Series 4 - Episode 268 stars
Honey for the Prince
by Brian Clemens
Directed by James Hill
We end the season with a bang - a middle eastern fantasy on many levels. Fantasies within the fantasy devolve to reveal the ways and means, and the evil hand behins the scenes. Great stuff.
- Sleeveless evening dress, all the material above the waist finished in a hearts and flowers embroidery pattern, at the waist a bow in plain cloth, with the skirt of the dress also plain, reaching to the ankles, worn with white shoes and a matching shawl.
- (1) without the shawl
- White double-breasted jacket with a thin square pattern, six large black buttons, two very short vents, slanted hip pockets covered with flaps; worn with a white rollneck shirt with large double cuffs, semi-open, white hipster pants with a black belt and Edward Rayne's white boots with the black stripe down the middle.
- (3) without the jacket
- black sleeveless top with a handkerchief over her face (rest of clothes not visible)
- Harem pants and bustier, veils (of Turkish design)
- White jacket like (3), but without the thin plaid, worn with checked pants and the black top of (7)
- Tuxedo (shawl collar in silk, trousers piped, no vents in the jacket), white-collared pinstriped shirt with double cuffs and cufflinks, black bow tie, black silk waistcoat with silver buttons, silk waistless overcoat with raglan sleeves, dress shoes, black leather gloves
- (1) without the overcoat
- (2) without the jacket and gloves
- (1) without the gloves
- (4) without the overcoat
- Polo shirt (long-sleeved, raglan cut) and dark trousers
- brown three-piece suit, two vents, high waistcoat with dark buttons; with dark tie, light shirt, matching bowler and umbrella
- Black polo shirt and matching trousers
- pale grey three-piece suit with grey bowler and umbrella, white shirt and metallic tie
- (9) without the bowler
- black rollneck skivvy (rest of clothes not visible)
- brown country suit with a dark waistcoat (6 buttons), light shirt and cravat, worn with a matching stovepipe hat.
Click a name to see the face
Continuity and trivia
- 2:30 - Steed and Emma return drunkenly from an all night party over Tyke's Water Bridge.
- 3:16 - Those aren't bloody handprints, they're paint-dripping handprints!
- 4:41/4:35 - Steed tells Emma to ring Colonel Robertson, let him know what's happened and arrange for the body to be removed. When he returns to his flat later and sees Bernie's feet sticking out from behind the sofa, he calls Robertson again (18:32/19:10), angry that the body is still "making the place very untidy". Robertson appears to be someone Steed reports to, and is probably the same Colonel he rings in How to Succeed .... At Murderand mentions on the 'phone in The House That Jack Built.
- 6:00 - Macnee does some of his own stunts here, although in the long shots it's a stand-in.
- 12:22 - When Steed gets no response from the man dressed as Napoleon, so he addresses him in French: "Je vous en prie, monsieur; pardon mon général, mon brave général... je cherche M. Hopkirk" - which elicits a smile from the general.
- 13:06 - Hopkirk tells Napoleon, "Won't keep you long Napoleon, Wellington's just getting his boots on."
- 14:50 - Peter Diamond may be a great stuntman but he's terrible at dying on stage without melodramatics.
- 17:33/18:00 - Hopkirk tell Steed, "I know, you're a secret agent. Licenced to kill, pitting your wits against a diabolical mastermind;" Steed initially thinks his cover is blown but then Hopklirk continues, "It would make a change from your everyday humdrum existence".
- 22:05 - Yet another silenced revolver offered by Hopkirk - and another, real one, used by Vincent later on. Silencers don't work on most revolvers due to the gap between the barrel and the cylinder.
- 37:25 - Steed give Prince Ali a full commentary of the last Test Match - but who are Scott Gordon and Fiennes-Barnes?
- 42:01 - Diana Rigg hurriedly hitches up her pants which are in danger of revealing more than she intended.
- 42:05 - 47:00 - There's a duty roster for the wives, Emma being added by Henry as she start to search for the assassin:
||No. 51 - Jessica
||No. 184 - Jose
||No. 304 - Carol
||No. 53 - Babie
||No. 76 - Rose
||No. 45 - Naja
||No. 72 - Zena
||No. 42 - Sharron
||No. 238 - Miffy
||No. 41 - Freda
||No. 78 - Zoie
||No. 119 - Mary
||No. 321 - Emma
The rooms in the hareem are arranged thus:
238 - Miffy
119 - Mary
76 - Rose
?? - ??
?? - ??
45 - Naja
78 - Zoie
72 - Zena
61 - Freda
53 - Babie
51 - Jessica
?? - ??
There's no sign of Florrie, Ethel or the unnamed wives 4 and 33, or the rooms for the other wives on the roster.
- 45:30 - It's Diana Rigg doing the throwing, but it's a stuntman being thrown.
- 45:30-47:00 - When Emma runs down the hall to save the Prince, it's outside the rooms of Freda & Babie (Vincent already having been shown to be hiding in Freda's room but he's emerging from Babie's room). After Vincent is thrown across the hallway, they're fighting outside the rooms of Zoie and Zena, which is further down the corridor but he looked to have been thrown up the corridor.
- 47:10 - Emma turns over the QQF fantasy to read the subject, but in the long shot it's turn back over again.
- 48:28 - you can see the wire holding up the back of the "flying carpet".
- 48:49 - The Avengers depart down the same road as usual.
- Ron Moody returns in The Bird Who Knew Too Much as the feather-brained Professor Jordan.
- The set of Prince Ali's palace was used for the filming of the short promotional film for the upcoming colour season, The Strange Case of the Missing Corpse.
- Running time: 49'41"
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.