The Avengers

Season 5 Episode 9

The Correct Way to Kill

Aired Unknown Mar 11, 1967 on ITV
out of 10
User Rating
31 votes

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Episode Summary

Foreign agents are being killed, but not by British agents. Steed thinks it terribly unfair, and so does his opposite number, Nutski. They make an arrangement, and Steed and Emma find themselves with Soviet partners in an investigation of a group of very British killers.

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  • Maybe the best

    An inspired episode, featuring British eccentricity at its hilarious best. A very talky and clever episode too. If you've never seen an Avengers, this is the one episode I'd recommend.
  • Old enemies declare a truce with Steed and Emma to find out who's against both sides.

    An organization devoted to turning out proper British gentlemen is connected with murders of Russian agents - well, it's an "un-named foreign power", but they drink a lot of vodka and wear fur hats. Steed and Emma, finding themselves blamed for the deaths, become temporary allies with their usual opposition to find out just who's behind the divide-and-conquer tactics being employed. That the head of this mystery force is referred to only as "the Boss" - a nickname of Stalin's - provides a clue. The various Russkies are all immensely stereotypical, and Anna Quayle as the "Russian Emma" has clearly taken a long look at Greta Garbo's performance as Ninotchka, but the subversive suggestion that posh, ultra-British public schoolboys and roughneck Russian Commies are pretty much the same underneath the surface is very bracing, and the detail is nice. How pleasing that Olga should be bound and gagged with a large number of old school ties, and how apt that the root of all evil isn't ideology, but simple greed.moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (2)

    • Tag: Entering Steed's apartment, Mrs. Peel finds her colleague decked out in Cossack attire, his hat pulled tightly round his ears. After some wordplay about bourgeois decadence, they link arms and depart.

    • The opening teaser for this episode: Mrs. Peel stops to buy a newspaper. When she looks at the front page she notices the headline is, 'Mrs. Peel - we're needed.'

  • QUOTES (3)

    • Steed: How I envy you, working cheek by jowl with Ivan.
      Mrs. Peel: I can assure you, my cheek is going to be no where near his jowl.

    • Mrs. Peel: Do you think they're having a purge?
      Steed: Well if they are, I wish they'd…
      Mrs. Peel: Do it in their own country? You said that.
      Steed: It's unethical. It's just not cricket.
      Mrs. Peel: You said that too.
      Steed: We need a drink.
      Mrs. Peel: That, you haven't said.

    • Steed: Mrs. Peel can vouch for me, I haven't killed anybody all week.

  • NOTES (0)