The Avengers (1961–1969)
4 user 2 critic

The Master Minds 

Government minister Sir Clive Todd is wounded as he and other ministers try to steal top secret documents. He has no idea why he did it and hypnosis is suggested. All concerned belonged to ... See full summary »


Peter Graham Scott


Robert Banks Stewart (teleplay by)




Episode complete credited cast:
Patrick Macnee ... John Steed
Diana Rigg ... Emma Peel
Laurence Hardy ... Sir Clive Todd
Patricia Haines ... Holly Trent
Bernard Archard ... Desmond Leeming
Ian MacNaughton Ian MacNaughton ... Dr. Fergus Campbell (as Ian McNaughton)
John Wentworth John Wentworth ... Sir Jeremy
Georgina Ward Georgina Ward ... Davinia Todd
Manning Wilson Manning Wilson ... Major Plessy


Government minister Sir Clive Todd is wounded as he and other ministers try to steal top secret documents. He has no idea why he did it and hypnosis is suggested. All concerned belonged to a club for people with high I.Q.s called RANSACK, who are about to meet at a school. The Avengers join the club in order to expose the mastermind behind the next heist - the theft of a plane from an R.A.F. base. Written by don @ minifie-1

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Did You Know?


Among the military aircraft shown in the training films is the Avro Vulcan, a jet-powered tailless delta wing high-altitude strategic bomber operated by the Royal Air Force (RAF) from 1956 until 1984. It was made famous in the James Bond film "Thunderball" which premiered in the same year, 1965, as this episode. See more »


When Davinia gets up after the scuffle with John, the shadow of the boom mic is visible on the wall. See more »


John Steed: Hello...
Davinia Todd: I'm going to scream in a moment.
John Steed: Oh dear, I hope not.
Davinia Todd: Loud, and I have excelent lungs.
John Steed: I can believe it.
Davinia Todd: Enough to wake the dead.
[opens her mouth to scream]
John Steed: I'm John Steed. I'm here on business and I'm not going to harm you.
Davinia Todd: Oh, how dull.
See more »

User Reviews

14 October 2010 | by graylittlewoodSee all my reviews

I didn't much enjoy this the first few times I watched it years ago, but now re-watching my new digitally re-mastered box set I thoroughly enjoyed it. It's classic Avengers; the plot is sound and intelligent and there are eccentrics and a diabolical mastermind, plus a memorable and original fight scene at the climax played over a projected scene in reverse – totally bizarre, but it makes what is already a well-orchestrated fight sequence into something even more memorable; I think this is where the Avengers excels – they take the ordinary and always try to approach from a different angle or turn it on its head or play with your perceptions somehow.

Here Mrs Peel seems to be more the Mrs Peel we know and love, less caustic and arrogant towards Steed – she retains all those qualities, but in moderation, and there is an underlying warmth. I was surprised to read that others found this episode lacking in certain areas, for me this is absolutely first rate entertainment. Sorry, I'm trying to be critical, but there wasn't a moment I didn't thoroughly enjoy – maybe my shiny new box set has gone to my head after years of suffering with a sub-standard French import with loads of faults. A classic instalment in the classic Avengers series - easily worth a 10/10 of anyone's money.

NB. As I don't work for a tabloid newspaper like The Sun (in Britain) coming up with a pun for the title is the most difficult part for me, Diabolical! Refers to the mastermind, not my opinion of this episode. "Diabolical mastermind" becomes something of a catchphrase between Steed and Emma and is used in their final heartbreaking scene in "The Forget-me-not."

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Release Date:

11 July 1966 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

ABC Weekend Television See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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