Series 5 — Episode 20
Dead Man’s Treasure
by Michael Winder
Directed by Sidney Hayers
Steed rallies around
Emma drives for her life
Production No E.66.6.19
Production completed: August 2 1967. First transmission: October 18 1967.
|Tyne Tees Television||21/10/1967||9:10pm|
|Television Wales & West||22/10/1967||7:25pm|
The Midlands edition of the TV Times incorrectly advertised the episode as being at 9.05pm (see below).
TV Times listing
9.5 The Avengers
as John Steed
as Emma Peel
Dead Man’s Treasure
By Michael Winder
In which Steed rallies around — and Emma drives for her life …
Cast also includes
|Penny||Valerie Van Ost|
|Miss Peabody||Penny Bird|
|First guest||Gerry Crampton|
|Second guest||Peter J. Elliott|
Designed by Robert Jones
Music by Laurie Johnson
Directed by Sidney Hayers
Produced by Albert Fennell
and Brian Clemens
ABC Weekend Network Production
|ABN2 Sydney, Australia||7/11/1967||8:10pm|
|ABV2 Melbourne, Australia||6/11/1967||8:10pm|
|ABC New York, USA||13/03/1968||7:30pm|
|Suisse Romande, Switzerland||5/02/1968||9:30pm|
|French title||La chasse au trésor|
|German title||Mit 160 aus dem Stand|
|Dutch title||De autorally|
|Italian title||il tesoro del morto|
|Spanish title||El tesoro del muerto|
TV Svizzera Italiana made Dead Man’s Treasure the first episode in their broadcast of series 5 episodes. According to Radiocorriere 18, 1973 (p. 81) it was originally scheduled for 8.40pm on 2nd May 1973, followed by Ritratti: John Kenneth Galbraith but these two shows were replaced by Modern Medicine and an episode of L’Uomo e la Citta (Journal de Genève, 2/5/1973, p.14 & Gazette de Lausanne, 2/5/1973, p.4). This episode was then rescheduled, still as the first episode for the run, nearly six months later on 26th October 1973 at 9pm.
|Set Design||4½ stars|
I’m more a plot and character fan, but this episode really works despite being light on both of these. The sheer joy of rampaging around the home counties in classic cars is overwhelming, and you just have to go along for the ride. Well worth watching again and again.
Danvers, badly wounded by enemy agents, hides his dispatch box
inside a treasure chest that is the prize in a forthcoming car
rally, and sends Steed an invitation to enter the rally.
Steed and Emma do so in order to retrieve the box, but Danvers’ killers pursue them. Stranger things are afoot, however, when the host of the rally is unexpectedly murdered, and contestants are shot at. Emma is surprised by her navigator, Mike, who also wants the box and straps her into a racing simulator that gives lethal shocks to the driver if they make mistakes - the same way he had killed Sir George.
Steed arrives to deliver her from peril. The Avengers recover the box, and the champagne, but Penelope Plain makes off with the prize money.
Mrs Peel is alarmed to discover that the ‘reverse’ setting on Steed’s new razor gives her a bushy moustache.
|MGB Roadster with hard plastic canopy||white||974 MHK|
|Jaguar E-type||red||648 CYV|
|Bentley 4.5 litre 1926||British racing green||UW 4887|
|Lotus Racing Car Simulator||red, white number 2||(2)|
|Rolls-Royce Phantom I with coachwork by Brewster, in the “Regent Convertible Coupé” body style (American built)||pale lemon, black running boards and wheel arches||-|
|Jaguar E-type Coupé
This car was owned by Brian Clemens
|Triumph TR4A||white||AXV 177|
|Triumph TR3A||white||LZ 6753|
|Mercedes 250 SE Automatic W111 cabriolet 1966||burgundy||LUC 507D|
|Triumph Spitfire||blue||HUU 772C|
|Sunbeam Alpine Series IV 1964||pale blue||BYH 719B|
|Daimler Majestic Major Limousine||cotswold blue||-|
|Austin A110 Westminster||grey||-|
|MGA 1600 Roadster Mk I 1959||red||8163 AZ|
|Austin-Healey Sprite||red||YVH 33|
|Austin 3-Ton removals van 1955||dark grey, white writing||UYL 60|
|Triumph Spitfire||dark grey, black hood||-|
|Bobby Danvers||Alex & Carl V*||Gunshot wounds|
|Sir George Benstead||Mike V*||Electrocuted|
|Carl V*||Alex V* & Penelope Plain||Alex shoots him accidentally when Penelope is hitting Carl with Steed’s umbrella, causing the car to lurch.|
|Alex V*||Carl & himself V*||Carl crashes the car into a tree|
Continuity and trivia
- 1:42 — Rio Fanning, appearing here as Bobby Danvers, went on to be a scriptwriter for the highly successful Irish production, Ballykissangel.
- 1:49 — There’s a lot of doubling-back as Danvers tries to lose Alex and Carl - he passes the main gates of Benstead’s house at 1:49 then enters a side gate further down the road. If he’d turned left when he left after hiding the papers, he would have evaded them completely.
- 2:22, 23:18 et passim - Carl & Alex pass the barn while looking for Danvers. Later on, the competitors all pass that barn which turns up in Escape in Time and A Touch of Brimstone.
- 2:23 et passim. - there’s terrible colour shift in the back projection close-ups.
- 3:18 — Benstead’s house is given the same address as Hunt’s house in Return of the Cybernauts: High Pines, Edgington. But it’s a different house! Beresford’s house is Woolmers Park, Essendon Road, Letty Green, Herts., while Benstead’s is Shenley Hall, Rectory Lane, Shenley, Herts. WD7 9AN.
- 5:16 — The sound effect of the champagne cork popping is played a bit late.
- 6:13 & 6:52 — Breaking the rules : there’s blood on Danvers’ hand and on his shirtand later a bloody hand-print on the pillar. Blood was supposedly never to be shown in this era of “The Avengers”.
- 9:00 et passim. - Fabulously unrealistic screeching tyres FX, which we hear repeatedly throughout the episode.
- 9:19, 21:50 et passim. - The daytime back projection close-ups also have colour shift, but it’s not so pronounced as the earlier night-time shots.
- 9:43 — Benstead is ‘driving’ a Lotus racing simulator.
- 12:24 — Sir George has the same vintage car prints on the wall as Professor Rushton has in Mission... Highly Improbable.
- 12:38 — Cyd Child doubles for Diana Rigg in the study fight scene.
- When we head outside for the race, only three extras are the same as they were inside - and ‘Margaret Brady’ is no longer paired with ‘George Townsend’, who isn’t there at all.
- passim. - Most of the competitors, but Steed and Penelope Plain in particular, drive through the same intersection over and over again. Of course, it’s possible the locations of clues are so arranged.
- 24:28–25:25 —
- 27:00–27:30 et passim. - The drivers and passengers of the Bentley, Mercedes and Jaguar are clearly not the actors.
- 29:20 —
- Swingingdale is the same village as Little Storping in-the-Swuff in Murdersville - it’s actually the village of Aldbury.
- 30:18 — Steed and Penny are looking out the wrong side of the car in the close-up to read the clue.
- 32:35 — Rocky Taylor is doing stunts for Patrick Macnee.
- 39:14–39:20 —
- 39:20 — How did Mike get in the boot of the car?
- 40:29 — If Penny put sugar in Alex and Carl’s tank (33:24), they’d be unlikely to be able to get moving again so quickly.
- 41:38–41:45 — Penny exclaims, “They’re gaining!”, but there’s clear road in front of the Jaguar after it rounds the bend - the Bentley has disappeared completely, which suggests Alex and Carl have in fact lost ground.
- 44:55 — More stunt doubles for the fight scene in the living room.
- Do you think Bobby Danvers is related to the similarly ill-fated Percy Danvers from The Bird Who Knew Too Much?
- Paul Denyer’s great Mercedes in the Movies site has a short clip of the 250 SE, along with the E-type and Bentley.
- Running time: 49′21″
- Valerie van Ost later became a respected agent for other actors.
- The Jaguar E-type Coupé was Brian Clemens’ personal car (and was not damaged in the ‘crash’ - that was all paint and paper).