The Avengers (1961) s05e22 Episode Script

The Positive-Negative Man

Yes? Who is it? Who are you? Extraordinary.
To have that impact, he must have weighed 10 tons.
Or be travelling 100 miles an hour.
-Roller skates? -I don't think he was wearing any.
Maybe he was practicing his ski jump.
Launched himself over there -flew through the air -Forgot to apply his brakes.
No explanation at all.
Whatever it was, it was very nasty.
I'm Cynthia Wentworth-Howe, top-hush secretary.
-How do you do? -Top-hush? Assistants come in four grades.
Confidential, secret, most-secret and top-hush.
You've reached the top of your profession.
Not quite.
My ambition is to achieve the special category of button-lip.
The pinnacle of secrecy.
Not a syllable passed on before being vetted, examined, coded, and cleared.
But to business.
I must assist you in any way I can.
Good.
Let's start with the man who got plastered.
We assistants don't approve of levity.
The gentleman in question was Dr.
Charles Grey.
A.
D, mem.
of Royal Institution, C.
B.
E.
R.
I.
P.
Dr.
Charles Grey was a brilliant and respected scientist.
In electronic development for the Ministry.
His work was specialised and of a highly secret nature.
Electric fans? Pardon? This diagram is of an electric fan.
Specialised and highly secret? We better look in the safe.
What? Dr.
Grey's safe.
We'd like to look at his papers.
-His secret papers? -You have the right idea.
You'll have to sign a chit.
In triplicate.
The three-headed bureaucrat.
Grey wasn't killed for the plans of a fiendishly new electric fan.
Still warm.
Be warned, if you take any papers there'll be a dispensation from security.
No need to bother.
That's a neat trick.
Burn the inside of a safe while it's locked on the outside.
What were the papers? I suppose they were the details of Project 90.
-Pardon? -Project 90.
Sounds more interesting.
I've no idea what it was.
It was abandoned months ago.
They overspent their budget with no results.
-They? -This was the team.
They were based at Risely Dale Research Centre.
It's been closed down, too.
You recognise Dr.
Grey, of course.
That's Dr.
Creswell, Mr.
Mankin, Mr.
Jubert, and poor Mr.
Bryant.
He fell out of a window last week.
-Badly hurt? -Mortally.
The twelfth floor.
That leaves Mankin, Creswell, and Jubert.
That has a fine Gallic ring to it.
And your French is impeccable.
Au revoir.
Don't forget to return the key.
Mr.
Jubert.
You missed lunch again.
You should eat something.
Call the generator room.
Tell them there's something wrong with their power supply.
Did you get the generator room? Miss Clarke? -What happened? -I was hoping you could tell me.
I'm not sure.
I came out to use the phone and there was someone here.
A man, I think.
And a sound.
-A strange sort of sound.
-Strange.
How? What kind of sound? It was Weird.
Like that.
You don't happen to be carrying a large brandy, do you? I'm travelling light.
What happened? You all right? It happened like I haven't the faintest idea.
It was something to do with a door.
No, doors that bite back.
It was a car door.
It was around here.
A blue van.
And it bit you.
I went to open the rear door and then bingo, a galaxy of stars.
Then oblivion.
You think someone came up behind you? I'm sure they didn't.
I remember there was a very odd noise.
-What kind of noise? -Very odd.
It's hard to describe.
-Like that? -Yes, like that.
Maurice Jubert's secretary heard it, too.
The late Maurice Jubert.
He's dead.
It seems we're on the right track.
That's about all.
Could it have been a woman, whoever attacked you? Make-up.
Odd, greasy sort of make-up.
We're dealing with a slippery customer.
Dr.
Creswell.
Very nice to see you.
This is the gentleman I came to see.
Allow me.
My name is Steed.
The Ministry told you we were coming.
That's right.
But I wasn't expecting Mrs.
Peel is at times a bit impetuous.
Do you always greet visitors at gunpoint? Good heavens, no.
I was out shooting rabbits and I didn't Please, don't apologise.
Very glad to contact you.
You were in charge of Project 90.
-Absorbing project.
-You mean you know about it? -Couldn't understand why it was cancelled.
-You have friends at the Ministry.
Does that mean that the project is going to be reopened? Not here.
Let's discuss it later.
At your home? You live near, I believe? -About a quarter -How about a cup of tea? Maybe even a drink? -I suppose so.
-Good man.
Mrs.
Peel will join us later.
She wants to have a thorough look around.
This is a pleasant spot.
And very conveniently close to the research centre.
I didn't think there was much point in moving.
I must say that retirement doesn't have any of the terrors that I expected.
Why did you retire early? I didn't have a choice, did I? -Project 90 getting the chop.
-More or less.
-Naturally I disagreed with the decision.
-Naturally.
We could do with a few breakthroughs in that field.
Exactly.
High-frequency electronics has tremendous potential.
-Sherry? -High-frequency electronics? -The Americans poured millions into it.
-Of course they have.
We were well-established.
We were developing ultrahigh frequencies when the team went dotty.
-Dotty? -Broadcast power.
-Broadcast power.
-I was against the idea from the start.
It just isn't feasible Broadcasting electricity by radio wave? But you were the director.
At first it seemed harmless enough.
You know, simple bench tests.
Before I knew it, they built generators.
Used funds allocated for other work.
-Everything got out of hand.
-Then the Ministry closed you down? Years of work, thrown away on a senseless pipe dream.
The project ruined by one man.
One man? The fool who started us on broadcast power.
James Mankin.
Remarkable.
Astonishing.
Some kind of natural phenomenon.
Natural? A fireball.
A cloud of static electricity.
-Some sort of freak phenomenon.
-It could be possible.
I won't detain you any longer.
Thank you very much for the drink.
Don't worry, I'll find my way out.
-Find anything? -I heard something a moment ago.
-A sort of crackling sound.
-You should've seen the fireworks.
-I'll tell you later.
-Look.
Just there.
-A hand print.
-Preserved in make-up.
When do you think you'll get your first bite? Never, if you keep on talking.
Terribly sorry.
I forgot you are a top-hush girl.
Do you know, it's quite surprising to find you doing this? It's nice to get away from people once in a while.
I'm not people, I'm Ministry business.
My day off.
-May I make a suggestion? -What? I would say a flaming Kestrel fly for these waters.
I prefer a red Coachman .
-You're a fishing man then? -At least a stretch on the test.
I caught a 10-pound salmon last week.
-Really? Where? -Bond street.
I was walking by a hotel, it fell from a window into my arms.
Was in contretemps with his chef, a volatile fellow.
But he had no aim with a salmon.
Of course, I threw it back.
It wouldn't be sporting to keep it.
Suits you.
It's very good for the face muscles.
You might as well laugh as much as you can before it happens.
-Before what happens? -Before you get elevated to button-lip.
You can hardly laugh in button-lip.
What can I do for you? Project 90.
I'd like to see the files.
Ministry files? That's utterly impossible.
No one sees them.
Only red card holders.
I'm sorry.
It's out of the question.
Card holders only.
A red card, that's about as rare as a salmon in Bond street.
I'd no idea.
All the confidential war records are kept here.
Have there been many confidential wars? Cleaning must be a bit of a problem.
No cleaners with red cards? I couldn't see the Prime Minister whisking around here with a feather mop.
Or maybe I could.
Voices aren't raised here.
This is the one you need.
Project 90.
You seem to have pyromaniac mice.
There will be a terrible fuss.
A full inquiry.
Play havoc with your fishing.
How do I find out about Project 90? The only person who can help you now is James Mankin.
Mr.
Mankin is busy.
Do you have an appointment? No, but I'm sure he'll see me.
John Steed, from the Ministry.
One moment.
What is it? Mr.
Steed is here to see you.
He says he's from the Ministry.
Send him in.
I'll see him.
-Go through, please.
-Thank you.
Kind of you to see me.
-I'm very busy.
You did say the Ministry? -About Project 90.
And broadcast power.
Is it possible? Your Ministry doesn't think so.
But you do.
I spent years proving it.
All it got me was the sack.
-Dr.
Creswell thinks it wasn't fully proved.
-Dr.
Creswell doesn't think.
Why are you so sure about broadcast power? Why are you so interested? Because someone has been trying to destroy all trace of Project 90.
And those who worked on it.
I heard about Bryant and Grey.
Accidents, they said.
No accidents.
Yesterday Maurice Jubert was murdered.
Well? You seem to be taking it calmly.
I'm busy and I don't believe a word.
I can assure you they were not accidents.
I don't doubt it.
But not because of Project 90.
The applications of broadcast power are quite ordinary.
There was no motive for murder in the work we did.
You could be mistaken.
Very well, I'll show you.
As simply as possible.
This device here produces static electricity.
A development of a Windshurst machine? That makes things easier.
The electrostatic energy is converted to a high-frequency wave here.
Fed into this transmitter.
And just about ready.
You see this electric fan? No wires, no hidden batteries, but Observe.
No power source other than the energy I'm broadcasting.
That's very strange.
Dr.
Grey was designing a fan when he was murdered? Doesn't mean a thing.
This is the equipment we used on the project.
Hardly the ultimate weapon.
-What if the -Do be careful.
What if the range in power were unlimited? And it could be unlimited.
If we'd been given time to develop it you could power anything.
Cars, aircraft, entire cities.
Creswell never believed in it.
Treated it like a toy.
But he surely gave the authorisation for the research? Forced us into a demonstration we were against.
You failed? I knew we'd fail.
We weren't ready.
At least Creswell got the sack along with the rest of us.
What are you doing here? Still developing broadcast power? Wish I was.
This is a commercial outfit.
I spend most of my time tarting up stereophonic sound and radar.
Whenever I get the chance, I'll return to this.
I should be careful.
I have a feeling someone has another use for broadcast power.
Know anyone who wants to buy a vintage Bentley in the new two-tone shade of green and slightly singed? I have survived an electrifying experience and I'll swap the details For a large brandy? I was driving along, minding my own business.
Enjoying and breathing the good country air.
Contemplating the glories of England in summertime.
-You were driving along.
-When I noticed a van following me.
One with handles that fight back? Right, and as soon as I recognised the fact all my car's wiring burnt out.
The car was full of smoke, I was blinded.
There was a gatepost rushing toward me.
With tremendous verve and élan -I may say, great driving skills -And a good deal of luck.
It was a very near thing.
The car is still working.
But all my little dials are kaput.
Even the altimeter.
If one day you happen to be driving At 10,000 feet, I'm sure you'll notice.
What do you think did it? Broadcast power.
Sending electricity just as you would a radio message.
Mankin was working on that.
-You saw him? -I saw Mankin.
I gave him something to think about.
He's here.
It's for you.
What you were saying started me thinking.
I decided to go to Risely Dale.
You've been there? I'm there now.
I think you're right.
Something is going on.
Hold on.
Mankin's at Risely Dale.
-He's onto something.
-Or up to something.
-Do you want to meet him? -I'll see you at Creswell's.
Mrs.
Peel is on her way now.
Right.
I'll be waiting.
Not disturbing you, I hope.
Thought you'd be free at this time.
-I'm very busy.
-Forgive the unconventional entrance.
Basic training.
Old habits die hard.
You mind? I don't wish to be rude.
But I was studying this circuit diagram and I wish to get on with it.
I thought you were pacing before I came in.
Looked like you were waiting for someone, not possible if you were engrossed in the diagram.
-I was thinking.
-Go ahead.
I'll be quiet as a mouse.
You're extremely edgy.
You've been working too hard.
Why not some of this excellent sherry? It is excellent.
What do you want? Information.
Mankin seems to feel that you are sabotaging Project 90.
Sure you're not waiting for someone? It's ridiculous.
-What is? -Mankin's suggestion.
Why should l, or anybody, wish to sabotage Project 90? Broadcast electricity.
I thought the Ministry abandoned that little pipe Perhaps, the Ministry have but someone else is pursuing it.
It would make a neat secret weapon, if it were possible.
-lf.
-That's what I said, if.
Hayworth.
This is an unexpected pleasure.
I didn't expect to see you.
This is Mr.
Steed from the Ministry.
-This is Peter Hayworth.
-Delighted.
Forgive me.
Sprained a tendon playing bridge.
You play a rough game.
I expect you called for those papers.
Here we are.
We won't keep you then.
Don't go now.
You just arrived.
Dr.
Creswell's the host but I'm doing the honours.
He's a tad off-colour.
You're an electronic expert, too.
Those papers, very complex to the laymen.
He does occasionally assist me.
So you've worked together before.
Project 90? That must be Mrs.
Peel.
Told her to meet me.
She may have news from Risely Dale.
-I thought I told you to kill her.
-I thought I had.
-How did it go at Risely Dale? -False alarm.
I'm sorry, we haven't met.
May I introduce Peter Hayworth, you know Dr.
Creswell.
Hadn't we better get going? We'll be late for dinner.
What dinner? Thank you for jogging my memory.
I think we'd better say goodbye.
-Goodbye.
-Allow me.
-I am sorry.
-My pleasure.
I don't fall for strangers.
What was that about? You didn't trip.
We don't have a dinner.
And to plumb the depths of utter banality with: "I don't fall for strangers.
" It was a corny situation calling for corny measures.
Wanted to get my hand on his collar.
Didn't you see? It was thick with make-up.
Odd, greasy sort of make-up.
This is enough to put under a microscope.
Good girl.
-And Mankin? -Dead, I'm afraid.
Electrocuted.
So would I be if I didn't have rubber-soled shoes.
And the kick on the shin? That? I just felt like that.
Are you sure you took care of Mankin? Gave him a nasty shock.
So, they've all gone then.
Mankin, Grey, Bryant, Jubert.
All their files are destroyed.
-All the dangers are eliminated.
-Except for Steed and Mrs.
Peel.
They can only guess what happened.
They don't know how it was done.
I think it's about time we showed them.
I know it's late.
I've been slaving over a hot Bunsen burner.
I've been doing tests on that sample of make-up.
It contains particles of aluminium.
There are also traces of a nonconducting oil.
It doesn't conduct electricity.
It acts as a sort of insulation.
It's perfectly logical, an ordinary make-up insulates a girl from lots of things.
Not those sort of things.
Against the wind and the weather, for example.
Why not a make-up that insulates the wearer against high voltage? All right.
I'll see you tomorrow.
I want you in my arms again.
Good morning.
I trust you slept well.
As well as can be expected.
What time's breakfast? I would've rung but I'm all tied up.
And you'll stay that way.
It's you.
My shocking friend.
I hate to tell you but you're losing your power.
Quite deliberate.
We didn't want to kill you.
Yet.
-I'm sure you have a very good reason.
-Certainly.
I imagine you know where you are.
I'm at Risely Dale.
That's obvious.
Then there's a question of Steed.
That's all we want.
That's why we had to keep you alive.
To get Steed to come here.
I'm the bait.
Two for the price of one.
He'll know its a trap.
Not if you call him.
And you will call him.
When I've edited our little conversation.
- I imagine you know where you are.
-I'm at Risely Dale.
Forgive me.
Mrs.
Peel, good morning.
How are you? Mrs.
Peel, you all right? Where are you? I'm at Risely Dale.
He'll be here in about 30 minutes.
-Perhaps.
-He'll come.
He may have his suspicions but that won't matter.
He won't suspect you.
You are going to kill him.
Spare my blushes.
You are looking at a superman.
You're wrong.
His pectorals are far from perfect.
He's a prototype.
The first of many.
His power is unlimited.
Balls.
His power is limited by what your little blue van out there your mobile generator is capable of giving out.
Say about 10,000 volts.
Much more than that.
We take the power from a small engine.
We build it up, transform it.
Pushing it up Until he becomes a walking dynamo.
The technique is so simple.
First he's sprayed with a A nonconductive oil.
It acts as an insulation, a sort of protection.
Then comes the substance containing aluminium particles, a sort of outer skin.
-You said that you'd destroyed all the files.
-I did.
It was an educated guess.
Plus a little research.
What a great pity.
That brilliant mind won't be with us much longer.
I must test the generator.
a walking dynamo.
My pectorals may leave much to be desired.
But I'm the most dynamic man you are ever likely to meet.
Hear that? Power.
Broadcast power.
A life force flowing into me.
Fed by radio waves.
Making me the most powerful man on Earth.
A king.
Omnipotent.
Careful you don't blow a fuse.
My protection is guaranteed.
See, you were right.
The inner skin protects me.
The nonconductive oil.
The aluminium particles carry the electric charge.
Very good.
Top marks.
The power ripples across my skin like muscles.
At least 25,000 volts of it.
I can kill, burn, destroy.
A superman.
In a few months' time, there will be a hundred like him.
For what purpose? You might call it a takeover bid.
Society owes me many things.
When my army of supermen moves in on society, I shall dictate the terms then.
I will bring the government to its knees.
I will become the government.
I will rule.
What happens if there's a power cut? The table is completely insulated.
Soon, you will be charged with 25,000 volts.
Then whoever touches you will earth you.
The shock will kill you and whoever touches you.
I'm sure Mr.
Steed will want to free you.
It's elaborate, but it's the nature of an experiment.
A technique that we have been wanting to try for a very long time.
He's coming.
I'd recognise those eyes anywhere.
I knew you had sterling qualities, but bright silver.
Where are your hole marks? Don't worry.
Have you out in a jiffy.
Time for pleasantries later.
You realise I happen to be charged with 25,000 volts? I attribute that to your personal magnetism.
-Listen to that generator.
-It's lucky I'm not earthed.
I happen to be wearing rubber galoshes.
The English gentleman's best friend.
Guaranteed to protect against the vagaries of our climate and also 25,000 volts.
There's something wrong.
She's still holding the charge.
It's up to me then.
Creswell's a complete megalomaniac.
He's planning to take over the country.
Then we've got to stop him.
How does that fit? Not exactly snug, but adequate.
Now.
You ruined his make-up.
Where have you been? I've been waiting for you.
I've been messing with all this electricity.
I don't know how, but I'm magnetised.
I'm stuck to the car.
It's no laughing matter.
How am I to call the garage and tell them I'm stuck to my How am I to call a garage? Look, this is most indelicate of you.
Let me see.
How can I be constructive? What are you, AC or DC? I've never had occasion to find out.
Here, let me give you a hand.
Don't fight it.
We're inseparable.