A scientist, Dr. True, has developed a process for extracting gold from seawater. He dies just as he is performing a demonstration for Solo and Kuryakin. His death has been arranged by ...
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A scientist, Dr. True, has developed a process for extracting gold from seawater. He dies just as he is performing a demonstration for Solo and Kuryakin. His death has been arranged by Thrush. However, Dr. True has scattered his formula to "the four winds" -- stepdaughters he has around the world. Both UNCLE and Thrush pursue the formula. As part I ends, Solo, Kuryakin and Sandy, Dr. True's natural daughter, are left tied up in an UNCLE plane by Thrush operatives. The Thrushman parachute to safety as the UNCLE plane flies on with no one at the controls. Written by
Two part episodes on The Man From Uncle were usually a big deal, but The Five Daughters Affair is mostly a bait and switch. The plot, which concerns the search for a formula that turns water into gold, has a lot of big name guest stars and exotic locations, but in the end, doesn't add up to very much.
Mostly it wastes the talents of what was for network television at the time, some heavy hitters, not the least among them being Telly Savalas, Curt Jurgens,and Terry-Thomas, whose appearances amount to nothing more than cameos that add nothing to the plot. Ten years later, Jurgens would play Stromberg, the Bond bad guy in The Spy Who Loved Me. Also wasted are Diane McBain and Jill Ireland (the ex-Mrs. David McCallum and the future Mrs. Charles Bronson).
But the biggest dropped ball in The Five Daughters Affair is Joan Crawford, whose character is in one scene at the episode's beginning and then exits the story. What were the producers thinking when they blew off one of the greats of Hollywood's Golden Age in such a fashion? Were they using her for name value only or by this point in her very long career was Miss Crawford simply too difficult to work with anymore? Wouldn't it have been better if they'd rewritten the script and cast Miss Crawford as a top THRUSH big shot, maybe the head of the whole organization, with Savalas, Jurgens, and Terry-Thomas as her subordinates who battle with Napoleon and Illya in an around the world chase to get their hands on the gold making formula?
The only guest star that comes off well is Herbert Lom, as the top THRUSH villain of the piece; he must have squeezed it in between Pink Panther gigs. Also look for Kim Darby, before she was in True Grit, as one of the titled daughters.
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