Episode 158: Tara King Era
Page 159 of 192



Steed remarks at Rhonda's silence, so Mother calls her over and asks her to say hello to Steed. The bizarre voice Steed hears is actually Mother practicing ventriloquism!


 Tall Story

 Homicide et vieilles dentelles

 Mutter's Erzählungen

 Omicidio e vecchi merletti

 Homicidio y Encaje Antiguo

  Other Viewpoints

• Visitor Reviews
• The Young Avenger


Steed eyes the crown jewels
Tara does some safe cracking*

Production completed: 23 January 1969
UK Premiere (London, Season 7): 26 March 1969
US Premiere (New York, Season 4): 17 March 1969

Mother spends his birthday with two of his aunts, and entertains them with a tale of "The Great Great Britain Crime," wherein the Intercrime organization prepares to rob all of Britain's treasures in one fell swoop by staging a false alarm missile attack on London.


Major portions of an unaired episode entitled "The Great Great Britain Crime," produced by John Bryce in December 1967, along with bits and pieces of footage from a few Emma Peel episodes, were combined with newer framing material featuring Mother. The result? A train wreck. Possibly the worst (original) Avengers episode in existence, surpassing "Bizarre" and even "Invasion of the Earthmen." As Mother relates his "tall tale" to his aunties, it begins with two opening fight scenes borrowed from "The Bird Who Knew Too Much," followed by brief clips from "Murdersville" and "The Fear Merchants." Later, the battle between Steed and Professor Stone from "Never, Never Say Die" is inexplicably injected. Perhaps these non-sequiturs were meant to underscore the fictional quality of Mother's story—or maybe they were attempts to spice up Bryce's bland material. Speaking of which, seeing the leftovers of his efforts provides some clues as to why he was sacked only a month or so into the job: dreary pacing, bad acting (especially the American!), and absolutely no spark. Dressing it up with the birthday setting only made matters worse, as these scenes are played so broadly that they clash terribly with Bryce's "realistic" style. In the end, nothing can help. It should have been left in the dustbin.


The tag scene with Steed, Mother and Rhonda, set in Mother's place, is most unusual in that it does not feature Tara, making it the only tag of its kind. Also unique is the music over the closing titles which, for no apparent reason, begins with that of Izzy Pound and His Incredible Marching Sound from "The Interrogators," then segues to a version of the Avengers theme done with piano and orchestra.

Guest actor Gerald Harper (Colonel Corf) starred as Steed's counterpart in the quasi-Avengers-ripoff Adam Adamant Lives.

*This unofficial subtitle is by Yours Truly.

 On Location

Car park scenes filmed in Watford.

 Essential Reading


Written by
Additional material by
Directed by
Additional direction

Malcolm Hulke & Terrence Dicks
Brian Clemens (uncredited)
John Hough
Vernon Sewell (uncredited)

Full production credits


John Steed
Tara King
Colonel Corf
And: [Freddie Cartwright]
[Black Delegate]
[Taxi driver]
[Control Room Operative]

Patrick Macnee 007
Linda Thorson
Patrick Newell #
Joyce Carey #
Mary Merrall #
Gerald Harper #
Keith Baxter
Edward Brayshaw
Donald Pickering #
Mark Landan
Kristopher Kum #
Bari Johnson
Stephen Hubay
Bryan Mosley #
Gertan Klauber
Kevark Malikyan
John Rapley
Anne Rutter #



Rhonda Parker

From recycled Emma Peel footage:

Christopher Lee
Michael Coles
Clive Colin-Bowler
Peter Brace


Joyce Carey

The Eagle's Nest

Gerald Harper

Death Dispatch
The Hour That Never Was

Bari Johnson

The Yellow Needle

Kristopher Kum


Mary Merrall

The Girl from Auntie

Bryan Mosley

The Gravediggers

Patrick Newell

The Town of No Return
Something Nasty in the Nursery

Donald Pickering

The Winged Avenger

Anne Rutter

Super Secret Cypher Snatch

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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