• title card: red all caps jagged italic text reading ‘BIZARRE’ superimposed on a field covered in snow, a thin row of black silhouetted trees and a pale sky above
  • Jupp rises out of his coffin in the darkened luggage van
  • Steed reaches up to climb out of Jupp’s grave
  • Jupp laughs as he imagines the look on his wife’s face if she knew where he was as he lies back on a day bed, surrounded by dolly birds
  • The Master has a cup of tea, his fake tan revealed now he’s removed his turban
  • Tara leads the arrested birds, businessmen, and crooks out of Steed’s open grave
  • Tara and Steed are trapped in his rocket after she presses the launch button

Series 6 — Episode 32
Bizarre

Teleplay by Brian Clemens
Directed by Leslie Norman

Production No E.67.9.31
Production completed: March 3 1969. First UK transmission: May 17 1969. First transmission (USA): April 21 1969.

Regional broadcasts

BroadcasterDateTime
Thames Television21/05/19698:00pm
ATV Midlands18/07/197111:30pm
Granada Television14/09/19698:25pm
Anglia Television24/09/19698:00pm
Border Television18/05/19697:25pm
Channel Television20/08/19698:00pm
Grampian Television21/05/19698:00pm
Southern Television6/08/19698:00pm
Scottish Television
Tyne Tees Television
Ulster Television23/05/19698:00pm
Westward Television20/08/19698:00pm
Harlech Television2/06/196910:30pm
Yorkshire Television17/05/19698:00pm

TV Times listing

TV Times listing for May 21 1969, 8pm (London edition)
Sydney Morning Herald listing for June 27 1969, 8pm
The Age listing for March 16 1970, 8.30pm

8.0 The Avengers
Patrick Macnee
Linda Thorson
in
Bizarre
By Brian Clemens

In the final episode of the current series, Steed and Tara encounter a highly commercialised cemetery, where bodies have a habit of popping in and out of their coffins — even after they are buried!
It seems that dirty work is afoot, for most of the missing bodies belong to crooked financiers who died when they were about to be prosecuted for fraud. And before the myster is unravelled, a coffin containing the lifeless body of John Steed is buried too.

John Steed Patrick Macnee
Tara King Linda Thorson
Happychap Roy Kinnear
Master Fulton Mackay
Mother Patrick Newell
Helen Sally Nesbitt
Cordell James Kerry
Shaw George Innes
Jupp John Sharp
Mrs. Jupp Sheila Burrell
Tom Michael Balfour
Bob Patrick Connor
Charley Ron Pember

Designer Robert Jones; Director Leslie Norman; Producers Albert Fennell, Brian Clemens

International broadcasts

BroadcasterDateTime
ABN2 Sydney, Australia27/06/19698:00pm
ABV2 Melbourne, Australia16/03/19709:00pm
ABC New York, USA21/04/19697:30pm
ORTF2 France19/12/19708:35pm
Suisse Romande, Switzerland15/07/19748:55pm
French titleBizarre
ZDF Germany
German titleNächster Aufenthalt: Paradies
KRO Netherlands4/12/19709:25pm
Dutch titleDe grote lijkenroof
TTI Italy14/12/1980 C51
Italian titlePrato felice
Spain25/05/197011:00pm
Spanish titleFantástico

This episode was one of five that were left out of the initial run of series 6 in Melbourne, Australia, and was eventually rescreened in 1970 after the “Steed’s Choice” series of repeats of seven selected episode from series 5.

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

USA: Chicago Tribune listing for April 21 1969, 6.30pm
USA: New York Times listing for April 21 1969, 7.30pm
Spain: ABC Madrid listing for May 25 1970, 11pm
Netherlands: Dagblad de Stem listing for December 4 1970, 9.25pm
Netherlands: Zierkzeesche Nieuwsbode highlights and listing for December 4 1970, 9.25pm
France Gazette de Lausanne listing and summary for December 19 1970, 8.35pm
Switzerland: La Liberté episode summary for July 15 1974, 8.55pm
Switzerland: La Liberté photo from the episode
Switzerland: Feuille d’Avis de Neuchâtel L’Express listing with photo for July 15 1974, 8.55pm

Continuity & Trivia

  1. 1:15–1:30 — Shadows pass across Helen’s face, especially at 1:25, but the long shot reveals her to be in the middle of an open field devoid of tree that could have caused the shadows.
  2. 1:50 — There’s dust on the caption scanner again — you can see all these specks appear momentsbefore the firt title slide is displayed.
  3. 3:00 — Captain Cordell is wearing a Guards tie.
  4. 4:05–4:30 — Happychap’s office and front gate are festooned with gauche slogans: “Special terms for parties of more than twenty”, “Hurry hurry hurry get in while the going’s good”, “We give trading stamps / save for that funeral now”.
  5. 6:40 — There’s an echo in the audio, due to it being filmed in the studio but at odds with the supposed exterior location of the graveyard. (And I have to say it’s a great studio set, although the artificial grass is a bit odd.
  6. 7:14 onwards — Steed shows Helen some photos, trying to jog her memory. The first is Robert Russell (Lubin in Get-A-Way!, then two other actors, and then John Sharp (playing Jonathan Jupp).
  7. 16:35 — Mother reports in to his superior, Grandma.
  8. 27:12 — I wonder if it’s too late to hands this case over to another department.
  9. 30:05 — Terrible Sixties casual racism — the Master’s fake Indian act is cringeworthy.
  10. 30:22 — The close-up of the Master is out of focus.
  11. 33:30 — Paul Weston standing in for Macnee in the street scene except for the close-up.
  12. 34:05 — Mother’s phone is labelled M6 — is that a “Danger Man” reference?
  13. 34:47 — When Happychap says, “Dead, so we buried him” the audio is muffled and echoey — and doesn’t even sound like Roy Kinnear! Was it redubbed in post-production?
  14. 43:00 onwards — Lovely intercutting of Paul Weston’s stunt work with Macnee’s midshots.
  15. 44:15–44:55 — Cyd does Linda’s more difficult stunts.
  16. 46:01 — The rounded-up financiers and dollybirds are handcuffed together in a different order as the emerge from the grave, compared to when Steed first marched them through the tunnel below. 46:22 — augmented by Shaw, Charley and Jupp. Although it may be explained by Steed having kept one of the dollybirds down below with him — he’s uncuffed the dolly between the first two financiers.
  17. 48:30 — Hilarious use of stock Apollo program footage when Steed’s rocket takes off.
  18. 49:34 — Mother breaks the fourth wall to tell the audience, somewhat optimisitically as it turned out, “They’ll be back, you can depend on it”. He then blusters, “They’re unchaperoned up there!”
  19. The other financiers are John Ash, George & Anthony (Tony) Barter, and Patrick Vernon — and one other; it’s never made clear which is which.
  20. Running time: 50′01″

The Transport

MarqueColourNumber
Land-Rover 88″ Series II soft topgreenLYP 794D
British Rail intercityblue white and yellow?
Rolls-Royce 40/50 h.p. ‘Silver Ghost’ 1923 H.J.Mulliner tourer (chassis number 46LK)pale lemonKK 4976
Daimlertaupe?
Humber Hawk Series IV 1965blue?
Bedford HA 1967pale greenNMY 625E

Who’s Killing Whom?

VictimKillerMethod
Bradney Morton Tara shot by own gun during fight
Captain Cordell Charley (?) revolver
Click a name to see the face

The Fashions

Tara Steed

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