Series 4 — Episode 26
Honey for the Prince
by Brian Clemens
Directed by James Hill
Finding that a dead agent had a cupboard full of honey, the Avengers investigate and discover a plot to assassinate a visiting Prince. Emma joins the Prince’s harem after the dance of the six veils - as she lost count - while Steed investigates Quite, Quite Fantastic Inc., a company that creates your ultimate fantasy - be it mountain climbing, genies in lamps, or the Battle of Waterloo.
The assassin stows away in an enormous jar of honey to get into the harem but Emma disarms him before he can shoot the Prince and they fight with scimitars. Defeated, Vincent reveals the Vizir Arkadi was behind the plot and Steed finds instructions for Arkadi’s QQF fantasy - “Escape of Arkadi from Pursuing Agents”. Knowing his plan, Emma rubs a genie’s lamp to call the hidden lift and with a puff of smoke Steed appears and knocks Arkadi down.
The Avengers leave on a flying carpet - draped over the back of a utility van.
Two Ministry agents, Westcott (Jon Laurimore) and Reed (Richard Graydon), investigate a Turkish salon. Reed picks up an Aladdin-style lamp and rubs it for a joke. There’s a thunderclap and a burst of smoke, out of which appears Vincent East (Roland Curram), who shoots them with a machine gun. Westcott escapes while Reed slumps against a window through which we see Big Ben...
John Steed (Patrick Macnee) and Emma Peel (Diana Rigg) return from an all-night party carrying a balloon and a teddy bear. He tries to throw the bear in a river and she hits him with it, then smile, wraps her arm around his neck then playfully pats his bottom. When they return to his flat, the high spirits evaporate - the flat is a mess, and Emma sees a trail of bloody hand prints then finds Ronny slumped against the sofa. He tells them George and he stumbled onto something big, the report is in George’s room. He mumbles “Genie, honey...” then dies. The Avengers think he meant a pretty woman called Jeanie and Steed goes to collect the report. The killer meanwhile finds Reed’s wallet and shows it to his employer, Arkadi (George Pastell), who tells him all traces must be eliminated. Vincent gets there first and burns the papers just before Steed arrives. Steed discovers him and they fight, East escape by crashing through the window and tumbling to the street below. Steed then finds that Reed had an entire cupboard full of jars of honey.
The postman (Reg Pritchard) delivers a package to Steed’s place that Emma opens - another jar of honey - while Steed starts emptying the jars one by one, looking for a clue.
Vincent reports back to Arkadi who tells him to visit the honey shop, and to take Bernie (Peter Diamond) with him. After they go, his Eurasian masseuse (Carmen Dene) approaches and gives him a cigar. Emma arrives at the honey shop first and meets the owner, the effusive B. Bumble (Ken Parry). She asks to send two jars the same as the one she received to a friend. Vincent and Bernie enter and hear her ask after Reed. When she says it was posted the day before yesterday Bumble tells he it’s impossible, he had been at the Barabian embassy and the shop was shut. She departs and Bernie is sent after her while Vincent orders Bumble behind the counter at gunpoint. Steed meanwhile has emptied every jar - the phone rings, Ponsonby Hopkirk from the QQF asking Reed if he would mind changing the time of his appointment. Steed agrees and obtains the address and discovers it’s the Turkish salon; another man is waiting there, dressed as Napoleon. Hopkirk (Ron Moody) enters and apologises for the delay and welcomes Steed to the QQF - Quite, Quite Fantastic, Inc. He offers Steed a drink and rubs the lamp - a puff of smoke and a dusky siren appears, bearing a goblet on a platter. Steed starts when Hopkirk proudly asks him what he thinks of his genie.
Vincent reports back to Arkadi, who is still being massaged. Arkadi is pleased that Bernie has been sent after Emma but when Bernie gets there, Emma see the gun under his hat and dives for cover, then throws him down the stairs. Bernie shoots himself in the tumble and collapses after rising to his feet to face her. Steed meanwhile is joined by a cowboy who is sent off to the O.K. Corral when Hopkirk returns from the Matterhorn with a climber. Napoleon departs for Waterloo, leaving Steed with Hopkirk. Hopkirk explains the QQF will create his most repressed fantasy for him to act out. He explains it was born of his childhood desire to live in the Arabian Nights and shows that the lamp rings a bell in the cellar when rubbed. Once done, he realised the commercial possibilities and delivers fantasies to clients with a few simple theatrical tricks. Napoleon returns, gunpowder smeared and dejected. Steed asks for the same fantasy as Westcott - Hopkirk is surprised but agrees to set it up - then tells him it’s Chief Eunuch in a Hareem. Steed returns home and, seeing a pair of shoes poking out from behind the sofa, calls Colonel Robertson. He soon discovers it’s another body - Bernie’s then finds a note on his tape player. He plays the tape and learns Emma has returned to the honey shop, where she’s seen the man earlier. Emma discovers Bumble is dead, but he’s clutching a clue - Vincent’s application form to the QQF.
Vincent and Arkadi are becoming nervous about Bernie’s disappearance and Vincent is sent off to the QQF for his third fantasy. Emma is already there, posing as a journalist. Hopkirk tells her about some fantasies - the sinking of the Titanic, Hannibal crossing the alps, riding a Derby winner and an assassination. she queries the last and >Hopkirk produces a silenced revolver - which takes photographs. Shes asks about his clients, “Vincent East, for example”, but he refuses to reveal information about his clients. She departs, telling him she hasn’t exhausted reality when he offers her membership. After she goes, Vincent is led in and handed the gun, Hopkirk hoping he’s in a “nice, murderous mood”. A short time later, Arkadi calls East at the QQF and tells him Bernie has not returned; he is to kill Hopkirk.
Emma and Steed compare notes - honey, the Barabian embassy, a hareem - “snap!” - the newspaper has announce the visit of Prince Ali, and, as Emma observes, “Hopkirk sometimes dreams up an assassination”. Hopkirk meanwhile conducts the amateur theatricals, but fails to notice Vincent exchange the gun for one of his own. Hopkirk despairs of East’s cold attitude but the end result is fatal, Vincent taking the fantasy details when he leaves. The Avengers arrive a minute later and find Hopkirk is dead - yet. He confirms the assassination of Crown Prince Ali is scheduled for that night, then dies. Arkadi reviews the fantasy details and is impressed with Hopkirk’s skills. Meanwhile, Emma and Steed ponder how the murderer - and they - are to get into the embassy, and what the honey has to do with it.
Later, at the embassy, the Grand Vizier (Bruno Barnabe) announces the arrival of Effendi Steed, who claims to be from the Ministry of... (spying the wives’ bare feet) Eastern Affairs. He is permitted to gaze of the noble features of Prince Ali (Zia Mohyeddin) who then reveals a passion for cricket. His retainers and wives set up a pitch once the Vizier is gone and Steed is asked to “keep them coming, that’s a royal command”. Vincent revisits Arkadi to get his payment - Arkadi gives him half of it - but all the notes are completely cut in half and worthless until he completes the job. Ali meanwhile tells Steed he has 320 wives and notes his “European eyes flash at the prospect” then tells him he has 320 mothers-in-law. Tea is served and Steed notes the absence of honey - Ali loathes it but says his wives love it, he had three trucks deliver forty jars from Bumble’s that afternoon - and indicates one of the massive man-sized jars. However, he forbids Steed to inspect them as they’re in the hareem.
Steed cajoles Emma into wearing a veil and accompanying him to the embassy for dinner - only a woman would be able to enter the hareem - but she won’t exactly be a guest, and he queries her size in Turkish trousers... Arkadi gets dressed for dinner, his serving girl lacing him into a truss but he refuses his gun, he’d never smuggle it in. That evening, Steed presents Ali with a tape recording of the last Test match, backed with some belly dancing music. Arkadi is announced by the Vizier and is introduced as a rival bidder for the oil concessions. Steed arranges an entertainment - Emma dancing the dance of the six veils (Steed explains she was poorly educated). Ali is impressed and has her sit alongside him. He offers Steed 12 goats for her, which he refuses. Arkadi senses an opportunity to win the oil concession but Steed counters by offering Emma as a gift and she is sent into the hareem.She investigates the honey jars, after being shocked to see the guard put her name on the “duty roster” for that night. She finds a honey jar with air holes and deduces how the assassin gained entry, but he’s not in it - he’s hiding behind the bed of wife 61, Freda, ensuring her silence with his gun. Ali enters, calling for her and she sees Vincent’s revolver poke through the curtains. Emma disarms him and throws him across the hall. They grab scimitars and fight, Steed and Arkadi hearing the commotion. Steed is perturbed when Arkadi says the Prince is known for his ardour; the guards smile and block entry to the hareem. Vincent is vanquished and immediately tells them it was Arkadi’s idea. Arkadi takes off, leaving his jacket behind. In the pocket, Steed finds instructions for Arkadi’s QQF fantasy - “Escape of Arkadi from Pursuing Agents”. He claims Emma as his reward from Ali and they set off. Arkadi reaches the QQF and find a gun and passport, but Emma has the magic lamp and Steed appears in a puff of smoke then strikes Arkadi with a stout stick. He then disappears in a second explosion. Emma smiles and rubs the lamp again and she too vanishes.
The Avengers leave on a flying carpet which Steed says came with two dozen nanny goats. Emma asks how you stop it and Steed says that’s a very good question - then we see the carpet is draped over the back of a utility van.
|Production dates:||20-Feb - 4/03/66||Drinks|
|Transmission dates:||Foreign title||
wine (from goblets)
|Germany||4/07/67||(Honig für den Prinzen)|
|France||20/07/91||(Du miel pour le prince)|
|Italy||25/11/80||(Miele per il principe)|
|Spain||---||(Miel para el príncipe)|
|Holland||8/08/68||(Honig voor de prins)|