• title card: white all caps text reading ‘CONSPIRACY OF SILENCE’ superimposed on a slightly crumpled photo of Steed and a revolver lying on a desk
  • Mr. James enjoys another laugh
  • Elizabeth spins around on the wheel during the knife-throwing act, dressed in her tiny shorts
  • Arturo and Lego, in their clown makeup, wave at Cathy
  • Rickie, worried about the turn of events, hugs Carlo
  • Cathy is annoyed when Steed makes light of her concern for his safety

Series 2 — Episode 23
Conspiracy Of Silence

Teleplay by Roger Marshall
Directed by Peter Hammond

Production No 3522, VTR/ABC/2451
Production completed: March 1 1963. First transmission: March 1 1963.

Production details

Episode 49
Production Number : 3255 (sic) — should be 3522
VTR/ABC/2451
Teddington Studio 1

Thursday 28th February 1963

Camera rehearsal 09.00–12.30
Lunch break 12.30–13.30
Camera rehearsal 13.30–18.00
Supper break 18.00–19.00
Camera rehearsal 19.00–21.00

Friday 1st March 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, Makeup
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: 5 Pedestals — one to be on rostrume (sic).
Telecine: ABC symbol, 35mm dubbed sound sequence, caption scanner and slides.

Dubbed sound sequence is after the opening titles “Conspiracy of Silence”, Steed walking at the park and being shot at by Carlo. (2:50–5:15)

Running time

Expected: 51′25″ + 2 commercial breaks
Actual running time with bumpers: 51′58″

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 London3/03/196310.45pm
ABC Midlands2/03/196310.05pm
ABC North2/03/196310.05pm
Anglia Television2/03/196310.05pm
Border Television--
Channel Television2/03/196310.45pm
Grampian Television3/03/196310.45pm
Southern Television2/03/196310.05pm
Scottish Television25/04/196310.15pm
Tyne Tees Television2/03/196310.05pm
Ulster Television3/03/196310.45pm
Westward Television3/03/196310.45pm
Television Wales & West3/03/196310.45pm
Teledu Cymru (WWN)1/03/196310.45pm
ABN2 Sydney9/03/19647.30pm
ABV2 Melbourne8/10/19647.30pm

TV Times listing

TV Times listing for March 3 1963, 10.45pm (London edition)
Sydney Morning Herald listing for March 9 1964, 7.30pm
The Age listing for October 8 1964, 7.30pm

10.45 The Avengers
starring
Patrick Macnee
in

Conspiracy of Silence
Teleplay by Roger Marshalle
Also starring
Honor Blackman

Cast

James Artro Morris
Sica Alec Mango
Carlo Robert Rietty
John Steed Patrick Macnee
Rickie Sandra Dorne
Catherine Gale Honor Blackman
Gutman Roy Purcell
Lego Himself
Terry John Church
Arturo Tommy Godfrey
Professor Willie Shearer
Rant Ian Wilson

With
Elizabeth and Collins

The Avengers theme composed and
played by Johnny Dankworth
Settings by Stephen Doncaster
Directed by Peter Hammond
Producer John Bryce

Why does a clown want to murder Steed? Cathy joins a circus to find the answer

ABC Television Network Production

Lego is credited in the TV Times as playing himself but he receives no on-screen credit at the end of the the episode.

Episode availability

Murders

Victim Killer Method
Terry Carlo revolver
Click a name to see the face

Transport

Marque/type Plate
none

Continuity and trivia

  1. 15:16, 16:16 etc. — Honor Blackman, and pretty much everyone else on the set, can’t keep their eyes off Elizabeth’s tight little black shorts — and the even tighter little buttocks that are barely contained by them — whenever she walks past. By 23:14, Cathy’s started taking photographs of Elizabeth’s bottom and chatting her up.
  2. 19:00 — The professor reveals that a lion tamer uses a chair not simply to keep the lion at a distance but also that the lion doesn’t realise the man and chair are distinct so when he swipes at the chair, expecting to wound the man, and nothing happens, the lion gives up. He then goes on to tell Cathy that 22 trainers died of injuries over the last year.
  3. 20:00 — the cameraman can’t work out how to pan past Cathy to show the departing midget, and we have a shot with half her head out of shot.
  4. 27:04 — There’s a horrific juxtaposition of a whistling kettle in the background as Rickie talks about the accidental bombing of the convent, evoking the sound of falling bombs.
  5. 32:15 — Cathy starts coughing at the Professor’s cigar, but it might have been Peter Hammond’s direction for the lines in the script (page 34, shot 120).
  6. 38:07 — the director switches to a mid shot of Cathy looking at Rant, but it’s out of focus for the first second.
  7. 39:34 (38:24) — Macnee bursts out laughing when Honor says, completely deadpan, she took tattoos instead of needlework at school.
  8. 51:03 (49:57) — you can hear the wrangler whispering the tiger’s name, “Cheshire”, as he tries to coax a growl for the closing scene.
  9. Lego is credited in the TV Times as playing himself but he receives no on-screen credit at the end of the the episode. I don’t think this happens again until Sleeper.
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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