Episode 135: Tara King Era
Page 136 of 192



Tara arrives at Steed's for a date at the opera, but Steed hasn't dressed yet. Not to worry—he's mastered the art of quick-change.



 Vor Clowns wird gewarnt

 La sai quella dei due amici che...

 Miren... Iban Esos Dos Tipos

  On the Radio

• Stop Me If You've Heard This

  Other Viewpoints

• Illuminations
• Visitor Reviews
• The Young Avenger

LOOK - (stop me if you've heard this one) BUT THERE WERE THESE TWO FELLERS...

Steed becomes a vaudeville comic
Tara takes up silly walking*

Production completed: 29 February 1968
UK Premiere (London, Season 7): 11 December 1968
US Premiere (New York, Season 3): 8 May 1968

The directors of Project Cupid (a program to create an emergency underground facility for the British government in case of war) are being popped off one by one by a bunch of clowns bent on stopping the project before it levels some old vaudeville theaters.


This is perhaps one of the most polarizing of all Avengers episodes—one tends to either really love it or really hate it! For me, this one was doomed from the start owing to one of my personal peculiarities—I hate clowns. But even if there were no clowns, I just can't warm up to it. The Avengers, at least the form of personal preference, is a study in subtlety, not slapstick; eccentrics, not lunatics. But that's just me. Also winner of the "Longest and Most Ridiculous Episode Title" award.


Of note to Monty Python fans is the appearance of John Cleese as Marcus Pugman, the "egg man," making three links between the respective series—the other two being Carol Cleveland ("A Touch of Brimstone") and producer Ian McNaughton ("The Master Minds").

No credit is given for who was actually operating Mr. Punch, but it is very likely a professional Punch and Judy Man called John Styles, who listed The Avengers in his CV. He also worked on the Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased) episode "That's How Murder Snowballs" at around the same time. (Thanks to Pete Stampede)

By the way, the concept of an underground emergency facility for the government had already been conceived—and built—in the truly outstanding Cathy Gale second season episode, "The Nutshell."

Apparently, they really do paint clown faces on eggs.

Acronym Alert: Project CUPID is Cabinet Underground Premises In Depth.

*This unofficial subtitle is by Yours Truly.

 Best Scene

Steed must endure Bradley Marler, the gag writer (played by Bernard Cribbins, the British counterpart to Orson Bean). Marler rattles off a continuous stream of old jokes in an attempt to get Steed to laugh, but the best of the lot evokes only a faint grin...

 Best Line

Marler: "You like that one!" Steed: "It has a certain humorous shape."

 Essential Reading

LOOK - (stop me if you've heard this one)

Written by
Directed by

Dennis Spooner
James Hill

Full production credits


John Steed
Tara King
Maxie Martin
Bradley Marler
Marcus Rugman
Lord Bessington
Brigadier Wiltshire
Miss Charles
Sir Jeremy Broadfoot
Fiery Frederick

Patrick Macnee 007
Linda Thorson
Jimmy Jewel
Julian Chagrin
Bernard Cribbins # 007
John Cleese 007
William Kendall
John Woodvine #
Garry Marsh
Gaby Vargas
Bill Shine
Richard Young
Robert James #
Talfryn Thomas #
Jay Denver
Johnny Vyvyan
Len Belmont


Bernard Cribbins

The Girl from Auntie

Robert James

Hot Snow
Brought to Book
Death la Carte
Too Many Christmas Trees

Talfryn Thomas

A Surfeit of H2O

John Woodvine

The Murder Market
Dead of Winter

All materials copyrighted per their respective copyright holders.
This website Copyright 1996-2017 David K. Smith. All Rights Reserved.
Page last modified: 5 May 2017.

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