• title card: white all caps text reading ‘BUILD A BETTER MOUSETRAP’ superimposed on the biker gang laughing as Ermyntrude tries to put a hex on them
  • Steed shows the gang a map of his proposed racing circuit
  • Jessy hugs Dave, who seems more interested in Cathy
  • The Peck sisters are frightened by the sound of motorbikes outside
  • Cathy stares at Cynthia’s unlikely contraption
  • The sisters are delighted to get their mousetrap back

Series 3 — Episode 11
Build a Better Mousetrap

by Brian Clemens
Designed by Douglas James
Directed by Peter Hammond

Production completed: 28 August 1963. First transmission: 15 February 1964

Production Schedule

Episode 63
Production Number : 3610
Teddington Studio 1

Tuesday 27th August 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

Wednesday 28th August 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
Dress rehearsal 16.15-17.30
Notes 17.30-18.00
Line-up 18.00-18.30
VTR 18.30-19.30

Running time

Expected: 51'25" excluding commercial breaks
Actual running time with bumpers: 51'30"

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).


Cameras: FIVE PEDESTALS - one on the rostrum.
Sound: 3 BOOMS AND ONE FISHPOLE on the rostrum.
Telecine: Opening film and 35 mm sound inserts and caption scanner.


ATV London15/02/196410.05pm
ABC Midlands15/02/19649.10pm
ABC North15/02/19649.10pm
Anglia Television15/02/19649.10pm
Border Television15/02/19649.10pm
Channel Television15/02/19649.10pm
Grampian Television15/02/19649.10pm
Southern Television15/02/196410.05pm
Scottish Television15/02/19649.10pm
Tyne Tees Television15/02/19649.10pm
Ulster Television15/02/19649.10pm
Westward Television15/02/19649.10pm
Television Wales & West15/02/19649.10pm
Teledu Cymru (WWN)15/02/19649.10pm
ABN2 Sydney19/05/19648.00pm
ABV2 Melbourne17/12/19647.30pm

TV Times listing

TV times listing for 15 February 1964, showing The Avengers in the 10.05pm timeslot (February 7 1964 London edition)
Sydney Morning Herald listing for 19 May 1964, showing The Avengers in the 8pm timeslot
The Age listing for 17 December 1964, showing The Avengers in the 7.30pm timeslot

10.5 The Avengers
Patrick Macnee
Honor Blackman


Build a Better Mousetrap
By Brian Clemens

Cast in order of appearance

Dave Donald Webster
Catherine Gale Honor Blackman
Ermyntrude Nora Nicholson
Cynthia Athene Seyler
John Steed Patrick Macnee
Harris Harold Goodwin
Colonel Wesker John Tate
Caroline Alison Seebohm
Stigant Allan McClelland
Jessy Marian Diamond
Gordon David Anderson

Story Editor Richard Bates
Directed by Peter Hammond
Produced by John Bryce

In which Steed visits two witches; and Cathy rides a motorbike to do the ton plus ten

ABC Television Network Production


Victim Killer Method
Stigant Gordon Crushed by mill wheel
Click a name to see the face

Continuity and trivia

Time codes here include the Studio Canal logo from the remastered 2010 set, which runs for 18 seconds.

  1. 0:52-1:30 - telecine insert 1: the gang ride down the highway, towards the Vernon mill.
  2. 1:30 - the long exterior of the Peck’s water mill is rather obviously a slide - especially when you notice the sign on the side which reads “W &H Atkinson Castle Mill Dorking” is back to front - Steed was quite right, it did become historic, and here’s a page of Surrey History where you can request information. See also Anthony McKay’s excellent Guide to Avengerland.
  3. 7:45 - some strange camerawork as the camera pans somewhat shakily and jerkily over to Harris, who is eavesdropping on Steed and Stigant.
  4. 10:30 - Dave calls one of the bikers “Pimples” instead of “Freckles”.
  5. 15:23-15:46 & 15:54-16:06 & 16:15-16:27 & 17:55-18:07 - telecine inserts 2-5: the gang get on their motorcycles and ride off on the point to point; the ride along the country roads; Cathy takes a different road at the crossroads; Cathy abandons her broken-down motorbike.
  6. 18:00 - Stigant said the range of the machine is a radius of about two miles, but Cathy breaks down 7 miles from Vernon. Even accounting for winding B roads, she couldn’t have been that far away. Plus, Steed marks her place on the map almost next to the township (18:42).
  7. 16:27/30:13/32:47 - the nighttime exteriors of the water mill are even more clearly painted drops
  8. 17:14 - wouldn’t the professor’s mechanical jammer affect Ermyntrude’s sewing macine as well? The telegram (47:20) says it jams anything mechanical or electrical. It’s a treadle-powered machine, but it’s still mechanical, the electromagnetic field should stop it from working.
  9. 19:00 et passim. - the end & start of act captions look a bit creased, probably due to the caption scanner being damaged.
  10. 37:13 & 43:54 & 44:23 & 45:01 - Macnee is sweating profusely.
  11. 38:43 - two lines are cut from the script at this point. Cathy says “I have to go out now.” Two of the gang barge past and she leaves, but in the original script, to heighten Jessy’s fears about Cathy and Dave, Jessy asks, “With Dave?” and Cathy replies, “Yes, with Dave.”
  12. 38:52-39:00 - telecine insert 6 - Cathy and Wesker (disguised as Dave) get on their bikes and ride to the mill
  13. 44:27 - Caroline says “Silly old windmill” instead of “silly old watermill”. - A lot of her lines in this scene are ad libbed or altered in a late revision as they bear little resemblance to the original script, and there are many extra lines inserted.
  14. 49:28 - some bad camerawork during the fight scene.
  15. It may look likea lot of motorcycles in this episode, but there are in fact only five, or maybe six. Mostly BSAs, plus Cathy’s famous Triumph. Steed discusses Dave’s “Mercer Twin”, a ficticious marque, it’s actually a BSA.
  16. Location shooting of the riders in action were filmed at Cobham Common, Surrey. The riders were members of the Riverhill Riders Club, who worked with Surbiton Police Station for charity events.
  17. One of the biker girls - the blonde in the baggy cardigan - is Sheila Dunn, who appeared in a few Doctor Who stories. She was the wife of director Douglas Camford.

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