- TV Series
A pair of intelligence agents posing as a tennis pro and his coach go on secret missions around the world.A pair of intelligence agents posing as a tennis pro and his coach go on secret missions around the world.A pair of intelligence agents posing as a tennis pro and his coach go on secret missions around the world.
The misgivings that I've got about the Eddie Murphy/Owen Wilson take on "I Spy" would seem to be justified by most accounts (even allowing for the presence of the scrumptious Famke Janssen), and now that Carlton Direct has closed down it's unlikely repeats of this fine spy show will be back on British television in the near future. Too bad.
Unlike most other series, the adventures of Kelly Robinson and Alexander Scott (spies under the guise of a tennis player and his coach, played by Robert Culp and Bill Cosby respectively - the latter won three Emmys in succession for his performances, which are indeed easier to take than his subsequent incarnation as the endlessly self-adoring Dr. Cliff Huxtable) benefitted from actual location shooting around the world and from intelligent scripts, some by Culp himself - though not "To Florence With Love," a two-part story which had a most unusual ending in part one; our heroes are trying to get information from someone by threatening to cover him completely in plaster of Paris, and it ends with the would-be stooge about to be totally closed up. (He cracks at the start of part 2, obviously, but there's no doubt that they really would let him suffocate if he hadn't.)
The chemistry between Culp and Cosby and the great theme music by Earle Hagen (plus scores from him and Hugo Friedhofer - bless Film Score Monthly for issuing a CD of music from the series) are two more reasons this plays well on TV today. If you take care with a product, it'll be good forever; which is why "The Cosby Mysteries" won't be fondly remembered 30 years from now. If ever.
- Victor Field
- Dec 11, 2002