The Avengers (1961–1969)
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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 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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis







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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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: Always breaking windows at school, I was.
See more »

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User Reviews

Great story, great villains, great cast
17 February 2011 | by kevinolzakSee all my reviews

"The Master Minds" was just the second episode that Diana Rigg shot once she replaced Elizabeth Shepherd as Mrs. Peel, but already a fully formed character is etched in place. When she arrives with Steed at the country home of the injured Sir Clive Todd (Laurence Hardy), she removes her elegant coat, and the camera's eye simply ogles her shapely form from head to toe, in delightful slow motion! Even the stunning bikini-clad appearance of gorgeous Georgina Ward, as the flirtatious daughter of Sir Clive, cannot dim the luster of Emma Peel (be still my heart). Sir Clive was shot in the head during a successful robbery attempt, one of several that The Avengers are investigating, and the trail leads to an organization called Ransack (Steed refers to it as a "scrambling of eggheads"). Steed only manages to achieve genius level because Mrs. Peel supplies him with all the science answers beforehand (she calls him a genius at "cribbing!") Lovely Patricia Haines ("The Nutshell" and "Who's Who???") plays the archery expert Holly Trent, who would fully display her shapely form in the cult feature "Virgin Witch" (1971), directed by AVENGERS stunt double Ray Austin. While John Wentworth previously did "Six Hands Across a Table," other cast members would make return appearances, including Bernard Archard ("Split!"), the unbilled Harry Hutchinson ("The Rotters"), the unbilled Nigel Lambert ("The 50,000 Breakfast"), and the unbilled Harvey Hall ("The See-Through Man"), who gets to fight Steed in the gymnasium climax. There is also an acting turn from future MONTY PYTHON producer/director Ian MacNaughton (this episode was completed January 8 1965).

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