• title card: white all caps text reading ‘SIX HANDS ACROSS A TABLE’ superimposed on ... well, on six hands across a table
  • Brian lies on the ground, struck by a falling pulley
  • Steed, in bowler hat, umbrella and suit, asks the receptionist to tell Sir Charles he called
  • Cathy, on the left, smiles at the stern Seabrook while Waldner looks on from the right
  • Sir Charles, in near foreground, announces he’s severing ties with the group as Waldner and Stanley stand behind him
  • Steed breaks the tension of Cathy’s heartbreak by asking for a lift home

Series 2 — Episode 25
Six Hands Across a Table

Teleplay by Reed R. de Rouen
Directed by Richmond Harding

Production No 3524, VTR/ABC/2508
Production completed: March 15 1963. First transmission: March 16 1963.

Production details

Episode 51
Production Number : 3524
Teddington Studio 1

Thursday 14th March 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 19.00–21.00

Friday 15th 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
Dress Rehearsal 16.15–17.30
Notes 17.30–18.00
Line Up 18.00–18.30
VTR 18.30–19.30


Cameras: 5 Pedestals. Mole crane for VTR insert.
Telecine: A.B.C. Symbol, pos.35mm. film. cap.scanner
VTR: 3-VTR INSERTS of approx.dur; 1 min.30secs.; 30secs; 30secs.


  • Scene 3: Reniston’s boardroom - pre-titles teaser (00:31–1:52) following the telecine insert of a pan up the “high building” and zoom in to one of the windows (00:19–00:32)
  • Scene 23: Brian rests in the draughting room after being struck by the block and tackle (20:49–21:26)
  • Scene 42: Draughting Room - Cathy is attacked by an unknown assailant (improvised by the director) (34:42 — 35:27)

Running time

Expected: 50′25″ + 2 commercial breaks
Actual running time with bumpers: 50′43″

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 London16/03/196310.05pm
ABC Midlands16/03/196310.05pm
ABC North16/03/196310.05pm
Anglia Television16/03/196310.05pm
Border Television16/03/196310.05pm
Channel Television16/03/196310.05pm
Grampian Television24/03/196310.35pm
Southern Television16/03/196310.05pm
Scottish Television--
Tyne Tees Television16/03/196310.05pm
Ulster Television16/03/196310.05pm
Westward Television16/03/196310.05pm
Television Wales & West16/03/196310.05pm
Teledu Cymru (WWN)16/03/196310.05pm
ABN2 Sydney23/03/19647.30pm
ABV2 Melbourne22/10/19648.00pm

TV Times listing

TV Times listing for March 16 1963, 10.05pm (London edition)
Sydney Morning Herald listing for March 23 1964, 7.30pm
The Age listing for October 22 1964, 7.30pm

10.5 The Avengers
Patrick Macnee

Six Hands Across a Table
Teleplay by Reed R. de Rouen
Also starring
Honor Blackman


Julian Seabrook Philip Madoc
Sir Charles
John Wentworth
George Stanley Campbell Singer
Oliver Waldner Guy Doleman
Butler Ian Cunningham
Brian Collier Edward de Souza
Lady Reniston Freda Bamford
Catherine Gale Honor Blackman
Rosalind Waldner Sylvia Bidmead
Miss Francis Gillian Barclay
Draughtsman Stephen Hancock
Bert Barnes Frank Siemen
John Steed Patrick Macnee
Receptionist Ilona Rodgers

The Avengers theme composed and
played by Johnny Dankworth
Settings by Paul Bernard
Directed by
Richmond Harding
Produced by John Bryce

Cathy moves in high society and Steed goes shipbuilding to find a murderer

ABC Television Network Production

Episode availability


Victim Killer Method
Herbert Collier thug? sabotaged car
Click a name to see the face


Marque/type Plate
Cathy’s car (prop) -

Continuity and trivia

  1. Reed de Rouen previously appeared in series 1 as the Mexican police chief Luis Garcia in The Far Distant Dead and, in series 2, as Jack Dragna in The Removal Men. He was also one of the story editors for series 1, having replaced Patrick Brawn in May 1961. He left his editor rôle in October 1961, probably due to the Equity Strike. He wrote this episode under the name Reed R. de Rouen - his middle name was Randolph.
  2. 4:21, 43:41, 45:23 and throughout - visual interference, which is repeated sporadically for the rest of the episode.
  3. 5:18 — Stanley’s character says he’s “more interested in what is than what was” in response to learning that Cathy is an anthropologist, and clearly mistakes it for archaeologist, but Cathy doesn’t disabuse him on it.
  4. 8:16 — Reniston moves to the foreground in front of Stanley and Waldner, but the camera remains focused on Stanley until 8:22.
  5. 10:15 — Brian is pleased when Steed observes that the propulsion unit of the new ship is no larger than that of a nuclear submarine, despite hauling twenty times the tonnage.
  6. 13:13 — Electra syndrome or fluffed line? Waldner, being close and intimate with Cathy when asking her if she’d like to live with him, calls her ‘Roz’ by mistake. No wonder Cathy looks so astonished!
  7. 14:46 — the boom microphone is briefly visible when the director switches to the wide shot after Seabrook enters the boardroom.
  8. 15:05 — the cameraman completely loses focus for ten seconds when Stanley asks Seasbrook id he has “stoomach trooble”. He seems to be focused on Seabrook’s left shoulder; when the actors move up stage a bit they spring into focus.
  9. 18:41 — a vertical white band appears near the centre of the picture and remains on screen until the end of the first reel (20:40). At 20:35, it moves across, three-quarters toward the right hand side.
  10. 19:06 — through the window of Brian’s office, you can see the boom microphone that was just in place for the previous shot before it slides out of shot.
  11. 20:41 — Act 2 starts with the dramatic crescendo music instead of the usual theme.
  12. 22:20 — Philip Madoc stumbles over the phrase “unsatisfactory working conditions”.
  13. 31:28 — There is a scene where Steed gets into Cathy’s car, but the ‘car’ is so obviously just a couple of seats, roof, a steering wheel and backdrop - i.e. a set and not a car at all.
  14. 34:42 — the script identifies the assailant as Seabrook, but it’s clearly a stand-in (Val Musetti) and the audience never learns it was supposed to be Seabrook. Just as well, as it makes no sense given later developments in the script.
  15. 39:18 — Stanley references the General Strike of 1926; the Jarrow March of 1936; and the launches of the RMS Queen Mary in 1936, and RMS Queen Elizabeth in 1938. Interestingly, Cunard orderd the Queen Elizabeth II in 1964, not long after this episode. She was laid down in July 1965 and completed in 1968.
  16. 43:17 — Waldner’s safe, hidden in the fireplace, has the combination: 16 clockwise, back to 2, forward to 33 again.
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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