The Avengers (1961) s05e05 Episode Script

The Bird Who Knew Too Much

Percy Danvers, undercover man.
He tried to phone me a while back.
Any idea what he was working on? It might have been anything.
He covered a very wide field.
- Bird seed.
- Hmm? [Emma] Bird seed.
[Steed] Now, where on earth [Emma] Was he interested in bird-watching? I don't think so.
He had a lot of interests.
I didn't realise they included bird-watching.
[Footsteps] [Gunshot] [Gunshot] [Screams] Tweezers.
Tweezers.
Eye glass.
Eye glass.
Hammer.
Hammer.
Pin.
Pin.
Carry on.
Next.
Do you really think they can be carrying messages inside these seeds? Or a micro-container or a miniaturised transmitter.
They brought over the eastern rocket programme in the eye of a needle.
- Ingenious.
- Mm-hm.
Except for the fact that the courier lay down and rested in a haystack.
- You mean they - They're still looking for it.
Now I can't leave anything to chance, Danvers was carrying these.
Must have some significance.
[Phone rings] - Phone.
- Phone.
Hello? Yes, he's here.
It's for you.
Steed here.
Oh, yes.
When? Where? I'll be right over.
Pathological lab.
They've brought in someone who worked with Danvers.
Door.
Door.
Try that bit over there.
I was afraid so.
We shared the same tailor.
It's him all right.
- Who? - Frank Elrick.
He was engaged on counter-counter-counter-espionage.
Well, somebody countered his counter.
Where was this found? In a contractor's yard, and just in time.
In another hour or so, he would have been the cornerstone of a new supermarket.
Poor old Frank.
He was a pretty solid sort of type.
He still is.
Muswells Back.
- When did he leave? - It's a stretch of land near here.
They've just completed a new missile installation.
Supposed to be top top top secret.
Well, if Elrick was a counter-counter-counter-espionage spy.
Aerial photo.
Flying is supposed to be forbidden around here.
Now, in the wrong hands, these prints But that's all they are, Steed, prints.
Without a negative, these are no good.
Frank must have been close to finding them so they Pearson.
Frank's partner.
Whatever Frank knew, he'd know.
Pearson, Mark Pearson.
[Fluttering] No, it's your sister I'm waiting for.
Pearson lives up there.
Pigeons.
Stool pigeon.
[Knocking] - Mark? - What? Steed! Steed Muswells Back.
Missile base.
Photos, aerial.
- Photos.
- Yes, we know about those.
Information being taken out of country.
Taken east.
Who's taking the information out? Pearson, who is he? Who's the courier? Crusoe.
Captain Crusoe.
Captain Crusoe? - Did you do it? - Yeah.
[Sighs] You have all the fun.
Commander? Verret here.
Yeah, OK.
Pearson had some callers, though, a man and a woman.
Yes, I recognised the man.
John Steed.
Yes.
Right.
I'll deal with him.
No, Crusoe, Captain Crusoe.
Yes, I'll hold on.
There's no Captain Crusoe on the current army or navy list.
- Heathcliff Hall.
- Do you think it's important? Yes? Still no luck? Well, check pre-World War I.
- I should find out.
- Mm.
Dead end, eh? Oh, and you'd better get Pearson's body discreetly out of here.
Good luck.
Yes, I'll be here when you arrive.
Hey.
It's Steed we want.
The Commander said nothing about the girl.
She's a looker.
Where do you think she's off to? [Gasps] - Hello.
- Good morning.
Is this a private party or can anyone join in? I'm most terribly sorry.
I was expecting someone else.
Who? A whole company of marine commandos? - My name's Steed, John Steed.
- Sam, Samantha Slade.
Well, how do you do? Your photographs hardly do you justice.
Oh? Oh, those.
Mark will leave them lying around.
Where is he, by the way? Mark? Oh, he popped out for a while.
Popped out? But what about our lunch date? Lunch date? Of course, lunch date.
He had a business appointment.
It was urgent.
He asked me to give you his sincere and abject apologies.
He asked me to take you out to lunch myself.
At least I'm sure he would have done had he remembered.
- Well? - Well I'd be delighted to have lunch with you.
It is my pleasure.
You can tell me about Mark and yourself.
- Mark? - I've been abroad, lost touch with him.
You can fill in the gaps, tell me what he's been up to.
The exhibition does not open until later today.
- Well, the door was open, so I - Open? - Unsecured? Which door? - Oh - Don't move! - [Birds chirping] Are all the windows shut? - A door open here! - The entrance door.
I shut it behind me.
Forgive me, but the idea of a door open here.
The exhibits are priceless.
I check every latch, every fastening, personally.
- Twitter.
- Hm? I'm afraid bird impersonations are hardly my line.
Oh, no, you misunderstand.
I am Twitter, Edgar Twitter.
Organiser of this feathered array.
- Oh, Peel, Mrs Emma Peel.
- How do you do? Yes, superb specimens of ornithological opulence.
- And these are all yours? - Oh, alas, no.
Many are on loan from private collections.
The Duke of Duffup, for instance.
- The Lady Cynthia Cashwash.
- Captain Crusoe? You are acquainted with the good Captain? Oh, vaguely.
A friend of a friend of a friend of a friend.
He's a splendid chap.
I haven't paid my respects to him this morning.
- He's here? - Would you like to meet him? Oh, I'd love to.
His quarters are this way.
Healthy appetite.
Verging on immortality.
You were telling me about Mark.
There's nothing more to tell.
We get on well, go places, meet people.
- Has he got friends? - Enough.
Including Captain Crusoe? He does know a Captain Crusoe, doesn't he? What's the time? - Oh, I must fly.
- I'll give you a lift.
Off his grapes this morning.
Oh, morning, Cunliffe.
- This is Mrs Peel, George Cunliffe.
- How do you do? George tends to all my PR work.
travel arrangements and so on.
- Have you looked in on the Captain yet? - Er, no, not yet, sir.
Quite right too.
He gets broody if we disturb him too early.
Mrs Peel is very anxious to meet the Captain.
Oh, certainly, sir.
Come along, look alive there.
Show a claw.
You mean, Captain Crusoe is a bird? Oh, not just a bird, Mrs Peel.
A king, an emperor among parrots.
Well, the bird has flown.
He's gone! - The Captain's gone.
- What are we going to tell the owner? It's a lovely car.
Why do you have straps on your bonnet? To keep it on.
Oh.
Well, how many gallons does it do to the mile? You mean, how many miles does she do to the gallon? - Well, thank you for lunch, anyway.
- No, no, no, it's a pleasure.
Yep, hold it there.
Now, um, extend the legs.
Yeah.
Waggle them.
Again.
Sam.
Tom Savage, John Steed.
Mr Steed's You're a cut above the ones they usually send.
- Very superior.
- Oh, no, but he's not a model Sam, you're late.
Get changed.
Um your clothes will do fine.
- You're making a mistake - Sam, I said get changed! I've got all the time in the world.
It's quite all right.
There's your bag.
- Now, where do you want me? - Erm Over here.
You won't need these.
Now, then [Whistles] Could you, erm Could you extend well, incline this way a bit? Yep.
Face up, chin up.
Left foot back about four inches.
Yeah.
Left arm out.
Right arm out.
Now, could you look a bit less serious, more sombre.
You're very well equipped.
Do you do your own processing? No.
Left foot in about four inches.
Four inches.
That's it, yeah.
- We've got our own dark rooms.
- Mm-hm.
Much commercial work? If they can afford to pay my price.
That's the only criterion.
- Aerial photography? - Aerial photography? - Tom, I'm ready.
- Yeah, over here.
It's a sitting one.
On the left, on the left.
No, no, no, clear the shoes.
Clear the shoes.
Uh-huh.
That's gonna blend very well.
We won't even have to press the trousers.
Did Mark come here? - Only to pick me up.
- Face me.
- You ask a lot of questions, Mr Steed.
- I'm an inquisitive fella.
That's good, Sam, good.
Back a bit.
No, just the fella.
Stay where you are, Sam.
- I can't see him.
- Ah.
[Tom] Yep, turn away a bit.
Uh-huh.
Now, hold hold that.
Look down a bit.
Not too much.
Now look away.
Now come back into it.
Yeah, that's fine.
Now hang on.
Could you go back about a foot? That's too much.
Hang on.
Yeah, that's all right.
Faces up.
Now look at each other.
That's all for you.
Next costume, Sam.
Fixed him.
How? An impact grenade.
It will go off the moment he opens his umbrella.
And it looks like rain.
That was very good, worth a bonus.
Oh, no, the experience was enough.
Most exhilarating.
Apart from that, what sort of a day have you had? Laden with suspicion.
A girl called Sam, Samantha Slade.
- She claims to be a friend of Mark's.
- Oh? She works for Tom Savage, photographer.
He employs models, long-legged pulchritude, with whatever face and posture they are wearing this year.
- Do you get my meaning? - I see.
You want me to infiltrate, insinuate.
And use those big, beautiful, brown eyes to keep an eye on our girl Sam.
All right.
I located Captain Crusoe, but the perch was empty.
Literally.
Captain Crusoe is a parrot.
A parrot? A very fine one, a prince among parrots.
But Mark said that Crusoe was the courier.
Well, maybe he was a courier parrot.
Anyway, he's disappeared.
He was stolen last night.
Birds.
It's been bothering me, the height these aerial photographs were taken.
Oh, I'd say about 100 feet or so.
That's impossible.
A plane as low as that would be bound to be detected.
Well, it has to be a plane.
I mean, what else is there? Ooh! [Coos] [Cage rattling] What, er What are we advertising? Heavy agricultural equipment.
That's why I wanted the hat.
See? - No.
- It's symbolic, of course.
- Heavily.
- Do you think it's a little too unsubtle? Not over-obvious.
Ah, this will divert the eye, add a touch of humour, do you think? Have them in stitches.
Yes, I like it, I like it.
In fact, I think it's great.
Might keep this one for my exhibition.
Call it Fred 89 and three quarters.
That's my real name.
I changed it to Tom because Fred's a bit plebeian.
- You know.
- I know.
- Oh, there's something missing.
- No! The prop, the most important prop.
Sam said she'd bring it round.
Where is she? Sorry I'm late, Tom.
Here we are.
Now, don't forget you promised to look after it.
It's very valuable.
All right, Sam.
I promise.
Tom, this bird is irreplaceable.
It's priceless.
[Squawking] [Cooing] This looks about right.
We'll take a reading.
Well, there she is.
What do you make it? It's due north-west on the button.
This is right, then.
Nice clear day too.
Good flying weather.
Go on.
Go on.
Due north-west.
Right over the missile installation.
- Verret? - Hm? [Verret] That's not one of ours.
- It came out of the basket? - Then where is it flying to? Ah.
Hello, old boy.
There we go.
Had a good flight, then? Where is it? Ah, got it.
In you go, temporarily grounded.
Hmm.
Very handy for holiday snaps.
Pre-set to start snapping once you're airborne.
For that, a little present.
Well, now we know how it's done.
The question is [Squawking] Well, that's about it.
Thanks.
- You'll never get away with it.
- Hm? That's what the parrot symbolises in the photographs.
The caged creature, the bird mouthing empty phrases.
Sums up the state of mankind.
This bird doesn't mouth empty phrases.
He hasn't said a word all day.
- Perhaps he's a thinker.
- I'll return it for you.
- Hm? - To Sam Slade.
- I can drop it in at her place.
- Oh, no.
This parrot doesn't leave the studio.
I promised Sam.
Besides, I'm gonna need it again tomorrow.
I'd like some prints of the pictures you took today.
- Anything in particular? - I don't know, a couple of poses.
- Me and the parrot.
- You and the parrot? Quite impossible, Mrs Peel, to say whether this is the Captain Crusoe.
- Not without actually seeing the bird.
- But surely the marking The plumage is very like Captain Crusoe's.
But then there are probably 10,000 birds just like this.
Precisely.
- What makes you think this is Crusoe? - I'm just guessing.
Can you bring him here so that I may make an identification? - Well, I don't - Where is the bird now? Oh.
Tom Savage.
Supposing I were to bring the bird here.
Then I could make an identification.
But you must bring the bird here, Mrs Peel.
[Squawking] - If only you could talk.
- [Squawks] Shh.
[Clattering] We can't leave her to talk.
No, we need an alibi.
A cast-iron alibi.
Tie her to the chair.
[Cooing] - 'Hello?' - Mrs Peel? 'Steed, this is a pre-recorded message.
'The time is 7:45.
'I'm just on my way back to Tom Savage's studio.
'He has a parrot there.
Sam Slade lent it to him.
'Now, it may or may not be Captain Crusoe.
'I mean to find out.
'Message ends.
' 10:30.
7:45! First person to come through that door Does the job for us.
[Footsteps] New habit, climbing in through windows.
Lucky for you I'm a devious fellow.
I've pulled a few strings in my time, but that one Would have had explosive repercussions.
A tried and tested pick-me-up.
I always recommend it to my friends.
After they've been tied to a chair facing a lethal booby trap? Especially after they've been tied to a chair facing a lethal booby trap.
Go ahead, build you up.
That's just the point.
What is it building me up for? - A job in hand.
- And what is that? We've got to find Captain Crusoe.
Everything certainly seems to revolve around that parrot.
Who knew he was at the studio? Tom Savage, and Sam brought it there.
And Twitter.
I told Edgar J Twitter.
Oh, and what's he like? Average height, brown hair, 30ish.
- Dangerous? - Hmm, could be.
Have another drop, Mrs Peel.
Of course I knew about the bird.
You told me yourself.
You mentioned it to no one else? Well, naturally not, since your report was unconfirmed.
Now, we're extremely busy.
The exhibition goes to Europe tomorrow.
Mr Twitter, that parrot was stolen again.
Strange, don't you think? Since only you and I knew where it was.
And Cunliffe.
He knew about it.
Yes, of course I did.
So, for that matter, did Jordan.
- Jordan? - The rightful owner of Captain Crusoe.
Remember, sir? You spoke to him last night.
Oh, yes, he called me last night.
- And you told him I'd found the parrot? - I may have mentioned it in passing.
I suppose this Mr Jordan would know his own parrot if he saw it? I mean, his identification would be more reliable than yours, Mr Twitter.
You said you wanted some of the fun.
The Commander just called me.
Remember that girl you took a fancy to? - Mrs Peel? - Yes, she's stirring up trouble.
She's on her way to see Jordan now.
- You mean, you want me to - Yeah, both of them.
Make it nice, Robin.
Oh, it'll be nice, Verret.
If nothing else, it'll be nice.
[Screeching] [Birds all talk at once] All birds are welcome here.
- I am Jordan.
- Oh, Peel, Mrs Peel.
- Er, the front door was shut, so - My fault entirely.
I was upstairs having a little warble.
A side line of mine.
I am composing a concerto for beak, bird-throat and warble.
I find it most absorbing.
What can I do for you, Mrs Peel? - It's about Captain Crusoe.
- Ah, he has been found? - He has returned to the nest? - No, not yet.
Oh, the noblest parrot of them all.
A master of rhetoric, such a garrulous talker, such verbiage.
Talker? That parrot didn't say a word.
- Had he been cued in? - Cued in? These birds around you were talking 19 to the dozen when I entered.
You will observe, they are now silent.
That is my training system.
Tuition, quite unique.
Gained their confidence.
They think I am one of them.
Sometimes I wish I were.
All my birds have conditioned reflexes.
They speak only when they are signalled, cued to speak, and each one has a different signal, thus The blue parrot.
[Parrot] Mary had a little lamb.
Its fleece was white as snow.
And everywhere that Mary went - [Parrot stops] - And cued to stop.
- There.
- Oh.
[Parrot] Long live the Queen! Long live the Queen! Long live [Parrot] Jack and Jill went up the hill to fetch a pail of water.
Jack fell down and broke his crown and Jill - Interesting, don't you think? - Astonishing.
Astonishing? Oh, no, no.
These are mere nursery rhymes.
Parrot phrases.
Nothing compared to Captain Crusoe.
His capacity for learning is astonishing.
The whole of Hamlet's soliloquy without pause.
Lincoln's Gettysburg address without fault.
Nothing to Captain Crusoe.
And then there is his gift for mimicry.
Whoever teaches him a phrase, he gets the tone and inflection of that person's voice exactly.
A parrot paragon.
And now he's a polly gone.
I should never have let that exhibition borrow him, but Twitter was so persuasive, so insistent.
Mr Jordan, could you pick Captain Crusoe out of a crowd? Better than that, anyone could pick him out in the dark with the right cue: a top C.
Captain Crusoe is cued to a top C.
- And which one of those triangles - Captain Crusoe's triangle is not here.
He merits better than this hoi-polloi.
His is gold-plated.
Can I borrow it, Captain Crusoe's triangle? It might help me to find him.
It is in my car.
Come.
[Parrot] Goodbye, Jack.
Goodbye, Jack.
Oh, dear, dear, dear.
Use it.
On him.
You keep him occupied.
I'll get behind him.
[Gunshot] [Gunshot] [Gunshot] [Gunshot] [Gunshot] [Gunshot] Mark? - Mark? - [Clatter] Mark sent me a message.
- He said I was to come here.
- Mark Pearson is dead.
And you and I are going to have a little talk.
A talk? What about? Cabbages and kings, life, the birds and the bees, but mostly about birds.
Oh.
Going in again? I want a little talk first.
Now, then, who's your boss? I don't know.
[Groans] I never see him.
Verret gives me my orders.
What about Captain Crusoe? Where's he? Crusoe's back, back where he belongs.
Mark gave me the parrot to look after.
- He said he didn't dare keep it here.
- Now, why should he say that? Mark is dead? Extremely.
Oh, well, I suppose it can't do any harm now.
Mark stole the bird from someone.
Well, he didn't exactly say that, but I'm sure that's what it was.
So Mark pinched it from them, whoever "them" are, because he parrot's the key to the whole thing.
It certainly was no ordinary parrot, that's for sure.
I mean the things it said.
"The missile installation has a deployment "on the north-western sector.
"Launching ramps of advanced design.
" All sorts of technical stuff.
Well, it seemed such a weird thing for anyone to teach a parrot.
It talks.
- It talks! - Well, of course it talks.
Don't all parrots talk? [In unison] The parrot's taking the information out.
- They've eliminated the human error.
- By eliminating the human element.
A pigeon flies over the installation, takes pictures.
Which are translated into verbal information.
- And fed to the parrot.
- And at the sound of a top C He spouts it all out again.
Perfect.
No microphone to conceal.
No secret papers.
And no human agent to crack under pressure.
Well, you can't interrogate a parrot.
[Birds chirping] Two guesses as to which part of Europe.
Well, let's have a look around for our undercover agents.
I do beg your pardon.
Whoops! Ah.
Well, he is a parrot.
- Not too intelligent.
- Very unprepossessing.
- Definitely cretinous.
- Positively retarded.
Play, maestro.
We're not playing his tune.
I think we're running out of parrots.
Ah, this one looks more like an intellectual.
Intellectual? He's a politician.
Perhaps he's disguised as the lesser-crested fisher hen.
"Back where he belongs," that's what the man in the pool said.
Captain Crusoe is back where he belongs.
Well, he doesn't belong here.
In the back room.
Far enough.
Perhaps you'd be kind enough to explain what you're doing.
Twitter! Bird impersonations are not my strong His name is Twitter, Edgar J Twitter.
- Oh.
- Correct.
I am awaiting an explanation.
- We came to collect Captain Crusoe.
- Crusoe's not here.
He was stolen.
Well, how do you explain [Triangle rings] [Parrot] Deployment of the missile installation is underway in the north-western sector.
I know that voice.
It's, er it's Cunliffe.
Cunliffe.
Exactly, Mrs Peel.
I see you took care of Twitter for me.
Poor old Twitter.
You hit the wrong man.
[Parrot] Controlled by electronic Better shut him up, I think.
There.
That's better.
Now, I'd better see about shutting you two up, on a more permanent basis, of course.
Verret.
Well, it worked before.
Mrs Peel, are you Oh, you are all right.
- One secret agent - Safely behind bars.
[Parrot] I demand political asylum.
I demand political asylum.
[Parrot falls silent] [Arrow whooshes] I wish you'd get used to using the telephone.
Ran out of small change.
- Well, are you? - Hm? - Busy at the moment.
- What did you have in mind? - I want you to meet a bird.
- Friend of yours? Hardly.
I intend basting it in red wine, submerging it in a succulent sauce.
Now, that sounds like my kind of bird.
There's only one snag.
I haven't shot it yet.
But don't worry, it's all laid on.
Beaters, a stretch of grouse moor.
I've even got a car.
I'll put on something suitable.
For open-air motoring.