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  • title card: white all caps text with gold dropshadow to the right reading 'THE CORRECT WAY TO KILL' superimposed on Percy and Algy walking away down the cobble-stoned alley
  • subtitle card: white all caps text with black dropshadow to the left and gold dropshadow to the right reading 'STEED CHANGES PARTNERS -
					EMMA JOINS THE ENEMY' superimposed on Percy and Algy walking away down the cobble-stoned alley
  • Youtube video - Mrs Peel buys the morning paper, only to discover the front page now reads 'Mrs Peel - we're needed!' as Steed smirks at her from a nearby doorway
  • Olga throws open her fur coat to reveals grenades, pistols, knives and a pair of binoculars. She stands in the middle of Steed's pine-lined flat, a print  of Cutler's 'Charge of the Light Brigade' over the fireplace
  • Steed holds his umbrella up to his face and peers thruogh the handle at Winters, telling him the handle is loose. Olga looks on, baffled, in the background
  • A whiff of jack boots as the assembled snobs practice hailing a taxi with a gesture that mimics the Nazi salute.
  • Ivan's body is revealed inside the crate of umbrellas.
  • Mrs Peel, in an orange catsuit, peers around the enemy identification chart, currently showing a large black and white photo of Steed
  • video - Steed wears a Russian fur hat after an evening in Olga's company, but reflects that the evening was missing something - 'a certain bourgeois, capitalistic, decadent touch', suggests Emma

Series 5 - Episode 9
The Correct Way To Kill

7 stars

by Brian Clemens
Directed by Charles Crichton

Steed changes partners -
Emma joins the enemy

Episode Rating

Subject 0-5
Direction 3 stars
Music 3 stars
Humour 4 stars
Intro/tag 4 stars
3½ stars
3½ stars
3½ stars
Set Design
1½ stars
7 stars

A worthy effort which doesn't quite make it to the top. Great dialogue and performances, but the story isn't quite daft enough to make a truly great Avengers episode.

A couple of dapper city gents meet a foreign agent and dispatch him coldly, if politely.
Mrs Peel's is summoned by a doctored newspaper headline - Steed needs her to help him discover who's killing enemy agents.
When Ivan, the enemy's top man tries to kill Steed, thinking he was behind it, they team up to discover the third party. Steed pairs up with Olga and Emma goes with Ivan to investigate who is the real killer of the agents. Both sides are being double-crossed by Nutski, Olga's employer, who has set up a private army masquerading as a school for gentlemen. Following crates of umbrella and bowlers, Olga and Steed catch up to the gang, but are discovered. Emma to the rescue with her trusty foil, and a fencing bout finds Emma and Olga the victors, Nutski impaled on a sword.
Emma finds Steed wearing a Cossack hat the next morning at breakfast, the souvenir of a date with Olga.

The Cars

Marque/Model Colour Number Plate
Citroën ID 19 ('57-61 model)
{left hand drive}
yellow 70 BLX
Austin A60 van dark blue 197 GLK
Mini dark blue KLM 820C?

Who's Killing Whom?

Victim Killer Method
Boris Groski Algy & Percy V* pistols
Stanislaus Arkadi Algy & Percy V* ?
Zoric Algy & Percy V* dagger
Ivan Peppitoperoff Algy & Percy V* ?
Dr Merryweather Algy & Percy? V* Stabbed with umbrella
J.Nathan Winters Algy & Percy? V* Stabbed with umbrella
Algernon Wynche (Algy) V* Emma Sword
Mr Percival (Percy) V* Olga Sword
Nutski V* Emma Sword thrown at him.
Click a name to see the face

The Fashions

Emma's Fashions Steed's Fashions
  1. plaid jacket and white skivvy with yellow hat (in style of the pink hat in The Winged Avenger)
  2. pale grey shoes, orange dress, navy jacket, black gloves, orange/brown scarf
  3. lavender pant suit & dark plum skivvy, white boots
  4. orange catsuit with black trim, orange boots
  5. white fencing gear
  6. red coat with white trim, white skirt
  1. dark taupe jacket single-breasted, green waistcoat, brass buttons, white shirt, green/bronze tie, beige trousers, brown bowler and chelsea boots, black umbrella, mustard handkerchief
  2. light grey chalk stripe single-breasted 3-piece suit, white shirt, navy cravat & handkerchief, grey bowler hat & umbrella
  3. navy single-breasted 3-piece suit with a peaked collar, 2 butt. white shirt, paisley purple cravat, black bowler hat & umbrella, boots
  4. charcoal chalk striped single-breasted suit, white shirt, burgundy cravat
  5. above with grey overcoat and brown bowler, grey umbrella & gloves
  6. navy single-breasted 3-piece suit with a peaked collar, white shirt, blue/white cravat with flower tiepin
  7. above & black bowler, cravat replaced with a blue tie with white dots
  8. pale grey double-breasted suit, felt collar, flap pockets, 2 very long vents, wide skirt, grey chelsea boots, umbrella and bowler, white shirt, pale grey cravat, grey Russian fur hat

Continuity and trivia

  1. 1:40-4:25 - The joins in the prefab cobblestones are a bit obvious.
  2. 3:01 - Percy's Luger has the breech open when he pulls it out, it wouldn't have fired.
  3. 4:25 - Arkadi is played by the same actor - Romo Gorrara - who appears as the unnamed thug helping the First Assistant do away with Mrs Rhodes in The £50,000 Breakfast. He appeared in everything made in Britain in the late 60s and 70s. Another regular stuntman, Peter Clay, plays Zoric.
  4. 5:55 - You hear the gunshot FX after Ivan drops his pistol.
  5. 5:56 - Philip Madoc is replaced by a stuntman vey adroitly for the tumble over the armchair.
  6. 8:50-8:55 - Product placement for vodka? I don't recognise the brand.
  7. 13:41 - Steed introduces Emma to Ivan with the words "You haven't met Mrs Peel", despite them meeting in the earlier scene (6:00 onwards). This may, of course, be another send up of proper English manners, à la the opening scene of the episode.
  8. 16:00 et passim. - Is Merryweather's office the same set as Tom Savage's studio in The Bird Who Knew Too Much?
  9. 16:40/23:15 - one of the studs of Mrs Peel's coat keeps popping open.
  10. 20:10-20:15 (19:48) - Steed and Olga pay a visit to J. Nathan Winters, and Steed asks to see some replacement handles for his umbrella. Winters doesn't think it can be bettered and Steed explains, "it's a little loose" when Winters draw the sword inside it out a bit. Winters then shows him a handle carved into the shape of a dog's head, which Steed dismisses. Seconds later, Winters is holding several shillelagh handles, without moving a muscle!
  11. 26:55 - Steep quips, "Half an oaf is better than low bread" when Ponsonby remarks that if his deportment training is only somewhat successful he will have considered his work worthwhile.
  12. 33:27 - Olga is chloroformed by Percy after Merryweather refuses to do it.
  13. 34:15 - Percy quips, "No use struggling Miss Velowski, we've secured you with old school ties." and Algy chips in with, "The bonds of the old school tie are well nigh impossible to break." The ties, by the way, appear to be mostly Hertford College Oxford.
  14. 36:25 - Mr Jones can't get his sword back inside his umbrella.
  15. 37:33 - Steed pauses when removing the ties from Olga and notes, "It's my old school tie" - the pale greenish-blue and dark grey of Eton.
  16. 39:35 - You can see the shadow of the boom microphone on the wall above Steed and Olga as they plan their escape.
  17. 39:40 - as Olga approaches the front of the stage you can glimpse the top of the set and the dark studio ceiling in the top left corner.
  18. 43:08-45:30 - obvious stunt doubles in much of the charm aschool sequences:
    • 43:08 onwards - Rigg is replaced by Cyd Child for almost the entire sequence.
    • 44:49 - Macnee and Gough - Steed tackles Nutski and disarms Ponsonby.
    • 45:03 - Rigg, Barkworth and Armitage as they fence.
    • 45:15 - Quayle is replaced by a standing as Olga joins Emma is fighting Percy and Algy.
    • 45:25 - Alexander and Macnee in their fencing scene, very nicely intercut with close-ups of Macnee.
  19. Running time: 49'21"
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.

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