Sunday, 25 March 2018

Television: 'The Man From UNCLE: The Project Strigas Affair' (1964) (Aired 1x09, Produced 1x14)

We've missed out 'The Love Affair', which was pretty uninspired.

This is an odd one. It's notable for featuring both Leonard Nimoy and William Shatner before the advent of 'Star Trek', but this episode is also a prototype for the gigantic cons that would feature in 'Mission: Impossible'. It's an odd mix, which works but doesn't quite feel like UNCLE. Even Shatner feels a little unformed, as if Captain Kirk was the final resolution of his learning curve as an actor. It's still fun to see him, though. Oh, Shatner... Nimoy plays one of his typical three-dimensional heavies, and almost never intersects with his future acting partner, except for one brief moment.

In 'The Project Strigas Affair', Mr Waverley tasks Napoleon and Ilya with discrediting a troublesome foreign ambassador by any nefarious scheme they can come up with, so they fabricate a completely fictitious and top secret weapons project called 'Strigas', recruit a former top chemist (Shatner) and his wife to act as fake traitors, and then sit back and watch the spies unravel. It's an extremely ambitious hour. Mr Waverley even gets to be chilling and dangerous when seizing and levering a foreign agent to be a double. Sadly, though, the whole is not greater than the sum of its parts. It doesn't quite work.

At least it's interesting, unlike 'The Love Affair', which continued the sequence of Eddie Albert appearances in old television series that don't work. Here, all the performances are good, and the story is intricate and interesting, including a major disaster for our heroes. Maybe it's better than I've made it out to be, with a jaundiced view of things while apparently endlessly sick. The only thing to really be held against it is a certain staginess, and the relative absence of Robert Vaughn. Elevating McCallum and guest starring Shatner means that some of that prized Napoleon Solo time had to be taken away, and so everything is just a little less SMOOTH...

Is this the introduction of Ilya's shoddy disguises?

Next time: 'The Finny Foot Affair', hurrah! Normal service is still far from being resumed, due to exhaustion and illness. It really never does end.


Sunday, 18 March 2018

The Rest Interval Continues

As may be freely observed, the Quirky Muffin sabbatical continues. I, as a suffering sick person, burdened with an apparently immortal virus, just don't have the energy to do much of anything. Surely, there will be an eventual recovery? Surely?

Friday, 9 March 2018

The Absence Of Horizontality

The prevailing theory is that the writer of the Quirky Muffin is suffering from a twelve week virus combined with a ripped throat, causing extreme fatigue, endless coughing, and absolutely no sleep due to problems with being horizontal.

Oh, the joy of being horizontal, so long absent. What is sleeping the night through really like? Will there ever be enough energy to get the Quirky Muffin back in full operation? How on Earth do people sleep while sitting up? How?

Next time, it will be the next episode of 'The Man From UNCLE', but for now it is time to rest. Or not rest, but desperately try to, while being increasingly confused.


Saturday, 3 March 2018

A Reflected Starscape, AKA We Will Return

The Quirky Muffin will return, once this hideous marathon of ill health has come to an end. However, to write something, if you have your head over a dark bowl of hot water infused with vaporub, all covered over by a dark towel, the points of light that come through the weave can look like a reflected starscape in the water. It's almost romantic...

Recovery is inevitable. Recovery is inevitable.


Note: 'The Worm Ouroboros' seems to be a very good novel. Bold beyond all belief.