• title card: white all caps text reading ‘KILLER WHALE’ superimposed on a black and white ink drawing of a whale swirling in the ocean
  • Pancho, on the right, refuses to give Fernand credit; Harry watches in the background
  • Steed admires the model’s.... height
  • Cathy checks Joey’s waistband, but what for?
  • Brown tell Fernand, in the foreground, that he has 24 hours to pay his debt
  • Steed thanks Cathy for her help oon the case with perfume by Fernand

Series 2 — Episode 26
Killer Whale

Teleplay by John Lucarotti
Directed by Kim Mills

Production completed: 22 March 1963. First transmission: 23 March 1963

TV Times summary

Cathy promotes a boxer, and Steed follows a scented trail to find a gang of smugglers

Plot summary

Steed, investigating a perfume smuggling rackets at Pancho’s gym, gets Mrs Gale to manage a promising new boxer, Joey Frazer. When Joey uses another fighter’s soap they discover it is ambergris. Steed follows Harry, who has the soap bar, to a couturier called Fernand, underneath whose shop the perfume is being made. When Cathy and Joey go to retrieve the soap they’sre caught and locked in the lab, escaping by setting off the fire alarm. Steed arrests Pancho when he goes to deal with Fernand while Cathy and Joey fights their way through the gang at the gym.

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Prologue

John Steed (Patrick Macnee) is watching an amateur boxing match, having made a bet with ‘Pancho’ Driver (Patrick Magee). Steed’s boxer loses to Tiger (Brian Mason) and Driver advises him not to bet on a boxer’s looks - and waves away his offsider, Harry (Morris Perry), who has run in. Steed hands over £50 and Driver adds that the only way to learn about a boxer is to manage one. Steed grumbles he might just do that and departs.

Act 1

Steed reads the Encyclopædia Britannica entry on whales and helps himself to some of Cathy’s sherry at her new flat, where Joey Frazer (Kenneth Farrington) is helping her move in. Catherine Gale (Honor Blackman) asks Steed to pour her one and introduces Joey to Steed as her star judo student. He chooses orange juice over the sherry and Steed is very interested to learn he’s a boxer. Steed asks if Joey has thought of turning professional.

JOEY: Costs money, Mr. Steed. You know, pro training, use of a gymn., things like that.
STEED: Yes. It all adds up. How would you say if I was to foot the bill?
CATHY: (ARCHLY) I’d say there was a catch.

Joey is excited - even when Steed says he’d expect a percentage of the winnings - Steed offers to manage him too but Cathy says she will manage him so that decisions are in his best interests, and she glares at Steed. Joey accepts and Steed tells him to be at Driver’s gym in the morning.

The next morning, Willie (John Tate) takes a call in the office but by the time he reaches Pancho, punch-drunk old boxer that he is, he’s forgotten the number. Driver suggests “Gerard 1071” and Willie agrees that was it. Pancho calls the number, telling them not to trouble him again - when the stuff arrives he’ll deliver it. He spots Steed’s entourage arrive and Harry is suspicious of Steed’s return.

Steed introduces Cathy and Joey to Pancho, who asks if they want him to take the kid on. Pancho’s surprised to learn Cathy will be managing but is happy to have her do it. He excuses himself when another fighter, Sailor (Fredric Abbott), arrives and is startled to learn he’s late because he was nabbed - but only for speeding. Pancho proposes putting Joey in the ring with Tiger - to Cathy’s horror - and sends him off to change.

Sailor meanwhile takes a towel and bar of soap from his bag and sticks them in a locker then greets Joey as they pass each other at the door. Joey gets grease on his hand from one of the lockers and can’t find soap anywhere, eventually locating Sailor’s packet. Back by the ring, Sailor’s wrists are being strapped by Willie and Sailor tells him he’s just returned from a voyage to the Caribbean. Willie comments that his old manager, Charlie Horton lives there, then Pancho takes over and Sailor tells him the stuff is in his locker, disguised as a bar of soap!

Pancho enters as Joey is washing his hands and takes the soap, telling him not to “poke his dirty little nose in someone else’s locker again”. Joey looks hurt and throws the wrapper in the bin but returns to ringside eagerly where he’s astonished at the size of Tiger.

Pancho tells Tiger he wants the kid flat in a minute, then tells Steed he’ll take him on if he last longer than a minute. The boy is struck down with seconds to go, then gets up - Steed having to ring time as Harry has ‘forgotten’ to do so. Driver is annoyed, especially when Steed casually mentions Tiger’s low punch. Pancho agrees to take Joey on and is forced to pay Steed £5 - and Steed notices the note smells strange.

In the ring, Cathy notices the strange smell as she removes Joey’s gloves and he mentions the soap. Cathy asks Steed what he’s up to and isn’t pleased to learn Joey’s ‘in’. Back in the office, Pancho grumbles about being lumbered with the kid but Harry says he’s a good prospect. Pancho hands him the soap and tells him to take it to Fernand, saying it’s all he’s paid for. Steed sees Harry leave and tells Cathy to report ‘anything interesting’ then follows him.

Harry takes the ‘soap’ to Fernand (John Bailey), a fashion designer, who is firmly told Pancho doesn’t like credit and Harry adds that Charlie supplies them, and trust no-one. Fernand says he’ll be at the gym around 11pm. After he leaves, Fernand calls for Angela (Julie Paulle) and asks her to take it to the lab.

Steed meanwhile is chatting to Fernand’s receptionist, Denise (Lyndall Goodman), who leaves him with a magazine while she fetches Mr Fernand. Steed laughs at the copy of Svelte, then notices a bottle of perfume labelled Boutique by Fernand. He tests a spot on his hand but is interrupted by Fernand, who asks his business.

Steed claims he wants to order an entire wardrobe for his niece and wants Fernand to design it. He gives the measurements, Denise smirking when he does, and asks about the perfume. Fernand is proud of it and hands him a sample bottle to give to his niece. Angela meanwhile delivers the ‘soap’ to the laboratory assistant (Christopher Coll), who grimaces at the small amount delivered.

At her flat, Cathy rubs some moisturiser on her hands after finishing the washing up and realises it has the same smell as Joey’s gloves. Meanwhile Fernand has arrived at the gym with £250 but Pancho says it won’t buy much and refuses to give credit. When Fernand asks why he can’t wait for the profits, Pancho explains Charlie lives in the Caribbean and trusts no-one. Fernand says the next batch will be ready in a day or two and is pleased to learn every bottle has been pre-sold. Cathy arrives at the gym and sneaks into the locker room but can’t find the soap - but discovers Sailor’s dead body!

Act 2

The next day, Willie is helping Joey workout and lets slip that his old manager was Charlie Horton, who ‘made a mistake1 and avoided doing time by skipping to the Caribbean. Cathy arrives and quizzes Joey about the soap and he explains that Pancho “did his nut”, and it came from Sailor’s locker. When asked why, Cathy says she was interested as it had such an unusual smell.

Steed views Fernand’s creations, modelled by Angela and three models; they’re interrupted by the upper class thug Brown (Robert Mill), come to collect his protection money. Brown leads Fernand away, giving Steed the opportunity to lasciviously approach one of the models, Diane Keys (herself).

Fernand is annoyed with Brown turning up without warning, saying it’s embarrassing when there are customers in the shop, but Brown peremptorily clicks his fingers. Fernand hands him a large pile of cash and admits he’s £2,000 short. Brown is not impressed and reminds him he’s already two months behind; he’ll foreclose on the mortgage if he doesn’t have it by the next morning.

Brown continues his rudeness when he returns to the studio, describing Angela’s outfit as “terribly après-ski” and Fernand is distraught when Steed abruptly says he has to go. Brown smiles and departs as well.

Steed is summoned to Cathy’s flat where she tells him about ambergris - a fatty secretion from whale intestines which is occasionally washed ashore and worth £10 per ounce, the beachcomber’s dream. A large lump would be worth £32,000.

STEED: I never picked anything up off the beach that valuable. £32,000 yes... and that is before duty is paid... if you smuggled it into the country -
CATHY: And that’s what’s going on at Pancho’s
STEED: Yes.
CATHY: I knew there was a catch.

Steed admits he suspected they were smuggling it through the gym. He said he’d been there a month with no success then hands her the note smelling of ambergris, saying it’s his first piece of luck. She tells him about the soap from Sailor’s locker, and about Sailor’s body, and he wonder why they’d kill the courier. Cathy tells him Pancho and Harry took him away, intending to make it look like a motorbike accident. Cathy’s concerned about Joey but Steed reassures her that so long as he thinks it was soap he’s safe - unfortunately, Joey is getting Willie to show him where the rubbish awaiting collection is...

Fernand returns to the gym, telling Pancho he’ll lose the lab and is given £2,500, but will have to repay it in 30 days. Willie shows Joey the dustbins in the cellar then leaves him to search the bins. Joey finds the wrapper but runs into Harry, and innocently tells him Cathy wanted the name of the brand of soap because she liked the smell. Harry tells him to show it to Pancho, then karate chops him from behind, knocking him out and taking the soap wrapper.

Steed returns to Fernand’s, slipping behind the curtains and opening a side window so he can break in later, telling Angela when he re-emerges he’s happy to wait for Fernand’s return. Harry meanwhile tells Pancho he’s locked Joey in the cupboard with the bottles and is ordered to deliver him to the lab with them, to prevent Willie hearing him.

Cathy arrives a moment later, dressed in her fighting suit, and Willie takes her to the cellar. They find Pancho and Harry lugging a crate out; Pancho ropes Willie into carrying one end and asks Cathy what he can do for her. She peers into the cupboard and asks where Joey is. Pancho asks what he’d be doing down there, then suggests he’s either in the crate they just carried out, or in the vaulting horse he’s sitting on.

He’s surprised when she pulls a pistol on him and tells him to call Harry back. She forces them to disassemble the horse and free Joey. Unfortunately, Joey takes a wild swing at Pancho when he is freed from the box and pushes Pancho back into Cathy, causing her gun to go flying. She wrestles Pancho away but Harry gets to the gun before Joey.

PANCHO: Very silly of you, Joey. Now you’ve got yourself and Mrs. Gale in a lot of trouble.

Act 3

Steed climbs in Fernand’s window and unlocks the back door, unaware that Cathy and Joey are tied up down in the cellar. She frees them by cutting their ropes with a broken bottle and tells him they’re in a lab where scent is manufactured illegally - the bar of soap was ambergris which they’re smuggling through the gym and Joey remembers Willie mentioning Charlie lives in the Caribbean since ‘making a mistake’.1.

Pancho calls the lab and speaks to Harry, telling him to leave the prisoners for now and to get back with the bottles. Harry is concerned when he is told that Sailor’s death still hasn’t hit the papers. They unpack the crate and Pancho says he’s decided they have to kill the captives as Charlie’s next consignment is too valuable to risk. Harry’s against it - killing a woman, and both of them having friends, including Steed.

Cathy meanwhile sets off the fire alarm in the cellar with her cigarette lighter, and the assistant is easily overpowered when he enters. They head off for the gym, while upstairs Angela thinks Fernand looks unwell and he asks her for a brandy. She goes to fetch one but is shocked to discover Sailor’s body in the cupboard. Fernand is shocked as well and tells Angela he doesn’t know who it is. Just then, Brown arrives to collect his payment and Fernand nervously hands him the money.

FERNAND: This... £2,000, it’s all there.
BROWN: Good ... You don’t have to be nervous when you’ve got it, sport. Only when you haven’t. See you next month!

Fernand immediately rings Pancho who asks Harry where he left Sailor. When he tells him, “The Horsham Road, 20 miles out”, Pancho informs him where the body’s turned up in Fernand’s shop - someone must be onto them, and he doesn’t intend to hang around and find out who. He tells Harry to pack everything up as he has something he must do.

Steed arrives at the shop and tells them he put the body in the cupboard, and that Pancho is a dangerous friend. Pancho appears and Steed asks him if he’s there for the fashion, the girls - or the perfume - and they fight. Steed overpowers him and Fernand grabs his pinking shears, much to Angela’s horror, but Steed disarms him as well and leads them all off at gunpoint.

Harry meanwhile is leaving the gym but encounters Cathy and Joey on the way out, and she knocks him down. They continue to fight, Joey taking on Tiger when he appears. Steed turns up and hands Cathy his pistol while he phones the police, announcing himself as ‘Carruthers’.2

Steed arrives at Cathy flat while she’s packing - his plane to the Caribbean doesn’t leave for a few hours, but he’s unable to persuade her to cancel her flight to Tokyo and join him. He gives her a token of appreciation - from himself and the Treasury, which he says is “the last of the line” - a big bottle of Fernand’s perfume!


  1. At the beginning of Act 3, Joey explains to Cathy that “made a mistake” in boxing circles means fixing a fight and getting caught.
  2. He also used this alias when talking to the police in The Big Thinker.

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