• title card: white all caps text reading ‘DRESSED TO KILL’ superimposed on a close-up of Christmas decorations — a bauble and some tinsel
  • Some of the fancy dress guests jostle the conductor — the disguised Newman
  • Steed cheekily tweaks the tail of Pussycat’s costume and she responds with saucily feigned indignation, Preston and the barman are in the background on the right
  • Newman, on the right now out of his beard disguises, confers with the barman after drugging Dorothy
  • Steed tries to pick the lock of the handcuffs which are keeping him and Cathy prisoner
  • Back at Steed’s flat, Cathy and Steed sit back to back and enjoy some champagne from champagne saucers

Series 3 — Episode 14
Dressed To Kill

by Brian Clemens
Designed by David Marshall
Directed by Bill Bain

Production No 3617, VTR/ABC/3194
Production completed: December 6 1963. First transmission: December 28 1963.

Production Schedule

Episode 70
Production Number : 3617
Teddington Studios 2 & 3

Thursday, 5th December, 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
Turn Round to Studio 3 and Line Up 19.00–19.45
2 VTR Inserts 19.45–21.00

VTR Inserts:

  • Scene 7 – 2:33–6:09 — Steed and Cathy in his flat — Cathy drops round the night after Steed missed his own party.
  • Scene 64 – 48:35–51:00 — Steed and Cathy in his flat — tag scene

Friday, 6th December, 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, 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″ – 2 commercial breaks
Actual running time with bumpers: 50′52″

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).


Cameras: Mole Crane. 3 Pedestals.3 Pedestals.
2 – 35m/m Machines.
6 – 35m/m clips. (3 mute. 3 SOF)
1 – 16m/m Machine.
Caption Scanner.
VTR Inserts: (2) 4min & 1 min respectively.


ATV London28/12/196310.05pm
ABC Midlands28/12/19638.55pm
ABC North28/12/19638.55pm
Anglia Television28/12/19638.55pm
Border Television28/12/196310.05pm
Channel Television28/12/196310.05pm
Grampian Television28/12/19638.55pm
Southern Television28/12/196310.05pm
Scottish Television28/12/19638.55pm
Tyne Tees Television28/12/19638.55pm
Ulster Television28/12/19638.55pm
Westward Television28/12/19638.55pm
Television Wales & West28/12/19638.55pm
Teledu Cymru (WWN)28/12/19638.55pm
ABN2 Sydney22/12/19648.00pm
ABV2 Melbourne17/01/19668.00pm

This episode was already scheduled to be broadcast (in London) when it was under production.

In Sydney and Canberra, this was the first episode of the second series of The Avengers.

TV Times listing

TV Times listing for December 28 1963, 8.55pm (Anglia edition)
Sydney Morning Herald listing for December 22 1964, 8pm
The Age listing for January 17 1966, 8pm

8.55 The Avengers
Patrick Macnee
Honor Blackman


Dressed to Kill
A story for the New Year by Brian Clemens

Cast in order of appearance

Newman Leon Eagles
First officer Peter Fontaine
John Steed Patrick Macnee
Catherine Gale Honor Blackman
Napoleon Alexander Davion
Pussy Cat Anneke Wills
Barman Frank Maher
Highwaywoman Anthea Wyndham
Policeman Richard Leech
Sheriff John Junkin
Robin Hood Leonard Rossiter

Story Editor Richard Bates
Producer John Bryce
Directed by Bill Bain

In which Steed is quick on the draw; and Cathy becomes a highwaywoman

ABC Television Network Production


Victim Killer Method
Sheriff Newman bow and arrow
Napoleon Steed revolver
Newman Cathy flintlock pistol
Click a name to see the face

Continuity and trivia

  1. 1:00 — speck on camera lens, top centre and left
  2. 2:33–6:09 — VTR A : Cathy arrives as Steed tries to clean up his messy flat. The scene is notable for a rubber chicken, teddy bear wearing a hat and the first appearance of Steed’s tuba, with a baguette inside it.
  3. 5:38 — speck on camera lens at top right
  4. 6:00 — That’s quite a wide-ranging New Year’s party — “Bambury, Wolverhampton, Wellington, Shrewsbury, Wrexham, and Chester. It begins at Paddington.”
  5. 6:09 — telecine insert — CU of steam and wheels. After that, they didn’t bother popping down from the studio to film at Paddington — they superimpose Steed upon a still backdrop as he does his John Wayne impression. It’s marred slightly by a speck on the camera lens near top right.
  6. 6:38 — The sign at the platform entrance is mis-spelled: “All season tickets to be shewn”.
  7. 7:15 — Steed chats up the girl dressed as a rose bush while waiting to get on the train.
  8. 9:02 — There’s a speck near the centre of the camera lens as Dorothy walks along the platform.
  9. 9:37 — Jane is blowing bubbles, but some come wafting in from the right of the screen.
  10. 12:54–13:07 — telecine of stream and wheels.
  11. 13:41–13:50 — telecine of stations rushing past.
  12. 14:50, 5:55 and throughout — Steed was ‘invited’ by Tony Linklater, Cavendish by Charlie Minters, the policeman by Sir Arthur Lyndon, Frederick Preston (claimed to be) by Major Manvell, the Sheriff by the Irish Sweepstakes people, Dorothy Wilson by her editor; we don’t know who was supposed to have invited the pussy cat — she doesn’t care so long as she has a good time.
  13. 16:32–45 — telecine of train tracks diverging.
  14. 16:57–17:08 — telecine of the train slowing down.
  15. 17:13 — Steed counts down to midnight — “five four three…” but his watch shows it’s 11:59:08 when he starts.
  16. 17:28 — an extra telecine insert in the script at this point was dropped, probably because it was getting repetitive and making the episode run over.
  17. 17:42 — Anneke Wills, who can’t sing, ad libs “But I can’t sing”, and shouts the words to “Auld Lang Syne” instead.
  18. 18:58 — They’re not in Wolverhampton at all, but at the disused station “Badger’s Mount”. Badger’s Mount was the scene of a huge battle between the forces of Genghis Khan’s hordes and the Jin Chinese in 1211:
    Badger’s Mount Campaign (獾兒嘴及野狐嶺戰役): Happened in August 1211 — Facing the vast Jin forces, Genghis Khan decided to only way of victory is to charge his cavalry directly past the Jin front line and attack their supply camps. Jin forces were surprised by the might of the Mongol cavalry and could not hold the front line. Mongol cavalry commenced to raid the Jin supply camps and killed many resting and unsuspecting Jin soldiers. Jin tried to retreat to support their camps but they can no longer establish central command in the chaos. At the end many Jin soldiers were slaughtered and the survivors retreated in disarray. The bloodlusted Mongol cavalry further gave chase and killed even more Jin soldiers for a hundred Li.
  19. 27:22 — what is the significance of the bubbles being blown across the platform? Jane has them earlier — is it a red herring, or the suggestion the barman is lurking behind the fence? Jane’s in the waiting room at the time. Thinking about it, given the other incriminating false clues left behind, the barman is probably laying an extra clue linking Jane to the murder of the sheriff.
  20. 29:50 — there’s a hair stuck to the transfer plate at top left, it remains on screen until 37:16 (the start of Act Three).
  21. 35:05 — a camera enters the shot on the left, in preparation for the upcoming CU of the map at 35:10.
  22. 47:15 — when the barman crashes into the weight machine, it chirpily announces “You are 6 stone 2 and have a strenuous day ahead”. It then announces, “You are 18 stone and …”. The voice of the machine sounds exactly like the talking suitcase in Take Me to Your Leader, which was voiced by Harvey Hall.
  23. 47:48 — In the duel at the end, Preston must be a bad shot because he beats Steed to the draw.
  24. 48:02 — the conductor is already pulling back the string of the bow as he raises it, but in the CU it’s raised, but back at slack.
  25. 48:20 — the swelling notes of a Western theme plays as the villains lie dead in the dust.
  26. The central plot of this episode was reworked and elaborated upon by Brian Clemens to become The Superlative Seven with Diana Rigg — but that storyline is much more tongue in cheek.

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