The Avengers (1961) s04e20 Episode Script

The Danger Makers

1 [Horn beeps] [Horn blares] Don't tell me.
He's a psychiatrist.
Harold Long, consultant with the Psychological Warfare Department.
Read this.
There's nothing remarkable about chicken-running.
Except when practised by a 60-year-old General.
- What? - General Woody Groves.
Next in line for the Chief of the General Staff.
- Chicken-running? - Then there's dear old Admiral Jackson.
He decided to cross the Atlantic in a Force-8 gale in a canoe.
- Any others? - Six.
Well, seven, actually.
This is Dr Harold Long, Mrs Emma Peel.
- How do you do? - How do you do? - Who is it this time? - Lamble.
Gordon Lamble, head of the Chemical Warfare Establishment.
And what was he up to? Well, he was trying to climb the side of St Paul's when he fell.
- Is he dead? - No, no.
Just bruises, abrasions, slight internal injuries.
- Has he regained consciousness? - No.
- Do you mind if Mrs Peel stays? - Not at all.
Glad to have you aboard.
- What are you going to be up to? - Rejoining the colours.
[ Military band plays] This was General Groves' study, sir.
- Did you know the General? - Everybody in the battalion knew him.
He was that sort of officer.
You'd do anything for him.
Morning.
Mr Steed from the War Office, sir.
Major Robertson.
- Very good, Stanhope.
- Sir.
- Come to cause trouble? - To prevent it, I hope.
I can't take a good man's name being dragged through the dirt.
Had you known General Groves long? Since I was a cadet at Sandhurst.
I served under every General you've heard of and a few you haven't.
- Not one was his equal.
- You might be biased.
Of course I'm biased.
He had the humanity of Caesar, the tenacity of Wellington, and the brilliance of Napoleon.
- Good company.
- The best.
Then why did he do chicken-runs? - Hm? - The motorbike.
I don't know.
I honestly don't know.
Um part-time phrenologist.
- You can always tell a military head.
- Bullet-shaped.
Ha! Chicken runs are for thrill-starved teenagers, not for men with a chest full of battle honours.
He was a man of action.
Fretted him to sit around.
- Couldn't adjust to admin? - Exactly.
Rubber-stamping, that wasn't for him.
- He was a soldier, not a clerk.
- You admired him? Oh, yes, I admired him.
Well, I'll get back to London and pour oil on the War Office waters.
Thank you.
- War wound? - Ha! Twisted it on the assault course.
- Oh.
Goodbye, Major.
- Goodbye, Steed.
[Click] Close the door, will you? [Stanhope] All right, come on out.
I've got you cornered.
You're surrounded.
Can't you see that? Throw out your arms.
Come out with your hands up.
- This is your last chance.
- How's it going? Can we flush 'em out? It's a cinch, sir.
I think they're about ready to pull up sticks.
We usually try and get as close as possible to old Bucket Head.
Great shooting, sir.
As a cricketer, I bowled a trifle more to leg.
[Explosion] Well, that's the end of old Bucket Head.
How long had General Groves owned a motorbike? He didn't.
He borrowed it from a junior officer.
- Odd thing to do.
- Very.
- You don't sound surprised.
- Well, he did odd things.
- For instance? - Well one morning he swam Kenton Reservoir in full battle kit.
- [Steed] At his age? - He was very fit.
- Stanhope! - Sir! I hate to cramp your social life, Stanhope, but you're wanted at the range at 11:00.
Very good, sir.
- I hope he was some help.
- Yes, extremely helpful.
Nothing like a grenade at close quarters.
No, nothing.
Don't set too much store by what Stanhope says.
He's a father figure.
They hung on his every word.
[Explosion] Thanks for the warning.
- Jupiter.
- Mercury.
I have an assignment for you, from Apollo.
- Dangerous one? - Dangerous.
- Very? - Very dangerous.
How dangerous? Tell me.
- Life and death.
- Well, what is it? Gordon Lamble.
He's turned chicken.
He has to be eliminated.
You're not turning chicken too, are you, Major? [Robertson] Right, seven-second fuse.
When I say three.
One two three.
Lamble you said? When? As soon as possible.
Tonight? [Steed] Just lie back, relax, and clear your mind of everything else.
Concentrate.
Together we will apply our minds and come up with a solution.
Now, let me recapitulate.
You first became aware of the problem when you saw Lamble on the ledge.
- [Emma] Yes.
- You were puzzled, upset.
There was incipient anxiety, but you made no move to assist him.
You were afraid a sudden movement would push him over the edge.
- Yes.
- That was perfectly normal behaviour.
The most intelligent course, as a matter of fact.
The question is, why did Lamble attempt such an action? Was he a man in the throes of delirium? Well, according to Long, he's in a state to shellshock.
Uncontrolled, excitatory symp Oh, mm This is a very comfortable position.
[Steed] The white feather.
[ Plays "Last Post"] I'm looking for Wing Commander Watson.
I'm afraid you're out of luck, old boy.
That's him up there.
[Controller] 'Nice going, Watson.
How does she feel?' [Watson] 'All things normal and responding.
'Talking of responses, are you listening, Freddy? 'Have someone call that blonde in the pub for me.
- 'Tell her I'll see her tonight.
' - Will do, old boy.
'You'll find her number in my jacket.
' 'Runway clear for landing.
' - 'Roger, I'm coming down.
' - 'Watch your air speed.
' 'Pull her up.
You're going to overshoot.
' 'Stop flapping.
I can handle her.
' 'Your approach angle's wrong.
Lift her up.
Lift her up!' He's mad.
He must be mad.
- He's too late.
- [Watson laughs] He's left it too late.
[Explosion] - What have we got so far? - Two black roses.
- Three corpses.
- Four white feathers.
And a partridge in a pear tree.
And in each case, the pattern's identical.
Three respected gentlemen.
- No psychological quirks.
- Not that we know of.
- Yet each of them is dicing with death.
- Like irresponsible beatniks.
Robertson said he'd turned his ankle on the assault course.
- So? - There is no assault course.
I'm looking forward to meeting this Major.
- How do I play it? - Show him - Show him your bumps.
- Hm? - He's a part-time phrenologist.
- Oh.
[Knock at door] Yes? - Major Robertson? - Yes.
I'm Mrs Emma Peel from Willis and Ferguson's.
Auctioneers, valuers, specialists in probate.
Oh, yes, do come in.
I was told to expect you.
Er, forgive me.
Frankly, I was expecting a dusty old man leaning heavily on a gnarled stick.
- I hope you're not disappointed.
- On the contrary.
Well? What do you think? I think we could dispose of all this for you.
Oh, for the family, not for me.
If I had my way, I'd leave it all intact, the way he always had it.
- Does that interest you? - Force of habit.
- It's a hobby of mine, phrenology.
- You are full of surprises.
And how do you rate Napoleon? - Alpha, alpha - Minus.
I dabble in phrenology myself.
I am right, aren't I? Alpha, alpha, minus? In my estimation.
Poor old Boney wasn't up to the standard of Alexander the Great.
- Or Caesar.
- Or Washington or Hannibal.
You know, Major, all things military hold a fascination for me.
May I ask why? The whole concept of life.
A sense of challenge, a change of scene.
Adventure, excitement.
- Danger.
- Danger? Oh, I'm forgetting my manners.
- May I, um offer you a drink? - Thank you.
Adventure, excitement? That's partly true, I suppose.
There are very few wars nowadays.
They're rapidly becoming push-button affairs.
Your concept of military life is changing, Mrs Peel.
I would have said progressing.
I won't admit that the military man is defunct.
Ah, that's exactly what he is becoming.
Defunct, obsolete, a dodo.
Oh, it's easier for the younger men, of course.
They have no idea.
But I have, you see.
I tasted the real army life.
It was as you said.
You've no idea what it does to a man.
The feeling of something about to happen.
And always the danger of it all.
You've no idea what that does.
Living with danger as your companion, carrying it in your knapsack.
Restricted information.
You really ought to visit the Regimental Museum while you're here, Mrs Peel, just across the square.
- I'll join you there in a few moments.
- Thank you.
- See you later.
- Yes, indeed.
Apollo? Er, Mercury.
Look, I've found the papers.
No, there is nothing more to connect Groves with the organisation.
Oh, don't worry.
I'm destroying them now.
Well, what about this danger kick? I mean, scaling St Paul's, chicken-running.
It wasn't as though they had to prove anything.
They were Wing Commanders, Generals.
Nevertheless, each of them was seeking his own private nirvana.
What our Zen friends would call "satori".
- Like drug addiction? - Yes.
Except there was no trace of drugs found in the bodies.
Quite.
Some self-destructive society? Death Wish Incorporated? But what about the shakes? - How do they fit in? - Neurotic reactions.
Like soldiers suffering from battle fatigue.
- [Phone rings] - Oh.
[Sighs] Long here.
Yep.
For you.
Hello? Look, you'll have to speak up.
Mr Steed, Stanhope here.
- I've got to see you.
- 'Well, would tomorrow do?' No, it must be tonight.
Look, I've found something you ought to have.
Oh, I see.
Well, you name the place.
- 'You remember the grenade bay?' - Yes.
What time? '21:30.
' All right, Stanhope, I'll be there.
- Progress? - Possibly.
I'll let you know after tonight.
Mr Steed? Mr Steed! Stanhope here.
I'm over in the grenade bay.
Is that you, Mr Steed? I'm over here.
[Steed] "Manton House, "open to the public May to October every day except Wednesday.
" Manton? - Manton? - A military museum.
Birthplace of Colonel Jolyon Adams.
Fell off his horse at the King's Parade.
- Never regained consciousness.
- He died at the Battle of Saratoga.
- Oh, really? - What's your next move? The curator of the museum is a Colonel Adams OBE.
Probably full of pepper and memories of the Khyber Pass.
I'll have a word with the old boy.
- How did you get on with Robertson? - I struck a nerve.
When we got onto the subject of danger, he reacted very positively.
He also reacted to me, in the nicest manner.
- Oh? - Charming gesture, please note.
Chocolates.
- You haven't opened them yet? - No, why? Don't.
Give them to me.
Stand back.
- Found anything? - Shh.
- I thought so.
- What? - Seen them before.
- What is it? A booby trap? Whatever you do don't touch the wrapped ones.
- Why not? - Cos I like 'em.
It was discovered that 9,000 British had kept 40,000 Russians at bay.
This battle became known as the Soldiers' Battle.
- Inkerman? - Correct.
General Forsyte Adams, 1841-1909.
- Spion Kop? - Correct.
General Sir Archibald Adams.
1917, killed on the Somme.
- Never could keep his head down.
- And you're the last of the line.
Correct, and I know what you're thinking.
- Last press of the grapes and all that.
- Not at all.
Women can also serve, Mr Steed, besides standing and waiting.
Women should never be kept waiting and as for letting them stand - You're mocking me.
- My dear lady.
Colonel, if you don't mind.
- This is extremely interesting.
- Ah.
That's the Adams' family crest.
Granted by special charter in 1803.
- The black rose rampant.
- And the white feather.
- Couchant, of course.
- Of course.
"The black rose of courage.
" That's the way Colonel Soames Adams described it.
Remember him? He's in the Waterloo Room.
Oh, the one with the moustache and the rather vivid complexion? Marvellous library.
- Finest private collection extant.
- Really? If any young officer wants to polish up his buttons, he's welcome to do it here.
They use the place as a sort of club, dropping in at all hours.
Bit boisterous, some of 'em.
Still, you know what young officers are like.
Dear fellows, all of 'em.
Autographs in this book alone must be worth a fortune.
US Army.
Ah.
Of course, that was before he became President.
He was here just before he joined the 8th Army.
There's one of his old berets up in the Alamein Room.
- So you knew General Groves? - Woody? Of course.
Charmer.
Bring the birds down off the trees, that man.
- Tragic ending.
- Generous to a fault.
- Really? - He spent hours here, helping young officers with their problems.
A most generous man.
Surprising him, using a motorcycle.
Not a bit.
Wouldn't ask anybody to do something he couldn't do himself.
- Telephone, Colonel.
- Oh, bother.
- Will you excuse me? - Of course.
- Look after Mr Steed.
- Yes, sir.
You're early.
Thank goodness.
I thought I'd come to the wrong place.
- You're from the Northern Chapter? - That's right.
- Peters.
- John Steed.
- Does Colonel Adams know about us? - No, she lives in a dream world.
She's recreating the Indian mutiny in the potting shed.
Now, come along.
I imagine you'd like to see the inner temple.
- How are things up north? - Pretty hectic.
- You weren't in on that Liverpool job? - Unfortunately not.
No, I'd love to know how you got away with it.
- So would I.
- You can say that again.
I may have to.
The Black Rose Chamber.
Six faces of courage.
- I recognise him.
- Ah.
Pegasus.
- He was killed in an air crash.
- Oh, yes.
I read about it.
Quite a few casualties.
- So have you.
- True.
Just a comment, nothing more.
The Book of Valour.
Citation of deeds of exceptional courage.
Posthumously.
- Well, the others will be arriving soon.
- Posthumously.
- Big night tonight.
- Really? - Apollo's coming.
- Good.
Oh, by the way - Your name.
- What about it? - What is it? - Steed.
I told you.
Your society name.
Er, hadn't we better wait for the others, Apollo and company? - I don't see why.
- Oh, all right.
Bacchus.
Help yourself to any of this, old man.
[Robertson] Mrs Peel, how are we doing? Very well.
Isn't it time you took a break? You've been at it all day.
I'll just finish this top line.
Thanks for the chocolates by the way.
They were delicious.
Are you, um going to be busy later on? What do you have in mind? Were you serious the other afternoon? What about? We were talking about the spice going out of living, the lack of danger in everyday life.
I thought Well, you seemed to agree with me.
There's too much emphasis on safety, security from cradle to graveside.
- Yes.
- Safety straps, safety matches.
Valves, precautions, guards, regulations.
- It's like always driving in second gear.
- That's it.
That's exactly it! Life should be landscaped with danger.
- Man used to live by his strength.
- And his sword.
Now it's all he can do to lift a mug of beer.
- He's dead.
- Dehydrated.
- Sterile.
- Frightened.
- Tasteless.
- [Both] Atrophied.
Nine to five, rushing home to his window box.
- Wrestling with a crossword.
- Keeping up with the Joneses.
- Life's for living.
- For living.
- We'll go right away.
- Where? A place you'll find very interesting Manton.
[Horn beeps] [Tyres screech] Good afternoon, gentlemen.
I'd like to introduce Mrs Peel, a possible new recruit.
- How do you do? - Make a nice Diana or Pallas Athene.
What is this? Are you casting for a show? A little society we run.
- Steed.
- Major.
- Why didn't you mention it? - Why didn't you? Ha! Never occurred to me.
The wangling to get that Groves assignment! Good thing you did.
Oh, I'm sorry, my dear.
This is Mr Steed of the War Office.
Mrs Peel is cataloguing the collection.
- Thought you'd make her a member? - Why not? An Amazon Chapter.
I think Apollo would like the idea.
Could be.
Steed, I haven't told Mrs Peel much about the Danger Makers.
- Perhaps you'd put her in the picture.
- Certainly.
On second thoughts, she's your protégée.
- Why don't you initiate her? - Yes.
Yes, see what you mean.
Well, the Danger Makers, that's the name of the society.
Its aims are to put some spice back into life, reawaken that jaded palette we were talking about.
We recruit new members very carefully.
The black rose, that's the emblem of full membership.
As you can see, a collection of our finest flowers.
Do you mind if I sit down? This wet weather gets my leg.
How does one get one's rose? A series of tests.
"The Labours of Hercules," we call them.
They're psychologically devised and get progressively harder.
- And if one fails? - One doesn't even mention the word.
Quite right.
- May I ask one more question? - Certainly.
You're a soldier.
Can't you find danger in that capacity? Oh, you'd think so, but today, Mrs Peel, there just isn't enough war to go round.
Once you've tasted danger, you need it, just as you need food.
No, they promised me Korea.
What happened? I was sent to SHAPE in Paris.
Cyprus? Oh, definitely I could go to Cyprus.
Attached to the British embassy in Washington.
Malaya, the jungle, bandits.
Three years at the Tower of London.
Hence, the Danger Makers.
And so, Mrs Peel, do you still care to join us? Yes.
You realise that once you have begun, there's no turning back.
- I understand.
- Good.
I'll arrange to have you initiated, then.
If you'll excuse me a moment.
[Door closes] - Clearer? - Much.
A bunch of schizoid, paranoiac psychopaths.
And incidentally, dangerous.
The problem is, who is Apollo? The commander-in-chief.
Apollo is his nom de guerre.
- And yours? - Bacchus.
- I might've guessed.
- Seemed appropriate.
Mrs Peel, we're ready.
Are you coming, Steed? I'd like to stay and finish this excellent brandy.
[Sotto voce] And inspect the premises.
Good luck, Mrs Peel.
- Dump him.
- Good evening, Mr Bacchus.
This is the initiates' test, a test of concentration and steady nerves.
You walk along the seesaws, passing the loops along the cables without touching either of them.
- Simple really.
- Childishly simple.
Oh, that will depend on the mechanism here.
My friend Albert will demonstrate.
These cables are electrified.
I'm switching on the mechanism now.
If you touch them while the pointer is in the white zone, a bell will ring.
[Bell rings] But if you touch them when it's in black Now, the length of the room on the seesaws.
Please tell me when you're ready.
[Whirring] Steady.
You'll kill her before she starts.
Do sit down.
It's 5,000 volts.
Don't want to ruin her concentration.
[Bell rings] Shh, shh! Wonderful.
That was absolutely first-class.
Well done, Mrs Peel.
Congratulations.
[Robertson] Apollo.
And you too, Mr Steed.
Welcome to the Danger Makers.
Mm, you've done very well.
Thank you.
So tell me, what put you onto Manton? - Stanhope.
- Ah, yes.
Poor Stanhope.
What do you think of my little set-up? - Very impressive.
- Hm.
It was almost accidental.
It was when I was treating cases of combat fatigue during the war.
I found that a small percentage of them, perhaps one in a hundred, suffered mental regression because he actually missed the shock of war.
Grown used to it, you see, conditioned to danger.
- I bet that set you thinking.
- Oh, yes.
I began wondering about all those men who actually enjoyed their various wars.
All that potential energy, destructive energy, one could harness it, direct it.
I think I've done it, you know.
Those men upstairs, I've taught them to need danger.
- To crave it.
- Like drug addicts? Yes.
You could call it an addiction to danger.
And just as the drug addict needs stronger doses to satisfy his craving Your men need more and more danger.
Exactly.
Oh, but, chicken-running and climbing St Paul's Really, it's not enough.
Now the biggest danger of all awaits them.
And the biggest prize awaits me.
For centuries men have dreamed of breaking into the Tower, and stealing the crown.
There have always been too many pitfalls, haven't there? Too many dangers.
Do you follow me? Now, for my little band, the dangers will act as the spur.
They will face death.
Some of them will certainly die.
But that will not matter.
It will only make it the sweeter.
And when is this coup due to happen? Tomorrow.
I issue final instructions tonight.
It will be the crime of the century.
But of course you will not be around to read about it, will you? What a pity.
Goodbye, Mr Steed.
- Do you want something? - I've got to kill you.
Don't make too much noise about it, will you? - I said I've got to kill you.
- My goodness me! British tin down another point.
- Stand up.
- Why? Because I'm going to kill you.
I'm far more comfortable sitting down.
Stand up! I said stand up! Major, your hand isn't shaking at all.
It's as steady as a rock.
Look, where's the danger in this? I'm handcuffed, you've got a gun.
There's more danger in well, in stamp collecting.
Now, if we both had an equal chance, either side of that table, the gun in the middle, I could see the point in that.
Oh! Put your chair over there.
Sit down.
I shall count up to three.
When I say three One two Sorry, Major.
I never did believe in rules.
Steed give me that gun.
How did you get out? I knotted some sheets and climbed out of the window.
Oh, that old thing.
Well, originality didn't seem important at the time.
Tomorrow you will face a task which calls for the utmost of courage.
The Tower, gentlemen.
The riches it holds.
It is in our grasp.
Nothing can stand in our way.
Oh, I wouldn't say that.
Three against one.
Not very dangerous, is it? Let's abide by our code, shall we? Why not reduce the odds to evens? Now, if it were single combat, man-to-man, me against the bravest of you all, your glorious leader It's up to the doctor to set an example, man-to-man.
Hey, there! - Sorry, sir, can't stop.
- Dear boys! Boisterous as ever! Apollo, he's unarmed.
No, no! He's unarmed! [Screams] Tea up.
Come and get it.
I still don't understand how you stumbled on the Danger Makers.
Simple, Mrs Peel.
When Groves died, I saw Long who put me onto Lamble who led me to Robertson, through whom I met Stanhope who passed on information about Manton where I met Colonel Adams.
I simply put two and two together.
- Elementary.
- Basic.
Shall we drive?