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Story Three - 'Epidemic of Terror'

September 14th to October 19th 1963 in Look Westward and The Viewer
December 5th 1963 to January 9th 1964 in TV Post (Belfast)
June 14th to August 1st 1964 in The Manchester Evening News

Part One - September 14th 1963

Undercover agent John Steed is taking a pleasant drive through the countryside with his assistant, Cathy Gale... but, unknown to Cathy, Steed is combining business with pleasure!

Steed and Cathy are cruising along in Steed's Rolls Royce, heading for a pub that Steed is describing to Mrs. Gale in great detail. They are overtaken at great speed by another car. It skids off the road and explodes. Steed tells the dying driver to lie still and addresses him as Tony. He passes Steed a key and begs him to protect something hidden at Victoria Station. He dies. Mrs. Gale wants to know how Steed knew his name. Steed tells her that he had a rendezvous with him at the pub they were heading for. They call the police.

Unknown to Steed and Cathy, they are being observed by two suspicious-looking men. They leave, their plan having gone 'with a bomb'. The police arrive, and Steed asks Cathy to stay with them in case something else crops up. He's heading for Victoria Station.

Steed is followed back into central London by the two men, but he is aware of their presence. At the railway station he finds the key fits a luggage locker. As he opens it, he is thinking that 'they' should appear any second now. The two men do indeed appear, one coshes Steed from behind, while the other grabs the attaché case that Steed had just taken from the locker. Steed realises that he shouldn't be too cocky.

The two men run off with the attaché case. Steed watches them go, but makes a mental note that this is not the end of the matter.

Part Two - September 21st 1963

Steed is attacked while retrieving a mysterious briefcase from a left luggage locker. His attackers get away with the case. But Steed is left with an address label which has torn off in his hand... Steed calls Cathy Steed calls Mrs. Gale and asks her to check out the address on the label as his face has now been seen by the opposition - whoever they may be.

He heads off to Whitehall, where a superior tells him that he has walked in on 'something big'. He is told that the man who was blown up was working on the case of Warbury, a place where people are dropping like flies. The epidemic there has been traced to the reservoir, which has been infected by a top secret killer germ with no known antidotes, which is known about by only three scientists.

Steed tells the man that he'd like to have a poke around anyway, because these mysterious characters have already ruined his day off. He is told that one of their agents, 'a girl', is already late in reporting back, so be careful.

In the meantime, Cathy is checking the address Steed has given her. It is a large and deserted-looking old house with a 'for sale' sign outside. She climbs in through an open window, thinking that Steed must have been mistaken as there is no sign of anybody having lived there for a long time. She decides to have a look round anyway, and it seems deserted throughout, but when she reaches the attic she finds something she hadn't expected. A young woman, gagged, and bound to a chair. She removes the woman's gag and is told that she should get away as 'they' will be back soon. From behind Cathy a voice says that 'they' have already arrived.

It is one of the men who attacked Steed at Victoria Station. Cathy fights the man and is gaining the upper hand when the other man walks in, pointing a gun at her. Cathy is tied up and gagged, and she and the other woman are taken to the cellar. The villain who has been identified as Milo tells Cathy that they don't have enough of the Bug Drug to finish her off as well as the other woman, who knows more than she does.

One of the men starts a tap running in the cellar and tells Mrs. Gale that in a few hours the water level will be well over her head, and her Secret Service career will then be over.

Part Three - September 28th 1963

Steed and Cathy Gale are involved in a case concerning the leakage of a killer germ secret from a Government laboratory. Unknown to Steed, who's at his club, Cathy, investigating an address he has given her has been caught and left - along with a mysterious girl - to drown in a flooding cellar... Hearing a sound, Steed draws his sword stickSteed is enjoying a whisky at his club. He excuses himself from the military man he is drinking with and goes to call Mrs. Gale. There is no reply, so he decides to have a look for her in case something has happened. He goes to the address he had asked her to investigate and enters thanks to a dodgy window catch. Inside, he checks the deserted ground floor, and then decides to check the cellar. Hearing a sound, he draws his swordstick. In the basement, the water has reached shoulder level on the two women. Another few minutes and they would both have died.

Cathy tells Steed that the woman has been given an injection of something called 'bug drug'. Steed laments that she is probably as good as dead. On the way to the hospital he tells her about the secret germ security leakage. The germ is contagious, but not infectious, and there is no known antidote. At the hospital, the woman is in a terrible state of agony. A doctor tells Steed that there is nothing that can be done for her. She dies, and The Chief tells him that the woman was one of his best agents. Steed and Cathy leave so that she can change into some dry clothes. The Chief breaks the bad news...Early the next morning, Steed has popped around for breakfast. Mrs Gale tells him that she is worried because the neighbours see him leave, but never see him arrive. He tells her that the Warbury epidemic is now under control. The authorities have had to evacuate the entire town and seal off the infected water supply at great expense. The phone rings. It's The Chief. He wants to see them at once. They go to his office to be told that the Prime Minister has just received a note from an organisation called Terror Ltd., who want six million pounds in gold bullion, or they'll affect water supplies all over the country. They must be found at all costs.

Part Four - October 5th 1963

The formula for a deadly killer germ has been stolen from a government laboratory. Now someone is threatening to contaminate the country's water supplies a fantastic ransom is paid. Steed and Cathy decide to visit the experimental station where the germ was developed. One of the scientists there must be a suspect!

Steed and Cathy arrive at the research establishment in Steed's car. Once there, the director of the establishment briefs them about the scientists who work there.  Dr. Anderson is in charge - he's married and lives outside the base. His assistants are Dr. Benton, a bachelor, and Dr. Snow who is married but lives in. His wife is on holiday. Steed asks to be introduced to them all anonymously. When he is, they all greet him with a friendly attitude except for Dr. Snow who complains about more civil servants and red tape.

Steed goes to Mrs. Gale's room and tells her that in an hour Dr. Anderson will be leaving. He wants her to pop down to the village and see what the locals have to say about him. As she arrives at the pub, she sees one of the villains from the deserted house, Milo, leaving it and getting into a car. As there are no taxis around to be able to trail him, and because she cannot see the number plate, she goes into the pub. Inside, she asks the barman if Dr. Anderson goes in. Behind her a voice tells her that he does. It's Dr. Anderson himself. He asks Mrs. Gale if she will join him for another drink - he's just had a little windfall and he's having a little 'jollification' before he toddles off home.

The next morning at breakfast, Steed tells Cathy that he's checked into the source of old Dr. Anderson's sudden wealth - he earns a good bit on the side writing science fiction. He asks Cathy to pass a story on to Benton and Snow about a big German-looking man being arrested in the village on suspicion of leaking secrets, and that more arrests are expected. That evening after work, Benton and Snow both seem to be in a hurry to leave work in separate cars. Steed follows Dr. Snow, Mrs. Gale tails Dr. Benton. Benton parks up in the village and makes his way down a dark alley at the end, a door opens and it becomes apparent that Benton is only visiting a girlfriend. Steed is having no such luck. Dr. Snow has driven to a lonely cottage. Steed watches from outside, but is surprised from behind by Milo, who forces him at gunpoint into the building.

Part Five - October 12th 1963

Steed, following a scientist suspected of having sold the secret of a killer germ, is trapped by a gunman and forced into the cottage he was watching...

Inside the cottage, Dr. Snow has donned shades and is carrying a suitcase. It looks as if he is planning to leave the country. He tells Milo that Mrs. Gale had said Milo had been arrested and had snitched, so he was clearing the evidence. Milo is disgusted that Snow has fallen for the oldest trick in the book. Milo realises that the security people will be on their way, but he before they arrive he plans to kill Steed and Dr. Snow and make it look like the scientist killed Steed before committing suicide. Snow insists that he can't be killed as he has done everything Milo's chief has asked.

Suddenly, Steed takes his chance and pulls over a table lamp by yanking the flex with his foot. With Milo distracted Steed is able to battle him to the ground, but he fires a shot off from his gun which hits Dr. Snow. Before he dies, Snow tells Steed that he had developed an antidote to the killer bug that he had hidden in a left luggage locker at Victoria Station. He also tells the agent that his wife is being hostage, which is why he has been co-operating with the villains.

As Steed sits there, wondering where his next clue is going to come from, Milo's henchman walks in and mistakes Steed for Dr. Snow. Steed holds the man at gunpoint and uses various methods to try to extract information from him. Eventually, the thug cracks and tells Steed that although he doesn't know who the boss is, he should try a certain address. Cathy arrives and Steed tells her to tidy matters up at the cottage, he's off to complete some important business.

Part Six - October 19th 1963

Steed, trying to find the mastermind behind the plot to hold Britain to ransom by using a stolen secret killer germ, goes to an address he has forced out of a crook involved in the deal. He approaches the house cautiously...

Steed notices that the kitchen door is unlocked. Gun drawn, he steps inside. A woman's voice calls out, enquiring if it is somebody she is expecting. Steed moves into the hall and finds a scantily-dressed woman who is surprised to see him. Steed visits a 'friend' He tells her that he's interested in absent friends and missing killer germs. The woman suggests that they be civilised - she will mix him a drink while they're waiting for the mystery man to appear. After he has drained his glass, Steed tells the woman that she can't mix a Martini as that one had tasted terrible.

A few minutes later, Steed is seemingly helpless. The woman tells him that the drink he has just had was treated with a drug that paralyses the muscles of the body. He is as powerless as a tailor's dummy. The mystery man appears - it is Geoffrey Benton, the scientist who was seemingly in the clear. He explains that he forced Dr. Snow to smuggle out secrets to give himself an alibi if anything went wrong. The woman explains that they don't need to worry about Mrs. Snow the hostage, as she is Mrs. Snow. Benton tells her to get dressed as they are leaving after he has given Steed a sample of the special germ. The only copy of the antidote is sitting safely in his pocket, so there is no chance of the agent recovering.

Suddenly, Steed springs into action. He knocks Benton out and is very much in control of the situation when Mrs. Gale arrives with help. Steed explains that he had poured the doped drink onto the floor under his chair when Mrs. Snow's back was turned.

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