A diplomat seeks to heighten tensions between East and West. UNCLE is to neutralize him but not, Waverly says, in a way he becomes a "cause celebre." Solo and Kuryakin devise a con game ... See full summary »
A diplomat seeks to heighten tensions between East and West. UNCLE is to neutralize him but not, Waverly says, in a way he becomes a "cause celebre." Solo and Kuryakin devise a con game with a false secret (dubbed Project Strigas) and recruit a talented engineer who abruptly quit a lucrative job to start his own business. Written by
This was one of the first 'M.F.U.' episodes to be released on video, mostly due to the pairing of William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy, two years before the debut of 'Star Trek'. They do not get many scenes together though, and there's none of the interaction that characterised their relationship as 'Captain Kirk' and 'Mr.Spock'. Hardly surprising, given they are on opposing sides.
Laslo Kurasov ( Werner Klemperer ) is a warmongering East European diplomat whom U.N.C.L.E. wants 'removed'. Rather than invade his country and hang him, Solo and Kuryakin launch a scam ( why do real-life Governments never think of these things? ) that would not seem out of place in 'Mission: Impossible' - they con Kurasov into buying the formula of a nerve gas called 'Strigas' ( 'strike gas' ). He pays for it with Party funds, only to find the formula is for floor wax.
Shatner is 'Michael Donfeld', owner of a debt-ridden extermination company whom U.N.C.L.E enlists to sell 'Strigas'. Peggy Ann Garner plays his wife 'Anne'. Werner Klemperer went on to become 'Colonel Klink' in the sitcom 'Hogan's Heroes'. Nimoy is as his sidekick 'Vladeck'. Woodrow Parfey makes the first of several 'U.N.C.L.E.' appearances; here he is villain 'Linkwood'.
Like Martin Landau's 'Rollin Hand', Illya spends a fair amount of the story in disguise.
Somewhat oddly, Henry Misrock, this episode's writer, never wrote for the Bruce Gellar-created spy show.
Despite there being virtually no action, this is an entertaining instalment, with some nice flourishes of humour. For instance, spotting a pram in the middle of a city street, Solo pulls it to safety. Inside the wailing 'baby' is none other than a tape recorder. He turns it off and burps it! Good climax as the disgraced Kurasov is taken to an airport for deportation where he meets Illya and Donfeld, two of the men responsible for his downfall. His angered expression is wonderful!
The 'U.N.C.L.E' directorial debut of Joseph Sargent.
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