Production Number: 3417 • Tape Number: Unknown


An escaped convict being sought by the police, Harry Black, bursts into David Keel's surgery with wounds that have been caused by broken glass. He claims to have been framed for a crime that he did not commit – and entreats the doctor not to hand him over to the police.

Steed arrives and ascertains that Black has links to Southend-on-Sea which might well tie in with an investigation currently being undertaken by his department. They are aware that government secrets are being leaked from somewhere in Southend, and Black's story, if true, could possibly lead them to the source of the operation.

Steed encourages Keel to visit the funfair posing as Harry's prison visitor and meanwhile finds himself work at the fairground as a barker. His arrival at the funfair and his suspicious behaviour do not go unnoticed, however, and he is interrogated by Maxie Lardner, the funfair's hypnotist, at the behest of shady estate agent Jack Wickram. To their annoyance they find that under hypnosis, Steed musters sufficient resistance to reveal only information of small importance.

Meanwhile, Keel and Harry re-enact the latter's previous break-in in Wickram's office in the hope of jogging Harry's memory. Harry's story appears to have been true. Their victory is shortlived, however, as the nightwatchman stumbles across the two men and holds them at gunpoint.

Can Steed and Keel bring down Wickram's operation, prove Harry's innocence and get out of Southend with their lives?

Read the full story in Two Against the Underworld

The Avengers: Series 1, Episode 20
Production Completed:
Thu 3 Aug 1961
Recording Format: 405 Line B/W Video
Archive Holding: 16mm B/W Film Recording
John Cura Tele-Snaps: Photographed
Reconstruction: Made 2010
UNITED KINGDOM: Sat 5 Aug 1961
Never transmitted outside the UK


ABC Midlands: Sat 5 Aug 1961, 8.50pm
ABC North: Sat 5 Aug 1961, 8.50pm
Sat 5 Aug 1961, 8.50pm
ATV London: Sat 5 Aug 1961, 8.50pm
Not transmitted
Grampian: Not transmitted
Scottish: Sat 5 Aug 1961, 8.50pm
Southern: Sat 5 Aug 1961, 8.50pm
TWW: Sat 5 Aug 1961, 8.50pm
Tyne Tees:
Sat 5 Aug 1961, 8.50pm
Ulster: Sat 5 Aug 1961, 8.50pm
Westward: Sat 5 Aug 1961, 8.50pm
Dr David Keel
John Steed
Carol Wilson
Maxie Lardner
Jack Wickram
Harry Black
Mrs Mary Black
Madame Zenobia
Carnival Girls x 6
Carnival Boys x 4
Fairgoers x 3
Ian Hendry
Patrick Macnee
Ingrid Hafner
Stanley Platts
John Salew
Anthony Bate (*)
Douglas Muir
Doris Rogers
Helen Coppen (*)
Miranda Connell
Douglas Rye
Morris Perry
Uncredited Extras
Uncredited Extras
Uncredited Extras

(*) Murray Hayne and Nancy Roberts were originally cast as Harry Black and Madame Zenobia, but were replaced by Anthony Bate and Hazel Coppen prior to recording.


Not released.


StudioCanal, UK: 'Mission Brief' reconstruction by Alys and Alan Hayes, narrated by Nick Goodman, combining off-screen Tele-Snaps and on-set photographs with a newly-written narration • Stills Gallery


Writer – John Kruse
Series Theme & Music –
Johnny Dankworth
Designers –
Terry Green and James Goddard
Story Editor –
John Bryce / Reed de Rouen
Producer –
Leonard White
Director –
Guy Verney

Other credits not available

Studio – Teddington 2
An ABC Network Production


  • Production Brief... Tunnel of Fear suffered a late casting change that subsequently went unnoticed for nigh on fifty years. The character of Harry Black is generally credited as having been played by Murray Hayne – and this is perfectly understandable as he was listed in TV Times magazine as playing the part (indeed, some TV Times regions even went so far as to run a short feature concerning Hayne), and all reference works since that time have listed him against the role. However, for whatever reason – his not being available, or perhaps being ill – he did not end up appearing in the episode, the role being played by actor Anthony Bate (who would later go on to appear in the Series 6 episode The Curious Case of the Countless Clues). Bate appears in the Tele-Snaps that exist from the finished episode, and also in the photographs taken in rehearsal, meaning that he was most likely to have been brought in to take Hayne's role in the week leading up to recording. This would have been too late to alter the information in TV Times, which at that time had a print-turnaround of about a fortnight. Last minute casting changes also occurred in three other Series 1 episodes, Square Root of Evil (where John Woodvine replaced Michael Robbins), Girl on the Trapeze (in which Mia Karam replaced Nadja Regin) and The Radioactive Man (where Arthur Lawrence replaced Gerald Sim).

  • Tragically, Tunnel of Fear would prove to be Juno (Puppy)'s final appearance in The Avengers. She was reportedly injured on the London Underground while on her way to a filming assignment and passed away at home a day later. Series guidelines issued by Leonard White on 31st October 1961 confirm that the dog had passed away. Discussing the character of Steed, the document states that: "He has owned a Great Dane (now dead) – but will have another unusual hound." The search for a new pet for Steed was underway by 3rd October 1961, when White sent a newspaper clipping to director Don Leaver and story editor John Bryce. This showed Milady of Hornsgreen, a two-year-old Great Dane, out exercising with her mistress, Diana Hewlett, the wife of actor-scriptwriter Donald Hewlett. A note attached to the clipping asked, "What about this for Steed's dog???" However, the secret agent's next canine companion would be a Dalmatian called Freckles, who made her Avengers debut in the Series 2 episode Mr Teddy Bear.

  • Director Guy Verney had worked for ABC Television since the beginnings of independent television in Great Britain. He was renowned as an "actor's director" and had started his career as a juvenile lead in West End theatre and British films. He went on to run successful repertory theatres in Worthing, Salisbury and Bromley before moving to the Arts Theatre, London. In television drama, he liked to work with a repertory of actors, including the likes of Honor Blackman, Alfred Burke and Terence Alexander. Verney was also a great encourager of writers and regularly directed the works of celebrated television playwrights Hugh Leonard and Donald Churchill. He was still at his prime, directing for Thames Television, when he died suddenly aged 55 on 19th September 1970.

  • On Location... This episode featured a small amount of location footage, notably where we see Steed in the street outside Keel's surgery.

  • In addition, a night shoot took place near a marina or other moorings, and involved Ian Hendry and Anthony Bate. 

  • Trivia... Long thought lost, this episode was recovered on 16mm B/W film from a collector in 2016 by the Kaleidoscope television preservation organisation. The recovery was announced on Kaleidoscope's Facebook page on Monday 3rd October 2016 by the group's representative Christopher Perry. The press release said:

Kaleidoscope's love affair with The Avengers goes back to watching the Channel 4 repeats; and then visiting the Pinewood studios to root around the old ABC archive to see what could be found. The Frighteners was found after seeing a clip on Ian Hendry's This Is Your Life. Hot Snow Act 1 and Girl on the Trapeze turned up at UCLA. I remember Dave Rogers and I opening cans to find The Golden Fleece, which was the last Honor Blackman episode to be found. I also remember our surprise when we persuaded Lumiere to re-master the negs of Rigg and Thorson onto D3 and discovered the prints were longer than the C4 prints. Yes indeed, I have always had a love affair with The Avengers.

Now today I am delighted to announce that Kaleidoscope has acquired the long-lost print of Tunnel of Fear. We will be screening this rediscovered edition at our November event Missing Believed Wiped Central. We hope to have a guest connected with the show to introduce it as well.

None of this could have happened without Steve Birt who has proven once again to be a very worthy friend and financial backer to Kaleidoscope.

We look forward to you joining us to enter the Tunnel of Fear on November 12th 2016 at Birmingham City University. To accommodate the expected rush for tickets we have extended tickets to 250. That is our maximum maximum though. The event time has been extended by an hour and will now finish at 6pm.

  • The fictional location for this story is a funfair at Southend-on-Sea, a real holiday town situated on the Essex coast. Back in the 1950s, Southend was a thriving tourist destination and home of a popular, permanent funfair, called the Kursaal. The fair boasted many rides including the world-famous Caterpillar ride, plus other attractions such as the motorcycle Wall of Death and was lauded as the largest fairground in the South of England.

  • One long-held misconception, given weight by its appearance in TV listings and episode guides, was that this episode's title was The Tunnel of Fear. When Leonard White's scrapbooks were published in 2009 by Optimum Releasing, Tele-Snaps from this episode revealed that the title had no definite article.

  • During the episode Harry hides out on his girlfriend Claire's boat, though its location is not alluded to. The nearest marina to Southend in the real world is at Leigh-on-Sea, some three miles away.

  • Stop Press... Murray Hayne has a Lean Look, a short feature by Nick Brittan concerning the actor originally slated to play Harry Black, was printed in TV Times dated 28th July 1961. The piece concentrated mainly on Hayne's biographical details: "He was born in India, the son of a missionary, but when he was seven the family returned to England. After leaving the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art at 22, Murray worked for repertory companies in Huddersfield, Carlisle and Ipswich. 'In Carlisle I was directed by Guy Verney, now director of The Avengers,' he said. 'We met up again when we worked together on the All Aboard series." The feature went on to highlight his most famous television role, as Dr Harcourt in Emergency Ward 10, and that away from the screen, Murray Hayne was, with his wife Gillian, decorating and converting an old house near the Thames at Kew. As has been discussed earlier, Hayne would ultimately not appear in the episode, for reasons unknown.

  • The same edition of TV Times saw The Avengers feature as part of Wolf Mankowitz's A to Z of Television: "A is for Avengers. This series features yet another young doctor (actor Ian Hendry) who combines the glamour of his profession with the attraction of the underworld in which he hunts following the murder of his fiancιe - all of which makes a more exciting story than what might have happened if the lady had lived..."

  • And Finally... Had Murray Hayne actually appeared in Tunnel of Fear as planned, it would have been something of a family affair. He was married to Gillian Muir, and was therefore son-in-law of actor Douglas Muir, who played One-Ten in the series (and who featured in Tunnel of Fear)... Gillian went on to appear as Dr Martin King's colleague Judy in Mission to Montreal and The Sell-Out, among the first episodes to be recorded for The Avengers Series 2. Murray Hayne did eventually register an actual appearance in The Avengers, when cast as Paul Gibbons in My Wildest Dream (1968).

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

With thanks to Piers Johnson, Mike Noon, Jaz Wiseman and StudioCanal for their kind assistance


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