The Girl from U.N.C.L.E. – Season One, Episodes 1-3 (1966) – reviewed by George

Episode 1: The Dog-Gone Affair
U.N.C.L.E. agent April Dancer (Stephanie Powers) is on a flight to Greece, hiding a small female dachshund, Putzi (Florentine’s Princess Heidi) in her large handbag under the adjoining empty seat. Unfortunately Thrush is suspicious and has assigned Antoine Fromage (Marcel Hillaire) to follow her. Fromage, who knows nothing about the dog, pretends illness to con the stewardess into moving him to the seat next to April, but once they are over Greece, April puts Putzi into a small parachute she has brought and drops poor Putzi out of the airplane. Don’t think it is cruel; she has contacted her partner Mark Slate (Nigel Harrison, Rex’s son), and he is on his way to the drop site.
Before this, however (their adventures are intercut), Mark has been observing a small group of men dancing outside with their arms on each other’s shoulders, to the music of a zuleika. While he was watching, a plane flew over and sprayed the men like crops, resulting in their continuing dancing, but much more slowly. Mark called Mr. Waverly (Leo G. Carroll) who said that the spray contained Apathine, and that April is bringing the antidote. Then Waverly explained to his secretary that the antidote is not in or on the dog, but has been used to infect the dog’s fleas.
The villain is Apollo Zakinthios (Kurt Kasznar), who is behind the idea of using Apathine to take over the world. He also has a piranha tank in his basement. The other guest star is Luciana Paluzzi as Tuesday Hajadakis, who owns the local inn, is attracted to Mark, and helps out all she can, even after April appears. But then April and Mark are only partners.
Written by Tony Barrett, Directed by Barry Shear.

Episode 2: The Prisoner of Zalamar Affair
In the Arabian desert Mark Slate, Sheik Ali Hassen (Henry Calvin), and the sheik’s daughter Fatima (Stephanie Powers), who looks amazingly like April, are watching Son of the Sheik with Rudolph Valentino and Vilma Banky. A servant is enthusiastically playing piano accompaniment for the silent movie, and the Sheik is loving his popcorn. Then the Grand Vizier (Michael Ansara) peeks into the tent. He and the Sheik are at odds over the oil fields. The Vizier goes to the outside servants and poisons the Sheik’s next bag of popcorn, and leaves. When the Sheik suddenly dies as the movie is ending, Mark is knocked unconscious and Fatima is kidnapped. The Vizier must marry her, because she is the heir (wives don’t count as relatives), and he wants the throne, the oil fields, but not Fatima, whom he plans to kill soon after the wedding. And then we find out about Fatima’s true love – Prince Ahmed (John Gabriel).
Mr. Waverly notes that the Western press reports the death as a heart attack and does not mention the kidnapping at all. Waverly has a new assistant Randy Kovacs (Randy Kirby), who is a senior in high school, but already is proficient in Arabic, to help him with this case.
First thing will be the coronation, and then the marriage, and to keep things going the way they should Mark enlists a helper, young Abou (Rafael Campos), April arrives and, with the help of Fatima’s maid Giselle (Brenda Benet) masquerades as Fatima, and they work very hard to try to rescue Fatima before the wedding.
The grand old man of the episode is Omar (Abraham Sofaer), the Sheik’s right-hand man and a great addition to the team. All ends well, and everyone in Zalamar gets a happy ending – except the Vizier and his men.
Written by Max Hodge, Directed by Herschel Daugherty.

Episode 3: The Mother Muffin Affair
Mark Slate is not in this episode; he has been replaced temporarily as April’s partner by Napoleon Solo (Robert Vaughn), and the assignment is in London to rescue Lisa Pomade (Mitzie Evans), the daughter of Vito Pomade (Bruce Gordon), from the clutches of Mother Muffin (Boris Karloff). Mother Muffin is not a man in drag, but an actual woman with a gang of grown-up boys, most of whom wear a specific cap, presumably so they can recognize each other, but more practically so that we can tell when danger nears. Now, you may think that Boris Karloff has a sinister, evilish way about him, but wait until you see him as an older lady who dyes her white hair orange. Don’t want to meet her at night!
The man who calls her Mother more than the others, and whom she calls Bobby, is Rodney Babcock (Bernard Fox), and they really do seem to have a mother/son relationship.
The story involves amusement parks and a gold ha’penny that will get a special message out of one of those coin-operated fortune-telling globes. At one point Solo is dressed as Hamlet (don’t ask) and has to stay that way for a long time.
Written by Joseph Calvelli, Directed by Sherman Marks.

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