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  • title card: white all caps text reading 'THE CYBERNAUTS', superimposed on a crushed pen lying on some typed pages
  • Mrs Peel has removed her shoes but kept her tight suit on to spar with Oyuka who more sensibly wears a karate gi. A ceremonial gong stands at the back of the dojo
  • Steed stands in the hole made by the cybernaut, raising his hat above his head to indicate how much taller the cybernaut is
  • The inert cybernaut sits in an armchair, dressed in a suit, coat, tribly hat, gloves and sunglasses. The room behind is bare and utilitarian, he casts a dramatic shadow toward the left
  • Dr Armstrong has turned from watching his monitor while Benson stands beside him, pointing his revolver towards the camera - and Steed
  • The CCTV monitor shows Mrs Peel staring up into the camera inside the lift, her hands defiantly on her hips
  • Mrs Peel tips the fused cybernaut backwards with her index finger
  • Mrs Peel is no help with Steed's crossword - exterior scene of Steed sitting in a vintage car, it's Winter and they both wear heavy clothes. She offers him one of Armstrong's cybernaut-attracting pens which he declines

Series 4 - Episode 3
The Cybernauts

8½ stars

by Philip Levene
Directed by Sidney Hayers

Episode Rating

Subject 0-5
Direction 4 stars
3½ stars
Humour 3 stars
Intros/tags 4 stars
Villains 5 stars
Plot 5 stars
3½ stars
Sets/Props 4 stars
8½ stars

A science-fiction flavour pulls this episode away from its stablemates, and creates a new television genre along the way. Michael Gough plays the diabolical mastermind perfectly.

The Fashions

Emma's Fashions Steed's Fashions
  1. red and black woolen jacket with fake fur at hem line and collar, fastened by three frogs, matching knee-length skirt and black high heels, black leather gloves and handbag.
  2. Tailored wool suit with skirt, four cloth covered button on jacket waist, thin lapels small shoulder pads, tailored breast, short jacket-skirt with no vents, large flat chevron flap-covered pockets on hips, knee length skirt (zipped up back), grey rollneck cotton skivvy (long-sleeved), black gloves and stiletto patent leather heels
  3. (2) without the jacket
  4. (2)
  5. karate pyjamas with white belt
  6. red chinese-style jacket with yellow piping (no collar, vent slits on hips, just below waist length, open in front held at neck with a gold pin), with knee-length dress (long-sleeved, probably also red, with a thin belt at waist), black stiletto heels
  7. thick black pullover under thick, coarse-knitted double-breasted jacket with silver buttons
  8. black leather overall with black rollneck skivvy (long-sleeved), knee-high boots
  9. (8) with leather jacket (two short vents, flat slit pockets)
  10. (7) with black wool head scarf, driving gloves and knee-length skirt, black heels
  1. Pale grey single breasted three-piece suit, two vents, felted collar, hard buttons, slanted covered hip pockets, matching bowler, white shirt, light silk tie.
  2. (1) with a knitted tie, grey umbrella with whangee cane handle, white city shirt with pinstripes and solid collar - later without the bowler
  3. suede-fronted brown cardigan with wide lapels, brown slacks and chelsea boots, black rollneck shirt
  4. navy chalk stripe three-piece single breasted suit, single vent. Worn with a white shirt and dark tie, with gemstone tiepin, and Cheslea boots.
  5. brown serge suit, single-breasted and double vented, waistcoat with wide lapels to match the jacket, black umbrella with whangee handle, black Chelsea boots and black bowler hat. A beige shirt and deep crimson tie with blue and orange flower pattern.
  6. Grey single breasted three-piece suit, two vents, flap pockets, lapels on the waistcoat. Worn with dark shirt (probably khaki) and metallic tie (probably bronze), subsequently with thick tan overcoat with dark collar, then without it again
  7. (6) with tan overcoat

The Cars

Marque/Model/Type Number Plate
wheelchair -
Lotus Elan S2 HNK 999C
Humber Beeston 16/20hp 1906 4-Litre Roi des Belges Tourer LN 42

Who's Killing Whom?

Victim Killer Method
Walter Carson Roger the Cybernaut V* fractured skull (prior to episode)
Andrew Denham Roger the Cybernaut V* fractured skull (prior to episode)
Samuel Hammond Roger the Cybernaut V* broken neck
Robert Lambert Roger the Cybernaut V* beaten to death
Jephcott Roger the Cybernaut V* beaten to death
Dr Armstrong V* Roger the Cybernaut & Cybernaut 2 V* beaten to death
Click a name to see the face

Continuity and trivia

  1. 2:18 - the close-up is out of sequence, showing Hammond snapping the breech of his shotgun closed but in the long shot just beforehand he had finished doing this and had moved away from the desk.
  2. 4:20/4:08 - Mrs Peel says Denham was head of Automatic Industries but Tusamo's appointment list has Automatic Industrials at 2.30pm (17:40).
  3. 12:09 - there's a thread stuck to the centre top of the camera lens in Oyuka's CU. It returns at 12:22 when Oyuka goes for Mrs Peel knee, and again as Mrs Peel bows to Sensei at 12:39.
  4. 5:00 - The sign behind the security guard reads "Industrial Developments", but whenever the company is mentioned by characters, it's a somewhat obvious overdub of Industrial Deployments - must have been a legal issue, similar to the redubs in A Sense of History.
  5. 14:39 - "This heralds a new age Mr Steed; computers no bigger than a cigarette box." Prophetic words indeed! Was Armstrong really planning on building an Android 'phone? (ha ha)
  6. 15:08 - the cultural confusion: Steed asks if Tusamo has just quoted Confuscius but Hirachi is clearly meant to be a Japanese company, not Chinese. Emma makes the same mistake at 16:38.
  7. 16:58 - Tusamo's appointments:
    3.15. p.m. UNITED AUTOMATION

    But Benson had gone in before Steed and it was clearly Jephcott arriving after him!

  8. 18:10 - Mrs Peel's cover when investigating Jephcott is that she represents a firm called "Winnell and Fentle's chain stores", a Spoonerist reference to series produces (Julian) Wintle and (Albert) Fennell.
  9. 26:29 - the cameraman is slow to get focus on the change of shot back to Armstrong.
  10. 27:27/28:20 - Surely Steed can hear Dr Armstrong's side of his conversation with Benson - I'd prick up my ears if Armstrong said "But Lambert's dead".
  11. 28:47 - weird smudge appears at top left - it looks like someone has scribbled on the film.
  12. 29:20 - Emma's make-up is very pale - mod or shocked?
  13. 37:01 - A Bond reference? Steed crawls through the ducting, à la "Dr No".
  14. 37:45/38:14 - Steed turns the thermostat up from 40°F to 82°F, but even that's not really hot enough to make them break out in a sweat unless their jackets are particularly warm.
  15. 39:52 - Steed appears to dial 246 as the start of Emma's number.
  16. 41:51 - Steed uses the phrase "government by automation" which I'm sure is repeated in the 1967 android thriller, Never, Never Say Die.
  17. 44:53 - That looks like Ray Austin flying over the desk.
  18. 46:45 - It has long been held that when the cybernauts are fighting in Armstrong's warehouse, knocking boxes about the place, you can just catch a stage hand's hand pushing one of them over on the left of the screen. Hacving rewatched the restored footage, it's clear that it's Roger's right hand, and not a badly-positioned stagehand at all.
  19. 50:00 - Steed's vintage car in the tag scene, the Beeston Humber 16/20hp, appeared in Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines (1965) as the car belonging to the German entrant, Colonel Manfred von Holstein (Gert Fröbe). It's from the film that I have been able to confirm the colour and number plate as when the car was recently auctioned the plate was no longer in place. The car is painted post office red with brass metalwork and burgundy leather upholstery.
  20. This and the next episode sit strangely together, as they both have a wheelchair-bound diabolical masterminds, although their motives are diametrically opposed.
  21. running time: 49'56"
A note on the timecodes
Where I have listed two sets of timecodes, the first is from the 2009-11 Optimum Releasing/Studio Canal DVD sets, any other timecodes are from the A&E and Contender DVD sets from a decade beforehand.
The new releases have been remastered and their frame rate has been changed, resulting in a shorter running time. However, the picture quality has increased markedly. I assume this is because they used a simple 2:2 pulldown (24 @ 25) when converting from the original film masters (film runs at 24 frames per second, while PAL runs at 25fps, the new DVDs are in PAL format).
This pulldown was also the cause of audio errors on many episodes, especially for Series 5, as the audio sped up to match the new rate (4% faster), rather than being properly pitch-shifted. Checking the dialogue sheets, which list the feet and frames of the reels, it looks like the speed change is around 5.04%, so there may be some cuts as well - probably from around the commercial breaks and ends of reels, as they amount to about 25 seconds. All my assumptions are based on the episodes having been filmed on standard 35mm film, which has 16 frames per foot and runs at 24 frames per second, so a minute of footage uses 90 feet of film (1,440 frames).
These audio errors have been corrected in the currently available DVDs, but the 2:2 pulldown remains. There is also the addition of a Studio Canal lead-in, converted to black and white to match the episode for Series Four, but colour for Series Five, adding an extra 18 or 19 seconds to the runnning time and making it harder to match timecodes with previous releases. It's annoying that it has been slapped on every single episode, Series 1-3 didn't suffer this indignity.
The previous Contender and A&E DVD releases didn't seem to suffer from these problems, so I assume they either used soft telecine and preserved the original 24fps rate of the film (my preferred option in DVDs) or they used 24 @ 25 pulldown (2:2:2:2:2:2:2:2:2:2:2:3 Euro pull-down). Let's hope the much-rumoured bluray release will revert to native 24fps with soft telecine so we won't have these problems again.

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