There were five movies made for The Man from U.N.C.L.E. They were aimed at foreign markets such as the UK and were colour two-parter episodes knitted together with extra footage to make a movie in its own right.
Season One: (All 29 episodes were filmind in black and white). Colour television was new in the 1960s and this first season was all black and white, which in a way adds to the 'feel' of a cold war spy series.
1:The Vulcan Affair reviewed by Olwyn Hiles.
In this, the pilot episode for the Man from UNCLE series, we immediately see the New York headquarters under attack by a team from THRUSH. Their aim is to assassinate the No.1 of Section One in the United Network Command for Law and Enforcement. They enter through Del Floria’s tailor shop, the entrance most often used by the agents, picking up the triangular badges on their way. They know they need to get them into the corridors. What they do not realize is that unless the receptionist personally hands them their badges, with a particular chemical on her fingers, then the alarms will start.
The defense team is lead by a new Russian agent, recently allocated to UNCLE New York. A young man by the name of Illya Kuryakin. ( a very promising agent. I think we may see more of him in the future ). Thanks to Illya’s defense team only one THRUSH reaches the office of Mr. Allison, and even then he has to try to break through a bulletproof glass panel, behind which stands “THE” Man from UNCLE, Napoleon Solo. The THRUSH fires at the glass, which crazes and Napoleon Solo circles around him and shoots him.
The THRUSHes were attempting the assassination because they thought that Mr. Allison knew too much about their latest plan. The UNCLE Chief dispatches Napoleon Solo to follow up on the assignment, a plot to kill the visiting Premier of an African country when he tours a plant owned by Andrew Vulcan.
Enter the first of many “innocents”, housewife Elaine, who is persuaded by Napoleon to rekindle her relationship with her one time fiancé Andrew Vulcan, to get close enough to him to find out more for Solo. With Elaine’s help, they discover that the Premier and Vulcan are working for THRUSH and it is their intention to kill the Premier's two aides while on the tour, then take over their country. Napoleon and Elaine are caught, they are tied up and left to die but they make their escape in time to save the two aides from the explosion in which the Premier and Vulcan perish.
Elaine returns home to her husband and two children and Solo is left to return home to New York and his next assignment.
1:The Vulcan Affair reviewed by Bridget Calvert
Napoleon's first mission when he goes ‘Solo’ (Grrr - without Illya I mean). Still we do get to see him at the beginning, which is lucky, because NBC wanted the character dropped, but due to a misunderstanding Norman Felton replaced Will Kuluva instead, with Leo G Carroll to play Mr Waverly in ‘The Vulcan Affair. If you watch the two versions, ‘To Trap a Spy’?? and ‘Solo’ (can’t say anything about The Vulcan Affair as I haven’t seen that version) the beginnings are a little different. For a start UNCLE seem to be battling two different foes, In ‘Solo’ it is THRUSH and in To Trap a Spy it is WASP. IK also has a few more words to say in 'Solo' as he gets to say the line “An assault force from THRUSH, that is their way.”? Whereas NS gets the line in TTAS, but this time he says “An assault force from WASP.”
The plot: THRUSH / WASP break in through the Agents entrance of UNCLE HQ and try to kill Mr Alison / Waverly to prevent him from foiling the plot by Andrew Vulcan (Fritz Weaver) to assassinate president Asumen of Western Natumba, a small African country. NS sets out to find Elaine May Bender (Patricia Crowley), now Mrs. Donaldson to help him in his quest. Although now ‘just an ordinary housewife’? She used to be Vulcan’s girl in 1949 and it is Napoleon’s hope that she can help him gain entrance to the group of people around Vulcan. He whisks her of into the world of spying, with expensive clothes included, and Vulcan falls for her again. Then of course everything goes wrong, they are found out and end up getting a much closer look at the plant than they wanted, but not before NS discovers that it is not Asumen that is the target, but one of his aids, Sumarin, who has revolted against too much THRUSH / WASP involvement in the say of how their country is run. Napoleon and Elaine are left to die, tied to steam pipes, but NS manages to kick his way free, overload the plant system and rescue himself, Elaine and the aids, destroying Vulcan, Asumen and the plant in the process. As their plane lands back in Elaine’s home city she reflects on her adventure. Her only regret had been that her husband had never see her dressed up, but when NS offers her a nigh out with her family at the Waldoff, including clothes, she turns him down saying she is quite satisfied with her life as it is.
A good pilot I feel, even though we don’t see enough of IK. It sets out well the way things are going to be, boss sends out agents, help from an innocent, agents get into trouble, get out of trouble and win the day. Lots of action, which shows the suave Mr Solo triumphant over evil men, whichever group they belong to and bringing the innocent back safely. Elaine described it as ‘a dream’ possibly a dream we could all dream.
1:Solo: comment by Darryl Ransom
The entire opening sequence does it for me, particularly the original 'Solo' titles with the UNCLE music. The whole sequence of the WASP agents entering Del Floria's with military precision, not saying a word. Each knowing exactly what to do, when to do it. Almost mechanical, ruthless. The Invaders theme used to good effect. This of course became a shortened title sequence for the First Season. The whole shattered glass scenario was brilliant, a classic hallmark for a great classic TV series. WASP was later changed to THRUSH, although other names were considered including SCORPION, CONDOR, ASP and MAGGOTT.
2: The Iowa Scuba Affair: reviewed by Bridget Calvert
This time Napoleon is sent to Iowa to follow up on a very mysterious death. An Air force man, who is also an UNCLE informant, is murdered and with the body a set of scuba gear is found. So what you may say, but the curious thing is that there is nowhere to scuba within many miles. Posing as the man’s brother he arrives at the base to claim the body, but is shocked to discover that it is not their informant. He declares that this is not his brother and that he intends to find out who has taken his identity. The Air force detains ‘the murder’ but he dies, due to ‘self combustion’. Napoleon makes friends with Jill Denison (Katherine Crawford) and she puts him onto a local farmer, Clint Spinner (Slim Pickens), who has been making a lot of improvements to his farm, one such improvement being a brand new, very large, well. They call on the farmer, saying that their car has broken down. He seems very friendly and lends them a car, but oh horror it is rigged to blow up. Luckily Napoleon decides to go back and tells Jill to go home, but of course she doesn’t. She parks the car and follows him, just in time before the car explodes. Still they are not out of the woods and get captured by Clint and his friends. They are taken below ground, yes you’ve guessed it, down through the well and discover that the baddies plan to steal a missile plane from the secret underground Air Force base. How do they escape? How do they save the world? Ah that would be spoiling it.
3: The Quadripartite Affair: reviewed by Bridget Calvert
Marion Raven’s (Jill Ireland) father, who is as scientist, is shot and killed whilst she is visiting him in Yugoslavia. Waverly sends Napoleon and Illya to see her, Illya notices a picture of a yacht called the ‘Biella’ and Marion tells him that her father was not pleased when she took it. Napoleon goes back to HQ to investigate, leaving Illya to guard Marion. A deliveryman brings some chocolates from Marion’s boy friend. Illya is very suspicious and tells her to go into the kitchen. Very slowly he removes the outer rapper and prizes the lid loose, carefully he pears inside and then breathes a sigh of relief, as the box seems to be quite safe. They both turn away and do not see the small puff of vapour, which comes out of one of the chocolates. Napoleon is worried; he is getting no answer from the apartment. He rushes to the rescue, but is too late, Marion is missing and he finds Illya curled up under the breakfast bar, whimpering like a frightened animal. The Biella is traced, and Napoleon cons his way on board, dressed as a fire officer. He manages to get below and releases Marion, but they are discovered and a chase ensues, culminating in Napoleon and Marion escaping with a daring leap to another boat. Illya recovers from the effects of the gas, a chemical, which produces an extreme fear reaction. Marion remembers her father was very frightened before he died and Waverly decides that Yugoslavia should be their next stop. Once the three arrive they contact Horst, a friend of Marion’s father, who guides them to the place, where he died and they discover the manufacturing plant. The others climb down towards it, but Napoleon hangs back and as they are inevitably captured he manages to join the guards unseen. Illya and Marion are locked up in a cell, from which there appears to be no escape, except perhaps a grill six feet above their heads. So, whilst Napoleon is secretly laying explosives, Illya climbs on Marion’s shoulders and with a leap manages to reach the grill, where he swings for a while, before managing to get his feet up and proceeds to kick at the grill until he is exhausted. So how does Napoleon rescue them? You will have to watch to see.
4: The Shark Affair: reviewed by Bridget Calvert
A pirate ship is operating on the high seas, plundering, kidnapping and sinking ships. Why?
A question Waverly sets Illya and Napoleon, who set off to interview one of the victim’s wives, Elsa Barman (Sue Ann Langdon). Whilst there a very dubious man, in a white suit, turns up who runs when challenged by Illya. Unfortunately Illya’s pursuit is hampered by the efforts of Elsa, who ends up nearly knocking him out with a door. Elsa disappears the next day, to go on a trip and the pair deduces that the man in the white suit may have given her the tickets. They find her name on a ships passenger list and Waverly suggests that they are dropped some miles ahead of the craft, on a raft, using the cover story of ship wrecked sailors, in the hope that Elsa’s ship picks them up. Things don’t go to plan, however and the pirate ship picks them up instead. Here they meet Captain Shark (Robert Culp), who believes that the world is going to destroy itself very soon. He is collecting craftsmen together, whether they like it or not, who will live on his ship, which will be sealed, with it’s own air supply, when ‘The Bomb’ goes of. His idea is that they will be the only survivors and they will start the new world. Many of his passengers are not convinced and do not want to be there, so it is up to Illya and Napoleon, even though he has received a nasty whipping, to stoop this man. How? Ah that is the secret ending.
5: The Deadly Games Affair: reviewed by Bridget Calvert
Napoleon and Illya are attending a Stamp auction, where a very famous stamp, once reported to belong to an ex SS scientist, Professor Amadeus, is for sale. Both UNCLE and THRUSH want the stamp because it may lead them to the wanted war criminal, but for obviously different reasons. The agents come across Angelique (Janie Gray), she and Napoleon agree to buy the stamp together and to a truce until it has been verified. The stamp is genuine and Angelique gives Napoleon a farewell gift of a flower, which contains a black widow spider, but luckily Illya is on hand and spots it before it can bite. The trail leads the adversaries to a college student Chuck Boskirk (Burt Brinckerhoff), who has been asked, anomalously, to sell the stamp for an invalid, for commission. His science professor, who is of course Amadeus, kidnaps Chuck but he is followed by Napoleon, who has him bugged, to the professor’s house. He gets inside and discovers that Amadeus is trying to revive the body of Hitler, who he placed in ‘suspended animation’ years before. Overcome by the fumes in the lab Napoleon is captured and Amadeus discovers that his blood is exactly right for the body and links him to the machine. Surely he cannot escape this time?????
6: The Green Opal Affair: reviewed by Bridget Calvert
People are disappearing when they are on holiday and returning as if nothing has happened, they appear normal, but are they? No they are brain washed time bombs waiting to go off. And one of them is an UNCLE agent, who runs amuck in HQ. His last words are ‘Walter J Brach’? and ‘Green Opal’. These two clues lead Napoleon, with the help of UNCLE’s resources to gain a position as Brach’s secretary, so as he can investigate the goings on. All is not as it seems though, Brach has planted the agent so as Solo will come to him. His plan is to brainwash the CEA as well and get a foothold in UNCLE. On the island he meets Christine Linnel, who has escaped Brach’s clutches and between them they manage to overcome this new THRUSH threat.
:7 The Giuoco Piano Affair: reviewed by Bridget Calvert
This is part two of The Quadripartite Affair. The gas plant had been sponsored by Gervaise Ravel (Anne Francis) and Harold Bufferton, who both escaped at the end of that affair. In this episode they have been tracked down and Napoleon and Illya are sent to persuade Marion to help them once again to catch the two. They find her in the mist of a party and she is not keen to go, especially when they tell her that they want her to be kidnapped, but she finally agrees and they all travel to the Andes. Marion is bugged, duly kidnapped and taken to a mountain hideaway. Unfortunately Napoleon is detained by Gervaise and a very untrustworthy Police Lieutenant, so therefore he is unable to track her. Never fear though Illya is on her trail and even though all her bugs are discovered he arrives just in time to pull her from the jaws of death after shooting and killing Bufferton. Their way to freedom lays down a steep mountain trail, perused by Indians. The way is hazardous, including a leap over a ravine, but the pair reach the village safely where Napoleon is waiting for them. Gervaise is captured and the three of them return to America to find that the party they left days ago is still going on.
13: The King of Knaves Affair reviewed by Darryl Ransom
Neither THRUSH nor Mr Waverly appear in this episode, which does not deter Solo going under cover as a gunrunner to see what exiled King Fasik is up to.
Fasik is building up an army to support him while he supplies his enemies with faulty weaponry that will blow up in their faces come the day of the revolution. There is a nice scene where Fasik chases Solo on horse back intent on skewering him on his sabre. Solo wins the fight just before Illya storms the castle with UNCLE agents to complete the rescue.
Leo G Carroll was too ill to appear in this episode.
14: The Terbuf Affair reviewed by Darryl Ransom
Solo is asked by an old flame Clara to get gypsy leader Emil out of the Balkan state of Terbuf with evidence of police corruption. Clara's duplicitous husband is working for Col. Morisko for a share of the profits from embezzled foreign aid money. Illya works well undercover as a gypsy and has to convince the locals that he is one of them. He ends up at Cafe Walter and finds Emil. Solo and Clara spend a few moments in front of a firing squad, who actually shoot at them. Blanks! Just the wicked chief of police getting his kicks to see innocents squirm. All ends well of course. Writer of this episode, Alan Caillou plays Col. Morisco.
20: The Bow Wow Affair reviewed by Ann Manwell
When I ,as a first cousin, watched Man From UNCLE in the sixties I took it all terribly seriously. If I noticed the moments of comedy they simply didn't register. I would have classified the programme as a 'drama' as there were fewer labels in these days. At that time the word 'dramedy' hadn't been invented. In fact I'm not sure it has been invented now. Nor did I see the programme as Science Fiction. That label was reserved for 'Star Trek' and other shows set in space.
When I watched the 'Bow Wow Affair' tonight I was surprised at the amount of humour in it. Of course a lot of it (the fact that AW is indebted to his cousin over what was possibly an 'affair', Leo G Carroll's comedic touches such as twirling his moustache when playing his cousin) was over my head. As was all the word play on body guarding. There was also the interplay between NS and IK and the lovely line 'I'll have his teeth for cuff links'.
This is to all intends and purposes a solo episode for Illya although NS does appear occasionally so they can trade insults It demonstrates RV and D McC's gift for comedy, again something I didn't notice in the 60s. Of course we didn't have the advantage of video recorders in those days so unless the episode was repeated we wouldn't be able to watch the episode again. Though we would discuss it in great detail in the playground the next day. Or during double science if we were subtle enough.
The plot itself revolved around a gypsy plot to buy shares to control a company. Anyone who refused to part with their shares was savaged by a dog, sometimes fatally. AW's cousin is murdered because he will not sell his shares. The night before his death he is visited by a mysterious gypsy who produces what looks like a miniature human skull and predicts 'death in this house tonight'. As he says to IK who has been sent by AW as a favour there was something 'rather menacing' about the statement.
The whole scene with Pat Harrington Jnr as the man who can identify the dogs is played for laughs with dogs appearing everywhere. I wonder how many times they had to film those scenes. I bet something appeared in the 'blooper' tape at the end of season party.
If Illya liked dogs before this episode he didn't afterwards ... It was the 20th of 29 episodes shown in the first season shown. At the time it was broadcast it attracted an outcry because Illya kissed a girl or allowed himself to be kissed.
Whether the show was comedy or drama, the great thing is that it is still very watchable today. One mystery remains - why was a former title 'The Pyrenees Affair' ? Of the many breeds of dog I don't remember seeing a Pyrenean Mountain dog. Unless it was a reference to the shot where we saw Susan Oliver's legs ? - Ann Manwell
21: The Four Steps Affair: reviewed by Darryl Ransom
When I sat down to watch this episode, I thought 'Hold on, I've just seen this'
and so I had, well part of it anyway. Some scenes were used in 'To Trap a Spy' UNCLE agent Dancer (Mmm name seems familiar ...) is chased wounded in the dead (no pun) of night to a house where he has a rendezvous with Angela who soon has all the lights on and gets him shot by a sniper waiting outside.
Meanwhile Illya is with Miki, a ten year old prince who is trying to 'unify his people' with the aid of nurse Kelly Brown and undercover THRUSH agent Kaza.
Solo is lured to Angela's trap but in a struggle she ends up on the receiving end of the sniper. Solo's luger gunfire is the silenced 'splat' as opposed to any bad guy throughout the UNCLE universe who shoots a gun with a 'bang'.
Illya, Miki and Kelly get themselves kidnapped when their car is controlled remotely from a VW camper van following them complete with satellite mini dish on the roof.
Solo, later at HQ is seen to be preening his hair, and alters it from the rather severe slicked straight back style to the more familiar dry, left parting look.
Later Solo and Waverly are interviewing the captured, but wounded Kaza. Solo's luger is snatched from its holster and we see he and Waverly 'shot' by Kaza, who then escapes. It's all part of a plan of course to get Kaza to run back to THRUSH so that the transmitter inside the gun can be tracked by ... the same VW camper van that kidnapped Illya, although now we have to believe it is a different van and is an UNCLE vehicle. They follow the van to where Illya, Miki and Kelly are about to be killed and buried in the garden. Solo and agent Kitterage save the day and all is well.
22: The See-Paris-and-Die Affair: reviewed by Darryl Ransom
Solo uses an ex girlfriend to contact Max an old boyfriend to sing at his club. Max and Joseph are moving half a billion dollars worth of diamonds around France inside furniture. They want to seize control of the diamond market and control the value of diamonds. UNCLE and THRUSH race to find them for two different reasons. There is a suspect sign at a Parisian station saying, in English, 'car parking, station'. Since when have the French been concerned about putting up signs in English? Note too, the English GPO telephone box, in Paris, in which Illya gets coshed.
27: The Gazebo In The Maze Affair: Reviewed by Jamie Austin
This episode opens with, in my opinion, one of the best teaser scenes of the “UNCLE” series. The episode begins almost matter-of-factly with the not unfamiliar scenario of Illya arriving at UNCLE HQ, before proceedings then quickly to take on an increasing air of the bizarre. Firstly Illya has an encounter with a bowler-hat-wearing, umbrella-wielding Briton in the sun-drenched streets of New York. This, in itself, is not beyond the bounds of credibility of course, but when this Briton proceeds to leap onto a London Transport red double-decker bus, which includes a further bowler-hatted passenger, then things are getting very odd indeed! The incongruous nature of the bus and the employment of everyday items as disguises for sinister devices (in this case the umbrella) makes this opener very similar in style to an episode of “The Avengers”.
Chief villain on this occasion is George Sanders as G Emory Partridge who clearly comes across as the perfect English gentleman, richly and politely delivering lines frequently underlined with menace (e.g. “I’m afraid that Mr Kuryakin will be tied up this evening!”). He is the very embodiment of the “stiff upper lip” as can be seen by him being quite unruffled regarding Illya’s initial escape attempt – he merely sends others in pursuit. In addition even when his plan finally backfires in the episode’s closing moments there is only resignation – no ranting or raving or a last suicidal act of defiance so common to 1960s TV villains. The line “Oh Edith! How could you?” highlights this by being very understated.
Sanders’ character seems to see the physical violence side of his profession as extremely vulgar and is evidently uncomfortable when carrying out threats involving such methods, notably his incompetent use of a hot iron. On these occasions it is clear that his wife Edith takes the firm hand being, as she is, some sort of sadistic masochist (note her delight when being strapped to the rack!). Edith, convincingly played by Jeanette Nolan, hides her deviant tendencies behind a polite, scatter-brained façade (a trait which would be resurrected and utilised by the Drusilla character in “Buffy: The Vampire Slayer”).
On this occasion “the innocent” of the episode caught up in the UNCLE operation is Peggy Durance played ably by Bonnie Franklin. Sadly, compared to other “?innocents” in season one episodes Peggy seems to make less of an impact (when compared to Barbara Feldon’s character in “The Never Never Affair” for example) as she seems to have little of note to do beyond getting Solo into the grounds of the Partridge estate – something which I dare say Solo could have managed himself with a little creative writing. And herein lies the problem of the episode for me as it seems very lightweight in substance (particularly when held against such clever episodes as “The Project Strigas Affair”) and almost feels like a rushed job. Partridge’s motivation (revenge) is pretty much glossed over while some elements, such as a wolf being loose in the maze are very much emphasised so that you know that the characters are going to end up escaping into the maze and (surprise, surprise!) meet the wolf. In addition while the teaser of “The Gazebo In The Maze Affair” quickly draws the audience’s attention to the fact that this is going to be a very “British” episode the viewer is left in no doubt that it is, being repeatedly assaulted from the start with English iconography. As the story unfolds we are quickly transported to 'Ye Olde England' where the clichés flow thick and fast – flat caps galore, “That’s the ticket!”, “Home James!” and more touching of forelocks/hats than one can shake a cup of Earl Grey at! The pub scene itself could almost have been lifted from a 50s/60s Hammer Horror, with the stoutly silent locals refusing to acknowledge possible trouble to the UNCLE agent and the beer swilling flat-cappers being intimidated by a look from just one man - a conspiracy of silence held against the backdrop of a menacing darts match! The only line missing (and I was very surprised at its omission) is “We don’t get many strangers ‘round ‘ere!”
“The Gazebo In The Maze Affair” promises so much in its opening scenes (the sight of a pear tree in Mr Waverly’s office being a nicely surreal touch) and has so much going for it: a first rate cast, excellent performances from the regulars (particularly Mr Waverly’?s comedy touches), sumptuous sets and some nicely quirky touches. Sadly it is somewhat lacking in pace and substance. Fortunately when G Emory Partridge returns things are quite different… - Jamie Austin
Episode 30/31: The Alexander the Greater Affair. By Olwyn Hiles.
Alexander, (Rip Torn) plans to conquer the world and brake all the codes of morality, (The Ten Commandments) along the way. The first is broken when he steals some “will gas” to help him in his plan and he then proceeds to the next. Napoleon Solo and Illya Kuryakin are dispatched with orders to stop him. Illya goes off to Greece to find out more about the stone tablet which Alexander left at the scene of the crime of the stealing of the will gas, while Napoleon sets off to search for Alexander. Napoleon is assisted, somewhat unwillingly, by Alexander’s ex wife, Tracey, (Dorothy Provine), who is also searching for Alexander, to get the money back that she put into their marriage. Napoleon beats Alexander in a human chess game, then, with Illya and Tracey, they follow Alexander to a rock quarry, and then with Dr. Kavon as a guide they investigate an old tomb where they are captured. Napoleon is placed on a stone slab with a descending scimitar swinging above him, while Illya and Tracey are tied together and hung over a bottomless pit. They cleverly escape from that only for Napoleon to end up in a fight with a super fit guy in a health club, and Illya is chased by farm machinery and then almost mummified. Alexander is finally outwitted from his murderous plans and is eventually killed by his own man, Dr. Kavon.
30. The Alexander The Greater Affair. Part One: by Bridget Calvert
Our heroes are sent to investigate the theft of a ‘Will Gas’ from the Army. The chief suspect is a Mr Alexander (Rip Torn), who’s chief aim in life, they discover, is to become as great as ‘Alexander the Great’ by breaking every one of the ‘Ten Commandments’. His ex wife Tracy Alexander (Dorothy Provine) is also on his trail, trying to get hold of her divorce settlement. Their paths cross and she insists on helping, although whether she is a help or a hindrance is debatable. They follow in Alexander’s wake, always one step behind it would seem, until they discover an old stone, which he leaves as one of his ‘Commandment Markers’??. This leads the trio to acquire the assistance of an archaeologist, Dr. Kavon, (David Opatoshu) a baddie in disguise, who tells them that the stone comes from an Egyptian Tomb. He accompanies them to the tomb and gains them entry by reading the hieroglyphics (push here) and promptly leads them into Alexander’s trap. What a trap!! The episode ends with Napoleon tide to a slab underneath a slowly descending scimitar and Illya and Tracy tied together over a bottomless pit, secured only by a burning rope!
31. The Alexander The Greater Affair. Part Two: by Bridget Calvert
The rope is burning through! The scimitar is getting lower! What are our dynamic duo to do!
Aim very carefully of course? Napoleon manages to release his feet from the ropes and catch the scimitar, then he lifts his chest rope slightly, lets go and the rope is cut allowing him to roll free, to charge across the room and catch the burning rope just as it breaks. Whew!
Where to now is the question. Alexander’s health club of course. Tracy goes in and when she does not reappear Napoleon follows her. He is detained by a very big muscle man whilst she is kidnapped and taken to Alexander’s farm, tracked by Illya of course. Whilst he is trying to gain entry to the farm he is surrounded by ‘farm hands’ on tractors, who force him into a quagmire. Struggling for his life, up to his neck in muddy water, he is attacked by one of the hands, driving a digger, who tries to bury him. Don’t despair though Illya manages to catch the end of the digger as it lifts and escapes, but only to be captured again by Kavon.
Alexander gives Illya to Kavon for his mummification experiments. “M-m- mummification.”?? Illya stutters. Wrapped up with only his eyes showing Illya is due to breathe his last as Napoleon bursts in and saves him, yet again. Off they set once more on Alexander’s trail, will they ever catch him?
Episode 32: The Ultimate Computer Affair. By Olwyn Hiles.
The computer that controls all of Thrush’s activities is finally ready to be moved from a Latin American prison to its ultimate destination. Solo and Illya must find it and destroy it. Salty Oliver, (Judy Carne), a social worker who is free to come and go around the penal colony, is co-opted by Napoleon to help get him into the prison, while Illya, who has got himself arrested, is already on the inside. Illya finds the computer and destroys it and Napoleon tells him to start to make his escape, while he goes back to rescue Salty whose deception has been discovered. Illya tries to communicate with Napoleon and realizes that he must have been captured too and as he cannot leave his partner behind he goes back to rescue them. He finds them tied up in a room and is perturbed to find out that he has only destroyed a decoy computer. He has one bomb left which they use to destroy the real computer and they make their escape, with Illya at the wheel mimicking Napoleon as he tries to romance Salty in the back seat.
Episode 32: The Ultimate Computer Affair. by Bridget Calvert
In a town, somewhere in South America, a very scruffy and dirty individual plays a haunting melody on an old battered guitar. As he lifts his head and begins to sing we see it is non other that Illya Kuryakin. He tries to beg some money from a wealthy looking gentleman who pushes him away. A very mock fight ensues, during which the gentleman calls for the police and Illya is knocked out by them and carted away to the prison. This though is all part of a charade to get Illya into the Penal Colony where THRUSH are developing their ‘Ultimate Computer’. His mission - to destroy said computer before it can be install at THRUSH Central. Not so easy on his own though, hence Napoleon enlists the help of Salty Oliver (Judy Carne), a social worker, who visits the colony regularly, whilst she is in New York making her regular report. He dons a phoney moustache and accent and returns to the colony in the guise of her husband. Salty acts as liaison between him and Illya, whilst Napoleon explores the river, where the generators are located. Unfortunately he is seen and captured, but is aided unexpectedly by Captain Cervantes (Roger Carmel), because Salty has promised to go away with him if he helps, or so he tells Napoleon. They sabotage the generator, thus allowing Illya to blow up the Computer and escape, or so he thinks. It turns out however that THRUSH knows everything and Napoleon is once more captured. Illya discovers this and goes back for his friend. Can he save the day?
Episode 33: The Foxes and Hounds Affair. By Olwyn Hiles.
UNCLE obtains a thought reading machine from a magician, but Thrush are at the scene and try to take it for themselves. They are unsuccessful as Illya gets them all chasing him, while another UNCLE agent escapes with the machine. UNCLE want Thrush to think that the machine has been passed to the magician’s temporary assistant. She flies home to New York and is met by Napoleon Solo who knows nothing about what is going on. Napoleon is captured but is unable to tell them anything, but when Illya and the girl are also captured, Illya tells all after being given some truth drug. Thrush’?s Lucia Belmont,(Patricia Medina) with a sniffling cold, sets off to intercept the machine, while Victor Marton, (Vincent Price), an old adversary/friend of Alexander Waverly’s enters UNCLE headquarters to try to make a deal with the head of UNCLE. Lucia gets hold of the machine and escapes to the waiting car but all is lost in the end when Lucia finally sneezes and uses Victor Marton’s exploding handkerchief.
Episode 33: The Foxes and Hounds Affair. by Bridget Calvert
A machine to read minds – what a thought. Illya is in Paris to investigate the phenomena. To prove the machine’s worth the inventor, the magician Merlin, asks him to think of something secrete. The machine is aimed at Illya and he is told that he is thinking of “ A Mr Solo, who is on vacation whilst he must work.” and “Of when he was a little boy in Kiev”??, at which point he stops the experiment. Unfortunately THRUSH have also have heard of the machine and that night, whilst it makes it’s last appearance as part of it’s inventors Magic show, Victor Marton (Vincent Price) tries to take it, but fails in his quest as Illya acts as decoy and allows the other Agent to escape with the machine. The hunt is now on and turns into a race between the THRUSH and UNCLE ‘hounds’ to get control of the mind machine ‘fox’. The trail leads back to New York, where Napoleon is just arriving home from vacation to find that he cannot get into HQ and Delfloria is behaving in a most peculiar way. Leaving the shop he meets Illya who covertly tells him to go to the airport and that his code is Merlin 7 – Mr Waverly’s plan for a second decoy. The plan fails however and Napoleon, Illya and Mimi Doolittle (Julie Summers) the magician’??s assistant are taken to THRUSH HQ, where ‘Pentathol Plus’ is used on each to gain the information on the arrival of the machine. Of course Illya is the only one who knows, but even Napoleon’??s advice to ‘think of girls’ does not prevent him from divulging it. THRUSH have the machine, but will our heroes be able to retrieve it in one piece?
Episode 34: The Discotheque Affair. By Olwyn Hiles.
Thrush is storing its records in the basement of a discotheque they are using for cover. UNCLE would like these records and Illya believes they will be able to find them even though Napoleon has a broken arm. Illya is sent out to locate them while Napoleon is given a lighter assignment, to supervise the renovation of UNCLE apartments adjoining their office block. He gets involved with a tenant who is complaining about her apartment. Thrush have put “bugs” in her apartment in order to eavesdrop into Waverly’s office. Thrush take her to the discotheque to be a dancer and Illya goes in undercover as a musician. Solo cannot resist in giving Illya a “hand” and they all end up as prisoners of Thrush in the basement of the discotheque, which is set to burn down. Napoleon manages to pull his arm out of the plaster cast and enable them to escape and capture the Thrushes, and Illya phones the fire department leaving Napoleon to explain to Mr. Waverly how all the records have been destroyed in the flames.
Episode 34: The Discotheque Affair. by Bridget Calvert
Whilst investigating a THRUSH arms drop Napoleon gets too close to an unexpected bomb, Luckily he is shielded by an already deceased THRUSH agent, but suffers a broken arm for his sins, which makes him unfit for active duty. Therefore Waverly puts him in charge of the renovations, which are being made to the apartments of the ‘Brown Stone’ frontage of UNCLE HQ. Much to Illya’??s amusement, who tells him to remember that he will have to be a secrete agent so as the tenants do not discover that UNCLE is their landlord. His first problem is Sandy Wyler (Judi West), an out of work actress, who is protesting the rent rise. He manages to fend her off, but unknown to him THRUSH have gained entry, with the decorators and have placed a very strong bugging device in the wall of her apartment, which just happens to back onto Waverly’s office. Before long she is complaining of the new colour paint and drags Napoleon in to see it and whilst he is there he notices that her clock and his watch are reacting strangely. On closer inspection he discovers a shoestring protruding from the wall and when the wall is removed they discover a dead man and the bugging device, which they dismantle. This of course brings THRUSH running and the headman, Vincent Carver (Ray Danton), hires Sandy as a dancer for his discotheque. Illya is sent along to keep an eye on her, in the guise of a musician and Napoleon lays in wait for the decorators to return. Then tragedy strikes, all three are captured, tied and locked in to a bared cell in the basement of the discotheque. That would not be so bad if not for the fact that Carver has set fire to the place. Will our heroes survive?
Episode 35: The Recollectors Affair. By Olwyn Hiles.
The Men from UNCLE travel to Rome to find the Recollectors, who are tracking down art treasures taken by the nazis during the war and assassinating the German war criminals along the way. Their motto, “we hunt, we find, we kill”. They then sell the treasures back to their original owners, but one of them is killing his colleagues and claiming the treasures for himself. Illya acquires a fiancé to act as one of the owners to lure them out. Napoleon discovers the Recollectors and is soon in need of Illya’s assistance. The art collections are eventually recovered and the criminals sent for trial.
Episode 35: The Recollectors Affair. by Bridget Calvert
Mr Waverly sends our two heroes to investigate a group that call themselves The Recollectors, who have been killing ex nazis, taking art from them, stolen during the war and selling the art back to it’s original owners. He has a suspicion that Demos (George Macready), the head of this group, is really a nazi himself and is just destroying his once comrades to gain all the wealth himself. “??Why else have this group had so much success, whereas the combined police forces of the world, including UNCLE have had none.” Napoleon and Illya are sent to Italy, Solo as someone representing himself as a Recollector and Kuryakin as a possible buyer, with his fiancée Lisa Denardo who has already been approached once by Demos. Napoleon is detained by Demos, but is rescued by the police, who are in league together and both attempt to find out who he works for. Solo smells a rat and talks his way out of police HQ, much to Demos’ displeasure. Lisa is then caught and the trail leads to Demos’ store of ill-gotten gains. Napoleon is also taken. Can Illya rescue the pair?
Episode 36: The Arabian Affair. By Olwyn Hiles.
When Illya is wounded and captured in the desert, and is being prepared to be sold in order to raise enough money to purchase a new camel, he tries to convince the tribe that he is the son of Lawrence of Arabia. He needs the help of the tribe to attack a base in the desert that Thrush are using to develop their deadly vaporizing machine. Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, Napoleon Solo is trying to find out where Illya and the new Thrush machine are. He tracks down a man from Thrush who is involved in the plans and who is due to be permanently retired from the Thrush when they present him with his exploding gold watch. In exchange for his protection he agrees to help Solo. When an aeroplane with Thrush officials arrives in the desert and the doors to the complex are opened, Illya and his Arab friends attack. The vaporizing machine is turned on them killing everyone who gets in its path, but guess who else has arrived on the plane and rescues Illya from the deadly foam.
Episode 36: The Arabian Affair. by Bridget Calvert
This episode (one of my favourites by the way) opens with Illya laying in the sand of the Arabian desert, watching a THRUSH strong hold, through binoculars. What has happened to him? He has no transport no hat, no communicator and Mr Waverly does not expect him to be returning, so he has obviously been missing for some time (perhaps someone could write a story, sorry I digress). This, though, is just the start of his troubles, he is also being observed by an Arabian Tribal Chief, Sulador (Michael Ansara), his daughter Sophie (Phyllis Newman) and two minions from the tribe. Sulador sends his two men to ‘attack and rob the traveller’ and a fight ensues, which Illya is clearly winning, well that is until Sophie lends a hand by throwing her knife at him, hitting him in the leg. Thus disabled the two men overpower him and she claims him as her property, to buy her a new camel at Acabar. Sulador tells her that she cannot sell him with the leg wound, she says “Then I will cut it of and sell him as is.” Her father replies “But he will die.” “Then I will sell just his golden hair.” Is her response. Back in New York Napoleon is worried about Illya and finds a retiring THRUSH agent, David Lewin (Robert Ellenstein), who he persuades to help him find the base. Meanwhile Illya is awake and very pleased to discover that Sophie has not cut his leg off. He learns from her that, because of his golden hair the women of the tribe think he is the son of Lawrence of Arabia and he tries to use this fact to get the tribes help, but he just angers Sulador instead and ends up having to take part in a test for leadership using red hot pokers. After a tense battle, which he wins, Sulador agrees to let the tribe help him in his attack against THRUSH. By this time Napoleon is at the base as well and assists in the Arab attack, although he does not know that Illya is the leader until it is all over. When they meet his partner quips “I should have known it was you when I saw you trip over your own big feet.” Napoleon replies “Gee I do like your dress, I wish I had one like that.” Ah the repartee of this pair! (Sorry Darryl this one is a bit long, but I always get carried away by that episode.)
Episode 37: The Tigers Are Coming Affair. More reviews of this episode are in TN 77
Episode 38: The Deadly Toys affair. By Olwyn Hiles.
Thrush have their eyes on a boy genius and have his father killed so that he will be dependant on them. However, a distant Auntie goes to his school to take care of him, as his next of kin, and Napoleon Solo tags along with her, posing as a toy salesman. Illya is also undercover, as the personal hairdresser of a friend of the Auntie and they all get into the school where they try to persuade the boy that the UNCLE are the best people to take care of him. Illya and the young lady are locked in a deep freeze, but Napoleon, the Auntie and the boy find them and they all make their escape, with the madcap Aunt Effie taking the controls of the waiting helicopter.
Episode 38: The Deadly Toys Affair. by Bridget Calvert
Bartlett Warshowsky (Jay North) is a boy genius, his father a THRUSH scientist. The boy is at a THRUSH school in Switzerland and his father wants him out. To persuade UNCLE to help he tells Waverly of a THRUSH depot which is storing vast quantities of poison gas. Napoleon and Illya are deployed to destroy the gas, which they do, but they are too late to prevent the murder of the boys father. His Aunt Elfie Von Donck (Angela Lansbury) is now his guardian and Napoleon visits her in the guise of a toy salesman, wishing to try out some new toys on the boy. He accompanies her to the school and introduces himself to the boy. Meanwhile Illya is posing as a hair dresser, employed by Elfie’??s friend, Joanna Lydecker (Diane McBain). He tries to get into the school unobtrusively, but Joanna follows him and inadvertently gives him away. Both are put in cold storage, literally, tide hanging from hooks in a meat store. Using his athletic ability Illya manages lock his feet around the beam and free himself and her, but the door is locked. THRUSH however have left him his hair dressing case and he sets fire to a bottle of hair spray, which blows the door open. How do they the five of them finally escape the clutches of THRUSH? Watch the episode and see!
Episode 39: The Cherry Blossom Affair. By Olwyn Hiles.
Thrush Eastern have developed a volcanic activator and UNCLE have to find their location and destroy everything they find there, which takes Solo and Kuryakin to Japan. Illya has to avoid falling onto a cupboard floor full of spikes then find himself arrested by the authorities, while Napoleon has trouble at a karate school. They are both helped along the way by Cricket Okasada, (France Nuyen), who only wants to retrieve her film reel which is in the hands of Thrush. Their leads take them separately to a novelty toy shop, where Solo and Cricket are captured and fastened to puppet strings and Solo is to provide the entertainment for the visiting dignitaries by fighting with a life sized, sword wielding puppet. Meanwhile, Illya enters the toy shop and acts as a air-conditioning repair man to get into Thrush Eastern, where he plants a bomb on the volcanic activator and destroys it before calling in the re-enforcements
Episode 39: The Cherry Blossom Affair. by Bridget Calvert
THRUSH Eastern is giving a demonstration of it’s new ‘Volcanic Activator’??, in Japan. The test film of which has fallen into UNCLE’s hands. Cricket Okasada (France Nuyen) is the owner of the other film, which was muddled in an accident at the airport, is persuaded to help them. Both agents have to escape near death, Illya has to swing above a sea of knives with only a door handle to keep him aloft, whilst Napoleon is tied above very quick growing bamboo. Illya pretends to fall giving a very realistic scream, which brings the guard running to open the door, he of course falls to his death allowing Illya to perform another acrobatic manoeuvre, through the now open door, which allows him to escape. Cricket, when she sees Illya taken, goes to find Napoleon, who Illya has told her is investigating the Ogarki Karate School and rescues him just in time, before the bamboo pierces his back. Unfortunately they are both captured, but Illya discovers a dead THRUSH with both, address of the HQ and information that they are having trouble with the air conditioning on his person. Illya now a repair man gains entry to HQ and blows up the machine, but of course is also taken prisoner. Will they all escape?
Episode 40: The Virtue Affair. By Olwyn Hiles.
Robespierre (Ronald Long), dresses in white and lives in a white castle. He believes that wine will cause the destruction of France and he plans to destroy the vineyards and so he has a built a missile to do the job. Napoleon Solo with a female scientist in tow enters the castle to find out more, while Illya goes to Carl Voegler (Frank Marth) to intercept Robespierre’s supplies. Illya and Voegler have an archery contest, which Illya wins, but then his cover is blown and he is sent out into the woods with a target painted on his back, for Voegler and his archers to hunt. Illya avoids his pursuers and kills Voegler, then he goes back to Voegler’s house and finds the missile part that Robesierre wants.Illya then goes to the castle acting as Voegler’s scientist but when Robespierre hears that Voegler is dead he calls Illya a murderer and orders him to be put to death. Napoleon has been locked in a cell for some time but uses his ingenuity to escape and shouts to Illya who pulls his head up within a fraction of a second of the guillotine falling.
Episode 40: The Virtue Affair. by Bridget Calvert
"Virtue, virtue, above all virtue." The campaign cry of French fanatic Robespierre (Ronald Long), but when virtue comes in the disguise of an atomic bomb to blow up France’s vineyards something has to be done, and of course Napoleon and Illya are sent to do it. On their way to Robes Pierre’?s home their car is stopped and they are held at gunpoint by a scientist, who has been held at the chateau against his will and has just escaped. He makes them take his to his house, where he explains his actions, but before he is able to offer any more information the house is broken into and he is shot. Later his daughter, Albert Dubois (Marcel Hillaire) is invited by Rose Pierre to dinner and Napoleon accompanies her. Mean while Illya goes to intercept, Rose Pierre’s supplier, Carl Voegler (Frank Marth), to try and sabotage deliveries. He engineers a meeting in the woods near to the house and carries a new kind of hunting bow, which he knows will intrigue the German. Both of our heroes are recognised as UNCLE agents, Napoleon is locked up in Robespierre’s jail and Illya is used as a hunting target, released into the woods, his hands tied behind his back, with only a few minutes start. Illya manages to avoid his hunters, at the same time killing Voegler and returns to his house which he searches and discovers the guidance system for the rocket, but before he can do anything with it Rose Pierre’?s guards arrive to collect the system and he manages to convince them that he is the designer. Unfortunately guidance is one of the things he knows nothing about and he is soon discovered and is sentenced to death, at dawn, by guillotine.
Can Napoleon escape, rescue him and save the Vineyards. Of course he can?
Episode 41: The Children’s Day Affair. by Olwyn Hiles.
Thrush have discovered the location of a top UNCLE meeting, so Napoleon and Illya are assigned to check security for the new location and also to check out a school nearby where Thrush are training young boys to become assassins. Illya is captured and held prisoner at the school, but even though he is tortured and whipped he does not disclose the new location. Napoleon comes to his aid but he too is captured and forced to play with a deadly toy train set where he has to prevent the trains colliding and releasing poisonous gas. Thrush allows Solo and Illya to escape, expecting them to lead them to the new venue. They have the young assassins dressed as choirboys, ready to sing for the meeting and trained to produce their guns from beneath their robes at a set time to kill the assembled U.N.C.L.E. chiefs. Napoleon and Illya discover the bomb in their car and transfer it to the Thrush vehicle, then they set off for the lodge and arrive just in time to save Mr. Waverly and his colleagues.
Episode 41: The Children’s Day Affair. by Bridget Calvert
Whilst checking venues for the UNCLE conference, Illya and Napoleon accidentally discover a THRUSH school. Where they are training boys to be assassins. Illya follows a probable new recruit for the school, but is captured and taken to visit ‘Mother Fear’ (Jeanne Cooper), who runs the school, along with her partner Dennis Jenks (Warren Stevens). She becomes angry that Illya won’t cooperate or as she says “Mind mother” and decides he needs some corporal punishment, from a four inch wide strap (ouch!). Napoleon, meanwhile, is still helping Anna Paola (Susan Silo) a social worker, who was responsible for the boy, to hunt for him and the trail leads him also to the school. He introduces himself as the school inspector, but of course they know who he is. As he makes his bid for freedom he comes across Illya, very much the worse for ware and stays to help him. As Mother Fear says to her students “That was his downfall, he should never have allowed friendship to delay him.” but of course that is not UNCLE’s way and it leads to his capture. The following day, after Napoleon has had to endure the torture of keeping two toy trains, carrying nerve gas canisters, from crashing and killing him, he and Illya are allowed to escape join up with Anna again and head towards the conference under the impression that THRUSH know the location, but they are followed and THRUSH deduce that there is only one place the convention could be held at. The boys from the school take the place of the choir who are performing at the convention and with guns hidden under their robes they prepare to kill the UNCLE Chiefs. Can Illya Napoleon and Anna save the day?
Episode 42: The Adriatic Express Affair. by Olwyn Hiles (from TN75 )
The opening scene finds our two heroes trying to spot a THRUSH agent who is about to board the train with some secret formula. It is New Year’s Eve. The innocent in this episode is played by the wonderful British actress, Juliet Mills, as Eva, who is supposed to simply deliver some chocolates and flowers to Madame Nemirovitch, but she gets left on the train as it sets off before she has the chance to exit.
Napoleon and Illya think they have spotted their man and as the train begins to leave the station they run and just manage to climb aboard and from that moment the story speeds along as fast as the express itself. As the good guys start a search of the train to find a small capsule containing the virus culture so begins some wonderful dialogue.
Illya meets up with the man who had the formula which he says Madame now has and he is upset that Napoleon is with Madame, “kissing her hand, all attentive.”
“He has always been very fond of the ladies,” says Illya.
“She is no lady. She is a monster.”
“He likes animals too.”
There is a fight with Madame’s chauffeur which continues on the roof of the train and ends up with the chauffeur getting killed and Madame shoots the old man who had the formula.
The poor woman from Kansas who keeps finding the dead bodies which have been hidden in the rest room plays her part brilliantly.
Eva tries to kill Napoleon with a gun Madame has given her for the purpose but it turns out to fire from both ends with Madame’s intention to kill them both at once. Luckily, our hero moves her hand out of the way just in time.
Napoleon and Illya are arrested for the murders that have occurred on the train and are locked up at the rear of the train. Neither of the agents have anything with them to help them escape from their cell except Illya says all he has is a book of matches. Napoleon says perhaps they could burn the wooden floor and loosen the bars from the floor.
“With one book of matches?” Illya says incredulously.
However there are some bottles of brandy which the young lady who has been chasing Illya all evening passes to them and she then goes to fetch some soda to extinguish the fire when it has done its job.
The capsule is eventually destroyed when Madame, who is dying, swallows the chocolate in which it is hidden bringing the search and the “affair” to an end.
But the best part is the ending itself. One of my favorite endings in the whole of series two. Juliet Mills as the innocent asks Napoleon if he will take her on a gondola when they get to Venice. Napoleon says he was thinking more of a little motor boat.
“That’s so unromantic,” says Eva.
“Not with Mr. Solo” says Illya, “He finds a gondola far too slow.”
“That’s right,” agrees Napoleon. “With a speed boat I can get a lot further a lot quicker.”
Illya is refilling the glass of the young lady who helped with the fire and he chokes and splutters on his champagne at Napoleon’s comment.
They all appear to be having fits of giggles and a wonderful time. Brilliant.
Episode 42: The Adriatic Express Affair. by Jay Felton. (from TN75 )
I remember I was pleasantly surprised by this episode the first time I watched it. I had previously read a synopsis and concluded it was one of the sillier MFU stories; I suppose a bald narrative of the plot would still give that impression. That actually watching it doesn't is, I suppose, a tribute to the actors whose performances make all this nonsense seem quite plausible. The premise of what Thrush is plotting, as in so many of the episodes, doesn't really matter - it is the characters and events which ensue as U.N.C.L.E. tries to foil them which provide the entertainment. I liked Mme Nemirovitch as a villain - stylish and matter-of-fact, never overplaying the role, so that her wickedness subtly sneaks up on the viewer and it is almost incongruous when she actually starts murdering people! This of course marks her as all the more dangerous; but can we believe her claim of being behind the original formation of Thrush? Eva, the innocent, is rather a stereotype from MFU and the much more naïve age of 1960s American TV, but the actress does her best with the limiting material. Napoleon manages to prove his brain does not always disengage when confronted with a 'femme fatale', in fact as with several other innocents in the series, in dealing with Eva he shows remarkable sensitivity, particularly considering that she was planning to attack him. His suave yet businesslike verbal sparring with Mme Nemirovitch is also particularly enjoyable. I was amused to imagine what people would think nowadays about the doctor resting his hand on Illya's knee during their little discussion! Did anyone else notice that? Fight scenes - I spotted Napoleon (or maybe RV) looking more than a little timid when the chauffeur was attacking him! Funny how people don't fall off the top of a moving train more often, isn't it, only when the plot requires it. The most annoying character is the blond bimbo (I've forgotten her name already, you notice) who seems to be permanently tipsy. I'd quite like to know what happened after she literally dragged Illya into her compartment saying she "wanted to talk to him". He didn't exactly resist, did he? I liked Illya's 'be prepared' attitude with the rope - I suppose he never knows when he might have to do a bit of burglary - but felt the bickering later about the lack of gadgetry was unworthy of our heroes. I did appreciate the comment about Napoleon's eyebrows, though. Funny how immaculate Napoleon's jacket looks after he's used it to hold the hot bars, which would have been all sooty from the fire… heaven forbid he should ever look untidy! One thing bothered me throughout this episode - the sets. The décor of the train is very unconvincing; I'd have to do research on this to be sure, but I'm inclined to doubt that the Adriatic Express would look so modern and minimalist, in the public areas at least. I also can't help wondering just how big this train is - either the carriages are massively wide, or the cameraman is hanging outside the window, and the toilets are vast! Maybe it's a Tardis…??
42: The Adriatic Express Affair. by Bridget Calvert
Find Professor Von Cridell and destroy the phial of chemical he is carrying. These are Illya and Napoleon’s instructions. Why? Because the chemical is in the hands of THRUSH and it can stop the reproductive process, permanently. Their search leads them to the Adriatic Express on New Years Eve, where they meet Madame Nemirovitch (Jessie Royce Landis), the creator of ‘The Nemirovitch Way to Health and Beauty’ and Eva (Juliet Mills), a young trainee from her salon, who has been sent to deliver chocolates and roses from Von Cridell. Also on the train is the professor, who inadvertently invented the chemical and is trying to get it back. After they save his life during a train top battle he confides in Illya and Napoleon that Madame Nemirovitch has the phial, which is small enough to hide anywhere. Our heroes decide that her cabin has to be searched and once more climb onto the roof of the speeding train, but horror of horrors the train lurches as it crosses the points and sends Illya flying over the edge. Don’t worry though Napoleon manages to catch his leg and pulls him up, but not before a blonde girl, who has been stalking Illya sees him hanging outside her window confirming, in her mind, his interest in her. The pair finally make it to the right cabin, but the lady in question is there and holds a gun on them, whilst other passengers call the guard. Both Agents are locked up in the baggage compartment, with no means of escape, except one book of matches. “If we burn the floor we could loosen the bars.” Napoleon suggests, but boxes containing bottles of Cognac are just too far away for him to reach. Then luck takes a hand, in the form of the ‘blonde’, who has come searching for the man of her dreams. She passes them the brandy and then they ask her to get some soda. “Lots of soda. I would hate to go up in flames.”??? Illya says, very seductively. “You won’t.” she replies “This is very good brandy.” “But I burst into flames with very little encouragement.” He replies, getting very close to her through the bars. (OK who says he can’t turn on the charm when he needs to?). They set fire to the floor and when a bar is loose they use the soda to put out the flames and escape, just in time to rescue Eva, who is being attacked by Madame Nemirovitch, with an atomiser of nerve gas. During the tussle she gets the gas herself and whilst she is dying Solo tries to get her to tell where the phial is, but she refuses and eats one last chocolate, then she smiles “Too late Mr Solo I have swallowed it.” Mission accomplished Illya and Napoleon are joined in their carriage by Eva and the blonde, who help them drink a bottle of Champagne or could it have been two or three. “Will you take me on a gondola?” Eva asks. “I was thinking more of a motor boat.” Solo replies. “Napoleon find gondolas much too slow.” Illya comments. “???Yes I like to get where I’m going faster.” He counters, making Illya choke. Whatever could he mean, make up your own mind?
Episode 43: The Yukon Affair. By Olwyn Hiles.
Napoleon and Illya have to pit their wits against an old adversary, G Emory Partridge (George Sanders), who has acquired a very heavy metal, Quadrillenium X, which he plans to sell to Thrush, who in turn plan to use it to upset world communications. As soon as they arrive in Alaska they are captured by the native Eskimos, but the daughter of their leader, Murphy (Tianne Gabrielle) turns up to help them escape. Solo is immediately re-captured by Partridge, and is taken back to the cabin to await the visitors from Thrush. A little later Illya and Murphy are also re-captured and are locked in a cell, but they make their escape and Illya goes to rescue his partner. They still have to find and destroy the Quadrillenium X, and they track it down to be somewhere in the saloon, so while Napoleon goes into the saloon to distract the revellers Illya searches for the metal and discovers it hidden behind a wall. Napoleon Illya and Murphy are trapped in the storeroom with the Quadrillenium X overnight, but escape when Partridge come for them the following morning then Napoleon throws a harpoon, loaded with explosives into the room to destroy the Quadrillenium X.
43 The Yukon Affair. by Bridget Calvert
Although not directly, this is a follow up to ‘The Gazebo in the Maze Affair’. Napoleon, whilst walking past a shop, notices an exact copy of the ‘Pear Tree’??, which had been owned by Emory Partridge, from said affair. Whilst he is looking at it a sponge is dropped from above by a window cleaner, which misses him by inches and uncharacteristically smashes the pavement. The sponge contains a piece of ‘Quadrillenium X’, the hardest and heaviest metal in the world, with magnetic properties, which could disrupt world communications. Waverly assigns Illya, due to his experience in cold climates, to check out movement of THRUSH mining equipment in the Yukon, which amuses Napoleon until he discovers that he is to go too, which makes Illya smile behind his back (one of those rare beautiful full smiles of his that lights up his face – oops sorry Darryl I digress)
Both arrive, by sub, in the Yukon and donning diving gear swim to the shore where they discover that it is indeed Partridge who is involved. They are captured, but are helped by the Eskimo chief’s daughter, Murphy. All to no avail though as Napoleon ends up strung from a beam, by Partridge and used as a target for whip practice and Illya and Murphy are locked up in the town jail. However Illya has hidden the miniature oxygen tank from his diving mask in Murphy’s hood and uses it to cut them free. They rescue Napoleon and find the Quadrillenium after taking part in a typical saloon brawl, only to be captured again. The oxygen comes in handy once more as Partridge tries to gas them, they feign unconsciousness and once more gain the upper hand. Their only problem now is to destroy the Quadrillenium?
Episode 44: The Very Important Zombie Affair. By Olwyn Hiles.
Solo and Kuryakin are sent to an island in the Caribbean to try to help Dr. Delgado(Ken Renard), who has been turned into a zombie by local dictator El Supremo (Claude Akins). Beautician Suzy, (Linda Gaye Scott), is trying to leave the island but is forced to stay and return to her job, where she is told to collect some hair or nail clippings from the two agents, which El Supremo needs in order to turn them into zombies. Suzy ends up tagging along with Napoleon and Illya as they collect Dr. Delgado and his wife and set off to find Mama Lou, (Maidie Norman), the only person who can still beat El Supremo at his own game and restore Dr. Delgado to good health.
Episode 44: The Very Important Zombie Affair. by Bridget Calvert
Off to the Caribbean this time. El Supremo (Claude Akins) rules the land with a fist of iron and a bag full of Voodoo. Dr. Delgado (Ken Renard) asks for UNCLE’s help to oppose him, but before he can bring his plans to fruition, he is effected by a curse himself. With the, eventual, assistance of Delgado’s wife and accompanied by Suzy (Linda Gaye Scott), a manicurist, who is trying to escape the country, they set off to find ‘Mama Lou, (Maidie Norman), the Voodoo High Priestess. They ask her to cure Delgado, which she agrees to do, but in so doing she signs her own death warrant and is killed by El Supremo’s men. The ruler tracks them down, but the agents tell him that Mama Lou died cursing his name and show him a doll, with his face on it, into which they shoot a dart. Magically he falls to the floor dead?
Episode 45: The Dippy Blonde Affair. by Bridget Calvert
During a raid on a THRUSH base our heroes take the leader, Harry Pendleton (Fabrizio Mioni), his girlfriend Jojo Tyler, a very dippy blonde (Joyce Jameson) and a briefcase containing ‘boosters for an Ion-projection machine’ into custody. During interrogation Pendleton takes a concealed suicide pill and UNCLE turn towards Jojo for help in finding the machine. She really does not know what she has got into and is persuaded to help, so as she can clear herself. On the streets again, with the briefcase, she is accosted by other THRUSHes working on the project. Her job is to persuade them that she is faithful, so as UNCLE can follow her to the new base. This she does, by shooting Illya and leaving him for dead, amongst the dustbins. (Even writing this brings back my horrific memory from the 60s – saw that bit in the trailer and couldn’t watch the episode – had to wait till the following week!) We all know that he doesn’t die, in fact he is not even injured and THRUSH are followed to their hideout, which turns out to be a cemetery, where, surprise, surprise, Pendleton’?s body also ends up, after being collected by relatives. Pendleton is in fact not dead and can be revived, but meanwhile his senior Baldinado (Robert Strauss) has fallen for Jojo and refuses to do so. Illya follows THRUSH into their base, but is captured, so Napoleon uses strong arm tactics and pretends he will kill Jojo if Boldinado does not free him. The THRUSH leader agrees to help, releases Illya and returns to the car, where Napoleon and Jojo are waiting, only to find them in each other’s arms. He then turns on Illya, who must fight for his life, in the rain and the mud, whilst Solo is oblivious to all that is going on around him. Finally the pair notice a very wet and tired agent outside the car window. Napoleon winds down the window and gives him a disgusted look. “We do work well together don’t we.” Illya comments, whilst he blows his soaking wet hair out of his face!
Episode 46: The Deadly Goddess Affair. by Bridget Calvert
THRUSH is transferring cash, by a drone plane to which Waverly has secured a copy of the remote. The plane is exploded, but the money satchel floats down on a parachute and lands on the Island of Circe. The race is now on between UNCLE and THRUSH to retrieve the money, complicated by the fact that a girl on the Island is looking for a husband and takes a fancy to Napoleon. The money has been found by her old and very forgetful father, who hides it and of course forgets where. The parachute is found, but a battle takes place, during which Napoleon is captured and Illya is thrown down a cliff into a deep pool. Exhausted he drags himself into a cave where he discovers the empty satchel. He persuades the girl and her sister to help rescue Solo, but even so the girls, Solo and the father end up tied in a cave with water rising very fast. Have no fear though, in his usual fashion, with the help of the inn keeper Illya manages a last minute rescue, all is well, the money is found, the THRUSH agents are arrested and Illya and Napoleon are due to return to the USA. Well that is if Napoleon can get out of his promise of marriage!
Episode 47: The Birds and the Bees Affair. by Bridget Calvert
UNCLE HQ in Switzerland is attacked, by Bees. Minute killer bees, which get in through the air filtration system and all personal are dead. The bees trail leads Napoleon to enlist the help of their creator Dr Elias Swan (John Abbott), who has been working with THRUSH, but is now out for revenge as they have stolen his bees. Meanwhile Illya is on the hunt for ’Cumberly Honey’? (The only thing the bees feed on) and finds Tavia Sandor (Anna Capri), with whom he is quite taken. This time it is Illya who has the bad day. Tavia tells him that a Mr Mozart buys all her honey and wants her to become an instructor in his dance school, a job which Illya persuades her to take. Wrong move, they are both taken and exposed to Mozart’s sound machine, which will shatter eardrums and leave brains scrambled, unless Illya takes him to the protected air intake of New York HQ. To save Tavia he agrees, but UNCLE know he is there and the plot is foiled, even though Mozart escapes. Tavia is rescued and Illya is detailed to protect her, which he again fails at and she is taken, but fear not Napoleon and Swan track the bees, using high frequency sound, to a roof top, where Mozart is awaiting a helicopter pick up. Illya joins them and a battle takes place during which the bees escape and kill Mozart. Illya then redeems himself, by saving them all from the bees, by shooting the jars of honey, which instantly attracts all of the hungry bees. How do he and Tavia get on? well we don’t know, but she does take him off to take up her offer of a life time course in dancing.
Episode 48: The Waverly Ring Affair. By Jamie Austin
“The Waverly Ring Affair” really is one of the shining gems of The Man From UNCLE’s second season, and the show as a whole. The writing of Jerry McNeely is (as always) quite masterful, with the episode expertly walking that fine line between drama and silliness that UNCLE could do so well.
The episode hits the ground running as, not unusually, we join the action with the UNCLE agents already engaged in a mission; in this case the interception of THRUSH documentation in a photographic store. One of the attractions of The Man From UNCLE must surely be that even the most innocuous settings/places/objects could be merely a front for secret organisations fighting an underground war, with nefarious life-threatening evil deeds going on all around the mostly oblivious populace (something also prevalent in other contemporary hit shows such as “The Invaders”? and “The Avengers”, somewhat inspired by the “Reds Under The Beds” ideals).
The well-executed excitement of Napoleon and Illya’s initial photo shop brawl proves to be merely the start of what will be a roller-coaster ride through 45 minutes of twists and turns as McNeely’s plot unfolds. The successful capture of the THRUSH documentation seems initially to be routine skulduggery (the sabotage of the Olympic Games – note Illya’?s wry smile as though this is all in a day’s work!), which makes the final revelation all the more shocking… . Upon finding an UNCLE document watch the realisation finally dawn on our heroes’? faces – something which stops them both in their tracks. Robert Vaughn’s subdued delivery of the clinching line is a complete contrast to his exuberant photo-store character from mere minutes before, emphasising the seriousness of the situation: “Then they’ve finally done it…? THRUSH has a man in UNCLE!” As the camera pulls away down the corridor, with Illya and Napoleon getting smaller and further away, it serves to highlight the isolation they must feel as their secure organisation looks about to collapse around them…
Cue opening titles…
“The Waverly Ring Affair” cleverly strikes at the very heart of The Man From UNCLE’s key premise – UNCLE itself. The comfortable organisation which we have come to know, with its stringent security and swift efficiency, is suddenly paralysed – a terrible situation given all the more weight by the fact that it is the unflappable Mr Waverly who gravely announces this. In addition we see quite clearly that UNCLE can fail and has a ‘darker’? side. This is particularly highlighted when Mr Waverly is informed of a discrepancy in a trainee agent’s background. Watch Leo G Carroll’s performance as he weighs up the future of an agent against the organisation, seeming almost to squirm away from the responsibility: “Regrettable business”. When possible double agent George Donnell is then condemned to de-training we know that this is something very serious indeed.
If that were not bad enough all of UNCLE’s resources seem to be next to useless in this episode: UNCLE’s top secret papers are being smuggled from HQ, fountain pen communicators are blocked, the de-training can be bypassed with contact lenses and the tracking device in the chewing gum wrapper ends up on the wrong car! For the most part Napoleon is forced to rely on his wits, utilising some extremely clever ideas in order to escape the clutches of THRUSH. In a neat ironic twist he uses a non-existent self-destruct device to throw off his guards, before hiding in plain sight and issuing orders to THRUSH operatives. Next, rather than trying to escape the building with the communication shield he simply rises above it, before using smoke and the ventilation system to attract assistance. In amongst all of this excitement the mention of “Project Windfall” being THRUSH’s plan to capture UNCLE HQ is so understated that it appears all the more audacious and possible!
The cleverness of McNeely’s writing cannot be overstated as the episode has so much happening, yet the viewer does not feel overloaded.
The serious nature of the “The Waverly Ring Affair” is beautifully balanced by the delightful, and somewhat bumbling, performance of Larry Blyden as George Donnell. For the audience it is difficult to believe that George is the UNCLE traitor because he is so likeable, even when the evidence stacks up against him. This makes his casual, grinning, confident manner when pretending to have gone over to THRUSH all the more threatening and makes the viewer wonder if perhaps George is the traitor after all…?
“The Waverly Ring Affair” is clearly a significant episode in the show’s canon as we are given huge amounts of new information about UNCLE, ranging from agent de-training and security arrangements, to the quite extraordinary Waverly Ring itself with the rules and myths surrounding it. However, despite this glut of new information, the skill of McNeely’?s writing means that such detail seems merely to come out of situations naturally, unlike in other shows and episodes where the plot almost grinds to a halt under weighty exposition.
“The Waverly Ring Affair” is an outstanding episode of The Man From UNCLE and it’s only Season 2. Surely it can’t get any better than this…??
Oh no? Step forward “The Batcave Affair”…
Episode 48: The Waverly Ring Affair. by Bridget Calvert
Who is stealing ‘File 40’ documents? Could it be George Donnell (Larry Blyden), from security? He is dismissed from UNCLE and detrained, well so it appears, but really Waverly has recruited him to find the double agent and given him a ‘Waverly Ring’ which commands instant obedience from any UNCLE agent, no matter what the circumstances. Donnell makes contact with THRUSH and is taken into their ranks. Meanwhile Napoleon is also issued with a ring and sets out to track him down. When he does he is captured and discovers that it is Carla Drosten (Elizabeth Allen), from UNCLE’s personal department, who is the double agent. Napoleon manages to get a part signal out to HQ and Illya sets out on their trail. Setting a false fire Napoleon and George, with able assistance from Illya outside escape and close down Carla’s operation. Napoleon however is very scathing at the amount of time it took Illya to find him. The Russian's answer – “Your smoke signals are even more illegible than your hand writing.” !
Episode 49: The Bridge of Lions Affair. (Part 1)
Illya is sent to Soho, London. Why? To investigate the disappearance of cats in the area. OK not a usual UNCLE mission, one may think, but one that gets him shot all the same. Why? Because he is getting too close to discovering the rejuvenation process which is being financed by Madam De Sala (Vera Miles), a dress Salon owner, who wants the process for her aging husband Sir Norman Swickert (Maurice Evans). The process works and THRUSH agent Jordin (Bernard Fox) also wants it, which of course the holders of the formula will not believe, therefore Napoleon asks Mr Waverly to come over to persuade his old aquaintance. Once again the battle is on and Illya rejoins his partner, but Jordin wins the first round, due to the fact that Madame De Sala’s chauffeur catches Illya and Napoleon as intruders and deposits in an empty wine press, with the weight descending…
Episode 50: The Bridge of Lions Affair. (Part 2)
Will our heroes survive? Yes? No? Alas No, as far as Jordin is concerned he has seen their plight and reverses the weight, but not before Illya dies from fright, according to Napoleon. Whilst Jordin gets a ladder for Solo Illya whispers “Next time you will play dead and I will think of the reason why.” Whilst Jordin is trying to extract information from Napoleon, Illya climbs up the side of the press, a feat on it’s own and frees him. Both are back in commission, but unfortunately too late as THRUSH already have control of Norman Swickert and the pair plus the Nurse and Waverly, who arrives in the middle of everything, end up back in the press. Luckily Waverly has not been searched as well as the others and is concealing a very special plastic explosive in his tie, which enables them to burn a hole in the side of the press and escape. THRUSH is attacked, but tragically Madam De Sala is killed, defending her husband.
Episode 51: The Foreign Legion Affair. by Bridget Calvert
Whilst carrying stolen THRUSH Code documents, Illya’s plane is attacked, forcing him to parachute out over the Desert, with the stewardess Barbara (Danielle DeMetz). Almost dead, from dehydration, they come across an old ‘Foreign Legion’ fort into which they are taken, but treated as prisoners, by Captain Basil Calhoun (Howard Da Silva), who believes the Legion still exists and thinks they are spies for the Arabs. Meanwhile Napoleon is sent to find Illya, but has great difficulty with the local THRUSH, who are also trying to find him, but is helped by a belly dancer, who he charms into letting him escape when her boss leaves. Unable to convince the captain Illya tries to escape, but only ends up being tied upside down out in the sun when THRUSH attack by air. The captain then believes him, has him released and joins in the fight, which forces the foe away, but he is shot in the process. Illya treats him and saves his life and he agrees to ask some friendly natives to take him to civilization. Unfortunately THRUSH arrive with the natives and Illya has to fight once again for his life, winning by deception (The large gun he is aiming at THRUSH is out of ammunition). As it is all over, who should arrive, but Napoleon. “Five minutes late as usual.”…??.
Episode 52: The Moonglow Affair. Reviews of this episode are in TN 78
Episode 54: The King of Diamonds Affair. by Bridget Calvert
A customer in a London restaurant breaks a tooth on a piece of glass in a ‘??Pogue’s Pudding’, which turns out to be a diamond. Illya and Napoleon are sent to the factory to interview Victoria Pogue (Nancy Kovack), who is adamant that the diamonds could not have come from her pudding. Little does she know that her shipping clerk is part of a diamond gang, headed by ‘The Blodgett Family’, in liaison with Rafael Delgado (Ricardo Montalban), an international diamond thief, known as the ‘King of Diamonds’. The clerk has been using pudding shipments to ferry the jewels out of the country, but has accidentally mixes up the orders. The Blodgetts break Delgado out of jail to sort out the mess and when he arrives at Pogue’s he is followed in by Napoleon, whilst Illya watches at the back and sees the arrival of the other half of the gang. A third agent is helping and Kuryakin sends him in to warn Solo, but it is too late, the clerk knocks out Napoleon. Miss Pogue walks in on him and faints at his actions so he then puts both her and Solo in one of the Shipping boxes just as the other agent arrives. Whilst the clerk is dealing with him Delgado comes out of hiding and executes him for incompetence. He then calls for the Blodgetts to load all the boxes as they do this they notice Illya and fire on him. Illya has no cover and is hit by a piece of plaster which is dislodged from the wall by one of the shots and he falls into a rubbish heap. By the time he awakes everything is quiet and both Napoleon and Victoria are on their way to Brazil, unbeknown to the gang, as part of their cargo. Whilst in mid air Napoleon comes too and manages to get a message out on his communicator and Illya is dispatched, despite having caught a very heavy cold, to rescue them. On arrival the two stowaways are found and locked in a mine to await execution at dawn. Illya meanwhile is travelling up river in a canoe with two Brazilian agents, who are beating out a tom-tom message to say they are friendly much to the detrimental effect on Illya’s headache. Just in time he arrives to rescue his partner, from the fate of being blasted apart by a cannon, but is he grateful? No. “Next time don’t leave it so late.” He quips. “Next time don’t go so far up the Amazon.” Illya replies.
Episode 55: The Project Deephole Affair. by Bridget Calvert
THRUSH agent Elom (Leon Askin) does not like the light and his project is to drill deep into the darkness of the earth. He also means, at the same time, to cause an earthquake that will drown the sunshine state of California. That is until he hits a drilling problem. He sends a fellow thrush agent Narcissus Darling (Barbara Bouchet) to kidnap an eminent geologist, but she mistakes Buzz Conway (Jack Weston) for him and tries to kid nap him instead. Illya and Napoleon are protecting the real geologist and unbeknown to Buzz they decide to let THRUSH go on thinking that way. They intend to guard him, but things don’t go well and he and Illya end up in the clutches of THRUSH. Buzz has to continue with the deceit or die, therefore he studies the plans and tells the workers to move the angle of the bit. This means the drill goes straight into an oil well, causing chaos and allowing them to escape. They meet up with Napoleon, who has forced Narcissus to help the UNCLE agents leave Buzz downstairs, in charge of the electricity, with orders to give them time to get aloft then pull every switch. Which he dutifully does, disorientating Elom and making him fall down a lift shaft.
Episode 56: The Round Table Affair. by Bridget Calvert
This affair opens with Illya in a car, at night, on a mountain road, chasing a wanted criminal, Lucho Nostra (Bruce Gordon). The chase unfortunately ends with him crashing through a border post and hitting a statue. Pinned in his car, he shouts to a passerby to stop the man, but the passer by turns out to be a wanted criminal also, one Artie King (Don Francks) who draws a gun on Illya and informs him that he is the criminal. Kuryakin is thrown in prison after he discovers that he is in the small country of Ingolstein, and that the statue he hit was a national treasure, but fortunately they leave him with his communicator and he is able to inform Mr Waverly that half the wanted men in Europe are residing there, unable to be touched by the police forces of the world because Ingolstein has no extradition treaty. Waverly sends Napoleon to talk to the ruling Princess of the country Vicky (Valora Nolan), who attends a ladies school in Paris, to persuade her to return to her country and rid it of the wanted men. This she agrees to do, when they arrive she releases Illya, but she then discovers that her cousin Prince Frederick (Reginald Gardiner), who has been ruling as regent, has lost the country to the criminals, because of his gambling. As the main holder of the debts is Artie King the Prince suggests that the only way to save the country is by her marring him and this she agrees, although reluctantly, to do. King is reluctant as well and Mr Waverly is also unhappy and orders Kuryakin and Solo to stop the wedding. This they do by kidnapping the groom, but to no avail as Nostra takes his place. King discovers that he does love the Princess and challenges Nostra to a dual, in full armour, which he wins. All’s well that ends well, Artie and Vicky marry, willingly and all the other criminals are turned out of Ingolstein, thus restoring the country to take it’s rightful place in the world, with a treaty.
Episode 57: The Bat Cave Affair. Reviews of this episode are in TN 76
Episode 58: The Minus X Affair. by Bridget Calvert
‘Plus X’ is a drug developed by a Professor Lillian Stemmler (Eve Arden) to heighten the senses and UNCLE are sure that some of it has been stolen by THRUSH when one of their agents turns up with over loaded senses. Napoleon and Illya are sent to protect her and whilst they are at her laboratory THRUSH makes a raid and steals a lot of her equipment. As a result she asks UNCLE to protect her daughter, who lives in Acapulco. Illya sets off to find her, but THRUSH have the room bugged and are waiting for him when he arrives. He is drugged but manages to place a homing device on her before he passes out. Back at the Lab. THRUSH announce that they have the girl and the professor walks out to their waiting car and allows them to take her. The two UNCLE agents track the homer to the THRUSH HQ, where they overhear the plans to attack a plutonium station. Illya takes the place of one of the advance guards and goes to the station whilst Napoleon tries to gain entry to the THRUSH strong hold, which he does, but not in the way he had planned. Captured and tied up he learns that the professor is in fact a THRUSH and that the group are after the plans of the plutonium station. To gain entry each agent will be given a dose of ‘Plus X’ to heighten their abilities and the guards at the station will be given a dose of the ‘Minus X’ drug which does the opposite. The plans go well until the professor realizes that THRUSH are not going to let her daughter go, so she releases Napoleon, on condition that her daughter is taken to safety. Solo and the professor go to the station and join Illya in the battle to stop their enemies, a battle in which the professor is killed trying to save her daughter.
Episode 59: The Indian Affairs Affair. by Gwynneth Gillett
Season 2 ends with a fun adventure set on a Red Indian reservation which is being used as a THRUSH base whilst they make a miniature hydrogen bomb. To stop any Indian dissent THRUSH have kidnapped their chief “High Cloud”.
Napoleon is sent to track down High Cloud’s daughter Charisma and get her to return to the reservation while Illya sets off for the reservation itself. He is forced off the road by young Indian warriors on motorcycles, overpowered and staked out to be eaten by giant red ants (which luckily for Illya have all been killed by crop dusting the previous summer, so don’t show up). Illya manages to persuade the young Indians to let him help them free their chief and they disguise him as one of themselves. However, Illya, Napoleon and Charisma all end up being caught and tied up by the THRUSH agents.
Charisma, using her Indian dancing skills, manages to twist and turn her way out of her ropes and free Napoleon and Illya. They then join forces with the young warriors on motorcycles and in a climactic battle they encircle the THRUSH agents stopping them escaping with their “bomb”?. Mr. Waverly arrives just in time to tie up all the loose ends by finding and securing the real bomb.
A fun, fast moving adventure with some good jokes. Illya at one point asks the chief to put his ear to the ground to listen for the approach of the guard. Chief High Cloud says what a clever idea this is and Illya comments that it’s an old Indian trick!
Episode 59: The Indian Affairs Affair. by Bridget Calvert
Why are Cardiac Indians attacking Napoleon and Illya, with bows and arrows no less, on the streets of New York? Because their chief has been Kidnapped and they believe that UNCLE has something to do with it. Napoleon goes to see the Chief’s daughter, Charisma (Angela Dorian), who is at university in New York to persuade her tribe to talk to them, but before she can, she too is kidnapped. Both have been taken by THRUSH and are being held by L C Carson (Joe Mantell) at his museum, near the Indian Reservation. The plan is to keep the Indians quiet whilst THRUSH uses their land to build the worlds smallest hydrogen bomb. Illya and Napoleon go to the reservation and the Russian manages to persuade the Indians to help him stop THRUSH. Disguised as an Indian Illya manages to get in to ‘??pow-wow’ with the chief, but is held prisoner and Napoleon soon joins them. All four are tied together, with little chance of escape, but Charisma manages to wriggle out of her bonds and free the others. The agents round up the tribe and attack the escaping group of THRUSH personal (Motor bikes surrounding a circle of cars would you believe) and win. Just then who should turn up but Alexander Waverly with a further group of agents, just in time to drag the offending THRUSHEs off. Carson has always hated Indians and now hates them even more as he sees all his plans disintegrate.
Episode 60: The Her Master’s Voice Affair. by Olwyn Hiles.
Take a popular tune, in this case Brahms’s lullaby, and give it the music box treatment, then use it to brainwash a school of VIP’s children, to gain the information they get from their parents. This is the latest plan of THRUSH, so when UNCLE discovers that Dr. Matsu’?s daughter Miki is one of the brainwashed girls she has to be kept out of school and has to be protected and educated privately. Illya is given the role of teacher and protector but Miki does not give him an easy time. Napoleon appears to have the easier time as he goes to the school posing as a personal assistant to some VIP checking out the school for a prospective scholar. He gets on well with the Deputy Head, Verity, but that night under the spell of the music herself, she goes to Napoleon’s room and attacks him with an axe. The next morning the Headmistress sends Napoleon away from the school, but the girls hide him, as they believe that he wants to be near Verity. Meanwhile, Miki gets a phone call and the Brahms’s lullaby is played over the phone to her. She escapes from Illya and is taken back to the school, where Thrush, begin to get the information from her. Napoleon tries to rescue her and escape with Verity but the music is played again and all the girls are told to kill Solo and he ends up being attacked by them all in the swimming pool. They have to wait for Illya, who is driven by Mr. Waverly through the rush hour traffic, to save the day.
Episode 60: The Her Master’s voice Affair by Bridget Calvert
A very private girls’ school, run by Hester Partridge (Estelle Winwood) becomes the target of THRUSH, in this episode. A Japanese girl, Miki Matsu (Victoria Young), the daughter of a Japanese diplomat is a student and is brainwashed into memorising her father’s secret documents to repeat to THRUSH at a later date. Happily Napoleon and Illya, who are escorting her father, arrive at her home in time to interrupt the process, but unhappily the THRUSH Agents escape leaving Illya unconscious (of course). Napoleon is sent to investigate her school, whilst Illya is detailed to be her bodyguard, a suggestion she is only to pleased to go along with (wouldn’t we all girls). Napoleon discovers that the brainwashing is taking place at the school, with the help of a simple music box setting of Brahms’? Lullaby. Meanwhile the Headmistress manages to talk to Miki on the phone and programmes her to walk out of the house. Outside ‘School Benefactor’, Jason Sutro (Joseph Ruskin) is waiting for her and puts her in his car, leaving Illya unconscious once again. Have no fear though he recovers and gets a message to Napoleon who tries to rescue her, but ends up fleeing from all the students, who have been programmed to kill him. Help is at hand though and the cavalry arrive just in time, in the guise of Mr Waverly, the driver of a very old open top sports car (including driving goggles) with Illya as the passenger. All’s well that ends well, Mr Waverly goes to dinner with Mr Matsu, Napoleon with Miss Burgoyne, one of the school teachers and Illya, poor Illya is dragged off by Miki to the ‘?Sianora –a go-go’. (Some people have all the luck?)
Episode 61: The Sort-Of-Do-It-Yourself-Dreadful Affair by Bridget Calvert
Whilst trying to retrieve very important documents from a THRUSH safe, Napoleon is attacked by a very strong woman, who he escapes from by the skin of his teeth. Mr Waverly is convinced he is delusional and needs a holiday. Whilst Illya is escorting him to the station, they are attacked again, by the same woman, who this time, fortunately, collapses mid strike. The woman is identified by her ex-room mate Andy Francis (Jeannine Riley), who says she disappeared sometime ago. On investigation, back at HQ, it is discovered that the woman is mostly robotic and Illya is sent along with Andy to track the woman’s last know movements. Meanwhile Napoleon is sent off on another assignment to investigate an application by THRUSH for a manufacturing lone from a Swiss bank. Napoleon discovers, to his horror, that the manufacturing is of robots, all exactly the same as his attacker. Illya’s investigations lead him to the same factory, where both are captured and attacked by the robots. On the point of death they are saved by the robots inventor Dr. Pertwee (Woodrow Parfrey) who destroys them when he finally discovers that he has been duped by THRUSH.
Episode 61: The Sort of do-it-yourself Dreadful Affair. by Olwyn Hiles.
While out on a routine assignment, Napoleon is attacked by a girl intent on killing him. Napoleon shoots at her but his bullets have no effect. When he reports all this, Mr. Waverly insists that he needs to take a break and instructs Illya to help the protesting Mr. Solo to pack and embark on his vacation. On their way the “girl” strikes again, and Illya discovers that Napoleon’s story was indeed true, as they find that they are unable to stop the attack. The girl, Muriel, is one of an army of robots built by Dr. Pertwee, for THRUSH. Napoleon is back on the case with Illya, and while Illya goes with Muriel’s ex roommate to try to find out what happened to Muriel, Napoleon poses as a banker to infiltrate the THRUSH plot and find out why they are searching for new finance. Solo and a fellow banker are taken, blindfolded by THRUSH to see the new project which turns out to be an idea to introduce slaves to do anything you want. THRUSH intends to use them as an army to help them in their world domination plans. Illya and Miss Francis visit the clinic where Muriel was sent and they are captured by Thrush. Although they are unaware, they are in the same building as Napoleon and are actually only six blocks from UNCLE Headquarters. Illya and Miss Francis escape and recruit Dr. Pertwee to their side by explaining to him of the way THRUSH plan to use his labour saving robots. They meet up with Napoleon and try to escape but Thrush sets a whole army of woman robots to kill them. The only way to stop them is for Dr. Pertwee to electrocute himself.
Episode 62: The Galatea Affair. by Olwyn Hiles.
Solo and Kuryakin are in a gondola in Venice searching for THRUSH treasures and they discover a money courier in the form of Baroness Bibi. They are attacked and end up in the canal and Napoleon contracts pneumonia and is sent home to recuperate. Mark Slate is assigned to assist Illya in completing the affair, which is to replace the Baroness with a “double,” a bar entertainment by the name of Rosy, both parts played by Joan Collins. Noel Harrison, as Mark Slate, reprises his father Rex Harrison’s role in My Fair Lady, by attempting to pass off the common Rosy as the Baroness. Baroness Bibi discovers the plan and does a double switch, but then jeapordises the plan by falling in love with Mark.
Episode 62: The Galatea Affair: by Bridget Calvert
Whilst observing the actions of The Baroness Bibi de Chasseur (Joan Collins) from the vantage point of a Venetian Gondola Illya and Napoleon are attacked by THRUSH. They escape by abandoning ship, which leaves poor Napoleon with pneumonia and out of this episode, well until the end. The Baroness is a courier for the THRUSH treasurer and Mark Slate (played by Noel Harrison this time) is teamed up with Illya by Waverly to obtain the identity of the treasurer and the lists of names to whom payment is being made. It is their job to substitute a double for the Baroness who will glean the information. The double is non other than Rosie Shlagenheimer (also Joan Collins) a bar room entertainer, who is the least lady like person you could imagine. Illya joins the de Chasseur household as a tennis instructor, whilst Mark works with Rosie to make her into the Baroness, an impossible task. However the Baron discovers the plan and persuades Bibi to substitute for Rosie and they effect a swap, unknown to Mark and Illya. When Waverly visits to see how Mark is getting on he is told that it is hopeless, but whilst in a restaurant the three are approached by a Cattle Baron who knows the Baroness and a transformation takes place, it would appear that Rosie has got what it takes after all to be a Baroness. Waverly remarks “Mr Slate you did it.” The planned switch takes place, but at the last minute Bibi makes a mistake, Mark becomes suspicious and follows her. Whilst abducting the Baroness Illya also discovers the switch, but too late as he is captured. However he and Rosie manage to escape and follow Mark to the wine cellar, which is the next contact point. A battle ensues, during which they discover, unknown to even Bibi, that the Baron is the Treasurer. Back at UNCLE HQ Bibi has been very helpful and is released, but just as she is saying her goodbyes the door opens and in walks Napoleon, only to carry her off for dinner. “Napoleon’s a fast worker.” Mark comments. “Yes.” Illya replies. “It’s like he’s never been away.” A very funny episode, especially if you look for the ‘My Fair Lady‘ spoof angle. Even more so for the British, I think, as they would know more about the Film and know that Noel Harrison’s father, Rex, played Professor Higgins.
Episode 63: The Super-Colossal Affair. by Olwyn Hiles.
Uncle Guiliano (J. Carrol Naish), is head of a worldwide crime syndicate with Frank Cariago, (Bernard Fein) heading the U.S. side. Frank is not too popular with his Uncle as he keeps bungling things so to try to make amends, he invests in the motion picture business to make a film which concludes with a scene dropping a bomb on Las Vegas. As the city is the syndicates biggest enemy, Frank hopes to get back into his uncle’s good books by substituting the “prop” bomb by a real bomb. UNCLE send Solo and Kuryakin to investigate. The fun part is that Frank thinks they have been sent by Uncle Guiliano to check up on him, and they are treated as family members until the mistake is discovered. I do quite like this episode but we are, however, in the start of the silly season, and Illya finds himself in a vat of concrete before ending up riding on the back of the bomb which is filled with essence of skunk. There are some excellent scenes and dialogue between the “cousins”?? Napoleon and Illya, but for me, Shelley Berman as the director Sheldon Veblan, almost steels the show.
Episode 63: The Super-Colossal Affair by Bridget Calvert
Why has one of the Sicilian Families suddenly called all it’s world leaders to a meeting? That is what Illya and Napoleon are sent to find out. Why?
Because Uncle Giuliano (J. Carrol Naish) is dissatisfied with the revenue from Las Vegas and wishes his nephew Frank Cariago (Bernard Fein) to understand, in no certain terms, that it is his fault. To appease the family Cariago buys into a failing film company who are making a film about the dropping of a bomb on said city. His plan is to replace the prop bomb with an atomic one and wipe out the whole city. Meanwhile Illya and Napoleon are still trying to discover the plan and are mistaken for Giuliano’s men, a cover which they manage to hold for a while until Uncle Giuliano gets wind of the plan and comes along to join the party. Our two heroes are captured and Illya gets dumped into a plaster vat, which hardens very quickly. Please do not worry though, because he manages to use his communicator as an air tube until Napoleon can chip him out. Now the race is on to stop the bomb. Just in time they arrive to board the plane as it is taking off and battle to take over the craft. During the battle however the bomb is released with Illya aboard who manages to grab a chute as he leaves the bomb bay. Can Illya defuse the bomb in time?
The wind rushes through his clothes and hair as he slowly removes the fuse, lower and lower the bomb falls, at last he has it free, only to receive a great shock, Giuliano has replaced the atomic head and filled the bomb with essence of sunk. Oh no poor Illya!!
Episode 64: The Monks of St. Thomas Affair. by Olwyn Hiles.
THRUSH kill the inventor in order to claim a new type of laser gun for themselves. They are going to use the gun to destroy all the treasures in the Louvre, in Paris. The best place for them to fire the gun from is high in the Swiss Alps and so they take over a monastery there. Napoleon is dispatched to the monastery, (Napoleon, in a monastery?), but never fear he comes across a pretty young lady to take in with him. She is Andrea Fouchet (Celeste Yarnall), and she is the neice of Brother John, the leader of the monks, who is being held captive in order to get the other monks to co-operate. Illya, meanwhile, is approaching the problem from another angle, and is following some spare parts which are needed for the gun. Napoleon and Andrea are captured, but manage to escape eventually and find Brother John, and Illya too is captured as he climbs his way into the monastery, but they all seem to find their way to the tower and prevent the gun from being fired with only seconds to spare.
Episode 64: The Monks of St. Thomas Affair by Bridget Calvert
THRUSH have taken over the monastery of St. Thomas, in the Swiss mountains, the makers of Aquatine Liqueur. They are threatening the world with their new laser gun. Their first target is to be the Louvre in Paris. Napoleon and Illya are sent to stop them. Napoleon teams up with the niece of the Abbot John, Andrea Fouchet (Celeste Yarnall) and manages to infiltrate the building disguised as a monk, whilst Illya takes a more athletic route up the walls to the bell tower. Napoleon and Andrea are discovered and locked in a cell and Illya is discovered as he makes his entry, disrupting the bell ringing. However all three manage to escape and with the help of two very penitent monks they manage to overpower THRUSH and save the art treasures of the world. Our heroes return to New York bearing a case of Aquatine, carefully stored on ice, for Mr Waverly. “Aquatine on ice!” he comments. ”Gentlemen Aquatine is the finest of Liqueurs, surely you know you don’t put Liqueurs on ice.” Even so he still seemed to enjoy his delicacy.
Episode 65: The Pop Art Affair by Bridget Calvert
THRUSH has a new deadly gas, ‘Hiccup Gas’. UNCLE has an informant this time, but he is killed as he divulging his information. The investigation leads Illya undercover to mingle with the hippies of Greenwich Village (USA that is not England), wearing the informant’??s pendant. He wanders into a Hippie café where he meets Sylvia Harrison (Sherry Alberoni), who points him in the direction of Ole’s Gallery. On entering the Gallery he recognises a picture of the ‘Gas’ canister and he knows he is in the right place, but unfortunately Mark Ole (Robert H Harris) also recognises the pendant as the catalyst for the Gas machine and sends his goons after our hero. Cornered in the café Illya resorts to performing a monologue about the great ape to avoid capture, during which he throws the pendant to Sylvia, but the THRUSH apes win and they knock him out and drag him away, to the joy of the crowd, who think it is all part of the show. When he does not return Sylvia, who he gave his card to earlier, rings HQ and is put through to Napoleon. Hence a second agent is sent to the Gallery, nearly too late. Meanwhile Illya has been tied to a chair and refuses to tell where the pendant is. After delivering a little physical abuse to his captive Ole realises he is not going to talk so he locks him in and the room begins to fill with foam. At the last moment Napoleon comes into the Gallery and notices foam squirting out from behind a mirror, he takes a chair and breaks the mirror and manages to pull Illya free just in time. Sylvia is now in danger and Napoleon and Illya set off to find her. Illya discovers her at a hippie party, by the lake, where they are attacked once again. This time they manage to escape, by jumping into a handy hot air balloon and taking off, to no avail though, for Ole’s men shoot down the balloon, a bullet glancing the side of Illya’?s head in the process. Does Napoleon arrive in the nick of time again??
Episode 65: The Pop Art Affair. by Olwyn Hiles.
A THRUSH informer arranges to meet Mr. Waverly, Napoleon Solo and Illya Kuryakin on the golf course with the latest THRUSH weapon, a gas released from an aerosol canister which causes uncontrollable hiccups leading ultimately to death. The informer is assassinated in front of the trio but he leaves behind an empty aerosol and a pendant. Illya is sent in to Greenwich Village, posing as an artist, where he meets Sylvia (Sherry Alberoni), who leads him to an art studio run by Mark Ole ( Robert H Harris ). Illya is held captive in the back of the studio and when Sylvia calls UNCLE Headquarters and speaks to Napoleon he is able to trace Illya to the studio and gets there just in time to rescue him from a death from foaming bubbles. They continue their search for the gas and for Sylvia who Thrush are also looking for as she has the pendant which they need. Napoleon goes to visit her parents while Illya goes into the countryside. Illya finds her and tries to protect her from Thrush but they are both captured in a balloon and taken back to Ole’s place where Napoleon comes to their rescue and the gas machine is destroyed.
Episode 66: The Thor Affair. by Olwyn Hiles.
The plan of THRUSH, Brutus Thor (Bernard Fox), go awry when Dr. Nahdi (Harry Davis), avoids the assassination attempt on him, which would stop the International Peace Conference. Thor changes his tactics and invites the Doctor to stay at his home to prepare for the conference, his plan now being to get Nahdi to unwittingly take a bomb into the conference and so dispose of many other World Leaders along with the peace talks. Solo and Kuryakin are assigned to protect the Doctor and are disturbed to hear where he is staying. THRUSH plant a bomb in their luggage to get rid of them but this plan is thwarted when Nellie Canford (Linda Foster), receives a message through some dental work. When she drinks rum she gets radio signals through the offending molar. She rushes into the room of Solo and Kuryakin and throws the overnight bag out of the window seconds before it explodes. She is immediately, if a little unwillingly, co-opted to help in their assignment. The conference begins and Nahdi starts his speech. Napoleon keeps on feeding Nellie rum cookies in the hope she will hear something useful while Illya goes back to Thor’s place to try to uncover the plot. He enters via a room full of toys which start firing live ammunition at him and he loses his communicator pen in his bid to escape. Thor captures him, however, but Illya is able to outwit him and let Napoleon know, via Nellie’s tooth, where the bomb is, and Napoleon springs in to action to save the day.
Episode 66: The Thor Affair by Bridget Calvert
Dr. Fazie Nahdi (Harry Davis) is an Indian advocate for peace and is to speak at a World Peace Conference. Illya and Napoleon have been assigned to protect him and THRUSH want him dead. Brutus Thor (Bernard Fox), a toy manufacturer, is his host, but is also the agent who has been assigned to kill him. Whilst trying to get accommodation our heroes meet a school teacher (no not me unfrotunatly), Nellie Canford (Linda Foster) who has a very peculiar molar, which picks up radio transmissions, when she has been drinking Rum. This is very lucky for the boys as she overhears that there is a bomb in Napoleon’s suitcase and saves their lives. After discovering that Thor is the antagonist, they of course enlist her help and she accompanies Napoleon to the conference whilst Illya goes to Thor’??s house to try and discover how he intends to kill Nahdi. His way in appears to be through the toy warehouse, but unknown to him the toys are not as they would appear. As he makes his way through they turn on him, revealing weapons that fire real bullets. Fortunately the only thing that is damaged is his communicator and he escapes unscathed, but only to be captured by Thor. Megalomaniac that he is, he insists, at gun point, on telling Illya all about his plan, he has impregnated the 10th page of the speech with the smell of cat, when Nahdi turns the page he will sneeze, as he is allergic to cats, and reach for his handkerchief, which is a bomb. Meanwhile one of Thor’s cats has curled up on Illya’s lap, he suddenly makes the animal jump at it’s owner and whilst Thor defends himself from flying claws, manages to take the gun and knock his captor out. Using Thor’s own radio Illya manages to contact Nellie, through her tooth, to tell Napoleon that the handkerchief is a bomb. All’s well that ends well and Nellie is accompanied back to her school by our two heroes and Mr Waverly. Funny ending – Whilst Waverly is talking about expenses Illya has found a toy to play with, it is a duplicate of one of the dolls that was shooting at him. Unknown to him the others turn to watch as he dismantles it – just to make sure it is safe. What an embarrassed grin when he finally looks up and realises he is being watched.
Episode 67: The Candidate’s Wife Affair by Bridget Calvert
Miranda Bryant (Diane Hyland) is the wife to a presidential candidate who Napoleon is assigned to protect. Unbeknown to him, whilst in the beauty parlour, she is kidnapped, by THRUSH and replaced with a double, Irina, who has been hypnotised into believing she is Miranda. When the deception is discovered, Illya investigates the beauty parlour, whilst Napoleon tries to discover who the woman is. All three are captured, Illya at the parlour, where he discovers the real Miranda, being programmed to be an unknown spy in the White House and the other two at Campaign HQ, where the candidates aid, Arnold Fairbanks shows himself up to be a THRUSH agent. How will they escape? Simple Irina is ignored, whilst the others are under strict supervision, by now she has come to the realisation that something is wrong and part of her old self emerges, she is a judo expert and takes THRUSH by surprise, enabling our heroes to escape, take over and save the day.
Episode 67 The Candidate’s Wife Affair. by Olwyn Hiles.
Napoleon is delighted with his assignment to protect Miranda (Diana Hyland), the lovely wife of Senator Bryant (Richard Anderson), from being kidnapped. Imagine his dismay, therefore, when Mr. Waverly and Illya inform him that although he spent all the morning with Miranda, a switch did in fact take place, and the lovely Miranda was an exact duplicate. The substitute has been programmed to believe she is the real Miranda, which is why she is unable to reveal her true identity when Napoleon and Illya give her the truth drug. This is THRUSH’s latest plot to ultimately get an agent into the White House with obvious repercussions. Napoleon continues to try to find out what he can from her, and when she saves his life during an attack he discovers she is a judo expert. Meanwhile, Illya returns to the beauty salon, the only place where the switch could have been made, and he is captured and held by the scientists who worked on Miranda. Napoleon and the substitute Miranda go to the house of Fairbanks (Larry D Mann), the Senator’s aide, to see if any memories will come back to her, but soon discover that Fairbanks is in fact the leader of the plot. They are taken to join Illya and the real Miranda is taken back to her husband. The plan is that the three of them will perish in a fire at the salon, but thanks to the help of the expert in judo, they escape and the plot is brought to a halt.
Episode 68: The Come with Me to the Casbah Affair. by Olwyn Hiles.
THRUSH underling, Pierrot La Mouche (Pat Harrington Jr.), steals a THRUSH code book to sell to UNCLE so that he can afford to take his love, Janine, (Danielle DeMetz), away from the café she works in. Illya meets him in the café to make the trade, but Pierrot is followed by THRUSH and in the ensuing fight, Pierrot escapes to the Casbah and Illya ends up in hospital when a pot of olive oil falls on his head. Napoleon is dispatched to the Casbah, to find Pierrot and the book, but Pierrot refuses to let the book or indeed Solo out of his sight until Janine is brought safely to him. Illya has to get up from his hospital bed, to collect Janine and take hr to the Casbah, but they are pursued by THRUSH and have to hide in a hotel room overnight. The following morning, Illya starts to take Janine to Pierrot, but THRUSH are on their trail and when Pierrot hears this, he rushes off to find her, with Napoleon in pursuit. When they all meet up at the entrance to the Casbah, a fight breaks out and in the confusion the book is lost. When the book does turn up it is found to be worthless.
Episode 68: The Come With Me To The Casbah Affair. by Bridget Calvert
To obtain a THRUSH code book on offer from Pierrot La Mouche (Pat Harrington Jr.) is Illya’s task in this episode. He is to meet the man in a café, using the pass words “The rain in Spain ect.” this he does, but Pierrot’s THRUSH boss, Colonel Hamid (Jacques Aubuchon) realises that he has taken the book and follows him, during the ensuing battle Pierrot escapes and Illya is knocked out by a large falling olive oil pot. Illya ends up in hospital and Napoleon is sent to the Casbah to meet Pierrot. When he arrives Pierrot demands that UNCLE brings Janine (Danielle DeMetz), the Café owner to him and refuses to let Napoleon go if his demands are not met. Illya is contacted by his partner and has to drag himself out of bed, ignoring the protests of the Nurse, who refuses to give him his clothes. “I will go without them.” He states. “You would not dare.” She replies. “Oh wouldn’t I.” is his response, as he drops his sheet (Oh boy – very nice, but definitely decent). Back to the plot girl. Illya reaches Janine just in time to pull her from the clutches of THRUSH and has to hide in a hotel room with her overnight, one double bed, but he is, as ever, the gentleman and they hang a blanket between them. Before they can reach the Casbah, Hamid captures them so as he can persuade Janine to tempt Pierrot out of hiding and unfortunately for Illya this takes the form of hanging him over a fire and threatening him with a hot branding iron. She of course agrees, but while Hamid is preparing, Illya acrobatically turns himself upside down and burns his ropes through. Ouch! “You will burn yourself to a crisp.” She cries. “Technically the ropes should burn through before I do.” He heroically replies. They of course escape and arrive at the Casbah just in time to stop Pierrot from surrendering, but in the ensuing fight the book is lost and Pierott is shot, or appears to be. He is safe though, as the bullet hits some jewellery he has stolen and the book does turn up again because Hamid’s girl friend has stolen it. However the whole affair has been to no avail as the message translates as being Hamid’s marching orders.
Episode 69: The Off-Broadway Affair by Bridget Calvert
UNCLE’s computer is being tapped, how? A phone call from an actress in an Off-Broadway show, at a theatre only a few blocks from UNCLE HQ, is about to break the case, but before she can impart her information she is killed. Our heroes are sent, undercover, to discover why? Illya as a water man and Napoleon as a talent scout. Napoleon makes contact with the stars understudy, Janet Jarrod (Shari Lewis), but even with this extra help neither make any discoveries, except how deep the lake is in central park and how hard it is to swim in when tied. “I don’t like your choice of swimming baths.” Illya comments. “They always overdo the chlorine.” Napoleon replies as his partner pulls him from the lake. Illya joins the show as a horn player and becomes a real hit, not hard in such an awful show, but between performances he manages to search the theatre and comes across a THRUSH underling who offers to show him ‘the tunnel’ in exchange for a large amount of cash. This he does and Illya destroys the tap, but this was not as easy as it seamed and he discovers that it was just a decoy, but before he can attack the real one he is captured. Janet tries to help him and is also caught and made to go on stage in the stars place to save his life. However Napoleon, Mr Waverly and a whole host of agents are in the theatre and she manages to sing a message of warning to them. Illya is rescued and an unscheduled fight scene is added to the show, which proves to be the saving of it. The tap is stopped, the THRUSH agents are arrested and Janet is a hit, what more could you want? Mind you the director does offer Illya and Napoleon a spot in the show. “Don’t call us.”?? They reply. “We’ll call you.”
Episode 69: The Off-Broadway Affair. by Olwyn Hiles.
Napoleon and Illya go to an Off-Broadway theatre to investigate when the star is murdered while trying to give UNCLE some information. UNCLE is having trouble with its communication system, and it is believed that the answer lies at the theatre, a couple of blocks away. Solo befriends the stars understudy, Janet Jarrod (Shari Lewis), and Illya joins the cast of the show. The stars dressing room for some reason is kept locked, so Illya starts his search there, but a stage hand discovers him and, for a price, offers to show him where the offending computer is. Illya is taken to it and the problem computer is destroyed. However, Illya feels it was too easy and so arranges to search the dressing room again the following night during the shows performance with Napoleon and Mr. Waverly in the audience. Janet helps Illya to get into the dressing room but they are both caught, and in the ensuing fight the star of the show is killed, and so Janet, who has waited so long to star in the show now is forced in to doing it. With a shaky start she begins the opening number, during which she signals to Napoleon in the audience, to try to alert him to what is going on below the stage and in the wings. Napoleon leaves the auditorium and goes to find Illya. They destroy the real computer and return to the stage to give the show a brilliant finale as the baddies are overcome.
Episodes 70/71, The Concrete Overcoat Affair. by Olwyn Hiles.
In Italy, Mr. Strago (Jack Palance), and his faithful assassin, Miss Diketon (Janet Leigh), are in charge of a THRUSH plot to divert the Gulf Stream, so when they hear that two UNCLE agents are on their trail, they send out a team to kill them. Napoleon and Illya are separated during the chase, and Napoleon is left unconscious when the place he takes refuge in is blown up. He recovers to find himself being cared for by a beautiful Italian girl, Pia (Letitia Roman), and a little later when he attempts to leave, he finds the guards are still searching the town so he hides in Pia’??s bedroom. When he is discovered there the following morning, Illya has to hurriedly rescue him from a shotgun wedding, and they are ordered to return to New York. Strago has moved his operation to Chicago, and Solo and Kuryakin are assigned to go to the warehouse and uncover the plot. Pia’s family, believing her honour has been compromised, are searching for Solo to force the marriage. Her uncles, the Stilleto brothers, gather in Chicago, and try to revive the Prohibition days, when they were in their prime. Napoleon is dragged off by the uncles to attend his wedding while Illya is taken by Miss Diketon for her own brand of torture. Napoleon is taken to meet Pia and the wedding is about to begin when Strago and his men attack and take Napoleon and Pia with them, but Napoleon escapes. Pia and Illya are taken to the island headquarters of Strago where the Thrush plot is now controlled from. In New York Mr. Waverly orders the island to be destroyed, leaving Napoleon only hours to rescue them. Miss Diketon switches sides and helps Illya escape. Napoleon meets up with Pia’s uncles again on his way to the island, and between them they destroy Strago and his plans.
Episode 70: The Concrete Overcoat Affair Part 1. by Bridget Calvert
Louis Strago (Jack Palance) plans to divert the Gulf stream and turn Greenland into a tropical Island for THRUSH. Illya and Napoleon are sent to Italy to stop him, but unfortunately they are recognised and are attacked during a parade in the small town of Terfona. Illya manages to escape, but Napoleon is forced to take refuge in a pizzeria, which THRUSH then blow up. When he wakes up, feeling rather under the weather he finds himself in the home of Pia Monteri (Letita Roman) and her Grandmother. they are the owners of the pizzeria and as Pia has rather fallen for him, she insists that he stays until he is feeling a little better. Meanwhile Illya has found Strago’s winery, where the ‘heavy water’ is being produced for the bombs needed to carry out THRUSH’s plan. He manages to get in disguised as a guard, where he meets Miss Diketon (Janet Leigh) who takes a shine to him, but once again he is recognised and has to make a quick exit. Things are not going well. As Napoleon leaves the Monteri’s he overhears some THRUSH guards being sent to ‘hunt for the UNCLE Agent’. Assuming that it is he they are searching for he climbs up to Pia’s bedroom window and she allows him to hide there for the night. That is just the thing that her grandma could and would never understand, which ends up with him facing a shotgun. A shotgun wedding. Fortunately for him he manages to contact Illya and escapes just in time, but not fortunately for Pia, for she is now a marked woman. Illya and Napoleon follow Strago back to the States, but they in turn are followed by Pia and her grandma, who contact family members the ’Stilletto Brothers’, who promise to help find Solo. Back in HQ Illya is sent to the docks to work as a longshoreman and to find the bombs, which are due for delivery. The bombs arrive, but so does Miss Diketon and Illya is once more captured by THRUSH. To make matters worse Napoleon is also taken, by the Stillettos, to face yet another shotgun wedding. However Strago has other plans for Mr Solo and tries to take him from the wedding, which he succeeds in doing, along with Pia,
Episode 71: The Concrete Overcoat Affair Part 2. by Bridget Calvert
Strago cannot hold Napoleon for long however as he manages to escape whilst Pia is struggling with her captors, promising to come and rescue her. UNCLE locates Strago’s new island base and Napoleon persuades Mr Waverly to allow him to try and rescue Pia and Illya before the bombers level the place. Meanwhile Illya has been very badly treated, by Miss Diketon, who has been doing nasty things to him with an electric cattle prod (ouch!), not necessarily to gain any information from him, but just, it would appear, for fun. When he is finally brought up to Strago he is rather the worse for wear, but the man intends to add insult to injury by making his captive watch a demonstration of his new sound weapon. Illya is made to watch a small boat, which is approaching the Island, through a telescope, and of course he recognises his partner as being the driver. The sound weapon is activated and the boat blows up, but unknown to Illya, Napoleon is rescued by, none other than, the Stillettos who he manages to persuade to help him. Miss Diketon discovers that Strago has ordered her execution and releases Illya to take her revenge. Therefore with both agents free and both with help, albeit dubious help they set out to destroy Strago’s plans, Illya down to the bomb launching room and Napoleon to the control tower. Napoleon gets delayed, but Illya floods the chamber and stops the launch, but not without having to fight the inevitable guard, under water for his life (look out for the continuity mistake, if you can drag yourself away from the fact that Illya is wet girls). With their extra help they wrap things up nicely, just in time of course to escape the bombers. Ah well that is our heroes for you.
Episode 72: The Abominable Snowman Affair by Bridget Calvert
What on earth is Illya doing in the Himalayas, dressed as an Abominable Snowman? Well your guess is as good as mine. Actually he has been sent secretly to oversee the succession of the new ‘High Lama’. However he never arrives, as he is shot by Calamity Rogers (Anne Jeffreys), an old, cow girl, film star. She of course discovers her mistake and takes him to her house to recover. Meanwhile Napoleon is sent to find Illya and arrives at the palace to find that the Lama is dead and the selection of the new Lama has begun. Here he meets Amra Palli (Pilar Seurat), a mystical servant of the Prime Minister and he asks her to help, but her master has other ideas, he intends to put his own son on the throne and sends her out into the jungle with the boy successor to leave him for the tigers to eat. This she does, but on the way back she realises what she has done and loses all her powers. Whilst at Calamity’s Illya recovers and explains to her why he is there, unfortunately he has lost his communicator and cannot contact Waverly, so she sends her servant out to look for it. Whilst he is gone Illya finds an invitation to the ceremony, which shows a picture of the boy to be crowned and Calamity recognises the boy as being an impostor. In the nick of time the servant returns and Illya calls HQ and apprises Waverly of the situation, but as he does so the prime ministers men arrive on the scene and the pair are captured. They are locked in a room with Napoleon and Amra, along with a very large gong, which the prime minister sets ringing, saying they will be freed as soon as they agree to say that the succession is correct. This of course they cannot do and in the end the prime minister gives up and has them walled up instead. While all this is going on Mr Waverly arrives in a small plane, which is promptly shot down. How can UNCLE possibly win this one? Well the four escape from there would be tomb by blowing their chains, using a detonator from Napoleons tie and one of Calamity’s bracelets, which is made of magnesium. It is then quite simple to push down the still wet wall. Rushing to the crowning ceremony they star a fight, but very quickly become overpowered. Not to worry though, Waverly arrives at the last minute astride the royal elephant, with the boy Lama, whom he has found at the edge of the jungle where he managed to land the plane. Once again all’s well that ends well.
Episode 72, The Abominable Snowman Affair. by Olwyn Hiles.
Illya is in Chupat to check on the safety of the high lama. Entering the country disguised as the Abominable Snowman was his first mistake however, and he is shot by “Calamity”? Rogers (Anne Jeffreys), and taken to her base. Back in U.N.C.L.E. headquarters in New York, Illya’?s disappearance is noted and Napoleon Solo is dispatched to find him and take over the assignment. The high lama is dead and the Prime Minister of Chupat has arranged for his son to be hailed as the new high lama, while the real boy, who is heir to the title is left in the jungle to be eaten by tigers. Napoleon is welcomed to Chupat and is given a beautiful servant girl, Amra Palli (Pilar Seurat), who is able to read minds and see things and she tries to help Napoleon find out where Illya is. Illya convinces Calamity Rogers that he is not the one who murdered her husband, and that they should work together to overthrow the Prime Minister, the real murderer, and stop his plans. Illya and Calamity meet up with Napoleon and Amra Palli when they are all held captive as the coronation celebrations begin. They escape and try to halt the proceedings, but it is only when Mr. Waverly and the real heir to the title make their entrance on the back of an elephant, that everything is sorted out.
Episode 73: The My Friend the Gorilla Affair. by Lee Hopewell.
"In defence m'lud, it must be pointed out that many television shows of that era featured gorilla episodes... Voyage oto the Bottom of the Sea, Land of the Giants, Night Gallery. Even the mighty Star Trek dyed it White and called it a Mugato. Singleing out my client is unjust"
"Objection Your Honour, at this same time, Twentieth Century Fox were making planet of the Apes, thereby proving ridiculous sums were no excuse whatever."
"Guilty as charged. Next case - call Mary Poppins to testify against Dick Van Dyke's English accent."
Episode 73: The My Friend the Gorilla Affair. by Olwyn Hiles.
The most memorable part of this episode, sadly, is Napoleon Solo dancing with the gorilla, but putting that aside, the story does have some merit. Professor Kenton (Arthur Malet), has developed a formula which makes people superhuman and he is using it on the natives to build an army to conquer Africa. Illya is on the case, but is involved in an ambush and escapes only to find himself caught in a rope trap. He shouts for help are heard and he is rescued and taken to the safari base of Harry Blackburn (Alan Mowbray), where he meets Marsha Woodhugh (Joyce Jillson), who is there looking for her long lost sister. Napoleon is sent to try to find Illya, but his Jeep gets a flat tyre, and he is rescued by “Girl”(Vitina Marcus), and her pet gorilla. Are you still with me? Anyway, to cut a long story short, they all end up as prisoners of the professor, until “Girl” uses a “Tarzan” type cry to bring the elephants and the gorilla to their rescue.
Episode 74: The Jingle Bells Affair. by Olwyn Hiles.
Premier Koz (Akim Tamiroff), arrives in New York just in time for the Macy’?s Thanksgiving Day parade and the lead up to Christmas, but an assassination attempt spoils the festivities. Napoleon and Illya manage to prevent the attempt and Koz presents them with a medal from his country. Koz wants to se more of the Christmas preparations, and so, with the two agents guarding him, they visit Macy’s and then a Santa Claus school where the assassins try again. While Solo and Kuryakin fight off the would be assassins, premier Koz is helped to escape by Priscilla (Ellen Willard), a Salvation Army girl who looks after the school. She takes him back to her home where a neighbor calls to ask for help for her very sick son and Koz, dressed as Santa Claus, goes to see the boy. The following day Koz is driven to his meeting but a bomb has been planted in his car. Priscilla, who doesn’t know this, jumps into the car and pleads with Koz to visit the boy again. He eventually agrees and they exit the car seconds before the bomb explodes. A very seasonal ending with “Santa” bringing in presents for everyone.
Episode 75, The Take Me to Your Leader Affair. by Olwyn Hiles.
Scientist Adrian Cool (Woodrow Parfrey), believes he has spotted a UFO approaching Earth and Solo and Kuryakin are sent to talk to him. While they are with him there is a commotion outside and Cool’s daughter Coco (Nancy Sinatra), is kidnapped. Napoleon and Illya chase after the kidnappers and Illya jumps on to the boat and is taken with Coco as prisoner as the boat leaves. Napoleon is searching for them in a helicopter but he is shot down by Simon Sparrow (Paul Lambert). It is Sparrow who has built his own UFO from which he plans to rule the World. Napoleon goes to Sparrow’s plant, but he is forced to face an experimental wind machine. Sparrow’s fiancé Corinne (Whitney Blake) rescues Napoleon and they head to Sparrow’s place in the country. Illya meanwhile is trapped in a room with Coco, who is happily planning their future together. They manage to escape and run through the grounds to come face to face with the UFO machine. They are caught and placed aboard the craft to be thrown out at a suitable point, but Napoleon and Corinne are also aboard dressed as Sparrow’s men and they take control and bring the story to a conclusion.
Episode 76, The Suburbia Affair. by Olwyn Hiles.
Dr. Rutter’s (Victor Borge) discovery of the formula for anti-matter, was so frightening that he changed his name and hid himself away. Some years later, another scientist makes the discovery and Rutter writes to him thereby blowing his cover. THRUSH are after the formula and Solo and Kuryakin take up residence in Suburbia to find and protect Rutter. He needs some special medication, so his friend, Betsy (Beth Brickell), goes to collect his prescription but she tells the chemist it is for the real estate manager to throw them off the track. UNCLE and THRUSH both start Operation Pickup, which leads to the real estate man, two innocent bystanders and Illya being held captive in a THRUSH house. When Thrush realize they do not have Dr. Rutter they send some men off to get Betsy. Dr. Rutter is with her and tells them that he is the one they want so they take them both, with Napoleon in pursuit. In the final fracases, Dr. Rutter is shot, losing all memory of the formula, the computer containg the formula is destroyed, and Thrush members caught by the police. All the winning side have to face now is Illya’s soufflé.
Episode 81: The Hula Doll Affair. by Gillian Harratt
THRUSH try to steal the formula for a new UNCLE explosive, M4 from Illya as he returns from a demonstration of it. Thanks to Napoleon and a few airport security guards, they are unsuccessful. However, THRUSH have already stolen a quantity of the explosive from another agent and hidden it in a Hula Doll.
M4 will explode when the temperature reaches 90°F and there is a heatwave, so the race is on to find THRUSH HQ and retrieve it before half the city is destroyed.
Meanwhile at THRUSH HQ Peter and Simon Sweet are arguing about who is to be the next Director in Chief. There is going to be a Board Meeting the next day so Simon decides to discredit Peter by bringing in a non-THRUSH secretary and using fake photos of them together. In retaliation peter tries to win an extra vote from the board by replacing the Mystery No 26 from THRUSH central with an UNCLE agent. He chooses Napoleon, who is lured to THRUSH HQ with a message from a pencil seller. Peter tells Napoleon that if he doesn't act as No 26 he will be killed along with the innocent secretary, Wendy, so he agrees.
Illya is sent to watch the mother of the Sweet brothers. They visit her but as he is about to follow them the owner of the apartment in which Illya is hiding returns and smashes him over the head thinking he is a burglar. She then decides she trusts him and lets him stay. That night Napoleon retrieves the M4 from the safe and fixes the air conditioning to keep it cool.
The next morning Illya poses as a cab driver when Mama Sweet goes out hoping she will lead him to her sons.
At the Board Meeting the voted are about to be cast when in walks the real No 26, surprise it's Mama Sweet.
Illya follows her in and they are all captive but Napoleon threatens to let the M4 explode if they can't go. There follows a gunfight and chase in which Mama Sweet and her sons are shot. Napoleon, Illya and Wendy make their escape down an emergency escape hatch with the retrieved M4 in ice.
Episode 87 / 88: The Five Daughters Affair
a.k.a. The Karate Killers by Jamie Austin
It has been noted by a multitude of sources that season three of “?The Man From UNCLE” saw an unhealthy shift towards overt camp comedy, which ultimately led to the show’s demise and unfortunately, this change of emphasis is very apparent in “The Karate Killers” movie.
“The Karate Killers” starts off in an extremely positive way, with an impressive sequence showing Kuryakin and Solo coming under sustained attack from an army of small helicopters in the teaser – very similar to a James Bond movie and an explosive start in more ways than one! Indeed there are parallels with Bond movies throughout as the easily distinguished thugs (who wear their ‘thug’ uniforms openly for all to see!) adopt an increasing array of transport from motorbikes to skis, while the villain, after many attempts, has the chief protagonists in his power only to inform them that he’ll kill them later! (Additionally there is even some ‘realistic’? violence, which seems more James Bond and somewhat out of place in the world of “The Man From UNCLE”, as we see the consequences of a fight with a guitar in a London club.)
Following the helicopter action the plot then moves swiftly to a scientist’?s discovery of a method to turn sea water into gold – an interesting idea, no more far-fetched than most other UNCLE scenarios – before the movie then turns into a glorified treasure hunt.
And it’s here that things begin to fall apart.
The scientist who had made the monumental discovery had despatched the formula on photographs to his four daughters across the world and so our intrepid heroes are sent to locate them one at a time – despite the world-encompassing resources of UNCLE and the importance of the mission only Kuryakin and Solo are sent out on this task! Fortunately the world-threatening resources of THRUSH can only run to sending groups of thugs to one place at a time and so this linear plot stumbles from one THRUSH / UNCLE conflict to another (one party arrives before the other/ the other party turns up/ fight/ next daughter please!). Luckily the fourth daughter has the foresight to publish her photograph in a newspaper and so the final conflict shifts to a THRUSH base, and much more satisfying results.
Fortunately “The Karate Killers” is blessed with a stellar cast, including Telly Savalas (to whom over-acting is no stranger!), the irreplaceable Terry Thomas, and the villainous Herbert Lom. Lom’s Randolph makes an excellent villain, the menace of his character being wonderfully understated. Even from the outset Lom’s villain is a man in the shadows, a patient player of the espionage game. Witness his wooing of Joan Crawford just to extricate her husband’?s secrets from her – a long term task. As the movie progresses Lom is brought gradually to the fore of the action so that by the end his subtle methods are gone and he’s reached the level of calmly gunning people down in “a house of peace”!
This wealth of acting talent also bring with them a keen sense of comedy timing, evident in some true UNCLE gems: Telly Savalas protecting himself from flying objects with a picture without a flinch, Herbert Lom’s bemused look when Sandy gives him the slip in Tokyo, and everything with undoubted comedy master Terry Thomas in it (notably “Have you got a pencil on you, miss?”). In addition we have subtle jokes like Illya subduing a thug before running back to finish the job! These subtle comedy touches are, in my view, a vital part of UNCLE’s appeal. However, it’s when the comedy becomes overt – and indeed irrelevant – that the movie falls apart, notably the Keystone Kops firemen routine, which is not only pointless, but also poorly shot, making the whole sequence an embarrassing mess!
Other than out-and-out silliness a further problem for the movie arises with the character of Sandy True, this week’s ‘innocent’, who should be providing a touchstone with the audience. Unfortunately Sandy isn’t at all likeable and spends much of the movie whining and behaving like a petulant child, uttering such lines as “I’m going to run away” and “I still don’t see why I have to come along”. Indeed her whining is so infuriating that one of the THRUSH thugs tires of her in seconds and slams her against a brick wall – and not before time! Why couldn’t the frankly gorgeous Imogen have been the sister to accompany our UNCLE duo?
Despite a couple of problems “The Karate Killers” is an entertaining run-a-round. It also looks VERY expensive, with its first-rate cast, various well-staged battles and lavish sets. In addition there is some witty writing on show, such as Solo and Kuryakin’s debunking of Sandy’s espionage knowledge (and indeed audience expectation) by explaining that they don’?t have anything like knockout gas in their shirt buttons, and, of course, the brilliant court scene in London. And as for the delicious Imogen True…
Episode 90: The Summit Five Affair reviewed by Gwynneth Gillett
In preparation for the high-level “Summit Five” UNCLE conference Napoleon is sent to Berlin. Unfortunately, whilst he is there his fellow agent, Newman is murdered. Illya is sent along to Berlin to help investigate as Harry Beldon, flamboyant, eccentric, unorthodox but successful head of UNCLE North-east thinks that Napoleon may be one of the murder suspects. Illya has other ideas and follows another suspect, Agent Strothers, whilst Napoleon shadows yet another suspect, Beldon’s secretary, Helga. However when Helga is killed in an ambush on the car Napoleon and she were travelling in, Napoleon is taken into custody by Strothers and quite nastily interrogated. By pretending to break down and confess his guilt during the interrogation Napoleon gets to talk to Illya who of course knows Napoleon is innocent. Together our heroes make their escape (after Napoleon almost knocks Illya out pretending(!) to hit him), only to find that Helga is not dead after all and Beldon has exposed her and Agent Strothers as the THRUSH Agents!
So with the traitors seemingly locked away, Illya gives the all clear for Summit Five to go ahead as planned. Unfortunately it’s Beldon and Helga who are the real THRUSH Agents and plan to kill all the other UNCLE leaders and make UNCLE a part of THRUSH. Solo and Illya are locked away again but with their usual last minute timing they manage to escape (with the help of a lockpick hidden in Illya’s mouth (AGAIN) and a very conveniently parked helicopter (lousy security!). After a rather violent shootout and a hand-to-hand fight between Illya and Beldon, Illya gets wet (some things never change) and Beldon is finally killed. Summit Four can now safely commence!
This very serious, straight spy story set the new, intense, humour-free feel of the fourth season. The plot itself is solid, maybe a little confusing in places. It moves at such a fast rate, but as an UNCLE episode it is in dire need of more of Napoleon and Illya’s trademark lighter moments. Our duo do not really joke together at all and rarely even smile, perhaps they just didn’?t have time in this too fast paced, almost chillingly serious story.
Episodes 93 and 94: The Prince of Darkness Affair Parts 1 and 2
aka The Helicopter Spies reviewed by Lee Hopewell
In many ways, one could be forgiven for thinking that MFU was actually cancelled after the end of its Third Season, and that the 16 episode Fourth Season accidentally crossed over to our television screens from another dimension courtesy of a rift in the Twighlight Zone. And that in this other dimension the expanding skeleton globe of the credit sequence bore the legend 'A Quinn Martin Production', as our two heroes had been turned into distaff versions of Lew Erskine from "The F.B.I.", a popular QM series of the time in which Efrim Zimbalist Jr's character hunted down the enemies of truth and freedom with an almost fanatical obsession: or even sanctioned versions of alien hunter David Vincent from the excellent "The Invaders".
All of which were done with as straight a face and as little humour as all of Martin's shows.
That the Fourth Season of MFU was radically different is a given:and yet oddly enough this two part story released to cinemas is the closest that the show ever came to its previous tongue in cheek adventure/humour format of the last three years. Compared to the other stories of the truncated Fourth Season, this is the closest thing we have to the well-loved escapism that brought us all to the show, even if the episode strayed over the line from the balance of the Second Season through to the camp excess of the Third.
Several action sequences - the opening shots of the african village destroyed by the thermal prism, the theft of the missile on the train - are bolstered by the fine music of Richard Shores that added a harder edge to the action: gone were the days of kazoos utilised by Gerald Fried for a wager.
However, what lets things down badly is the cast for this episode. Bradford Dillman, a popular actor who guest starred in countless Sixties television shows, is a little too light to be the truly effective villain that the TV title implies. John Carradine is wasted as the priest who doesn't speak, and the identical Aksoy Brothers quickly became an irritating joke. Not as irritating, however as Carol Lynley's Annie Justin. She looks great in a minidress but by the midway point I wanted to be the one who torpedoed the boat that she was on. Basically, the Annie Justin role was aretread of the Tracy Alexander from "The Alexander the Greater Affair".
It is a great shame that Lynley did not study Dorothy Provine's performance, so that she could see exactly how it was done. Speaking of retreads, the raid by Illya and Sebastian on Dr Kharmusi's vault brought back memories of Dan O'Herlihy doing a similar thing in the First Season "Fiddlesticks Affair".
Certainly "The Helicopter Spies" is not the worst UNCLE ever committed to film and, to be fair, I've dwelt on the negative aspects. It just seems far better in memory than it is due to the fact that it was released in the cinemas in 1967, and those of us who actually saw it there back then found it a breath of fresh air compared to the campness of the Third Season that we were enduring every other week on the BBC. It's when the show is considered in the context of the other 14 episodes of the final season that the show/movie stands out like a sore thumb. It represents the last bastion of the camp era in the harder edge final series. Batman, the Robinson family from Lost in Space and our two super spies had left the building. In their place were tough, hard nosed crime fighters like Stev McGarrett of "Hawaii Five-O" and Joe Manix. Sic Transit Gloria Mundi.
Episodes 93 and 94: The Prince of Darkness Affair Parts 1 and 2
aka The Helicopter Spies
Dr. Kharmusi (John Dehner), has developed a thermal prism and UNCLE enlists the help of Luther Sebastian (Bradford Dillman), a wanted criminal but the most talented safe-cracker, to help them to retrieve it. The safe, containing the prism, is on Kharmusi’s secure estate and Illya has to get the un-cooperative Sebastian, over the minefields and several obstacles to get him to the safe. Napoleon is on the inside, aided by Kharmusi’s wife and followed there by Annie Justin, who wants Luther Sebastian to admit to framing her fiancé and help get his release from jail. They all escape with the prism as Kharmusi dies and his estate self destructs, but Napoleon and Illya have to face up to the fact that Sebastian, and his cult the Third Way, planned the whole thing to get the prism for themselves to help launch a rocket. Napoleon manages to get on the inside of the cult and gets a message to Illya to follow another lead and they both finish up at the rocket launch site just in time to save the world.
Episode 95: The Master’s Touch Affair reviewed by Bridget Calvert
Pharos Mandor (Jack Lord), and Stepan Valandross (Nehemiah Persoff), are two Thrush leaders who both want the top job and so need to eliminate each other. Napoleon and Illya are in Portugal to meet Mandor who has told U.N.C.L.E. that he is ready to defect and give them the names of Thrush leaders in Moscow, London and New York. Solo is taken prisoner by Mandor who also arranges for Illya to be captured by Valandross, hoping that U.N.C.L.E. will kill him as they send in a task force to get Illya out. Mandor allows Solo to leave and tells him to go and rescue his friend and he allows his girlfriend Leslie to go with him. Mr. Waverly sends Napoleon in alone to rescue his very disorientated partner, allowing David McCallum to give one of his best performances as the drugged Kuryakin. Later Leslie is able to help locate Mandor’s hideaway, but he is already on his way to Valandross and they kill each other. It concludes with one of my favourite endings. Illya is compelled to act as chauffeur for the evening for Napoleon and Leslie, to repay Napoleon for saving his life. He also presents a gift of a book containing “pearls of wisdom” to Leslie, listing all the bona fide millionaires in the USA and Europe. Illya looks at Napoleon and tells Leslie, “He’s not in it.”
Episode 96: The THRUSH Roulette Affair reviewed by Bridget Calvert
Thrush agent, Barnaby Partridge (Michael Rennie), has ambitions to get to THRUSH Central so he invites some VIP’s to his island to enjoy some gambling. He then brainwashes them to find out their worst fear then, unless they divulge secret information, he send them out to commit suicide. UNCLE sends Illya Kuryakin to the island gambling casino to investigate, while Napoleon Solo has to find someone on the next guest list. Taggart Coleman (Charles Drake), is talked in to helping them, especially when he discovers that his ex girlfriend Monica (Nobu McCarthy), is at the casino and is being forced to help Partridge. Illya is captured and with Coleman safely in the casino, Napoleon sets off to find him. Illya is in the process of being brainwashed, but when Solo is seen in the grounds, Illya is re-programmed and sent out to shoot Solo on sight. Napoleon has to avoid Illya’s bullets and outwit him so that he can get hold of him and win the fight until he returns to normal. They then go back to the casino to save Monica and Coleman, then confront Partridge, who in the ensuing fight is faced with his own worst fear and while running from it he falls to his death, just as a note arrives to tell him that he has been promoted to THRUSH Central.
Episode 96: The THRUSH Roulette Affair reviewed by Bridget Calvert
Barnaby Partridge (wonder if he is any relation to Emory) (Michael Rennie) has his own island gambling casino and it is very exclusive. He only invites the rich and very well connected to enter it’s halls. The only trouble is that many of the visitors are committing suicide when they return home. Why! That is what Illya and Napoleon are sent to find out. Illya arrives on the island, but is recognised by Partridge and captured and given a first hand demonstration of the brainwashing technique. “You see my old darling it’s quite simple if my subjects refuse to tell me what THRUSH wants to know they will not be able to stop themselves. Everyone has a worst fear you know, even you.” Illya looks through the lab. window and watches as a Senator is reduced to a quivering wreck by projections of trains racing towards him. Meanwhile Solo has contacted Taggart Coleman (Charles Drake), a millionaire playboy, whose factories hold government contracts and who has received an invitation to the island. He asks for his help and when Taggart refuses he has to resort to blackmail, of a kind, to enlist his help. It appears that an old girlfriend of Coleman’s is working at the casino and could be in dire trouble. On their arrival Napoleon is also recognised and Partridge decides that Illya should be the one to kill him. The laboratory Doctor has not yet had time to break into Illya’s subconscious, but he uses a variation of the process to hypnotise him into going after Solo with a gun (Look out for the continuity mistake when they give Illya the gun). Taggart is to play in the casino that night and Napoleon supplies him with both sound and audio, linked to UNCLE HQ, he says he will be listening in too, but doesn’t get much of a chance as he is attacked by Illya soon after. Something about his partner’s posture warns him that all is not well and he manages to escape the first attack, but Illya follows to play a game of cat and mouse among the trees. This finally ends in fisticuffs between the two friends, with Napoleon knocking Illya out. He very quickly revives and stares unbelievingly at Solo. “Napoleon … I didn’t?” “You did.” His partner replies. “I did? Wow.” Reunited they join forces to stop Partridge. Firstly they have to save everyone from the private casino, which they do with alacrity and then they have to save the Senator, who is still being brain washed. Another fisticuff session for our heroes, which ends with Partridge being knocked into the projection chamber, which is still on and guess what! He has the same fear as the Senator. One more THRUSH Agent bites the dust.
Episode 96: The THRUSH Roulette Affair reviewed by Gillian Harratt
THRUSH are trying to gain information that might be useful to them. They are hypnotising people with that information, to kill themselves in a way that they most fear should they not co-operate.
There seems to be a link between the suicides and a casino called 'Club Thanatopsis'. Illya goes to the casino undercover, while Napoleon tries to find out which VIPs have been invited to the club. He manages to get one name, Taggart Coleman, a businessman who races cars. Napoleon persuades Taggart to help by showing him a photo of an ex-girlfriend, Monica, who now works at the club.
Illya is caught while searching for the back room where the VIPs are taken for their life or death gambling session. Napoleon and Taggart arrive at the club and Taggart tries to warn Monica of the danger of gambling in the back room. But Barnaby Partridge who runs the club for THRUSH insists that he goes. Taggart goes to the back room wearing a wire and camera.
Napoleon is spotted as an UNCLE agent and Illya is hynotised to go and kill him. They end up fighting but Illya snaps out of the hypnotic state when Napoleon hits him. They then get Monica to show them to the back room and they rescue Taggart and the other VIPs.
After a fight Partridge falls down a lift shaft trying to make his escape with the lift following him. His secret fear was being run down by a train.
Episode 97: The Deadly Quest Affair reviewed by Bridget Calvert
Illya is in hospital (again) recovering from a concussion, to Napoleon’s great pleasure as it leaves him fee to date the girl Illya saved. The patient is settling down for the night, even though he has not taken his sleeping tablets, with a good book (although it looked very technical to me, but then that is Illya) when he is interrupted by a Doctor and an orderly? The Dr. says he needs more X-rays? Illya queries this, saying that only the emergency X-ray department is open and asking why he had been given his tablets. He does not like the answer and tries to escape, but is overpowered, given an injection and carried away, not, as he suspected, to X-ray. When he regains consciousness he finds himself locked in a glass chamber of death, being watched by his enemy Viktor Karmak (Darrin McGavin) with whom he has crossed swords with before. However Karmak doesn’t just want Kuryakin’s death, he wants Solo as well and sends a message to UNCLE HQ, via a trained Minah bird, who delivers this message. “Solo, Solo, twelve o’clock, twelve o’clock, or Illya dies, Illya dies.” Napoleon solves the cryptic clue and arrives at a condemned area of Manhattan, near the old '12 O’clock Club' (or the 'Kit Kat' club if you have eagle eyes) just before 12 Midnight and sees a light. Very cautiously he enters and finds the workshop of Shelia Van Tillson (Marlyn Mason), the daughter of a millionaire, who is a ‘struggling metal artist’. She believes that he is from city hall, who are trying to evict her, but he manages to convince her that he is not. Whilst he is wasting this precious time Karmac walks in, accompanied by a very large gun and a leopard. He explains that Solo has until dawn to find Illya and the ‘Quest’ begins, Karmac, as the hunter, verses Solo and of course Shelia, as the prey. Meanwhile Illya is not being idle, when he is fed, he manages to break the glass and begins to cut one of the leather straps which binds his arm to the chair, but unfortunately Karmak’s assistant comes back too soon. Illya tries to hide the piece of glass in his hand, but cuts himself in the process (ouch) and the man notices the blood and removes the glass, even so Illya tries to convince him to help. Whilst Napoleon and Shelia are working their way across the area, they are contacted by Karmac’s assistant, and told that they should go to the ice house, but before he can complete his instructions he is shot, by Karmak. Napoleon and Shelia manage to get into the ice house and find a body in the fridge, but whew it is not Illya, trouble is Karmak is waiting and shuts them in. The ever resourceful agent however finds a leak in the coolant and sets fire to it, blowing a hole in the wall and allowing them to escape, only to find that they are still in Kamark’?s sights. A sewer then comes to their aid, but only to emerge once more in range. By this time the assistant has made it back to Illya and tries to release him, but fails as he collapses, only to set off the alarm. Karmak returns to the cell, leaving Napoleon to face the leopard, which he does armed only with a screwdriver, but not until he has sent Shelia off to follow Karmak, leaving a trail of large emeralds from her very expensive necklace. Napoleon manages to escape by killing the beast (ahhh), but not unscarred, his arm is rather damaged. However he follows Shelia’s trail (retrieving the jewels) and discovers Illya’?s jail. A fight ensues during which Illya is released and Kamak gets accidentally knocked into the chamber, the timer locks and he has to suffer the cyanide death he had planned for Illya. Prologue – Napoleon is now in hospital and Illya is thrilled to be taking Shelia to the opening of her new Gallery, but all is not lost for Solo, the Nurse definitely has designs on him.
Episode 98: The Fiery Angel Affair reviewed by Bridget Calvert
In the small South American country of Querido the ‘Angel of Querido’ Angela Albaca has just come to power. Her people love her as she promises them freedom, justice and democracy, a welcome change from the ruthless rule by firing squad, which has reigned for many terrifying years. All is not well however as Angela realises there is a plot to assassinate her. She suspects a junta called the Secret Three, maybe financed by THRUSH, to be involved and so she calls for Waverly to help her. Illya is sent to investigate but unwittingly becomes a National hero when he foils an attempt on Angela’?s life. Unable now to work undercover he has to call for help. Napoleon is sent to assist and decides that in order to find out more about the plot against Angela he needs to get himself thrown into jail. This way he can talk to the man who attempted to assassinate Angela and find out more about the junta. Illya meanwhile tries to persuade Angela to leave the country. After another attempt is made on her life he tricks her into boarding an UNCLE jet and they fly to Switzerland and safety. She is furious and tries (successfully!) to send a message of her whereabouts to her country.
Napoleon has made contact with the junta but is locked up by them when he cannot help them find Angela. He manages to escape by burning down the cell he was being held in and he makes his way to Angela’s husband General Paco Albaca to report his findings. One of the junta was wearing a special ring that Paco recognises as belonging to Vinay, a famous bullfighter. Solo is sent to investigate the Secret Three, starting with Vinay but finds him dead. Here the plot seems to get very complicated until Napoleon realises that the leader of the Secret Three is actually Carlos Albaca, General Albaca’?s own brother! Back in Switzerland Illya and Angela are taken prisoner and Angela realises that the only person who knew of their whereabouts was her husband. She is devastated to learn that he too wanted to kill her and claim power for himself, this time with the help of THRUSH. Everyone seems to be double-crossing everyone else! Angela and Illya escape and fly back to Querido where Paco and Carlos are arrested by Angela and thrown into a jail cell together- (maybe they will kill each other and save the country a lengthy court case?). Probably not, though they will get a fair trial in the new law courts. Angela just wants peace and justice for her countrymen and with the threats to her safety overcome she goes out to her people and they warmly celebrate her return.
This is a good story with at least a few lighter moments to relieve the political intrigue and evil double-crossing! When young female admirers mob Illya it must have felt like déjà vu for poor David McCallum, as he had to face this sort of thing almost everywhere he went in public! It’?s nice too that our heroes do not depend too heavily on gadgets in this episode, instead using their wits, initiative and of course fighting skills to much more effect. A fast moving story line, a little confusing at times, but nice that for once it is not just taken for granted that THRUSH are the baddies! Also Angela is no two dimensional, flimsy character like a lot of females were portrayed back in the 1960s. She is a strong, intelligent, dedicated but caring individual. You feel that she will make a difference to her country- a refreshing view of a woman in power for the times.
Episodes: 104 and 105 The Seven Wonders of the World Affair
aka How to Steal the World reviewed by Darryl Ransom
Robert Kingsley (Barry Sullivan), UNCLE agent has disappeared with a gas capsule, Solo and Illya go to see his wife (Eleanor Parker) to find out why.
Chemist Dr. Erikson also vanishes. The two men meet and have a docility gas they they plan to release on the world. Erikson's daughter, Anna is to disappear too. Boyfriend Steve Garrow follows her to Macau. At THRUSH HQ Hong Kong, a meat factory, we discover that Mrs Kinsley is having an affair with Webb (Mark Richman), a THRUSH official waiting to take over the docility gas. Solo and Illya follow Anna from the airport on her way to meet her father. They have a run in with a guy with a crane at the docks who trashes their car. They pick up the chase of a small ship by helicopter, they land on the ship but are taken prisoner.
- Cut to ... THRUSH, where Mrs Kingsley and Webb are languishing in a boudoir. General Harmon, (Leslie Nielsen) has an 'Elite Security Force' on its way to a Himilayan base run by Kingsley. Solo and Illya awake on the ship to find them selves alone. Solo says ' My communicator's gone' Illya says that he has something up his sleeve and proceeds to pull up his trouser leg to reveal a long black sock with his pen communicator inside. He asks Solo 'How do I inject dignity into the word HELP ?' THRUSH continue to kidnap intellectuals and their treasured possessions. When it comes to Prof. David Garrow (Dan O'Herlihy), Solo and Illya are waiting and follow at a distance, Garrow carries an UNCLE transmitter. The small plane on which Solo follows is shot down by a missile or two. Solo bails out - cut to ... grainy stock film footage for plane crash ... Garrow awakens and has the plot explained to him by Kingsley about the seven intelectual wonders of the world who are to alter the course of human destiny, to save the world from self destruction by controlling the mind of every human being on Earth.
Solo staggers to the hills where he stumbles upon the hidden oasis that is Kingsley's base. Meanwhile Illya and Steve Garrow (Anna's boyfriend) follow Solo's trail in a helicopter bearing the registration No. N 73959. (Nit picker alert !) Solo has now been taken prisoner by Kingsley's men dressed as monks, injected with a knock out drug and flown away in a helicopter bearing a large letter 'K' on the front dome. Oh, and the registration No. N 73959.
Following a trail of blood, Illya and Steve find Solo's jacket and manage to get their helicopter blown up. They too find the oasis and ... get captured.
THRUSH are co-operating with Kingsley but Mrs Kingsley and Webb plan to cut THRUSH out of the equation and take over for themselves. Solo is invited to join the 'Seven Wonders' but when he refuses is made to line up along with Illya and Steve to be executed by firing squad. David Garrow tries to stop the execution at the last second when he realises his son is in the line up. He is killed, having stopped the execution, Kingsley has the trio are taken away. Kingsley wants to bring the time of the gas attack on the world forward. Ooh, let's test it on Solo and Illya ...
Steve and Anna manage to intervene and all hell breaks loose. Harman ends up in the gas chamber, docile. Webb and Mrs Kingsley turn up to take control while Solo and Illya steal a plane to attack the base and destroy it. Just as the double cross kicks in they all die, Kingsley dies with his hand on the lever that was to have released the gas on the world.
All in all, not the best UNCLE film. It was interesting to see Leslie Nielsen in a role before he became famous for so many other films. With the magic of DVD it is fun to watch in slow motion and freeze frame certain scenes and watch 'dead bodies' move.
There is also some nice publicity shots that I've seen used, but not known where they came from. I probably haven't seen this film for thirty years but it was worth the wait.
The Return of the Man From UNCLE - The Fifteen Years later Affair
reviewed by Bridget Calvert
Well the 60s have come and gone and it is now the late 80s. THRUSH have been vanquished and great changes have taken place in UNCLE. To start with Solo and Kuryakin have lost touch with each other since Napoleon retired, to run his own successful computer business, and Illya resigned, to run his own equally successful ‘Fashion House’. Secondly and sadly Alexander Waverly has passed away and a new ‘Number One of Section One’ is settling in to the role. Sir John Raleigh (Patrick McNee), Ex British Intelligence and direct descendent of Sir Walter Raleigh, so we are told (Could he also have once operated under the code name of Steed? The character is very familiar. I wonder?). Anyway back to the plot. Justin Sepheran (Anthony Zerbe) has escaped from jail and with the help of Janis (Geoffrey Lewis), a disgraced ex UNCLE Agent, has stolen a nuclear bomb and is holding the world to ransom, with the codicil that it is delivered by UNCLE Agent Napoleon Solo. Napoleon is called back to UNCLE and manages to persuade Illya to rejoin too. At HQ they go to collect their new guns and meet ‘Z’. As she explains the new weapons Napoleon is trying his charms on her, but she has only eyes for Illya and he is quite miffed, a fact that Kuryakin finds quite amusing. Then the adventure starts, with the help of agent Ben Kowalski (Tom Mason) Napoleon is supposed to protect one Nigel Pennington-Smythe (Simon Williams), who is the only one who can arm the stolen bomb, but he fails and Illya ends up following the kidnappers to an underground cavern. Here he finds the bomb, but is captured by Janis and chained to a water pipe along with Nigel, who has been forced to arm the bomb. Meanwhile Solo is in the Lebanon to deliver the ransom and whilst there, Kowalski inadvertently discovers a disused dam picture in a magazine, which Napoleon is convinced is Sepheran’s new THRUSH base. They and an UNCLE task force, attack the dam, just before the deadline, overpower the THRUSH personal and find Sepheran, but Napoleon is shot and is unable to stop the man from pressing the button, which sets off the bomb!!! Have no fear though Illya has managed once more, by use of his acrobatic skills, to release himself and Smythe. They both head for the bomb, but while Nigel is in the process of disarming it Illya hears a sound and goes to investigate and meets Janis, who is armed to the teeth. Janis has stayed behind to kill Illya and steel the bomb from THRUSH (he has managed to keep it a secrete that he too can disarm the thing). A fight ensues between the two men during which Illya manages to grab a small harpoon and shoots Janis. He then rushes back to Smythe who has one more wire to cut, but is it red or blue? It was the red (whew) and just in time too.
“All this seemed a lot easier 15 years ago.” Solo comments. “It was.” Kuryakin replies. Even so they have saved the world once again.
There is a lot more I could write about this film, but Darryl only allowed me half a page.