• title card: white all caps text reading ‘MY WILDEST DREAM’ superimposed on Peregrine clamly looking out his car window
  • Slater closes his eyes as he nears breaking point, Dr. Jaeger encourages him to kill Winthrop’s effigy again
  • A view through a circular viewfinder - we see Tara fighting with Dyson, trying to stop him from taking the diary
  • Op art or therapy? Gibbons sits in the middle of a red and white painted room with the word OBSERVATION in huge letters on the far wall, Dr. Reece walks towards us
  • The culmination of Teddy’s conditioning - a dummy with Steed’s face and a revolver
  • Teddy appears from behind Steed’s curtains wielding a service revolver
  • Tara and Steed celebrate another case closed with a bottle of champagne

Series 6 — Episode 31
My Wildest Dream

Teleplay by Philip Levene
Directed by Robert Fuest

Production No E.67.9.6
Production completed: April 18 1968. First UK transmission: April 4 1969. First transmission (Australia): December 17 1968.

Chicago Tribune summary

Steed becomes the target of a young lord who has been mentally conditioned by a mad psychiatrist to murder Steed, in “My Wildest Dream.”

Plot summary

Gibbons breaks into an apartment and stabs his boss, then wakes in his psychiatrist’s office, the doctor urging him to kill a dummy with his boss’s face on it. He then rejoins his boss in the car waiting outside.
That night, the scene is replayed for real, but it’s only the first in a series of killings. Steed is always rung up to warn him of the impending murder, and he realises he’s being used as a witness. The Avengers discover the villains are manipulating agresso-therapeutic techniques to induce murders, the ring leader the last remaining board member of Acme Precision Combine Ltd.
Tara asks Steed about his childhood as he lies on the sofa and he reveals he drinks champagne because... he likes it!

show full synopsis

show plot summary

Paul Gibbons (Murray Hayne) cautiously climbs a fire escape and enters an apartment where he stabs a man violently with a stiletto. Reality prevails and he’s in his psychiatrist’s office, stabbing a cloth dummy with the man’s face stuck to it. Dr. Jaeger (Peter Vaughan) asks if he feels better now then his nurse, Janet (Susan Travers) shows him out. Gibbons then gets into a limousine to rejoins his boss, Aloysius Peregrine (Hugh Moxey), - the man he had just stabbed.

At his next session, Jaeger urges his to release his anger and hatred to dissipate the feelings; Dyson (Tom Kempinksi) injects Gibbons with a drug and he flies into a rage, attacking the dummy. Janet is watching, then goes to ring Tara. She asks for Steed, greatly annoying Tara’s visitor, The Hon. Teddy Chilcott (Edward Fox), a toff who’s keen on Tara King (Linda Thorson) but not at all keen on Steed or “all that cloak and dagger nonsense”. John Steed (Patrick Macnee) arrives and Tara tells him to pretend they’re going to the ballet. Teddy is displeased at his arrival, but is gracious. Jaeger meanwhile urges Gibbons to throw off society’s taboos and kill Peregrine. Janet calls again and tells Steed Peregrine is in great danger, giving the address. Gibbons recreates his ‘fantasy’, but this time it’s real and Peregrine is killed just as Steed and Tara get there. Gibbons shouts, “It’s a dream, it’s all a dream” then hurls the knife to the floor. He staggers backwards onto the escape and falls to his death, leaving Steed and Tara wondering how someone knew it was going to happen. Steed searches Gibbons and finds he was executive at the same company as Peregrine; the two had crossed swords over some decisions.

He visits Acme Precision Combine Ltd where Frank Tobias (Derek Godfrey) tells him the two men were poles apart and argued about all manner of issues; Steed notices there’s no diary in Gibbons’ office. Meanwhile, Slater (Philip Madoc) is having a session in Jaeger’s chair. He want to kill, destroy, erase a man - and Jaeger shows him a dummy with the face of Henry Winthrop - “a fool, a buffoon, a dummy of a man” and encourages Slater to kill him. Dyson prepares a needle and Slater stabs the dummy, repeating Jaeger’s description. Janet listens as the session reaches its climax then rings Steed, warning him Wintrop is in danger. Slater describes how he would kill Winthrop then is too sedated by Dyson to reach Winthrop before Steed and Tara. Henry Winthrop (John Savident) meanwhile has revealed he too is on the board of Acme and is appalled at Peregrine’s murder. Nonetheless, he tells them it’s a false alarm and shows them he has a pistol to protect himself. Steed and Tara are just leaving when they see Slater approaching, they rush back but are too late to stop him - Slater hands them his dagger and says, “I feel much better now, doctor”.

Dr. Reece (Michael David) is summoned to examine the now totally withdrawn Slater and says he needs to take him into observation. Steed dispatches Tara to search for Slater’s diary while he accompanies Reece. Tara finds the diary which Dyson takes from her after a furious fight; she gives chase but loses him at the corner of Marlin & Duchess St. Dyson delivers the diary to Janet and declares all the loose ends tied up but she disagrees - there’s still Slater, doped as he is... and then there’s Tobias. Tobias visits Slater in Observation but is unable to help Reece is bringing him out of his withdrawal - Slater just moans he’s not in his dream. Reece says he’ll try some new drugs to shock him out of it and Steed and Tobias discuss the situation - he and Slater are the last two board members of Acme. Tara returns home and is surprised by Teddy, who she throws over her shoulder before discovering who he is. Shaken, he hands her a bouquet and says it was a fluke. Tara bridles and insists it was training, and Teddy bets her dinner tonight that she can’t - he hooks a foot around her fireman’s pole so she can’t repeat the throw but Steed enters and thins him an assailant; he slides down the pole, sending Teddy flying.

Slater meanwhile insists he didn’t murder Winthrop, Jaeger said he just dreamed it. Reece goes to call Steed but is coshed by Dyson - Janet and he have arrives to take Slater away for a last session with Jaeger. Reece finally rings to say Slater’s escaped as Steed apologises to Teddy, who is now harbouring a resentment towards him. Reece tells him he was trying to ring Steed when he was knocked out - Slater had mentioned Jaeger. Tara tries Tobias’ number but he’s not home, then Janet rings to inform them Tobias is in Slater’s office and in danger. Sure enough, Slater enters the office and menaces Tobias with a revolver. they struggle and Slater is killed when the gun goes off, just as Tara and Steed arrive. Tobias explains and says he had to do it and Steed remarks, “And then there was one”.

Steed deduces their being used as unimpeachable witness for the murders, except Tobias’ failed. Tara finds Dr. Jaeger’s entry in a medical directory, listed as an aggresso-therapist residing at 18 Marlin St, where she lost Dyson. Steed visits and asks to make an appointment, flustering Janet when he tells her he expects she has a nice phone manner. She tells him Jaeger is fully booked for the next month but he makes a joke about thinking he’s a horse. Jaeger enters and laughs; he brushes aside Janet’s protests and takes Steed into his office. Jaeger asks him the truth of his visit and Steed tells him he’s not listed in the medical lists, and suggests the “Dr.” is self-inflicted. Jaeger smiles and tells him he’s a doctor of law and is annoyed when Steed suggests he “dabbles” in psychology - he may be an “unqualified quack” but he does not dabble. Jaeger says he’s at the forefront of his field - primeval man still lurks inside us, his appetites and instincts. He releases his patients from modern inhibitions and is proud to have coached Gibbons and Slater to kill. Steed is aghast until Jaeger continues that he only had they kill in fantasy in the consulting room. Outside, Dyson learns Steed is there and confesses having been seen by Tara. Janet furiously orders him to deal with her. Dyson suggests he knows someone who hates Steed down to his handmade english hide shoes...

Teddy Chilcott turns up at Tara’s door but she doesn’t let him in, she has work to do for Steed; she closes the door and he hurls his bouquet down in fury. Janet follows Chilcott when he leaves while Dyson goes inside to kill Tara, but winds up dead himself when one of her ornamental sword falls from the wall while he’s fighting Tara. She finds the keys for Jaeger’s surgery on him while Janet knocks Teddy down and sedates him. Teddy comes to in Jaeger’s rooms, where Janet mentions Teddy mumbling about a girl and a man to pique Jaeger’s interest. Jaeger takes him in for psychoanalysis and is amazed when he learns Teddy’s rival is Steed. Jaeger has Chilcott kills Steed in fantasy and Janet marvels at how soon he’s ready. She goes into the next room to report progress, then wonders why Dyson hasn’t returned. Tobias, the real villain, emerges, and tells her to forget Dyson, it’s Steed they’re worried about. They enter the surgery and Tobias disposes of Jaeger then cart Teddy away to play out his fantasy for real. Tara arrives after they leave and discovers the diaries of the executives, then finds Jaeger slumped in his patient’s chair. He murmurs, “Now then Chilcott, kill him again”, and she tries to call Steed - no answer, so she rushes off. Steed returns home and Chilcott is sent after him with a revolver. Tobias goes to supervise, leaving Janet to try to intercept Tara. Tara prevails and throws a shoe through one of Steed’s windows to alert him to the danger, he turns and hurls his brandy in Chilcott’s face then knocks him down. Tara rushes in and hugs Steed in relief. Tobias follows her and points his gun at them but - literally - has the rug pulled out from under his feet. Danger averted, Steed presents Tara with her shoe and tells her “you shall after all, Cinderella, go to the ball”. Tara wonder what they’re going to tell Teddy...

Steed lies on his sofa and confesses something has weighed heavily on his mind for years and he must tell someone. He tells Tara it started in his childhood and has tortured him ever since - he used to sneak into his father’s study every night and have a large glass of - soda water; he felt deprived because he preferred lemonade. Tara suggests that’s why he likes champagne so much but he dismisses the suggestion. He reveals his craving, desire and urge to consume champagne is because... he happens to like it!

New York:6/01/1969

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