Series 5 - Episode 27½ stars
The Fear Merchants
by Philip Levene
Directed by Gordon Flemyng
Steed puts out a light
Emma takes fright
|Set Design||3½ stars|
Psychological thrillers are right up my alley, so I give this episode the thumbs up. I don't know if you could exactly call it a likeable episode, but one may appreciate its darkness. Great acting and a strong plot make this a most memorable episode.
A man awakes in the middle of Wembley stadium and goes mad,
but he's not the only one.
Emma receives a box of chocolates - but it's empty except for a card from Steed declaring they're needed.
All of Jeremy Raven's business rivals are going mad or dying, through one fear or another. The Business Efficiency Bureau have a motto: "our merchandise is fear" - they discover people's fears and frighten them to death. Steed, determined to get to the bottom of their plot, enrols as a client and Mrs Peel becomes his business rival. The Avengers close down the B.E.B. by discovering the evildoers are afraid of the dark.
Mrs Peel discovers that Steed is afraid she may have run out of champagne.
|Rolls Royce Silver Cloud III standard steel saloon (external shots)
Rolls Royce Phantom V 7-passenger limousine (H J Mulliner Park-Ward coachwork)
|porcelain white||CKP 500C|
|Morris Mini||green & white||843 XKK|
|Ford Thames 800 Estate Car||red & white||-|
|Bentley 1928||British racing green||YK 6871|
|NSU Prinz IV||red||-|
|Humber Super Snipe Series V (1965)||blue/grey, red upholstery||DLA 714C|
|Lotus Elan S3||glacier blue||SJH 499D|
|Humber Super Snipe Series V (1965)||blue/grey||FUB 363C|
|Fowler Bulldozer||yellow||LYV 100|
|Gordon White||Gilbert V*||Scared out a window|
|Gilbert V*||Steed & himself V*||Crushed by bulldozer during fight|
|Richard Meadows||Gilbert V*||Left in the middle of Wembley Stadium in his pyjamas|
|John Tyler||Gilbert? V*||Left on a mountain top in his pyjamas|
|David Wallace||Gilbert? V*||Left on raft in English Channel in a dinner suit and cummerbund|
|Fox||Gilbert? V*||Mouse put into his shirt|
|Crawley||Gilbert V*||Passenger of speeding car|
|Jeremy Raven V*||Gilbert V*||Large spider|
Continuity and trivia
- 6:00 - White and Crawley is (or was) a respectable firm of picture framers, picture restorers and museum providores - they've framed much of H.M. Queen Elizabeth II's collection of renaissance drawings.
- 6:00 - Did anyone else notice that Gordon White has the same lamp in his office as Steed has in his apartment in other episodes?
- 7:54 - the close shot of Steed checking the unconscious chauffeur, Williams, shows him at the end of a long red brick porch, completely at odds with the previous shot where he's in a small blonde brick garage.
- When Crawley's chauffeur (the real Williams) is first seen lying unconscious or dead in the garage, he's lying on his stomach with his arms at his side. However, in the close up when Steed examines him, he's lying on his side and his arms are up!
- 8:07 - When Steed takes off in pursuit of Crawley's Rolls, the Bentley is in a completely different location to the previous shot - even on a different street! - chain fence on one side, building site on the other, whereas previously it had been in a car park of an office building, opposite the yellow brick garage where Williams was lying unconscious.
- 15:30 - The close-ups of Steed are out of focus.
- 18:13 - The door of Raven's automated potter pops back open when he tries to close it.
In the office... ...at the home Anywhere! ©1961-9 CANAL+IMAGE UK Ltd All Rights Reserved
- 26:58 - The chart which Dr Voss holds bears no relation to those taken while Raven was in the seat - the peaks are much larger.
- 27:45 - Steed has an answering machine/dictation device (it's an Ansafone), new technology in 1967! Not to be left out, Emma has one in The Bird Who Knew Too Much.
- 34:33 - That was quite a long meeting Steed has with the BEB! - an 11am start, and he leaves at 3:35pm? (Right >>).
- 38:55 et passim. - the long shots of Steed in the quarry don't look like Macnee. It's fairly clear in the MS at 40:07 that it's Rocky Taylor.
- 40:14 - Gilbert backs the bulldozer away from the edge of the pit and puts the brake on, but at 40:27 it's perched right on the edge of the precipice, ready to plunge in and crush all beneath it.
- 40:33 - Steed is still buyoing his bowlers from Herbert Johnson & Son, as shown by the milliner's mark inside the crown of the bowler.
- 41:25 - Rocky stands in for Garfield Morgan in the bulldozer crushing sequence as well.
- 46:40-47:13 - In the finale, Steed turns off the light, Pemberton yells for emergency lighting, the lights come on, Emma kicks away Pemberton's gun, and Steed throws his umbrella at the lights, smashing one of them (you can see the glass break!) and knocking them both out of commission. Then, after the fight, Steed clicks the light switch and turns them back on!
- 47:09 - Dr Voss fires a shot at Steed before Emma collides with her, but it still misses ... of course, she could just be a lousy shot.
- 47:18 - At the very end, Steed asks Emma if she was afraid he wouldn't arrive in time, and she replies that the thought never entered her head. The lie detector, which is activated when the arm rests are pressed down, shows she's lying. He then asks her "Never, Mrs. Peel?" Emma then sits up, taking her arms off the activator arm rests, and replies, "Never, Mr. Steed"... and the lie detector keeps working, registering the lie!
- 48:03 - The bird sculpture from The Girl From Auntie is decorating Mrs Peel's flat.
- Running time: 49'35"
- Annette Carell appeared (misbilled as Annette Carrell) as 'B' in episode "A, B and C" of The Prisoner.
- Several actors get no credit in the cast list, can anyone identify them? Their mugshots are shown here. ADDENDUM - Alan Hayes has suggested that Patrick Macnee has a cameo appearance as John Tyler, disguised by a beard and a strategically placed chair.