The Avengers (1961–1969)
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You Have Just Been Murdered 

Steed and Mrs. Peel stop a clever blackmailing scheme targeting millionaires.




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Episode complete credited cast:
George Unwin
Robert Flemyng ...
Lord Maxted
Nathaniel Needle
Leslie French ...
Lord Rathbone
Geoffrey Chater ...
Gilbert Jarvis
Simon Oates ...
Clifford Cox ...
John Baker ...
Leslie Crawford ...
Morgan (as Les Crawford)
Frank Maher ...
Peter J. Elliott ...


Steed and Mrs. Peel stop a clever blackmailing scheme targeting millionaires.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

sexual tension | See All (1) »





Release Date:

24 January 1968 (USA)  »

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Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


As Mrs. Peel follows the baddie back to his leader, the camera dolly is visible in the lower corner of the screen. See more »


Emma Peel: Hey Ho.
See more »

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User Reviews

"By the numbers thriller albeit a fun one."
4 August 2008 | by (Poole, Dorset) – See all my reviews

Steed and Emma are called in by Lord Maxstead (Robert Flemyng) of the British Banking Corporation who is concerned because a number of his wealthiest clients have been withdrawing the sum of £1,000,000 in cash. Things become more serious when one of those clients, Gilbert Jarvis (Geoffrey Charter) is murdered. Needle (George Purcell) and Skelton (Simon Oates) specialise in mock murder attempts aimed at wealthy and influential men to frighten them into paying up. When they select tycoon George Unwin (Barrie Ingham), a close friend of Steed's as their next target, The Avengers set a trap. They tail Unwin to the remote and derelict Bridge Farm where Emma succeeds in trapping the guy sent to collect the money and forces him to lead her to his boss. But she is overpowered by Skelton. Meanwhile Steed accosts Unwin who tells him that there is a time bomb in the attaché case containing the money. Now Steed is faced with finding the hideout and Mrs Peel before the bomb detonates but it is going to be like looking for a Needle in a haystack!

The screenplay by Philip Levene who along with Brian Clemens was the series' most prolific writer and the most influential in terms of its style allows for some very suspenseful situations. For instance, Steed's climatic battle to find Needle's hideout since unknown to the mastermind and Mrs Peel, Unwin tried to box clever by planting a bomb inside the loot. Some of the fake murder attempts are pretty flesh creeping as well thanks to the direction of Robert Asher (brother of ace Cinematographer Jack whose work was a highlight of the early Hammer gothics). In the handful of Avengers episodes he directed, Robert Asher proved that he was very proficient with the tongue in cheek thriller genre and it was a pity that on the big screen his work consisted mainly of trivial Norman Wisdom comedies and The Intelligence Men was Morecombe and Wise's first albeit unsuccessful bid for big screen stardom. Compared to Levene's previous offerings such as the delightfully eccentric and bizarre fantasy episodes like Man Eater Of Surrey Green, the one in which Steed and Emma tackle - guess what?- a man eating plant, You Have Just Been Murdered seems like a by the numbers thriller albeit a thoroughly enjoyable one. As always there is an amusing tag scene at the end of the episode in which Steed shows Emma his self-made million made up of half pennies all stored neatly in little boxes except he is half a penny short of a complete million. "Whoever heard of a nine thousand, nine hundred and ninety nineraire?" he gasps. But Mrs Peel does the honours by contributing the outstanding half penny out of her own pocket to complete Steed's million. "There" she says "You are now a fully fledged, self-made, half penny millionaire."

Patrick Macnee and Diana Rigg are as good as always as Steed and Emma with their usual chemistry which defined the shows popularity while George Purcell runs through all the traits of arch villainy as Needle a mastermind with a love of puns - he makes his hideaway in a haystack as a nod to his name thinking that it is so obvious that it will make him impossible to find. But the most interesting member of the supporting cast is Simon Oates who later portrayed Steed on the stage version of The Avengers in the early seventies.

Overall, You Have Just Been Murdered seems like a routine thriller compared to some of the more way out, fantasy plots that prolific series writer Philip Levene has written in the past. Nonetheless, it is still a thoroughly enjoyable episode complete with some good chemistry between Steed and Emma and some suspenseful sequences.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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