Production Code: BFPAVENGE002
civil servant involved with codes and ciphers,
is suspected of being a security risk. He has
been withdrawing large amounts of money from his
bank account for no obvious reason, and is now
heavily in debt. A month earlier, another
government clerk, also working on ciphers, was
pushed into the crocodile pit at Brinkley House,
a privately owned zoo. Like Felgate, he had
drawn a lot of money out of his bank.
Steed, who is
currently posing as a new recruit at Felgate's
office, asks Keel to follow Felgate as he visits
the Bromango Strip Club and then Brinkley House
Zoo. There the civil servant drops a packet,
wrapped in colourful Christmas paper, into the
crocodile pit. Steed stays behind at the zoo
after it has closed, to observe
what happens to the package. He sees no one
enter or leave the pit, but nevertheless the
packet vanishes without a trace.
that Felgate is being blackmailed by Kollakis,
the manager of the strip club, who possesses a
potentially ruinous tape recording of Felgate's
indiscretions with one of the strippers. When
Felgate runs out of money, Kollakis demands a
copy of a top-secret file instead which was
what he and his boss had wanted all along. When
Felgate refuses, his life is put in danger, and
Kollakis turns his attention towards Steed, who
has recently signed up as a member of the
Click here to
read about the original television episode
The Avengers - The Lost Episodes:
Volume 2, Episode 2
Recording Dates: 30 September and
1,3,4 October 2013
Recorded at: Moat Studios
Duration: 47 minutes 53 seconds
a part of
The Avengers - The Lost Episodes,Volume 2
Wed 9 Jul 2014
Physical Release: Audio CD
Download Release: MP3 / M4B Formats
CHARACTERS & CAST
Dr David Keel
At the present
time, no original soundtrack has been released by
Production Notes Booklet (with CD only)
Purchase from Big Finish
Writer Dennis Spooner
Adapted for audio by - John Dorney
Design, Music and CD Mastering Toby Hrycek-Robinson
Series Theme - Johnny Dankworth, rearranged by Toby
Interviews edited by - Jamie Griffiths
BFP Administration - Miles Haigh-Ellery, Cheryl Bly
and Alison Taylor
Producers' Assistants - Hannah Peel, Paul Spragg and
Cover Illustration - Anthony Lamb
Booklet Design - Mark Plastow
Booklet Notes - Richard McGinlay
Web Services - Hughes Media
Marketing Consultant - Kris Griffin
Producer David Richardson
Executive Producers - Nicholas Briggs and Jason
Director Ken Bentley
Thanks to Massimo
Moretti, Brian Clemens, Sam Clemens, Marcus Hearn,
Richard McGinlay and Toby Hrycek-Robinson
A Big Finish
PLEASE DON'T FEED THE ANIMALS DECLASSIFIED
This audio play is based on the television episode
Please Don't Feed the Animals,
originally broadcast on Saturday
1st April 1961 at 10.00pm in the ABC Midlands, ABC
North and Anglia ITV regions.
version of this episode does not survive today.
However, a camera script has been located. No
production photographs from this episode are known
adaptation of this episode was recorded over four days
in studio between Monday 30th September and Friday
4th October 2013 (with Wednesday 2nd October being a
rest day) at Moat Studios.
Four episodes were recorded during these sessions:
Ashes of Roses, Please Don't Feed the
Dance with Death and
One for the Mortuary. The
latter would ultimately be brought forward and
included on the first volume
in place of
The Radioactive Man which was placed on
this second set due to its atypicality.
Three performers undertook dual
roles in this episode: Alisdair Simpson played
Renton-Stephens and the barman, while Rosanna Miles
portrayed both Christine and Yvonne, and Jonathan
Forbes is heard as both Evans and Harrigan.
Audiobook... The opening scene of this episode
was originally without dialogue. The clerk's line,
"Ah. Here we are. Yes. Wouldn't you make a nice pair
of shoes?" was added to the audio adaptation in
order to convey the fact that he is looking down
into the crocodile pit.
Keel's pursuit of
Felgate required a fair amount of extra speech to
make the action clear in sound only. These additions
range from muttered asides (such as "Literally
after you") to a conversation with Steed about
Felgate's movements within the zoo (approaching the
crocodile pit and throwing something into it).
or phrases appear to be missing from the camera
script, as evidenced by incomplete sentences,
questions that lack responses and responses that
lack questions. The missing material has had to be
extrapolated by adaptor John Dorney. His additions
(examples shown in bold below) range from the
mundane "Everything all right, sir", spoken
by Kollakis, to the more inventive, such as the
following exchange between Keel and Steed:
Fascinating. Sorry - are you eating?
Lunch hour, old boy. Even civil servants have them.
Would you like a sandwich?
Thank you very much. What on earth is it?
Pâté de foie gras, old boy.
In a sandwich?
One has to keep down appearances.
One line has been
interpreted rather differently by Dorney than by the
authors of this website and the book
Case of the Missing Episodes. The camera
script has Christine saying the following about
Jimmy the monkey: "But Daddy really trained him.
He's the only one. He'll do any tricks for." We had
taken the second sentence break to be an error and
adapted the line as: "But Daddy really trained him.
He's the only one he'll do any tricks for." Dorney
retains the original sentence structure but adds a
word at the end: "But Daddy really trained him. He's
the only one. He'll do any tricks for peanuts."
In the television
script, Felgate's boss is just a voice, who speaks
to Steed over the phone. On audio he becomes a
physical presence, addressing Steed directly. After
all, in this medium all roles are voice-only roles!
It would seem
that Keel struck his naughty young patient in the
original episode the script contains the direction
"(SLAP, CRY)". In this day and age, of course, the
corporal punishment of children is generally frowned
upon, so no such sounds are heard in the audio
production. Nevertheless, listeners may consider
this omission goes against the stated aims of Big
Finish to present an authentic representation of the
scripts and the era in which they were written.
The movements of
the packet of ciphers carried by Jimmy the monkey
are less than entirely clear in the camera script.
One staging direction reads "Sarah closing kiosk;
puts peanuts on shelf, and goes", which suggests
that the peanuts are intended as a lure for Jimmy.
Opinions vary as to precisely what happens next.
Summaries published on this website and in the book
The Strange Case of the Missing Episodes
assume that, having snatched the packet from the
crocodile pit, Jimmy leaves it on the kiosk counter,
taking the peanuts as his reward for completing the
task. Approaching the kiosk, Keel then confiscates
the packet, just prior to his confrontation with
Kollakis. The audio version has the peckish Keel
picking up the peanuts that Sarah has left behind.
The doctor then takes the ciphers directly from
Jimmy possibly the monkey is attracted to Keel
because of the peanuts he is carrying.
The camera script is marked in pencil with a small
number of shorthand symbols. These indicate one
additional line of dialogue each for Steed and
Kollakis at the end of their scene in the latter's
office, as well as Keel's final line, which closes
the episode. Appropriately enough, given the subject
matter of ciphers and codes, these marks have yet to
be fully deciphered, though it is possible that
Steed's comment to Kollakis is: "I'll do as you
ask." Kollakis' response could be: "That's very kind
of you, Mr Steed." Keel's remark at the end of the
episode appears to be: "I wonder why I bother."
Given the quality of Steed's witticism (about how
porcupines make love which is very, very
carefully), one can understand why Keel might regret
having risen to the bait! The latter line has been
included in the audio play.
About a month
elapses over the course of this episode even
longer than the three-week duration for the events
Square Root of Evil. However, most of that
month passes between the opening teaser sequence and
the rest of the episode. As far as Steed and Keel's
involvement is concerned, the case lasts for just a
version of Please Don't
Feed the Animals was to be the last of the run
of Series 1 episodes which was never aired in the
area in which the series was produced, London. ATV
London, the region's weekend broadcaster, having
shown delayed transmissions of Hot Snow and
Brought to Book on Saturdays 18th March and
1st April 1961 respectively, would join the network
feed from the next episode,
Dance with Death,
on Saturday 15th April 1961. The London franchise
holders would remain with the
series throughout the Sixties.
An interview feature entitled An Even Keel
appeared in Vortex Issue 65 in July 2014 to
coincide with the release of the second volume of
The Avengers - The Lost Episodes.
Actor Anthony Howell (Dr David Keel) was the interview subject.
During the interview, he commented on the challenge
of recreating a bygone era: "I suppose when you
approach a script that's not contemporary, it's a
good idea to read around the period and find out
what was going on. Certainly the scripts, we have to
do them pretty much verbatim. It's difficult at
first because you are not saying things the way you
would not, but at the same time it's also a good
thing as it helps you get into the period and the
character, and the delivery."
Read the rest of the interview by downloading
Vortex Issue 65 from Big Finish
Between the making of this serial and its
release, Big Finish lost one of its 'family', Paul
Spragg, who died unexpectedly on 8th May 2014 aged
just 38. Paul was heavily involved in all aspects of
Big Finish and was one of the public faces of the
company, editing Vortex magazine so
successfully for five years. He had been assistant
editor on its first issue of March 2009. For The
Avengers, he acted as a production assistant.
Although Paul's death was not related to a heart
condition, he and his family were supporters of the
British Heart Foundation for many years. For anyone
who would like to remember Paul in this way, a Just
Giving page has been set up:
Declassified by Richard McGinlay and Alan Hayes
Images © Big Finish Productions
Reproduced with permission
With thanks to
David Richardson, John Dorney, Mark Plastow
and Big Finish
Productions for their kind assistance
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