Production Number: Unknown

PLOTLINE

Steed's birthday celebrations are interrupted when Terry Markham bursts in, mortally injured. With his dying breath, he tells Steed that he has discovered the identity of the double agent they were on to – Felix Kane – and the location of Kane's rendezvous for the following day.

Steed, Purdey and Gambit intercept Kane at the rendezvous and, trying to escape, their quarry drives his car into a parked petrol tanker which explodes violently, leaving Kane invalided. A year later, determined on revenge, he enlists the help of Frank Goff, who built the original Cybernauts, to re-activate the powerful robots. This he does, but Goff quickly becomes expendable when the wheelchair-bound Kane realises that he needs a designer, a genius – not a mechanic. Goff is killed and his body dumped beside a country road.

Kane has a Cybernaut kidnap the only man he believes can make the augmentations that he desires – Professor Mason, an expert in cybernetics. Under duress, Mason makes the modifications that effectively turn Kane into a human Cybernaut, his useless limbs replaced with cybernetics, giving him the strength of many men. Kane intends to wreak his revenge on the New Avengers personally. He sets off to kill Purdey, rendering Gambit unconscious outside her apartment. Steed receives a call from Mason, who has managed to deal with Kane's collaborator, Malov. Mason warns Steed of Kane's intent – but will Steed be able to get to Purdey in time?

PRODUCTION & ARCHIVE
The New Avengers: Series 1, Episode 4
Production Completed:
May 1976
Recording Format: 35mm Colour Film
Archive Holding: 35mm Colour Film

UK REGIONAL PREMIERES

Anglia: Tue 2 Nov 1976, 8.00pm
ATV Midlands: Fri 5 Nov 1976, 8.00pm
Border: Fri 5 Nov 1976, 8.00pm
Channel: Currently unconfirmed
Grampian: Fri 5 Nov 1976, 8.00pm
Granada: Fri 5 Nov 1976, 8.00pm
HTV: Sun 28 Nov 1976, 7.50pm
Scottish: Fri 5 Nov 1976, 8.00pm
Southern: Fri 5 Nov 1976, 8.00pm
Thames: Tue 2 Nov 1976, 8.00pm
Tyne Tees: Fri 5 Nov 1976, 8.00pm
Ulster: Fri 5 Nov 1976, 8.00pm
Westward: Fri 5 Nov 1976, 8.00pm
Yorkshire: Fri 5 Nov 1976, 8.00pm
INTERNATIONAL PREMIERES
AUSTRALIA: Fri 6 Apr 1977
BELGIUM:
Wed 20 Oct 1976
CANADA:
Thu 17 Feb 1977
FRANCE:
Tue 21 Dec 1976
GREECE: Fri 10 Jun 1977
IRELAND: Tue 19 Oct 1976
ITALY: Fri 2 Jun 1978
JAMAICA: Thu 30 Jun 1977
MALAYSIA: Thu 1 Dec 1977
MALTA: Mon 28 Feb 1977
NETHERLANDS: Thu 21 Oct 1976
SINGAPORE: Wed 22 Jun 1977
SPAIN: Tue 12 May 1981
SWITZERLAND: Tue 16 Nov 1976
TURKEY: Sun 11 Oct 1981
UNITED KINGDOM: Tue 2 Nov 1976
USA: Fri 9 Mar 1979
WEST GERMANY: Mon 12 Mar 1984
CHARACTERS & CAST
John Steed
Mike Gambit
Purdey
Felix Kane
Malov
Dr Marlow
Professor Mason
Frank Goff
Tom Fitzroy
Laura
Mrs. Weir
2nd Guard
Terry Markham
1st Guard
Cybernaut
Tricia
Patrick Macnee
Gareth Hunt
Joanna Lumley
Robert Lang
Oscar Quitak
Gwen Taylor
Basil Hoskins
Robert Gillespie
David Horovitch
Sally Bazely
Pearl Hackney
Martin Fisk
Eric Carte
Ray Armstrong
Rocky Taylor
Davina Taylor
ORIGINAL SOUNDTRACK

A single track from the incidental score, entitled 'The Cybernaut Attacks', complete with original sound effects, 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 –
Sidney Hayers

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, Ken Barker
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 – Alan Boyle, Peter Robb King
Wardrobe Supervisor – Jackie Cummins
Fight Arranger – Cyd Child
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

An decent episode but there's an overriding feeling of 'been there, done that'. The plot is nothing particularly new or special, but it's nice all the same that one episode of The New Avengers draws heavily on its illustrious forbear. Robert Lang does well considering he is behind a mask for 99% of his screen-time, but the cheap ending is a big disappointment.

THE LAST OF THE CYBERNAUTS...?? • DECLASSIFIED

  • Production Brief... Director Sidney Hayers had helmed the original series episode, The Cybernauts (1965), that had introduced the robot assassins to The Avengers.

  • This episode proved to be the last to feature a credit for Catherine Buckley, the original costume designer for Purdey. The designs proved increasingly impractical and Buckley is reputed to have had difficulties in keeping up with the pressures imposed upon her by the speed of production on the series. Jillie Murphy eventually took over the role.

  • Both Joanna Lumley and Gareth Hunt later recalled that the fight with the Cybernaut (stuntman Rocky Taylor) proved a little too successful, resulting in Taylor being knocked unconscious while clanking down the stairs.


  • On Location... The opening set piece where Kane is trapped by Steed, Purdey and Gambit was filmed at Car Park 4, within the Pinewood Studios complex.


  • From Script to Screen... The climax was originally to have included wet tar. As filmed, the closing scene is referenced in Pulse, a 1995 episode of the series Bugs, on which Brian Clemens acted as script advisor.


  • Trivia... One unexplained oddity here is the substitution of the character Goff in place of the original series equivalent, Benson, who appeared in both The Cybernauts (1965) and Return of the Cybernauts (1967). There were nine years between this and the previous production, so surely a recasting (if this was the reason for the change) was viable.

  • This episode inspired two illustrated jigsaws from Arrow Games.


  • In Print... This episode was novelised as The Cybernauts by Peter Cave, the fifth novel in the series. This book appeared in Britain in two 1977 editions, a hardcover from Arthur Barker and a paperback from Futura Publications and in paperback in the USA from Berkeley Medallion.

  • The novelisation credits Professor Dormeuil rather than Dr Armstrong as the Cybernauts' creator.

  • The Last of the Cybernauts was also adapted for a French comic book in 1978 (and reprinted in the 1978 The New Avengers Annual), with the Cybernauts' creator credited this time as Professor Aranov.


  • And Finally... Steed has a trendy Dubreq Stylophone, a miniature electronic stylus-operated synthesiser invented and marketed in 1967. It was famously used on David Bowie's landmark single, Space Oddity (1969) and later by Kraftwerk on Pocket Calculator (1981). Much to Steed's chagrin, his cleaner, Mrs Weir, seems considerably more of a virtuoso with the instrument than he does...

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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