Series 3 — Episode 15
The Gilded Cage
by Roger Marshall
Designed by Robert Macgowan
Directed by Bill Bain
Steed baits a trap and Mrs Gale entices Spagge to steal £3,000,000 of gold ingots. Despite passing the initiative test, Spagge tries to kill Cathy after the raid, but Steed forestalls such drastic action and arrests the bullion raiders.
Catherine Gale (Honor Blackman) conducts John Steed (Patrick Macnee) through a top security gold depository, leading to the strong room guarded by a rel="i" target="cast" href="large/groves.jpg">Groves (Neil Wilson) where £3,000,000 of gold ingots are stacked. Steed quips, “How many men would it take to remove the lot?” and Cathy coolly tells him “Six... I’ve got it all planned.”
Steed pays a visit to the rich, invalided master criminal J.P. Spagge (Patrick Magee). He proposes a bullion robbery - he has the contact and the plans, but needs the manpower. Spagge orders his butler, Fleming (Norman Chappell), to show Steed out, telling him he’s “fifteen year too late”. Back at Steed’s apartment, Cathy is boning up on gold markets with the help of books and tapes, Steed tells her they must trap Spagge with this plan, he’s the one they want. Meanwhile, Spagge quizzes his butler about Steed. Cathy and Steed, waiting for Spagge to bite, have a visit from Superintendent Manley (Fredric Abbott) and Sergeant Westwood (Alan Haywood) from Scotland Yard. Manley is introduced to Cathy, whom he promptly arrests for the murder of Spagge, citing circumstantial evidence.
Cathy wakes from being drugged and discovers she’s in a prison cell, the wardress (Margo Cunningham) tells her she’s in Holloway, and the MO had given her something to calm her down. She tells Cathy she’s been found guilty and she’s in a condemned cell. When the padre, Abe Benham (Edric Connor), visits she trips him up on bible verses and suspects a trick, so feeds him the planned story about herself and Steed.
Steed meanwhile visits Spagge’s apartment, where he threatens Fleming to reveal where Spagge is - he doesn’t believe in the murder at all. Back at the prison, the Governor calls for Cathy, and Hammond (Martin Friend) starts cleaning her cell. In the Governor’s office are Benham, Manley and Westwood, as well as Peterson (Terence Soall), Fatty Barker (Douglas Cummings) and Gruber (Geoff L’Cise); Benham explains it was a test to see if given enough rope she’d hang herself.
The gang vote on Cathy, but it’s a hung vote, so they let Benham check her out. Steed visits the very much alive Spagge, delivering some of Cathy’s clothes to be sent to her. Benham agrees to terms with Cathy, she asks to send postcards to work explaining her absence. Steed and Inspector Grant of Scotland Yard receive them, and discuss the upcoming raid on the phone. Hanging up, Steed realises there’s a tap on the line - Fleming informs Spagge that Steed’s working with the police. That night, Manley goes to Steed’s apartment with a sniper rifle and shoots him when he answers the telephone...
The raid goes smoothly, but Spagge arrives and orders Benham to kill Cathy, Benham refuses until he hears that Steed had been in contact with an old nemesis, Inspector Grant. Just as Benham points the gun at Cathy, Steed shoots him from the shadows and the Avengers round up the gang.
Steed and Cathy take in Spagge, Steed boasting about his bulletproof window, but Steed has let Fleming escape, having a soft spot for a man who can tell South Sea silk from drip-dry... he reconsiders when Cathy tells him there’s a reward - 10%!