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Avengers on the Radio designed, maintained and Copyright by Alan and Alys Hayes.

The Avengers is Copyright CANAL+IMAGE UK Ltd. No attempt to infringe this copyright is intended. 

PRODUCTION NOTES "WHO SHOT POOR GEORGE / XR40?"

Origins:
This serial was based on Whoever Shot Poor George / XR40?, first broadcast in 1968. The original television script was written by Tony Williamson, and the episode featured Patrick Macnee as John Steed and Linda Thorson as Tara King.

Name Changes:
The television original has Keller as the man impersonating Pelley's chauffeur, and the gardener / assassin is a separate character named Jacobs.

Oh dear...

It's Gone to his Head...
"I intend to effect repairs to George while wearing a succession of very stupid hats..."

Character Changes:
The character of Tara King on the television episode is replaced with that of Emma Peel on the radio.

Whereas the Jason character in the radio series is somewhat subordinate and weak-willed, he is actually the TV version's main villian. In the TV series, Tobin is merely one of the conspirators.

Baines is not a hifi freak in the TV series. Instead, he is someone who loves right angles and straight lines, and has designed his flat to reflect this passion.

The TV Pelley has a stutter, and resorts to excessive drinking to cope with the stress of his situation.

Pelley's niece, whom Emma impersonates, is stated as being American in the TV show. Linda Thorson affects an American accent in the television episode - not difficult, as she hails from Canada!

Loris is posing as Pelley's general factotum, rather than housekeeper / maid in the television episode.

Storyline Changes:
The TV version of George is not a human-shaped computer, but an upright box, who throws a fit before being shot - due to being fed Pelley's plea for help message.

In the television episode, Baines goes home to his flat with Tara, to find Pelley's equations (on paper - not on a tape) and they surprise Jacobs there, who shoots Baines dead as he escapes.

George's early messages intimate that Pelley is the traitor - this is not so in the radio series.

Tobin in the TV programme is shown early on to be one of the villians, and twice attempts to sabotage George. He pours acid into the computer at one point, and then tries to cut his wires during the next operation, only to be stopped by Steed.

There is a second computer in the TV series, called Fred MkIII, who is George's ancestor. Fred's brain is transplanted into George to replace George's own, which was damaged in the acid attack.

Jacobs attacks Steed at Baines' flat, rather than Steed's own apartment, and is killed by his own bullet being bounced off the inside of Steed's metal-lined bowler in the TV version of this scene.

In the TV version, it is Keller who is instructed to take the unconscious Tara to the summerhouse. Here, it is the "butler", Jason, who performs this task (with Emma, of course).

Pelley's interrogations take place in the drawing room of the house in the TV version. The cellar is being used purely to hold the real servants, who are hostages - if Pelley does not tell all, they will be killed.

The TV version of Jason is much more believeable as a butler, and both Steed and Tara think he is genuine. Tara only discovers her mistake when she takes him into her confidence whilst trying to break into the cellar. Jason reveals his true self at this point and knocks her out with her own gun. Her earlier call to Steed is not interrupted, as it is in the radio version.

In the radio version, Steed's conversation with Pelley is tape-recorded and later replayed by Loris and Jason. This is not apparent in the television programme. Consequently, the section in Episode Four regarding bugs is not included in the television version.

by Alys Hayes

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STORYLINE

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