The Avengers: Season 1, Episode 15

The Frighteners (27 May 1961)

TV Episode  -   -  Action | Comedy | Crime
7.1
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Sir Thomas Waller disapproves of his daughter's choice in boyfriends and hires a criminal to scare off an unwanted suitor. Keel and Steed rescue the swain from the criminal's henchman and discover a clue to an extortion plot.

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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Ingrid Hafner ...
Willoughby Goddard ...
The Deacon
Philip Gilbert ...
Jeremy de Willoughby
Philip Locke ...
Moxon
Doris Hare ...
Mrs. Briggs / Doris Courtney
Stratford Johns ...
Sir Thomas Weller
Dawn Beret ...
Marylin Weller
David Andrews ...
Nigel
Godfrey James ...
Nature Boy
Neil Wilson ...
Beppi Colisimo
Eric Elliott ...
Butler
Ann Taylor ...
Secretary
Ralph Tovey ...
Waiter, Nicholl
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Storyline

Sir Thomas Waller disapproves of his daughter's choice in boyfriends and hires a criminal to scare off an unwanted suitor. Keel and Steed rescue the swain from the criminal's henchman and discover a clue to an extortion plot.

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27 May 1961 (UK)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Trivia

There are no known copies available of the series' first year, except for the first 22 minutes of the very first episode, The Avengers: Hot Snow (1961), and for episode #15, "The Frighteners". The other 25 episodes made in 1961 were believed to be lost forever as a number of episodes were broadcast live. However, in 2001, the 1961 episode, The Avengers: Girl on the Trapeze (1961), was discovered in the United States (odd considering the first season wasn't sold abroad). See more »

Quotes

Mrs. Briggs: How was it, ducky?
Dr. David Keel: Oh Doris, you were wonderful, I don't know how you do it. Never was ten quit better earned.
[Steed laughs]
Mrs. Briggs: Oh, Guinness, lovey, let's keep it professional.
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Connections

Featured in Quadrophenia (1979) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Our first glimpse of Patrick Macnee in his greatest role
8 December 2010 | by (Youngstown,Ohio) – See all my reviews

Only two complete episodes survive from this initial season of 26 episodes, but the first, "Girl on the Trapeze" (episode 6), was a solo effort for Ian Hendry's Dr. David Keel. "The Frighteners," episode 15, is therefore our first view of John Wickham Gascone Berresford Steed, played to unmatched perfection by the amiable Patrick Macnee, impeccably mannered, immaculately well dressed, and at least at this early stage, occasionally using a gun (but wearing his ubiquitous bowler hat, not yet with umbrella). We begin with affluent businessman Sir Thomas Weller (Stratford Johns) hiring a professional hit man called The Deacon (Willoughby Gray), fearing that his unknowing daughter (Dawn Beret) might run off and marry a small-time cad (Philip Gilbert) in pursuit of her wealth. The Deacon brings in two men to carry out a "massage" on the cad, who is all too aware of Weller's knowledge of his devious background, desperate to keep his "fiancee" in the dark about his true nature. The character of Dr. David Keel had his own small surgery, here used by Steed as the setting for an interrogation with hit-man Moxon (Philip Locke), using his own brass knuckles. This remains our only chance to see the two characters working as a team, but it is Keel who tricks Moxon into revealing the secret hideout of the mysterious Deacon. Keel's secretary Carol Wilson, played by Ingrid Hafner, another regular character only seen during the first season, is relegated to a brief appearance at the end, when Weller's naive daughter is gently dissuaded from a disastrous elopement by The Avengers. Videotaped in black and white, exactly like the Honor Blackman seasons that followed, this realistic, straightforward story provides another wholly fascinating glimpse at the way the series started out. Willoughby Goddard returned to the show in "Thingumajig" (one of the last episodes), Philip Locke returned in "Mandrake" and "From Venus with Love," Stratford Johns returned in "Legacy of Death," and Neil Wilson, as The Deacon's butcher shop curator, returned in "The Gilded Cage" and "The Interrogators." Designed by future director Robert Fuest, whose later credits feature "Wuthering Heights," "And Soon the Darkness" (both 1970), "The Final Programme" (1973), "The Devil's Rain" (1974), and both "Dr. Phibes" features starring Vincent Price. Both Ian Hendry and Ingrid Hafner bowed out after one season, so Patrick Macnee's Steed was promoted with no less than three partners the next year, only one of which would be retained for season three. The following 11 entries have not survived, so the next available episode would be the second season opener, "Mission to Montreal" (although "Mr. Teddy Bear" would be the first to be broadcast).


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