Series 3 — Episode 20
The Little Wonders
by Eric Paice
Designed by Richard Harrison
Directed by Laurence Bourne
Delegates from a crime syndicate called Bibliotech, disguised as clergymen, meet to appoint a new Bishop. Steed has taken the place of the Vicar of M’boti, who was arrested at customs. Suddenly, the delegates are massacred by Sister Johnson and Mr Beardmore launches his own take-over bid for the crime syndicate. Cathy, meanwhile, has searched the baggage of the clergy and found some secret microfilm, which Beardmore wants; she teams up with Steed and they round up the surviving ‘clergymen’.
Harley Street surgeon Beardmore (Tony Steedman), is visited by the Bishop of Winnipeg (David Bauer) and his travelling companion, Sister Johnson (Lois Maxwell) for a checkup. When the bishop disrobes for examination, he removes a revolver in a shoulder holster...
At the airport, John Steed (Patrick Macnee) and Catherine Gale (Honor Blackman) search the bags of Reverend Harbuttle, who’s been arrested. They find bullets, a pistol, and a doll in his luggage; Steed asks Cathy to take care of the doll while he infiltrates the ‘convocation’ of Bibliotech - a Commonwealth of organised crime - the vicar was to attend. Steed has a checkup from Beardmore and the doctor reveals that Winnipeg could be dead within the week. Cathy takes the doll to be restrung at a Doll’s Hospital run by Gerda (Rosemarie Dunham) and Hasek (Frank Maher) - they assure Cathy they’ll take good care of the doll, but as soon as she leaves Hasek smashes the head with a hammer. Over at St. Timothy’s Public School, Johnson pays the porter (Alex Macdonald) off to take a short holiday. Cathy comes home to find Hasek in her flat, but he escapes - then Gerda rings, saying the doll is ready, but will cost £20,000! At the school, the delegates arrive and the collection - of firearms, not donations - has just concluded when Steed arrives, announcing himself as the Vicar of M’boti, having taken over from Harbuttle. He meets the other ‘clergymen’ - Harry (Harry Landis), Big Sid (John Cowley), Fingers the Frog (Kenneth J Warren), The Coalman (Mark Heath), Ricky (Rick Jones) and Mal (Christopher Robbie). Winnipeg announces he will step down, the others will choose his successor - by consensus, or by gunfire.
The delegates split into two factions behind Sid and Fingers. Meanwhile, Gerda tells Beardmore he must operate - on the doll - before morning. Cathy breaks into the shop, she takes the doll without paying, saying Steed wants to check the merchandise, and Gerda tells Hasek to visit Johnson. Steed slips out to see Cathy, asking her to visit Beardmore; he returns and is enlisted by Sid to help rig the election, but Winnipeg and Johnson are suspicious of him. Beardmore prescribes tear gas, and Cathy takes it to the school - she’s spotted by Harry and Sid, so Steed kisses her to prove she’s ‘his bird’. She hands over the gas, and reveals that the doll concealed a microfilm of top secret information. Steed hurries back, but just as he does so Sister Johnson appears with a tommy gun and mows the delegates down...
Steed survives and is treated by Beardmore, who’s in cahoots with Johnson in double-crossing Bibliotech with the microfilm smuggling. Winnipeg tells him to track Johnson down, as well as Fingers, who also escaped. He takes the doll back to the shop, saying he accidentally stepped on the head - the villains retrieve the microfilm after he leaves - and find his shopping list on it! Fingers offers to split the entire organisation with Steed if he helps rub out Winnipeg. Cathy’s found that Beardmore’s patients are the security leak, and suspects Fingers of being involved. She revisits the shop and confirms all by grilling Hasek and Gerda - Harbuttle was to take over, assisted by Johnson & Fingers; she tries to leave but Fingers holds her at gunpoint. He takes her to the school where he tries to gun down Winnipeg, and a frantic shoot-out breaks out. The Avengers take the survivors into custody, preferring the ‘quiet life’ to a life of riches.