• title card: white all caps text reading ‘THE GILDED CAGE’ superimposed on a neatly stacked pallet of gold ingots
  • Cathy stands between Manley, on the right, and Westwood, confused that they have just arrested her for the murder of Spagge
  • Rev Benham speaks earnestly to Cathy in her prison cell; she faces away from us and is mostly off-screen
  • Cathy, on the left, wearing her leather flying suit, explains her heist plan to the gang, using a floor plan of the vault
  • Close-up of Cathy wearing a gas mask as the heist begins
  • Steed feigns surprise when Cathy tells him there’s a reward of 10% of the haul for Fleming’s capture

Series 3 — Episode 7
The Gilded Cage

by Roger Marshall
Designed by Robert Macgowan
Directed by Bill Bain

Production No 3614, VTR unknown
Production completed: October 25 1963. First transmission: November 9 1963.

Production Schedule

(Episode 67)
(Production Number : 3614)

VTR recording

25th October, 63

Running time

Expected: 51′25″ excluding commercial breaks
Actual running time with bumpers: 52′20″

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 credits (normally 0′16″ with a 2″ fade) and closing credits (anywhere from 0′41″ to 1′20″, hard cut or 1″ fade or mix).


ATV London9/11/196310.05pm
ABC Midlands9/11/19639.50pm
ABC North9/11/19639.50pm
Anglia Television9/11/19639.50pm
Border Television9/11/196310.05pm
Channel Television9/11/196310.05pm
Grampian Television10/11/196310.40pm
Southern Television9/11/196310.05pm
Scottish Television9/11/196310.25pm
Tyne Tees Television9/11/19639.50pm
Ulster Television9/11/19639.50pm
Westward Television9/11/196310.05pm
Television Wales & West9/11/19639.50pm
Teledu Cymru (WWN)9/11/19639.50pm
ABN2 Sydney29/12/19648.00pm
ABV2 Melbourne10/01/19668.00pm

In Melbourne, this was the first episode of their second series of The Avengers. Upon its return, the show moved into the 8pm timeslot, as its old 7.30pm slot was being filled by a little show that was generating a lot of interest but was probably gong to be short-lived… Doctor Who.

TV Times listing

TV Times listing for November 9 1963, 10.05pm (London edition)
TV Times listing for November 9 1963, 9.50pm (Midlands edition)
Sydney Morning Herald listing for December 29 1964, 8pm
The Age listing for January 10 1966, 8pm

10.5 The Avengers
Patrick Macnee
Honor Blackman


The Gilded Cage
By Roger Marshall

Cast in order of appearance

John Steed Patrick Macnee
Catherine Gale Honor Blackman
Groves Neil Wilson
J. P. Spagge Patrick Magee
Fleming Norman Chappell
Manley Frederic Abbott
Westwood Alan Haywood
Wardress Margo Cunningham
Benham Edric Connor
Hammond Martin Friend
Peterson Terence Soall
Gruber Geoff L’Cise
Barker Douglas Cummings

The Avengers theme composed and
played by Johnny Dankworth
Story Editor Richard Bates
Settings by Robert Macgowan
Directed by Bill Bain
Produced by John Bryce

In which Steed masterminds a robbery; and Cathy is framed for murder

ABC Television Network Production


Victim Killer Method
J.P. Spagge Cathy .25 Berretta (off camera, and faked)
Steed Manley Sniper rifle (Steed pretends to have been hit, but he was behind bulletproof glass)
Abe Benham Steed Revolver
Manley (maybe) Steed Revolver
Click a name to see the face

Continuity and trivia

  1. The opening credits feature a cut under the titles, from the gold bars to a CU of Spagge.

    alternate title card: white all caps text reading ‘THE GILDED CAGE’ superimposed on a close-up of Spagge
  2. 4:52 — why is the butler’s bell so high on the wall if Spagge is in a wheelchair?
  3. Overtones of “Goldfinger” all over this episode, with Mrs. Gale planning a bullion robbery — they even mention Fort Knox (5:47) explicitly!
  4. 5:50 — A gold bar weighs 400 troy pounds, and is 6¾" x 3½" x 1¾", and valued at £5,000 — Fort Knox has 800,000 of them (well, all of these details were correct at the time of filming anyway). Furthermore, silver was 9/3 an ounce (the highest since 1920), while gold was £12/10/- an ounce.
  5. 7:23 — Steed says, “Remember the Boomfontein diamond robbery?” and Cathy, in retaliation for his comment about Spagge being before her time, replies, “Oh yes… Granny used to talk about it.”
  6. 8:28 — Fleming sums up Steed:
    FLEMING: The bowler, custom made Hemmings and Paul, St James. Beautifully blocked; not a penny under 10 guineas. The umbrella, Bolton & Son ’63 model, slightly weighted handle, perfect balance; just right for a man of his height. And the suit! It’s a dream. — Cut by an artist, possibly Frith Brothers, definitely Saville Row, 65 guineas 75.
    SPAGGE: Was he carrying a gun?
    FLEMING: A gun? In a suit like that he couldn’t have carried another fountain pen.
    Spagge: Get on.
    Fleming: The shirt — South Sea silk, made to measure, 10 guineas. Impeccably cut. The cuff links, Cabochon crystal — exquisite!
    Spagge interjects: Reminds me, I’ve lost a button!
    Fleming: Very good, sir. Charcoal grey silk hose; shoes, hand made, Teale, St James; slightly antiqued, but polished like mahogany, uppers and ways. Significant that!
    Spagge: What of?
    Fleming: Excellent valet service. And sir, the Sergeant miniature in the hall —
    Spagge: What about it?
    Fleming: He recognised it!
    Spagge: And that’s good is it?
    Fleming: Good? it’s excellent — a gentleman of obvious quality.
    Spagge: Shut up! I want to know about the man, not about the tailor’s dummy!
    Fleming: If I might say so sir, a more fitting companion than some of our more recent acquaintances.
    Spagge: I do believe you’re a snob, Fleming.
    Fleming: Naturally, sir; that’s what I’m paid for.

    Fleming’s description is like a fashion magazine advertisement and amounts to 85gn 75p (£89/11/3) which in 2023 terms would be £1,565 and is a bargain — you’d be looking at £5,000 to £6,500 for such a suit today — so I suppose inflation has been higher for bespoke clothing. The average weekly male wage in 1963 was £16/4/- so the hat and shirt were two thirds of the weekly wage each and the suit cost about a month’s wages.

  7. 9:48 — there’s a second of footage of the middle of Steed’s flat halfway through Spagge telling Fleming what tea he wants; the vision mixer switched to the wrong channel, and was supposed to switch to the VTR of the venus fly trap, which we next see.
  8. 11:13 — Manley asks, “Mrs. Catherine Gale of 14 Primrose Hill?”
  9. 17:28 — Cathy detects hope — “According to your faith be done to you” says the Padre, then says Matthew 9. She corrects him, saying, “Mark” and he acquiesces. When he starts asking about Steed, she plays along and feeds him the lines he expects to hear.
  10. 20:55 — regular The Avengers prop, the cast iron spiral staircase, makes one of many appearances
  11. 27:21 and throughout — In Spagge’s hallway hangs a painting that looks very like the one Steed has over his mantelpiece in Series 6.
  12. 28:00 — Cathy states that the price of silver is 9/3 per ounce while gold is £12/10/-, 25 times as much.
  13. 33:50 — it’s a great set, but we KNOW there’s no rooftop right outside Steed’s windows, definitely not with flashing illuminated letters!
  14. 41:38 — When Benham presses the intercom button in the vault, the entire thing falls to the floor and the camera angle quickly changes to hide the fact.
  15. 42:58 — Westwood can’t steer the trolley at all and struggles to get down the perfectly straight corridor
  16. 44:55 — There’s a spot on the camera lens at top right in the two-up of Cathy & Abe
  17. They saved an actor’s fee by only having Inspector Grant as an unheard telephone caller, or just mentioned in conversation.
  18. Martin Friend (Hammond) returns two episodes later as the amiable George in The White Elephant, while Douglas Cummings returns four episodes later as Murdo in The Wringer.
  19. Katie the Great Dane, last seen in Death Of A Batman, returns in this episode, and whimpers (34:30) when Steed is ‘shot’ by Manley.

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