• title card: white all caps text reading ‘THE CURIOUS CASE OF THE COUNTLESS CLUES’ superimposed on Dawson lying inside the chalk outline on the carpet
  • Rear Window: Shot from the outside of Tara looking out her sash window
  • Earle holds Flanders’ rifle, wrapped in plastic, preparing to assassinate Scott
  • Sir Doyle holds up the plastic-bagged revolver, one of his detectives stands behind him
  • Steed grabs Gardiner by the throat as they fight
  • Gardiner’s face is covered in paint after Tara clobbers him with her art supplies
  • Tara holds onto her fireman’s pole and doffs Steed’s hat at him

Series 6 — Episode 18
The Curious Case of the Countless Clues

Teleplay by Philip Levene
Directed by Don Sharp

Production No E.66.6.27 / E.67.9.1
Production completed: January 5 1968. First transmission: January 31 1969. First transmission (USA): April 3 1968

Regional broadcasts

Thames Television5/02/19698:00pm
ATV Midlands31/01/19697:30pm
Granada Television18/05/19698:25pm
Anglia Television2/07/19698:00pm
Border Television12/02/19698:00pm
Channel Television31/01/19697:30pm
Grampian Television31/01/19697:30pm
Southern Television30/04/19698:00pm
Scottish Television
Tyne Tees Television5/02/19698:00pm
Ulster Television31/01/19697:30pm
Westward Television31/01/19697:30pm
Harlech Television31/01/19697:30pm
Yorkshire Television8/02/19698:30pm

TV Times listing

TV Times listing for a 1980s repeat on Channel Four
Sydney Morning Herald listing for December 20 1968, 8pm
The Age listing for December 10 1968, 8.30pm

9.0 to 10.0
The Avengers

Patrick Macnee
Linda Thorson
The Curious Case of the Countless Clues

By Philip Levene

When Reginald Hubert Dawson is found dead in his flat, all the evidence points to the killer being press tycoon Sir William Burgess.

Previously shown on ITV

John Steed Patrick Macnee
Tara King Linda Thorson
Earle Anthony Bate
Gardiner Kenneth Cope
Stanley Tony Selby
Doyle Peter Jones
Janice Tracey Reed
Flanders Edward de Souza
Burgess George A Cooper
Dawson Reginald Jessup

Executive in Charge of Production Gordon L. T. Scott Designer Robert Jones Director Don Sharp Producers Albert Fennell, Brian Clemens

ABC Television Network Production

International broadcasts

ABN2 Sydney, Australia20/12/19688:00pm
ABV2 Melbourne, Australia10/12/19688:30pm
ABC New York, USA3/04/19687:30pm
ORTF2 France20/12/196910:05pm
Suisse Romande, Switzerland6/05/19698:20pm
French titleTrop d'indices
ZDF Germany20/10/19709:00pm
German titleDie Indizienmörder
KRO Netherlands10/02/19708:20pm
Dutch titleDe zaak met de vele aanwijzingen
TTI Italy17/12/1980 C51
Italian titleMatasse
Spanish titleEl curioso caso de las innumerables pistas

Get-A-Way! and The Curious Case of the Countless Clues are reported in different newspapers for the 6th and 20th May 1969 — although Gazette de Lausanne reports the mysterious Un succès mérité for the 6th. It looked at first to be a regional variation but La Liberté may have solved the problem and shows that Trop d’indices was pre-empted. They had corrected the listing to announce Les évadés du monastère in place of Trop d’indices but left a photo of Linda on the page labelled as being from Trop d’indices — and two weeks later has a photo from Get-A-Way! with a summary for The Curious Case of the Countless Clues… Given that the vast majority of Swiss newspaper have Get-A-Way! followed by The Curious Case of the Countless Clues, I have gone with that consensus.

USA: New York Times listing for April 3 1968, 7.30pm
France: L’Impartial listing for December 20 1969, 10.05pm
Netherlands: Dagblad de Stem listing for February 10 1970, 8.20pm
Germany: Hamburg Abendblatt listing for October 20 1970, 9pm
Spain: ABC Madrid listing for April 13 1970, 11.10pm
USA: Chicago Tribune highlights for April 3 1968, 6.30pm
The Swiss problem
Switzerland: Gazette de Lausanne with an unknown episode title for May 6 1969
Switzerland: Journal de Genève with Trop d’indices for May 6 1969
Switzerland: La Liberté listing for May 20 1969, 8.20pm
Switzerland: La Liberté photo from Trop d’indices with the Get-A-Way!listing
Switzerland: La Liberté episode summary for May 20 1969, with a photo from Get-A-Way!
Switzerland: L’Impartial listing for May 6 1969, 8.20pm

Continuity & Trivia

  1. 1:38 — The murderer is estimated to be of medium height and 140lbs due to his size 8 shoes - I assume Earle is describing Burgess.
  2. 7:16 — The boom microphone dips into shot at top left when Steed goes to look at the space on the wall where a portrait has been removed.
  3. 9:50 and throughout - Tara steals a few shots from Hitchcock’s Rear Window, peering out the window while in her wheelchair.
  4. 10:15 — How did Gardiner learn Steed’s name? He seemed to stay in the car, watching Tara’s flat.
  5. 18:35 etc. - There’s a hair stuck to the camera lens at bottom left in the close-ups of Steed. It’s definitely on the camera as it’s only on the CUs of Steed, it disappears when the vision is on Flanders.
  6. 35:50 — The towing plate on the front of the truck is 768 MX, which we see again at 37:12 on the back of the towed car, but at 37:42 (front), 42:36 (back) and 44:40 (front) the towing plates read 598 H - as seen earlier in the episode when Stanley stopped to assist Flanders.
  7. 36:17 — The fight between Steed and Stanley is sped up, which robs the scene of any gravity.
  8. 45:36 — Lucky for Tara that Earle & Gardiner had taken Steed’s bowler hat, she’s able to knock Earle out with the steel rim when she throws it at him.
  9. 47:15 — How did Steed’s bowler end up under the fireman’s pole anyway? Last we saw it, it was the other side of the room.
  10. The villains are Earle, Stanley and Gardiner; a very obvious reference to crime/law fiction writer Erle Stanley Gardner, who is best remembered for his Perry Mason books. Of course, the episode’s title is in the vein of Perry Mason book (and television episode) titles.
  11. Tracey Reed once auditioned to be the female lead in The Avengers.
  12. Peter Jones’ voice is now more famous than his face - he played “The Book” in Douglas Adams’ seminal radio serial, “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”.
  13. I assume Linda Thorson was on holidays during much of this production run. This is the third episode in a row in which she spends most of the time in a diminished rôle - this time laid up with a skiing accident. Before that she was on holidays then knocked out by sleeping gas. In this episode she gets a fair bit of action in the final act so she must have returned from her break for most of this episode’s filming schedule.
  14. Running time: 49′19″.

The Transport

Citroën DS 19 Safari 1964black, white roofAYR 141B
Bentley 3 litre 1928 (chassis AX1662)british racing greenYT 3942
Bentley S1 Saloon 1955silver grey285 FLA
Bentley S1 Saloon 1955silver grey704 BLO (285 FLA)
Land-Rover 107" Series I 1955 motor rescuered641 GVX [598/.. H]+[768 MX]
Rover P5 3 litre Saloon Mk II 1963grey164 GYL
Morris 1100 Mk I 1964 (towed)blackEMY 340B

Who’s Killing Whom?

Dawson Earle & Gardiner pistol
Scott Earle & Gardiner rifle
Click a name to see the face

The Fashions

Tara Steed

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