Production Number: Unknown

PLOTLINE

An old adversary of John Steed's, Hong Kong Harry, is shot shortly after he arrives at Heathrow Airport. Steed and his fellow agents are taken aback by his survival, until they find small sacks strapped to the Asian man's body. One of them is leaking gold like blood from a wound. Harry had been attempting to smuggle more than £750,000 worth of gold dust into the country in order to negotiate for 'Midas'.

Freddy, a former colleague of Steed's fallen on hard times, has been on the trail of Professor Turner, a dangerous man with an overriding lust for gold.

Turner has created Midas – a young man who carries every disease known to man but who remains immune to their deadly effects. The slightest touch of his naked skin will kill instantly. This is a potent and valuable commodity.

Meanwhile, Vann, a power-hungry South American Prime Minister, observes a demonstration as Turner has Midas kill all the guests at a party simply by sinking his hands into the fruit punch. Impressed, the politician trades a third of his collection of gold antiquities in return for Midas' promised assassination of his country's Princess, the last of the Royal line, during an official visit. With the monarchy out of the way, Vann would be able to assume complete political control with the full assent of his people who would believe the popular Royal's death was due to natural causes. To prevent a tragic incident with international repercussions, Steed, Purdey and Gambit must battle a foe whose merest touch guarantees death...

PRODUCTION & ARCHIVE
The New Avengers: Series 1, Episode 2
Production Completed:
Apr 1976
Recording Format: 35mm Colour Film
Archive Holding: 35mm Colour Film

UK REGIONAL PREMIERES

Anglia: Tue 9 Nov 1976, 8.00pm
ATV Midlands: Fri 19 Nov 1976, 8.00pm
Border: Fri 19 Nov 1976, 8.00pm
Channel: Currently unconfirmed
Grampian: Fri 19 Nov 1976, 8.00pm
Granada: Fri 19 Nov 1976, 8.00pm
HTV: Sun 24 Oct 1976, 7.50pm
Scottish: Fri 19 Nov 1976, 8.00pm
Southern: Fri 19 Nov 1976, 8.00pm
Thames: Tue 9 Nov 1976, 8.00pm
Tyne Tees: Fri 19 Nov 1976, 8.00pm
Ulster: Fri 19 Nov 1976, 8.00pm
Westward: Fri 19 Nov 1976, 8.00pm
Yorkshire: Fri 12 Nov 1976, 8.00pm
INTERNATIONAL PREMIERES
AUSTRALIA: Wed 16 Feb 1977
CANADA:
Thu 31 Mar 1977
FRANCE:
Tue 28 Dec 1976
GREECE: Fri 22 Apr 1977
IRELAND: Tue 5 Oct 1976
ITALY: Thu 3 Aug 1978
MALAYSIA: Thu 10 Nov 1977
MALTA: Mon 14 Feb 1977
NETHERLANDS: Thu 14 Oct 1976
SPAIN: Tue 28 Apr 1981
SWITZERLAND: Tue 23 Nov 1976
TURKEY: Sun 18 May 1982
UNITED KINGDOM: Sun 24 Oct 1976
USA: Fri 1 Dec 1978
WEST GERMANY: Thu 29 Jun 1978
CHARACTERS & CAST
John Steed
Mike Gambit
Purdey
Freddy
Vann
Hong Kong Harry
Professor Turner
Lieutenant
Curator
Garvin
Midas
Sing
Doctor
Tayman
Simpson
Boz
Morgan
Froggart
Choy
Rostock
Sara
Princess
Patrick Macnee
Gareth Hunt
Joanna Lumley
John Carson
Ed Devereaux
Ronald Lacey
David Swift
Jeremy Child
Robert Mill
Ray Edwards
Gilles Millinaire
Pik-Sen Lim
Chris Tranchell
Lionel Guyett
Geoffrey Bateman
Tim Condren
Peter Winter
Bruce Bould
Bruno Elrington
Kenneth Gilbert
Tania Mallett
Pola Churchill
ORIGINAL SOUNDTRACK

The complete incidental score for this episode has been issued on The Music of Laurie Johnson: The New Avengers, Edsel Records, 2009.

DVD EXTRAS

No episode-specific DVD extras available.

PRODUCTION CREDITS

Writer – Brian Clemens
Series Theme & Music –
Laurie Johnson
Production Designer –
Syd Cain
Lighting Cameraman –
Mike Reed B.S.C.
Producers – Albert Fennell and Brian Clemens
Director –
Robert Fuest

Editor – Graeme Clifford
Assistant Director – Ron Purdie
Second Unit Assistant Director – Roger Simons
Location Manager – Nicholas Gillott

Camera Operator –
Jimmy Devis
Second Unit Lighting Cameraman –
Jimmy Allen B.S.C.
Second Unit Camera Operator – Malcolm Vinson
Sound Recordists –
Denis Whitlock, Gordon K. McCallum
Dubbing Editors –
Peter Lennard, Bob Dearberg
Casting Director –
Maggie Cartier
Art Director –
Robert Bell
Set Dresser – Simon Wakefield

Joanna Lumley's Costume Design – Catherine Buckley
Hairdressing – Helene Bevan, Joyce James
Make-up – Neville Smallwood, Alan Boyle
Wardrobe Supervisor – Jackie Cummins
Continuity – Renιe Glynne
Second Unit Continuity –
Pat Rambaut
Post-Production Co-ordinator –
Paul Clay
Production Supervisor – Ron Fry
Unit Manager – Robert Fennell
Construction Manager – Leon Davis

Processed by Rank Film Laboratories

Made at Pinewood Studios and on location

A Production of The Avengers (Film & TV) Enterprises Ltd
for TV Productions and I.D.T.V. Paris

MINISTRY VERDICT

A small drop in standards after The Eagle's Nest, but still a diverting and entertaining episode. A lovely guest turn from John Carson as Freddy, although Ronald Lacey is somewhat wasted. Distinctive location work and an exciting car chase interlaced with amusing banter from Purdey and Gambit. Not a classic but can still hold its head high.

THE MIDAS TOUCH • DECLASSIFIED

  • Production Brief... When shooting finished at Heathrow, actor Ronald Lacey was inadvertently left stranded in full 'Hong Kong Harry' costume.

  • Purdey's yellow MGB Drophead Sports car and Gambit's red Jaguar XJS make their debuts in this episode. Other cars featured in this season were white and green Range Rovers. Sadly, these British Leyland cars proved erratic to work with.


  • On Location... Filming locations included Heathrow Airport, Eton and Southall Gas Works. The Southall location was a shooting site for British television drama, with episodes of Doctor Who, Blake's 7, The Return of the Saint and The Professionals being filmed there. The New Avengers team returned there themselves later in the first series, to film scenes for Sleeper.

  • Footage from the chase sequence staged at Southall Gas Works was also utilised in the initial title sequence for The New Avengers Series 1.


  • Personal History... Purdey suggests that she is rather good at "omelet, French-style with fine herbe".


  • Trivia... When meeting Freddy outside The Cock Pit Restaurant in Eton, we are nearly treated to a crime series crossover. Frank Marker, the private enquiry agent of Roger Marshall's Public Eye series, once had his ramshackle Eton office right across the road!


  • In Print... This episode and The Eagle's Nest were novelised together as The Eagle's Nest by John Carter, the second novel in the series. This book appeared in Britain in two editions, a paperback from Futura Publications published in December 1976 and a hardcover from Arthur Barker issued on 2nd March 1977 and in paperback in the USA from Berkeley Medallion in 1978.

  • The Midas Touch is one of three episodes to be loosely adapted for a French comic book, ultimately reprinted in The New Avengers Annual 1978, published by Brown & Watson.

Plotline by Alan Hayes • UK Transmissions by Simon Coward and Alan Hayes
International Premieres by Denis Kirsanov • Ministry Verdict by Alan Hayes
Declassified by Gareth Humphreys and Alan Hayes

 

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