• title card: white all caps text reading ‘ROOM WITHOUT A VIEW’ outlined in black and superimposed on a close-up of a Chinese disc wind chime
  • Mrs. Peel fights the laundryman who has helped abduct Dr. Wadkin
  • Pasold collapses as he tries to turn off the gas pouring from the radiator
  • Over the shoulder view of the guard stroking Mrs. Peel’s neck menacingly with his riding crop as she looks up at him from the straw floor
  • Steed remarks that Chessman’s business is booming as they regard the huge world map on the wall
  • Steed, in his white waiter’s uniform, encounters the gas-mask wearing guard hiding in the wardrobe or room 621
  • Steed turns to look towards us - and the oncoming guards, as he is unlocking Emma’s cell door; she peers through the grilled window
  • Steed conveys Emma away in a rickshaw (or at least, their stunt doubles do)

Series 4 — Episode 15
Room Without a View

by Roger Marshall
Directed by Roy Baker

Production No E.64.10.9
Production completed: April 29 1965. First transmission: January 4 1966.


Production dates: 15–29/04/1965

As always, Programme Controller Brian Tesler happily accepted Roger Marshall’s script without any rewrites, calling it good, and the episode started filming as soon as The Gravediggers finished, with Roy Baker once again directing.

In contrast to other episodes from this period, there was limited location filming done and most of it was realised in the studio. Two short sequences at the beginning, filmed near Ridge and the tag scene filmed on Silver Hill (which once again had sped up footage, raising the ire of Brian Tesler). When Rediffusion suddenly asked in August 1965 for episodes to be reduced to a 45 minute run time in return for an 8pm time slot, much to Julian Wintle’s displeasure, Tesler backed down on the sped up footage beef in an attempt to make peace with Telemen.

Regional broadcasts

Rediffusion London7/01/19668:00pm
ABC Midlands8/01/19669:05pm
ABC North8/01/19669:05pm
Anglia Television6/01/19668:00pm
Border Television9/01/19669:35pm
Channel Television8/01/19669:05pm
Grampian Television7/01/19668:00pm
Southern Television8/01/19669:05pm
Scottish Television4/01/19668:00pm
Tyne Tees Television7/01/19668:00pm
Ulster Television7/01/19668:00pm
Westward Television8/01/19669:05pm
Television Wales & West8/01/19669:05pm

TV Times listing

TV Times listing for January 7 1966, 8pm (London edition)
Sydney Morning Herald listing for March 29 1966, 8pm
The Age listing for March 22 1966, 7.30pm
The Age March 17 1966: Same girl — different roles

8.0 The Avengers
Patrick Macnee

as John Steed
Diana Rigg

as Emma Peel
Room Without a View
By Roger Marshall

In which Steed becomes a gourmet — and Emma wakes up in Manchuria …

Cast also includes

Chessman Paul Whitsun-Jones
Varnals Peter Jeffrey
Dr. Cullen Richard Bebb
Carter Philip Latham
Pasold Peter Arne
Pushkin Vernon Dobtcheff
Dr. Wadkin Peter Madden
Anna Wadkin Jeanne Roland

Music by Laurie Johnson
Directed by Roy Baker
Produced by Julian Wintle

ABC Weekend Network Production

International broadcasts

ABN2 Sydney, Australia29/03/19668:00pm
ABV2 Melbourne, Australia22/03/19667:30pm
ABC New York, USA27/06/196610:00pm
ORTF2 France27/7/91 FR3
Suisse Romande, Switzerland14/01/19678:35pm
French titleAvec vue imprenable
ZDF Germany8/08/19679:15pm
German titleGeschlossene Räume
KRO Netherlands28/01/19678:55pm
Dutch titleKamer zonder uitzicht (N2)
Italy (RAI 1)10/10/196910:00pm
Italian titleStanza 621 / Camera senza vista
Spanish titleUn cuarto sin vista / La habitación sin ventana

In the Netherlands, this episode was not in the television listings as it was the stand-by programme in case the footage for the MIX concert special did not arrive at the studio in time for broadcast. As the footage was delivered too late, this episode of “De wrekers” was broadcast in the timeslot.

USA: New York Times listing for June 27 1966, 10pm
Switzerland: Gazette de Lausanne listing for January 14 1967, 8.35pm
Spain: ABC Madrid listing for April 4 1967, 10.15pm
Italy: Radiocorriere listing for October 10 1969, 10pm
Italy: Radiocorriere episode summary
Germany: Hamburg Abendblatt listing for August 8 1967, 9.15pm

Episode Rating

Subject 0–5
Direction 4 stars
3½ stars
Humour 2 stars
3½ stars
4½ stars
4½ stars
3½ stars
3½ stars
7½ stars

Not funny. But it’s not meant to be — Chessman and his pawns play the Ministry for fools until the final denouément.

The Fashions

Emma’s Fashions Steed’s Fashions
  1. two-tone pink herringbone wool jacket with white scalloping on the unconnected front panels and neckline, hems, cuffs, a frog at the waist holding the jacket closed. Worn with a silk scarf and long-sleeved blouse, and a skirt to match the jacket (the hem scalloped, but not in white)
  2. high-collared fur lined dark vinyl coat with leather gloves over a grey marle collarless woollen dress, the hair in a bun
  3. boatneck blouse with long full sleeves pleated into long narrow cuffs with three cloth covered buttons, the blouse buttoned down the back with five or six matching buttons, tucked into dark pleated trousers, black shoes
  4. pale woollen tailored jacket with fake fur neckline of two interlocking arcs, matching skirt, black gloves and stiletto shoes, chinese parasol
  1. taupe overcoat, double-breasted with dark brown collar, dark brown bowler, three-piece brown suit with felt collar, single cloth-covered button closing the 2-vent jacket, matching buttons on waistcoat, white shirt dark tie with flower motif
  2. (1) without the overcoat
  3. (2) with a solid dark tie and diamond tiepin
  4. Pale grey single breasted three-piece suit, two vents, felted collar, tie with a dark occasional pattern, later with black bowler and umbrella, then without again
  5. chalk-stripe navy three-piece suit with white shirt (city collar, double cuff), solid dark silk tie with diamond pin, black bowler,
  6. dark single breasted three-piece suit, only two buttons on the torso, high waistcoat with six buttons, no visible pockets; with a dark tie, light shirt and black bowler
  7. tuxedo with shawl collar, silver button on black silk waistcoat, black silk piping down trouser seam, white pin-striped town shirt (white collar and single cuff, with square links) and black bow tie
  8. (2) with silk tie, no pattern, carnation in buttonhole, the buttons are hard and shiny
  9. waiter’s uniform

The Cars

Marque/Model/Type Number Plate
Bentley -
Laundry van 469 FLH
Rickshaw -

Who’s Killing Whom?

Victim Killer Method
Pasold Gas masked guard? V* poison gas?
Click a name to see the face

Continuity and trivia

  1. Jeanne Roland is unbilled as Anna which is surprising, considering how in demand she was at the time for both film and television.
  2. 1:34 — the initial zoom in on the hand clutching at the curtain is initially too high, and is out of focus.
  3. 3:30 onwards — in all the back-projection shots, there’s a diamond shaped artifact on the right side near the top, casting a shadow, only the loop of it is visible in the shots of Mrs. Peel.
  4. 6:27 — Steed reveals a personal knowledge of Nee San prison camp in Manchuria, suggesting he was once captured by the Chinese.
  5. 12:56 — Romo ran from the house but it looks like Michael Chow (for who Romo is doing stunts) getting into the back of the van.
  6. 18:24 — There’s an odd freeze-frame when the fake Dr. Cullen turns around — the extra must have been too quick in his movement.
  7. 18:37–45 — There’s a hair caught in the camera lens at bottom left.
  8. 25:33 — The lift attendant presses the button for the sixth floor, so how does Pasold end up at the fake floor six on floor seven? Is there a foot button that changes the destination?
  9. 33:39 — there’s a tiny thread caught on the very edge of the bottom of the transfer plate (it can’t be on a camera lens as it remains as the shots change). It remains until 34:54 .
  10. 33:55 — Chessman’s empire of hotels is far flung — He mentions overlooking the Acropolis and Repulse Bay, (Athens and Hong Kong) but he also has other hotels. The map on his wall shows London, Amsterdam, Berlin, Rome, Lisbon, Athens, Cairo, Cape Town, Karachi, Colombo, Singapore, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Sydney, Adelaide, Perth, Buenos Aires, St. John’s (Newfoundland), Boston, New York, Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles, and Honolulu.
  11. 34:20 — A member of the crew is in shot for a second, bending over to keep low and he dives under the table, trying to keep out of shot.
  12. 37:05 — Steed describes the cigar offered to him as Cuban, sun dried, hand rolled — rolled against the thigh of a jeune fille — echoes of a similar description at the cigar tasting in 19: The £50,000 Breakfast.
  13. 37:50 — The drama of the climax at end of Act 2, where Pasold’s body is found in the laundry hamper is diminished a bit by Peter Arne blinking.
  14. 43:00 — Mrs. Wadkin’s friend George is a waiter at the hotel, was he spying on her or an innocent employee?
  15. 47:15 — Steed disposes of the guard by compressing the air hose of his gas mask to deprive him of air and knock him out, much as he himself was knocked out in 5: Castle De’Ath. In both cases, surely pulling the mask aside would have stopped that working.
  16. 49:04 — Terry Plummer is stunt double for an extra in this episode, the sadistic guard played by Anthony Chinn. Romo Gorrara is the stunt double for Michael Chow. Billy Westley Jr does the leaps over the table in Diana Rigg’s fight scene and Mike Stevens is doubling for Patrick Macnee in the fight with the guards.
  17. 49:21 — Phillips product placement.
  18. 51:02 — Sped up footage of Steed towing the rickshaw, which enraged ABC Prgramme Controller, Brian Tesler.
  19. 51:02 — that’s not Macnee and Rigg in the long shot
  20. Running time 52′02″

A note on the timecodes

Timecodes for episodes are problematic as each release has its own quirks so the 2009–11 Optimum Releasing/Studio Canal DVD sets have different run times compared to the A&E and Contender DVD sets from a decade beforehand. The newer Studio Canal & Via Vision blu rays seems to be back in line with the earlier releases, except they often have StudioCanal idents lasting 20 to 22 seconds added to the beginning.

The Optimum Releasing/Studio Canal DVD releases were 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).

The 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 running 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).

Thankfully, the new blu ray releases for series 4–6 appear to use native 24fps with soft telecine so the running times and pitch all seem to be correct again along with a much greatly improved picture quality, most notably in the Tara King episodes which are finally (mostly) back to their original glory.

fan forum Donate Become a Patron!