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  • title card: white all caps text reading 'THE WHITE ELEPHANT' superimposed on an extreme close-up of George
  • Noah sits at his desk, a parrot on his shoulder
  • Steed is impressed by the craftsmanship of Gourlay; M<r Fitch looks on approvingly
  • Madge reaches behind a mannequin wearing an iron collar and chains
  • Brenda stands in foreground right, looking worried in the light while Conniston stands in the shadows behind her on the left
  • Steed and Conniston wrestle for the gun amongst the cages of animals

Series 3 - Episode 17
The White Elephant

by John Lucarotti
Designed by Philip Harrison
Directed by Laurence Bourne

Production Schedule

Episode 69
Production Number : 3616
VTR/ABC/3168 and 3168A+B
Teddington Studio 1

Tuesday 21st November 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
Line Up 19.00-19.30
VTR Inserts 19.30-21.00

Friday 22nd November 1963

Camera rehearsal 10.00-13.00
Lunch break 13.00-14.00
Camera rehearsal 14.00-15.30
Tea break, line up,
normal scan and 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: 51'41"

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).


London 4th January 1964
Sydney 2nd February 1965
Melbourne 21st February 1966


Cameras: Five Pedestals
VTR Insert: 3 Pedestals, Mole Crane with Zoom
Sound: 3 booms, Grams, Tape, FX
Telecine: ABC Symbol/Avengers Opening
VTR Inserts: VTR/ABC/3168 A+B

VTR Inserts:

  • 3168A - 33:30-34:13 - Steed breaks into the foundry, fights with the welder and then discovers Snowy in the back room.
  • 3168B - 47:29-49:49 - Steed and Cathy fight Conniston and Brenda in the zoo grounds.


Victim Killer Method
George Lew Conniston blunt instrument
Click a name to see the face


  1. 1:23 - there's a heart shaped smear on the lens of camera 1A, just to the right of dead centre in Hammond's CU.
  2. 1:27 - The opening credits feature a fade out under the titles, then a fade in to the daffodil on which Steed is practicing yogic concentration.
  3. 2:23 - there's a smudge on the lens of camera 4B, vertically middle, 1/8 in from right.
  4. 8:22 - soft ivory : an average pair of male elephant tusks can weigh up to 50 lbs.
  5. 8:44-9:58 (8:30) - a fly made it way into the transfer booth when the film was being remastered for DVD, and buzzes alarmingly around Steed's head - it remains on screen for over a minute. The recent "remastering" sadly didn't correct this, and the fly remains.
  6. 18:15 - two episodes in a row, Cathy finds a man hanged in a cupboard - she last found Edwards in The Medicine Men.
  7. 29:40 - Steed rings someone called Walmsley to ask that an inquiry be made into the disappearance of Professor Thaddeus Lawrence.
  8. 29:50 - Steed's 'phone number is Whitehall 0011.
  9. 35:00 - you can clearly see Brenda through one of the windows of Noah's office - you'd think he would have spotted her as he peered out the window on the landing.
  10. 39:10 - Cathy tricks Lawrence into using a garotte instead of a gun, and easily overpowers him.
  11. 47:40 - The fight between Steed and Conniston at the end resulted in a cruelty probe into ABC Television, as many of the animals on set are clearly agitated by the noise. There were reports at the time that a hornbill died during filming. Their cage is right where Conniston keeps firing his revolver; both are still standing at the end of the scene, but one hasn't moved for a while.
  12. 48:00 et passim - the cameramen keep losing focus during the dimly-lit fight scene, notably at 49:10.
  13. Martin Friend, last seen as the bullied Hammond in The Gilded Cage, returns as the amiable George.

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