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"The Man from U.N.C.L.E." The Arabian Affair (1965)

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7 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Illya of Arabia

Author: ShadeGrenade from Ambrosia
31 May 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

In the summer of 1981, B.B.C.-1 put out 'Six Of The Best', an anthology of reruns of classic series. It afforded viewers their first chance to see shows they had not seen in years. Three were British; 'Dr.Finlay's Casebook', 'Softly Softly Task Force' and 'Colditz'. The rest were American; 'Ironside', 'Alias Smith & Jones' and 'The Man From U.N.C.L.E.'. It was the first time 'M.F.U.' had been seen on the B.B.C. since the original run ended in the late '60's. Unfortunately, I missed out on most of these due to B.B.C. Wales' policy of scheduling Welsh language programmes in prime-time. The 'M.F.U.' chosen was 'The Arabian Affair' from Season 2.

It opens in the Middle East, where Illya is spying on a secret THRUSH laboratory ( ingeniously disguised as a sand dune ). Inside a new machine is being tested. It is called a Vaporiser, and creates a lethal foam-like substance that destroys everything it touches. After being attacked by an Arab, Illya is taken to a tribe leader named Sulador ( Michael Ansara ). His headstrong daughter Sophie ( Phyllis Newman ) takes a shine to the Russian.

Back in New York, Solo is working on the assignment from a different angle. THRUSH agent David Lewin ( Robert Ellenstein ) is shortly to retire, and Solo persuades him he will be executed because he knows too much. Lewin helps Solo break into a safe at THRUSH's headquarters, but is caught by Norman ( Jerome Thor ) and both he and Lewin are flown to Arabia to be used as guinea pigs for the Vaporiser...

Written by Peter Alan Fields, this is a decent episode. Whether it ought to have been chosen to represent 'M.F.U.' is another matter, but it is enjoyable on the whole. Michael Ansara convinces as the tribe leader, but Phyllis Newman manages to be about as Arabic as Whoopi Goldberg! Note Illya tricking Sulador's tribe into thinking he is the son of Lawrence of Arabia, the famous David Lean movie had only been released two years earlier.

THRUSH out to execute one of its own number with an exploding time piece sounds similar to 'Its Your Funeral', an episode of Patrick McGoohan's 'The Prisoner' made the following year.

Reaction to 'Six Of The Best' was generally favourable ( one viewer wrote to 'Points Of View' to suggest a follow-up series called '365 Of The Best'! ), and 'M.F.U.' in particular. It inspired the B.B.C. to buy the rights to the eight U.N.C.L.E. movies which it ran in two bumper seasons over the next two years.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Fun in the Desert.

Author: gordonl56 from Canada
11 December 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E. –The Arabian Affair – 1965

This is the 36th episode of 1964 to 1968 spy series, THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E. The series ran for a total of 105 episodes. The first season was filmed in black and white with the remainder shot in colour. Robert Vaughn plays agent Napoleon Solo while David McCallum, plays Illya Kuryakin, Leo G Carroll plays Mister Waverly, the boss of the secret agency known as U.N.C.L.E. (United Network Command for Law & Enforcement) Their main enemy is THRUSH, an organization out to take over the planet.

This episode has David McCallum out in the Arabian Desert keeping an eye on a secret THRUSH base. The base is being used by THRUSH to manufacture a weapon called the "Vaporiser". The device emits a stream of toxic bubbles that can dissolve human flesh in 30 seconds.

McCallum finds himself bushwhacked and captured by a group of Arabs led by Michael Ansara. Ansara's daughter, Phillis Newman, claims McCallum as a prize. She wishes to trade him at the slave market for a new camel.

While all this is going on, Robert Vaughn is going through files on THRUSH agents. He discovers that retiring THRUSH agents all meet their death 48 hours after retirement. THRUSH does not like loose ends.

Vaughn approaches THRUSH type Robert Ellenstein, who is about to retire. He shows Ellenstein evidence of what happens to THRUSH agents at the end. Vaughn offers the man and his wife protection and a new identity if he will help UNCLE. UNCLE wants the files on the new "Vaporiser" weapon.

Ellenstein takes Vaughn to his retirement party at the THRUSH headquarters. Vaughn's play for the files goes sideways and he barely escapes. THRUSH boss, Jerome Thor, is not amused with Ellentein helping UNCLE. He heads for the airport with Ellenstein to fly to Arabia. Our man Vaughn of course smuggles himself onto the aircraft.

Back in the desert, McCallum has talked the Arabs into joining him in an attack on the THRUSH base. He convinces the Arabs that he is the son of Lawrence of Arabia.

Anyways, everyone arrives at the THRUSH base at the same time. There is the mandatory gun battle between THRUSH and the good guys. Vaughn even manages to rescue Ellenstein from being used as a test subject for the "Vaporiser".

This one is fun romp with the cast all in top form.

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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

A fun and exciting plot story.

Author: oscar-35 from working in Movieland
24 June 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

*Spoiler/plot- Man from U.N.C.L.E. The Arabian Affair, Two agents of the international anti-crime group investigate recent rumors of a large group of criminals developing a secret machine that dissolves humans using a secret foam weapon. The criminals have a secret base in the Sahara desert.

*Special Stars- Robert Vaughn, Davi Mcallum, Leo G. Carol, Tom Hatten, Michael Ansara.

*Theme- The European/American good guys can solved every plot against the world.

*Trivia/location/goofs- TV series. Look for TV's morning kiddie Popeye show host, Tom Hatten to be the THRUSH Captain of the desert base. The secret THRUSH foam weapon is really the newly developed aviation crash and fire suppressant device. Michael Ansar turns in a legitimate Arab performance from this famous & intense Lebannese born actor.

*Emotion- A fun and exciting plot story. More of the excellent acting and spy action we have got use to from this hit TV show of the 60's. Well worth the time to experience.

*Based On- Recent 60's spy craze.

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