding
Producer John Bryce

The White Dwarf threatens Earth. Cathy studies the stars and Steed turns financier to save mankind

ABC Television Network Production

Episode availability


Victim Killer Method
Richter Cartright strangled?
Rahim Cartright strangled?
Cartright Maxwell Barker revolver
Click a name to see the face


Marque/type Plate

Continuity and trivia

  1. 9:28 — Johnson gives Maxwell Barker’s London number as Hyde Park 5011.
  2. 14:57 — a hair gets stuck at the bottom of the transfer plate and remains on screen until 19:36.
  3. 22:10 — Johnson calls Professor James Larsen of the University of New Jersey to put pressure on him to make a false observation.
  4. 24:43 — when the director cuts from the VCU of Cathy to a medium shot, the boom microphone is in clear view for two seconds.
  5. 28:28–28:31, 47:53 — severe visual distortion.
  6. 32:10 — Steed picks up a book to make a point, but the Set dresser has given it a jacket which reads Astrology and You instesad of Astronomy and You, which is odd, as they make a job about confusion between astronomy and astrology in the tag scen (50:27–51:15).
  7. 32:42 — Cathy, trying to illustrate the potential for unlikely events to occur, chooses the very unscientific example of The Flood.
  8. 35:45 (34:45) - the cameraman tracking Peter Copley completely loses him in the gloom and loses focus, then shoots a bare patch of wall for a few seconds before the director switches to a different camera.
  9. 36:12 (35:12) - Macnee briefly forgets the name of George A. Cooper’s character (h’e supposed to say his information came from One Seven as well).
  10. 40:16 — Elizabeth rings Tor Point 859 to warn Cartwright that Cathy is heading for the observatory.
  11. Luke doesn’t lock the door behind him at 44:25, so why does Cartwright unlock it at 45:41 to let the Barkers in, and proudly draw attention to the fact the door is always locked?
  12. 49:29 (48:29) - the footage of Max escaping through the darkened observatory is clearly sped up.
  13. 50:46 — Cathy reconfirms what she said in Warlock, her birthday is 5th October.
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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