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Episode 80: Emma Peel Era
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Steed: "I'm afraid I've never mastered these bondage accessories."
 
Dr. Campbell: "Does the name 'Monty Python' mean anything?"
 
Steed: "I'd love to see what you can do on a trampoline, Miss Trent..."
 
Steed: "Oh, dear, I believe I've split my trousers..."
 

 More Views

• Rodney's Reviews
• The Young Avenger
• Visitor Reviews

 

 Stats (about...)

St. JohnsSir Clive Todd

 

 A.K.A.

French: "Les Aigles"

German: "Club der Hirne" or "Schule des Tötens" (depending on the vintage of the print)

Spanish: "La Inteligencia Superior"

Dutch: "Super intellect"

 

 DVDs

What's available?
Where to buy?

THE MASTER MINDS

Steed Becomes a Genius
Emma Loses Her Mind

Produced: 17 December 1964 to 8 January 1965
UK Premiere (London, Season 4): 4 November 1965
US Premiere (New York, Season 1): 11 July 1966

Diabolical Masterminds (click to see category list)Emma proves she has as much brains as looks as she helps Steed match wits with cerebral crooks. (Hey, it rhymes!) Their plot to steal a nuclear missile starts to unravel when one of their group, a respected politician, gets caught while trying to steal top secret documents.
 

 IMHO

Lots of sharp dialog, especially when Emma is outstripping Steed in the intelligence department. The obligatory fight, which occurs while a military training film is being projected backwards, is a classic example of the show's offbeat charm. Interesting that Emma voluntarily helps Steed unpack in his room at the school...
 

 Trivia

Ian McNaughton (Dr. Fergus Campbell) was the producer of Monty Python's Flying Circus, making three links between the respective series—the other two being Carol Cleveland ("A Touch of Brimstone") and John Cleese ("Look - (stop me if...").

Bernard Archard appeared in the Police Surgeon episode, "Under the Influence...?"

What did Steed have written on his shirt cuff while he was taking the Ransack test? Find out in Cuff Stuff by James Warren.

For those who simply cannot get enough of Emma, here's a composite image of her in her party outfit. There's also a rare composite of Steed at left.

Acronym Alert: The meaning of RANSACK is under investigation. James Warren suggests that it might not be an acronym at all (and I tend to agree); their organization might simply be called "Ransack"—appropriate, as it seems that's what they do best. He muses that it could conceivably be a modified anagram of CRANKS, which a colloquialism used to refer to "progressive schools"—as in a "crank school," where one would find the Einsteins and Hawkings of the world. Then again, he concludes, this "might be too clever to be real."
 

 On Location

The ever-popular Haberdasher's Askes School grounds were used for this episode—see On Location for a recent view.
 

 Best Scene

After being told "Your facetiousness, Mr. Steed, covers an edgy temperament. In fact, I'd say your nerves mostly jangle like wires in the wind," Steed psychoanalyzes the psychiatrist Sir Fergus Campbell, who Steed learns avoided military service due to sea-sickness. "Traces of an incipient inferiority complex. I should watch that!"
 

 Best Line

While Emma enjoys the trampoline, Steed complains, "Look, do you mind, it's like watching a game of perpendicular tennis!"
 

 Tag

Steed and Emma leave in the Bentley.

 

THE MASTER MINDS

Teleplay by
Directed by

Robert Banks Stewart
Peter Graham Scott

Full production credits

CAST

John Steed
Emma Peel
Sir Clive Todd
Holly Trent
Desmond Leeming
Dr. Fergus Campbell
Sir Jeremy
Davinia Todd
Major Plessy

Patrick Macnee The 007 Connection
Diana Rigg The 007 Connection
Laurence Hardy
Patricia Haines*
Bernard Archard*
Ian McNaughton
John Wentworth*
Georgina Ward
Manning Wilson

UNBILLED/STUNTS

Heavy in Teaser
Sir Clive's Butler
Professor Spencer
The Cute Egghead
Gymnasts

Harvey Hall*
Harry Hutchinson*
Martin Miller
Elizabeth Reber
Ray Austin
James Copeland

*DOPPELGANGERS

Bernard Archard

Split!

Patricia Haines

The Nutshell
Who's Who???

Harvey Hall

The Gravediggers
The See-Through Man

Harry Hutchinson

The Rotters

John Wentworth

Six Hands Across A Table
 

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Page last modified 21 July 2008.