'The Cybernauts' is the third episode of the fourth series of the 1960s cult British spy-fi television series The Avengers, starring Patrick Macnee and Diana Rigg. It originally aired on ABC on 16 October 1965. The episode was directed by Sidney Hayers and written by Philip Levene.
Plot[eedit | eedit soorce]
An elderly man has his home broken into by an intruder who forces his way though the door with a battering ram and appears to be immune to bullets. Steed and Peel investigate. The intruder strikes again, this time a businessman named Lambert in his office, smashing his way in in the same way. On the scene, Peel notices the way Lambert's neck has been broken without bruising to the face by the angle of the head and surmises that he was likely killed by type of advanced karate blow known as inku of which very few in Europe are specialists in. She visits a karate school specializing in it and is lectured by the bald sensei who then learns she is highly accomplished at karate herself with the "skill of a man". Steed visits a Japanese computer businessman and Peel visits a toy businessman. At the karate school, "o yama", a 5th dan in judo and 4th dan in karate demonstrates, and fits the bill of the description of the tall intruder, by his height and explosive strike. Peel recognizes the man as the toy businessman.
Steed enters a place called United Automation and meets a disabled scientist Dr. Armstrong, owner of the factory. After explaining his gadgets, an employee contacts Armstrong and mentions that Steed had also turned up at the place in which Lambert was killed. Armstrong gives Steed a pen as he leaves. Steed and Peel visit the toy factory and discover the toy businessman and karate expert has been killed and a gaping hole of where a big man crashed through the wall. Steed revisits Dr. Armstrong at United Automation, this time hiding, and discovers that the Dr. has been using a robot, a Cybernaut to kill competitors after state of the art Japanese technology, controlled by a radio controlled pen. The Cybernaut is programmed to visit Steed's pen, which is in the possession of Peel, so is sent to kill her rather than Steed. Dr. Armstrong discovers Steed is an intruder in the building when the thermostat in the factory is altered. Steed attempts to ring Peel to warn her but she leaves before the Cybernaut arrives. Steed is then attacked by another Cybernaut in the factory and presented to Armstrong. Peel arrives at the factory and Armstrong sends a Cybernaut to maim her. Steed escapes and enters the warehouse room in which the Cybernaut has entered and tells Peel to throw him the pen. Another Cybernaut (the first with a "brain") arrives with Armstrong and Steed plants the pen on the second Cybernaut and they attack each other and kill Armstrong in doing so. The first Cybernaut then destroys the other by removing its "brain" and destroys the pen. Having completed its mission, it is then simply pushed over by Peel's finger as they depart.
Cast[eedit | eedit soorce]
- Patrick Macnee as John Steed
- Diana Rigg as Emma Peel
- Michael Gough as Dr. Clement Armstrong
- Frederick Jaeger as Benson
- Bernard Horsfall as Jephcott
- Burt Kwouk as Tusamo
- John Hollis as Sensai
- Ronald Leigh-Hunt as Bob Lambert
- Gordon Whiting as Samuel Hammond
Production[eedit | eedit soorce]
Production for the episode was completed from 2 March to mid-March 1965.
Reception[eedit | eedit soorce]
The episode is generally considered to be one of the best of the fourth series. Jeffrey S. Miller described the episode as "a tale of industrial intrigue, with several business executives being violently dispatched by someone of apparently superhuman strength." The Encyclopedia of Super Villains describes the Cybernauts as "powerful androids with silvery skin and blank expressions". The 1998 film The Avengers (film) pays homage to the episode with Uma Thurman playing Dr. Peel, a jujitsu expert and specialist in meteorology, "battling a clone duplicate of herself".
References[eedit | eedit soorce]
- Aldgate, Anthony (2 September 2000). Windows On the Sixties: Exploring Key Texts of Media and Culture. I.B.Tauris. p. 52. ISBN 978-1-86064-383-5. Retrieved 10 Aprile 2012.
- Rogers, Dave (25 Aprile 1983). The Avengers. ITV Books in association with Michael Joseph. Retrieved 10 Aprile 2012.
- "The Cybernauts". The Avengers Forever!. Retrieved 10 Aprile 2012.
- Miller, Jeffrey S. (15 Januar 2000). Something Completely Different: British Television And American Culture. U of Minnesota Press. p. 64. ISBN 978-0-8166-3240-4. Retrieved 12 Aprile 2012.
- Rovin, Jeff (October 1987). The Encyclopedia of Super Villains. Facts on File Publications. ISBN 978-0-8160-1356-2. Retrieved 12 Aprile 2012.
- Britton, Wesley Alan (2004). Spy Television. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 79. ISBN 978-0-275-98163-1. Retrieved 12 Aprile 2012.
[eedit | eedit soorce]
- Castle De'ath at the Internet Movie Database
- Episode overview on The Avengers Forever! website
- Watch episode