Production Code: BFPAVENGE002


Marko Ogrin, an immigrant cleaner at the Whitman Research Laboratory, inadvertently becomes the centre of a national emergency when he picks up a lead pellet on a nylon cord from the floor of one of the labs. He believes it may make a nice present for his landlady's son, who has an interest in fishing, but in reality it is a radioactive radium isotope. Ten hours' exposure to the radiation will be enough to kill him and anyone he comes into direct contact with.

Steed and Keel are called in by a scientist at the establishment and a manhunt is organised. At that moment, Marko is meeting with fellow ex-patriates unaware of their plans to set a bomb on a freight train. After the explosion, they intend to use the incident to raise public awareness of the inequalities and troubles of their home country. Marko disagrees strongly with their plans and is warned by Milan Radosevick that unless he co-operates, he threatens to report Marko to the police for coming into Britain under a forged passport.

Keel, in tandem with the police, has to track down a man who thinks he is being hunted down as an illegal immigrant a man who is desperate not to be caught and who fears being repatriated to a country where he faces imprisonment. Marko is unaware that the clock is ticking down on the last moments of his existence and his only hope of salvation is in the hands of those from whom he is running.

Click here to read about the original television episode

The Avengers - The Lost Episodes:
Volume 2, Episode 3
Recording Dates:
23-25 July 2013
Recorded at: Moat Studios
Duration: 47 minutes 8 seconds


Released as a part of
The Avengers - The Lost Episodes,Volume 2
Release Date:
Wed 9 Jul 2014
Physical Release: Audio CD
Download Release:
MP3 / M4B Formats
Dr David Keel
John Steed
Carol Wilson
Dr Graham
Police Constables
Marko Ogrin
Peter Somers Policeman
Mary Somers
Inspector Tudor
Radio Announcer
Police Car Radio
Anthony Howell
Julian Wadham
Lucy Briggs-Owen
Phil Mulryne
Phil Mulryne
Phil Mulryne
John Banks
John Banks
John Banks
Tim Bentinck
Beth Chalmers
Beth Chalmers
Anjella Mackintosh
Anjella Mackintosh
Richard Franklin
Kieran Bew
Phil Mulryne
Colin Baker

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


Production Notes Booklet (with CD only)


Purchase from Big Finish


Writer Fred Edge, adapted by Patrick Brawn
Adapted for audio by -
John Dorney
Recording, Sound Design, Music and CD Mastering
Toby Hrycek-Robinson
Series Theme -
Johnny Dankworth, rearranged by Toby Hrycek-Robinson
Interviews edited by -
Jamie Griffiths
BFP Administration -
Miles Haigh-Ellery, Cheryl Bly and Alison Taylor
Producers' Assistants - Hannah Peel, 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
David Richardson
Executive Producers -
Nicholas Briggs and Jason Haigh-Ellery
Ken Bentley

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

A Big Finish Production


  • Production Brief... This audio play is based on the television episode The Radioactive Man, originally broadcast on Saturday 1st April 1961 at 10.00pm in the ABC Midlands, ABC North and Anglia ITV regions.

  • This Avengers episode was an adaptation by Patrick Brawn of an earlier script by Fred Edge (also called The Radioactive Man) which he had written for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's General Motors Theater play series. Brawn's adaptation would be uncredited and is revealed only in production documentation. Keel and Steed's characters appear to have been fanned out from a single character in the original script that of 'Shore' (played by Cec Linder, who would later portray James Bond's CIA contact Felix Leiter in Goldfinger (1964) opposite Sean Connery) as all other listed characters have an equivalent in The Avengers version. The character 'Todor' would seem most likely to have been anglicised to 'Tudor' in the revised script.

  • The General Motors Theater play was transmitted on CBC on Tuesday 14th January 1958. It was recorded and subsequently sold to the British Broadcasting Corporation as part of a package of CBC television plays. BBC Television transmitted this earlier version of The Radioactive Man as part of their irregular Canadian Television Theatre strand on Wednesday 28th January 1959 between 9.10pm and 10.00pm that evening. As can be seen from the Radio Times magazine listings entry, there was a significant crossover in character names and the plot outline is very familiar. (With thanks to Mike Noon and Andrew Pixley.)

  • The television version of this episode does not survive today. However, a camera script has been located. No production photographs from this episode are known to exist. A photograph that appears on page 16 of Dave Rogers' 1983 book The Avengers is incorrectly attributed to this episode it is not clear which episode it actually hails from.

  • The audio adaptation of this episode was recorded over a three day period between Tuesday 23rd and Thursday 25th July 2013 at Moat Studios. Four episodes were recorded during these sessions: Hot Snow, Brought to Book, Square Root of Evil and The Radioactive Man.

  • Although this episode was recorded in the first recording sessions for The Avengers - The Lost Episodes, it was later decided to hold The Radioactive Man over until Volume 2 of the series. The episode was considered an atypical Avengers story, lacking as it does full-blooded roles for Keel and Steed, concentrating instead on the character of Marko Ogrin. Consequently, it was felt that it was not the best episode with which to round off Volume 1. One for the Mortuary, a strong Brian Clemens script that had originally aired as the 13th episode in 1961, was therefore brought forward from the second recording session (30th September to 4th October 2013) to take its place on the final disc in the first set.

  • Four actors played more than one role in this production, with Beth Chalmers (Mary Somers / Frane) and Anjella Mackintosh (Inica / Dora) playing two characters each, John Banks (Marko Ogrin / Peter Somers / Policeman) providing three, and Phil Mulryne going for world domination with even more (Dr Graham / Milan / Police Constables / Radio Announcer). As a result of this production being carried over from the first recording sessions, several actors including Doctor Who stars Colin Baker and Richard Franklin, familiar from the plays in the Volume 1 set, also appear in Volume 2.

  • Brought to Audiobook... Steed's remark about the beauty of Cleopatra's Needle and of Cleopatra herself is an addition made to the audio version of the script. This is to establish the fact that Steed and Keel are standing on the Victoria Embankment in the City of Westminster.

  • Several of Peter Somers' lines are transferred to his mother Mary or to Dr Graham, possibly with the intention of minimising the chances of the listener detecting that the child is in fact played by an adult, John Banks.

  • Trivia... The name of the home country of Marko and his fellow refugees is pointedly not mentioned in the script, with it being referred to in a variety of ways including "our homeland", "the old country" and "the mother country". However, the police announcement notes that Marko Ogrin "speaks with a strong Slav accent", implying that the country in question was in fact Yugoslavia, then under the Communist Regime of Marshal Tito.

  • Doctors Graham and Keel tell young young Peter to "go along with this gentleman" and "have a bath", which carries rather different implications today than it would have done in 1961. Keel tells Peter, "you'll enjoy this one. We're going to have one too." Then Graham adds, "You won't have had one like this one before," all of which sounds decidedly dodgy to the modern listener! Fortunately, this is balanced by some intentional levity, with Peter complaining that he's had one bath already this week.

  • Stop Press... 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 joys of working in audio: "I think it's just another facet of what I do, another discipline - there's film, television and theatre, and there's radio, and now there's recorded drama. I've been doing it for a few years now with Big Finish. I love it. It's so immediate, you tend to work with really lovely people, there's not the stresses and strains of working in front of the camera or on stage, and you get access to the most incredible scripts."

    Read the rest of the interview by downloading Vortex Issue 65 from Big Finish


  • And Finally... Owing to its origins, The Radioactive Man is a decidedly unusual entry into this series. The audio production is in fact the third time that Fred Edge's script, which began its existence as a standalone play, has been performed. The most prominent character in it is arguably that of Marko Ogrin rather than Keel or Steed. The latter barely appears at all, which does the character no favours by withdrawing from the action while Keel risks radioactive contamination to track down Marko, Steed might seem rather cowardly. The only explanation he offers for his absence is that "This is a national emergency." It offers hints of the more fantastical Avengers to come, in the scientific nature of the subject matter and even in the format of the episode's title, which would be echoed in subsequent seasons with the likes of The Outside-In Man, The See-Through Man and The Positive-Negative Man. Curiously pre-dating The Avengers while also looking to the programme's future, this could be dubbed The Backwards-Forwards Episode.

Plotline by Alan Hayes Declassified by Richard McGinlay and Alan Hayes
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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