The mysterious Hemingway causes havoc at UNCLE headquarters in New York through various means, including tampering with the facility's water supply and electrical system. This occurs on the...
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The mysterious Hemingway causes havoc at UNCLE headquarters in New York through various means, including tampering with the facility's water supply and electrical system. This occurs on the eve of an important conference where UNCLE will host leaders from around the world. Meanwhile, Thrush's Dr. Egret and Riley, a Thrush mole inside UNCLE, conspire to assassinate the leaders. Solo and Kuryakin try to figure out Hemingway's motives. Virtually the entire episode takes place at UNCLE headquarters. Written by
The 'Laser Beam' defense deployed on the roof is a two-handed blaster 'rifle', first seen in Forbidden Planet (1956), mounted upside-down. See more »
When Solo & Kuryakin climb down the elevator cables, the cables not only look like rope, they are slack instead of taut and move in a way that clearly shows that they are made of fiber, not steel. See more »
[Kay can't explain how she got into U.N.C.L.E. headquarters]
I ran a check on the girl's identification. No holes in the story so far.
Which may only mean she has a good cover. Guess we'll have to try the Jekyll-Hyde routine.
Well, she's an attractive girl. Why don't I be her friend and companion this time? You haven't played the villain for a long time.
Well, that's only because you do it so much better than I do.
Hmm, the penalty of playing my part successfully. Now I'm typecast?
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A virtually perfect episode beginning with U.N.C.L.E. headquarters being thrown into an uproar after radar detects the approach of a mysterious object. The object in question turns out to be a toy airplane containing the sardonic message "Boom! You're dead."
As it turns out, this fake attack comes on the eve of an important conference of world leaders set to be held at U.N.C.L.E.'s New York headquarters. But when civilian Kay Lorison, (Zohra Lampert) unwittingly becomes a "guest" of U.N.C.L.E., Napolean and Illya must find the source of this and other recent breaches in security before the conference can convene. Little do they know however that a professor of logic, Mr Hemingway (Richard Hadyn) has been putting the agents through their paces in order to expose U.N.C.L.E.'s vulnerability to attack. Nor are they aware that a deep-cover THRUSH agent named Riley (Peter Haskell) plans to wipe out the visiting dignitaries using a conference table molded out of an explosive material.
Easily one of the best scripts to utilize the "innocent drawn into the world of espionage" (a story convention used many times throughout the series), "Mad, Mad Tea Party" is a potent mixture of both danger and character-driven humour. Zohra Lampert is excellent as Kay, a nervous bride-to-be dissatisfied with the banality of her life, who finds more excitement than she could ever imagine when Mr. Hemingway literally shoves her through the looking glass of Delflorio's shop right into the UNITED NETWORK COMMAND FOR LAW ENFORCEMENT. At one point guppies are discovered in the building's drinking water system (another present from the mysterious Mr. Hemingway) prompting Kay to quite accurately observe "I did fall into a rabbit hole, and this is a mad, mad tea party!"
Richard Hadyn's Mr. Hemingway makes an enjoyable, mirth-making gadfly. In one scene he wanders through headquarters and brazenly stops Napolean and Illya to ask for directions in how to get around this high security installation he's not even supposed to be in.
One particularly funny moment comes towards the end when the eventually captured Hemingway and Kay are both brought to the conference room where the dignitaries are set to gather. The single key to the room is passed from agent to agent like a bucket brigade, and eventually even Kay gets a turn handing off the key like she's now one of team. Later, when she finds herself among the world leaders who've come for the conference, an amazed Kay asks Solo, "do you know who's in there?" Solo: "Well, I have a pretty good idea." Kay: "And they talked to me!"
The spy tech aspect is very thrilling with the attack by the radio-controlled plane leading to the appearance of a nifty roof-mounted laser gun that rolls out to try and bring down the approaching target. The villain of the piece, Riley, employs a fountain pen which, when jabbed into the cranium of a victim, emits a high frequency pulse that homogenizes the brain. The scene where Riley is exposed before his disguised bomb can detonate is quite suspenseful, as is a hand-to-hand fight sequence between the THRUSH agent and Solo in the tight confines of an elevator.
Great story. Solid direction by Seymour Robbie and Lampert and Haydn give among the best performances of any two guest stars in the history of the series. Quite a party indeed.
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