Friday, 18 April 2014

Castle De'Ath

Here's an episode of The Avengers from 1965 that has just about every cliche and stereotype about Scotland thrown into it. All the men (apart from one or two minions) wear kilts, including Steed - or "Jock McSteed" as he's introducing himself here. Only Mrs Peel wears trousers, apart from when she's borrowing a floaty white nightdress from Hammer Horror. In fact, Mrs Peel is the only woman in this episode.
It doesn't really matter why there are midget submarines in the loch - they're just an excuse for the phantom piper and all the rest, with Gordon Jackson being wonderfully grumpy as the laird. The climactic fight scene is fun, too, with Steed jumping onto the dining table, claymore and targe in hand. Though I distinctly saw a flash of white underpants under one of the kilts!
They filmed at a very fine castle, too, though it's about as far from Scotland as you can get - Allington Castle, near Maidstone in Kent. It's now a private residence (it's far too grand to be just called a 'house') and at one time it was a Carmelite Convent.

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