Return to Home Page

Episode 7: The New Avengers
Page 173 of 192

Previous PageUpNext PageSearch
"Eat your heart out--I'm Purdey's love interest this week! Well... until I die, anyway."
Bradshaw: "You've got a spider on your shoulder..."
Tsk, tsk... drug users are getting younger every day!

 More Views

• Rodney's Reviews
• The Young Avenger
• Visitor Reviews



Purdey's date who dies of the week: George Myers

All the rest



French: "Cible"

German: "Tödliches Training"

Italian: "Tiro al bersaglio"

Dutch: "Doelwit"



What's available?
Where to buy?




Live-action titlesProduced: July 1976
UK Premiere: 23 November 1976
US Premiere: 12 September 1978

"It's the one percent that kills you!" Agents in Steed's department are suddenly dropping like flies, apparently of natural causes. The only common factor is that they had all gone on leave after taking target practice on a special shooting range—a range which Steed had the distinction of being the only agent to complete at 100%. Determined to match Steed's record, Purdey runs the course, but only achieves 99%. When Gambit plays an unintentionally deadly trick on a colleague, he learns that the shooting range has been compromised by the enemy and is poisoning agents—at which point he realizes that Purdey had been hit. Now Gambit must run the course at 100% to retrieve the antidote and save her life!


It gets off to a shaky start, with the premise established by a series of abbreviated, abstruse vignettes—a second viewing is helpful here. The guest cast is not especially memorable (Keith Barron looks as if he is sleepwalking). Then there's the closing scene, when our recovered heroes drive off—crashing through the shooting range gate... wait—why didn't they do that when they arrived to retrieve the antidote? Yet despite its abundant flaws, it remains a favorite, mostly for the manifest camaraderie of the threesome.


"German-born Frederick Jaeger started out in the leading role of Bradshaw in 'Target', this week's episode of The New Avengers, sat around for two weeks in pouring rain, and ended as little more than an extra! His contract limited him to two weeks' work, so when the rain came to ruin the schedule of location filming, he only had enough time left to play the minor role of a character called Jones. Roy Boyd took over the Bradshaw part. 'Circumstances beyond our control,' explained Avengers executive Brian Clemens. 'Sometimes you can't beat the English weather.' " From TV Times magazine, 20-26 November 1976 (with many thanks to Alan and Alys Hayes)

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

Mark H. Stevens notes, "One thing that disturbs me is the fact that in the scene where Gambit takes the course, they blow up a Police Box, and this episode was made when the only one of that type left in use was owned by the BBC. I wonder if they were thumbing their noses at you know WHO?"

But Terry Cook counters: "Mark H. Stevens is wrong when he says that the police box destroyed was the last police box in Great Britain, apart from the BBC's TARDIS prop. The TARDIS prop that the BBC used was specially made, and not, contrary to rumour, a left over prop from the BBC crime drama Dixon of Dock Green. It was much smaller than a real police box; the police box that was destroyed in "Target!" was the model – much larger than the BBC version – made for the two Doctor Who films of the 60s, Doctor Who and the Daleks and Daleks – Invasion Earth, 2150 AD, both starring Peter Cushing as the erroneously named Doctor Who. It had been standing around in the props store of Pinewood for ten years, and was chosen to be the artefact to be blown up, rather than the scripted red telephone box. This led to controversy in 1997, when The Sun newspaper in Britain claimed to have bought "the original TARDIS" from Pinewood studios in a pointless publicity stunt concerning the New Labour Government. As film historians—even amateurs such as me!—were quick to point out, it couldn't possibly be the TARDIS prop used in the Peter Cushing films. The last REAL working police box in Great Britain stood on the Barnett Bypass in London and was removed in 1980. A brand new police box was built outside Earl's Court tube station in 1999, but further new police boxes have not—forgive the pun—materialised!"

 Best Scene

A delirious Steed stumbles into the shooting range and snitches a hat from one of his mechanical doubles before proceeding.

 Best Line

Professor Lopez offers Steed some of his (apparently vile) special brew, commenting, "That's the way I judge a man." Steed groans in response, "Intestinal fortitude."



Written by
Directed by

Dennis Spooner
Ray Austin

Full production credits


John Steed
Mike Gambit

Patrick Macnee The 007 Connection
Gareth Hunt
Joanna Lumley The 007 Connection
Keith Barron*
Robert Beatty
Roy Boyd
Frederick Jaeger*
Malcom Stoddard
Deep Roy
John Paul*
Bruce Purchase
Dennis Blanche
Robert Tayman



Suzanna Macmillan
John Saunders
Peter Brace
Marc Boyle


Keith Barron


Frederick Jaeger

Death of a Great Dane
The Cybernauts
Return of the Cybernauts

John Paul

The Three-Handed Game

Top of Page
Table of Contents

All materials copyrighted per their respective copyright holders.
This website Copyright © 1996-2008 David K. Smith. All Rights Reserved.
Page last modified 11 May 2003.