So, I've decided to watch the James Bond films in order and comment about them. I will be limiting myself to the movies featuring the only two actors that I feel portrayed Bond properly--i.e. Sean Connery and Roger Moore--and ignoring anything else that calls itself a Bond movie (with the possible exception of the 1967 Casino Royale). To begin with, 1962's Dr. No. A quick synopsis courtesy of The James Bond Films:

Dr. No intends to destroy a U.S. moon rocket from his nuclear-powered base on an island near Jamaica.

Now for my thoughts on the movie:

* First appearance of Bond shooting the camera with blood pouring down from the top--No Bond theme until after the shot, and Bond is wearing a fedora. I like fedoras, but Bond just doesn't seem a fedora type of guy.

* I like the danciing silhouettes during the opening titles.

* I love the styling of old cars.

* Silencers made guns really quiet back then.

* Bond and Baccarat...they go together like peanut butter and chocolate, or rum and cola.

* Lois Maxwell looks quite lovely as Moneypenny, and her flirtation with Bond seems more playful than his other interactions with women...very likeable.

* Hmm...not sure how close this movie is in time to the Cuban missile crisis, but I know the timing is close.

* I never knew Bond used a Beretta before the Walther.

* No Q...no gadgets either.

* I should like to return to my hotel finding a beautiful woman wearing my pajamas and practicing putting in my room, although I can also see how that would be off-putting as well.

* Jack Lord is supposed to be in Hawaii, not Jamaica.

* The fighting in this movie seems almost to be a parody of itself--however, I'm sure that's more to do with 50 years of similar movies since then.

* The police commissioner in Kingston, Jamaica is a white man...doesn't sound quite right to me. A-Ha! Jamaica had not declared it's indepence from Great Britain in 1962.

* He doesn't say "shaken, not stirred" but that is how he orders his vodka martini.

* Why is the bartender East Indian? Eh, likely the British connection again.

* Lots of product placement for Red Stripe. Hooray Beer!

* I guess rasslin' alligators doesn't quite prepare you for Bond, James Bond.

* Very Marvel comics...the good guys fight, then team up.

* So...all the natives have American accents...

* Disembodied voices are so cool and scary sometimes.

* The way women hunger after Bond is quite funny.

* Backup vodka is always a good idea when you're a superspy.

* You know, if I woke up in the middle of the night and found a huge tarantula on my back, my first instinct would likely be to roll over and attempt to smush it.

* I love how the orchestra is in sync with him smashing the spider with his shoe.

* Ruh-Roh! The pretty eavesdropping secretary is a bad girl!

* And that's what you get for being a bad guy in a big ugly car.

* Bond womanizes...of course, she's likely to be dead by the end of their date.

* He was nice...he only had her arrested.

* Quarrel is a dead man...I know it.

* Ursula Andress...yes, please!

* Oh sure, the old "breathing through a hollow reed underwater" trick.

* Yup, 1962, black guy, red shirt...Quarrel just got it.

* Okay, superspy 101...do not drink or eat anything the enemy offers you.

* Umm...yeah...Ursula...yeah...

* With names like Sister Lily and Sister Rose, they'd better be sinister.

* He sends Honey off to be ... mistreated. That's the Bond I'm familiar with.

* Ooohhh, S.P.E.C.T.R.E.!

* Sure, electrify the grating, but don't take away his rubber-soled shoes. Good move.

* A gruesome, but fitting end for Dr. No.

* And of course, Bond is the mack...

Reasonably fun, I suppose, but a very uneven movie. There are a lot of unanswered questions, and key points of the plot make as much sense as the Adam West Batman! series. Still, if you don't take it too seriously, it's not bad.

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I loved the novel.  I also loved the comic-strip adaptation. It reminded me of how much I loved the novel.

A number of things from the book found their way into the movies... just NOT the movie "Moonraker".

Among them:  Drax CHEATS at cards.  Bond cheats BETTER. After Drax writes Bond a check, he says, "Spend the money-- QUICKLY."  (This turned up in OCTOPUSSY!  It also inspired a similar scene in the later novel-- and movie-- GOLDFINGER.)

Drax turns out to be the agent of an enemy foreign government, who has changed his identity, and become virtually a public hero as an industrialist in England.  (see DIE ANOTHER DAY !!!)

At one point, Bond's car is destroyed-- while he's driving it.  (This turned up in GOLDFINGER.)

Drax intends to kill both Bond and Special Branch Policewoman Gala Brand, by leaving them trapped in the exhaust blast of the missile when it takes off.  (This actually did turn up in the film-- about the only thing that did.)

Drax intends to finish the job Adolph Hitler started, by destroying London with a nuclear missile.  As he escapes by sub, Bond re-directs the course of the missile, so it comes down right on top of Drax's sub!  (This was-- essentially-- the climax of the film, THE SPY WHO LOVED ME !!!)

When I read the comic, I found myself picturing 2 actors who would have been absolutely perfect had the film been made in the late 50's or early 60's-- Howard Marion Crawford as Drax, and Honor Blackman as Gala Brand.

For Your Eyes Only - From IMDb:

Agent 007 is assigned to hunt for a lost British encryption device and prevent it from falling into enemy hands.

Thoughts:

* Unlike most of the other movies in this series, this will be my first time watching.

* Leaving flowers at his dead wife's grave. Very unlike Bond, or at least the Bond's played by Connery and Moore.

* Sending a helicopter to a cemetery? MI5 don't mess around.

* Ah ha! It's not MI5, it's a trap!

* We have a Blofeld sighting.  Could S.P.E.C.T.R.E. be rearing it's ugly head?

* Whoever this stunt copter pilot is, he's good. Or she's good.

* This incidental music is really, really cheesy.

* Nice stunt, picking up Blofeld and his wheelchair with the helicopter landing gear.

* Dropped down a chimney.  Kind of anti-climactic for Blofeld.  Of course, he's likely not dead.  Besides, the cat didn't get it.

* I'm sure there are people who think this is an absolutely wonderful theme, but to me it just sounds like cheesy 1980's balladeering, processed and soulless.

* I thought that was Sheena Easton. unfortunately, this was from before her association with Prince.

* A fishing boat camouflaging a sea-based operation.  Nice.

* Whatever they're protecting must be special if they're handcuffing themselves to it.

* Someone doesn't know the difference between a marlin and a mine.

* Unable to destroy the system.  Hopefully it won't fall into the wrong hands.

* Someone's mixing business with pleasure. Bet that comes back on him.

* Oh, the seaplane pilot is a baddie.  Now her parents are dead.  She'll have to dress up like a bat and avenge their death's and fight evildoers for the rest of her life.

* Moneypenny definitely looks more like his mum now than a potential love interest.  Ah well.

* No M.  That's a shame.

* James just passed a huge mansion on the road.  Huge mansion usually equals boss baddie.

* Ye gods this incidental music is dated.

* Not the boss baddie, just the hitman. Killing people must pay really, really well.  Of course, not much use if you're dead before you can spend it all.

* Well, a 2cv is better than getting shot.

* Smart move with the car chase, putting it on a road where the underpowered but nimble 2cv can hold it's own with faster vehicles.  Of course, many more observations like this and it will turn into an episode of Top Gear.

* This music is really terrible. I'm sorry to keep harping on this, but it's really distracting.

* I love seeing Q, but it seems like he should have underlings to help James with the computer aided identikit.

* I think this will be the first time I can recall James turning away a beautiful woman in his bed.

* James on skis. Sort of a running theme.  Just waiting for the snowmobile ambush.

* Not snowmobiles. Motorcycles. And one of the biathlon competitors.

* This whole ski sequence is quite exciting, but the music is killing this movie.

* I'm getting a Warriors vibe from the guys in the hockey gear right now.

* Oh yeah, the jokes are really falling flat in this movie too.

* I feel like I've been watching this movie for hours and it isn't even half over.

* Bond. Baccarat. Yes.

* Bond is terrible at the whole "secret" part of being a secret agent.

* She is quite handy with that crossbow.

* 'Twould appear to be the old "who's really the bad guy" trick.

* I guess he has Locque in a hard place.

* Two-person sub.  Maybe we'll get a chase out of this.

* Well, no chase, but a fight.

* Of course, James is bleeding and there is a shark in the area...

* Whatever this thing is this guy has, he's tearing that sub apart.

* Oops. Wrong boat.

* All these elaborate death traps. Why not just shoot him?

* Man, those sharks have a ton of respect for Bond, attacking another man when they should be attacking him.

* I just knew the talking bird would turn into a major plot point.

* So, this times James' entrance depended on the stupidity of Kristatos' men.

* Nice thing about a crossbow is that it is quiet.

* So, unsurprisingly, the good guys win.

Back when I reviewed Diamonds Are Forever, I remarked that it seemed more like a Moore film than a Connery film.  In this instance, For Your Eyes Only seems to be a movie better suited for Connery.  There are a lot of great action sequences, but ultimately the film is torpedoed by uninspiring villains, a meandering script, and the thought we've seen it all before. The wow just wasn't there. Sure you had your big explosions and chases and gunfights and the like, but ultimately you need a little more of a payoff.

FOR YOUR EYES ONLY has been, from the time it came out, my FAVORITE Roger Moore film.  It's got the best script, a real sense of mystery unusual for the film series, they kept the humor down to an acceptable level, the action scenes are terrific, the pacing (except for the submarine section) never lets up, it's got my 2nd-favorite Bond movie villain in it (Julian Glover), and, my FAVORITE Bond girl-- who happens to be one that is NEVER featured in any "Bond girl retrospectives" in print or on TV (Lynn-Holly Johnson).  I also LOVE Bill Conti's totally over-the-top bombastic score.  It was far better than what John Barry did for DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER, THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN GUN, MOONRAKER, OCTOPUSSY or A VIEW TO A KILL.

It was some time after the film came out before I was reminded that the "mystery" plot came straight out of Ian Fleming.  If I'd remembered reading the short story "Risico", I'd have known right away that Colombo, while a smuggler, was not that bad of a guy, while Kristatos, despite his high-level connections, WAS.  (Strangely enough, in the newspaper comic-strip adaptation of "Risico", Kristatos was drawn as a dead ringer for Topol, who played Columbo in the film.  Of course, it was done more than a decade before the movie was made.)

The sub-plot wherein Bond meets a local gangster who he becomes friends with and then teams up with to stop a MUCH WORSE criminal, was later reused in the novel ON HER MAJESTY'S SECRET SERVICE.

After the abortion that became MOONRAKER, FYEO turned out to be a love-letter to Ian Fleming.  Not only did it incorporate the plots of both "For Your Eyes Only" and "Risico" into its storyline, the scene of Bond visiting his wife's grave came from the novel OHMSS;  the scene with the "Identicast" machine apparently came from the novel GOLDFINGER;  and the scene where Bond & Melina are tied together and dragged behind the boat over a shark-infested reef was the climax of the novel LIVE AND LET DIE!

Although never named onscreen, the "Chief Of Staff" was actually Bill Tanner, Bond's best friend in the books.  This was his 2nd appearance in the films; he had previously had a cameo in GOLDEN GUN.  But neither appearance seemed really in line with the books, and casting James Villiaer in FYEO seems really off-base.  Villiers is just too much of an upper-crust SNOB to be friends with anybody.  (His casting makes about as much sense as casting Roger Moore as James Bond, come to think of it.)  As it happens, while reading some of the John Gardner novels in the 80's, where Bill Tanner was a regular fixture, it struck me that, personality-wise, Roger Moore would have been a better fit for Bil Tanner. 

As it happens, until the very last minute, Timothy Dalton was in the running to star in FOR YOUR EYES ONLY, until Roger Moore & Cubby Broccoli finally agreed on Moore's salary.  The story I read (only recently) was that Broccoli was very impressed with Dino DeLaurentis' FLASH GORDON, and actually wanted to have Timothy Dalton, Max Von Sydow, Ornella Muti and Topol in his next Bond picture.  Myself, I can't imagine Von Sydown doing nearly as good a job as Julian Glover did, though I do think Ornella Muti would have been MUCH better than Carole Bouquet was.  Oh well, he did get Topol!

I still love the film, but whenever I watch it now, I find myself wishing Dalton had done it instead.  As good as it was-- as good as Moore was, in this one, I feel sure Dalton would have been much better.  (The scene where he tells Melina "first dig two graves" is one that just falls FLAT. I'm sure Dalton could have made that convincing.)

Oh yeah... I also love the brief scene with General Gogol at the end.  They keep cutting, faster and faster, between Bond fighting the KGB thug, Columbo fighting and chasing Kristatos, and Gogol's helicopter coming closer and closer.  Then, when everything's wrapped up, and Bond finally has his hands on the ATAC keyboard, Gogol's there, with an armed guard.  He smiles, and holds out his hand, silently, so as to say, "You can hand it over to ME now."  Instead, Bond tosses it over the cliff, shattering it into countless pieces.  "That's detente, Comrade.  I don't have it, you don't have it."  And Gogol LAUGHS, smiles and waves at Bond with grudging admiration.  You can tell, he LIKES this Englishman!

Obviously I didn't like it as much as you did Henry.  I thought Conti's score--or at least the arrangements--was terrible, sounding way too much like an episode of CHiPS or A-Team.  And while I don't think any of the actors portraying the villains gave a poor performance, I also didn't think they had much to work with either.

I will certainly grant you that the action sequences were excellent, but I think we'll have to agree to disagree about the rest of the movie.

So why do you have to repeat yourself?

Hey, a LOT of my favorite movies get ripped to shreds at the IMDB.  And some movies that have page after page after page of 10-star reviews, I think REALLY SUCK.  (Like that one with Arnold and James Earl Jones...)  I'm not out to convert anybody.  It's all a matter of personal taste.

My personal votes for WORST 007 films of all time (in no particular order):  DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER, THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN GUN, MOONRAKER.  But I will add, the ONLY good thing about DIAMONDS is the theme song.  Of the 3 sung by Shirley Bassey, it's my favorite.  But the rest is the most incoherent, biggest piece of crap!

By the way-- crazy but true:  Bill Conti took the "ski chase" track he wrote, "Runaway", re-wrote it slightly, and turned it into the theme song of the short-lived TV series, THE MASTER, which starred Lee Van Cleef!  There was a lot about that show that reminded me of "Batman & Robin"-- only with both characters MUCH older than in the comics.

Octopussy - From IMDb:

A fake Fabergé egg and a fellow agent's death leads James Bond to uncovering an international jewel smuggling operation, headed by the mysterious Octopussy, being used to disguise a nuclear attack on NATO forces.

Thoughts:

* An equestrian event, and is that supposed to resemble Castro?

* James undercover with a spiffy reversible jacket.

* James undercover usually doesn't go so good.

* Yup. Made.

* Stupid soldiers.  That's what you get for staring at beautiful women.

* And of course, there's a folding airplane in the horse box (Want!!!!)

* Some nifty flying as James outmaneuvers a heat seeking missile.

* Of course, the plane runs on ordinary run of the mill gasoline, right?

* East Berlin.  I'd almost forgotten...

* You know, if you're trying to make a break and get over the wall, a clown costume may not be your best choice of evening wear.

* So the knife guys are twins.  Okay, now my interest is piqued.

* New M, BTW.  And Moneypenny has a beautiful assistant now.

* A helicopter with pontoons.  I wonder how this one will be destroyed.

* The snake charmer plays an ominous tune.

* Excuse me while I whip this out...

* Another in a long line of ethnic baddies, we now have a very large Indian man.

* Don't tell me they're really going to have a car chase in these highly unstable three-wheeled taxis?

* I said don't tell me.

* I think the former tennis pro is taking the tennis pro bit a little too far.

* I am amused by the crowd's back and forth, however.

* Always lovely to see Q.

* You know, she didn't quite look like she was interested in romance with James, and yet...

* Oh sure, wine her, dine her, then she rolls off your balcony using her dress as a rope.

* And somehow, Bond gets caught by surprise. Again.

* Some people live well. I guess Kamal Khan is one of them.

* Apparently it's not Kamal Khan's house, it's the house of some mysterious woman.

* I want to take a moment and say that while I've not seen Louis Jourdan much, I've always enjoyed him as a villain.

* Always nice to run into a room full of dead guys on hooks.

* Once again, James has underestimated his opposition, and now they're hunting him.

* This movie is fairly juvenile.  The Tarzan scream is a bit much.

* Khan bears a grudge.  Nasty looking saw toothed weapon.

* I guess that will be the end of the lame tennis jokes.

* Sisters are doing it for themselves.

* About time James showed up.  And I have to say, I never thought I'd see so much of Q in the field.

* A fiery death for Kamal Khan.

* Well, at least this time Bond is not going to be interrupted mid-canoodle.

This was a better movie than I was expecting.  Likely a lot of that had to do with the casting of Louis Jourdan as Khan, plus his right-hand man Gobinda, played by Kabir Bedi.  The plot was reasonably solid--sure there was some goofiness, but it never seemed to not make sense.

There were some poor moments.  There's way too much juvenile silliness, particularly in the fight scenes.  Maud Adams never really worked for me as some sort of ruthless diamond smuggler, and as with most Bond movies, it was likely 30 minutes too long.  Still, I have to say I enjoyed the film.

I just recently re-watched Octopussy when I found the DVD for about 2 bucks in the X-mas specials bin at Wal-mart.

I turned off the soundtrack and just listened to the director's commentary tract and gained a whole new appreciation for the film. It was extremely interesting to learn of how they made the film and what luck they had shooting in India.


By the way, that Castro stand-in in the opening action sequence was actually the Roger Moore stand-in who had worked with/for Roger Moore back in the days when he played "The Saint", and they brought him back, out of retirement to do this little bit of impersonation since he looked SO much like Roger Moore that the make-up department could make them look somewhat similar without straining credibility.  True story!

 

 

And on a completely different subject:  The wife has recently downloaded the book "Ian Flemming" off Audible.com and foisted it off on me lent it to me to suffer through enjoy with her MP3 player. I had downloaded the two parts (roughly half and half) of the long, detailed book, but they loaded into the MP3 player in reverse order.  So when I started playing the book, it picked up just as Fleming was about to publish "Casino Royale" to mixed review, and he was starting to gather info, bits, pieces, locales, names, etc for his next book, which was going to be called....no, NOT "Live and Let Die" as it was published, but instead, borrowed from a local Jamacan expression for the evening/overnight wind that blows away the bad air..."The Undertaker's Wind."

Interesting, no?

Maybe I'll listen to the rest of this book about the life of Ian Fleming after all....

(PS: From some snide comment/quip that was made by narrator, I got the distinct impression that Fleming liked to whip his wife during sexual encounters. Is that bizarre or what?  Have I got that wrong? Did I misunderstand, or is it documented that Flemming and his wife were into whipping? Or SMBD?  Or just sadism?  Or am I completely misunderstanding and blathering on about nothing here?)  My appologies to any Flemming enthusiasts or family member who may be offended by the question or implication. Sorry.

 

A View To A Kill - From IMDb:

An investigation of a horse-racing scam leads 007 to a mad industrialist who plans to create a worldwide microchip monopoly by destroying California's Silicon Valley.

Thoughts:

* Hmm...now I wonder what's going on with 'Zorin'.

* James on skis in the snow searching for a dead body under the nose of the Soviets.

* And the chase is on. Seems like a lot of effort and fuss to recover a locket.

* Way to hijack that snowmobile.

* Now James is snowboarding on the remains of the snowmobile's ski. Is there anything he can't do? I mean, aside from undercover work, giving his adversaries credit for being as dangerous as he is, and being unable to resist beautiful women?

* Apparently it's much easier to snowboard across a lake than to ski across one.

* Well, finally there's a helicopter chasing James. We all know what that means.

* Yeah, he shot the helicopter down with a flare. I still don't understand why the 'copter explodes on contact though.

* Oh, the locket has a microchip inside. No wonder.

* One of the reasons I sometimes complain about the music is that sometimes the choices made date the movie in a way that other themes do not. For instance, Goldfinger is pretty much timeless, as is Live And Let Die. However, this particular theme is pure 1980's, and while I like Duran Duran, it's just not working for me.

* The whole 'James with the hat rack' joke really doesn't work since Roger Moore is rarely seen wearing one.

* A day at the races, with top hats and tails. Now we know why Moneypenny was dressed so oddly. Odd to see her in the field, however.

* Grace Jones is quite beautiful.

* A Patrick Macnee sighting. Excellent.

* So, one dead French detective, and a bunch of property damage later, Bond knows pretty much nothing. However, we know that Christopher Walken has a fun little evil laugh, and that Grace Jones likes to cackle herself.

* Jenny Flex? Really? Really?

* Okay, it's amusing to see James order around Sir Tibbett like that.

* "A successful cover becomes almost second nature" Really, James?

* What a surprise. James has blown his cover.

* Once again, I have to wonder why the villains just don't shoot Bond when they have him at their mercy.

* "No one ever leaves the KGB."

* See, that's just reckless. You kill a famous and rich businessman, someone's gonna notice.

* Yeah, I kinda figured James would be joining forces with the KGB.

* I should be enjoying this more, but I just want them to get on with it.

* James actually turns down a beautiful woman...for now.

* So I figure 3 seconds before the CIA guy's car goes kaboom.

* Or not.

* I should probably be commenting more, but it's just not terribly interesting.

* I think they backed the wrong horse.

* Walken is doing a nice job with poor material.

* Well that blowed up real good.

* Eh.

Despite Christopher Walken turning coal into diamonds, this was pretty much a train wreck. The plot is more or less sensible--to a psychopath. All in all though, it's pretty much the same-old, same-old, and it's not helped that the movie just seems to lurch from one point to another with little coherent focus. Even worse, it's mostly boring.

So, that's it for me as far as Bond goes. I've enjoyed this little excursion, and have a few final thoughts.

* Connery was the better actor, but I enjoyed Moore's films more.

* If 007 were a truly competent agent, these movies would last around 30 minutes. Instead he's terrible at undercover work, completely and consistently underestimates his foes, and walks into traps just because a beautiful woman is waiting for him on the other side. Really, he should have been killed many times over in the films I watched, yet of course he survives because the good guy has to.

* The movies owe a great deal to the stunt designers. Most of the movies have great chase scenes, great fight choreography and top-notch special effects for the time.

* Of the movies, I would say that Goldfinger was the best, but The Spy Who Loved Me was my favorite. A number of the other films surprised me with their quality, and a few surprised me with how poor they were.

I thought the ski chase was one of the best they'd ever done... until some brain-dead idiot decided to dub "California Girls" onto the soundtrack.  AAAAAUGH!  (And I understand it wasn't even The Beach Boys, but someone else's cover version.)

My intro to Christopher Walken. He plays one of the scariest villains in the series. I actually worked with someone who reminded me A LOT of this guy, after awhile you just realized he was a psychopath (that';s someone with no human connections, they actually enjoy causing other people pain).  Especially memorable was where he finds out Bond's I.D. and is laughing as he does so, and later, when he shoots the guy in City Hall, they brags, "Intuitive-- improvisation.  It's the key to genius!"

While some may have thought we were getting "John Steed" teamed up with "Simon Templar" (that would have been a good idea, but it was never the case here), this is more a tip-of-the-hate to SHERLOCK HOLMES IN NEW YORK, where Moore played Holmes & Macnee played Watson.  Macnee would return as Watson, opposite Christopher Lee as Holmes, in INCIDENT AT VICTORI A FALLS and THE LEADING LADY.

One of the most clever bits in the film was the board room scene, where one person decided not to play, and falls down a flight of stairs... suddenly revealing they're on board a blimp.  "Anyone else care to drop out?"  Except for the last part, the rest came straight out of the novel GOLDFINGER, as that's how "Mr. Solo" was originally killed.

Tanya Roberts goes from good parts to bad parts in her career. This one just doesn't impress me much.  My favorite role of hers was as Velda in the 1st Stacy Keach MIKE HAMMER film, MURDER ME, MURDER YOU.  It was a damn shame they waited so long to decide to do the follow-up, by then, she was unavailable, off filming SHEENA.  The other thing I really liked her in was THAT 70'S SHOW.

HEY, you can't stop now!  2 of the BEST films in the entire series are up next!!!

Did a little more google internet research under "Ian Flemming Whipping" and came up with a couple of biography websites that quote the book that i'm listening to as the source for the tales about whipping. There's also some other collaboration in love letters between the two.  Or so is reported. 

Gee, I'd heard that Flemming had a cold, dispassionate view of women, thinking of them only as sex objects, but goodness....  whipping?  Really?  Is this some English affliction or do I not get it?

Having polished off watching STRIKE FORCE (with Robert Stack) the next thing in the stack was THE MASTER, a short-lived series staring Lee Van Cleef and Timothy Van Patten. 


This was the work of Michael Sloan, whose early efforts always seem to exhibit a certain immature enthusiasm about them. This includes the last season of McCLOUD and THE RETURN OF THE MAN FROM UNCLE: THE 15-YEARS-LATER AFFAIR.

The show is about the "only" Occidental to ever become a ninja, and his young protoge.  It's sort of like an older version of Batman and Robin (he looks in his 60's, Max Keller is in his 20s).  Either that, or a 2-man A-TEAM.

The 3rd episode was titled "HOSTAGES", and the guest-cast was overloaded with actors I was familiar with.  Among them, David McCallum as an international terrorist (to contrast the international hit man he played on STRIKE FORCE), Monte Markham as a CIA agent, Randy Brooks as one of the terrorists, and George Lazenby as a "spy" named "Mallory", who drives an early-60's Aston Martin!  (That's NOT the car he was driving in OHMSS!)

It's kinda funny when I think about it, as Michael Sloan hired Lazenby at least 3 times-- for this, for a cameo in the UNCLE movie, and as a villain in an episode of KUNG FU: THE LEGEND CONTINUES, the series where Sloan finally seemed to "mature".  Lazenby also drove the same car in the UNCLE movie.  I guess we can consider him "Bond" in these 2 appearances, in all but name.  (And he seems more like the "real" Bond than Roger Moore ever did.)

Sloan would pull the same stunt in a pair of KUNG FU episodes, "DRAGONSWING" and its sequel.  Both guest-starred Patrick Macnee as a retired spy, and Robert Vaughn as a mercenary.  The sequel also featured Ian Ogilvy, and you could tell that, apart from his name, he was supposed to be Simon Templar (see RETURN OF THE SAINT).

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