“Ace of Wands” is a British fantasy television series that aired on ITV from 1970 to 1972. It follows the adventures of Tarot (played by Michael Mackenzie), a magician and occult detective, along with his assistants Lulli and Mikki, and their pet owl, Ozymandias. The series is divided into multiple serials, with each serial encompassing several episodes tied to a specific storyline. Below are the synopses of the serials within “Ace of Wands”.
The Cloud Buster (4 episodes)
Tarot and his team investigate a mysterious man named Mr. Sweet who has developed a machine capable of controlling the weather, called the Cloud Buster. As they delve deeper, they realize Mr. Sweet’s nefarious intentions and work to thwart his plans.
Episode 1: The episode kicks off with a series of unusual weather incidents around the city, catching the attention of Tarot and his team. Upon investigating, they come across a mysterious man named Mr. Sweet. Mr. Sweet, seemingly a benevolent inventor, showcases his machine, the Cloud Buster, claiming it to be a solution for droughts and other weather-related crises. However, Tarot senses a dark aura around Mr. Sweet and decides to delve deeper into his operations.
Episode 2: As Tarot and his assistants dig deeper, they discover the hidden destructive potential of the Cloud Buster, which can also create violent storms and other hazardous weather conditions. They find out that Mr. Sweet has plans to blackmail the government by threatening to unleash devastating weather events. Tarot and his team also begin to understand the workings of the Cloud Buster and start devising a way to neutralize its capabilities.
Episode 3: The stakes rise as Mr. Sweet demonstrates the destructive power of the Cloud Buster by causing a severe storm, bringing the city to a standstill. Tarot and his assistants, Lulli and Mikki, rush against time to decipher the technical aspects of the Cloud Buster and come up with a plan to dismantle it. Meanwhile, Mr. Sweet grows aware of Tarot’s interference and aims to eliminate them as threats.
Episode 4: In a dramatic confrontation at Mr. Sweet’s facility, Tarot and his team, using a combination of magical prowess and technical know-how, manage to dismantle the Cloud Buster, neutralizing its threat. Mr. Sweet is arrested for his malicious intentions, and as he is taken away, he warns Tarot of greater unseen forces. The episode ends with Tarot contemplating Mr. Sweet’s words, foreshadowing future challenges that he and his team might face.
The Meddlers (4 episodes)
Tarot faces a challenging situation when a pair of sinister individuals begin to manipulate time to their advantage. The team must unravel the mystery of these meddlers to restore the natural order of time and prevent catastrophic events.
Tarot and his team become aware of a series of strange occurrences where events appear to be repeating or happening out of sequence. After investigating, they come across a pair of sinister individuals who have the power to manipulate time. Despite their attempts to confront the meddlers, the duo proves to be elusive, leaving Tarot and his team with more questions than answers.
The meddling with time intensifies, causing disarray and panic among the public. Tarot, Lulli, and Mikki delve into historical records and occult texts to find a way to counter the time manipulation. They begin to piece together the meddlers’ motives, which seem to revolve around altering certain historical events for their gain.
The meddlers, now identified as Mr. Peacock and Miss Pout, escalate their operations, successfully changing minor historical events and testing the limits of their power. Tarot and his team narrowly prevent a major historical event from being altered. They devise a plan to track down the meddlers by predicting their next target.
In a climactic confrontation, Tarot and his team face off against Mr. Peacock and Miss Pout at the site of a crucial historical event. Using a combination of magic and wit, they manage to disarm the meddlers’ time-manipulating device and restore the natural order of time. Mr. Peacock and Miss Pout are apprehended, but not before hinting at a higher power that granted them their abilities, leaving Tarot and his team pondering the bigger force at play as they prepare for future challenges.
The Smile (4 episodes)
The trio is drawn into a troubling scenario involving a malevolent entity capable of hypnotizing people with a sinister smile. They must work together to break the spell and vanquish the entity to save the affected individuals.
The episode opens with a series of unusual incidents around the city where people are seen behaving oddly, all wearing an identical sinister smile. Tarot, intrigued by the occurrences, starts investigating along with Lulli and Mikki. They come across a malevolent entity, who is revealed to have the power to hypnotize individuals with a sinister smile, compelling them to act against their will.
As more individuals fall under the sinister spell, the city descends into chaos. Tarot and his team delve deeper to understand the origins of this malevolent entity and how to counter its hypnotic influence. They discover ancient texts referencing a similar entity and a potential way to break the hypnotic spell, but it requires a deeper understanding of the dark forces at play.
The malevolent entity, growing in power, targets authorities and key city personnel, further amplifying the chaos. Tarot, Lulli, and Mikki experiment with counter-spells, managing to free a few individuals from the hypnotic trance. They also discover the entity’s connection to an ancient artifact that amplifies its powers.
In a race against time, Tarot and his team manage to locate the ancient artifact and devise a plan to neutralize it, thus weakening the entity. In a confrontational showdown, they manage to break the hypnotic spell over the city’s population and vanquish the malevolent entity, restoring peace. The episode closes with Tarot and his team reflecting on the unseen, dark forces that lurk, vowing to stay vigilant for any future threats.
The Death Card (3 episodes)
A dangerous cult emerges, captivated by the notion of harnessing the power of the Death Card from Tarot. Tarot and his team must navigate through a series of perilous encounters to disband the cult and neutralize the threat.
The episode begins with Tarot receiving ominous messages indicating that a mysterious cult is seeking to harness the power of the Death Card from his tarot deck. The cult believes that the card can grant them immense power over life and death. Concerned by the cult’s intentions, Tarot, along with Lulli and Mikki, starts to investigate the cult’s activities, discovering their dangerous rituals and the charismatic, sinister leader who manipulates his followers into believing in a false prophecy of power and immortality.
The cult’s actions escalate, causing fear and unrest in the community. Tarot and his team infiltrate one of the cult’s gatherings, gaining insight into their rituals and the extent of their delusion. They learn about a grand ritual planned to draw the power from the Death Card, which, if successful, could cause catastrophic consequences. Tarot decides they must act swiftly to prevent the ritual and neutralize the cult’s threat.
In a dramatic climax, Tarot, Lulli, and Mikki confront the cult during the grand ritual, amidst a scene of chaos and fervent cult followers. They manage to disrupt the ritual, exposing the cult leader’s deception and falsehood to his followers, leading to his apprehension. The Death Card’s true nature is explained to the disillusioned followers, emphasizing the importance of respecting the natural order rather than attempting to control or manipulate life and death. With the cult disbanded and the immediate threat neutralized, Tarot and his team reflect on the enduring allure of power and the continual need to stand against such dangerous allurements.
Seven Serpents, Sulphur and Salt (4 episodes)
Tarot becomes entangled in a mysterious quest to find ancient alchemical secrets. The journey leads to a confrontation with a nefarious alchemist seeking to exploit the arcane knowledge for dark purposes.
The episode initiates with Tarot receiving a cryptic message hinting at ancient alchemical secrets. Intrigued, he delves into the matter with the help of Lulli and Mikki. As they unravel the message, they discover the legends surrounding seven mythical serpents, each representing a crucial alchemical principle. They decide to follow the clues leading to the first serpent, unaware that a nefarious alchemist, Morven, is also on the same quest, but with dark intentions to exploit the arcane knowledge.
The trio’s journey leads them to various historical and mystical locales as they solve riddles and confront challenges tied to the alchemical serpents. Meanwhile, Morven, using ruthless methods, advances on the same path, aiming to reach the secrets before Tarot. The episode showcases the contrasting approaches of Tarot and Morven, one seeking knowledge for enlightenment, and the other for power and control.
The quest intensifies as Tarot, Lulli, and Mikki unlock the secret of the seventh serpent, leading them to the ultimate alchemical truth of “Sulphur and Salt.” However, Morven catches up to them, and a battle of wits and magic ensues over the ancient secrets. Tarot’s team manages to secure the knowledge but at a perilous cost, with Morven swearing vengeance and escaping with partial knowledge.
In a desperate attempt to prevent Morven from exploiting the alchemical secrets for dark purposes, Tarot and his team confront him in his lair. Amid a high-stakes confrontation, they manage to thwart Morven’s dark schemes, ensuring the ancient knowledge remains protected. However, the adventure leaves Tarot pondering the responsibility that comes with arcane knowledge and the potential dangers lurking in the quest for forbidden power.
The Power of Atep (4 episodes)
The group confronts a malevolent Egyptian sorcerer named Atep who seeks to reclaim his ancient powers. They must race against time to thwart Atep’s plans and prevent him from unleashing havoc.
The episode kicks off with a mysterious disturbance at a local museum housing Egyptian artifacts, where the ancient sorcerer Atep is accidentally awakened. Tarot, Lulli, and Mikki investigate the bizarre occurrences surrounding the museum and quickly identify the malevolent intent of Atep, who seeks to reclaim his ancient powers to dominate the modern world. The trio embarks on a mission to thwart Atep’s nefarious plans, diving into a world of ancient Egyptian magic and lore.
As Atep gathers his strength and starts to enact his plans, the group faces a series of dangerous magical traps and illusions set by the cunning sorcerer to deter them. The episode unfolds with the team deciphering ancient texts to find a way to neutralize Atep’s powers. The importance of a sacred amulet, which could potentially bind Atep’s powers, is revealed, leading the group on a quest to retrieve it.
The quest for the sacred amulet becomes a race against time as Atep’s powers grow stronger, causing chaos and fear among the population. Tarot, Lulli, and Mikki experience a major setback as Atep manages to interfere with their plans, creating a diversion that delays them. Amid escalating tension, the trio perseveres, managing to retrieve the amulet, but not before Atep unleashes a powerful curse, foreshadowing a dire confrontation.
In the climactic finale, the group confronts Atep in a battle of magic and wits within a mystical realm created by Atep. Utilizing the power of the sacred amulet and their collective resolve, they manage to break Atep’s curse and bind his powers, rendering him harmless. The ancient sorcerer is sealed back within his tomb, preventing him from wreaking havoc on the modern world. The episode closes with Tarot and his team reflecting on the boundless and often perilous allure of ancient powers, emphasizing the significance of guarding such knowledge from malevolent forces.
The Final Countdown (3 episodes)
Tarot and his team find themselves in a race against time when they learn of a sinister plan to trigger a global catastrophe. They must solve a series of cryptic clues to prevent the impending disaster and save the day.
The episode commences with Tarot, Lulli, and Mikki being alerted to a sinister plot orchestrated by a shadowy figure known as The Count, who aims to trigger a global catastrophe using a doomsday device. The group learns that the only way to locate and disable the device is by solving a series of cryptic clues scattered across various locales. With a sense of urgency, they embark on their mission, racing against the ticking clock as The Count watches their every move, taunting them with riddles.
As the team delves deeper into the mystery, they navigate through a labyrinth of perilous traps and misleading clues set by The Count. Each challenge they overcome brings them closer to the location of the doomsday device but also elevates the stakes as time keeps dwindling. The Count ups the ante by unleashing a group of henchmen to hinder Tarot and his team, leading to a tense confrontation that tests the group’s resolve and resourcefulness.
In a dramatic race to the finish, Tarot, Lulli, and Mikki finally decipher the last clue leading them to the doomsday device. They confront The Count, who reveals his nihilistic philosophy and the reasons behind his nefarious plan. The battle of wits culminates in a high-stakes showdown as the team works meticulously to disarm the device, with mere seconds to spare. Successfully averting the global catastrophe, they manage to apprehend The Count, ensuring justice. The episode concludes with the team reflecting on the fragile balance of power and the responsibility that comes with safeguarding the world from such malevolent threats.
Peacock Pie (3 episodes)
The trio investigates a peculiar case involving a series of mysterious disappearances connected to a haunted house. They must unveil the dark secrets behind the haunting to solve the mystery and rescue the missing individuals.
In the series opener, Tarot, Lulli, and Mikki are drawn to a curious case involving a series of unexplained disappearances tied to a notorious haunted house known as the Peacock Manor. The legend of “Peacock Pie” surrounds the manor, an old tale about a sinister enchantment. Upon investigating, they experience eerie occurrences and chilling encounters with apparitions from the past. Through meticulous investigation, they uncover the first pieces of a grim puzzle, hinting at a dark secret that binds the souls to the house.
The mystery unravels further as our trio digs deeper into the history of Peacock Manor. They discover the story of a tragic love affair and a vile betrayal that led to a curse being placed upon the house. As they venture through the hauntingly enigmatic rooms of the manor, they begin to make a connection between the curse and the mysterious disappearances. The sinister forces at play attempt to thwart their investigation, putting them in perilous situations, yet they manage to find a way to weaken the grip of the curse temporarily.
In the concluding episode, Tarot, Lulli, and Mikki devise a plan to break the curse of Peacock Pie and free the souls trapped within the manor. As they perform a ritual to lift the curse, they face resistance from the vengeful spirits bound to the house. The atmosphere is tense with suspense as they race against time to complete the ritual and rescue the missing individuals before the malevolent forces regain control. The curse is finally broken, releasing the trapped souls and the missing individuals from the clutches of the haunted house. The narrative wraps up with the trio reflecting on the imperceptible veil between the past and present, and the ability of unresolved grievances to transcend time, leaving a lingering echo of sorrow.
These serials encapsulate a blend of mystical adventures and perilous confrontations as Tarot and his team work to maintain a balance between the ordinary world and the arcane.