Production Number: 3416 Tape Number: VTR/ABC/1347

PLOTLINE

Bill Seton, a country doctor and former colleague of David Keel, has asked the Chelsea GP to keep a watchful eye on his nineteen year-old daughter, Bunty Seton, while she is working in London. The girl is employed by a central London department store, Bussell's but it quickly becomes clear to Keel that Bunty is in danger of being drawn into a life of vice.

May Murton, one of Bunty's fellow sales girls, is leading a double life working at Bussell's by day, entertaining paying gentlemen by night. However, May wants out, and she has received a beating for her troubles. Suddenly, May disappears and Bunty and her friend Alice are concerned about what may have happened to her.

Keel calls in Steed and explains the situation. It transpires that Steed's department are working to bring down a particularly nasty Soho vice ring and Steed decides that he wants to make this his business too... He is confident that the Police can deal with the day-to-day problems of Soho leaving Steed free to gun for the big fish behind the organisation.

Steed realises that he must infiltrate the vice ring somehow and decides that using young Bunty is the most expedient route. Keel is horrified and admonishes his friend. Steed decides that he will have to keep Keel out of the loop and approaches Bunty alone. He suspects Bussell's and its associated hostel are being used as a cover for prostitution by unscrupulous employees in the toy department.

Bunty agrees to help. She is to announce that she is fed up with working in the store and that she wants to earn big money, fast! Steed's plan sets in motion a series of events that will expose Bunty to great danger and lead Steed to a bitter confrontation with her protector, David Keel.

Read the full story in Two Against the Underworld

PRODUCTION & ARCHIVE
The Avengers: Series 1, Episode 19
Production Completed:
Thu 20 Jul 1961
Recording Format: 405 Line B/W Video
Archive Holding: DOES NOT EXIST
John Cura Tele-Snaps: Photographed
Reconstruction: Made 2010
INTERNATIONAL PREMIERES
UNITED KINGDOM: Sat 22 Jul 1961
Never transmitted outside the UK

UK REGIONAL PREMIERES

ABC Midlands: Sat 22 Jul 1961, 8.50pm
ABC North: Sat 22 Jul 1961, 8.50pm
Anglia:
Sat 22 Jul 1961, 8.50pm
ATV London: Sat 22 Jul 1961, 8.50pm
Border:
Not transmitted
Grampian: Not transmitted
Scottish: Sat 22 Jul 1961, 8.50pm
Southern: Sat 22 Jul 1961, 8.50pm
TWW: Sat 22 Jul 1961, 8.50pm
Tyne Tees:
Sat 22 Jul 1961, 8.50pm
Ulster: Sat 22 Jul 1961, 8.50pm
Westward: Sat 22 Jul 1961, 8.50pm
CHARACTERS & CAST
Dr David Keel
John Steed
Bunty Seton
Alice
May Murton
Ann
Henry Burge
Mrs McCabe
Johnny
Freddie
Lennie Taylor
Photographer
Speaking Extras
 
 
 
 

Non-Speaking Extras
(all uncredited)
Ian Hendry
Patrick Macnee
Sally Smith
Nina Marriott
Hazel Graeme
Mitzi Rogers
Tony Van Bridge
Ann Tirard
Brian Jackson
Brandon Brady
Tex Fuller
Lionel Burns
Jill Brooke
Dorothy Watson
George Betton
Felicity Peel
Peter Fenton
1 Uncredited Girl
2 Female Shoppers
5 Male Shoppers (for Photographer's Shop)
3 Male Shoppers (to double as Steed's Men)
1 Boy Shopper (12 yrs)
ORIGINAL SOUNDTRACK

Not released.

DVD EXTRAS

StudioCanal, UK: Reconstruction by Alan and Alys Hayes, narrated by David G. Hamilton, based on original script combined with off-screen Tele-Snaps and on-set photographs Stills Gallery (images erroneously attributed to Death on the Slipway)

PRODUCTION CREDITS

Writer Bill Strutton
Series Theme & Music
Johnny Dankworth
Designer
Douglas James
Story Editor
John Bryce / Reed de Rouen
Producer
Leonard White
Director
Don Leaver

Production Assistant Valerie Brayden
Floor Manager Michael Vardy
Stage Manager John Wayne
Call Boy John Cooper

Lighting Director Kenneth Brown
Technical Supervisor Peter Wayne
Senior Cameraman Tom Clegg
Sound Supervisor John Tasker
Vision Mixer Esther Frost

Studio Teddington 2
An ABC Network Production

TOY TRAP DECLASSIFIED

  • Production Brief... The first actors' read through of Toy Trap was held at The Tower, RCA Building, Brook Green Road, Hammersmith, from 10.30am on Monday 10th July 1961. Rehearsals began later the same day.

  • Camera rehearsals began for this episode on Wednesday 19th July 1961 at 10.30am and continued with two one-hour breaks for lunch and supper until 9.00pm that evening. The cast and crew reconvened the next morning at 10.00am for further camera rehearsals, ending at 3.00pm. The dress rehearsal commenced at 3.45pm after a short break for tea, camera line-up and make-up, with the dress rehearsal due to end at 5.00pm. The final recording of the episode was delayed for an unknown reason, possibly technical. Recording was intended to run from 6.00 to 7.00pm on the evening of Thursday 20th July 1961, but actually took place between 8.00 and 9.00pm. All the sessions on Wednesday 19th and Thursday 20th July were held in Studio 2 at ABC Studios, Teddington Lock, Middlesex.

  • Transmission time on Saturday 22nd July 1961 is given on the script as 20:51.00 to 21:47.35. The episode was estimated to run to a duration of 52 minutes and 35 seconds, not including the breaks for commercials.

  • The durations of commercial breaks between each of the three parts of the episode were always planned in advance during the videotaped era. This episode was due to have two breaks for commercials, each lasting 2 minutes and 5 seconds. However, it appears that in an extraordinary move, the ITV network insisted upon a massive ten minute advertising break between the second and third acts for this episode. Neither the content of this commercial break or the reason for its unusual duration are known.


  • On Location... Three 35mm film sequences were utilised in Toy Trap, with two of these being sourced from stock. The first of these a montage of establishing shots of the Soho area (15 seconds, mute) appeared near the start of the episode and was most likely licensed from a backgrounds library. The other stock material appeared in Act 3 and depicted a body (Lennie Taylor's) being flung from a car into a roadside (10 seconds, mute). This appears similar to the likely content of the Square Root of Evil teaser and it is possible that the same footage was used for both episodes.

  • The remaining film sequence was the only one specially shot for Toy Trap and featured Keel and Steed on the streets of Brixton towards the end of Act 2. The camera script refers to it as "BRIXTON SPEC. SHOT FILM 35mm" and gives a duration of 58 seconds. It is not noted as being mute, so it is likely that live sound was recorded on location.


  • Trivia... This episode was Australian-born writer Bill Strutton's sole contribution to The Avengers. He wrote for many other British television series, including the early Sixties ABC spy series starring William Franklin, Top Secret, as well as ITC's The Saint and Rediffusion's No Hiding Place. In 1968, he was engaged as script editor and writer for ITC high-point series, Strange Report. He also wrote a script in 1965 for the BBC's legendary children's series, Doctor Who, entitled The Web Planet. This story is unique in the history of the series in that the only humanoids in its six episodes are the four members of the regular cast. Bill Strutton passed away in Spain in 2003 and for all his successes is best remembered for writing about giant ants... There's something a little sad about that.

  • Michael Vardy (later Mike Vardy), Floor Manager on this episode, went on to become a director, helming a number of popular ABC and Thames Television programmes such as Callan, The Mind of Mr J.G. Reeder, Special Branch, Public Eye and The Sweeney.

  • Actress Sally Smith, who portrayed Bunty Seton in this episode, was later considered for the role of Venus Smith, one of John Steed's partners in The Avengers Series 2. The role ultimately was awarded to Julie Stevens.

  • Bunty's father, Bill Seton is referred to regularly in the episode and Keel was seen to telephone the country doctor. However, the character seems not to have appeared on screen at all and no actor is credited with the role.

  • This episode is set over three days and nights between Thursday 6th July and Saturday 8th July 1961.


  • Stop Press... On 22nd July 1961, the Daily Mirror published a story tying in with the broadcast of Toy Trap entitled Don't Get Hazel Wrong: "Scots-born Hazel Graeme, above, plays a delinquent led astray by gangsters in tonight's episode of The Avengers (ITV, 8.50). Between acting jobs, Hazel is a social worker at a remand home for delinquent boys in Shepherds Bush, London. She will be back there next week, so it looks as though Hazel may have to do a bit of explaining. 'I hope they'll understand I was only acting,' she says."


  • And Finally... Bill Strutton's choice of settings for this episode were clearly deliberate counterpoints to each other, contrasting the seedy streets of Soho against the seemingly squeaky clean environment of a toyshop. By choosing this setting over another workplace, he was deliberately accentuating the shop girls' loss of innocence when they became involved in the call girl racket. Additionally, his depiction of Steed is decidedly dark in places. At times he seems not so very far removed from the villains he is seeking to apprehend. Apart from his own flirtations with attractive young women (he admits that he never got the name of his latest conquest), he exploits Bunty Seton for very different reasons, incurring the anger of Keel as a result.

Plotline by Alan Hayes UK Transmissions by Simon Coward, Alan Hayes and John Tomlinson
Declassified by Alan Hayes with Richard McGinlay

With thanks to Christopher Verner, Piers Johnson, Jaz Wiseman and StudioCanal for their kind assistance

 

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