The Avengers (1961–1969)
4 user 1 critic

Homicide and Old Lace 

To celebrate his birthday 'Mother' goes to visit two elderly aunts to whom he tells a story from the Avengers' case files. It involves a criminal caper to steal art treasures. The treasures... See full summary »


John Hough, Vernon Sewell (uncredited)


Malcolm Hulke (teleplay by), Terrance Dicks (teleplay by)

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Patrick Macnee ... John Steed
Linda Thorson ... Tara King
Patrick Newell ... Mother
Joyce Carey ... Harriet
Mary Merrall ... Georgina
Gerald Harper Gerald Harper ... Colonel Corf
Keith Baxter ... Dunbar
Edward Brayshaw Edward Brayshaw ... Fuller
Donald Pickering ... Freddie Cartwright
Mark London Mark London ... Jackson
Kristopher Kum Kristopher Kum ... Osaka
Bari Jonson Bari Jonson ... African Delegate
Stephen Hubay Stephen Hubay ... Dubois
Bryan Mosley ... Armshith
Gertan Klauber ... Kruger


To celebrate his birthday 'Mother' goes to visit two elderly aunts to whom he tells a story from the Avengers' case files. It involves a criminal caper to steal art treasures. The treasures were to be held for safe keeping in an underground vault in the event of a national emergency but the criminals aimed to squirrel them away once in the vault. It is a hair colour changing story indeed. Written by don @ minifie-1

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

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Release Date:

17 March 1969 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

ABC Weekend Television See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Malcolm Hulke and Terrance Dicks had previously introduced their villainous organisation in the titular Cathy Gale episode The Avengers: Intercrime (1963). See more »


Whilst it's understandable for Freddie Cartwright to borrow a suit from Steed to wear for dining out, it's undeniably slightly odd that he also chooses to add the latter's bowler hat and umbrella to the ensemble. See more »


Tara King: What's Intercrime?
John Steed: The opposite to, eh, Interpol. Interpol helps the police against the criminals, Intercrime helps the criminals against the police.
See more »


Features The Avengers: Murdersville (1967) See more »

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User Reviews

The worst episode?
8 April 2011 | by kevinolzakSee all my reviews

"Homicide and Old Lace" may have arrived at the very end of the original series (Jan. 1969), but it was conceived in the fall of 1967, as one of the earliest Tara King episodes (witness her blonde wig, wisely discarded but not soon enough). Scripted as a sequel to the excellent Cathy Gale episode "Intercrime," this entry features the new boss, Dunbar (Keith Baxter, perhaps the single dullest villain of the entire series), leading what he describes as the crime of the century, namely the theft of priceless art treasures from under the nose of security man Colonel Corf (Gerald Harper, "Death Dispatch" and "The Hour That Never Was"). The final result is a total mishmash, half comprised of endless new footage of Patrick Newell's Mother, who never appeared in the original version titled "The Great Great Britain Crime," coupled with scenes from Emma Peel episodes, "The Bird Who Knew Too Much," "Murdersville," "The Fear Merchants," and Christopher Lee's cottage battle from "Never, Never Say Die." All of Tara's footage was shot before "The Forget-Me-Knot," with Steed making two token appearances in new scenes opposite Mother. Also featuring Mary Merrall ("The Girl from Auntie"), Donald Pickering ("The Winged Avenger"), Bari Jonson ("The Yellow Needle"), Bryan Mosley ("The Gravediggers"), and Anne Rutter ("Super Secret Cypher Snatch"). Even the producers showed their contempt for it by inserting ridiculous silent film piano music at random, creating an utterly bizarre effect that does not go unnoticed (unthinkable during the Emma Peel era). Is it the worst episode? I've always believed so, and found my father in agreement (Among many contenders, Cathy Gale's worst was "Conspiracy of Silence").

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