Production Code: BFPAVENGE004

PLOTLINE

When the frozen body of Neo-Nazi war criminal Hans Gerhardt Schneider is found at the London Docks aboard the San Parma, a refrigerator ship from the Argentine, Steed and Keel find themselves drawn into a dangerous game. The body disappears from the public mortuary to be replaced by that of a murdered police surgeon.

Steed learns from an Argentine contact, Inez, that Schneider had been watched but had disappeared a month ago in Buenos Aires. He had been involved in setting up an organisation called Phoenix, which plans to return the Nazis to power, with Schneider as leader. They have enlisted the help of Kreuzer, a brilliant doctor with Nazi sympathies. His plan is to freeze Phoenix members while they sit out a World War that they will incite, being revived once the conflict is over, to a world free of opposition.

 

Steed has Keel infiltrate the organisation, but his friend's cover is soon blown and the future looks very bleak for the good doctor. He is to be a guinea pig in one of Kreuzer's experiments – and Steed does not know where Kreuzer is holding Keel. He faces a race against time to save Keel from a very long, very cold journey, on which he will be subjected to every known radiation hazard.

Click here to read about the original television episode

PRODUCTION
The Avengers - The Lost Episodes:
Volume 4, Episode 4
Recording Dates:
19, 20, 22, 23 January 2015
Recorded at: Moat Studios
Duration: 55 minutes 14 seconds

RELEASE

Released as a part of
The Avengers - The Lost Episodes,Volume 4
ISBN:
978-1-78178-553-9
Release Date:
Tue 30 Jun 2015
Physical Release: Audio CD
Download Release:
MP3 / M4B Formats
CHARACTERS & CAST
Dr David Keel
John Steed
Carol Wilson
Weber
Willi
Brennan
One-Ten
Margarita
Inez
Kreuzer
Schneider
Harry
Ted
Syd
Cold Storage Manager
Barman
Anthony Howell
Julian Wadham
Lucy Briggs-Owen
Harry Myers
Dan Starkey
Dan Starkey
Dan Starkey
Karina Fernandez
Karina Fernandez
Robbie Stevens
Daniel Hoffmann-Gill
Daniel Hoffmann-Gill
Daniel Hoffmann-Gill
Adrian Lukis
Richard Cordery
Matthew Cottle
ORIGINAL SOUNDTRACK

At the present time, no original soundtrack has been released by Big Finish.

BONUS FEATURES

Production Notes Booklet (with CD only) • Interviews with actors Anthony Howell and Julian Wadham, and writer Justin Richards

BUY NOW!

Purchase from Big Finish

PRODUCTION CREDITS

Writer – Eric Paice
Adapted for audio by -
John Dorney
Recording and Music –
Toby Hrycek-Robinson at Moat Studios
Sound Design and CD Mastering –
Richard Fox and Lauren Yason
Series Theme -
Johnny Dankworth, rearranged by Toby Hrycek-Robinson
Interviews edited by -
(not credited)
BFP Administration -
Miles Haigh-Ellery, Cheryl Bly and Alison Taylor
Producers' Assistants - Ian Atkins, Sue Cowley, Hannah Peel, Joseph Smith, Paul Spragg and Frances Welsh
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 Haigh-Ellery
Director –
Ken Bentley

Thanks to Massimo Moretti, Brian Clemens, Sam Clemens, Marcus Hearn, Richard McGinlay,
Jaz Wiseman, Alan Hayes and Toby Hrycek-Robinson

A Big Finish Production

DEAD OF WINTER • DECLASSIFIED

  • Production Brief... This audio play is based on the television episode Dead of Winter, which was originally broadcast on Saturday 9th December 1961 at 10.00pm in the ABC Midlands, ABC North, Anglia, ATV London, Border, Grampian, Southern, Television Wales and West, Tyne Tees, Ulster and Westward ITV regions.

  • The television version of this episode was the first instalment of The Avengers to be screened following a three-month hiatus after the transmission of Kill the King, and the last to be made starring Ian Hendry as Dr David Keel.

  • The television version of Dead of Winter does not survive today. However, a rehearsal script exists, along with 116 production photographs and 79 of John Cura's off-screen Tele-Snaps.

  • The audio adaptation of this episode was recorded at Moat Studios on 19th, 20th, 22nd and 23rd January 2015. Four episodes were recorded during these sessions: Kill the King, A Change of Bait, Hunt the Man Down and Dead of Winter.


  • Brought to Audiobook... Curiously, this episode's opening teaser (in which Schneider's frozen body is discovered) is not present in the rehearsal script, though it is referred to in subsequent dialogue and directions within the script. These clues, together with surviving images, have allowed the content of the scene to be surmised for the audio adaptation.

  • Some silent action, such as Weber pressing a button to summon Willi during a scene in Act 2, and Willi entering, nodding and leaving during several scenes (he does a lot of soundless skulking about in the television script), is conveyed via new dialogue.

  • The dramatic endings of the first two acts of Dead of Winter, both of which involve a body on a slab, required additional speech (delivered by Steed and Schneider respectively) in order to convey their shocking reveals.

  • Tele-Snaps indicate that Keel practised his golf swing in his consulting room whilst waiting for a contact from the Phoenix organisation, almost knocking Carol's block off when she enters the room. This light-hearted bit of business is not present in Eric Paice's script and was evidently worked out during rehearsals for the television episode. Nor has it been included in the audio production.

  • The exact nature of Kreutzer's comeuppance during the climactic fight sequence is somewhat unclear. The rehearsal script states that he is about to fire at Steed using Willi's gun when Harry lifts the scientist bodily and hurls him against a meat carcass, stunning him. One of the Tele-Snaps from this scene shows Steed holding a gun to Kreuzer's throat, which suggests that the action was altered during rehearsals. Neither version of events is explicit in the audio version.


  • Trivia... Keel and the ill-fated Dr Brennan studied together and played in the same rugby fifteen, but haven't seen each other for many years.

  • The plot element in Dead of Winter which sees Keel assume the guise of a criminal so that he may infiltrate an organisation who know of the man by reputation and not sight may seem familiar to fans of The Avengers. The earlier Series 1 episodes, Square Root of Evil and The Springers, both feature a similar narrative device, with Steed going undercover as the Irish forger Timothy Riordan in the former and Keel masquerading as Dr Fenton in the latter.

  • When Keel poses as Herr Doktor Fischer, he initially speaks in German. Weber suggests that they speak to each other in English, as he is having a hard time understanding Keel's "Hamburg accent" with his Bavarian ear.

  • Following the murder of his fiancιe Peggy in Hot Snow, it is highly unusual for Keel to show any romantic interest. One notable exception is his interaction with Jacquetta Brown in The Yellow Needle, but even that is instigated by Steed with a view to gathering information. However, in Dead of Winter, Keel demonstrates a basic sexual attraction for Steed's Argentine contact, Inez. Keel – who has previously voiced objections to Steed using the surgery as though it were his own interview room, office or even canteen – does not seem to mind Inez's presence one little bit. On the contrary, when she departs, Keel says to Steed, "You must bring your contacts here more often." There is something satisfying in the possibility that the good doctor might finally be moving on from the death of his fiancιe in this, which was the final television episode that Ian Hendry recorded.

  • This episode contains some coincidental foreshadowing of things to come in Series 2, during which Steed would gain a number of new allies. When Keel observes that the public mortuary is a strange place for a meeting, Steed replies that it makes a change from the British Museum. As far as we know, Steed has never had a rendezvous with Keel in the British Museum, though he would make contact with One-Twelve there in The Sell-Out, and he would meet Cathy Gale in the Natural History Museum in Warlock. Even more unnerving is the alias said to be used by Dr Kreuzer: Dr King, which became the name of Steed's sidekick in three leftover Keel scripts produced in 1962...


  • Bloopers... Towards the end of the audio play, Kreutzer's instructions to Willi to go and get a lorry to convey the frozen Keel are erroneously transferred to Schneider. This is clearly not a deliberate reallocation of lines, because Willi replies as though to Kreuzer: "Ja, Herr Doktor." The confusion seems to have arisen due to the presence of directions in between Kreutzer's lines of speech: "SCHNEIDER EXITS TO THE SURGERY... WILLI STANDS SHOCKED AT WHAT SCHNEIDER HAS TOLD HIM [regarding his late father] AND DOES NOT MOVE."


  • Stop Press... An interview feature entitled Bowlered Over appeared in Vortex Issue 77 in July 2015 to coincide with the release of the fourth volume of The Avengers - The Lost Episodes. Actor Julian Wadham commented on the recording process: "The studios are set up in a particular way which I had never come across before in other recording studios. They have these individual glass booths so we can all see each other while we are recording and the integrity of these booths means if anyone present makes a fluff, it doesn't ruin the take for the sound engineer. They always get in very friendly casts and crews and they know how it works – they've got it down to an art."

    Read the rest of the interview by downloading Vortex Issue 77 from Big Finish

 


  • And Finally... In pre-production of the television version, this episode was referred to as The Un-Dead and it is this title that appears on the surviving rehearsal script. For some reason, there has been some confusion over the years and this working title has been erroneously assigned to Dragonsfield in several reference works. The confusion with regards titling of Dead of Winter and Dragonsfield may possibly be due to the change in transmission order, with the former being the 26th to be recorded, and the latter becoming the 26th episode on transmission. Furthermore, the working title for a Series 2 episode – The Case of the Happy Camper – has sometimes been assigned in error to Dead of Winter (and also to Dragonsfield).

Plotline by Alan Hayes • 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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