The Avengers (1961) s04e06 Episode Script

The Master Minds

Come on.
[Whispers] Come on, come on.
Come.
[Alarm blares] Kill him! Ah.
[Sighs] [Birds squawking] [Knocks on door] - Mrs Peel? Mrs Peel? - [Groans] Come along.
No time for nodding off.
Yes, it is.
Did it have to be the middle of the night, Steed? Night? It's morning.
Bright, new morning! [Peel sighs] The best part of the day.
The dew is pearly.
The morning chorus is in full throat.
And everyone in their right mind is still asleep.
[Sighs] Where are we, anyway? The country residence of Sir Clive Todd.
Todd The Minister for Promotion of [Yawns] Come now, his speeches aren't that bad.
Hm [Knocks on door] Good morning, sir, madam.
Good morning.
My name is John Steed and this is Mrs Peel.
We're expected.
Quite so.
Will you come in, please? May I? Oh, excuse me.
I have been assisting.
I will inform the gentleman you are here.
[Steed] Thank you.
Steed, you did wake me up a few minutes ago? There is a touch of fantasy about it all, isn't there? Toy soldiers and all that.
Is this some kind of fancy-dress party? You might call it that.
Last night in Whitehall.
This is an ideal little costume for lurking around government buildings in peace time.
- This is exactly how he broke in.
- Who broke in? The burglar.
The man who wore this.
You'll see him in a minute.
- We will see you now, sir.
- Thank you.
How is he, Doctor? He's lucky.
The bullet just missed his brain.
Come this way, please.
[Groans] [Knock on door] - You've come to see? - Our burglar.
I still don't understand.
Why bring him to Sir Clive Todd's house? - Where else? - But this is Sir Clive Todd.
Caught with his own portcullis down.
- A Minister of the Crown.
- And a burglar.
Something of an all-rounder.
Really, Steed! Your levity at a time like this Sorry, Sir Jeremy, it must have been quite a shock to find that Sir Clive was a member of another gang.
Oh, apart from your own gang, that is.
The whole idea's preposterous! Incredible! - But undeniable.
- There's no doubt about that.
Sir Clive and some persons unknown did manage to break into that government strongroom last night.
During the course of the raid, which was entirely successful by the way, Sir Clive managed to get himself shot.
But not killed.
He'll pull through.
Which is more than can be said for the government at this moment.
The Prime Minister has ordered complete secrecy.
That's why Sir Clive was brought to his own home.
He will remain here.
And we will issue a simple announcement to the press.
A hunting accident? A check-up.
In the fullest sense.
I'll leave the rest to you.
The Prime Minister's waiting for me.
Steed.
Mrs Peel.
I didn't like the way he scuttled out.
Makes me feel like a sinking ship.
Well, you may be right at that.
If this case isn't broken.
Good morning.
Do you suppose the Prime Minister would mind if you let me in on the secret? I don't suppose he would.
It's state security.
It's been riddled with a series of raids over the past few months.
Like last night.
Boldly conceived, superbly executed.
Behind them there must be a brilliant planner at work.
A genius.
A diabolical mastermind.
- Sir Clive? - He's just a pawn in the game.
The man we're after is the king.
Whoever he is.
Has anyone ever remarked on the astonishing resemblance between yourself and Florence Nightingale? Excellent, Mrs Peel.
Efficient, thorough, to the point.
Most excellent.
Thank you, Doctor.
I'm happy to have our patient in your hands.
But I would remove the nail varnish.
[Todd groans] - How are you? - Where is this place? This is your home.
- And you? - Your nurse.
I'm thirsty.
I've been in an accident.
Yes.
What sort of accident? You were shot.
It happened while you were breaking into a strongroom.
- Breaking in? - That's right, Sir Clive.
Breaking in.
What on earth are you talking about? What did you call me? - Sir Clive.
- Sir Clive? "Sir"? A title? Breaking in? - Amnesia.
- Eh? Am-ne-sia.
Sir Clive.
He came round for a few minutes.
Doesn't appear to remember anything.
Concussion? I doubt it.
He doesn't even seem to remember his own name.
- Bluffing? - That's your problem, Mr Steed.
I'm just the nurse around here, remember? I better chat to the old boy.
Nothing here.
- What were you hoping to find? - At the risk of ribald laughter, clues.
What kind of clues? I don't think that should concern you.
You're only the nurse here, remember? I am sorry.
It's just a complete blank.
- But you do feel up to talking? - Yes.
I want to help all I can.
Let's start with the robbery.
- Who planned it? You? - Probably.
Your first or had you taken part in others? There must be some mistake.
I don't know anything about robberies.
I manufacture computers.
You did before you went into politics.
Oh, oh, yes, I'm in politics.
Does my wife know I'm here? - You've been a widower for five years.
- Oh, yes, of course.
Kate's dead.
Divinia, my daughter - Of course, south of France.
- Yes, sir.
- Divinia on holiday in France.
- Then you remember that? - What? - About your daughter.
Divinia.
Who is Divinia? [Todd groans] [Sighs] [Sighs] Sounds like amnesia.
Or he could be bluffing.
He's one of the smartest minds in Westminster.
Then we may be in for an interesting challenge.
Mr Steed.
- Yes.
- Campbell.
Dr Fergus Campbell.
Security told me to Oh, that's all right.
This is Mrs Peel.
Security seemed to think that I, that a psychiatrist A psychiatrist was my suggestion.
Indeed.
Sir Clive Excuse me.
There's nothing feigned.
No bluff about his condition.
Postoperative shock.
Physical and mental disorientation and the effect of the anaesthetic has not worn off.
Quite a hangover.
Your facetiousness, Mr Steed, covers an edgy temperament.
In fact, I'd say your nerves mostly jangle like wires in the wind.
A few notes on the patient who matters.
Hm, an impressive subject.
Do you mind telling me why I've been singled out for this job? He's an official secret and I imagine you're still covered by the Act.
You are a Service Psychiatrist.
What did you manage to straighten out in the Wavy Navy? The seasick.
Traces of an incipient inferiority complex.
I should watch it.
Has he said much so far? No Not so far.
[They grunt] - Hello! - I'm going to scream in a moment.
- Oh, dear.
I hope not.
- Loud, and I have excellent lungs.
- I can believe it.
- Enough to wake the dead.
I'm John Steed, I'm here on business and I'm not going to harm you.
Oh, how dull.
Well, why were you searching my father's study? - Your father? - His papers were all over the floor- - So you're Divinia? - Yes, of course.
But you're supposed to be on holiday.
Well, I was, wasn't I? South of France, naturally.
But I got bored on the beach, so I jumped into a taxi and took the next plane home.
My clothes are following.
Oh, yes.
- Now, Miss Todd - Divinia.
- Or Daffy.
Take your pick.
- Divinia.
You know, that was a super tackle you made.
- Scrum half.
- [Chuckles] Wing three-quarter.
Now, Divinia, your father.
- Oh, yes.
Where is Daddy, by the way? - He's in bed, resting.
- Tell me, was he plastered? - No.
- Well, what has become of him then? - I'm afraid I can't explain.
- Oh, a secret? - Yes.
- Mm-hm! - You might be able to help.
Your father has suffered a temporary loss of memory.
He'll be all right in a few days, but until then- Master spy might flee the country.
- Exactly.
- And what exactly can I do? We've had difficulty in pinpointing your father's movements last night.
Have you tried Allan St Johnson? Daddy spent a lot of evenings with him.
An opposition MP? An opposition at chess.
They're old pals.
Anyway, surely it's all in the diary.
The diary? Well, I looked.
I didn't No, you wouldn't.
Daddy's little secret.
He thinks that even I don't know.
You know, I wouldn't have screamed.
I'd just have accepted my fate.
I'll bear that in mind.
There's a secret drawer.
I can't always work it.
Daddy's a child about gadgets.
Yes, like that Chinese puzzle.
It looks like a St Bernard's dog collar.
No.
You pass circles through squares.
There.
It's very difficult and a ghastly bore.
He certainly seems to enjoy exercising his mind.
He's like those fiends who go on stimulating their muscles into old age.
As you know, he's a very rare politician.
He really has a high IQ.
High enough to belong to RANSACK.
- RANSACK? - Yes, it's a club for eggheads.
They wade through test papers and problems just for fun.
Ah! No! Acid poured in through the lock.
Now, what was that? Daddy's diary.
Sir Clive.
Your memory is clouding, isn't it? You can't remember anything.
Do you recall what happened? Do you? Or is it all lost beyond recall? Is it? Is it? - Any luck? - No sign of breakthrough.
He can't remember anything.
I don't think he ever will.
When you see St Johnston, go carefully, Steed.
If he didn't meet Sir Clive last night, then drop the subject and back out.
Allan St Johnston is a good sort of friend and all that, but if our opponents get wind of this business, before you find an explanation, there will be a bigger explosion than Guy Fawkes could have caused.
- Mr Steed? - Yes.
I'm sorry you've been kept waiting.
Mr St Johnston has been interviewing a constituent.
What did you want to see him about? It's a personal matter.
I'm a friend of Sir Clive Todd.
I believe that he was with Sir Clive last night.
That's right.
They left the house together.
I expect he's through with the constituent by now.
[Screams] Did you know the person who came to see him? Steed! We might be getting somewhere.
He's talking.
Not making much sense so far, but he is talking.
Get Campbell, will you? - Dr Campbell - Erm - Leeming, Desmond Leeming.
- I'm John Steed.
I dropped by to enquire about Sir Clive.
So did I? Are you a friend of his? Well, in a manner of speaking.
We have a strong interest in Sir Clive's wellbeing.
- When we read about the accident - "We?" Professor Spencer, myself and one or two other interested people.
We run a little organisation.
Strictly a hobby, you understand.
- Some academic exercise.
- Sir Clive was one of our star members.
Mr Leeming, what is this organisation? RANSACK.
Perhaps you've heard of it.
I have indeed.
I am an old friend of Sir Clive's.
He's been trying to get me to join.
I must say, he made it sound a very attractive proposition.
- You wish to become a member? - Right away, if possible.
Well, if Sir Clive has told you about it, I take it you understand the object of RANSACK? Confirming one's superior intelligence.
Honing the mind.
Mr Steed.
Bending it, stretching it.
Burrowing down into the mass of neglected cells on a community basis.
A kind of scrambling of eggheads.
Yes, if you like.
I have some entry papers with me, if you care to complete them.
- No cheating, though.
- Of course not.
And our minimum entry is an IQ rating of at least 145.
So, if Sir Clive has recommended you, we could use another keen mind, Mr Steed.
- Thank you.
- And I better be running along.
I'm glad to hear that Sir Clive is so doing well, Doctor.
Dr Campbell, you'll let me know if there should be any change for the worse.
If you should have to resort to drugs.
- Goodbye, Mr Steed.
- Goodbye and thank you.
Mrs Peel seems to think the old boy's going to make some sense now.
Paper.
Pencil.
- Clock.
- Time.
Night.
Sleep.
- Gun.
- Kill him! - Kill him? - Did I say that? Yes, but who said it when you heard it last? - Was it when you were shot? - I don't know.
[Sighs] All right, let's try some more.
Erm [Steed] Let me try a word.
RANSACK.
RANSACK.
What does it mean to you, Sir Clive? [Mouths] You know that word.
RANSACK.
It's important, isn't it? Think of RANSACK.
Think! [Pants] [Groans] You killed him.
- Why? - I don't know.
I don't know why.
I don't know, Steed.
I don't know what made me do it.
I just can't remember.
But I did do it.
You said I did.
There's no doubt! It was a lethal injection! But why? Why? I examined him this morning.
I can remember that.
Then I left him with a woman, a nurse.
- Mrs Peel? - That's right.
Then I came back in here.
I stood over there.
Then someone came to fetch me.
- That was me.
- Was it? I went back in his room.
I prepared an injection and then Then It's no good, Steed! From there on it's just a blank! A complete blank.
- Very convenient.
- I swear to you, I just don't remember.
You've got so far, now the rest.
Self-analysis, Doctor! I must have made a mistake! There must have been something else on my mind.
Killing was on your mind! Now, why should you want to kill him? - Who told you to do it? - I had no inclination to end his life.
No conscious inclination.
So it had to be an error of judgement.
You've done hundreds of injections! You've never killed a patient before! No, I know.
I've tried to rationalise, searched for compulsive reasons.
- Yes? - I don't know.
- No, it's stupid.
- Try me.
Compulsive reasons.
That seems to ring a bell somewhere.
Compulsive.
As though someone had told me.
Commanded me.
- Commanded you to kill Sir Clive? - It's just not possible.
- Who had you met today? - No one.
I haven't been outside the house all day.
I've met no one except Except Desmond Leeming from the RANSACK organisation.
Now does that ring a bell to you? RANSACK? It meant something to Sir Clive and to you, too.
Well, why not? After all, I'm a member of RANSACK myself.
Good evening.
Good evening.
Lobbying? Don't have to.
The state of the nation suits me very well.
- Did you see Leeming? - And Professor Spencer.
- How was your intelligence quotient? - Well above average.
- Better than mine? - Roughly the same.
That's hardly surprising since I also did your papers for you.
- So they accepted you? - Better than that.
I got a job there.
It appears that Professor Spencer requires a secretary.
Someone with charm, intelligence, discretion.
- I start at the school tomorrow.
- School? They run their courses at a boarding school near Oxford.
The Dorrington Dean Academy for young ladies.
- Young ladies - The girls are on holiday.
[Teacher] Brace.
Take a point of aim.
Watch those upper limbs.
And loose! [Whipping] - Hello.
- How do you do? You come to enlist? I didn't realise archery was part of the programme.
I'm not one of the RANSACK mob if that's what you think.
- Know something about toxophily? - Eh? - Archery.
- I play darts.
- [Chuckles] Holly Trent's my name.
- John Steed.
I'm School's Games Mistress, left as Custodian during the holidays.
Watch out.
I lure the intelligentsia from their course whenever I get the chance.
Oh, you seem to have raised a fine body of yeomen.
Oh, they're the school employees, but maybe I'll have better luck with you.
- Care to have a go right now? - Well, I Good.
Marjory We'll loose at the same target.
Ready? Gold.
Miss Trent [Glass shattering] It's very distracting having- So was that distracting! You ruined his aim.
Oh, it's you, Steed.
You better come with me.
Ah.
Always breaking windows at school, I was.
A refreshing change from the more gamey type of Games Mistress.
Oh, Holly's all right, but she can be a bit of a menace.
Although we encourage a certain amount of exercise for our fitter members, we prefer them to be mentally, rather than physically, overactive.
A question of a flying algebraic principle.
Surely you mean X equals Y to the power of 3 minus 10, don't you? Because in your paper calculatedly phonetically.
He didn't allow for the Liverpool sounds.
[Chuckles] Etymological construction.
Take the word "yoghurt" for example.
I'll introduce you to Professor Spencer first.
It's a Norse word and to me the basis of the Norse language.
Professor, this is Mr Steed.
IQ, 152.
Delighted you have volunteered to give us your time, Mr Steed.
We will push your rating up after a few days here.
[Mutters] Mental agility by hours.
As agile - Well, you're certainly agile.
- The brain needs nourishment! More so when you get to my age! - Try it.
- I will sometime.
You can feel the blood circulating like a tide washing through caves.
Refreshing, rejuvenating cells.
Ah, Mrs Peel, a new addition to the course.
- Mr Steed.
Will you take care of him? - Certainly.
Will you come with me, Mr Steed? There are some additional details I need to check with you.
Just for the record, you understand, we like our files up to date.
So many new members.
It's always a problem.
- There will be another test tomorrow.
- Oh, dear.
Here are the answers.
Phew! [Piano music on wireless] [Music stops] [Knock on door] Come in.
Here's your cocoa.
And if you're very good, I'll tell you a bedtime story.
I brought my own nightcap, even if it does corrode my grey matter.
You can always try standing on your head.
You can feel the blood circulating.
I know.
- What did you find out? - Nothing.
The professor's genuine.
The whole setup seems innocent.
On the face of it, any interest in crime would be purely academic.
- A mating of masterminds.
- Mm-hm.
- We still have to find THE mastermind.
- The best brain of all.
It was just as well you passed me a few of the answers.
That exam was a sweat.
- Did I make a fair showing? - Mm-hm.
You scored under 100.
I added 60 on and now you're brilliant.
Genius level.
[Clock chimes twice] [Footsteps approaching] [Projector whirrs] [Cocks gun] - Good morning, Mr Steed.
- Good morning, Miss Holly.
- You're bright and early.
- Up with the lark! Come to get limbered up? A few modest press-ups, nothing too strenuous.
- Couldn't you sleep? - Like a tot.
- Pills? - Sleep of the just.
I thought you ran a mile from this sort of thing.
No, I don't mind a spot of P before breakfast.
You'll find some gym shoes in that cupboard over there.
Thank you very much.
What was it all about last night? The door was locked against late-comers.
- What do you mean? - Don't tell me you were sleepwalking? - You went with the others.
- Where? You all came in here and watched a film show in the middle of the night.
Are you all right, Steed? I never left my bed last night.
What? Good morning, everyone.
Before we start today's activities, I have an announcement to make.
As you know, usually at RANSACK, we have a discussion hour between six and seven.
Tonight we have a special event in store.
Will you all please meet in this gym at six? [Clock chimes] [Clock chimes] Mr Steed! Mr Steed! Are you all right? I nearly joined good King Harold, 1066, and all that.
That stupid gardener! We shifted the butts down this end because of the way the wind was blowing.
I told him to put back the sign.
Why didn't you go with the others? - Have you seen them? - They went off half an hour ago.
But we were supposed to meet in the gym at six.
Didn't you get the message? They changed the time to half-past five.
- Do you know where they've gone? - I'm afraid not.
Why don't you ask Professor Spencer? - Slipped up, did you, Mr Steed? - Where did they go? Lemmy has taken them off to do outdoor IQ tests.
- In the dark? - A sort of twilight country run.
[Car approaching] I didn't attend the meeting the previous night, so they made sure I missed a trip to the seaside.
We didn't go near the seaside! We spent the evening in a forest, walking on leaves.
You were out all night.
[Peel sighs] Hey! Sand? But we weren't on a beach.
We just ambled about, answering questions and picking up fir cones.
Look.
This doesn't grow on trees.
An arrow, and not the kind they gaily loose off in the school grounds.
THE arrow.
The guided missile.
There's a base 60 miles from here.
On the coast.
Major? Steed here.
Has anything been happening in your part of the world? Anything unusual? What?! - Mr Steed! - Hold on.
Miss Holly.
Might I lure you away from pure brain work to something more physical? - More - A walk.
Down to the river.
Later on.
Oh! Oh, I'd be delighted.
Excuse me.
An old auntie of mine.
She worries about my socks.
- Socks? - Who's darning them.
Oh, I see.
Well, don't worry.
I'll talk to you later on.
Yes.
Major let me have that again.
Last night? I see.
I got it straight from the horse's mouth.
The possible successor to Polaris.
- Gone, snatched, just like that.
- How? The people at naval security know how the thieves got out, but how they got in Do you mind? It's like watching perpendicular tennis.
A marvellous sensation.
The naval base was surrounded by an electrified wire.
Weightless, like an astronaut.
The wire wasn't cut.
Even if it had been, alarms would have blasted off.
Soaring up! Falling down! Ladders.
They must have used long ladders.
That would have blasted the alarms off, too.
Before you start blasting off again- last night, did the group split up? Did, by any chance, some of them start wandering away? I told you, it was all perfectly simple.
We went on a moonlight ramble and we all stayed together.
If anything funny had been going on, you don't think I'd have known? However, the fact remains, the naval base was broken into.
Might have used a helicopter.
Weee! - Someone would have heard.
- Well, it's impossible, then.
How else could anyone jump over a 15ft barbed wire? - Do you know what time it is? - I'm not being social, Major.
It's no good, Steed.
I've tried to think, but I just can't remember.
That's not why I'm here, Dr Campbell.
I want your advice as a psychologist.
- You use hypnosis as part of your work.
- Frequently, but Do you find one particular kind of person more susceptible than another? We're all susceptible.
It's the approach that varies.
- Explain that.
- Well, suppose Suppose I was to say right now I was going to hypnotise you.
You'd resist, no doubt.
You'd make difficulties.
So, if I were to hypnotise you, I'd have to do it without your knowledge.
Take me off guard.
How would you do that? There are many ways.
The easiest would be to get you to take a sedative, relax you.
Put me to sleep, in fact, or wait until I was asleep.
Now, that would be ideal.
The brain is more receptive when relaxed.
I have to get back.
[Clock chimes] [Footsteps approaching] [Door creaks] Mrs Peel! Mrs Peel! [Voice on radio] 'As you dress, you feel your limbs completely relaxed.
'Relaxed.
'It's a very pleasant feeling like being asleep, 'but you're out of bed and on your feet, 'and you're going down to the gymnasium.
'You're going to the gymnasium.
'The problem we are about to solve is how to steal a plane from this airfield.
'The airfield is a top security establishment 'with armed troops and outer-perimeter of barbed wire, 'a regular picket system.
'This picket system is broken down into four regular controls, 'the first commencing at dusk and thereafter continuing until daybreak.
'Now, then, may I have suggestions from the floor, please?' - A fire to create a diversion.
- 'Excellent.
' To be placed around the guard's quarters.
'Good thinking.
We'll note that.
' Might I make another suggestion? 'By all means, Mr Steed.
' Cut the water supply outside the airfield.
That would add to the general confusion.
'The best idea yet, Mr Steed.
' 'the problem with this airfield.
'Is the final plan understood by everyone?' [All] Yes.
'Good.
You will all go back to bed.
'And in one hour you will hear me tell you to get up.
'Our meeting point will be the archery range in one hour.
' - Steed's a fake.
- What do you mean? He can't have been under.
I checked his room and found the radio disconnected again.
So it wasn't an accident he failed to join in the night before last.
[Clock chimes] [Voice on radio] 'Disregard the previous instruction.
'Do not, I repeat, do not go to the rendezvous I gave you.
'Report instead to the gymnasium.
Report to the 'Report to the gymnasium.
Report instead 'There has been a change of plan, 'but the exercise arranged for tonight has been cancelled.
'I have discovered a spy in our midst.
'I refer to John Steed 'who is now waiting for us to gather at the archery range.
'So we have a new problem for our minds to grapple with.
'Steed must be killed in such a way that no blame may attach to anyone.
' Lieutenant Hardcastle.
Steed has a car.
There's an unfenced road by the river.
'It would mean rendering him unconscious first.
'The police might detect it.
' Wouldn't it be simpler to deal with Steed where he is right now? Carry on, Mrs Peel.
Well, if he's in the archery range, why not get one of Miss Trent's bows and kill him with an arrow? 'First class.
' It can be claimed he wandered in front of the targets.
'That's an idea we can adopt without wasting any more time.
'The question is who will do it?' I've done some archery.
Let me kill Steed.
- Well, Mrs Peel? - Steed is dead.
You should have burned your colleague's note.
A bad mistake, Mrs Peel.
Very bad.
The projection.
Get the girl! [Alarm blares] [Projector reverses] [Alarm blares] Miss Holly.
The master mind.
[In radio voice] Steed are you all right? Yes.
Are you? You know, it was a marvellous idea, getting all those great minds together, applying them to the common task.
Yes.
Think what they might have done with my income tax returns.
Still, I came out of it with something, an IQ at genius level.
You are a genius.
At cribbing! [Chuckles]