Series 5 — Episode 16
by Philip Levene
Directed by John Moxey
Steed goes out of his mind
Emma is beside herself
|Tyne Tees Television||3/05/67||8:00pm|
|ABN2 Sydney, Australia||17/10/67||8:00pm|
|ABV2 Melbourne, Australia||16/10/67||8:00pm|
|ABC New York, USA||19/05/67||10:00pm|
|Suisse Romande, Switzerland||27/05/68||8:35pm|
|French title||Qui-suis je?|
|German title||Wer ist wer?|
|Dutch title||Wie is wie|
|Italian title||chi dei due?*|
|Spanish title||¿Quién es quién?|
* Italian listings showed this as 10pm, as Italy observed Summer Time and Switzerland did not.
|Set Design||3 stars|
I love Diana Rigg completely out of character - chewing gum, dancing to loud pop music and so on. The leads had a great time and it shows. And of course, there’s the kiss. Freddie Jones and Patricia Haines are great, even if Freddie runs funnily.
Hooper is murdered in a warehouse by two enemy agents who plan
to capture the Avengers. Steed is trapped at Hi-Limba Products
and has his brain swapped with that of Basil. Basil - looking
like Steed - lures Mrs Peel there and she is also switched.
Lola and Basil then proceed to infiltrate Floral - a secret
British department - killing bloom after bloom of the
department, and drinking Steed’s best champagne.
Trapped in other people’s bodies, Steed and Emma are arrested by the department, then escape to find Krelmar and his machine so as to reverse the process. Switched back just before Major B forces the door, the Avengers seem still unsure who they are. It being Mr’s Peel’s birthday, her apartment is full of flowers from the grateful surviving agents, and Steed plans a surprise weekend in Paris... but finds that Emma has already packed.
|Bentley Speed Six 1926||British racing green||RX 6180|
|Ford Thames 800 van||light blue||-|
|Reliant Regal||light blue||-|
|Milk Float||lime green||-|
|Vanden Plas 4-litre||metallic golden beige||HOF 302D|
|Austin-Healy 3000||red||9760 VX|
|Lotus Elan S3||glacier blue||SJH 499D|
|Rover P5 3 litre||black||BMK 260A|
|Hooper (Rose)||Basil & Lola V*||Pistols|
|Cornflower||Basil? V*||Pistol? (off-camera)|
|Carnation||Basil? V*||Pistol? (off-camera)|
Continuity and trivia
- 3:00 - The set-up to bring Steed & Mrs Peel to the warehouse is an in-joke. It’s the logo used on “The Avengers” scripts and location signboards of the time - a revolver with a rose coming out of the barrel. So when Basil says, “If that doesn’t bring Steed and Mrs Peel, nothing will”, he’s referring to the logo being used on the signs used to direct cast and crew to a location shoot.
- 3:54 - Steed utters that cliché again: “Hooper, he’s one of our best agents”.
- 4:10 - Emma says, “It’s crimson glory, won first prize at the Chelsea Flower Show” - but it’s a plastic rose!
- 4:30 - Krelmar shows Basil and Lola footage of Emma:
Escape in Time
- 5:03 - And then some footage of Steed:
The See-Through Man
- 5:26 / 7:53 - >Recognise the stilt shop? It’s the same prefab. set as used for the station in A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Station.
- 8:45 - Added creepiness from Krelmar: “Please, we experimented in the war! We had unlimited guinea pigs; we lost many but at last it is perfected.”
- 16:35 - The “Important announcement” explaining the swapped bodies to viewers tuning in late, a parody of community information films, is shown.
They are, in order:
Tulip - Carnation - Daffodil - [empty vase: Rose] - Cornflower - Buttercup - Marigold - Lily - Pansy - Poppy - Daisy - Bluebell.
- 20:05 - Peter Reynolds is wearing a very obvious wig.
- 22:10 - Was there an edit made here? We suddenly cut to Steed saying, “True, but unfortunately when he left...”
- 22:55 - Basil in Steed’s body could drive the Bentley to Hi-Limba (13:16) unremarked by Mrs Peel, but Steed in Basil’s body was tested with being able to start the Bentley by Mrs Peel in Lola’s... of course, Basil might have been able to drive it easily, or Emma had yet to become suspicious enough to notice.
- 23:15 - Lola is dancing to some hokey Laurie Johnson jazz, but the album cover on top of the record player is for “Africa speaks, America answers” - Guy Warren with Red Saunders Orchestra under direction of Gene Esposito (Brunswick 1956, LAT 8237 - the UK release).
- 24:07 - There are stand-ins in the Bentley in the driving scene.
- 26:19 - The “Very Important announcement” explaining the swapped bodies to viewers tuning in late, another parody of community information films, is shown.
- 26:43 - The close-up of Freddie Jones after the “Very Important Announcement” is completely out of focus, the focus is on the handcuffs at the beginning, and then on the mid-shot of Patricia Haines.
- 27:46 - Flustered by his interrogation of Basil and Lola faltering, Major B declares, “I’m Head of Intelligence, do you take me for a perfect idiot?” Emma (in Lola’s body) replies, “No-one’s perfect.”
- Major Bee wears some pretty unimpressive ribbons - they’re all just campaign medals: 1939-45 Star, Africa Star, Burma Star, France and Germany Star, Defence Medal, War Medal 1939-1945, Korea Medal 1951, United Nations Service Medal for Korea 1950-1955
- 31:27 - “Ah, my best bowler’s here, that’s one thing.” Only it’s not one of Steed’s! The lining is red, like Tulip’s bowler, whereas Steed’s bowlers always have the white silk of Herbert Johnson & Son. Freddie Jones probably has the same size head as Macnee so he had to wear Peter Reynolds’ hat instead.
- 31:39 - When Lola (Emma) picks up the silver pot with the flowers in it, the flowers change. In the close-up we clearly see (clockwise from top right):
Bluebell - Daffodil - Cornflower - Marigold - Poppy - Pansy, with a white Carnation in the middle.
But Bluebell hasn’t been killed yet - he gets killed at Emma’s flat at 34:06 - and in every other shot, including when Lola (Emma) puts the pot down next to the phone, the flowers are in the order:
Cornflower - Daffodil - Marigold - Poppy - Pansy, with a white Carnation in the middle.
©1961-9 CANAL+IMAGE UK Ltd All Rights Reserved
- 32:26 - Why didn’t Lola realise the phone call was Steed and Emma checking their whereabouts?
- 33:15/34:22 - Lola and Basil have been listening to “Ballads for night people” - June Christy (Capitol records, 1959 - R 24679)
- the Continuity error with the flowers, when Tulip counts the bodies in the storeroom, he definitely counts six.
(And if anyone can identify the two men playing corpses in Steed’s storeroom, I’d be most grateful - they are obviously supposed to be Carnation and Cornflower. Similarly, if anyone can name the men playing Poppy and Pansy, that’d be great too.
- 37:09 - The bottle of pills gives away the doctor’s address: Dr V. Krelmar The Manor House, Hambledon.
- 43:35 - There’s a stunt double - maybe Joe Dunne - in this scene.
- 43:53 - There’s another double in the long shot.
- 46:47 - The man who had been standing at door is now right at the back - he must be nervous of the Major’s shooting skills!
- Running time: 49'10"
- This episode is a cross between homage and parody of the Michael Caine classic, The Ipcress File. Col. H.L. Ross had a single flower perched upright on its stem on his desk in the film, and Major ‘B’ has a dozen of them - see below. Also Major ‘B’ is similar in bearing and appearance to Nigel Green’s Major Dalby in the film [dull - B, geddit?] and has the air of a “passed over major” about him too.
- It should be noted that Who’s Who??? is the last episode to have the subtitles put onto the master tapes. All subtitles from hereon are technically unofficial, as they were never used.
The Australian broadcast master of Who’s Who??? does not have a Mrs Peel... We’re Needed scene, the first in the series to not have one. The original print, however, has a brief (almost after-thought) scene, Steed taking Mrs Peel’s place at her mirror.
The story goes that the producers were told to drop these elements from the show by the American network, who didn’t like them and wanted more time for advertisements.
- More about the Australian master...
It cuts right from the titles to Steed and Emma looking up at Hooper’s body, and then the scene where Basil and Lola are watching film of the dashing duo is trimmed - We see the Escape in Time footage of Mrs Peel, then both shots of Steed, compared to the original print’s five snippets