The Avengers (1961) s05e18 Episode Script

Death's Door

Perfect diplomacy.
They all arrive together.
All except your man, Sir Andrew Boyd.
I do not see him.
Oh, come now, Pavret.
United Europe was his idea.
He's a presiding delegate.
At least allow him the vanity of a star entrance.
Ah, here he is.
Thank you, gentlemen.
It's taken him years to get them all around one table.
Going through that door will be the climax to a magnificent career.
The greatest moment of his life.
Sir Andrew! What is it? Sir Andrew! Sir! Sir, what's the matter? [Knock on door] Come in.
- Where is Sir Andrew? - Next door.
Doctor's with him.
- How is he? - Seems all right.
Little overwrought, but all right.
- What exactly happened? - I'm not at all sure.
You and Sir Andrew are old friends.
Ever known him to run from anything? - Never.
- Well, this time he ran.
He turned and bolted like a frightened rabbit.
But the newspapers said he had a sudden attack of migraine.
That was arranged by Stapley here.
Had to tell them something.
A press attaché specialises in half-truths, Mrs Peel.
Would you like to take this, my lord? The remainder of the follow-up statement.
Well, it seems fine.
Better put this out right away.
Oh, Steed the conference.
It reconvenes at six.
Sir Andrew's got to be there.
We'll deliver him personally.
Thanks, old chap.
I knew I could depend on you.
What do you think? Well, you know Sir Andrew.
He's not the type of man to irresponsibly turn and run.
- As witness this little number.
- Ha! - Hello, Andrew.
- Steed! Emma, my dear.
Yes, obviously this is Melford's idea getting you here.
He was concerned.
Commendable, but unwarranted.
Been overdoing it.
A blackout.
Right, Doctor? Very likely.
A couple hours' sleep right now would do him the world of good.
Well, that's our cue to depart.
I'll pick you up at 5:30.
[Chuckles] If you insist.
Well, let's say I prefer to.
See you then.
- Goodbye.
- Goodbye, Emma.
I'm going to get you some tablets.
[Door closes] Sir Andrew? Sir Andrew! Oh, Doctor.
These won't knock you out.
They'll calm you down for a while.
Help you to sleep.
Sleep's all you need.
Stretch out for an hour or two.
I'll see that you're not disturbed.
[Sighs] Well, Frank Stapley excelled himself.
It's a great piece of double-talk.
Why Sir Andrew left the conference or how to say nothing in 500 well-chosen words.
Stapley can't help telling half-truths.
He's in constant touch with politicians.
Hadn't we better be off? You told Sir Andrew 5:30.
[Gasps] [Phone rings] Might be important.
Hello? - Er, Steed.
- 'Andrew.
We're just leaving.
' - Are you still running the old Bentley? - Of course.
- Will you be coming via Spout Hill? - That's the shortest route.
Steed when you get to Spout Hill take it easy will you? Take it easy? Yes, the hill.
Treat it, treat it with respect.
All right, Andrew.
What was all that about? Sir Andrew warning me to drive carefully.
Apart from me you're the best driver I know.
All the same he did seem concerned about my having an accident.
It's odd.
He even told me where.
The brakes have failed.
The handbrake too.
[Tyres screeching] [Truck horn blares] [Tyres screeching] [Peel sighs] Spout Hill.
- I'll go and pick up Sir Andrew.
- I'll go and get this car checked.
A brake failure.
- Are you sure? - So it appears.
Of course, we can't be certain till it's checked.
- Who tipped you off, Andrew? - What? Who warned you? And why didn't you come out with it right away? Nobody warned me.
No person.
Oh, come now! You called me.
"Take it easy down Spout Hill.
" [Clicks fingers] That's where it happened.
You must have got the information from somewhere.
Unless you're psychic.
Suppose I said I had.
What would you say to that? Have you? [Chuckles] Oh, no, no.
Spout Hill is a black spot.
I nearly bought it there myself once.
I I just had a feeling.
That's that's all it was.
It couldn't have been anything else.
We better go, Steed, hadn't we? Yes, we've got more important things to do.
[Clinking] How did that get there? Well, it isn't broken.
Are you sure you're all right? Er Oh, yes, I Yes, I'm fine.
- You did get some rest? - We both did.
[Yawns] Must have dozed off.
Right in the middle of the afternoon too.
It's not like me at all.
Must be the weather.
Thank you.
What was all that about? I was just checking to see if he had a button missing.
Well, he has.
- Find what you were looking for? - No, thank goodness.
It could have been on the radio.
You hear the news this evening? - Yes.
- Was there anything about a lion? - [Chuckles] No.
Why? Have you lost one? - Nothing at all.
First, missing buttons and then a lion.
What is it, Andrew? The lion was the last sign.
- The last thing I saw before - Before what? Before I died.
[Camera shutter clicks] [Camera shutters clicking] - I can't go in.
- Andrew - No, if I do, I'll be killed.
- Andrew I'll be killed! [Camera shutter clicks] [Tyres screeching] But he knew! He definitely knew he was going to die.
How could he? How did he know about the missing button on the lion? Spout Hill.
He knew about that too.
I told you.
I checked the brakes.
Faulty linkage.
It could happen to anyone.
But it happened exactly how and where Andrew said it would.
That does take some explaining.
Unless you believe in the sixth sense.
Do you? I'm not sure.
That horoscope of mine told me I'd collide with a tall, dark stranger.
- And? - I ran into the back of your car.
Well, that was my fault.
It was those titian tresses.
They distracted me.
- Who'll take over at the conference? - Lord Melford.
I appreciate your calling, Steed, but quite unnecessary, I do assure you.
Nothing will keep me out of that conference room.
Don't worry.
[Knock on door] Come in.
Yes, Stapley? The statement, sir.
About the accident.
- What have you put? - Oh, yes.
- Fine.
You're a first-rate liar, Stapley.
- Thank you, sir.
- To the Press Agency and all delegates.
- Fine.
I'd like a call in the morning, please.
Eight will do.
And arrange about my car.
Certainly, my lord.
Good night.
Thank you.
Good night.
- Are you staying here? - Oh, yes.
They provide me with a suite.
Come and see where your tax goes.
- Nice, isn't it? - I think so.
What I'd call tasteful.
- Steed, I've an odd premonition.
- Oh? This conference could well be the turning point in my career.
But to bring it off I shall need courage, tenacity, integrity And a good night's sleep.
Happy dreams.
Ladies' slumber wear.
I've checked security.
Seems adequate.
- Good.
Let's retire, shall we? - Let's.
[Alarm clock ticks] - [Man] 'Lord Melford? - Yes? 'Your early-morning call.
The car will be here in one hour.
'Don't forget your case, my lord.
' [Gasps and moans] [Man 2] 'He's dead.
Melford's dead.
Terrible accident.
Killed instantly.
' - [Man 3] 'Lord Melford's dead.
- [Man 4] Melford is dead.
' [Moans] 'Welcome, my lord.
Allow me.
' [Yells] [Groans] [Phone rings] - [Man 5] 'Lord Melford?' - Yes? 'Your early-morning call, my lord.
The car will be here in one hour.
'Don't forget your case, my lord.
' [Dial tone] [Sighs] [Sighs] [Groans] [Knock on door] - Ah, Steed.
Shan't be long.
- Good morning, my lord.
Good morning.
Trust you slept well? Reasonably.
- What did you do that for? - Today's date.
- I hope you're not superstitious.
- No.
[Knock on door] - Come in.
- Your car's ready, my lord.
Thank you.
Stapley? Stapley! Yes, my lord? You you've cut your face.
Oh yes.
Yes, cut myself shaving.
Gashed myself rather badly I'm afraid.
Didn't want to be late for the conference.
After you, my lord.
There's no light.
Must be out of order.
- It can't be.
- Well, it is.
Let's take the stairs.
Lord Melford? It can't be.
Lord Melford? [Clattering] Steed Nothing.
A trifle warm in here.
Don't touch it! Don't touch anything! [Tyres screeching] - Careless! - It's criminal! Swerving like that! The fool ought to be banned! Why did he have to do it now? Of all times.
Why now? [Camera shutters clicking] All right.
Please, gentlemen.
Welcome, my lord.
Allow me.
I can't.
I can't go in.
What's wrong? - [Shouts] I can't! - You must.
[Camera shutters clicking] He gave no reason? He was panic-ridden.
Numb with fear.
Completely irrational.
By the time I got him back he was on the point of collapse.
Why? If Dr Evans can calm him down, I intend to find out.
- The conference.
- Stapley's concocting another statement.
If they buy that, it'll be a miracle.
It's rumoured we've had second thoughts.
What's Melford's financial status? Rich as they come.
Couldn't be bought.
There are other pressures.
I know Melford.
Any trouble, he'd come straight to me.
That takes care of that.
Unless he talks we're at a dead end.
[Door opens] I've given him something.
You can see him now.
Steed, believe me.
I-I need to talk to someone.
Then talk.
Come on.
You can trust me.
Well, I had Well, I suppose you could call it a premonition.
It sounds childish, infantile.
But it all began with a dream.
A sort of horrific nightmare.
- When was this? - Last night.
And then this morning it began to happen.
- Suddenly I was travelling the same path.
- But George I know! It sound ludicrous, but I could kick myself for being so foolish! But at the same time I felt if I entered that conference room, I-I'd die! I just knew it! I was as certain as if I'd been facing the barrel of a gun.
- You're a logical man.
- I hope so.
Hm, Sir Andrew turned and fled from the conference room.
- Exactly as you did today.
- You think I haven't considered that.
The coincidence of two men with the same premonition, that's hard to swallow.
No, someone's trying to wreck the conference.
How? The incidents were rigged to fit your dream.
And what about the dream itself? How can you rig a dream? I told no one about it, so how could the incidents have been rigged to fit? Unless you know a way of getting into a man's mind.
No, it was a sign.
A premonition of death.
I can't reason how or why.
I can only accept it.
What about Sir Andrew's premonition? [Scoffs] There was a difference.
His came true.
What about tomorrow? You'll go through with it? You'll go through that door? - I'll try.
- Good.
Now get some rest.
If you need me, I'm in the next room.
A premonition of death.
What about Sir Andrew? I raised the point with Melford.
He had to admit there was no logical explanation.
My intuition tells me we should stick close to him.
You're psychic, Mrs Peel.
Who's for inside? Tails.
[Tuts] Hey-ho.
I'll be in touch.
- You know my wavelength? - I do indeed.
Mrs Peel, do you hear me? - Loud and clear.
- Are we comfy? Well, hardly luxurious, but I've got an excellent view of Melford's room.
Now in case of emergencies, don't hesitate to call.
You're too kind.
[Alarm clock ticks] [Clattering] 'Welcome, my lord.
Allow me.
' [Glass shattering] [Melford yells and glass shattering] [Muffled shouting] I can't attend the conference! You can't explain it away now! - Explain what away? - That nightmare.
I had it again! - The same nightmare? - More or less.
I'm sorry, Steed.
I won't be attending the conference! Now let's be rational! You've had a bad dream.
It was more than that.
A presentiment that had some sixth sense.
Some element of self-preservation.
I can't ignore it! Now let's examine it.
How did it begin? [Pants] I I recall the time.
12 o'clock.
My watch.
The hands are at 12 o'clock.
Well, you can relax there because it's 9:20 now.
Your meeting is at 10:30.
[Grunts] Look, 12 o'clock! You forgot to wind it.
Now come along.
Under the shower and you'll be all right.
[Steed] What else occurred in this nightmare? Er well, there was this mirror.
Yes? Erm it was part of a cabinet.
Yes, the bathroom cabinet.
- And I reached for the handle - Then what happened? [Clattering] [Steed] 'Mrs Peel? Mrs Peel? Mrs Peel?' Come in, Mrs Peel.
'Mrs Peel? Come in, Mrs Peel.
' Good morning.
Trying to get to you for ages.
Coffee or orange juice? Both! Should have known.
Well, that's the whole story and Melford refuses to budge.
- A premonition of death.
- First Sir Andrew and now Melford.
That crossed my mind.
There must be some connection.
- If we could prove to him it's safe - That also crossed it.
Take the official car.
Follow the same route that Melford's going to take.
Walk through that door ourselves.
And watch out for flying chandeliers.
In Melford's dream the next thing that happens is - A handle comes off in his hand.
- Hm.
He leans forward to wind up the window.
And it doesn't come off.
And then? Machine guns.
The car stops and there's the sound of machine gunning.
That doesn't seem at all likely.
[Digging] That figures.
In his nightmares he stepped out.
He was splashed with mud from a passing car.
Not a car in sight.
[Car door shuts] [Steed] This is the last thing he seems before he goes through that door.
- Good morning, Steed, Mrs Peel.
- Good morning, Stapley.
Anyone in there? Er, no.
Too early yet.
Tell me, is there a chandelier in that room? - A chandelier? - Mm.
Well, I I think there is, but I honestly don't know.
That room's really barred to everyone except top brass.
Has Lord Melford ever been in there? Oh, I doubt it.
No, no.
He can't have.
Well, thank you.
Well, Mrs Peel? Well, the hook is attached to the ceiling and it's held by a central chain.
Looks pretty solid to me.
- No signs of jiggery-pokery? - No.
Come on down.
It's as safe as houses.
Well, I'll take your word for it.
But we have to convince Lord Melford.
Especially as the other incidents fitted in.
The bathroom cabinet, the handle.
The machine gun and the chandelier.
How could he have known there was a chandelier above the door? There wasn't.
His premonition was only 99% right.
And then there was the mud.
He missed out on that.
Ah I've got a premonition.
- Drive round the block.
- Yes, sir.
Where are we going? Round the block.
We got here early this morning.
Now if Melford were coming, he'd be arriving at exactly 10:30.
[Clock chimes] 10:30.
Let's see what happens.
The handle.
- Melford's nightmare.
- Right on cue.
It's time we re-examined these nightmares more closely.
Here they are.
I've made my decision.
I've drafted my resignation.
Before you deliver it, look through those.
- I really don't see what good it'll do.
- You will.
Recognise anyone? Yes, of course.
All these people are connected with the conference.
I meant your nightmare.
Have another look.
[Melford] The man by the door.
- Do you know him? - Yes, his name's Becker.
Albert Becker.
An official observer apparently for the Eastern Bloc.
- Know where he's staying? - I could find out at the Foreign Office.
- Then let's do it.
- This is important? Could be.
We intend to check every aspect of these premonitions.
[Gunshots] Mr Becker? John Steed.
Oh, yes.
You were at the conference, weren't you? It's a pity about your man.
The conference is finished, of course.
A handy little tool.
I have no great admiration for the automatic carbine.
What do you mean? I feel in the right hands one shot should be enough.
The conference.
What do you mean "temporarily"? Well, it will continue, I promise you, and our Melford will be there.
- But I understood - You understood what, Mr Becker? We've had a few minor setbacks.
They're being investigated right now.
[Gunshots] Lord Melford's not the type of man to let us down when he knows the real facts.
You know Lord Melford? [Gunshots] I met him once.
The door of the conference room.
I'm afraid our meeting was brief.
That's the only time you met him? The only time you've seen him face to face? I wonder, Mr Steed, would you oblige me and set up a new target? It'll be a pleasure.
[Gunshots] [Gunshots] [Gunshot] [Gunshot] [Gunshot] [Grunts] Steed? [Gunshots] [Clattering] [Switches light switch on and off] [Rattles] Welcome to Nightmare Alley.
I don't believe it! It's ridiculous! You're asking me to accept that I was lifted from my bed, taken to some warehouse and there someone created my dream? Your premonition of death.
And I woke up knowing nothing about it? - You were semi-drugged the whole time.
- Oh.
They manufactured a dream out of reality and then still using reality they started to make the dream come true.
To scare you.
To stop you from ever going through that conference room door.
I never imagined you'd go to these lengths.
Making up a tale like that! It's immoral! To get me to go to that conference! Now this is the air gun that they used.
It fires soluble anaesthetic darts.
Put you out in a couple of seconds.
Leaves no trace.
A slight feeling of discomfort where it happens to pierce the skin.
You expect me to believe that? Oh, dear.
I was afraid I was going to have to convince you.
What the devil do you think you're doing?! They must have used it on Mrs Peel and myself, so they could carry on their activities undisturbed.
- Ready? - Ready? Ready.
Now where would they have begun? Hello.
Thank you very much.
[Yells] [Glass shattering] You see, George, it can be done.
It was done to you and Sir Andrew.
To prove this to we were going to take you through the events, but you were so conditioned, the sight of the phone started it.
Everything you see here are props.
Just props.
Your nightmare was a reality, but they made you believe it was a dream.
Then it was easy enough to make the dream come true.
They had to wreck the conference, but they couldn't do it openly.
So they instilled into you a premonition.
A foreboding.
The delegates will be on their way to the airport by now.
We need more than a few props to convince them.
We need to tell them who these people are! - The key lies in the nightmare.
- I've told you what I can remember.
- Think back.
Any tiny incident.
- I'm sure we've covered everything! - Watch.
- Briefcase.
Lift Cyclist.
[Steed] Phone.
Yes, of course! There was something else! [Steed] Stapley? - Steed and Mrs Peel.
- Are you leaving, Stapley? Yes, there's nothing for me to do here.
When Melford didn't show, the delegates walked out.
I did my best, but I can't say I blame them.
There's little hope of a united Europe now.
Leaving the smaller nations at the mercy of any aggressor.
The effects will be far-reaching.
Still, there's nothing we can do now.
We could issue a further statement informing the delegates of a deliberate plot to wreck the conference.
- By whom? - Well, how about you for a start? I don't know what you mean.
- Supposed to have cut himself shaving.
- Mm.
Heals very quickly.
- But do you, Mrs Peel? - Being peace-loving I abhor violence.
But you leave us no alternative.
In there.
Look out! [Gunshots] [Gunshot] [Gunshot] [Gunshot] [Rattles] [Yells] [Glass shattering] Oh [Pants] I'm afraid that broke his dream.
- [Peel] Steed? - Hm Steed? [Groans] Steed? [Groans] Oh, Mrs Peel! There you are! Ha! - I was having a terrible nightmare.
- Oh? Yes, I was in a sultan's harem, I was being stifled with incense, bound with silken cords, I was being beaten mercilessly, with a large bunch of black grapes.
I can imagine.
[Steed chuckles] - I had a dream too.
- Oh, did you? Mm.
It all began with you suggesting the theatre.
- Really? - Yes.
I was sitting in the centre stalls.
- Oh, which row? - Er, D11 and 12.
Do you remember the show? Yes, it was a musical.
Gay, lilting melodies.
Parisian setting.
You must have second sight.
I did get a couple of tickets.
No? Really? - Yes, French musical.
Row D, 11 and 12.
- I don't believe it.
Well, here we That's funny.
I could have swo Shall we go? I'd hate to miss the curtain.