The Avengers (1961) s04e15 Episode Script

Room Without a View

[Anna] Shall I lead the way? [Grace] If you would, Anna.
[Anna] This way.
Through here.
- Grace, will you sit here? - Thank you.
And George here.
And Olivia, would you sit there, please? Mm, it looks delicious.
I hope you're going to enjoy it.
[Tinkling] Oh, how charming.
Yes, we had them at our home in Singapore.
They'll catch any little breeze.
They supposedly make you feel cooler.
Well, at this rate we'll all be refrigerated.
[Anna laughs] There must be a window open.
Excuse me.
John! - Anna! - John, no! - Who is he? - John.
My husband.
John Wadkin, one of the country's top physicists.
He disappeared a couple of years ago.
Oh, yes, I remember.
He went up to London for a routine meeting, booked into a hotel, booked out a few hours later.
After that nothing until last night when he popped up in the middle of the chop suey.
- No explanation? - Not as yet.
I hope he can tell us something to give us a lead on the others.
- Others? - Physicists.
Seven of 'em, all disappeared over the past year or so.
Seven? Ah.
We'll see what Wadkin has to say for himself.
Oh, and Vernals will be there too.
Treat him gently.
What do you mean? He's seconded from the ministry, eager beaver, everything in triplicate.
Wonder what he'll think of you.
The ministry told me to expect you, Steed, but gave no instructions about Mrs Peel.
Perhaps they wanted to test your initiative.
Not to worry.
I'll be responsible for Mata Hari.
- I think I should ring the minister - He'll be on the golf course by now.
- The junior minister, then.
- Out for his morning ride.
- Well, the senior secretary.
- Oh, you'll get him.
But we must take this situation seriously.
Where is Wadkin? The first rule of security is to double-check everyone.
I'll sign for her later.
Have you seen him? Have you spoken to him? Yes.
- Is he in bad shape? - Very.
- Is he answering questions? - Well, is he? Hardly.
He now has the intellect of a cabbage.
Oh, it's quite horrifying, really, a man of his stature.
Brilliant physicist, potential Nobel prize-winner, and now What was his particular field? Cryogenics, if you know what that means.
The science of cooling things.
Well, we'd better go in and see him.
This way, please.
Perhaps I should warn you, it's not a pretty sight.
Oh, well, if it worries you, you stay outside.
After you, Mrs Peel.
Eight seven three.
Three, four I have made a preliminary investigation.
His psychological state is consistent with intensified reorientation and auto-suggestion techniques carried out over a long period.
You mean he's been brainwashed? I have also made a reaction comparison, in accordance with the procedure laid down in the official charts, evaluated the psychological techniques used against him and I would say that beyond any possible shadow of doubt he has until recently been held in a prison camp in Manchuria.
- Manchuria? - Furthermore, I think it extremely likely that the camp was Nee San Camp in the north.
All that from the official charts? Well, they are scientifically prepared, you know, Steed.
- Almost infallible, I'd say.
- Oh, good.
Since it is an official publication, I'm surprised you aren't familiar with it.
Yes, Nee San Camp.
I'd swear to it.
Psychologically, he measures up with other prisoners from there and then there's his physical condition.
Low blood count, malnutrition.
It's consistent with a prolonged low-calorie diet.
Rice husks, gruel, shavings of bad pork and water.
Brackish water tasting of dust.
Unfriendly sort of place, Nee San.
Nothing to do all day but lie in a cell listening to the world go by and marching feet, fog horns on the ships going upriver and the chiming of the clock.
There's no sense of time because whatever the hour in Nee San the clock always strikes three.
[Clock strikes one] Three o'clock.
[Clock chimes] Three three o'clock.
[Clock strikes two] Three o'clock.
He disappeared in London and you're suggesting he was shipped to Manchuria for two years.
Proved conclusively by what we've just seen.
And then of course there's the question of his attitude to Mrs Wadkin.
My husband can't stand the sight of me.
He can't bear to have me anywhere around him.
I don't know what they did to him but now he's terrified of me.
- Would you like some tea? - [Steed] Thank you.
Do you mind? Perhaps he'd take it from you.
Oh, yes, of course.
It's because I'm Chinese that my husband's frightened of me.
It's like that bad joke.
Now we all look alike to him.
It's most refreshing.
Formosan tea.
Excellent.
Mr Steed, inscrutability is supposed to be my ploy.
Do you wish to ask me some questions? The day your husband disappeared? I drove him to the station, he caught the afternoon train.
I didn't see him again until last night.
- Did he phone you from the hotel? - Yes, later.
He said he'd arrived safely, that the room was comfortable.
Then I learned that he'd left a few minutes later.
- That's all? - Yes.
Where did you first meet your husband, Mrs Wadkin? In Singapore when he was teaching at the university there.
- [Emma] Was Singapore your home? - No, I was born in Peking.
And your parents? They still live there? I forgot to give you some rice cakes.
I'll go and fetch them.
Excuse me.
Well? I trust her.
Is that what you want me to say? - You feel sorry for her.
- Of course.
Doesn't colour my judgment.
Naturally.
Still Peking, though, and she ducked the question about her family.
May have unhappy associations for her.
I wish I had your trusting nature.
I must leave you now, Mrs Peel.
Please give my apologies to Mrs Wadkin.
- Oh, are you off, Steed? - Yes, I am.
But Mrs Peel is staying on for a while.
I've searched her for deadly weapons.
An old colleague of Wadkin's is coming here very soon.
I'd like them to meet.
It might produce a spark.
- I'll leave you to it.
- Steed? It would help if you told me the colleague's name.
I'm terribly sorry, my dear.
Um Cullen, Dr Cullen.
Mr Vernals, come and sit down.
You haven't had any tea.
John, you must remember.
- [Emma] Try again, Dr Cullen.
- It's hopeless.
Please try again from the beginning.
Look, John, this is Cullen.
George Cullen.
Dr George Cullen.
Don't you remember all the work we did together? The breakthrough, the day everything began to make sense? [Sighs] It's no good.
It's like talking to a fish in a tank.
- Try just once more.
- But I'm not getting through.
I don't know what happened to him or where he was held but Six.
Six, two.
Six, two.
Six, two, one.
- That's very good.
- Six, two two, one.
- That's right: six, two, one.
- Six two one.
Six hundred and twenty-one.
- Six, two, one.
- Does that have any special meaning? Six, two, one? - Mr Wadkin? - No no! You're not getting anywhere either.
- It will need patience and time.
- That's something I have very little of.
You've made that obvious.
This man needs help.
But not from me, not the sort I can give.
He doesn't even know me.
I'm very sorry.
I believe he once helped you, pushed you into a research fellowship.
Yes, that's true.
It's also true that he's a traitor.
I think we'd better finish this elsewhere.
- You're convinced he's a traitor? - He cracked, didn't he? We don't know what pressures he was under.
Whatever they were, he didn't resist very long.
Three weeks after his disappearance our research was common knowledge because of him.
Good day, Mrs Peel.
- I thought you might like some coffee.
- That's very kind of you.
[Anna] Who are those men? What are they doing? [Breaking glass and banging] Stay here.
Now, just a minute, you [Engine starts] I'm most frightfully sorry.
[Vernals groans] Nothing.
- Oh! Not even a footprint? - Oh, yes, several.
Size 9, heavy brogue type.
Well, then! Oh, yes.
I'll take another look round in there.
Must have been some party.
Have all the guests gone? - What do you want? - Cullen, Dr George.
- I was told he was here.
- Well, he isn't.
Look, I was told.
I called his laboratory and they said Dr Cullen left half an hour ago.
Say where he was going? Pasold, Leonard Martin.
I've no idea where Dr Cullen went.
Next time you see him, tell him to call me.
Tell him, Mr Pasold? Ask.
But say it's urgent, very urgent.
Matter of life and death.
Pasold? I've never heard of him.
Why? He walked in as though he owned the place.
It's open house here today, isn't it? - You can't blame me for that.
- I'm not blaming anyone.
It's a pity we lost Wadkin before he was able to tell us anything.
There was one thing, the number 6-2-1.
- Seemed to mean something special.
- 6-2-1? - A project he was working on? - Or the number of his cell at Nee San.
Perhaps.
This chap, Pasold, what did he have to say, then? Well, he was looking for Dr Cullen.
- Cullen? - Mm-hm.
This will give you a chance to re-establish yourself with the minister.
Another physicist is travelling to London today.
One night away from home for a routine conference.
I think we ought to keep an eye on him.
He's checking in to the Chessman Hotel at eight.
Dr Cullen? It's my pleasure to welcome you to Chessman Hotel, sir.
- Fine room, facing south.
- Good.
Room 621, sir.
It is our sincere wish that your stay will be a happy one.
Yes, I'm sure it will be.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I am rather tired.
Oh, yes, of course.
This way, if you please.
For your amusement, sir.
Wherever you are in the hotel, you may pit your wits Ah.
against the chess grand masters.
- The games are changed each day.
- Very interesting.
Your room, sir.
Very fortunate.
The sixth floor has the finest view of London you could hope for.
I shan't be spending much time looking through the window.
If you don't mind, sir, Mr Chessman prefers not.
Gratuities do suggest a service beyond the norm.
In the Chessman Hotel all service is superlative.
- Good night, sir.
- Thank you.
Dr Cullen? I've waited a long time for this.
- Sir? - May I have some more butter, please? Certainly, sir.
Salted or unsalted? Unsalted.
Hope I'm not depriving the late risers.
No, sir, Dr Cullen had breakfast in his room about an hour ago.
Lucky man.
Thank you.
Room 621, please.
[Receptionist] Porter? Taxi for Dr Cullen, please.
Hope we'll have the pleasure of serving you again, Dr Cullen.
[Unlocks door] 11:04, lights out.
7:45 he opened his curtains.
At 8:25 Excuse me.
8:25 he came down to the foyer, bought his paper, - went back up to his room and - Disappeared into thin air.
But he couldn't have got past me.
I didn't leave my post all night.
You searched his room? Oh, sorry.
Yes, of course.
That is standard procedure.
Clean as a whistle.
Reception didn't notice the change.
Hm? New girl.
Night staff, day staff.
Oh, yes.
Um who's going to tell the minister? I will.
Probably have to hand in my umbrella.
Oh, it isn't our fault.
Oh, by the way, I came across an interesting coincidence in one file.
- Wadkin.
- What about him? The day he disappeared, he was staying at the Chessman Hotel.
I absolutely refuse to do it.
Ah.
I refuse to do it.
It'll grow on you.
I dislike the idea of working in a hotel.
Then it'll be a new, fascinating experience.
[Slurps] I've had my fill of new, fascinating experiences.
Now, it wasn't easy but it's already fixed.
I got you the job.
You start on That's him, that man I told you about.
- Pasold.
- I'll see you soon.
What do you mean, he's checked out? I had a lunch appointment with Dr Cullen.
I'm sorry, sir, but he has checked out.
- See for yourself.
- I want to see Cullen, not the files.
Good morning, Mr Pasold.
Now, what's the trouble? I had a lunch appointment with Dr Cullen.
- Oh, yes? - He's late.
I asked the girl and she tells me he checked out after breakfast.
Well, that is correct.
But he was staying here all day.
He told me! True, but he changed his mind.
What are you trying to tell me? Mr Pasold, I trust you're a man of the world? Try me.
Young lady in his room, small scene.
Well, of course we hushed it up but we had to ask him to leave.
Er, no doubt he'll contact you, but now, if you would excuse me, I should be in the dining room.
Coffee and brandy, sir? - Thank you.
- And a game of chess.
- May I join you, Mr Pasold? - Give me one good reason.
Cullen.
- Excuse me, sir.
- Thank you.
And for me, on Mr Pasold's account.
- Sir.
- You can afford it, Mr Pasold.
Or rather, McBain's Chemicals can afford it.
You've been checking up on me.
Fascinating game, chess.
Pitting of wits, strategy.
Point, counterpoint, not unlike war.
What's your interest in Dr Cullen? Thank you.
You've heard of the brain drain? Well, meet one of the drains.
- Hence, Dr Cullen.
- As if you didn't know.
Don't let me hog the conversation.
You say something, like who you are, who you represent, how much you offered him.
- Have you seen Cullen? - Seen, signed and delivered.
Cheers.
You beat me to it.
Had a message from our New York office late last night: "Sign Cullen", but you got there first, kidnapped right under my nose.
That's how the prune wrinkles.
Order some more brandy, will you? Keep the home fires burning.
I'll be back.
- Everything all right, Mr Steed? - Thank you.
- I wondered if you had any complaints.
- Should l? I just happened to notice you talking with Mr Pasold just a few moments after his little contretemps.
And also, you do seem, if I may say so, to have spent a lot of time around the hotel.
I must confess something, Mr Carter.
- I underestimated you.
- Really? You've heard of Monsieur Gourmet? Oh, the bon viveur? Oh, yes, of course.
There isn't a gastronome in the world who hasn't heard of him.
- You - C'est moi.
I wanted to keep it a secret, no special menu, no extra service, But, well, you forced my hand.
Mr Steed, I had no idea.
Of course, you were asking Mr Pasold if he had any complaints.
Naturellement.
You checked his house.
You're sure? What about his office? Plane tickets, that sort of thing.
Leave it to me.
I won't let this one off the hook.
Sixth floor.
[Clanging] [Hissing] [Street noises] [Footsteps marching] [Shouting in Chinese] [Footsteps approaching] [Bolts being drawn back] [Door opening] - [Man shouts in Chinese] - [English man] No, no! No, look, I've told you all I know.
- [More shouting] - I've told you all I know.
You promised! You promised! No, please! [Two gunshots] Let me out of here! [Sobbing] Let me out! [More shouting in Chinese] [Marching] [Wadkin] 'It's no good.
' Wadkin! Where are you? Wadkin, can you hear me? John! 'No name.
'I don't remember.
'No name.
' Where are we? What is this place? 'Somewhere.
'Just somewhere.
'What year is it?' Year? Why, it's 1965 of course.
'65? 'Are you sure?' [Clock strikes three] 'Three o'clock.
' [Door being unlocked] [Shouting] Too much salt, hm? Oh, definitely.
[Coughs] Mm-hm.
Ah, red grouse.
The only 100% all-British bird.
Carter.
Cooked to within half a second of perfection.
The meat flakes, breaks to the slightest touch.
Mm, it's aromatic, savoury, Er a hint of spice.
Mm, a rare haunting bouquet.
And the taste, Carter.
The taste.
- Well? - [Chuckles] Superbly delicious, sir.
There's a tang of bacon.
Delicately basted.
The meat firm yet tender.
Flakes to the tongue.
The natural juices mingling with the sauce.
Black pepper, the faintest hint of black pepper.
As you say, sir.
Magnifique.
Ambrosia.
[Sighs] Now, my lunch.
- Am I allowed any mineral water today? - Er, yes, sir.
[Sighs heavily] No banana.
Now, Carter, report to me on the hotel.
We are fully booked for the next three months, sir.
- Naturally.
- Naturally.
And, er rather a stroke of luck, sir.
We have an exciting guest.
- Oh? - Monsieur Gourmet.
- In this hotel? - Yes, sir.
- Why wasn't I told? - I only found out myself a while ago.
A vice-president of the Epicurean Circle a guest in my hotel and I am not told? - I'm sorry, sir.
- See to it that he dines with me.
I hope you'll give us your award of merit, sir.
You mustn't ask that.
Makes me quite nervous.
I'm likely to get quite severe indigestion.
Well, I wouldn't want that, sir, nor would Mr Chessman.
He insists that you dine with him, sir.
The King Suite at eight.
He's very much looking forward to testing your reputation as a gourmet.
I'd be delighted.
- Reception? - Yes, sir? Oh, it's you, Mrs Peel.
- And how are we settling in? - Very well, thank you, sir.
Good.
Here.
- Thank you.
- Excellent.
- Sir? - Keep smiling.
I'll try.
Cullen was in Room 621 when he vanished.
So, probably, was Wadkin.
Or alternatively, sir, you could always try our mystery tour.
Does that include the grottos? - Check back and see.
- It's not as easy as that.
- Why? - They change the register every year.
Well, it must be about somewhere.
And where will you be? Dining, gourmandising I hope, with Chessman.
Well, don't come to me for the bicarbonate of soda.
My dear fellow, I've waited a long time for this.
I was not aware you were a disciple.
I've read every word you've written.
I've often tied to picture you.
Young, old, thin, fat.
- I'd have bet you were French.
- Gallic only in matters of taste.
- I see that business is flourishing.
- Il faut profiter.
Hotels going up everywhere, overlooking Acropolis, overlooking Repulse Bay.
You know what they say? Max Chessman never overlooks anything.
Pity it doesn't apply to your staff.
- I prefer his water colours.
- What did you mean about my staff? - Surely you've noticed.
- Noticed what? The malossol caviar at lunch.
- What was wrong with the caviar? - There was nothing wrong with it.
Then what? - The butter on the rye bread.
- What was wrong with the butter? - Normandy butter.
- Yes.
It was salted.
I can't believe it.
I do beg your pardon.
I must admit, I was surprised et un peu décu.
- Say no more.
Leave it to me.
- Mr Chessman, forgive me.
It is a little hot here, don't you think? Look at me.
One of nature's jokes.
A fat man with thin blood.
I have to keep the temperature at 80 degrees.
Quel dommage! Would you mind if I, er - Of course.
Allow me.
- Merci bien.
Now, Mr Steed, you're going to have to work for your supper.
My doctors won't let me eat.
They won't let me drink.
But they can't prevent me from watching.
Toast? [Phone rings] Reception.
Yes, sir, I'll make a note of it.
Three four-minute eggs, black coffee, orange juice and the Times at 7:30.
- Right, sir.
- Why have you got this out? - I was checking, sir.
- Checking? What on? Oh, a letter from Señor Juan Alvarez Fernandez Gonzales Fuente Igacia.
- Yes.
- From Valencia.
Yes, I know the señor.
Well, he wrote asking for his usual suite and I was just checking up to see which one it was.
Second floor, Bishop Suite.
Thank you, sir.
Why didn't you ask me? I thought it my business to find out.
No, no, no! Service entrance, around the back! Mm, Monsieur Cernon's bouillabaisse, one of the great dishes of the world.
- Tried it just the other week.
- Tell me, is it as great as it was? - Greater.
- Impossible.
He told me himself.
What did he tell you? He's changed the recipe.
I don't believe it.
Cut down a soupcon on the Conger eel.
Was it a favourite of yours? Oh, I used to drive 300 or 400 miles just for a bowl of it.
Used to be a favourite of a friend of mine too, John Wadkin.
- Wadkin? I don't think I know him.
- You should.
He used to stay here.
Host to the world, Mr Steed.
That's what the papers say.
But I don't come into contact with many of my guests, unless, of course, they are of special interest, like yourself.
Oh, this chap is of interest.
He disappeared two years ago.
- How intriguing.
- He's back again, though, now.
Remarkable story to tell.
- What kind of story? - Cuban.
Sun-dried, hand-rolled.
Rolled against the thigh d'une jeune fille.
You were saying, about this man, Wadkin.
Exactly this distance from the thigh.
Er, from the leaf, I mean.
Mm.
Mrs Peel, we've been looking for you.
I understand that you were seen entering the laundry room.
Er, yes, sir.
A lady in 530 lost an article of clothing.
She thought it might have been taken down by the laundry man.
For a receptionist you undertake a great many tasks, Mrs Peel.
As a receptionist, Mr Carter, I expect to.
Commendable.
In that case, you won't mind undertaking another task.
Now, a special guest has arrived, very pernickety.
Insists that his room is nice and airy when he arrives.
Of course, I've given instructions but if you would double-check.
Room 621.
Well, Mrs Peel? Right away, if you please.
Rose or carnation? Which do you think? - Really, Steed.
How can you? - Lovely heady scent at this time of year.
You see the man just inside the bar with snow on his boots? - Name's Pushkin, chess grand master.
- Well? Brother of their minister of interior.
Perfect cover, don't you think? Here to play chess.
Talking of chess, did you know Chessman was planning to build hotels on the Black Sea? Oh, impossible! Why, they'd never give him permission.
- Unless - They got something pretty big in return.
Carnation, I think.
Mrs Peel is going up to the sixth.
- Got a pen? - That's funny.
They've changed the shift.
There's a new receptionist.
Where's Mrs Peel got to? Room 621? When was this? Just now, sir.
She was asked to check the preparations.
[Clanging] [Hissing] [Unlocks door] There's one way, just one.
Chessman must know where she is.
- We haven't tied him in with it yet.
- We will.
We can't risk everything for one girl.
It's against official procedure.
Maybe we won't have to.
You won't mind taking the service lift.
Right, thank you.
Pushkin's on his way up, sir.
They did a good job on Cullen, very thorough.
He was easy, sir.
Cracked like an old stick.
- About the girl, sir.
- What girl? - Mrs Peel, the receptionist.
- Oh, yes.
I'm afraid I shall have to dispose of her, sir.
Very well, very well.
Just tell me when it's done.
- Now, about the refreshments.
- It's all laid on, sir.
Beluga caviar, stone crabs and plenty to drink, an ample sufficiency of vodka, sir.
Slivovitz, that's his particular poison.
Very good, sir.
First luxury hotel on the Black Sea.
Then across the east.
Napoleon couldn't do it but I will.
Carter, hotel manager.
Come this way.
It took 19 seconds for this lift to arrive.
This would not be tolerated at home.
[Carter] No, sir.
- You take the one on the left.
- What? His jacket will fit you better.
[Guard] Who are you working for? Who sent you to the Chessman hotel? I asked you a question, Mrs Peel.
Mr Carter asked me to go up to Room 621.
And the laundry, did he tell you to go there? - I was looking for something.
- Oh, yes.
We know that.
Why were you checking the register? Someone asked for the same suite and I was checking.
You underestimate me, Mrs Peel.
We have never had a woman in this camp before.
Never.
You will tell us everything, in a little while.
Are you quite sure you won't take off your jacket? Quite sure.
- You look very hot.
- Let us talk terms.
Terms? That suggests an element of bargaining.
My dear fellow, there can be no suggestion of that.
You do know what I'm selling? Not exactly.
A service, a unique service.
Information at leisure without risk.
Dr Cullen, Wadkin, half a dozen more others are here at your disposal.
Right here.
You don't have the problem of smuggling them out of the country.
They're here, ready for questioning under the most ideal conditions.
Without the risk, you said.
I heard a rumour Wadkin Wadkin was at liberty for a few hours.
He knew nothing so he could tell nothing.
It was the merest chink in our security.
It shan't happen again.
Now, my dear fellow What are you asking? 50,000 plus permission to build my hotels.
50,000? A modest price for such a service.
I will see what I can do.
Not good enough.
I need more than vague promises.
Come in.
Put the drinks over there.
If I'm not at the Black Sea next summer my five-year plan is ruined and my five-year plan is to span the world with Chessman Hotels.
The name of Chessman, a businessman.
The politicians and soldiers all tried it, you know, but they failed to impress the entire globe.
My way is different, subtle as a sauce Marienne, as forceful as a haunch of venison, as insidious as the flavour of chilled pomegranate sauce.
Don't need your armies, your fleets of ships.
You see, Pushkin You! What are you doing? - Cooling you off.
- No! - The temperature mustn't drop.
- Where is Mrs Peel? Must be a steady 80.
- You'll kill me.
- Mrs Peel, where is she? I can wait.
Take your time.
- Please, please.
- Much better in here.
Still close.
- Open a few windows.
- No, no! Seventh floor, room 621.
Seventh floor? Chessman Hotels, all over the world.
A Chessman empire.
[Shouting in Chinese] [Marching] [Shouting in Chinese] [Marching and shouting stops] [Street noises] You rang, madam? Yes, I want to change my room.
There's a honeymoon couple next-door.
- [Shouting in Chinese] - [Englishman] 'No, no! 'No, look, I've told you all I know.
'I've told you.
You promised!' [Gunshot] [Sound distorts] [Distorted sound] - Hard labour? - You should see the other fellow.
[Rapid footsteps] Steady, Steed! It's a 30 mile an hour limit.