Episode 10: The Paradise Lost Affair
I didn’t like it. After being crazy about “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.”, I just can’t get used to this spy action entree seasoned with silly.
April (Stephanie Powers) and Mark (Nigel Harrison) are undercover on a Thrush ship which is mapping undersea lanes between Tokyo and Macao for a submarine smuggling operation. Captain Stone (Harry Swoger) reports to Thrush South Pacific: “We should be able to run 30 smuggling operations per week.” April and Mark steal the charts and are being shot at by practically the whole crew. April jumps off the ship, but Mark jumps up on some fuel barrels and from there into the sea. Because he’s being fired at, some of the shots hit the barrels and cause the ship to blow up and sink.
Separately Mark and April are washed ashore on the same island, called Paradise by its kooky and so unfunny inhabitants. The leader is Genghis Gomez, VIII (Monty Landis) and his first Lt. is Liverpool ‘Enry (Chips Rafferty). April is going to have to marry ‘Enry, until she says Mark is her boyfriend and will challenge, which only leads to Mark getting the beating of his life. The only actually likable character is Big Feets Charlie (Raymond St. Jacques).
And all the while Mr. Waverly (Leo G. Carroll) is worried about them – until they phone in from Acapulco. Now I understand why this show only lasted 1 season.
Written by John O’Dea & Arthur Rowe, Directed by Alf Kjellin.
Episode 11: The Lethal Eagle Affair
Now THIS is more like it!
In Austria, April (undercover) is strapped to the top of a station wagon while her employer Gita Volander (Margaret Leighton) watches and relays what she sees through binoculars to two men: her assistant Franz Joseph (Michael Wilding) and Count Egon (Cesare Danova) from Thrush. Mark too is watching from a camouflaged post in a tree, covered with leaves and talking to Mr. Waverly, who wants to know what the heck they are doing to her.
Franz releases an eagle from the house and Gita tells April she has nothing to fear – but she tells the men that the eagle will tear April’s face apart.
Mark wants to shoot the eagle, but Waverly says absolutely not; we worked months to get her in there. And that’s good thinking, because just as the eagle is about to rip April’s face… it disappears. Its molecules have been transferred back into its cage and reassembled. And the astonished Count says, “Can you transfer people too?” To which Gita looks contemplative and says, “One molecule is much like another.”
Then we get the backstory: Gita was Head of Thrush not so many tears ago, and she wants to use the machine to get back in the door at a high level. It’s revenge for what she sees as betrayal. And the machine doesn’t work; it’s all an illusion.
But before Thrush’s arrival, Gita takes April to a beer hall or something, in order to lure a young man to be April’s replacement in the show run for Thrush, because Gita likes April and doesn’t want to risk her, and there’s always the possibility the molecules might not reassemble correctly, a possibility she has not conveyed to the Count. So what is she thinking? Well, it’s all an illusion, but April must not know! The young man selected is Dieter (Brian Avery), and saving him becomes April’s obsession.
Arriving that afternoon are two teams: one from Thrush and one from U.N.C.L.E. disguised as Thrush. So all hell breaks loose, and in the end – is it possible the machine might really work?
A super episode, and Margaret Leighton should have been made a regular as the head of Thrush. She is so good, so magnetic, that you believe every word she says, and in a German accent too!
Written by Robert Hill, Directed by John Brahm.
Episode 12: The Romany Lie Affair
This episode takes place within a Gypsy circus, uses a lot of real circus performers, and involves stock manipulation and theft. The head man of the circus is Sadvaricci (Lloyd Bochner at his most suave), and the fortune teller is his mother Madame Rosha (Gladys Cooper).
April tries out and gets a job as a trapeze artist, which doesn’t set well with Ponthea (Anna Mizrahi) the regular trapeze artist, who keeps trying to sabotage April and kill her. Joey the Clown (Johnny Haymer) is a drunk, which allows Mark to enter his tent after he passes out and put on the makeup and costume and wander around the camp site, protecting April and looking for clues as to who’s responsible for the stock crimes and murders. The scam is to identify a woman who has a massive amount of the stock they want, tell her fortune in a way that convinces her that Madame Rosha is incredible, and then use that belief to “suggest” she sell the stock. The current victim is Mrs. Wainright (Audrey Dalton) and Mark and April’s job is to save her.
Nice scares with the trapeze work, and a secondary, but very dangerous, villain is introduced: the circus strongman Goru (Cal Bolder). And there’s a wild bear in a cage, who can still reach out and clutch a victim.
Written by Tony Barrett, Directed by Richard C. Sarafian.