• Close-up of Steed's hand holding the Malacca cane handle of his umbrella - the depth of field is narrow and the background is out of focus
  • Steed peers inside a teapot to see if the missing corpse is there
  • Mrs Peel lidts the lid of a huge jar to see if the missing corpse is there
  • Mrs Peel emerges from behind a screen in her leather catsuit
  • Steed sits at a table in the ornate room, wearing a dinner suit and holding a fencing rapier
  • Mrs Peel proudly announces that 'The nation is secure!'
  • The body revealed - a fishnet stockinged leg under a cricket pullover
  • Steed departs with te body, arm wrapped around her waist

The Strange Case of the Missing Corpse

Filmed on the set of Honey for the Prince, this three-minute advertisement for the US market announced that "The Avengers" were switching to colour film - a move entirely motivated by the sale to America as Britain still broadcast in black & white. This is the only time we see Emma Peel is that tight leather catsuit with the zips in colour, and it's revealed to be a deep mahogany instead of the black everyone always assumed it was.

As it's only three minutes long, I've transcribed the entire script. 4:38, at 1:38 there's rather obvious product placement for Moët et Chandon.

script

C/U STEED'S hand on umbrella handle, tapping his fingers impatiently.
MID OOF Doorway and signboard
PULL FOCUS as EMMA (DIANA RIGG) saunters in, waggling a gold revolver in her right hand. She's wearing a cream woolen suit with large buttons and a large, pale check, with matching rollneck skivvy.
HOLD on her. The signboard (OFF CENTRE) is revealed to say:
"THE AVENGERS
THE STRANGE CASE OF THE
MISSING CORPSE"
with a sticker obliquely accross it, RED ink on WHITE reading "IN COLOR" (sic)
EMMA: Right! Where is it?
C/U STEED (PATRICK MACNEE), looking surprised.
He is wearing a brown pinstripe suit with cream shirt and dark brown bowler hat and tie.
STEED: Where's what?
HOLD HIM.
EMMA (OC): The body!
STEED (furrows brow): The body?
C/U EMMA: Mmm! The corpus delecti - oh, I'm not particular; it could be stabbed, strangled, riddled with bullets, mutilated beyond recognition -
C/U STEED: You're quite right! Until we find a body -
C/U EMMA: - we've nothing to investigate
C/U STEED: We're defunct!
C/U EMMA: Obsolete! (crisply)
C/U STEED: Out of business (worriedly)
C/U EMMA, she turns and runs out of shot STAGE LEFT
C/U STEED
- he looks baffled, shakes his head,
and walks out of shot STAGE RIGHT
00:19
MID Emma searching a divan, throwing cushions carelessly over her shoulder.
GRAMS. Trombone fanfare
M/C/U STEED: Something's bound to turn up! There's always a body hanging around- (spots a teapot on a pillar) - somewhere - (picks it up and squints inside, then replaces it on the pillar)
MID Emma gives up on the sofa and heads towards a large honey jar.
STEED: - after all, it's only one body we need
EMMA (leaning on jar): I remember discovering three in one night
(She lifts the lid and looks inside)
One was in the closet, (replaces lid, moves STAGE RIGHT, under a palm frond) - another was underneath the bed and the third one arrived -
(CUT to MID Steed, smiling and leaning on umbrella) - on my breakfast tray.
STEED chuckles, CUT back to Emma, who adds:
EMMA: It was a four-star hotel
She backs off and heads STAGE RIGHT again;
CUT to C/U EMMA: Steed, it'll be a crime if we don't find a body.
M/C/U STEED: It'll be a crime if we do!
C/U EMMA, a gleam in her eye and a mischevious smile on her face
EMMA: Ah! But then I get a chance to exercise my feminie wiles.
She smiles and turns CUT back to Steed looking perplexed.
GRAMS. Drum roll
00:50
MID Emma enters from behind a curtained doorway
GRAMS. theme music; EMMA is wearing a tight black leather catsuit with silver
buckles and zips, and calf-length black boots.
She marches sexily towards the camera until in extreme C/U
EMMA: Attacked, I fight!
EMMA feigns a few karate blows [GRAMS. instrumental hits in time with action]
CUT to C/U STEED, looking excited, and bouncing on his feet like a boxer
CUT to EMMA, still feigning parries, then stops to say -
EMMA: Back and forth!
EMMA recommences action, CUT to STEED: Forth and back!
EMMA pauses to look at him, feigns a shoulder throw to her LEFT, then
grabs her own throat.
EMMA: I'm losing!
CUT to C/U STEED: No!
CUT to C/U EMMA - she stops and looks at him again
EMMA: No? Oh - (she stands up straight)
EMMA: A leg trip! Psssh! (feign action)
C/U STEED: A prodigious throw!
C/U EMMA - she does the action to her RIGHT, making a sound of exertion.
CUE SFX - heavy landing, broken crockery etc.
EMMA puts her right hand to her brow, and looks STAGE RIGHT, as though
peering at a distant object
C/U STEED, smiling and laughing
C/U EMMA -she turns to him, smiling
STEED (O/C): Very good!
01:15
CUT MID STEED, wearing a tuxedo and bow tie
STEED: Meanwhile, I'm invited to dinner by the diabolical mastermind
(sits at a table)
C/U EMMA: Of course, it's a trap.
CLOSER STEED: He wants to find out how much I know.
C/U EMMA: How much do you know? (wrinkles eyebrows)
MID STEED/STEED: Ah (wags finger)
C/U EMMA / EMMA: You fence with him -
CUT back to STEED, who picks up the foil that has appeared on the table,
and points it at camera
STEED: Right!
CUE SFX - crashing of metal
C/U EMMA, pursing lips in disapproval
EMMA (sarcastic): Verbally!
MID STEED: Eh?
C/U EMMA, nods briskly.
MID STEED: Oh! (puts down foil)
C/U EMMA: He plies you with champagne?!
MID STEED (picking up the bottle that has appeared)
STEED: That's very nice of him
(examines the label) An excellent vintage!
Er.. for a diabolical mastermind (feigns seriousness)
C/U EMMA: Don't drink it!
MID STEED: Poison?
C/U EMMA: Worse!
MID STEED: Not...?
C/U EMMA she nods.
MID STEED: Never fear!
(he feigns throwing the content of the glass at camera)
CUE SFX water splashing
C/U EMMA looking unamused
MID STEED: Tossed the glass in his face.
Feigns karate strike with LEFT hand [CUE SFX]
STEED: Fell him with a single blow!
C/U EMMA: I burst in shooting! brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!
(turns head towards STAGE RIGHT as she rolls the rs)
C/U STEED: The secret of the double-barrelled atomic sock-knitter is safe!
GRAMS. drum roll
C/U EMMA, who gazes skyward, RIGHT: The nation is secure!
STOCK Union Jack being raised up a flagpole in high wind
01:59
MID EMMA & STEED sitting on the divan, looking disconsolate
EMMA: Feels very strange without a body
ZOOM IN UNTIL THEY ARE FRAMED
STEED: Not like home at all
EMMA: I feel a deep sense of loss (holds her LEFT side in pain)
STEED: When you think of all the bodies we've had in the past..
(waves hand in resignation)
EMMA: More than we needed sometimes
STEED: Didn't nkow when we were lucky...
STEED looks down and clicks his fingers
CUT to C/U of a white fur rug
STEED (O/C): The bearskin rug!
CUT back to STEED and EMMA - he turns his umbrella around to use
the handle to lift the rug
STEED: We haven't looked under there
EMMA: Steed! Whoever heard of finding a body under a bearskin -
GRAMS. light humorous music
C/U of a rug being pulled back by the umbrella handle to reveal a
shapely leg in fishnet stockings disappearing into a cricket jersey.
EMMA (O/C): Bare skin!
The legs move inticingly.
CUT to STEED and EMMA
EMMA: It is a body!
STEED: A woman's body!
GRAMS. light romantic music
CUT to the rug being pulled away to reveal a pretty blonde
(VALERIE VAN OST), who sits up and winks at him
CUT to STEED and EMMA
EMMA: But it's alive...
STEED: I don't mind... I'll handle this personally!
[He stands at the word 'this']
CUT to FAR shot of STEED offering VALERIE his hand
She gets up and they turn to leave arm in arm
[GRAMS. theme music] They stop and look back halfway
to the door, then depart, STEED patting her bottom
EMMA sighs, lifts a cushion to reveal a half-knitted sock which she
picks up and start to knit.
FADE TO BLACK. F/U SLIDES:
02:49 - titles as per the signboard (without sticker)
02:50 - sticker overlaid, and flashes on and off several times
02:52 - coloured spot overlays
03:03 - ABC television ident

Crew

Teleplay by Brian Clemens regular New Avengers Dangerman The Champions The Professionals Adam Adamant
All characters and events in this Teleplay are fictitious. Any similarity to actual events or persons, living or dead, is purely co-incidental.
Directed by James Hill regular New Avengers The Saint
Produced by Juilan Wintle regular
In Charge of Production Albert Fennell regular New Avengers The Professionals
Music by Laurie Johnson regular New Avengers The Professionals Jason King
Associate Producer Brian Clemens regular New Avengers Dangerman The Champions The Professionals Adam Adamant
Photography Lionel Banes regular The Saint
Art Director Harry Pottle regular 007 Carry On..
Film Editor Lionel Selwyn regular
Production Manager Geoffrey Haine regular The Champions
© Associated British Productions Limited MCMLXVI
Diana Rigg's wardrobe designed by John Bates regular
and her shoes by Edward Rayne regular
Assistant Director Richard Dalton regular
Camera Operator Tony White regular The Saint Space 1999 Department S
Casting Director G.B. Walker regular The Saint
Continuity June Randall regular 007 The Saint
Make-up George Blackler regular The Saint Carry On..
Hairdresser Bill Griffiths regular
Wardrobe Jackie Jackson regular
Sound Editor Jack T. Knight regular New Avengers 007 Space 1999
Sound Recording Simon Kaye regular 007 Indiana Jones
Dubbing Mixer Len Abbott regular The Champions The Saint Department S
Recording Director A.W. Lumkin regular The Saint
Stunt Arranger Ray Austin regular New Avengers The Professionals The Saint Randall and Hopkirk The Champions Department S Space 1999
ABC Production

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