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Episode 85: Emma Peel Era
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Steed: "Who cares about the body? Look at the dreadful suit he is wearing."
 
Dr. Johnson: "THIS ought to fix his hernia..."
 
Emma: "Mmmf mrrmmm mfmrm rmf!"
 

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 Stats (about...)

Dr. Marlowe

 

 A.K.A.

French: "Les fossoyeurs"

German: "Die Totengräber"

Italian: "Servizio funebre"

Spanish: "Los Sepultureros"

Dutch: "De doodgravers"

 

 DVDs

What's available?
Where to buy?

THE GRAVEDIGGERS

TAF TOP TEN

2

Steed Drives a Train
Emma is Tied to the Tracks

Produced: mid-March 1965 to ca. 14 April 1965
UK Premiere (London, Season 4): 7 October 1965
US Premiere (New York, Season 1): 4 August 1966

Enemy Takeover (click to see category list)The country's early warning radar system is failing intermittently, and Steed and Emma are charged with the task of finding out why. The trail leads from a graveyard to a hospital run exclusively for the benefit of railway men where, unbeknownst to the eccentric financier, a plan is being hatched to disable Britain's entire defense system with jamming devices hidden in coffins.
 

 IMHO

This episode is a perfect example of the charming goofiness of The Avengers, as toward the end we find Emma tied to the railway tracks and Steed fighting the baddies atop a moving steam train (albeit a little one), while a silent film music score plays! A nice departure from the usual straightforward fight sequence. Another wonderful bit is in the operating room, where the surgeon asks the nurse for such things as calipers, wrenches, and a blowtorch. Pure delight!
 

 Trivia

Ray Austin, who plays Baron, was the resident Stunt Arranger for the series. He went on to direct several Tara King episodes and co-produce The New Avengers.

Piers (Mrs Peel — We're Needed!) Johnson notes, "I work with a Rob Gaunt, who is in fact a distant descendant of the celebrated noble John of Gaunt." John of Gaunt is the name of Sir Horace's model steam locomotive.

Lost secrets mystery: Why are there two versions of titles for this episode?

Steed's Aunties: Emma arrives at Steed's flat to find him playing with a toy gun. Emma: "Second childhood?" Steed: "Nephew's birthday."
 

 On Location

The model train scenes were filmed at The Stapleford Miniature Railway, Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, 4 April 1965. See On Location for present-day views, and visit their website if you'd like to ride the train!

Aldenham Church at Letchmore Heath doubled for Pringby Church.
 

 Best Scene

Steed fights the baddies aboard the miniature train. A very close second would be lunch aboard Sir Horace's dining car—textbook British humor, right down to a burping, squeaking scenery machine.
 

 Best Line

With respect to being an "engine driver" (train engineer), Steed remarks, "There's no security, always on the move," to which Emma replies, "At least it would have kept you to the straight and narrow."
 

 Tag

Steed and Emma chug away on Sir Horace's train.

 

THE GRAVEDIGGERS

Teleplay by
Directed by

Malcolm Hulke
Quentin Lawrence

Full production credits

CAST

John Steed
Emma Peel
Sir Horace Winslip
Johnson
Miss Thirlwell
Sexton
Fred
Nurse Spray
Baron
Sager
Miller
Dr. Marlowe

Patrick Macnee The 007 Connection
Diana Rigg The 007 Connection
Ronald Fraser
Paul Massie
Caroline Blakiston*
Victor Platt*
Charles Lamb
Wanda Ventham
Ray Austin*
Steven Berkoff The 007 Connection
Bryan Mosley*
Lloyd Lamble

UNBILLED/STUNTS

Dr. Palmer
Pallbearers

Aubrey Richards*
Alan Chuntz
Billy Cornelius
Peter J. Elliot
Harvey Hall*
George Selway*

*DOPPELGANGERS

Ray Austin

The Hour That Never Was

Caroline Blakiston

Dance with Death
The Positive Negative Man

Harvey Hall

The Master Minds
The See-Through Man

Bryan Mosley

Homicide and Old Lace

Aubrey Richards

Game

Victor Platt

A Change of Bait

George Selway

Death at Bargain Prices
 

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Page last modified 21 July 2008.