Series 4 - Episode 116½ stars
Man-eater of Surrey Green
by Philip Levene
Directed by Sidney Hayers
More science fiction, but it doesn't gel as well as other forays into the genre. A great bit of ad libbing by the principals and a decent script, but not great. Remind you of Doctor Who as well? The story was treated better there.
|Emma's Fashions||Steed's Fashions|
|Rolls Royce Silver Wraith LWB, with 'Teviot' Touring Saloon coachwork by Hooper & Co Ltd||KXQ 777|
|Lotus Elan S2||HNK 999C|
|Triumph military motorcycle||-|
|Triumph military motorcycle||-|
|Bedford 40cwt military truck||-|
|Triumph military motorcycle||D 512 752|
|Jaguar Mk II||-|
|Ford Thames truck||2705 VX|
|Ford Zephyr 1952-1956 convertible||637 CMU|
|Bedford flattop truck||-|
|Bob Pearson||Lennox V*||shotgun|
|Alan Carter||-||electrocuted by electric fence|
|John the Publican||plant V*||eaten|
|Laura Burford||plant V*||eaten|
|Dr Connelly||plant V*||eaten|
|Professor Taylor||plant V*||eaten|
|Professor Knight||plant V*||eaten|
|Lennox V*||plant V*||eaten|
Continuity and trivia
- 1:22 - Laura declares, "Reared from seed, Hermisis chloris, the first in captivity!" I'm not sure what plant she could be talking about... the closest I can find is Hermesias grandiceps (aka Brownea grandiceps Jacq.) However, this could be supposed to be a rarer taxa of Browneae. Another possibility is they've invented a name (or mispronounced it) for a rare orchid, which would fit the script. Cattleya chloris and Trevoria chloris are both South American orchids first described in the 1890s. All three of these plants are South American, so they may have just jammed the two together to invent a new species. The script transcriber had trouble as well, it reads "Amnisus gloriosa (?)".
- 6:16 - Sir Lyle's house is later resued as the location for the museum in The Danger Makers.
- 6:19-28, 13:22-39 - There's a thread caught in the lower edge of the camera lens in the MS of Steed getting out of the car. It reappears when he returns to the car seven minutes later.
- 9:55 - the venus fly traps are very fake and clearly mechanically controlled.
- 15:43 - The barn is reused as a location in Silent Dust (now Deeves Hall Cottage, near Ridge).
- 20:06 (20:30) - Errant nonsense; Mrs Peel, speaking of Mars and the Moon, tells Steed, "recent photographs show whole areas of vegetation". Did they really believe that in 1965?
- 21:47/22:25 - Petersen's number is Surrey Green 114.
- 22:00 - The outside is The Three Horseshoes and village green, Letchmore Heath, but the pub interior set is the same one as in Silent Dust.
- 26:55 - the cameraman loses focus when Carter walks behind the lamp and down stage.
- 27:52/28:42 - He's listed in the credits as Sir Lyle Peterson but the sign outside his property reads "Petersen Estate".
- 30:44 - Miss Sheldon declares that the plant needs cytochrome oxidase to grow - an enzyme only found in humans. However, this is not true, there are cytochrome c oxidases for a wide range of creature, notably bovine CcO, and the enzyme is used for the resiptatory system, converting oxygen into energy.
32:46/33:40 - For some completely unapparent reason, there's a slow close shot showing Mrs Peel's outfit, panning up her body and when we see her face, Diana Rigg yawns and turns away from the camera, whereupon Steed enters. Are we supposed to be seeing the plant's influence? Is Diana Rigg bored by science fiction? Answers, as always, on a postcard.
- 34:29 - the temperature gauge is suddenly back to 160 again, although we saw it rise to about 185 earlier.
- 34:36 - Mrs Sheldon says about the herbicide, "Nothing more effective than propryonic acid. A teaspoonful of this would kill a large oak tree." But propryonic acid is not a herbicide, it's a fatty acid which can inhibit the growth of mould and bacteria, so is most commonly used as a preservative for food and stock feed, it's also used on video and audio tape to inhibit mould growth.
- 35:32 - Sir Lyle's window is suddenly closed again.
- 37:16 - the cameraman loses focus on Emma and Steed as they approach Joby's stall in the pub, the camera focusing on the wooden backboard.
- 39:40 - Looks like Hal Galili doing the stunts for John G Heller.
- 39:59 - Miss Sheldon declares, "Oh, Yucca gloriosa! You should see it in the summer." Except it's not, it's an Agave, probably some ssp. of Agave americana or Agave diformis, but I'm no expert. There's a Yucca next to it, which she ignores.
- 41:40 - Diana Rigg does her own stunts here, but is replaced later on.
- 44:20 - stunt double for Diana (overshoulder throw and the mid and long shots of the fight) - it's probably Billy Westley Jr but he looks too bulky to me.
- 44:44 - stunt double for Patrick - looks like Cliff Diggins
There's a bit of debate about the scene where Steed kills the giant plant with the weed killer. Some believe him to be dousing Mrs Peel with the stuff, so when she's dragged into the gaping maw of the horrific beast the beast will die, but I think that's not the case, and here's my reasoning.
- 45:50 - Steed and Emma clash heads, knocking Emma out.
- 46:00 - Steed orders Sheldon to fetch the herbicide while he heads off to stage left.
- 46:12 - Peterson, who has gone to guard the door says, "For heaven's sake, hurry", - there's a strange cut in the scene which suggests a minor passage of time - Steed is suddenly elsewhere, things have moved, and then Steed starts pouring herbicide, apparently on Mrs Peel's unconscious body...
- 46:32 - but! we only see top half of the 'body' as it's doused and then dragged away by a tendril.
- 46:38 - we see, on stage left (the direction Steed headed earlier), a mannequin which was previously whole, with its top half missing.
- 46:47 - Miss Sheldon, cowering behind Steed in the doorway asks, "Do you think it'll work?"
- 48:02 - Steed turns around as the plant starts to convulse and die and goes into the room behind, where Emma is lying on the ground, face up and not wearing her jacket, recovering from the head-butt received in the fight - too quickly for her to have returned from the plant's grasp.
- 48:55 - in the location shot of the tractor towing our heroes away on the hay cart, there's a hair caught in the top right corner of the camera lens.
- Running time: 49'50"
- Brian Tesler, Production Controller for ABC Television, considered this script to be too 'science fiction' and sternly warned Julian Wintle that it ought to be broadcast late is the schedule.