Episode 33: Cathy Gale Era
Page 33 of 192



 Le décapode

 El Decápodo

  Other Viewpoints

• Visitor reviews


Steed wrestles with several murders
Venus charms a playboy marked for death*

Production completed: 12 August 1962
UK Premiere (London, Season 2): 13 October 1962
US Premiere (A&E cable): ca. 29 January 1991

The death of a young woman at the Balkan Embassy brings Steed to see the visiting President, who is negotiating a contract for aid with the British government. Steed talks Venus Smith into seeing the notorious playboy about a singing engagement—at least that's the claim. But soon Venus witnesses the body count rise as, one by one, President Borb's bodyguards are murdered, apparently by a wrestling champion called The Decapod.


This frightfully uneven episode, which marks Venus Smith's debut, varies from dreadful, such as the opening scene in which the President's secretary is murdered, to delightful—the writing is top-drawer, and Paul Stassino turns in a four-bowler performance as Yakob Borb.

But it's still not quite like watching The Avengers we know and love on the Colonial side of the pond, as Steed is such a crass chauvinist pig, stuffing his business card down Venus' chest and patting the waitress on the behind. And it's very unsettling how he manipulates the innocent Venus, who is so gullible as to strain one's patience. Not to mention that she is such a strange character—acts like she's 12, sings like she's 40, and dresses like she's anywhere in between.

It's also interesting to see how the limitations of the production style—all videotaped "as live" on studio sets—lead to the occasional goof. In this instance, the director cut to a shot of Steed before the cameraman had finished changing lenses—and we're treated to a few seconds of various versions of Steed's face rotating in and out of focus.

However, to the producers' credit, the programs are technically impressive when one considers the demands of shooting an episode as if it was going out live: large, labyrinthine sets; long, unbroken sequences shot using multiple cameras; and considerable numbers of extras to coordinate.


Stuntman/extra Valentino Musetti is listed in the closing credits as Valentine.

*This unofficial subtitle is by Yours Truly.

 Essential Reading


Teleplay by
Story Editor
Designed by
Directed by

Eric Paice
John Bryce
Terry Green
Leonard White
Don Leaver

Full production credits


John Steed
Venus Smith
Yakob Borb
Edna Ramsden
Harry Ramsden
With: [Guards Officer]
[Girl in shower]
[Cigarette girl]

Patrick Macnee 007
Julie Stevens
Paul Stassino 007
Philip Madoc #
Wolfe Morris #
Lynne Furlong
Raymond Adamson #
Harvey Ashby #
Pamela Conway
Stanley M. Ayers
Douglas Robinson #
Valentine Musetti #
Valerie Stanton
and The Dave Lee Trio


Raymond Adamson

The Grandeur That Was Rome
Take Me To Your Leader

Harvey Ashby

Death at Bargain Prices

Philip Madoc

Six Hands Across A Table
Death of a Batman
The Correct Way to Kill
My Wildest Dream

Wolfe Morris

The Yellow Needle
Two's a Crowd

Valentine (Valentino) Musetti

The Secrets Broker
The Outside-In Man
Lobster Quadrille
Death à la Carte

Douglas Robinson

Death on the Rocks
Man With Two Shadows
Esprit de Corps

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This website Copyright © 1996-2017 David K. Smith. All Rights Reserved.
Page last modified: 5 May 2017.

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