The Nitpicker's Guide to The Avengers
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The Town of No Return
October 2, 1965

Written by Brian Clemens
Directed by Roy Baker


Plot Summary

Four agents have vanished, looking for each other, in Little Bazeley-by-the-sea. Some rather odd locals greet Steed and Emma as they go in undercover to try to find some answers... before they run out of agents.

My Thoughts

A fair number of anomalies in this one, possibly owing to the fact that this episode was originally shot with Elizabeth Shepherd in the roll of Emma Peel. When Diana Rigg was later cast as Shepherd's replacement, only key scenes were re-filmed. Still this episode is enjoyable and ranks high on my list of favorites.

Continuity & Production Problems

Apparently the school inspector endured a "badger hunting" sequence just like Smallwood's, but it was omitted from the final cut (no doubt shot as part of the original Elizabeth Shepherd version). A sharp eye will notice that Patrick Newell is much thinner and grayer in one brief shot during his flight across the dunes.

And the continuity demons strike again as we see Emma, wearing black and white gloves, examining the parish records. When she calls the Vicar over to see the missing pages, she is not wearing gloves in the close-up--it even looks like a completely different book. (Another leftover from the Shepherd version, perhaps?)

One curiosity is a missing line of dialog: after Steed fails to exit the tavern and winds up back in his room with a bottle of booze, he advises Emma that she should be getting to bed. She answers him--her mouth moves--but there is no voice. (It looks as though she says, "I know.")

Susan Minobe notes that the sign outside the pub calls it "Inebriated Gremlin" whereas Piggy calls it the "Jolly Old Gremlin." However, Tony McKay contends that "Piggy is surely using a term of affection for the pub. I'm sure that most regulars would refer to it as 'The Gremlin' [since] 'The Inebriated Gremlin' is a bit of a mouthful even when [one is] not inebriated!"

  - Courtesy of David K. Smith / The Avengers Forever



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