• title card: white all caps text thickly outlined in black reading ‘SPLIT!’ superimposed on a buff piece of paper covered in handwriting that becomes progressively messier and stranger
  • sign at the graphologists - a false magnification of some text: ‘The study of graphology is [..ent one] The art of reading up strokes together also the reading [of] down strokes [in combin]ation and interpreting wiggly lines’
  • Mercer’s hand cramps into a claw as he writes his report
  • Hinnel chloroforms Tara as his henchman grabs her by the neck
  • Tara and Kartovski lie on two gurneys (he lies on ice) in Constantine’s red, white and black laboratory, both attached to the mind transferring machine as Dr. Constantine gloats at Tara
  • Steed grabs Hinnell’s gun hand as they fight in the laboratory
  • Tara, wearing a pale pink dress and headscarf, puts her hand on Steed’s shoulder

Series 6 — Episode 4

Teleplay by Brian Clemens
Directed by Roy Baker

Production No E.66.6.28 / E.67.9.2
Production completed: February 12 1968. First transmission: October 23 1968. First transmission (USA): April 10 1968.

Regional broadcasts

Thames Television23/10/19688:00pm
ATV Midlands24/10/19687:00pm
Granada Television9/02/19698:25pm
Anglia Television24/10/19687:00pm
Border Television3/11/19688:10pm
Channel Television24/10/19687:00pm
Grampian Television23/10/19688:00pm
Southern Television1/01/19698:00pm
Scottish Television30/01/19698:00pm
Tyne Tees Television23/10/19688:00pm
Ulster Television31/10/19687:00pm
Westward Television24/10/19687:00pm
Harlech Television24/10/19687:00pm
Yorkshire Television23/10/19688:00pm

TV Times listing

TV Times listing for October 23 1968, 8pm (London edition)
Sydney Morning Herald listing for December 13 1968, 8pm
The Age listing for December 3 1968, 8.30pm

8.0 The Avengers

The Ministry of Top Secret Information is badly shaken when agent Frank Compton is murdered. For it could only have been an inside job. A second agent, Harry Mercer, writes a report on the murder—in two types of hand-writing. Steed and Tara investigate and find that Mercer has a split mind—one half of it a killer. Then Mercer is killed.

John Steed Patrick Macnee
Tara King Linda Thorson
Lord Barnes Nigel Davenport
Peter Rooke Julian Glover
Dr. Constantine Bernard Archard
Hinnell John G. Heller
Petra Jayne Sofiano
Kartovski Steven Scott
Frank Compton Iain Anders
Swindin Christopher Benjamin
The Butler John Kidd

Writer Brian Clemens; Director Roy Baker; Producers Albert Fennell and Brian Clemens

International broadcasts

ABN2 Sydney, Australia13/12/19688:00pm
ABV2 Melbourne, Australia3/12/19688:30pm
ABC New York, USA10/04/19687:30pm
ORTF2 France18/4/88 A2
Suisse Romande, Switzerland26/08/19698:25pm
French titleDouble personnalité
ZDF Germany
German titleGeist sucht Körper
KRO Netherlands7/04/19709:10pm
Dutch titleGespleten persoonlijkheid
TTI Italy11/12/1980 C51
Italian titleDoppio gioco?
Spanish titleDoble personalidad

This episode was not broadcast in Germany and would not screen there until 1999. Italy also didn’t see it until 1980 and France not until 1988, except for viewers near the Swiss border.

USA: New York Times listing for April 10 1968, 7.30pm
Switzerland: L’Impartial listing for August 26 1969, 8.25pm
Switzerland: L’Impartial episode summary for August 26 1969
Switzerland: Journal de Jura - exactly the same episode summary for August 26 1969
Spain: ABC Madrid listing for October 13 1969, 11pm
Netherlands: Limburgsch Dagblad listing for April 7 1970, 9.10pm
Netherlands: Zierkzeesche Nieuwsbode highlights and listing for April 7 1970, 9.10pm
USA: Chicago Tribune highlights for April 10 1968, 6.30pm
Switzerland: Journal de Jura photo from the episode, August 28 1969

Continuity & Trivia

  1. 1:14 — There’s a hair on the right of screen, halfway up.
  2. 2:54 — Mercer’s codename is Sphinx.
  3. 2:55–4:20 — Mercer’s report reads (italics mark where Kartovski’s writing takes over):


    (unreadable paragraph) .... under surveillance from .... 18.12.68 by agents R. Riety ... contacting Secret Agent Kastin ... - (codes “There” & “Quick”) ... - (cover, look at Kastin’s transferring).

    Frequent meetings with Kastin in Kensington Gdns & Lyons Tea Shop, Marble Arch. Possible that classified & “D” material passed to Kastin. Envelope given to Kastin on two occasions. 10.11.67 Lyons Tea Shop & 29.11.67 in Selfridges near Father Christmas.

    Any conclusion in these activities is that Gerlan is working for the C.I.A.; Soviets Grt Brtiain & US I say not that our her.. P

  4. 4:15 — Split! is one of those rare episodes with more than one title screen:
    title card: white all caps text thickly outlined in black reading ‘SPLIT!’, torn diagonally from top right, superimposed on a buff piece of paper covered in handwriting that becomes progressively messier and stranger
  5. 4:51 (4:42) - Tara’s car rounds the corner with only a driver in it, but in the close-up seconds later Barnes is next to her.
  6. 4:53–5:21 — Tara & Barnes : colour-shift during the back projection scene, and a curled hair is stuck against the middle right edge of screen.
  7. 5:21–5:58 — Lord Barnes & Tara both have red card security passes.
  8. 5:42 — We get a glimpse of the boom microphone hanging down in the hallway that opens out to the left.
  9. 8:28–8:56 — There’s a black object at the top left of the screen - must be on the camera or transfer plate, as it remains in the same place as the vision shifts
  10. 11:46 onwards - There’s a hair stuck to the very top edge of camera 1 which keeps on appearing, especially noticeable in the midshots and close-ups of Maurice Good as he talks to Rook and then telephones the hospital - it reappears with every cut back to Maurice until 13:45.
  11. 11:48 — Mercers’ file is labelled “Ministry of Defence - RY-593 Demonstration”
  12. throughout - The decorations on the wall of Dr. Constantine’s operating theatre reappear in Dr. Jaeger’s consulting room in My Wildest Dream and at the Carmadoc Research Establishment in All Done with Mirrors.
  13. 15:19–15:22 — There’s a hair mid right again, curled up, not down - must be on the transfer plate as it stays on screen across a cut.
  14. 20:35 — Steed has a phone in his car.
  15. 21:13 — More colour shift for Steed’s back-projection scene.
  16. 22:46, 29:05 and throughout - The set for Barnes’ study and hallway were used as the ante-chamber and hall outside Mother’s office in The Forget-Me-Knot.
  17. 23:10 — Roy Ward Baker evokes “Dial M for Murder” in Barnes’ attack on Steed.
  18. 26:30 — Barnes’ note (italics mark where Kartovski’s writing takes over):
    Subject Myself
    I am alarmed to check a change in my behaviour
  19. 29:12 — Colour shift again for Lord Barnes’ driving scene
  20. 29:40 and throughout - Nullington Hospital is actually one of the buildings of Haberdasher’s Aske’s School, you can see one of the plaques outside the doors clearly enough to read it. Same location used in Never, Never Say Die??
  21. 30:31 — Yet more colour shift, this time for Tara & Rook.
  22. 31:19 — There’s something caught against the top left corner of the transfer plate, it moves about a bit and finally disappears at 32:05.
  23. 34:16 — They’ve dubbed in the word “brain” after the words “to infuse his thought, his ideas into another man’s / ”
  24. 35:38 — Tara is playing the piano.
  25. 35:58 — Still more colour-shifted back projection for Tara.
  26. 36:30 — Tara is captured and chloroformed by Hinnell and Morrell.
  27. 36:52 — Tara is tied to the gurney with... thin surgical gauze! - but it comes in handy at 41:25 when Steed cuts her free with a scalpel.
  28. 38:51 — Colour shift again in the back-projection as Steed drives to the hospital.
  29. 39:37 — There are cracks in the windshield of the Bentley.
  30. 43:18 onwards - The stuntman playing Hinnel doesn’t look a bit like John G. Heller.
  31. 40:24 — Something slides over the top right corner of the tranfer plate, then back again, but the hairline of its edge remains on screen until 42:24 and returns at 42:53–56 (maybe on camera, as it’s not in the close-ups of the files), and again from 43:10 to 43:43.
  32. 42:24–42:52 — There’s a thin hair stuck to the top edge of the screen for the whole of the scene in the hospital reception area.
  33. 43:53 — Hinnel whips around to face Steed after he shoots Dr. Constantine, but in the next shot he’s facing the doctor again as Steed gets to his feet and attacks him from behind.
  34. 46:58 — Steed’s front door doesn’t shut properly.
  35. 47:16 — Tara’s improbable cocktail request is for: a tall crystal glass full of crushed ice, permeated with grenadine, laced with a mixture of Cantonese Sake and Crème de violettes, topped with a measure of Calvados, a tablespoon of devonshire cream and a fresh, unripe strawberry.
  36. 48:00 — The “I was changing” joke with Steed in the tag scene doesn’t make sense as he had already demonstrated imperviousness to the trigger word “Boris”.
  37. Running time: 49′08″

The Transport

AC 428 Frua Drophead Convertible Coupé 1965 Prototype (CF1)maroonLPH 800D
Hughes 300 helicopterbuffG-AVZC
Bentley 3 Litre 1926british racing greenYT 3942
Aston Martin DBS Vantage (chassis DBS/5001/R) 1967maroonYKX 2F
Triumph TR4A IRSpowder blueNHL 1
Austin Wandsworth/LDO AmbulancewhiteYLD 259

Who’s Killing Whom?

Frank Compton Harry Mercer pistol
Harry Mercer Lord Barnes pistol
Dr. Constantine Hinnell pistol
Boris Kartovski Hinnell & John Steed life support system destroyed
Click a name to see the face

The Fashions

Tara Steed

fan forum Donate Become a Patron!