Not much to report on Series 1 repeats, I hear you say... And at first look, you'd be right. The only first series episode to have garnered a repeat showing on UK terrestrial television is The Frighteners...

No. Episode Title Broadcaster Repeat Date
15 The Frighteners Channel 4, UK Thursday 7th January 1993
15 The Frighteners Bravo, UK Monday 7th February 1994

OK, so I've stuck the Bravo satellite repeat in there to make it look more impressive. Didn't work, did it? Well maybe this will...

New information has come to light that will firmly disprove the old wives' tale that the handful of Series 1 episodes that went out live were never recorded namely the seven episodes broadcast between Saturdays 21st January and 4th March 1961 (Square Root of Evil to Ashes of Roses). There is no doubt that these seven episodes were transmitted live this has been long established and is confirmed by several reliable sources including camera scripts. Several Avengers researchers have suggested that their being live points to them never having been recorded, vanishing off into the ether forever in an instant. This can now be categorically disproved.

A memo from Michael Chapman of Iris Productions Ltd (the production company responsible for The Avengers at ABC) has come to light, dated 30th March 1962. It correctly notes that due to London's late pick-up of The Avengers, nine episodes remained unscreened in the region and suggests that these would make a good 'repeat' season for London and the other regions who came late to the party.

Each of these nine episodes has a Video Tape Recording (VTR) code alongside them, meaning that these programmes were definitely recorded and existed in March 1962 on videotape. Surviving camera scripts for Square Root of Evil, Girl on the Trapeze, The Radioactive Man and Ashes of Roses confirm that the live episodes were recorded on videotape from transmission (and the tape numbers tally with those below). Of course, the discovery of a telerecording of Girl on the Trapeze in 2001 had already put the 'never recorded' theory in some considerable doubt.

So now we know. They were out there, recorded on VT and almost definitely on film as telerecordings, too. It's just a case of finding them if they still survive somewhere...

This idea of a repeat run of Series 1 episodes was ultimately abandoned, but the list below is very enticing indeed!

Here's Michael Chapman's memo in full:

 by Alan Hayes

with thanks to Dave Matthews and Dave Rogers

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