The Nitpicker's Guide to The Avengers
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The Frighteners
May 27, 1961

Written by Berkely Mather
Designed by Robert Fuest
Directed by Peter Hammond


Plot Summary

Steed enlists Dr. Keel's help to catch the Deacon... An arch-criminal who "massages" patients (beats the royal stuffing out of them) for money. They interrupt the beating of Jeremy de Willoughby, arranged by Sir Thomas Waller to keep de Willoughby from marrying his daughter. Dr. Keel tricks one of the Deacon's men into taking him to the Deacon's hideout and alerts Steed to the hideout's whereabouts so he can take care of the Deacon. Meanwhile, the doctor takes care of de Willoughby, who is only interested in Waller's daughter for her money.

My Thoughts

Not too bad of an episode, made better due to the fact that it's one of only two surviving episodes featuring Ian Hendry. Interestingly enough, even though Dr. Keel is supposed to the be the main character and Hendry is a good actor, Steed's presence still dominates the screen in every scene he's in. It's easy to see why he became the fan favorite. Still I really enjoyed being able to finally see this one. It makes me wish, and hope, that I can someday see more of the Hendry era.

Plot Oversights

The Deacon would have to be the leading candidate for the "Stupid Criminal of the Year" award in 1961... Even after Keel manages to infiltrate his secret hideout and successfully escape, the Deacon still returns there with his henchmen, and discusses things which lead to his downfall. I don't know about you, but if that was me, Steed and the cops would have found nothing but an empty room when they arrived at Beppi's.

Continuity & Production Problems

In the very first scene when Sir Thomas says "Get that number to his secretary", the camera hits something and the whole set shudders.

When Steed has been given the flower and information by the flower lady Ian Hendry helps Patrick Macnee to find his place in the script:
IH: "You were saying?"
PM: "Now, where was I, the err, the organized hire of the trained thug...''
IH: "No, you were past that, it was something about a special demonstration in the Chelsea area".

  - Submitted by Mike Noon.

When Keel and Steed are talking, while petting the stray cat, the background music is not turned down soon enough and Keel's first line is inaudible.

During the second scene with Keel and Steed in the taxi, when Keel moves over to sit beside Steed, the camera seems to get hung up on something as it tries to follow him and they are out of sight for a few seconds.

  - From my own observations.

As Steed enters Beppi's shop, the reflection of someone in a raincoat can be seen in the window.

  - Submitted by Nick Griffiths.

Later, as the Deacon and his men enter, the reflection of a girl in a dress, sitting with her chin resting on her palm, can be seen in the glass.

  - From my own observations.

Fluffed Dialogue

Keel: (While threatening the Deacon with the syringe) "Now you're going to give me the answers to a few facts... and I want just the facts." (Most likely should have been: "Now you're going to give me the answers to a few QUESTIONS, and I want just the facts.")

  - Submitted by Dave Eversole.

Moxon (to the Deacon): "Well, what about your flippin' neck . . . and your face!" (Obviously should have been "What about your flippin' face?", but he said "neck" when getting confused with his own injury in an earlier scene when Dr Keel convinced him that he had broken his neck.)

  - Submitted by James Heath.



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