Episode 139: Tara King Era
Page 140 of 192



Steed serves Tara a succulent meal—in the middle of a meadow (using his Rolls Royce's engine to cook the fillet).



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Steed is under arrest
Tara is all wet*

Production completed: 13 June 1968
UK Premiere (London, Season 7): 13 November 1968
US Premiere (New York, Season 4): 2 December 1968

Secrets have been leaking from a secret (naturally) communications facility where Steed had been spending a lot of time, so he is placed under house arrest to help flush out the real traitors. While Steed remains poolside with Mother and Rhonda, Tara is sent in, with a less-than-able-bodied assistant, and single-handedly uncovers the means whereby the secrets are getting out.


If all of the Tara King episodes were this sharp, there would be no reason to carp. Tara proves quite resourceful, level-headed, good in a fight and a keen high-diver to boot. Not to mention that her denim wardrobe suits her "action character" much better than all that frilly stuff...


Mother's "office" is the middle of a swimming pool, and he's drifting about on a floating chair, with telephones at one side and liquor at the other. (Talk about a wet bar...)

Based on an interview Dave Rogers conducted with Patrick Newell, it would appear that this episode, the 11th produced, marks the introduction of Rhonda, Mother's helpmate, a character invented on the spot, more or less, as a means to solve Patrick Newell's problems maneuvering his wheelchair on the set. Rhonda, played by Rhonda Parker, never spoke a word as she wheeled Mother around for two-thirds of the series. (That's her getting eyed by Steed, above. Tall, isn't she?)

It also marks the first episode in which we see Linda Thorson with her own hair. At the outset of the series, the producers decided to make Tara blonde, and the peroxide used on Linda's naturally brunette hair caused it to fall out! Which also explains Tara's bewildering array of wigs—a character "cover-up" for a real-life blunder.

Director Ray Austin, by the way, was the stunt arranger for the Emma Peel era, and made a credited appearance in "The Gravediggers."

Howard Blake composed the incidental music for this episode.

*This unofficial subtitle is by Yours Truly.

 On Location

Rabley Park, Ridge; Stanmore Army barracks; Beachy Head, East Sussex; Start Point Lighthouse, Devon. The pool in which Mother is seen floating about also makes an appearance in "Faces."

 Best Line

"Disembodied and still have an appetite?" (Steed upon hearing Tara's ethereal voice)

 Essential Reading


Written by
Directed by

Leigh Vance
Ray Austin

Full production credits


John Steed
Tara King
Colonel Withers
Miss Emily
Miss Tiddiman
The Real Colonel
The Real Barlow

Patrick Macnee 007
Linda Thorson
Dinsdale Landen #
Peter Copley #
Edwin Richfield #
Michael Trubshawe #
Patrick Newell #
Joanna Jones #
Nora Nicholson #
Tenniel Evans #
Liane Aukin
Anthony Dutton #
Peter Thomas #
Graham Ashley #
Michael Nightingale #
Robert Sidaway
Desmond Jordan
David Grey #
Peter Elliott #
John Bown



Rhonda Parker



Bruno Elrington #
Joe Dunne


Graham Ashley

Propellant 23

Peter Copley

Cat Amongst the Pigeons
The White Dwarf

Anthony Dutton

Return of the Cybernauts

Peter J. Elliot

A Funny Thing Happened...
Dead Man's Treasure
You Have Just Been Murdered
Have Guns - Will Haggle

Bruno Elrington

The Midas Touch

Tenniel Evans

The Big Thinker
The Golden Fleece
Please Don't Feed the Animals

David Grey

Girl on the Trapeze

Joanna Jones

The Correct Way to Kill

Dinsdale Landen

Angels of Death

Patrick Newell

The Town of No Return
Something Nasty in the Nursery

Nora Nicholson

Build a Better Mousetrap

Michael Nightingale

A Funny Thing Happened...

Edwin Richfield

The Removal Men
The White Elephant
Too Many Christmas Trees
Dead Man's Treasure
Girl on the Trapeze

Peter Thomas

Small Game for Big Hunters
Death's Door

Michael Trubshawe

Dial a Deadly Number

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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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