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"The Man from U.N.C.L.E." The Summit-Five Affair (1967)

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13 out of 14 people found the following review useful:


Author: ShadeGrenade from Ambrosia
11 June 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The first episode of the fourth and final run of 'M.F.U' must have come as a shock to audiences, following a mostly dismal third season in which plots were constructed around such inane ideas as bombs full of essence of skunk and hiccup gas ( not to mention Sonny & Cher ). This Robert E.Thompson-scripted episode is John Le Carre by comparison.

Solo is being shown around U.N.C.L.E.'s Berlin headquarters when a frightened technician sends a message to Mr.Waverly, warning of the presence of a double agent in the organisation, only to be killed by a 'xeron actuator' ( oh, one of those! ). Suspicion falls on the following agents - flamboyant 'Harry Beldon' ( Albert Dekker ), suave 'Gerald Strothers' ( the excellent Lloyd Bochner ), beautiful 'Helga Denikin' ( Susanne Cramer ), and Solo himself. In an attempt to smoke out the culprit, Solo allows the finger of blame to be pointed at him, leading a harrowing interrogation scene straight out of 'The Prisoner', conducted by Strothers in 'No.2' mode. At one point, Solo even grabs his interrogator's leg and cries for Illya! Shocking stuff.

This was the first of three 'M.F.U.' assignments for director Sutton Roley ( the other two were the final two-parter 'The Seven Wonders Of The World Affair' ). He brought to his shows a highly distinctive visual style. One wishes he had been hired earlier, when Dean Hargrove and Peter Allan Fields were penning scripts. THRUSH is out to assassinate the top five heads of U.N.C.L.E. ( who meet once a year to exchange vital communications codes ). Albert Dekker, was 'Dr.Thorkel' in one of my favourite sci-fi pictures - 1940's 'Dr.Cyclops'.

Anthony Spinner came as a breath of fresh air after Boris Ingster. Even the spoof dedication in the closing credits was dropped! Barbara Moore makes her debut as 'Lisa Rogers', Mr.Waverly's new secretary, and though she does not get to do much throughout the season a regular female character was long overdue. U.N.C.L.E. H.Q. has been spruced up too, with more computers ( left over from N.A.S.A. ) on view. Jerry Goldsmith's theme is given a strident new arrangement and, while not quite up to the first season version, is markedly better than the second and third's. These changes gave 'U.N.C.L.E.' a fresh, up-to-date look, and got Season 4 off to a marvellous start.

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1 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Definitely better, but...

Author: Wirefan122 from United States
12 August 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This episode starts Season 4 on a much better note than the previous one! Season 3 was for the most part just awful.

Summit-five is the annual meeting of the worldwide UNCLE heads and has been put in jeopardy due to a double-agent in their midst (not one of the heads) who may expose it's whereabouts and time to THRUSH who would of course kill them all and rule the world!

I won't go into the plot in too much detail but is pretty standard stuff. Illya and Solo get taken captive and a la James Bond get sent down an elevator into poisonous gas to kill them...which does not work, amazingly enough.

The (spoiler ahead!!!!!!) four heads of UNCLE who are to be killed are marched out onto a wooden bridge so three guys with submachine guns can kill them from 150 feet or so away! Surprisingly enough they are saved at the last second.

I may sound cynical and probably watch too much of these programs but it never fails to amaze me that they don't simply shoot (or attempt to) Solo/Illya/Four heads immediately (they could have killed one or two of the other Heads as no one would probably ever notice). I DO enjoy the show so I will keep watching!

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