Solo is attacked by a cyborg (a mostly electronic being with some human organs) while on a mission. Later, it's discovered that a Thrush front company is seeking a $1 billion loan. ... See full summary »
Solo is attacked by a cyborg (a mostly electronic being with some human organs) while on a mission. Later, it's discovered that a Thrush front company is seeking a $1 billion loan. Eventually, Solo and Kuryakin uncover a plot to mass produce cyborgs. Written by
Noted science author and critic Harlan Ellison has his name on two 'M.F.U.' episodes, this is the first ( 'The Pieces Of Fate Affair' being the other ). He claims to have done rewrites on others ( including Season 2's 'The Virtue Affair' ). 'Solo' ( Robert Vaughn ) breaks into a THRUSH safe at night, only to be attacked by a strange woman ( Willy Koopman ) with staring eyes and who walks around with her arms outstretched. She has superhuman strength, and is impervious to bullets. Cornered, it looks as if the U.N.C.L.E. agent is going to take his own life as the teaser ends. But, when the titles are over, he is back at U.N.C.L.E. H.Q. The documents reveal that THRUSH are after a $1 billion Swiss bank loan for some new, unknown project. Solo takes the place of a Zurich banker and has a secret meeting with THRUSH agents 'Mr.Lash' ( Barry Atwater, a.k.a. 'Janos Scorzeny' of 'The Night Stalker' ) and 'Margo Hayward' ( Pamela Curran ). A brilliant scientist named 'Dr.Ansel Pertwee' ( Woodrow Parfrey ) has found a way to covert human beings - mostly beautiful young women - into living cyborgs called 'A-77''s. The process involving removing internal organs ( including two-thirds of the brain ) and replacing them with mechanical parts. When the lovely 'Andy Franklin' ( Jeannine Riley ) is filming a commercial for 'Spy Guy Men's Lotion' she spots an old friend called Muriel. But Muriel has undergone the conversion process, and does not respond to Andy's calls. Furthermore, the former human being attacks Solo in the street...
Directed by E.Darrell Hallenbeck, this is a good episode. The 'A-77' is terrifying, especially as Gerald Fried uses a jarring organ chord whenever she is on screen, and Willy Koopman bears a remarkable resemblance to the artist Tracy Emin. One wishes though it had been done either in the more sober Season 1 or Season 4 as it is marred by annoying touches of comedy, such as Solo and Kuryakin looking queasy as an U.N.C.L.E. boffin explains what the conversation process entails, Mr.Lash getting carried away whilst stating his objectives, and Solo urging Margo to call him 'Nappy'! Because the basic premise of this story is essentially grotesque, a straighter approach would have been infinitely better.
Solo uses his real name when meeting Mr.Lash and Margo. Amazingly, given the numerous THRUSH operations both he and Illya have wrecked in the past, they do not appear to have heard of him. The finale has our heroes trying to escape from the THRUSH lair only to be chased by an army of cyborgs. It is let down slightly by the unconvincing masks worn by the actresses.
Good stuff all the same, made just before Season 3 nosedived in terms of quality.
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