The Avengers (1961) s04e09 Episode Script

The Hour That Never Was

1 [Birds chirping] [Barks] [Neighing] [Barks] [Mooing] [Tyres screeching] [Groans] Mrs Peel? Mrs Peel? Are you? Are you all right? Mm.
I think so.
- How about you? - I'm a bit shaken, that's all.
Ooh, and a bruise you'll just have to take my word for.
What happened? Dog.
Oh, yes.
- Did we hit it? - No.
My reflexes are in top form.
Oh They needed to be, too.
Streaked across the road just like that.
- Wasn't chasing anything either, was it? - No, I don't think so.
Strange behaviour for a dog.
Well? - What's the verdict? - A good punch will push it into shape.
Oh, the old girl? Well, she'll need lifting tackle.
I'll ring the garage as soon as we get to the camp.
How far's the camp? Oh, about half a mile, if you don't mind walking.
I'll need to change my shoes.
Ah You know, this stretch of road hasn't changed in years.
Cross the bridge, through the trees, across green, grassy banks, to RAF Station 472 Hamelin.
[Groans] I've driven across this road, ooh, 100 times during the war.
Well, since you know it so well, it's remarkable you couldn't stay on it.
Must confess, it's not the first time I've ended up in the ditch around here.
Huh, I remember one Christmas, 15 of us in a four-seater car.
The fire brigade had to cut us loose.
Amazing, really, we had time to win the war.
I thought you said the main gate was Short cut.
Secret back entrance.
Very handy after lights out.
After lights out? But how could you see in the dark? Now there should be a bit of a gap here.
Experience and remarkable vision.
Cat's Eye Steed, that's what they called me.
Returning from a mission, hunched over the controls, eyes rimmed with fatigue, the men groaning in the back - Where'd you been? The Ruhr? - No, the local pub.
There's a gap in the wire, a place you can slip through.
One, two, three, four, five, six, er Do you know the back way into every camp in Britain? There's one in Scotland I must have missed out on.
I know the camp's closing down and they're giving a party, but why are we invited? I told you, I spent a lot of time here during the war.
It was an agent's launching pad.
You'd get a posting and - You personally? - Sometimes.
A couple of nights later, you'd be on a plane bound for whatever it was.
- Ah, there she is.
- Looks a bit bleak.
You should see it in the cold light of a hangover.
RAF Camp 472, Hamelin.
As from tomorrow, it won't exist.
There used to be thousands of men here and now there are about 30.
- And tomorrow none.
- The end of an era.
Sic friat crustulum.
- "That's how a cookie crumbles.
" - The Latin cookie.
What's going to happen to the survivors? They'll be scattered all over the globe, Aden, Singapore, Germany, wherever there's a British air base.
Look right, look left, look right again and then phwwwt! Ah, the jolly old Officers' Mess! That really takes me back.
I remember once after a rugger match with the Navy we had a beer drinking contest.
The two finalists were Pee-Wee Hunt and Bussy Carr.
- Now Pee-Wee Hunt - [Bicycle bell rings] I'll tell you the rest of the story later.
Ah! Don't waste any time these boys.
Probably been at it since breakfast.
Good to see them all again.
Bumper do! [ Piano music] [Switches music off] [Clattering] [Clattering stops] [Bell pings] Anyone home? Come out, come out, wherever you are! As our host isn't here to receive us, do have a drink, Mrs Peel, Mr Steed.
So glad you could come to our little shindig.
Shade too much grenadine.
Your recipe I suppose.
Wherever I linger, I leave my mark.
We have all the ingredients for a party.
Where are all the people? - You're sure you got the right day? - Well, it looks like a party.
"President and members of the Mess request" etc, "Saturday, 11:00 a.
" Well, they can't have been gone long or gone far.
I know where they are.
There's an old training plane out there.
Two-winged job.
They take it out and do stunts.
Ha! Last time it ended up with the police from three counties after them.
You must see this! I don't hear a plane.
It takes a bit of coaxing to get it started.
So will you when you're that age.
[Liquid gushing] Mrs Peel Well, I never.
A Sergeant Henderson special.
He made a cake when the old CO retired.
It was the biggest cake you ever saw, and there was a rather shapely WAAF girl inside it.
They iced it down, wheeled it in, and everybody sang, "For He's A Jolly Good Fellow".
But nothing happened.
The lid didn't spring up and the girl didn't jump out.
Have you noticed the time? Huh What happened to her? [Chuckles] Apparently, when they iced the lid down, they cut off the poor girl's air supply.
[Tuts] Only just got her out in time.
Lots of memos about it.
It all got very ugly.
[Mechanical whirring] [Rattling and whirring] [Rattling and whirring] Ugh! Steed "No milk today, thank you.
" Our host, Squadron Leader Risdale, "one pint, one straw yog daily, except Thursdays.
"Block A, chalet seven.
" Geoffrey? [Bangs on door] Geoffrey! Geoffrey? Geoffrey, where are you? Geoffrey, old bean? [Whirring and vibrating] [Whirrs] [Switches razor off] Geoffrey, old bean? Ah, here he is.
Geoffrey Risdale.
How do you do? He needs a bit of a dust.
Do you suppose he hopped a plane when he heard you were coming? - Eh? - Singapore.
So that's where the old blighter's been posted to.
I suppose all the lines go through to the camp's the switchboard.
Come and have a look at this.
- My wedding present to Geoffrey.
- Oh? My batman got this for me.
Yes, a fine fellow.
Name of Pratt.
He didn't drink.
He didn't smoke.
Had eight kids.
What shattered this glass? - Caruso? - He's dead.
So's Pratt, poor fellow.
And I'm beginning to wonder about Geoffrey.
The control tower Bird's-eye view of the camp from there.
If there's anyone's around, we should see them from up here.
[Footsteps running] [Gunshot] Well, the shot came from around here.
One thing's for certain.
They can't have flown away.
There's nobody There's nobody up here.
Not a soul.
- One dead rabbit? - It's not dead.
Why? What did it? Rabbit punch? Hello? Hello, hello? Hello? Hello.
No one here.
It might be comforting if there were another human being.
Razors still running.
Petrol gushing.
Unconscious rabbit.
One dead milkman.
10,000 bottles of milk.
Thirty highly trained technical men just up and dance away from Hamelin.
[Mechanised whirring] Steed! Well, he was here, the milkman.
- And he was dead.
- First a murder, then a body snatch.
Makes a change from unconscious rabbits.
[Rattling and whirring] Meet you under the clock.
[Bottles clinking] [Chains clanking] [High-pitched vibration] [Rattling and vibration stops] [Exhales] [Glass shattering] [Clattering] I'm not doing any harm, sir! Honest! I'm not doing any harm! - Who are you? - Hickey, sir.
Benedict Napoleon Hickey.
- What are you doing here? - Nothing.
No harm, that is.
I'm looking.
There's no harm in looking, sir.
Looking for what? Victuals, sir.
Sustenance and comforts.
I've been living off dustbins all my working life, sir.
From Biggin Hill, Mildenhall, Cardington, Hamelin here - All air bases.
- Oh, yes, sir.
" None of that Army or Navy rubbish for me.
I'm loyal, I am.
Loyal to the Air Force.
Always have been.
Best dustbins in the business.
- Surprising what they'll throw out.
- Surprising? Hmm, take these boots.
Done 40 operational flights.
I wasn't in them at the time, mind you.
Not me.
I'm a "conscimentious subjector".
I detest war.
Or violence.
- Or stamp collectors.
- Stamp collectors? Filthy habit, collecting stamps.
All that old saliva? More disease gets spread that way.
Generations of old saliva.
Foreign saliva, too.
- How long have you been here? - This camp? Oh, about eight months.
Pity it's closing down tomorrow.
It's good garbage, it's good garbage.
I mean, how long have you been here and looking? Oh, not long, sir.
I felt a bit dry.
I thought I might find a drop in the bottom of a bottle.
No luck.
- Seen anything unusual? - Unusual, sir? A young lady, for instance.
That wouldn't be unusual, would it? I mean, there's nothing unusual about a young lady.
Come on.
I'll give you a drink.
Oh, that's lovely, sir.
Now, Hickey, you were out there for some time.
I've never been inside this building before.
Not inside.
I know my place.
Outside amongst the dustbins.
- Were you on the camp this morning? - It's nice in here.
Mind you, I heard 'em singing away.
- You heard them singing this morning? - Nice and cosy.
Hickey! Did you hear anything in here? They've all gone away, sir.
The camp's closing down.
That's tomorrow.
The camp closes tomorrow.
Yeah, it's a shame.
Summer coming an' all.
Like people dying just before Christmas.
Always seems a shame.
Nothing lasts, does it, sir? I saw them running up the flag this morning.
For the last time.
What did they do then? - I felt funny.
- Did you see them come back in here? My ears I felt funny.
As though I'd had a few drinks.
I hadn't had a few drinks, though.
But you felt drunk.
Do you think there'll be another war, sir? I hope so.
Good for business.
Dustbins are always full during a war.
[Chuckles] Hickey, when you felt funny, what time was this? And rationing.
I enjoyed that.
My name on a little ration book, my name! Haven't done much reading since.
Was it early this morning or later in the day? Lovely sunrise you get over runway number four.
Heard the clocks start striking.
Then it stopped.
Just like that, the clock stopped striking.
That was 11 o'clock.
[Scratching] [Barking] [Whimpering] [Dog whimpers] Rosy! You come back, eh? There's a good girl.
You come back! Should've seen her this morning.
Took off like a mad thing.
Over the fields as though the devil was chasing her.
- But you come back, didn't you? - Your dog? Useful stuff, string.
I've got the best collection in the southeast.
- Does Rosy belong to you? - In a manner of speaking.
It pays to make friends with the guards' dogs.
[Chuckles] Funny dog for a guard to have.
Still, she's got sharp ears.
You should hear her bark.
- She belongs to a guard? Which guard? - Fellow on the main gate.
Help yourself.
[Creaking] [Groans] Mrs Peel? [Groans] [Whirrs] [Rowdy conversation] [ Piano music] Steed! John Steed! - Well, it's good to see you.
- It's Steedy boy.
Welcome back! - Glad you could make it.
- And bang on time as usual.
Well, he's always on time when there's drink to be had! Help yourself to a drink.
Join you in a minute.
Must finish off this match.
- Right.
- 27.
That's it.
You're not going to beat this.
Take it easy.
What are you playing for? Your gratuity? Now then is it still one dash and half a splash? Yes, that's right.
I remember after all these years.
How's your memory? The squadron toast.
You can't have forgotten that.
"End of the fight, fly right.
Bottoms up, liquor down.
" Fly right.
Bottoms up, liquor down.
I'm terribly sorry.
Ah, the camp mascots, Bertha and Billy.
I must say I don't know which is which.
Still, I expect they do.
Are you feeling all right? - Er, I had rather a crack on the head.
- Really? How did you do that? Well, is that my cue for me? I don't think you know, do you? Phillip Leas, our tame dentist.
- John Steed.
- How do you do? Did I hear you're not feeling too well? - I've had a bit of a - Crack on the head.
- Ah, let's have a look then.
- It's just here.
You must pardon my glee, Mr Steed, but since the real MO left here, I've been in charge of first aid.
He's having the time of his life playing at being a doctor.
There's nobody here to contradict him.
- That hurt? - Oops! There is a slight bump.
No abrasion.
- Made you feel a bit groggy, did it? - A little.
Well, there's a chance of mild concussion.
Might get a bit of giddiness.
Mind a bit hazy.
- Might even get the odd hallucination.
- Oh, dear! [Leas] How did it happen? I swerved to avoid a dog and the car ran off the road.
I should stay off that, if I were you.
There'll be more for me, then.
Sorry to hear about Mrs Peel, by the way.
I was looking forward to meeting her.
- What's that about Mrs Peel? - Easy.
- What happened to her? - You are shaken, aren't you? What did he mean about Mrs Peel? Merely that she couldn't make the party, that's all.
She phoned her apologies through about an hour ago.
Excuse me.
What's this? CO's inspection? [Chuckles] - Here.
- The doctor I mean, the dentist Ah, don't worry about Leas.
One won't do you any harm.
- That's not what he said.
- You look as though you need it.
It's a sad day for Hamelin 472, Steed, splitting up.
- Do you remember these? - Oh Light the blue paper and retire immediately.
Well, you won't get all these chaps under one roof again.
They'll all be in different parts of the world.
All scattered.
This time tomorrow, I shall be en route to Singapore.
Porky there, on his way to Aden.
Wiggins, off to Berlin.
- When did you get up this morning? - About 9:30.
Why? - What did you do then? - What are you talking about? - It could be important.
- I climbed into a bath, shaved.
- Use an electric razor? - Yes.
Then what did you do? Well, I got dressed, left the house, came over here.
Had the milkman called? The milkman? Had he delivered the milk? Well, I don't know! I suppose he had, yes.
- What time did you get here? - Just before you, about 11:00.
- Is Hickey still on the camp? - Hickey? - Lives off the airfield.
The scavenger.
- Scavenger? - Corporal? - Sir? Have you seen a tramp hanging about the station? A tramp, sir? No, sir.
Have to stay well hidden or security would soon throw him out on his ear.
John, all these questions.
Would you mind telling me what it's all about? Oh, it's all right.
Just put it down to this bump on the head.
- Well, see you in a minute.
- Yes Feeling any better? Oh, yes, I'm fine.
A little fresh air, I'll be as right as rain.
Good idea.
[Dog whimpers] [Barks] [Whimpers] [Bottles clinking] Excuse me, will you? Phil, where's Steed? Said he was going to pop out for some fresh air.
Did he? Morning.
Good morning.
- What kept you? - Easy! Don't panic! Who's panicking? We've still got these two to put back.
Hurry up before they wake up.
[Door opens] [Groans] Mrs Peel! Nice to see you again.
I've heard of being scared of dentists, but when they have to tie you to the chair What happened? I suddenly felt dizzy and I must've passed out.
Next thing I knew, I was here, but how I got here Probably a milk float.
They do a regular service, door-to-door every five minutes.
- Why a milk float? - The most innocent thing they could find.
What would you think if you saw a milkman doing his rounds? Steed, these ampoules.
- "C11.
" - C11.
It's a derivative of the truth drug used in brainwashing.
Suppose someone were to put this entire camp into a coma, a hypnotic state, and then brought them here, and went to work on them.
With that.
Don't play around with that, Steed.
It's nitrous oxide, laughing gas.
Ha-ha! All right, so that's what happened.
What ne? Your watch, 12:20.
They wake up at 12 o'clock, and yet all the clocks on the camp say 11 o'clock.
Back where they started.
One hour of their lives gone just like that.
- They don't remember a thing.
- But perhaps they do.
One particular thing.
Steed, the unit's breaking up, isn't it? Dispersing all over the globe.
Well, if I'm right and they have been brainwashed, then something could have been planted into their subconscious.
Something that could be triggered off at a moment's notice.
A potential saboteur in every strategic air base in the world.
[Machine whirrs] - Steed, must you? - Oh, it's fun.
[Indistinct conversations] [High-pitched ringing] There's still one piece of the jigsaw missing.
Coma, hypnotic state It can't be as easy as that.
[High-pitched ringing] Ultrasonic sound! [Switches machine off] Sounds well above the speech frequency range relayed over the loud speaker system.
- It's effective in only a limited area.
- How limited? About the size of an average airfield.
That's it, Steed.
It's got to be.
But how could that knock out a lot of people? The electrical activity of the human brain has a fundamental frequency, call it a limit of sound vibrations, at a point beyond which, it'll break down, much like a bridge.
You mean, why soldiers break step before they march over it? Mm-hm.
Otherwise it vibrates too much and disintegrates.
- The bridge? - Yeah.
Ultrasonic sounds affect the brain in much the same way.
They've juggled the sounds around and come out with the right frequency.
- Hence the ear muffs.
- Mm-hm.
So they don't knock out their own people.
[Leas] Quite a creditable explanation.
I could pretend it was years of experiment, my lifework, but it wasn't.
It was an accident, found that by raising the speed of the drill, I could induce myself into a hypnotic state.
I took it from there.
Ultrasonic apparatus, high-speed drill.
Simple, but remarkably effective, don't you think? Quite remarkable, yes.
- What's the next step? - An auction.
30 pre-conditioned brains to the highest bidder.
Ought to make me a rich man.
But first I have to deal with you.
[Groans] [Screams] [Gas hissing] Hey! [Grunts] [Raucous laughter] [Manic laughter] [Steed laughs raucously] Steed, what is it? What's so funny? What is it, Steed? [Both laugh] Relaxing, isn't it? I promised you a quiet drive in the country.
What could be quieter than a milk float? Especially the way you drive! Ha-ha! Who's driving?