The Avengers: Season 4, Episode 21

A Touch of Brimstone (19 Feb. 1966)

TV Episode  |   |  Action, Comedy, Crime
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Ratings: 8.4/10 from 132 users  
Reviews: 3 user | 1 critic

A modern day Hellfire Club, led by libertine John Cleverly Cartney, plans to incite chaos by killing three foreign Prime Ministers.



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Episode complete credited cast:
The Honorable John Cleverly Cartney
Colin Jeavons ...
Lord Darcy
Sara Bradley
Robert Cawdron ...
Michael Latimer ...
Roger Winthrop / Lord Lakeham
Jeremy Young ...
Willy Frant / Lord Castigan
Bill Wallis ...
Tubby Bunn / Lord Ragsland
Steve Plytas ...
Boris Kartovski
Art Thomas ...
Alf Joint ...
Big Man
Bill Reed ...
Huge Man


A modern day Hellfire Club, led by libertine John Cleverly Cartney, plans to incite chaos by killing three foreign Prime Ministers.

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Plot Keywords:

boots | sexual tension | See All (2) »





Release Date:

19 February 1966 (UK)  »

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Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The 1966 episode "A Touch of Brimstone" was banned in the US because of Diana Rigg's Queen of Sin outfit (corset, spiked dog collar and thigh high boots), which Rigg designed herself. In addition original UK ITV transmissions heavily edited the final whipping scene between Mrs Peel and Cartney to one lash of the whip. All later video and DVD releases featured the full uncut print. See more »


Emma Peel: I've come here to appeal to you, Mr. Cartney.
The Honorable John Cleverly Cartney: You certainly do that.
See more »


Featured in 100 Greatest Sexy Moments (2003) See more »

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User Reviews

Notorious in its day, still splendid today
6 March 2011 | by (Youngstown,Ohio) – See all my reviews

"A Touch of Brimstone" may perhaps be the most (in)famous episode of them all, pruned before airing in Britain, and banned outright in America, one of five black and white Emma Peel shows that failed to air during the 60's. An episode devoted to sin and debauchery, whose chief villain, John Cleverly Cartney (Peter Wyngarde, later seen in "Epic"), has formed a new Hellfire Club, the 18th century elite organization whose slogan was "do what thou wilt," fronting an attempt to stage a coup by embarrassing the government with childish pranks that eventually turn deadly. Emma Peel's initial reaction to Cartney is a favorable one (driving Steed's jealousy), but after being introduced to the Club, all signs of amusement vanish, and her introduction as the 'Queen of Sin' has even Steed raising an eyebrow. Steed's initiation into the Club provides one of his most memorable moments, as he is required to remove a dried pea from its place before the razor-sharp blade of Roger Winthrop (Michael Latimer, later seen in "The Positive Negative Man") slices it in half with unerring accuracy. If you want to be forgiven for your sins, the first thing you've got to do is sin! (how true). Future MONTY PYTHON beauty Carol Cleveland provides some competition for Mrs. Peel (who supplants her in Cartney's company), while Steve Plytas makes his first appearance since "Immortal Clay" (the best thing about that entry). While Cartney puts his whip to good use on Mrs. Peel (nearly a dozen cracks!), Steed is swordfighting with Willy Frent (Jeremy Young, later seen in "Never, Never Say Die" and "The Forget-Me-Knot"), whose missing fingers were from his (unsuccessful) attempt to remove the dried pea before the axe fell. Colin Jeavons would return for "The Winged Avenger," Robert Cawdron would return for "Murdersville," and Bill Wallis would return for "The Positive Negative Man."

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