• title card: white text reading ‘Thingumajig’ in a script font superimposed on the box shape drawn in the sand by Greer, whole hands lie beside it
  • Major Star finds Reston’s body in the tunnels, a black mark on his forehead
  • Steed puzzles over the mysterious box
  • Teddy, Steed and Inge examine the map of the catacombs under Teddy’s church
  • Tara takes cover behind the sofa, desperately shaking a bottle of champagne which she intends to ‘fire’ at the electronic box
  • Steed is prepared for the box - welding goggles, gloves and electrical discharge gun with a huge generator
  • Tara hangs upside down outside Steed’s window, helping him fix his television reception, the antenna in her hand. He reaches out to grab her

Series 6 — Episode 26

Teleplay by Terry Nation
Directed by Leslie Norman

Production No E.67.9.28
Production completed: February 3 1969. First UK transmission: March 28 1969. First transmission (USA): March 24 1969.

Regional broadcasts

Thames Television2/04/19698:00pm
ATV Midlands28/03/19698:00pm
Granada Television3/08/19698:25pm
Anglia Television27/08/19698:00pm
Border Television13/04/19697:25pm
Channel Television14/06/19698:25pm
Grampian Television2/04/19698:00pm
Southern Television25/06/19698:00pm
Scottish Television
Tyne Tees Television2/04/19698:00pm
Ulster Television28/03/19698:00pm
Westward Television14/06/19698:25pm
Harlech Television28/03/19698:00pm
Yorkshire Television5/04/19698:00pm

TV Times listing

TV Times listing for April 2 1969, 8pm (London edition)
Sydney Morning Herald listing for May 30 1969, 8pm
The Age listing for February 23 1970, 8.30pm

8.0 The Avengers
Patrick Macnee
Linda Thorson

An archaeologist is excavating Stone Age remains from secret tunnels unearthed beneath an ancient church when he is killed by a mysterious monster. In the dust beside his body he has traced the word “It.” The vicar pays a call on his wartime comrade, John Steed, and the Avengers are off on the trail of one of the most unusual ghouls ever to go bump in the night.

John Steed Patrick Macnee
Tara King Linda Thorson
Inge Dora Reisser
Teddy Jeremy Lloyd
Kruger Iain Cuthbertson
Truman Willoughby
Major Star Hugh Manning
Dr. Grant John Horsley
Brett Edward Burnham
Stenson Vernon Dobtcheff
Pike Russell Waters
Phillips Michael McKevitt
William Neville Hughes
Greer John Moore
Bill Harry Shacklock

Director Leslie Norman; Producers Albert Fennell, Brian Clemens

International broadcasts

ABN2 Sydney, Australia30/05/19698:00pm
ABV2 Melbourne, Australia23/02/19709:00pm
ABC New York, USA24/03/19697:30pm
ORTF2 France19/10/19738:35pm
Suisse Romande, Switzerland8/07/19748:45pm
French titleHaute tension
ZDF Germany
German titleVorsicht! Hochspannung!
KRO Netherlands9/04/19719:10pm
Dutch titleHet geheimzinnige ding
TTI Italy24/12/1980 C51
Italian titleRoba da maghi
Spanish titleMágica asesina

This episode was not shown in the initial Swiss run of series 6 in 1969, but was the first previously unbroadcast episode shown there in a new run of the series in 1974.

ZDF Germany did not screen this episode as part of their broadcasts and Italy didn’t see it until 1980.

This episode changed timeslot in Switzerland from the originally scheduled 8.55pm to 8.45pm.

USA: New York Times listing for March 24 1969, 7.30pm
Spain: El Pueblo Gallego listing for December 22 1969, 11.05pm
Netherlands: Provinciale Zeeuwse Courant listing for April 9 1971, 9.10pm
France: L’Impartial listing for October 19 1973, 8.35pm
Switzerland: L’Impartial weekly listing (7/6/74) for July 8 1974, 8.55pm
Switzerland: La Liberté listing for July 8 1974, 8.45pm
USA: Chicago Tribune highlights for March 24 1969, 6.30pm
Switzerland: Le Nouvelliste pick of the day, July 8 1974
Switzerland: L’Impartial photo from the episode

Continuity & Trivia

  1. 3:10 — During the opening credits, the captions for the titles and the director credits are dirty, with smudges and hairs all over them.
  2. 2:55 — John Moore must have been known for his look of extreme horror at being attacked by something mysterious - his performance here is very similar to that in The Hidden Tiger.
  3. 12:49 and 21:30 — So too Edward Burnham, whose zombie walk is reminiscent of his brief appearance in The Fear Merchants.
  4. 15:42 — The telephone number of the vicarage is 476 6770.
  5. 16:36 — The “meadow pond” is Tykes Water lake and during the scene you can hear familiar haunting music, taken from the soundtrack of Series Five
  6. 21:10 (22:55) - Steed and Inge visit the same quarry where Izzy Pound met his demise.
  7. 23:17 — “I used to have a very favourite aunt...”
  8. 27:00 — lovely direction
  9. 29:20 — Why does the box kill Brett? He wasn’t holding a torch.
  10. 29:38 — The parcel was dispatched from Tulvermarsh and addresses to Miss T. King, 9 Primrose Crescent, London W8 (or maybe W2).
  11. 32:10 (33:10) - The x-rays of the thingumajig examined by Professor Truman are in fact the x-rays of the suitcase from Take me to your Leader.
  12. 38:43 — How could the box possibly have reached the top of the stairs?
  13. 43:20 — Music from From Venus with Love
  14. 44:34 — The projection of electric power through space - sounds like “Broadcast power” (The Positive Negative Man) to me.
  15. 48:34 (50:04) - Tara plays a short snippet of the “The Avengers” theme on the organ.
  16. Running time: 49′58″

The Transport

Rolls-Royce Phantom I H.J. Mulliner [80KR] 1929pale lemonUU 3864
Wolsley 6/99 1959 & caravandark grey, cream and brown?
Land-Rover 88″ Series II ¼ ton 4x4 1958 softtopnavyHNH 659C
Austin A55 1958 van, crashedblue?
Lotus Europa S2 Pre-production [Type 54] 1968redPPW 999F

Who’s Killing Whom?

Greer Thingumajig electric discharge
Bill Reston Thingumajig electric discharge
Major Star Thingumajig electric discharge
Brett Thingumajig electric discharge
Kruger Thingumajig electric discharge
Thingumajig Steed arc welder
Click a name to see the face

The Fashions

Tara Steed

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