The Avengers (1961) s05e01 Episode Script

From Venus With Love

Hello.
Yes.
Yes.
What are the coordinates? Declination? Right ascension? Right.
Did he trip or was he pushed? Neither, Mrs Peel.
Not a mark on him.
Ernest Cosgrove, War Ministry.
- Important? - Up and coming.
His age here says But from his hair He looks 60.
It happened in the early hours.
From his notes he was observing Venus.
He took these.
- They're fogged.
- Yeah, so am I.
It's a curious death, Mrs Peel.
- It's the first? - So far.
- They found him here, Mrs Peel.
- Oh.
Grey? Snow white, identical to Cosgrove.
- Any connection? - Keen astronomers, that's all.
Ah, both had their eyes on Venus.
- Steed, the film, it's missing.
- It isn't, you know.
Ah.
Think it'll show some bug-eyed monster? Whatever it was, it turned two men white.
I shouldn't think Hadley would scare that easily.
He's a business tycoon, extremely tough.
With some remarkable pen friends.
- Oh? - "Dear Freddie.
" - Freddie? - Sir Frederick, I suppose.
"Had a message from Venus.
Next meeting Friday 1 3th.
" - Very ominous.
Any signature? - No.
- Good morning.
- Good morning.
I'm looking for Bert Smith.
Then look no further, dear lady, for I am he.
I don't believe that I've had the pleasure.
Oh, Peel, Mrs Emma Peel.
How do you do? You look rather, well, surprised.
I am.
Frankly, when I read your card, I didn't expect Ah, it was the name that fooled you.
Bert Smith.
It always does.
Actually, it's Bertram Fortescue Winthrop Smythe, to be accurate.
- Had to change it of course.
- Of course.
Firstly, it was too long to go on the card and such a name is a terrible disadvantage in this business.
Whoever heard of anyone having their chimneys swept by a Fortescue Winthrop Smythe? Who indeed? It's sheer prejudice, Mrs Peel.
They'll have me in for cocktails but if I so much as go near their chimneys - You're out.
- Ostracised.
- Social death.
- Exactly, and terribly unfair too.
Sweeping chimneys is all I'm really fitted for.
It's the only thing I know.
Now, fact, family tradition.
We've been chasing up chimneys since William the Conqueror.
Sir Matthew Fortescue Winthrop Smythe was actually knighted for services rendered to Queen Anne's flue.
But I dally on.
Dear lady, please forgive me.
How ill-mannered of me.
I didn't enquire your business here.
Is it a maladjusted smokestack? No.
- A bothersome burner? - No.
It's Sir Frederick Hadley.
Old Freddie Hadders? You're a friend of his? I met him in a professional capacity.
Professional? Then you must be interested in astronomy.
Intensely.
How perfectly marvellous.
- Then we have something in common.
- We have? Yes.
Yes, astronomy's my second love, after chimneys, of course.
The two go hand in hand.
You see, in my position, sweeping chimneys, the thing I see most of is the sky, glinting away up there at the top of a Jepson-brick, long-flue, double-burner, triple-stacked, Hayes & Hayes mark-three chimney.
A tiny patch of sky.
What more natural than my interest in astronomy? It had to happen.
Are you going to become a member of the BVS? - BVS? - Yes, we all are, you know.
Freddie, me, all the enthusiasts.
I'll probably be on watching duty tonight.
- Watching what? - Oh, Venus, of course.
For the BVS.
British Venusian Society.
Oh.
To the British what? Venusian Society.
Hadley, Cosgrove, and Bertram Fortescue Winthrop Smythe.
They're all members.
They do some sort of nightly watch.
That print from Hadley's camera? Ha! Funny you should ask.
Most peculiar.
Looks like a fireball charging through outer space.
Well, can't you enlarge it up? Hold on.
Mrs Peel? Mrs Peel? Mrs Peel? British Venusian Society.
Venus, a man called Steed's arrived.
- Does he look interesting? - Extremely.
Then show him in, Mr Crawford.
Show him in.
This way, Mr Steed.
I am Venus Browne, secretary of the British Venusian Society.
How do you do? I'm John Steed.
You have a beautiful, golden aura.
Oh, how very nice of you to say so.
Find yourself a comfortable seat, Mr Steed.
Oh, thank you.
- I understand you wish to apply - To apply for membership.
We are a very small select group.
Good.
I abhor overcrowding.
With stringent rules.
I shall obey them stringently.
And a very high subscription.
The sky's the limit, to coin a phrase.
- We're not elderly eccentrics.
- I can see that.
- We choose our members with care.
- Good.
You are a keen astronomer? Dedicated.
I cut my baby teeth on a telescope.
Your occupation? Following Father's footsteps.
He spent his life depositing money.
I spend mine withdrawing it.
How lovely.
You're familiar with our activities, Mr Steed? Some of them, but do go on.
Tell me all about them.
Firstly, we oppose the present space programme.
I didn't realise we had one.
But we shall, Mr Steed.
We shall.
Our efforts won't be squandered on the moon.
Our target is the planet Venus.
There's evidence it could support life.
We believe it does.
For years, we've detected radio signals.
- From Venus? - From that direction.
Our members keep watch every night for any signs of life.
Oh, good.
- Have they spotted anything? - Some flashes of white light.
Behind those clouds, Mr Steed, are beings.
I hope they have a friendly aura.
Who can say? But to launch a private space programme would take enormous capital.
Indeed it will.
We can't hope to compete with the major powers.
Our aim is a small satellite.
But you'd need the know-how.
Which we have.
I was trained at Jodrell Bank.
Mr Crawford is a radio astronomer.
And then, of course, there are a host of others.
Yes, but the cost.
Venus is persuasive.
We've acquired the backing of the Cuthbert Foundation.
You must be persuasive.
We also lean heavily upon our members.
Oh, well, I have a broad aura.
We will gladly accept a contribution, Mr Steed, but after your election.
First, you must have an eye test.
An eye test? One false sighting could discredit the society.
But I'm a first-class shot.
No exceptions, Mr Steed.
Now, I suggest you visit our Dr Primble.
Primble.
Steed? Oh, Mrs Peel.
Now, where have you been? Chasing an unidentified object.
That's the vernacular, isn't it? An unidentified object? A sphere, a ball of bright light, a thing.
Oh.
From outer space? Ah, you're not trapping me into an opinion.
It's very, very strange, unlike anything I've ever seen before.
If it's facts you want, our gentleman sweep is dead.
Even the soot was white.
Well, he was one of five names on the duty roster at the BVS.
Now three of them are dead, you'd better get to the other two before anybody else does.
- Start with Mansford.
- And you? I'm gonna have my eyes tested.
Stay where you are! Dr Primble, I presume.
You presume right.
- Oh.
- What are you looking for? Oh, a contact lens.
It's here somewhere.
That it? Yes, that's it.
Now, my glasses Oh, thank you.
Ah, well, much obliged, Mr - Steed.
- Steed? - Have you an appointment? - No.
I never see anyone without an appointment.
- Can I make one? - Certainly.
How about today at 2:45? Oh, that suits me fine.
Take a seat.
I'm so sorry, Mrs Peel.
I'm afraid you've just missed Lord Mansford.
- When do you expect him back? - He isn't out.
He's in the vault, perusing his art treasures.
Security.
It's a time lock.
Nobody gets in and he can't get out until the clock strikes three.
From the top, if you please.
Trilby, homburg, bowler, cap jockey, pork-pie, topper, - boater, busby, fez.
- Bravo, excellent.
That's what I told Miss Browne.
Oops! We're not through yet.
So you hope to join us, Mr Steed? - Can't wait.
- Look up, down.
Left, right.
Have you seen Miss Browne's new book? - "Venus, Our Sister Planet.
" - I've got it on order.
It's become the bible to our society though I find it a trifle disconcerting.
Oh? In what way? If there's life on Venus, it certainly isn't as we know it.
It's hot out there, very hot.
- Too hot for humans? - Precisely.
Though, of course, life can exist in many forms.
Solid, liquid, gas.
I plump for gas.
Very fiery gas.
Eyes perfect, Mr Steed.
Welcome to the fold.
Hm.
And on the cover, her impression of Venus.
How extraordinary.
- Where did you get these? - Taken with an astro-camera.
Last night.
What is it, Doctor? I warned them.
Venus, Crawford.
- I warned them all.
- What about? This probe to Venus.
If you plan to invade a strange world, they might follow suit and invade us.
Perhaps they already have.
They were taken by a security camera in the vault door.
Hm.
- Oh, striking.
- Very.
Through six inches of solid steel.
Now, what could have done that? - Something did.
- Venusians? Well, we've got to the moon.
Something's bound to make a return visit somewhere.
- Has anything leaked out? - Not a word.
Complete security block.
The last man on duty watch, Brigadier Whitehead.
- Did you get him? - I tried but his phone was off the hook.
Well, as you can hear, gentlemen, the zero hour is approaching.
Invasion is imminent.
We must counter-attack without delay.
You've received your operational orders.
You, Major Collins, will lead the first battalion.
You, Captain Smith, will follow through with the second.
And you, Lieutenant, will command the support company.
Right, well, that's all, gentlemen.
Good luck.
As my officers departed, I drove hurriedly to the front.
Shells were bursting all around us.
Suddenly suddenly the guns stopped firing.
There was complete silence.
- Brigadier? - Oh, blast! I tried the doorbell.
I'm sorry if I'm intruding but your phone's off the hook.
Yes, I know.
Oh, still on your memoirs? Yes, it's my new long-player, The Invasion Of Italy.
Look, you must excuse me.
Just landed at Catania when messenger drove up.
I tore open dispatch.
News was bad.
I'd lost my battalion commander.
I had to reach O Group.
I grabbed the bike from the messenger and roared off to headquarters.
Suddenly a grenade exploded.
I jumped for cover.
- Can I get you a drink? - Oh, I'd rather have a contribution.
- What, another? - If we're to launch our satellite You've already had 20,000, you know.
Which didn't quite pay the fuel bill.
Huh.
Well, it'd pay a few of mine, what? - Now, Brigadier - I'm sorry, I refuse to dip any deeper until I've had a peep at the accounts.
- The accounts? - Yes, the treasury report.
Hadley and Mansford are of the same mind.
We'd like to know where the money's going.
Well, where do you think it's going? Well, that's what we'd like to know.
We'll discuss it later.
Er, oh, Venus? Look, I can't manage duty watch tonight.
Battle of Palermo.
Nearly bought it there.
Luck of the devil.
Well, I hope it stays with you, the second time around.
Yes.
It's hot in here today, like the ruddy tropics.
I was up to my waist in mud, blinded and choked by smoke and somewhat hampered by a severe shoulder wound.
Nevertheless, I reached for a grenade which was just within my grasp and pulled the pin with my teeth, hurling the grenade into the enemy dug-out.
The enemy were still advancing when The enemy were still advancing when - Care for a drink? - What on earth was all that about? The swansong of one Brigadier Whitehead.
Officer, gentleman, deceased.
Exit Brigadier Whitehead.
- White-headed? - Pattern as before.
The enemy were still advancing when He died as he lived, in the thick of battle, bravely facing the enemy.
- An enemy without a face.
- Made some very funny noises.
I never heard anything like it before.
Did you? Can't say I did.
Well, it narrows down the list of people watching Venus.
There's always me.
I'm a fully-fledged member of the BVS.
I volunteered for watching duty.
I thought it was your policy never to volunteer.
Yes, but since you volunteered to return the recording to Venus Browne - I thought I'd volunteer.
- It's got to be telepathy.
Where did you get this? It was sent to my newspaper by a close associate, together with these photographs.
It was suggested we were being invaded by Venus.
Well, that is quite possible, Mrs Peel.
- But, well, photographs can be faked.
- Ah, that's why I've come to see you.
You're an expert in this field.
What's your view? Oh, I Oh, I couldn't say without a second opinion.
Oh, dear.
Oh, it's very hot in here.
Excuse me a moment.
I'll call our Mr Crawford.
He's an expert in radio astronomy.
The tape is more in his line.
Mr Crawford? Venus.
There's something I'd like you to listen to.
Well, what do you think? Oh.
Oh, I see.
Well, how soon can you be here? Very well.
He can't tell over the phone.
You say five of our members, Hadley, Cosgrove, Mansford And Smith and Brigadier Whitehead, and an attack on Miss Browne.
- Have you seen these men? - Yes, they died of shock, their hair and clothes bleached with an intense light.
Then I was right.
The Venusians are here.
Nothing reported from radar control.
If they're composed of gas, they'd never be detected.
They could travel with the speed of light.
In an extra-terrestrial vehicle, an unidentified object.
Possibly.
Well, thank you for your help.
Must go now.
I'm on duty tonight, observing Venus.
Ah, Mrs Peel.
Yes, all set up.
Any luck with the tape? Not yet.
We're expecting Crawford.
He's certainly taking his time.
Don't worry, I shan't let Venus out of my sight.
Hm, me neither.
How's it going, old chap? Steed! Steed! Did you see that flash of light? It came from the cemetery.
Doctor? Dr Primble? Dr Primble? Steed! Steed.
The Venusians.
I told you.
They're here.
They've landed.
The earth's still warm.
It was a lot warmer a while back.
Hot enough to carbonise.
Need a temperature of at least 2,000 degrees to do this.
Really? Wasn't a flame thrower, nothing volatile.
I saw a flash of white light.
A flash of white light? Hm.
It has a partiality for gravestones if that's any help.
And Dr Primble, did he see anything? Well, he was badly shocked.
His descriptions vary.
But Mrs Peel swears that she saw some kind of spacecraft.
It was silver, er, mirrored.
Mirrored? Uh-huh.
Mirrored? Well, we needn't bother with this.
- But I would like to hear this recording.
- It's in my car.
I'm sorry I was so long.
The Ministry called.
Primble was attacked.
By Venusians, he said.
Steed too.
It may interest you to know he's from the authorities.
The authorities? So is your Mrs Peel.
Oh, dear.
Not just yet, Mrs Peel.
I don't believe in this invasion any more than you.
- Or Venusians? - Oh, come now, Mrs Peel.
Does anyone know what's up there, on Venus or Mars or even the moon? Discoveries always begin as a guessing game.
We may be right, we may be wrong.
If you don't explore, you don't find out.
And we shall one day.
Our funds are growing fast.
While your membership dwindles.
- This is becoming a habit.
- That tape you brought.
I'd like to hear it.
Recognise the sound, Mr Crawford? I most certainly do, Mrs Peel.
The sound of light amplification, of stimulated emission of radiation.
In a word of two syllables, a laser beam.
A laser beam? Of course.
It has the bleaching effect and boils liquids.
- Plus a very distinctive sound.
- Where are they used? All over the place: dentistry, communications, eye surgery.
Eye surgery.
And who is this? The one at the farm.
Her name's Mrs Peel.
Friend of Steed.
And what are we doing here, Mrs Peel? Well, I haven't come here for an eye test.
And does Steed know you're here? I consider that a highly personal question.
Martin.
I think the scientific approach.
It's held us in good stead.
Yes, Mrs Peel, a laser.
A rather advanced model which I'm sure you'd like to see in action.
There's just one thing.
Steed, how much does he know? He's in the book.
Why don't you call him? Martin, we've been hoping for a guinea pig.
I think we've found one.
Excellent.
Not from where I'm sitting.
Ah, sense of humour.
Admirable.
Mine vanished when the Cuthbert Foundation began diverting its funds from medical research to the society's space project.
I couldn't beat them so I joined them, and now I've almost destroyed them.
With Venusians as an alibi.
- An original one, you'll admit.
- It's about all I will admit.
You know this model's remarkably accurate.
It can drill holes in diamonds and goes through steel plate like butter.
But as for living tissue, we shall just have to experiment.
- Feeling more co-operative? - No, I feel positively stubborn.
Your last chance, Mrs Peel.
You've seen what it does to people.
Well, it's quicker than a peroxide rinse.
Very well.
Primble.
It's all done with mirrors.
Oh, thank you, Steed.
Are you ready? My hat.
Hey! Might catch on.
Do you think so? - Won't be a minute, Steed.
- No hurry.
You know, it's a pity about Primble.
He could have made a fortune out of his laser device.
With the communications business? The laundry business.
Just think of all those white, white shirts.
He'd do a very good job on my lemon-spot pyjamas.
- Hungry? - One meal away from malnutrition.
We're having dinner on Venus.
- On Venus? - Venus Browne.
Her society's so delighted with us, they're giving us a slap-up dinner.
- You didn't really think - I saw my oeufs in orbit.
Dinner amid the stars.
A table overlooking the galactic sea.
Or a big crater.
The head waiter, beady-eyed, looming over us.
- But none of your favourite wine.
- No wine? Not up there.
You know your claret doesn't travel.