The Avengers (1961–1969)
6 user 2 critic

The Town of No Return 

Steed and Emma visit a mysterious coastal town where several agents have vanished, and where the locals are not all they seem.


, (uncredited)


(teleplay by)


Episode complete credited cast:
Alan MacNaughtan ...
Brandon (as Alan MacNaughton)
Terence Alexander ...
'Piggy' Warren
Juliet Harmer ...
Jill Manson
Walter Horsbrugh ...
School Inspector


Steed and Emma visit a coastal town where several agents have disappeared and is extremely sparsely populated. Emma poses as a teacher but the school she attends has no children and Steed realizes that the inhabitants are using the names of dead people and are using the town as a trial run for an enemy invasion. Written by don @ minifie-1

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis





Release Date:

1 September 1966 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


First episode introducing the now famous theme song composed by Laurie Johnson. This catchy tune was also the base for the theme of the TV series The New Avengers (1976) and again for the movie The Avengers (1998) See more »


When the vicar says, "It's a very appropriate piece, Mrs. Peel. It's a Requiem", the music playing is not from a Requiem. It's Mozart's "Ave Verum Corpus". See more »


John Steed: [during a friendly bout of fencing] We ought to get away... Down to the coast for a while.
Emma Peel: We?
[she turns round and Steeds slaps her on the behind with his sword]
John Steed: [they resume their swordfight] Why not? We can build sandcastles together.
Emma Peel: I refuse to carry your bucket and spade.
See more »


Featured in Outlander: Dragonfly in Amber (2016) See more »

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User Reviews

A good start to the 1965 season
9 September 2007 | by (Tennessee) – See all my reviews

I've been a fan of The Avengers for as long as I can remember, but unfortunately, I've honestly never seen more than the odd episode here and there. Thanks to Netflix, I've decided to change that. I've also decided to not start at the beginning of the series, but with the 1965 season instead. As many fans will undoubtedly know, 1965 is the season that Diana Rigg joined the show as Mrs. Emma Peel. Mrs. Peel's introduction has to be one of the most "nothing" moments in television history. She's quite literally just there. No fanfare at all. But then again, this is The Avengers. The low-key approach to something like a new major character is in keeping with the show's overall tone. Like the character Steed, "unflappable" is a good work to use when describing the entire series.

The first episode of 1965, "The Town of No Return" encapsulates what I enjoy about the show. Quirky characters, bizarre situations, solid acting, and a sinister air of mystery are all present in this episode. Steed and Mrs. Peel arrive in a small town to investigate the disappearances of several agents who have gone in before them. The quaint little town is situated near a WWII air base. But something is wrong. There aren't enough people. And those who are there aren't who they seem to be. Steed and Mrs. Peel find themselves at the air base investigating an invasion from within (so to speak).

Even though this was their first episode together, Diana Rigg and Patrick Macnee are as good always. Their chemistry seems to have been instantaneous. They are joined by a good, but small supporting cast that includes Terence Alexander as the overly genial barkeep named 'Piggy" Warren and Robert Brown (who I immediately recognized as M from the James Bond films of the 1980s) as the very sinister Saul. I'm sure that having a director as skilled in horror as Roy Ward Baker contributed greatly to the episodes atmosphere. As is the case with many of The Avengers episodes I've seen, the writing is the real standout. "The Town of No Return" is no different. It's well written and interesting throughout. Though some of the details in the underground bunker near the end get a bit messy, this is a very minor quibble to what is otherwise an entertaining start to the 1965 season.

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