Saturday, 22 June 2019

Television: 'The Man From UNCLE: The Girls From Nazarone Affair' (1965) (Aired 1x28, Produced 1x27)

Some lovely moments conspire against an uninspired story to make an episode which is perfectly fine, but not particularly special. It's definitely almost the end of a long, long season. You can imagine writing rooms of dazed people, staring blankly at hideously bland walls...

In 'The Girls From Nazarone Affair', Napoleon and Ilya arrive in the French Riviera, seeking the truth behind the disappearance of a scientist who may have invented a magical healing serum. (Note: Nothing good ever comes of serums in television, films or comic books.) The men from UNCLE then get tangled up with a holidaying lady schoolteacher (we've had a few of those this season!) in trying to determine the truth, and how it affects a not-dead woman racing driver they saw murdered.

Ultimately, this is almost worth it for the very memorable pool scene where Napoleon tries to steal along unobserved by using a pool mattress as a disguise. He and the Innocent Of The Week almost get eliminated on similar mattresses later. It could almost have been entitled 'The Deadly Pool Mattress Affair'! Sadly, the nasty serum is finally found to burn up the users from the inside out, and gets successfully stolen by THRUSH. In fact, the best moments of the episode are the ending, where Ilya pranks a defeated Napoleon by not telling him about the serum's nasty side-effects, and only gets found out via the consolations of the Innocent, Miss Brown. What would that post-credits fight have looked like??? There's no Mr Waverley this week, sadly, but there is an evil THRUSH scientist and mistress of disguise. In trivial details, Ilya gets caught again and thrown down a well, and the duo do quite a lot of unlawful entries into Miss Brown's various holiday homes.

It should be nicer, but this episode seem a bit vacuous, despite some stylish moments. Oh well, we have two left, and then we're done. Fortunately, at least one of those two is a stone cold classic!


Saturday, 15 June 2019

Spinning Wheels

Today, in what might have been the event of the century for this tiny village of Pontyates, the Womens Tour of Cycling quickly ran through. Yes, an actual event came through. It was very unnerving, especially as it was on the road just in front of the shack that houses the Quirky Muffin.

Given the gravity of the moment, it felt essential to go and watch the ladies go by. They must have been absolutely exhausted from the hilly route, but they did make it here eventually. Cyclists must be classified as lunatics, mustn't they? It was a long wait for the maniacs to finally come through, and it was astounding to see so many police vehicles come through in advance and in following. There must have been dozens of police motorcycles. Dozens!

Sadly, after two highly concentrated lumps of cyclists came through, it all seemed to be over in an instant, and so I wandered off, but a few more did come through unobserved. Mutter mutter.

I hope they all made it to Pembrey. It would have been nice to finish by the sea.