• title card: white all caps text reading ‘THEY KEEP KILLING STEED’ (the K is two lines high and serves as the first letter for both of the middle words) superimposed on the dead double of Steed lying next to some black and white photographs of Steed’s face
  • Rhonda sits in the sinking rowing boat in a wetsuit, a red phone on the thwart in front of her
  • Perova has put on his face-changing mask and fills the syringe from the vial
  • Nadine’s disfigured face after his tranformation failed
  • Tara is backed up against the bridge and, no longer knowing who to trust, points her revolver at Steed
  • Baron von Curt fights off Arcos’ men with his saintly swordfighting skills
  • Tara slumps on her sun lounge after the thunder rolls outside - she and Steed are pretending to be at the beach with a pile of sand in the middle of her flat

Series 6 — Episode 12
They Keep Killing Steed

Teleplay by Brian Clemens
Directed by Robert Fuest

Production No E.67.9.15
Production completed: September 20 1968. First transmission: December 18 1968. First transmission (USA): November 11 1968

Regional broadcasts

Thames Television18/12/19688:00pm
ATV Midlands19/12/19687:00pm
Granada Television6/04/19698:25pm
Anglia Television19/12/19687:00pm
Border Television29/12/19688:10pm
Channel Television19/12/19687:00pm
Grampian Television18/12/19688:00pm
Southern Television26/02/19698:00pm
Scottish Television27/03/19698:00pm
Tyne Tees Television18/12/19688:00pm
Ulster Television19/12/19687:00pm
Westward Television19/12/19687:00pm
Harlech Television19/12/19687:00pm
Yorkshire Television20/12/19687:35pm

TV Times listing

TV Times listing for a 1980s repeat on Channel Four
Sydney Morning Herald listing for February 7 1969, 8pm
The Age listing for February 11 1969, 8.30pm

The Avengers

Patrick Macnee
Linda Thorson

with Patrick Newell
They Keep Killing Steed

By Brian Clemens

The suave features of John Steed are much in demand.

Previously shown on ITV

John Steed Patrick Macnee
Tara King Linda Thorson
Baron Von Curt Ian Ogilvy
Arcos Ray McAnally
Zerson Norman Jones
Capt Smythe Barnard Horsfall
Mother Patrick Newell
Verno Arthur Howell
Golda Bill Cummings
Smanoff Frank Barringer
Bruno William Ellis

and Hal Galili, Nicole Shelby, Rosemary Donnelly, Gloria Connell, Michael Corcoran, Ros Hutchinson, Reg Whitehead, Anthony Sheppard, Angharad Rees, George Ghent.

Executive in Charge of Production Gordon L. T. Scott Director Robert Fuest Producers Albert Fennell, Brian Clemens

ABC Television Network Production

International broadcasts

ABN2 Sydney, Australia7/02/19698:00pm
ABV2 Melbourne, Australia11/02/19698:30pm
ABC New York, USA11/11/19687:30pm
ORTF2 France11/10/19699:55pm
Suisse Romande, Switzerland17/06/19698:25pm
French titleMais qui est Steed?
ZDF Germany
German titleWer ist John Steed ?
KRO Netherlands12/02/19719:36pm
Dutch titleSteed in meervoud/Zevenmaal Steed
TTI Italy9/12/1980 C51
Italian titleVogliono uccidere Steed!
Spanish titleContinúan matando a Steed

There is a great deal of confusion in Swiss newspapers in 1969. Most newspapers have Game (incorrectly called Yeux — “Eyes” instead of Jeux — “Games”) on June 10 1969 and They Keep Killing SteedMais qui est Steed? — on June 17 1969. L’Impartial and La Liberté confuse things as they have an extended summary for Game on June 17 1969, despite the listing saying it is Mais qui est Steed?. The Journal de Jura lists Yeux on 10 June, report on 16 June that Mais qui est Steed? will be shown tomorrow, then on 17 June their listing has Jeux, alongside a summary for the same episode — the same episode summary as in L’Impartial, so I assume it was supplied by TV Romande. Even more confusingly, Journal de Sierre does not show The Avengers on 10 June at all — and all the times for other programmes have changed. Mais qui est Steed? does not appear in the rest of the run that ends in September, so it seems most likely that some newspaper go the order wrong OR TV Romande switched the episodes around at the last moment, just as they may have done with the previous two episodes, Get-A-Way! and The Curious Case of the Countless Clues. This would explain why only some papers had a different listing and the reptition of Game. It is just possible that in some areas such as Vallais Game was pre-empted on 10 June and screened on 17 June instead, and those regions never saw They Keep Killing Steed at all.

USA: Chicago Tribune listing for November 11 1968, 6.30pm
USA: New York Times listing for November 11 1968, 7.30pm
Switzerland: Journal de Genève listing for June 17 1969, 8.25pm
Spain: El Pueblo Gallego listing for December 15 1969, 11.35pm
France: Le Confédéré listing for October 11 1969, 9.55pm
France: L’Impartial listing for October 11 1969, 9.55pm
Netherlands: Leidse Courant episode summary, February 12 1971
Netherlands: Provinciale Zeeuwse Courant listing for February 12 1971, 9.36pm
Netherlands: Zierkzeesche Nieuwsbode highlights for February 12 1971, mentioning this episode
USA: Chicago Tribune highlights for November 11 1968, 6.30pm
Switzerland: L’Impartial has They Keep Killing Steed in the listing but Game in the episode summary…

Continuity & Trivia

  1. 1:25 — In the extreme long shot, Arcos has already started running towards the taxi, but in the extreme close-up, he’s just turned to look.
  2. 1:41 — They finally managed to reuse the set from The Living Dead - recognise those walls and pipes?
  3. 3:25 — Mother and Rhonda are in a rowing boat, same location as BIRD? , Mother answers the phone as Rhonda drops the anchor. She then cuttles the boat so they can descend to the submarine below.
  4. 5:14 — Boddy Fuest betrays his Peter Hammond influences in this episodes with shots in reflection, through curtains etc.
  5. 7:45 — The camera zooms in, then bounces out and back in again.
  6. 9:24 — Steed asks to be driven to 14 Wheelwright Street
  7. 11:06 — Gadgetry of the secret services : Steed starts cutting his ropes against the sharp edge of his bowler’s rim. He gets through at 12:32.
  8. 20:32 — Surely that’s the other side of the door of the butter churn from False Witness!
  9. 22:30 — Is that a slow reprise of theme from Something Nasty In The Nursery?
  10. 31:03 — That’s a terrible sculpture! Was Steed being sarcastic when he told Arcos he had great skill?
  11. 31:10 — Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin product placement (instead of the the usual Meudon et Heim).
  12. 32:25 — The same people are walking up the stairs toward sthe house as were doing so at 30:12 — did they leave something in the car? Did they pop out for a gasper? Is this classic recycled footage?
  13. 33:10 — Macnee’s eyes flicker when Horsfall touches him with his hand, even though he’s supposed to be playing a now-dead doppelganger.
  14. 35:24 — The chairman of the conference is in the conference room, but a split-second earlier he was in the crowd through which Tara and von Curt were passing, along with some of the delegates. (This is more recycled footage, the sequence at 26:22, with Steed moving through the crowd, is almost identical to that at 35:24 when Tara does the same, as well as the sequence at 32:27.
  15. 36:05 (40:00) - the shot of the exploding bomb uses footage of the exploding ammunition shed from Have Guns - Will Haggle.
  16. 40:25 — music from A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Station
  17. 41:30 onwards (44:30) - the music during the car chase is from A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Station.
  18. 43:06 — Just before Steed reaches the quarry, he turns the same corner he turned back at 42:00.
  19. 44:10 — There’s bad camera work in the close up; both Steed and the mask go out of focus, and we have a shot of the out of focus wall between them for a few seconds.
  20. 45:40–45:55 — There’s a patch of clay that keeps appearing and disappearing on one of Tara’s (Cyd Child’s) thighs.
  21. 46:05 — Sadly, given the subject of this episode, the stuntmen playing the two Steeeds are not much like Patrick Macnee.
  22. 48:40 — This shot makes no sense. Why would Arcos turn back into himself?
  23. Mike Olliffe shared a copy of a movement order (JPG 112KB) from when he was on the third until under John Hough. Mike told me John went on to be director on the strength of his work with the second and third units and, as we all know, there are many great The Avengers episodes with his direction.
  24. Running time: 50′14″

The Transport

rowing boatwood-
Mercedes-Benz 540 K Roadster [W29] 1936slateNTR 164
Morris Oxford Series VI 1963 taxigrey with a cream roofBWK 304A
Morris Oxford Series VI 1964 taxisea greyGMX 575B
Austin FX3 1948 taxi (wrecked)black-
Wolesley 6/110 Mk II 1965greyFGD 420C
Jaguar S-type saloonblue/grey2556 MZ
Vanden Plas Princess 4-litre Limousine 1967greyOGJ 631E
Rover P5 Saloon Mk II 1965blackCYM 658C
Vanden Plas Princess 4-litre Limousine 1964blackBYV 441B
Morris Oxford Series VI 1962 taxiblack?
Triumph 2000 Automatic Mk I 1967blueDHM 243D
Vanden Plas Princess 4 litre Rtwo-tone grey?

Who’s Killing Whom?

doppelganger Arcos revolver
Nadine - failed plastic surgery
Georgio Mintoff stabbed? (mistaken for Steed)
Perova Mintoff strangled? (mistaken for Steed)
Bowler John Steed shot with his own revolver in a struggle
Mintoff Baron von Curt rapier thrust
Werner Golda impaled on steel rod
Golda Baron von Curt rapier thrust
Arcos Zerson revolver (mistaken for Steed)
Click a name to see the face

The Fashions

Tara Steed

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