The Nitpicker's Guide to The Avengers
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Something Nasty in the Nursery
April 21, 1967

Written by Philip Levene
Designed by Robert Jones
Directed by James Hill


Plot Summary

Official secrets are being leaked by top officials and one mentions his old nanny. Steed discovers that she now runs a "nanny training school" so he pays her visit... But she may not be who she seems!

My Thoughts

Not the worst episode of the series by any means, but not really one of my favorites either. The "leaking secrets" plotline has been used before and the episode also suffers from a "main villain explaining the whole scheme to one of his associates who should already know what's going on" moments. This episode is also noteworthy for featuring Patrick Newell in one of two pre-Mother roles and also credits Penelope Keith with an appearance as Nanny Brown although her scenes do not appear to have made it into the final cut.

Continuity & Production Problems

Julia Urbanek and Alix Sensale both pointed out that the black bomb Steed picks up and shoves it into the flower-packed tuba falls back out when he tips the tuba over to point out the window. Alix adds it's a shame that it's visible on camera because the mutilation of the tuba caused by the explosion is so wonderfully expressive.

Subsequent to the bomb falling back out, we see Steed take cover in his sofa facing the windows. However, in the very next shot he is seen facing away from the windows. Notice how, when the explosion goes off, the light and smoke erupt from below the tuba, which is ironic since we are supposed to believe the bomb is still in the tuba. So, they get the explosion effect "right" but for the wrong reason.

Discussing the baby bouncer situation with General Wilmont, Steed is is clearly seen not wearing gloves. Just then the bouncer arrives, and after Wilmont drops it, Steed bends over. While we don't see him touch it, his movements suggests he does. But after Goat arrives, Steed is then seen wearing gloves.

Then there's the issue of General Wilmot's childhood nickname, which was revealed by Mr. Goat (in the guise of Nanny Roberts) to be "Cuddles." Steed was in the room when "Cuddles" gave away the secrets of the missile bases and therefore heard the nickname. But how did Emma, who arrives long after the fact, know about the nickname?

  - Courtesy of David K. Smith / The Avengers Forever

Steed is leaving the Guild of Noble Nannies as the thug Gordon (Trevor Bannister) hides behind the Bentley, poised to shoot Steed. Steed (or rather, his stunt double) leaps over the car onto Gordon, flips him around and prepares to strike him. The next scene (clearly a studio shot), is looking upward toward Steed as he apparently strikes Gordon. Over Steed's right shoulder the sky abruptly ends at the top of the scenery panel, which is edged with a reflective metal band.

  - Submitted by John MacDonald



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