The Avengers: Season 4, Episode 1

The Town of No Return (1 Sep. 1966)

TV Episode  |   |  Action, Comedy, Crime
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Ratings: 8.0/10 from 158 users  
Reviews: 6 user | 2 critic

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


, (uncredited)


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Title: The Town of No Return (01 Sep 1966)

The Town of No Return (01 Sep 1966) on IMDb 8/10

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Episode complete credited cast:
Alan MacNaughton ...
Mark Brandon
Patrick Newell ...
Jimmy Smallwood
Terence Alexander ...
'Piggy' Warren
Jeremy Burnham ...
Vicar, Jonathan Ainsbury
Juliet Harmer ...
Jill Manson
Walter Horsbrugh ...
School Inspector


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

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
See  »

Did You Know?


Patrick Newell would later play Mother in the Linda Thorson era. See more »


During the scene in which Smallwood is chased by bloodhounds, there is a shot of him running through some water - but whereas the actor playing Smallwood is obese and dark-haired, the stunt man seen front-on in the water shot is grey-haired and slim. See more »


John Steed: You stay there. Special experience to move without noise. Superior training. I can move like a cat... in carpet slippers.
See more »


Referenced in The Avengers (1998) See more »

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User Reviews

Town Of Many Returns - it gets better with each viewing
15 August 2010 | by (Manchester,UK) – See all my reviews

I'd never realised before, but watching The Town Of No Return this time I found Diana Rigg's portrayal of Emma Peel not quite as rounded as it will become; it's slightly too acidic – she always retains a trace of acid of course, along with her famous "Chelsea wit", but here she seems to be reading the lines as Cathy Gale - with a grudging resentment towards Steed, rather than a smouldering sexuality and feline superiority that she later possesses; it's not a complaint, just an observation. This episode has an intro sequence, or as much of an intro as we've ever had in the Avengers thus far – basically Steed and Mrs Peel have a fencing match – both physically and verbally – which allows a few small insights into their characters, mainly that Steed is more than happy to play dirty to win when necessary.

The classic scene on the train with Steed's tea things in the carpet bag is priceless and just typifies the Avengers as we now think of it; this scene wouldn't have fitted well into the earlier seasons, but the Avengers is now a different show with more emphasis on light entertainment and humour; it seldom relies on anything from the real world.

The two leads are amazing in this story and their relationship – although fledgling – is one that is a pleasure to watch. The supporting cast are all excellent, including a brief appearance from Patrick Newell, later to become Steeds superior "Mother" – and Juliet Harmer, who must have been filming Adam Adamant Lives! around this time. Terence Alexander and Jeremy Burnham are brilliantly cast and turn in memorable performances.

The setting of Little Bazeley is atmospheric and the mystery builds nicely. Some of the shots of sand dunes, graveyard and abandoned military base are so filmic and well-composed that I had to keep pausing to admire the frames. The plot – when fully revealed - is outlandish, but hey, this is Emma Peel Avengers, and outlandish and somewhat surreal is exactly what we want.

I can't praise this episode highly enough. For me the pacing is just right, the humour's spot on and everything comes together perfectly. This is Avengers-gold – one of the very, very best of the series. 10/10.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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