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Episode 49: Cathy Gale Era
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"Is this what you call a fun date?"
 
"Most money I ever made to NOT give a pretty girl a tatoo."
 
Steed: "Hey, so you dig me after all. COOL!"
 

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• Nitpicker's Guide

 

 A.K.A.

French: "La loi du silence"

Spanish: "La Conspiración Del Silencio"

 

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CONSPIRACY OF SILENCE

Steed yearns to be in the circus
Cathy moves in with the clowns*

Production completed: 1 March 1963
UK Premiere (London, Season 2): 3 March 1963
US Premiere (A&E cable): ca. 27 February 1991

Spy vs. Spy (click to see category list)Steed learns that a circus clown is trying to kill him, and it isn't Dr Keel. Posing (once again) as a journalist, Cathy moves in with the clown's wife and gets to meet the family—literally: the Mafia, who are trying to keep Steed from interfering with their American drug smuggling connection.

 IMHO

This episode is as much a circus itself as it is about one. A number of engagingly curious characters, such as the tatooist, are contrasted by an equal number of lackluster guest stars, like the clown's wife. Some great set pieces are patched together with a number of awkward scene transitions, and a missed music cue near the beginning leaves a long filmed segment in total silence. It's well worth it, however, for a few fiery Steed and Cathy exchanges, particularly the tense closing scene.

 Trivia

Exclusive: Writer Roger Marshall has penned an essay about his tenure on The Avengers.


Elizabeth & Collins were a special circus act.


Stephen Brooke writes, "Did you notice the circus poster in the background of the scene where Cathy is quizzing the circus guy about the attempt on Steed's life? It had an act on it called 'The Diminutive Steed'! (Hardly, I'd say!)"


Courtesy of Max Pemberton: Both this episode and The New Avengers episode "Trap" feature screen appearances by Robert Rietty, coincidentally playing Carlo in the former and Dom Carlos in the latter.

Genre fans may not know that Rietty is also a versatile and venerable voice-over artist, most familiarly the voice of the unseen Number Two during the opening tiles of The Prisoner (1967). He voiced, uncredited in all, agent Strangways in Dr. No (1962), Emilio Largo in Thunderball (1965), Tiger Tanaka in You Only Live Twice (1967) and Ernst Stavro Blofeld in For Your Eyes Only (1981 and in the pre-credits scenes in which Bond, eventually, mercilessly dumps the wheelchair-bound Blofeld down a factory chimney from a helicopter skid. Incidentally, the voice, and laugh, he uses here is unmistakably the same as that for The Prisoner intro. Also in this sequence, before his demise, Blofeld offers Bond a deal wherein which he will buy Bond "a delicatessen in stainless steel." The curious reasons behind this offer, which Bond refuses, are still open to debate. However, I digress…).

He also appeared, uncredited, as a Casino Baccarat Official in On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969) which starred Diana Rigg and Joanna Lumley, and appeared, again uncredited, as a police officer in The Assassination Bureau (1969) again with Diana Rigg. Also noteworthy is that both these films paired Diana Rigg with Telly Savalas. In fact, as well as Rietty, The Assassination Bureau featured an impressive array of Avengers performers: Patrick Allen (voice only), Peter Bowles, Maurice Browning, Roger Delgado, Vernon Dobtcheff, Arthur Hewlett, William Kendall, Jeremy Lloyd, Philip Madoc, Ralph Michael, Warren Mitchell, George Murcell, Gordon Sterne, and Frank Thornton.

Rietty also appeared in other genre favourites as Ghost Squad, Man of the World, Danger Man, Man in a Suitcase, The Adventurer, The Persuaders and The Professionals.

In 1983 he appeared as an Italian Minister in the unofficial Bond film Never Say Never Again, which was a remake of Thunderball, thus making him the only actor apart from Sean Connery to feature in both versions of the story.

In 1992, 29 years after his first Avengers appearance and 16 years after his second, he appeared in Sherlock Holmes and the Leading Lady which starred a certain young (ish) actor named Patrick MacNee as Dr. John Stee… sorry, Watson.


*This unofficial subtitle is by Yours Truly.

 Best Line

When Steed asks Cathy how she knew so much about tattoos, she said she took it up in school instead of needlework, which made Macnee burst out laughing, and Honor was all smiles.

 

CONSPIRACY OF SILENCE

Teleplay by
Story Editor
Designed by
Producer
Directed by

Roger Marshall
Richard Bates
Stephen Doncaster
John Bryce
Peter Hammond

Full production credits

CAST

John Steed
Cathy Gale
Carlo
Rickie
Sica
Gutman
Arturo
Terry
James
Professor
Rant
And:

Patrick Macnee The 007 Connection
Honor Blackman The 007 Connection
Robert Rietty* The 007 Connection
Sandra Dorne*
Alec Mango*
Roy Purcell*
Tommy Godfrey
John Church
Artro Morris*
Willie Shearer
Ian Wilson
Elizabeth & Collins

UNBILLED

Leggo

Himself

*DOPPELGANGERS

Sandra Dorne

Diamond Cut Diamond

Alec Mango

Two's a Crowd

Artro Morris

How To Succeed....At Murder

Roy Purcell

Obsession

Robert Rietty

Trap
 

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Page last modified 2 April 2008.