Series 6 — Episode 7
All Done with Mirrors
Teleplay by Leigh Vance
Directed by Ray Austin
Production No E.67.9.8
Production completed: June 13 1968. First transmission: November 13 1968.
TV Times summary
Steed’s under arrest and Tara’s on her own … After mysterious happenings at a research station, Steed is confined to Mother’s swimming pool; and Tara is sent out to unravel a msytery.
A ministry agent, hot on the heels of a traitor, tracks him to a meeting with his contact, but there’s no-one there! Just a mirror on the doctor’s headband.
Tara investigates, Steed being under house arrest as the only likely suspect, and she is lead through a series of local deaths to a nearby lighthouse. a very attractive young reporter arrives and senses something suspicious, but Tara has already left to investigate the nearby cliffs. The reporter uses a device that allows sound to travel along light rays to contact her, but is overpower and confined, along with the lighthouse’s real occupants, the rest being impostors.
Tara is pushed off the cliffs into the sea, and the ministry assumes her to have died. Tara has survived and taken on the villains in the lighthouse while Steed rushes to investigate. She’s trapped in the lamp room, but seeing Steed’s Rolls Royce, calls him to help her.
After mopping up, the Avengers have a picnic - complete with red candles, white table, and steaks freshly grilled on the engine block of the car.
Ministry agent Roger (John Bown) tails Arkin (Peter Elliott), who has been leaking government secrets, to a secluded wood, expecting him to find him talking to his contact. He’s astonished to find the man in the middle of a glade, talking to himself, wearing a doctor’s head mirror. Suddenly, his unseen contact warns him to look out - Roger shoots him as he spins around, then is himself gunned down as he searches futilely for the contact. The word, “Fool” emanates from the mirror.
John Steed (Patrick Macnee) is annoyed to be under close arrest. Mother (Patrick Newell) agrees from his chair floating in the middle of a swimming pool. He adds the staff at the Carmadoc research establishment blame the only stranger in their midst - Steed had been investigating covertly - for the leaks, and he wants to maintain the deception. Rhonda (Rhonda Parker) and two bikini-clad birds have been provided to make his stay more congenial. Tara King (Linda Thorson) is told of his arrest and that Watney (Dinsdale Landen), who’s swimming in the pool, will accompany her.
Guthrie (Desmond Jordan) is running along a cliff top, trying to reach Carmadoc. He stumbles and drops his spectacles, then peers desperately around, trying to find them. A voice orders him to stand up then tricks him into walking off the edge of cliff.
The next day, Tara and Watney arrive and meet Major Sparshott (Peter Copley), head of security. He tells them he screened all the scientists himself, and Tara suggests it’s an outside job. Sparshott mentions Guthrie’s death, the sun glaring off a mirror, and Markin (Graham Ashley) listening to their conversation with some headphones.
Tara heads off to investigate Guthrie’s cottage - and Markin contacts someone to take care of her. Tara enters the cottage, observed by an old woman wielding hedge trimmers, Miss Emily (Nora Nicholson), and finds all the glass in the cottage smashed. The woman enters and tells her she’s Guthrie’s housekeeper, Miss Emily, and Mr Guthrie hasn’t come home for tea yet. Markin is still trying to eavesdrop on them, ordering a minion to try different angles, and he finally hears the conversation as a beam of light plays across Miss Emily’s face. She tells Tara she helped Guthrie smash all the shiny things in the cottage and thinks it was something to do with Mr Williams, then closes the curtains.
Markin loses his signal, so he orders Gozzo (Bruno Elrington) to get to Williams before her - he kills Williams (David Grey) just as Tara arrives. Tara finds a note in Williams’ hand and is attacked by Gozzo who then chases her across the garden. They fight and Gozzo is killed when he falls on a rake. Tara checks the note - mathematical formulæ, but on the back is a drawing of a lighthouse, which Tara can see in the distance.
Back at Carmadoc, Seligman (Anthony Dutton) is observing the lighthouse through some binoculars. Watney is suspicious and plays his hand, declaring himself as investigator of the leakages. Carswell (Tenniel Evans) says the binoculars are used to warn them of impending weather changes while Miss Tiddiman (Liane Aukin) demands to know if he’s investigating the leaks or them. Watney backs down, then Seligman pretends to show him the solar reflectors and secretly arranges a rendezvous. Ten minutes later, Seligman arrives in the woods but before Watney can get there he’s summoned by Markin’s disembodied voice. He finds a mirror hanging in a tree and, staring at his reflection, realises his theory was right. The voice agrees, then Seligman is gunned down. Watney rushes to Seligman, who dies, telling him, “Mirrors, all done with mirrors”. Watney hears a disembodied laugh and then Sparshott appears from the bushes, revolver at the ready. Watney grabs the revolver but finding it hadn’t been fired hands it back. Sparshott says he couldn’t have missed seeing someone but Watney is adamant that there was someone close by, in the direction of the lighthouse.
Tara arrives at the lighthouse, where Kettridge (Peter Thomas) tells her it’s now a private residence. She pushes past him and runs into Timothy Barlow (Edwin Richfield), who introduces himself as the Colonel’s secretary and apologises for Kettridge’s behaviour. She asks to see the Colonel regarding Guthrie’s death and is ushered up the winding stairs - all 365 of them. She is introduced to Colonel Withers (Michael Trubshawe), a gruff old bird who declares he never looks at the land, but is always looking at the sea. Tara swings the telescope around and the cliffs appear in stark relief - she says you could almost reach out and touch them, then notices a car pull up below and adds, “and shake hands with your visitors”.
Withers is astounded to hear he has a visitor, especially one with suitcases, and Barlow goes to investigate. The Colonel dismisses Tara a few minutes later and she descends the stairs, just missing Markin, who’s appeared on the landing to have a cigarette. Tara spots the smouldering toke but is unable to see any door, so continues on her way - and Markin reappears to take up his durry.
When Tara reaches the bottom, she finds Pandora Marshall (Joanna Jones) arguing with Barlow - she’d arranged weeks previously to interview the Colonel and stay there. She appeals to Tara to help - Tara says she knows nothing, but the Colonel doesn’t seem very busy to her, and he is forgetful. She’s just leaving when Pandora realises she’s talking to Barlow, and flourishes a letter written by him agreeing to the visit. Tara is suspicious and tells Pandora she too ‘investigates developments’.
Kettridge locks the main door then heads up the tower with Barlow. Pandora follows them, but when she reaches the lamp room she is astonished to find no-one there. She looks through the telescope and sees Tara arrive on the cliff-top. The casing on the telescope falls open and she finds some controls, which she turns on. Instantly, she hears the gulls on the cliff. She retrains it on Sparshott and Watney and turns the “Activate” knob until she can hear them discussing the voices in the empty wood. She whistles quietly, making Watney jumpy and muses, “What a handy little toy”. Turning her attention back on Tara, and tells her Barlow is an impostor - but she hasn’t retuned the telescope. She tries again, but is stopped by Kettridge just after making contact. Barlow eavesdrops on Tara contacting Watney, who is overjoyed that she’s heard voices too. Barlow forces Pandora to lure Tara to the cliff edge and Kettridge coasts his motorbike down the slope, knocking her off and into the sea.
Watney and Sparshott arrive and are surprised to find Tara not there, and they spy her scarf lying on a boulder at the base of the cliff. Watney calls Mother with the news and Steed leaps the her rescue, releasing himself from protective custody.
Back at Carmadoc, Tara crawls from the sea and heads for thew lighthouse, where Kettridge is playing cards with Sweeno (Joe Dunne) and another salt. She knocks out Kettridge and heads up the tower, hearing Markin drop a mug as she passed his hideaway. She finds the door and knocks on it then dispatches Markin. She ungags Pandora, who is amazed she survived, and the real Timothy Barlow (Robert Sidaway) and the real Colonel Withers (Michael Nightingale), who tell her the impostors are stealing secrets from the research establishment by using the Colonels retrometer - a device which transmits sound along light waves. The Colonel tells her Williams and Guthrie were astronomers who stumbled upon the plot and killed. She’s unable to free their cuffs but the Colonel tells her to use the retrometer to fetch help. Barlow and Sweeno find Kettridge just as Tara is entering the lamp room. She knocks the fake Colonel out with the telescope and Barlow, hearing the noise on the blower, orders his thugs up the stairs. Tara is able to alert Watney to her plight just as Sweeno and the other thug arrive. She attacks them, the thug being shot by Sweeno’s pistol and Sweeno taking a fall down all 365 stairs. He staggers to his feet, then crashes into a chair - Tara hears the noise and queries, “Leap year?”. She descends and is about to leave when Barlow puts a gun in her side. She surrenders and is about to be killed when Watney, blundering in, knocks him flying and knocks him out. Tara leaves Watney in control and then rushes back to the retrometer. She spies Steed’s Rolls and pretends she’s become a blythe spirit. He’s not fooled, so she asks him to take her out to dinner, and to come to the lighthouse.
Steed prepares dinner - silver service, table cloth, iced champagne - in the middle of a field. She asks if he has a fillet steak and he produces one, cooking on the engine block of his Rolls-Royce.