The Man from U.N.C.L.E.: Season 3, Episode 10

The Off-Broadway Affair (18 Nov. 1966)

TV Episode  |   |  Action, Adventure, Crime
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Thrush is planning to tap into UNCLE's main computer in New York City. To do so, the criminal organization is bankrolling a musical play that will provide cover for the group's real plan.



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Title: The Off-Broadway Affair (18 Nov 1966)

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Episode cast overview:
Joan Huntington ...
Linda Lamentiere
Shari Lewis ...
Janet Jerrod
David X. Machina
Charles Dierkop ...
Peggy Taylor ...
Eileen Osborne
Sharyn Hillyer ...
Herbert Bress ...
Paul Hastenbrook
Dick Crockett ...
Robert F. Hoy ...
Claude (as Bob Hoy)
Lennie Weinrib ...
Winky Blintz


Thrush is planning to tap into UNCLE's main computer in New York City. To do so, the criminal organization is bankrolling a musical play that will provide cover for the group's real plan.

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Release Date:

18 November 1966 (USA)  »

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User Reviews

"Thin plot, poor villain but still worth seeing for the chemistry between Vaughn and McCallam."
25 November 2007 | by (Poole, Dorset) – See all my reviews

Napoleon Solo and Illya Kuriyakin receive a tip off from young actress Eileen Osborne (PEGGY ANN TAYLOR) who is the leading lady in a rather dreadful musical play at New York's New Wave Theatre. She tells them that the entire UNCLE organisation is in danger of being destroyed before she is cut off. On their arrival at the venue, they find Miss Osborne dead in her dressing room. Mr Waverley believes that there may be some truth in what she was saying because a THRUSH agent was captured carrying details of vital information that they had recently fed into their master computer. Solo and Kuriyakin suspect that THRUSH have an electronic tap on the computer which is enabling them to drain top secret information from their system and because the theatre is so close to UNCLE HQ, they believe that the criminal organisation may be using it as a front for their operations. Solo poses as a Hollywood talent scout, "Haven't you heard of L.B Sternmacher?" Meanwhile, Kuriyakin poses as a musician and gets the job of performing the "A Man Is A Horn" act in the show. Solo befriends the late Miss Osborne's co-star and understudy Janet Jarrod (SHARI LEWIS), from whom he learns a lot of information when she's not trying to persuade him to recommend her to his non-existent Hollywood mogul, "Who was it, ah, L.B Sternmacher?" They learn that the show's producer, Machina (LEON ASKIN), has bought out all of the tickets for the show's remaining performances at the theatre. Solo and Kuriyakin learn that Machina is a leading THRUSH agent who along with his new leading lady, Linda (JOAN HUNTINGTON), are indeed using the theatre for their activities. Using sophisticated ultra-sonic wave digging equipment, they have constructed a tunnel within the bowels of the theatre in which the computer tap is situated. After a couple of dices with death with Machina's henchmen, the men from UNCLE aided by Janet see to it that tonight's performance goes out with a bang rather than a whimper and succeed in bringing the curtain down on THRUSH's scheme.

The Off Broadway Affair suffers from a rather weak plot, which has the air of being pasted together in order to pad out the series' third season. In addition, the sets are strictly studio bound and are not exactly catching to the eye whilst Leon Askin's villain, Machina, is among the weakest of the bad guys that UNCLE have tackled in their four year career on the airwaves. Nevertheless, it is saved by some good chemistry between Robert Vaughn's Napoleon Solo and David McCallam's Illya Kuriyakin. For instance, there is a little scene where Kuriyakin is disguised as a plumber in order to get into the theatre and take a look around and he says "It seems rather unfair to me Napoleon. There you are dallying around with a lovely young actress whilst I'm skulking around in the dark". Then later when he comes out to report to Solo on his findings, the pair are interrupted by the arrival of Janet Jarrod and in order to create the illusion that they don't know each other, Solo takes a dime out of his pocket and says "Will you take this and by yourself some soap, you're a dirty guy" much to Illya's embarrassment. In addition, Illya's rendering of the dire "A Man Is A Horn" musical act has to be seen to be believed! There is also an amusing climax where Solo and Kuriyakin break into a fight with Machina and his henchmen in the theatre whilst the show is going on. Up until that point, the audience had been bored stiff, but when it was interrupted by the brawl that has made its way from the wings and on to the stage, the punters who include a rather stuffy theatre critic, think its all part of the act and laugh at what's going on. Following this, the show gets the best reviews of its run thanks to the fight on the stage. The excited director comes up to Solo and Kuriyakin and asks "How would you two like to play yourselves in a revised version of the show?" "Don't call us we'll call you" they reply.

Overall, despite a thin plot, an indifferent bad guy and shoddy sets, this episode is worth catching for the banter between Solo and Kuriyakin and there's a few amusing nods to the world of showbiz as well like when the director of the show is reading out the rave reviews they have just got. Kuriyakin turns to Solo and tells him how disappointed he thinks the audience will be when they don't find what the critics have said in their reviews the next time around. In reply Solo says "Well audiences usually don't like what the critics tell them."

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