The Diabolical Masterminds of Series 3 (1963–4)
Lord Teale and business partner Eric van Doren, obsessed with saving Britain’s electronics industry from foreign takeover bids, uses draughtsman Clarence Wrightson’s inside knowledge of forthcoming share and bond issues - which he’s drawn and engraved - to raise funds to acquire the companies. When Wrightson dies and their plans come to light, they illegally cash in their customers’ shares, hoping to recoup the funds by close of day trading, and send henchman Cooper to clear out Wrightson’s apartment of evidence. Cathy later identifies Cooper as Teale’s butler, but Steed, sunig his WWII I Corp skills, bribes the man to join their side.
Colonel Wesker, a Communist agent, was bent on recovering Professor Peck’s machine-jamming device when his daughters started using it to rid themselves of noisy motorcyclists. His ‘daughter’, Caroline, another Russian spy, tries to drug Steed so he won’t stop them, but they and their henchamn Gordon - the killer of a government scientist - are captured at the Peck’s watermill home.
Michael Dyter planned to hold Britian to ransom with a nuclear device planted on the roof of the Houses of Parliament. He stages a fake assassination through the assistance of his election agent, Mark St John, after having initially promised to reveal the scandal of the stolen warhead after his election. Swinburne, implicated in the coverup, is killed after he learns Dyter plans to use the weapon and St John also, while Dyter’s accomplices Fiona and Max threaten any MPs who blunder into their Westminster gymnasium.
Neil Anstice plots with his employer, blind millionaire Marten Halvarssen, to smuggle diamonds into Britain from Switzerland, under the guise of a cornea transplant for the blind mogul. Little does Halvarssen realise, however, but Anstice has further plotted with his boss’s doctor and Anstice’s lover, Eve Hawn, to double cross the millionaire and purloin the diamonds at the end of the trail.
The plot implicates the corrupt Dr. Vilner and the staff of his clinic who profit from the operation, even if Anstice, Hawn, Halvarssen and their goon Steiner don’t.
Jack Waller runs a courier operation for government secrets, printed on microfilm, from his London wine and spirits business, the information printed on outgoing wine catalogues. He plots with Mrs. Wilson, a dour old lady who runs a spiritualist congregation hall in the East End. She obtains secrets about key personnel and blackmails them into obtaining the sensitive information they want to sell.
Mrs. Wilson’s skinny daughter, Julia, poses as a fake medium to startle their victims into coming across with the goods, protected by their bouncer, Bruno.
Steed has been trying to catch master-criminal J.P. Spagge for years, and hits upon the perfect bait - a privately run gold depository in South East England which he had Cathy assigned to and trains her in expertise in the gold field.
Cathy is arrested for the murder of Spagge - a set-up by his gang to trick her into assisting them, his gang led by a fake preacher called Abe Benham. They carry out the raid but Spagge learns of Steed’s association with Inspector Grant of Scotland Yard and orders Cathy killed, but Steed arrives in time to save her.
Geoffrey Willis plots with artist Frank Leeson to make a fortune in return for destabilising the oli-rich country of Karim and deposing the pro-British government by substituting British products with poisons. They’re assisted by Willis’ secretary, the stern Miss Dowell, and the corrupt printer, Taylor as well as a couple of thugs for doing the dirty work. Leeson’s models, Fay and Tu, are dealt with harshly when they learn too much of the plot and jeapodise the operation.
Professor Lawrence and Lew Conniston are two big game hunters turned smuggler who converge on Noah Marshall’s private zoo, smuggling ivory inside cavities in the bars of the animal cages. Conniston is running the operation with his wife, Brenda, who is Noah’s office manager but Lawrence, thwarted and double-crossed by Conniston in the past seeks to get his revenge and the ivory too.
The cage makers (Madge and her welder) and gunsmiths (Fitch and Gourlay) are also in on the plot, milling the ivory and building the special smuggling cages.
Frederick Preston is an enemy agent, hoping to force Britian into appearing the agressor in a nuclear conflict by transmitting interference to all of Britian’s radar stations, indicating an incoming missile attack. He nearly succeeded at Christmas 1963, when his agent, Newman set up the equipment at crucial bases. All except one station, Smallwood, which remained out of range of his jamming equipment, reporting the incoming missiles and war was only just averted.
He kidnaps all the potential lease holders of the land surrounding this station, planning to keep them there so his proxy can buy all the lots unhindered and he and his barman henchman kill several of their ‘guests’.