There are very few extant episodes from the first season of The Avengers, and The Frighteners provides a rare chance for audiences to see Keel and Steed in action together. Rae Lever’s job here is to ensure that it works successfully as an audio story, and she does that well – it’s a story where the audience’s sympathies have to switch midway through, and while you’re never in any doubt that none of the characters is particularly pleasant, the relative nastiness is obvious.
As with all the episodes recreated in this box set, the plot has elements that are very much of their period – the father who can prevent a daughter marrying, the toff who’s not quite what he seems – and it’s the sort of tale that you could easily imagine Simon Templar being involved with (particularly the way in which Keel deals with some of the lowlifes during their encounters). It’s fun to hear Hugh Ross as another knight of the realm, and Laurence Spellman does a great job as the tarnished Jeremy (a role that coincidentally was played originally by another Big Finish stalwart, the late Philip Gilbert aka TIM from The Tomorrow People).
Verdict: A cracking start to the set. 8/10