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Episode 76: Cathy Gale Era
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Cathy: "Steed, I caught him trying to snitch your naked pictures of Venus Smith."
 
Steed: "Keller, are you pulling my leg?..."
 
Steed: "These aren't spies, these are TV producers!"
 
Keller: "Steed, I'll offer you a Bentley to keep the whole mug shot thing quiet."
 

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THE CHARMERS

Steed goes to charm school
Cathy fences with the opposition

Production completed: 27 February 1964
UK Premiere (London, Season 3): 29 February 1964
US Premiere (A&E cable): ca. 3 April 1991

Spy vs. Spy (click to see category list)Enemy agents are being picked off in rapid succession, and Steed is implicated. Convincing the other side that a third party is responsible, Steed calls a truce and teams up with them, invoking an impromptu agent exchange program so as to keep an eye on one another. While Cathy's partner is knocked off at the dentist's, Steed and his partner scrounge for clues at a hat and tie shop, which lead them to a gentlemen's training organization.
 

 IMHO

If this sounds familiar, then you'll realize that "The Correct Way to Kill" is a remake of this episode. With much of the dialog intact, a few details are changed: the dentist becomes a chiropodist; the hat and tie shop becomes an umbrella shop; the shipping crates are full of bowlers instead of umbrellas; the innocent actress used as a warm body to keep Steed company becomes Olga, the trade-in spy; and Keller becomes Nutsky. While there are some aspects to recommend the original over the remake, such as more interesting plot twists, I'm sorry to say this one loses a bowler simply because I find Warren Mitchell's Keller nearly as annoying as his later two-time character, Brodny.

The original version explains one aspect of the remake that has always nagged at me... After Steed sends Olga into the clutches of the chiropodist, he seems strangely concerned for her welfare. In the original story, he had sent in an innocent bystander, not a trained spy—true cause for concern! To me it appears Brian Clemens had not adjusted the dialog enough to suit the new circumstances.

As an aside, does it bother anyone that here Steed is so concerned about an innocent being used as a pawn in a risky situation—in consideration of what he put poor Venus Smith through?
 

 Trivia

Ever notice the "mug shots" on the bulletin board at the finishing school, bearing the header "Most Wanted Agents"? Aside from Steed, they are all photos of production personnel—that's Brian Clemens at top left.

According to Steed, the painting in his flat is a portrait of his grandfather.

Some scenes were pre-recorded on 26 February 1964 in advance of the main recording.
 

 Best Line

Steed asks Miss Lawrence if she would like a drink. "Not before sundown," she replies. "Of course, you could draw the curtains."

 

THE CHARMERS

Written by
Designed by
Directed by

Brian Clemens
Richard Harrison
Bill Bain

Full production credits

CAST

John Steed
Cathy Gale
Kim Lawrence
Keller
Mr. Edgar
Betty Smythe
Martin
Horace Cleeves
Harrap
Sam
Vinkel

Patrick Macnee The 007 Connection
Honor Blackman The 007 Connection
Fenella Fielding
Warren Mitchell*
Brian Oulton*
Vivian Pickels
John Barcroft
Malcolm Russel
Frank Mills
John Greenwood
Peter Porteous* The 007 Connection

*DOPPELGANGERS

Warren Mitchell

The Golden Fleece
Two's a Crowd
The See-Through Man

Brian Oulton

Love All

Peter Porteous

The Eagle's Nest
 

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This website Copyright 1996-2008 David K. Smith. All Rights Reserved.
Page last modified 27 October 2004.