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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
When David Victor issued a directive to the 'M.F.U.' writers following
Season 3, he pointed that the problem went beyond that of there being
too much comedy, many plots were repetitive with THRUSH out to seize
some outlandish new super-weapon each week via 'the threadbare cliché
situation of the scientist and his daughter'. Writers were told to come
up with something new.
In 'The Deadly Quest Affair', neither Solo nor Kuryakin are on a mission; it opens with Illya in hospital, recovering from injuries sustained on a recent assignment. After Solo has departed, fake medics abduct the Russian.
The trail takes Solo to a 10 block section of Manhattan scheduled for demolition. Here an old ( believed to be deceased ) enemy called Viktor Karmak ( Darren McGavin ) lies in wait, wanting revenge. Teaming up with avant-garde artist Sheila ( Marlyn Mason ), the man from U.N.C.L.E. is hunted like big game. He cannot escape as an electric fence surrounds the area. He must locate Illya before a deadline expires, then the chamber his friend is imprisoned in fills with poison gas...
Written by Robert E.Thompson, author of the same season's 'The Summit Five Affair', this is an exciting episode, with McGavin ( future star of one of my all-time favourite shows 'Kolchak: The Night Stalker' ) enjoying himself hugely as a villain in dark glasses and a pet leopard for company.
Jerry Goldsmith is credited with the score but in fact it was compiled from earlier episodes he had worked on, no bad thing.
There's an amusing coda which reverses the opening - Solo is now in hospital and a tuxedo-clad Illya is looking forward to a night on the town. The look of disgust on Solo's face as a thermometer is put in his mouth is hilarious!
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