One of the cool things about the Season 3 episode “November Five” is Steed’s little pair of Irregulars. Evidently he has recruited these two old ladies to shuffle around the Houses of Parliament and scoop up information for him. They make perfect spies: nobody will ever suspect a pair of sweet old ladies of being up to something.
When we first see Steed, he is hanging out in the Houses of Parliament, waiting to talk to an MP, Major Swinburne, who is a suspect in the case he’s working. The two little old ladies walk up to him and start a cheerful conversation, asking Steed if he is an MP himself. They exchange some banter about this. Then the man Steed has been waiting for shows up, and the women make themselves scarce.
Once the MP is gone, the ladies come back for further instructions, the whole time gushing about how cool it is to be visiting Parliament. Then Steed goes all serious. “Follow the Major,” he tells them, and off they go to tail the guy Steed talked to earlier. So now we know that they’re more than just two voluble old women: they’re working for Steed.
L: The little old ladies mistake Steed for an MP. They have a nice chat.
R: After Steed talks to the Major, he tells his Irregulars, “Follow him.”
Later, the women find Steed again, this time on the terrace. They have more conversation about how wonderful Parliament is. And the taller woman shakes hands with Steed before she and her friend leave. This wasn’t a benign little handshake as among friends, though. The woman has passed Steed a note with important information on it.
L: One of the women shakes hands with Steed as she and her friend are leaving.
R: Once they’re gone, Steed reads the note the woman passed him.
This is the only episode that I can recall where Steed actively employs Irregulars a la Sherlock Holmes. It’s rather sweet how he plays spymaster to these women, and how well and enthusiastically they play their role in the case.
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.
“Mr Teddy Bear,” the first episode to air in Season 2, and the first to feature Honor Blackman as Cathy Gale, is full of references to Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes stories. I’ve published several of these on my tumblr page already, but by request I’m aggregating them here and adding some I’ve found since.