The Wild Wild West (1965–1969): Season 1, Episode 21 - The Night of the Puppeteer - full transcript

The mad puppeteer Zachariah Skull re-creates a courtroom drama, using life-size puppets, to seek revenge on both Jim and the Supreme Court Justices who sentenced him to death.

Like this it was,
the night he died,

with the cold
freeze in your blood

and the wind cussing
every move you made.

Joseph Bleak said he
wouldn't leave this world easy.

By thunder, the world was filled

with noise and
corruption when he did.

Did you know Mr. Bleak well?

Ha! Nobody knew him well.

Being his business partner,

I suppose I knew him
better than anyone else.

He used to sit out
there in that island

with his money, his
diamonds and his art treasures

like Croesus himself.

You, ah, expect to get your
hands on some of that wealth

tonight when they read the will?

No, sir. I don't.

This is a bad night for just
a pleasure trip, Mr. West.

There's the signal.

We all have a reason
for coming here.

You must have one too, I'm sure.

Your uncle left
something of great value

to the National Museum.

Washington has sent me
here to get it, Mr. Chambers.

Joe Bleak had no right
giving that stuff away.

Belonged to us.

You're gonna find it hard to
argue with a dead man, sir.

It's like arguing with a ghost.

The squabbling's begun
already. No good'll come of it.

Your aunt asked
me to welcome you

and the rest of the
guests to Bleak Island.

Is that you, Johnson?
- Yes, sir.

You've changed in
the last few years.

That's the house.

Outside of the caretaker's place

and Joe's old greenhouse,
that's all there is.

Who else would wanna live
on this godforsaken island?

Aren't you coming ashore?

I ain't budging a mite, mister.

Nothing would get me
ashore on this kind of night.

He'll be abroad with
them green eyes a-and...

And them long teeth.

Big enough to tear
a man to pieces.

Shut up, you old fool.

Nobody believes those stories
about the hound of Bleak Island.

Now, come on, get off of there.

Ohhh, Lord save us all.

Thank you.


You're looking fine, Celia.

The only woman I know

who could thrive on
this sea-bitten island.

It's good to see
you, Aunt Celia.

Mark, you've grown up.

Heh! Suddenly you're a man.

Is Alicia here?

You're here for the
reading of the will, Mark,

not to make eyes at Alicia.

You introduce me
to this gentleman?

Uh, this is Mr. James West.

Mr. West, this is my
aunt, Celia Rydell.

How do you do, Mrs. Rydell?
You're Joseph Bleak's sister?

I'm sorry Joseph couldn't
donate a better night

to the United States government.

Do you let your dogs
run loose on the island?

I've lived in this house
35 years, Mr. West.

We've never owned a pet.

Well, I thought I heard
a hound out there.

You heard something.

Mr. West, this is
my husband, Steven.

How do you do,
sir? How do you do?

My late brother's ward, Alicia.

Alicia. How do you do?

His attorney, Mordecai Krone.

Mr. West. Mr. Krone,
how do you do?

And Helen Merritt,

my brother's housekeeper.

It isn't every man that can
have two women to run his life.

I was very fortunate to
have served such a man.

You won't know if it
was fortunate, Helen,

until the will is read.

Celia, I can think of no
heat that could warm us

as much as some of
Joseph's fine sherry.

Of course.

The Dona Baissas'61,
a really spectacular year.

A true nectar.

But then, uh, Joseph
collected only wines

that were good
enough for the gods.

Collect, sir?

Joseph Bleak collected
everything, Mr. West...

including people.

Well, I, myself, am
very grateful for his habit.

He was the perfect guardian,

a wonderful man.

The, uh, sherry, Jarvis.

It'll take Jarvis
some time, Helen.


if you will show our new
arrivals to their rooms.

That was lovely, Alicia.
Why don't you play it again?

Miss Merritt, am I wrong,

or did you deliberately
show me to my room last?

You're not wrong.

Would you mind
shutting the door, please?

Listen to it, Mr. West.

What does it mean to you?

It sounds like a loose shutter.

And I think a hammer
and nail could fix it.

It's the soul of Joseph Bleak

demanding to be let
into his own house.

But they'll keep him
out, just as they managed

to keep the rest
of the outside world

from reaching
him while he lived.

I was the only person

that was able to
penetrate that wall

that Celia and her husband
built around her brother...

the only outsider.

You see, I was, uh...

more than a housekeeper
to Joseph Bleak.

That's why Celia Rydell
hates me. She always has.

She never could share
her brother with anyone.

Now I think Celia
would rather kill me

than let me get a
penny of Joseph's estate.

Don't you think accusing someone

of wanting to murder you
is a rather strong statement?

I only know what I feel.

That's the first time
it's ever been that close.

What do you know
about that animal?

We found a plow
horse one morning.

It had been ripped
open by some beast.

No one had ever even
seen or heard of that creature

until after Joseph died.

The hound of Bleak
Island was a legend

that he created
to keep people off.

Now Celia has brought
a real beast here...

to kill me.

I'm asking for your help.

If I die...

my blood will be on your hands.

- They're delicious.
- Absolutely delicious.


Ah, first a superlative

And now a brilliant Chambertin.

Joseph said that a nation
speaks for itself in its wines.

And immediately after dinner,

Joseph's will
shall speak for him

and tell us all what
he thought of us.

Aunt Celia? Yes, my dear?

Who's the empty place for?

Oh, well, it's for a friend.

Someone who, uh...
must have been detained.

Mr. West, tell me,

why does a man seek
danger as a career?

I prefer the kind of hunting

where you don't put the
trophies on the wall, that's all.

But hunting's more
than a game, sir.

It's a science.

But certainly you
should know that.

After all, you track
down human beings,

a known quantity more or less.

However, I prefer
to meet my quarry

on his savage terms and
let him know who's master.

Have you ever tried meeting

the thing that howls
out there on its terms?

Steven has tried
to find it, Renald,

but it's a... It's a
shadow, a ghost.

All this talk about ghosts,

it's nonsense.

I've lived on Bleak Island
ever since I was a little girl.

And I've never seen one.

Only the old are close
enough to the grave

to know about that, my dear.

I think the matter of the will

is getting on
everybody's nerves.

What we need is some more wine.


Jarvis, what in blue
blazes is the matter with...?


Sir Nigel Scott,

what an unexpected pleasure
under these circumstances.

James West,

I certainly never
expected to find you here.

Nor did I expect
to find you, sir.

Pure luck.

If it hadn't been
for that boatman

letting me off on
the north shore

and trudging through
that beastly muck

in the middle of the night,

and then hearing that commotion
between you and those men...

Well, one of them at
least has taste in clothes.

It's a very good piece of
Scotch wool. Who were they?

I don't know, sir, but
they had something to do

with the murder up
at the Bleak mansion.


Oh, that means I'm too late.

Too late for what, sir?

For what? Heh-heh.

The question is, too late
for whom, James, dear boy.

I venture that your victim...

His name was Jarvis, sir. He
was a butler of Joseph Bleak.

Oh, then I venture that Jarvis
was murdered by blowgun.

Ah, beautiful piece of
work. Very old, very valuable.

You said blowgun?


Examine the deceased

and you will probably
find a small puncture

about one inch
beneath the right ear.

If a hunter like Sir Nigel Scott
makes that kind of a guess,

then he knows whom he's hunting.

Whom indeed. Heh-heh!

You know very well

I'm talking about
Dr. Jacob Calendar.

Calendar's dead.

Reported dead, James.

Assumed to be dead
by Scotland Yard,

who wouldn't know a
dead man from a live one

without a thermometer
or a stethoscope.

He will not be my undoing.

Calendar is supposed
to have died, of course.

And yet, suddenly,
in this past year,

there erupts a positive
spate of major crimes,

all of them perfect.

All of them with the trademark

of my very old and
very familiar friend.

So, Nigel, you're telling
me that Calendar isn't dead?

He is very much alive.

When we worked together
in London five years ago,

no one knew what
the man looked like.

Quite. And he's
still faceless to me,

a master of disguise
and impersonation.

But I can sense. I can feel.

I know him by his touch, James.

I know that Dr. Jacob
Calendar is on Bleak Island.

Who are you?

This is Sir Nigel
Scott, everyone.

He was our empty
place at dinner.

I asked him here to rid
us of that beast outside.

Celia, don't be ridiculous.

You're that English detective
who's been touring America.

Crime knows no boundaries, sir.

We've all read about you
in the papers, Sir Nigel.

When I heard that he was
in America, I wrote to him.

He came here to
rid us of that, uh...

That thing howling out there.

You're all in more
danger than you realize.

In the meantime,

we only have your word
that you are Sir Nigel.

I can vouch for the gentleman.

We worked on a case
together in London.

Well, thank you, James.
Has the will been read?

No, not yet.

Then I suggest that
you proceed immediately.

I'll get my briefcase.

Where is the deceased?

Right this way, sir.

You're right, Sir Nigel.
Just under the right ear.

Curare. Calendar's favorite.

Quick and silent.

The other question is,
where did it come from?

By thunder, if someone
tries to get at the rest of us,

he'll have to get past me first.

Ah, my darling.

It's been so long.

I never heard from you.

But I wrote to you every week.

You wrote? Yes.

I wrote.

I bet Aunt Celia
tore up all our letters.

But why?

Because she doesn't want
me to get too attached to you.

Or maybe it's because

she's afraid I'll
inherit more than she.

Ah, that's it,
James: the blowgun.

Observe how small it
is, almost like a whistle.

The murderer could
have fired the dart

seated next to you
at the dinner table,

yet never have been detected.

Sir, why would a man like
Calendar come to Bleak Island?

For the same reason as
you did, James, dear boy.

What else?

Other than for one of the
most priceless treasures

in the world:

the Moon Diamond.

A thousand carats of perfection.

A gem so pure it is
said to glow in the night.

It's gonna do all its
glowing from now on, sir,

in the National
Museum in Washington.

I'm here to see that it
doesn't go anyplace else.

Yes, I suspected
that was your mission.

The stone is worthy of
Washington's finest agent.

Ha-ha! Well, thank you.


Mr. Krone is ready.

"To my beloved sister, Celia,
and her devoted husband, Steven,

"I hereby leave my home,

"my island and $200,000 cash.

"To my talented
nephew, Mark Chambers,

"whom I am sure will
one day be a great artist,

"I leave my
collection of paintings,

"each a masterpiece.

"To my business
partner, Renald McAvity,

"I do hereby bequeath

"the one thing he
so richly deserves:

"a hell on earth.

"He cheated me whenever he could

and thought I was
too stupid to know it."

That's a lie!

"Jail would not have been
enough punishment for him,

"but now I have my revenge.

Enjoy the fires of
perdition, Renald."

"To my loving ward, Alicia,

"whose sweetness has
brought light into my life,

"I leave $300,000 as a gift

"to be given her
on her wedding day.

"Though the National
Museum in Washington

"was informed some
time ago of my bequest,

"this will serve as official
notification to turn over

"to a properly designated
representative of the government

"one of my most
valued possessions:

the priceless Moon Diamond."

Well, officially it's yours now,

but Calendar doesn't
believe in anything official.

You will need all the
help I can give you

to get that stone
off Bleak Island.

You can have Calendar.

All I want is that
stone off Bleak Island.

Fair enough.

"And now my final bequest

"to a woman who endured
the anger and scorn

"of my family for many years

"out of her concern
and affection for me

"despite her great pride

"and because I
think she is endowed

"with the ability
to carry on for me,

"I hereby leave my 60 percent
of the Joseph Bleak Company

to Miss Helen Merritt."

Why, that's preposterous!

He was out of his mind.

She isn't even in the family!

I'll contest that will!

I'll take it to court!

That woman had him trapped!

I should have gotten that share!

I'll stop you, Joe Bleak.

You're not going to ruin me.

I'll stop you. You
mark my words!

I'll stop you!

It's the hound.

The hound!

I could swear I hit it.

That creature was
near the front door,

and yet there isn't a
track on the ground.

This wind could have
blown away any tracks.

Logic is always reassuring.
I hope you're right.

Yes, you have an
admirable quality, James:

You never panic.

I wanna see the Moon Diamond

and make some very
tight security arrangements.

Joseph Bleak took some
excellent security measures himself.

He called this room
his room of treasure.

Yes, he was no fool.

Hardly for the eyes of
mortals, is it, James?

I wonder if the National
Museum will appreciate it.

The security men have
already been chosen

to guard it in Washington.

Calendar will
sure to try to get it

before it reaches there.

It appears there are
only two ways in here:

that window...

and the door.

And since Mrs. Rydell claims
that this is the only key...

It could be a trick.

Check the gas valves
and lock me inside.


There we are, old chap.

That's better. You
had me worried.

Someone threw gas in here.

That smacks of
Dr. Calendar, all right.

The Moon Diamond is gone, James.

Stolen as easily as you please.

Dimming the lights
was indeed a ruse.

Must have come in
through that window.

Easy. Take it easy. I told you.

They want me dead.

He tried to shoot me.


Steven Rydell.

Take care of her.


Hold it right there.

West, I could have shot you.

The way you came running
through the woods, I thought...

What did you think?

I came looking for that animal.

Something ran through
the woods, and I shot at it.

You shot at Helen Merritt.


She's afraid of
you and your wife.

She thinks you're
trying to kill her.

That's preposterous.

What was she doing out here?

Why was she down
here near the dock?

I'll tell you what I
was doing, Steven.

I was trying to get
away from here,

because I knew you'd do
just what you tried to do.

Try to murder me.

She's out of her mind. Am I?

Then why did you make
sure I couldn't leave here?

Why is the boat gone?

I took a walk just before
dinner. It was gone then.

That means the boat left
before the diamond was stolen.

So the stone is
still on the island.

But if one of us didn't
take the boat, who did?

Who else is on this island?

This is an outrage.

Just because your
diamond is missing,

you're accusing us
all of being thieves.

In your case, Mr. McAvity,

someone else has already
done that this evening.

Celia, this is your home.

Are you going to allow this
meddler to intimidate us?

Be quiet, Renald. Mr. West
is right, and you know it.

Thank you. I'd like all of
you to return to your rooms.

Sir Nigel's going
to conduct a search.

Ladies and gentlemen,
if you please.

Be careful, James.

Sir Nigel.

Oh, you gave me quite
a turn for a moment.

He didn't come from the window.

There's broken glass
on the outside of the sill,

which means it was
broken from the inside.

Well, then there must be
another entrance to the room.

It would seem so.

Well, that could hardly
be what we're looking for.

Ah, that's it, James.

Heh, this room
is full of surprises.

Fancy Joseph Bleak
building a secret entrance

to his own treasure room.

Mr. Krone. Who is it?

Oh, oh.

What brings you down here?

I... couldn't sleep.

I tried counting sheep,

but I started
counting all the bottles

that I knew were down here.

And one thing led to another,

and all that counting
made me thirsty.

Mr. Krone,

weren't you afraid of the
hound or the murderer?

I certainly didn't expect to
encounter him down here.

Please, uh...

don't tell Celia.

You needn't look at me that way,

because f-four of
those kegs are mine.

Jarvis told me it's
Celia's surprise.

Well, why don't we let
bygones be bygones

and have a little
brandy nightcap?

No, it's empty.


I-I-I didn't put it there.

I didn't steal it.

If you did, you're undoubtedly
our murderer as well.

Oh, no, no, no.

I... I couldn't kill anybody.

You gentlemen are my
jury. I'm pleading my case.

Is...? Is this the
face of a murderer?

Can't be Calendar.

If it is, I've led a lot of
wasted years chasing him.

But he could be a confederate.

Keep an eye on him.

There may be
something very interesting

in one of these passages.

There's one thing I
can't stand, Mr. Krone:

incompetence in a criminal.

Oh, Mark.

You shouldn't have
come up here, Alicia.

It was the only way
we could be alone.

And I wanted to see you so much.

Aunt Celia keeps such
a close watch on me.

Soon you'll be of age, then
no one will be able to interfere.

Then... Then we
can go away together.

I'll take you off this island.

Then we go away to Europe,
the continent, anywhere.

Just say you love me.
I love you. I love you.

I do. I love you.


Alicia! Alicia!

What happened?
Alicia. She... She's gone!




Oh, your arm.

It's all right.

Who was with you
in that greenhouse?

I don't know. It was so dark.

I must have panicked.
I'm sorry, Mark.

Why would anyone
wanna kill either of you?

No reason, Mr. West. We
haven't harmed anyone.

Your uncle had a very
valuable wine cellar.

How come he didn't
leave it to anyone?

I.. I-I guess he
left it to Aunt Celia.

No one else?

Well, it was supposed
to be a surprise,

but she did set some aside

for you, Sir Nigel
and Mr. Krone.

It was no surprise to Krone.


Well, only Jarvis and I

selected the casks,
which we sent out as gifts.


Yes. Well, we picked
them out in the wine cellar.

What's at the end of this path?

The old caretaker's cottage.

It hasn't been used in years.

Take this, Mark.

I'll meet you back at the house.

Yes, sir.

Dr. Calendar.

I suppose I could
have run, James,

but your legs would
be so much stronger.

And really, I... I couldn't pull
myself away from your expertise

in dealing with
some of my best men.

Poor chaps.

Just as a matter of curiosity,

was it in the wine cellar

that you began to have
your doubts about me?

It was a succession of things.

I couldn't help wonder
how you knew Jarvis

had been hit with that
dart under the right ear.

Yes, yes. Perhaps
that was a mistake.

But Krone was an accident.

I hadn't counted on that idiot
breaking into one of the casks

which Celia was giving to me.

The one you had
hidden the diamond in?

Sir Nigel, you seem to think
this is some kind of a game.

Oh, but it is, James.
Your intellect against mine.

What better game is
there for man to enjoy?

So, you see, you get
no points for Krone.

And now the game
comes to an end.

Sir Nigel, why did
you start this game?

Calendar is really
dead, isn't he?

Dead? Oh, yes, for some time.

And when he died,
something in me changed.

I hadn't realized

what a large part of my
life Calendar had become.

He provided all the excitement
and challenge of the hunt.

I couldn't do without it.

So you became the
hound and the hare.

And the Moon Diamond
was just one of your trophies.

Surely you of all people
must appreciate my plan.

You killed Jarvis because
he knew about the wine.

I had planned to take
care of the girl later,

but I would have felt
rather guilty about her.

But I knew it was
just a matter of time.

A trained mind such as yours

would have put
the pieces together

before I had time
to get off the island.

Sometimes murder is a very
necessary part of the game.

Let's go back to the mainland,
Sir Nigel. I'm still ahead.

Oh, but you're not, James.

A good player always
has a few moves left.

Now, really, James, you
shouldn't have given your gun

to those two youngsters.

James, you must believe me.

It is with considerable regret
that I must dispose of you.

You were such a noble adversary.

I really believe that
hound hates me.

It took so many stern measures

to train him to my
every command.

So it is your dog?

Imagine my delight
when Celia invited me here

to rid the island

of the very dog I
had brought with me.

And now, my friend,
I must leave you.

I have the boat on the
other side of the island.

I wish I could say,
"Good luck, dear boy,"

but the rules of
the game forbid it.

Goodbye, James.

And as of 3 p.m., March 29th,

the Moon Diamond
was officially turned over

to the National Museum.

So much for that. Would you
care for more wine before dinner?

No, this is fine.

I don't see how a
detective like Sir Nigel

could do such a thing.

How did you ever
see through him?


Oh, excuse me.

Hello. Hello.

Mr. West, I hope you don't
mind us dropping in on you.

Not at all.

Oh, I'm sorry. This
is Nancy Conrad.

This is Alicia Crane
and Mark Chambers.

Hello. It's Alicia Chambers now.

Oh, we were married
two weeks ago.

Congratulations. Won't
you join us in a toast?

We'd like to, but we're
late. We're in a rush.

We just stopped by to
deliver something to you.

When we were in
Washington on our honeymoon,

we met a friend of
yours, a Mr. Gordon.

And when he found out that
we were coming back this way,

he asked us to
deliver this to you.

Thank you.

Thank you very much.

Goodbye. Bye.

Would you mind reading
that for me, please?

"Dear Jim, you'll
be glad to know

"that things are pretty
much wrapped up back here.

"Don't be too long till...

Oh. "It won't be too
long till I'm on my way.

"In the meantime, I
know how dull it gets

"looking at the same
old things every day,

"so I sent something along
to brighten up your day.

See you soon. Artie."

Well, this really is
what I've always wanted.

Would you please set it
over there on the table?

Thank you.

So that's your friend Artemus?
- Mm-hm.

He's kind of cute,

but then so are you.