The Avengers (1961–1969)
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Silent Dust 

When birds begin to fall from branches in flocks, it seems someone is using the banned chemical Silent Dust in the countryside of Cornwall. Steed and Mrs Peel soon find out a that a small ... See full summary »


Roy Ward Baker (as Roy Baker)


Roger Marshall (teleplay by)




Episode complete credited cast:
Patrick Macnee ... John Steed
Diana Rigg ... Emma Peel
William Franklyn William Franklyn ... Omrod
Jack Watson ... Juggins
Conrad Phillips ... Mellors
Norman Bird ... Croft
Hilary Wontner Hilary Wontner ... Minister
Joanna Wake Joanna Wake ... Miss Snow
Isobel Black ... Clare Prendergast
Charles Lloyd Pack Charles Lloyd Pack ... Sir Manfred Fellows
Aubrey Morris ... Quince
Robert Dorning Robert Dorning ... Howard


When birds begin to fall from branches in flocks, it seems someone is using the banned chemical Silent Dust in the countryside of Cornwall. Steed and Mrs Peel soon find out a that a small group of local landowners is planning to use the deadly dust to blackmail the country by destroying Dorset. Written by The TV Archaeologist

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Did You Know?


For the scene in which Mrs. Peel is being chased by hounds and takes a fall, Diana Rigg was doubled by Ray Austin, who accidentally fell into a hole and was knocked unconscious for five minutes. See more »


Early in the episode, they show flocking birds, and then individual birds dropping to the floor dead. One of the 'flocking birds' shots is actually film of fruit bats, native to the tropics, not the UK. See more »


John Steed: [looking through Quince's glasses] Cut off in mid-warble?
Emma Peel: I haven't heard from him since.
See more »


Written by Daniel Decatur Emmett
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User Reviews

A fox among the hounds
25 February 2011 | by kevinolzakSee all my reviews

One of the five black and white episodes that never aired in the US, "Silent Dust" begins very well, as happy chirping birds expire with great rapidity near a fearsome scarecrow (which is never seen again). The title refers to a new brand of fertilizer which does the opposite of what was intended, killing all earthworms, birds, and even plant life. Its creator has now died, but not before his notorious secret was stolen by a licensed cropduster, Peter Omrod (William Franklyn, later seen in "Killer"), who plots to use it for blackmailing purposes. His henchmen are a particularly nasty bunch, who think nothing of shooting intruders on sight, resulting in a wounded arm for an inquisitive Steed. Jack Watson, later seen in "The Living Dead," plays the sadistic Juggins, who delights in slitting throats (and gets to whip Mrs. Peel), Conrad Phillips plays the rifle-toting gamekeeper Oliver Mellors, Hilary Wontner, later seen in "The Winged Avenger," plays the Minister who introduces Steed to the effects of Silent Dust, and Charles Lloyd Pack, later seen in "You'll Catch Your Death," plays the scientist who worked with its creator. Isobel Black, lovely star of Hammer's "The Kiss of the Vampire" (1962) and "Twins of Evil" (1971), is sadly underused in a nothing part as the daughter of Silent Dust's creator, but Aubrey Morris is well served as a bird watcher who comes to a bad end. For such a deadly serious operation, the climax, a fox hunt on horseback, is almost entirely played for humor, a mistake. Surely such despicable characters deserved a more fitting finale, but there is the novelty of catching Steed astride a noble steed, and Emma, a fox among the drooling hounds. There is one dream sequence showing Diana Rigg in Western garb (1973's "Theater of Blood" still seven years away) that has absolutely nothing to do with the rest of the episode, but she's very funny, as always (removing a bullet the size of a golf ball from an injured Steed). We also get a gratuitous scene where Emma is posing for a bust wearing nothing but a sheet exposing her bare shoulders (apparently, Rigg watching was becoming a favorite pastime in Britain!).

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Release Date:

31 December 1965 (UK) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

ABC Weekend Television See more »
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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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