Trivia Overload

Some clever fans have noted what they believe to be a continuity problem: Chivers steps on broken glass after Gifford breaks a window, and because Gifford punches the glass in from the outside of the building, it leads one to conclude that the broken glass must have gone inside. However, shattering glass can fly in unexpected directions, and upon careful frame-by-frame examination of the scene, there is indeed a large shard of glass that flies out of the window and onto the sidewalk. Not only that, it is the very same shard that Chivers steps on. Therefore, despite what some people say, this is not an error.

William Nedblake notes that both Nicholas Courtney and Kevin Stoney appear together in both of Courtney's roles in Doctor Who. In 1965's "The Dalek Master Plan," Courtney portrayed Space Security Agent Bret Vyon, who was senselessly killed off in Episode Four (of Twelve!) by Jean Marsh's Sara Kingdom. And Stoney is the central villain in the story (aside, of course, from the Daleks), as Mavic Chen, the Guardian of the Solar System, who orders Vyon's death and generally causes mischief for the Doctor and company. Sadly, only fragments of Courtney's performance in those first four episodes survive, victims of the BBCs short-sightedness of the 70s. Three or so years later, they would return, this time with Courtney reprising his role as the newly promoted Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart (he was a Colonel in "The Web of Fear"), and with Stoney as the Cyberman-friendly villain Tobias Vaughan in "The Invasion." While the story is slow in places, the footage of Cybermen marching about in front of St. Paul's and emerging from the sewers of London is truly ominous.

Stephen Brooke of Australia notes that footage of the Saracen FV603 was used in the Department S episode, "Who Plays The Dummy?" It appears towards the end of the episode, set in a rather wet and English winter looking "Spain." The footage was used, rather interestingly, during a "technical demonstration" of the vehicle to some NATO top brass. Not too dissimilar to the Avengers episode! Another point of interest was that Avengers doppelganger Alan MacNaughtan, the fake Mark Brandon in "The Town of No Return," was the diabolical mastermind in this episode.

Mark Wightman reports that there is something nasty going on at the telephone exchange. Shaffer's telephone clearly has the telephone number 01-325-471, which is a valid number for the time. But when Steed calls Mrs. Peel, he is seen dialing 6296291. Now, if this were another London number, then he could dial it omitting the national code (01 for London), but that would leave him with a six digit number. Sometime in the late 60s London numbers did acquire an extra digit to become 01-XXX-XXXX format, which remained for twenty odd years until the 01 was spilt into 071-081. I know it may seem a bit odd staring at old videotapes to detect phone numbers, but I think that often the actors just dial their own numbers (or a friend's) out of habit. Douglas Adams in The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy once famously used the telephone number of flat he used to rent—only for the poor woman who now lives there to be swamped with calls from curious people like me "just checking if the number was real." I may have to do some more research to try and find out when London switched to the seven number format, just to confirm which number is the wrong length.

However... Duncan Hill of Aylesbury, Bucks states that this "...is incorrect. London numbers were always seven figure at least as far back as the '20s/30s, however before the late '60s, they were dialled as EXC-1234 where EXC was the exchange name to make it easier for the numbers to be remembered."

Do you recognize the big "Thursday the 12th" desk calendar Steed crawls across? It was the "nightmare calendar" from "Death's Door." (Thanks, Alanna)

Daniel Frankham notes that the thug guarding Mrs. Peel is reading the book Emma by Jane Austen.

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Page last modified: 5 May 2017.

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