In an earlier post, I discussed the apparent confluences between the The Avengers Season 2 episode “Mr Teddy Bear” and a handful of Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes stories. Well, it turns out that “Teddy Bear” isn’t the only episode that does that, and it turns out that The New Avengers also has a few of these. So for your delectation, below are some more additions to that collection. As with the previous post, the Holmes images are from the Granada television series starring Jeremy Brett.
The Illustrious Client vs Immortal Clay
Holmes and Watson are enjoying a Turkish bath at the opening of “Illustrious Client.” While they are relaxing there, Holmes tells Watson that they have a new case in hand. “Immortal Clay” opens likewise: when we first see Steed and One-Ten, they also are at a Turkish bath together, where One-Ten hands a new case to Steed.
In both stories, ceramics figure largely. In “Immortal Clay,” Steed’s case centers around a company that produces porcelain wares, while the villain in “Illustrious Client” is a conoisseur of Asian ceramics. In both stories, one of the main investigators is given twenty-four hours to make himself an expert on ceramics before wading in to interview witnesses and potential suspects. Steed is the lucky detective in the former, while Watson is tasked with that in the latter, since Holmes has been beaten up and is not currently ambulatory.
Holmes: Watson, I need to to do something for me.
Watson: I’m here to be used.
Holmes: I want you to spend the next twenty-four hours making yourself an expert in Chinese pottery.
One-Ten: I’ve arranged for you to become an expert on ceramics. It usually takes ten years.
Steed: How long have I got?
One-Ten: Twenty-four hours.
The Empty House and The Angel of Death
When Sherlock Holmes returns from the Great Hiatus in “The Empty House,” he finds that he is being stalked by one of Professor Moriarty’s confederates. He expects that an attempt will be made on his life once it is known that he has returned to Baker Street, so he has a wax dummy made in his likeness, and sets it in the window to make it look like he is at home. Mrs Hudson is in charge of moving the dummy from time to time to increase the verisimilitude of the ruse.
In the TNA episode “Angel of Death,” Purdey and Steed are in Paris and are trying to escape from the prying eyes of a Russian agent. To fool the agent into thinking they haven’t left their hotel, they set up a wax dummy of Steed in his hotel window.
The Final Problem and The Angel of Death
Sherlock Holmes is trying to make his way to the Continent, but he knows that Professor Moriarty is watching his every move. So he disguises himself as an Italian priest.
Steed and Purdey know that a Russian agent is watching them: they manage to escape undetected from their Paris hotel by dressing as a priest and a nun, respectively.
Unlike with other confluences that I’ve found, which are probably happy coincidences (for example, between medieval stuff and Avengers), I do think these references to the Sherlock Holmes character and canon were very much intended by the writers. I don’t think they have any deep meaning, ultimately, other than to make a favorable link between two great detectives.