The Avengers (1961–1969)
4 user 1 critic

False Witness 

Witnesses and agents investigating upper class blackmailer Lord Edgefield can't seem to tell the truth.


Charles Crichton


Jeremy Burnham (teleplay by)

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Patrick Macnee ... John Steed
Linda Thorson ... Tara King
John Bennett ... Sykes
Barry Warren Barry Warren ... Melville
Tony Steedman ... Sir Joseph
Patrick Newell ... Mother
William Job William Job ... Lord Edgefield
Dan Meaden Dan Meaden ... Sloman
Michael Lees ... Plummer
Simon Lack Simon Lack ... Nesbitt
Arthur Pentelow Arthur Pentelow ... Dr. Grant
Peter Jesson Peter Jesson ... Penman
Rio Fanning Rio Fanning ... Lane
John Atkinson John Atkinson ... Brayshaw
Larry Burns Larry Burns ... Gould


Dying agent Penman instructs Miss King to tell Steed that their colleague Melville is a traitor, leading to the avengers boss mother replacing Melville with Steed into the investigation of suspected blackmailer Lord Edgefield. However none of Edgefield's victims are prepared to give evidence and when Steed arrives at the Dreemykreem dairy he discovers the reason. Written by don @ minifie-1

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis





Release Date:

25 November 1968 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

ABC Weekend Television See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Mother's bus is labeled "Remember Mother's Day". See more »


Episode 7.7, "False Witness", contains several goofs. When Tara escapes from the fight in the milk vat, as she runs away her clothes appear to be dry. After the getaway, she stops at a phone kiosk to call Steed, and she is completely dry, despite the fact that moments before she was swimming in milk. Later, she returns to the dairy and starts smashing bottles of milk and tipping over milk cans. When Steed arrives on the scene, the floor isn't wet and there are no broken bottles visible. Finally, with Tara in the butter maker, we can see her from the waist up, and she doesn't appear to be swimming in milk. Yet, when Steed frees her, she is embedded up to her neck in a giant block of butter. See more »


Mother: I'm surrounded by incompetence.
John Steed: In general or in particular?
Mother: Both. That's why I have to involve you in a case that a child of two could have sown up in half an hour.
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Referenced in The Avengers (1998) See more »

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User Reviews

As great as any classic Emma Peel episode
26 April 2011 | by kevinolzakSee all my reviews

"False Witness" is simply one of the best ever, the second to be scripted by actor Jeremy Burnham, the fourth to be directed by Charles Crichton, a winning combination. Barry Warren ("Too Many Christmas Trees") plays Melville, on assignment to recover documents against notorious blackmailer Lord Edgefield (William Job, "Man-Eater of Surrey Green"), who denies knowledge of Edgefield's returning chauffeur to his helpless partner, who is mortally wounded while escaping, but manages to warn Steed that Melville is a traitor. Others who come forth also contradict their own sworn statements, frustrating Sir Joseph Tarlton (Tony Steedman, "The Little Wonders"), who nevertheless joins the chorus of witnesses who fail to confirm their own evidence. Once Tara realizes the truth, she calls Sir Joseph: "this is very unimportant! I don't want to warn you!" More quotable dialogue than most other episodes, and Steed allowed to display both anger and genuine frustration (Macnee is superb here), before logically turning the tables on the villains in an uproarious climax. Also featuring John Bennett ("Mission to Montreal"), Arthur Pentelow ("Trojan Horse"), and Rio Fanning ("Dead Man's Treasure"). Crichton's next, "The Interrogators," would be his best (and last), while Burnham's next would be another classic, "Love All."

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