The Avengers

Season 4 Episode 21

A Touch of Brimstone

Aired Unknown Feb 19, 1966 on ITV
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Episode Summary

A Touch of Brimstone
Silly tricks are being played on various VIPs in diplomatic situations. All the clues point to the beautifully wasted John Cleverly Cartney, but would even a rake like that stoop to murder by electrified opening ribbon? It's Peter Wyngarde and his Hellfire Club.

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Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (2)

  • QUOTES (3)

    • Some people just don't know when to draw the line.
      Steed: There have been other incidents; sneezing powder at government receptions, plastic spiders in the ambassador's soup and something quite outrageous in a diplomat's bed. Nowhere seems sacrosanct now, not even the House of Lords, whoopie cushion under the wool sack.

    • Mrs. Peel uses her feminine wiles.
      Mrs. Peel: I've come to appeal to you Mr. Cartney.
      Cartney: You certainly do that.
      Mrs. Peel: A charity appeal Mr. Cartney.

    • Emma: On the surface it's innocent enough....
      Steed: When can I join?

  • NOTES (1)

    • This episode was banned in the U.S. back in 1966 because of the costume Mrs. Peel was wearing and when she dodges Cartney's whip but you can see this on VHS & DVD. The Evening Standard on the day of broadcast carried a publicity still of Diana Rigg with a whip and the headline "What You Won't See on The Avengers Tonight!" (In America legends persist of US TV middle-management gathering in hotel rooms to watch pirate copies of this episode). Steed joins the club by chugging a quart of ale and then asking for more, and then cheating on another test. Cartney's first word to Emma is 'Mrs?' She is genuinely flattered by him - 'We got on rather well' - but frowns at his description of women as 'mere vessels of pleasure'. This episode achieved the series' highest-ever viewing figures (8.4 million) and fifth place in the weekly charts. This figure is all the more remarkable when it is remembered that the episode wasn't properly networked. Then again, with the advance publicity this episode got, nothing is surprising. This is actually the height of the series, as camp as coffee and chicory and with the magnificient OTT grandeur of Wyngarde. One laughs at the sheer verve of it.