It is almost the end of July...July! Holy Cucumbers Batman...where is this year going? We are in the midst of a heat wave which I hate and, being in Canada, it is construction season. This has nothing to do with this week's topic unless we realize that spies can be cool as cucumbers..far stretch I know. I still have to see a single episode of It Takes a Thief with Robert, I did not push my wife off the boat, Wagner and The Man From U.N.C.L.E. starring Robert Vaughan and David McCallum so they are not on my list. Wandering Through The Shelves will have a list of the film nuts participating this week and it will be fun to see which shows they choose because there are quite a few. Here are my 3 plus 1...
1. THE AVENGERS-1961-1969
Debonair Steed is partnered with vivacious va-va-vooms from Catherine Gale(Ms. Pussy Galore, Honor Blackman, Mrs. Emma Peel (the best-Diana Rigg and her funky outfits) and Tara King (played by Linda Thorson). They must subdue the evil-doers of the world with his trusty umbrella and the ladies' brand of judo/kung-fu. It is high camp at its coolest and most chique with very odd villains. I loved this show and wanted to be Ms. Emma Peel. I think my brother licked the screen whenever Mrs. Peel came on in her onesy cutout pleather outfit complete with a sexy watch chain.
2. SCARECROW AND MRS. KING-1983-1987
I would not miss one episode of this series that starred Kate Jackson as a suburban single mom, with her own mom and 2 kids, who happens along at the right..or wrong time helping out an agent played by Bruce Boxleitner. He is suave and dangerous and she is ...not, but somehow she has a knack for being a spy and being able to help out at the right time. Of course, it was also a romantic will they or won't they shag which was the in thing to do at that time. This was a fun, comedic show that one enjoyed and never took seriously. I wish it would come back on so I could watch it again.
A Canadian show that I watched because Christopher Plummer starred in it before he re-found his fame. Plummer stars as a billionaire industrialist who watched as his wife was kidnapped and murdered by terrorists. He sets up shop to stop terrorists by hiring a small but elite team to nab these bastards..um, bad guys, before any harm can be done. The team is led by a Scotland Yard operative, with a U.S. mercenary and a jewel thief/con artist and, together, infiltrate and destroy the evil doers. It was well done overall with the themes taken from the headlines of the day.
4. GET SMART-1965-1970
I love this stupid show that I think is stupidly brilliant since many episodes were written by Mel Brooks and Buck Henry. This bumbling detective is played by Don Adams who seems to be a composite of James Bond, Inspector Clouseau and Joe Friday from Dragnet. He is a total idiot who gets himself into hot water only for Agent 99 (not 69 as the censors would not allow that number) to rescue him and save the day. Of course he got most of the credit and Agent 99 let him and she even married him! This was a clever comedy with much slaptick and gadgets (not Inspector Gadget) like his shoe that always foiled Kaos's plans for domination..you know...Putin.
My hubby found this show on PBS and we became hooked! It is an English show without the dashing good looks and fancy suits that the U.S. usually creates, but a well-written, edge of your seat program that takes you on a roller coaster ride of intrigue outside and inside the office. It is an excellent, well-acted show with intricate plotlines. There is no way one can create a card while watching this show because you either lose the plot or you end up with glue all over your hand while sitting watching the show and not what you are gluing.
What 3..or 5 shows would you pick?
Get Smart is definitely top of my list, and I own the whole five seasons, which I have watched many times. It even sent up other spy shows and films.ReplyDelete
I loved The Saint as a child, though it may be mainly because of my love of Roger Moore, whose James Bond disappointed me in later years.
And I did watch and thoroughly enjoy The Man From UNCLE. It was clever and funny, and had a hero, Napoleon Solo, who Got the Girl every week, until the episode in which both his boss, Mr Waverley, and his colleague, Ilya Kuryakin, got the girls and he was left to mind the office for the weekend. The guest star was Anne Francis, who had played with Leo G Carroll, Mr Waverley, in the film of Topper, so she was his date in that episode. If you ever have the time to see a few episodes, I do recommend it.
Oh, and Mission: Impossible, both the original series and the remake, which was filmed here in Australia and had Greg Morris, son of one of the original cast, in it. The remake was a good series and great fun to recognise the various places they filmed.
Get Smart is fun to watch as well as the Saint but I only saw a few episodes of that one. I do want to see episodes of The Man from UNCLE and that episode sounds funny. I have only seen a few episodes of Mission Impossible and that is another i wish to watch more ofDelete
I love the spy genre on the big screen and the small. I'll never forget the expression on James Bond's face when Pussy Galore introduced herself. :)
As you might know, the lovely and exciting Diana Rigg turned age 80 a few days ago. That is very hard to believe. I enjoyed Diana's performance opposite grumbler George C. Scott in the 1971 satirical film The Hospital. I forgot all about that post-Charlie's Angels Kate Jackson vehicle Scarecrow and Mrs. King. I didn't watch it, nor have I seen Counterstrike. Based on that promo, the latter looks like my kind of series, one that has a sense of humor. Our minds are in sync this morning, dear Birgit, because I am featuring Get Smart's Agent 99 on my blog this morning. I loved Don Adams and never missed an episode of that brilliantly written and hilarious spycom. Spooks aka MI-5 is also a new one to me. It looks pretty good, more gritty than glossy, and I will check it out.
Thank you for the entertainment, dear friend BB, and enjoy the rest of your week!
I've been a bad girl and need to visit your new blog. I saw The Hospital many years ago and don't remember much of it. I do love Diana Rigg especially in Theatre of Blood which is a great movie with Vincent Price. Great minds think alike with Get Smart. I also laugh every time Honor Blackman says her name..."I must be dreaming" says Bond...hilarious!Delete
The only one of these I'm familiar with is Get Smart and I never watched it. I ended up having to think outside the box a bit this week, I haven't watched many spy shows.ReplyDelete
Spy shows are not huge at the moment so it would be a tough week unless you caught old shows like I mentioned and others here. Maybe, one day, you will catch a few.Delete
Get Smart made my eyes roll, lol. Loved The Avengers. But MI5 was certainly the best ever. Haven't seen the others. I never watched I Spy, but I guess they will now have to burn all those reels.ReplyDelete
I never watched I Spy but i hope they don't burn the reels even though Cosby is a true creep and one I never liked because he gave me the heebie-jeebies. MI5 is excellent and very gritty.Delete
I haven't seen any of these but I've seen the movie with Steve Carell based on Get Smart and the whole Mission Impossible movie series.ReplyDelete
I saw the Get Smart movie and..meh...the series is much better. MI are great movies and need to see the newest one now.Delete
I was about eight when the spy craze hit television in the mid-sixties. Big Man from U.N.C.L.E. fan. When the series was revived in comic book form in the late 1980s, I wrote some of them. I was interested in buying the complete series of It Takes a Thief (a title often misremembered as To Catch a Thief, due to the 1955 Cary Grant film) on DVD, but they wanted close to $200 for three seasons!ReplyDelete
$200! How rip off Batman! Yes, people often thought It Takes a Thief was the movie with continuation of Grant's exploits. I had heard that Fred Astaire was excellent as Robert Wagner's father. I love it that you wrote some of the Comic books based on this showDelete
If it's TV, I usually stand a chance of watching it. However, I had never heard of the first three, except Get Smart, which I saw one weekend on Decades (a tv channel in the US that features films from different decades).ReplyDelete
MI-5 looked familiar, since I'm a PBS patron. I'm sure I must have seen at least a few episodes as I'm sure it was on Masterpiece Mystery. Sadly, nothing comes to mind, so it must not have made a big impression on me. You picked some good ones this week, though.
Thanks! Get Smart is the popular choice. MI5 is a great show but one that must be seen from the beginning to get all the intrigues. We did start watching the series in the 3rd season and we became hooked but we were lost a few times because of the references to past showsDelete
I haven't seen Counterstrike (though it sounds good) but I LOVE all your other choices!! Diana Rigg was the best partner Steed ever had but both Honor Blackman and Linda Thorson had their strong points and the show is just fun to watch.ReplyDelete
I was a loyal Scarecrow & Mrs. King viewer as well, the leads had a great chemistry. It's a shame they didn't find a better use for Beverly Garland as Amanda's mother but it was good to see her there.
I haven't seen all of MI-5 just the Matthew MacFadyen years but its an excellent show.
Get Smart!! How did that not even occur to me! Such a clever and dumb show at the same time with pitch perfect performances by Don Adams, Edward Platt and Barbara Feldon (adore her). I also loved when Dick Gautier when he would show up as Hymie. Funny you mentioned Inspector Gadget since Adams voiced the character.
Since the 60’s was a wonderland of spy series thanks to the success of James Bond I decided to do a theme within a theme of just those shows. All three have singular memorable opening music and credits.
The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (1964-1968)-A two-man troubleshooting team, American Napoleon Solo (Robert Vaughn) and Russian Illya Kuryakin (David McCallum) work for multi-national secret intelligence agency U.N.C.L.E. (United Network Command for Law and Enforcement) under the direction of Alexander Waverly (Leo G. Carroll). Week after week they combated the evil forces of THRUSH (Technological Hierarchy for the Removal of Undesirables and the Subjugation of Humanity) alternating between throwing around villains and bon mots. Immensely popular in its day it spawned a spinoff series The Girl from U.N.C.L.E. as well as much merchandising. A stylish film version came out in 2015.
Mission: Impossible (1966-1973)-The Impossible Missions Force (IMF) lead a group of secret agents (including over time Leonard Nimoy, Martin Landau and Sam Elliott) lead by Dan Briggs (Steven Hill) in the first season and after that by Jim Phelps (Peter Graves) are given covert assignments each week via a self-destructing device. Using stealth and cunning as well as disguise much more than action they battle evil empires and crime lords. Tom Cruise has bastardized the franchise in a series of empty soulless action vehicles that have nothing to do with the original intelligent conception of the series.
It Takes a Thief (1968-1970)-High living but currently imprisoned cat burglar Alexander Munday (Robert Wagner) is released into the custody of Noah Bain (Malachi Thorne) head of the government’s Secret Intelligence Agency (SIA) with the understanding that he will steal whatever necessary (documents, formulas, etc.) to ensure national security. More of a high fashion romp than a tension fueled spy thriller this still had many intricate plots and a terrific chemistry between its two leads. It also had a fantastic array of guest stars including Bette Davis, Suzanne Pleshette (as a temperamental opera diva in one of the series best episodes), Leslie Nielsen and in the final season Fred Astaire as Mundy’s mischievous father, master thief Alistair.
Barbara Feldon is magic and I love her. I knew you would get my Inspector gadget reference. I love your theme even though i have not seen 1 and 3 but really want to. I even have not seen many episodes of MI but I did enjoy them. I take the movies with a grain of salt and don't even think of them as connected to the TV Show. We just get to watch how Tom Cruise loves danger to keep his ADD/ADHD mind active.Delete
Most if not all the It Takes a Thief episodes are available on YouTube. Here's the link to the Suzanne Pleshette episode, she looks amazing throughout most of the it but there is one outfit she wears that must have made Phyllis Diller pea green with envy.Delete
Mission Impossible has many eps there too but Man from U.N.C.L.E. is harder to track down though I think it's playing on one of the nostalgia stations at the moment.
They all sound like great tee vee watching for sure!ReplyDelete
Quite a bit different from Marvels' AvengersReplyDelete
yes, they areDelete
I liked the Scarecrow and Mrs. King and did watch Get Smart when I was much younger. Construction season, so more noisier?ReplyDelete
Glad you saw those 2. yes noisy wherever one goes.Delete
Hi Birgit - what a great list ... added to with a flourish by your commenters - my watching options are here! Loved the Avengers ... but Spooks was one I watched some of when I was home ... but now lots to investigate - cheers HilaryReplyDelete
Avengers was fun and MI5, aka Spooks, was a great showDelete
Scarecrow and Mrs King well blow me down. I was only 13 when that show first aired but I watched a lot of the series. Its gas how she gets recruited into the agency after bruce screws up on his first mission, lol and solves a lot of the clues.ReplyDelete
Yes! I love it that an average gal from the burbs can help out a secret agentDelete
I enjoyed Spooks for a while, then it really started to drag there in the middle. Like how it ended though. Never watched the movie afterwards with Jon Snow. Get Smart was a fun one indeed.ReplyDelete
Ugg to construction indeed.
My hubby and I was dumbfounded by how many end up 6 ft under. I had no idea they made a movie so i have to check that out.Delete
I LOVED Scarecrow and Mrs. King. Glued to the tube when it was on:)ReplyDelete
Yeah!!! Same here and I still remember the stunt with Bruce's character hanging from a helicopter.Delete
I still want to be Mrs. Emma Peel! Oooh, Ilya. I watched Man from U.N.C.L.E just to see David McCallum. I was an avid fan of Mrs. King and the Scarecrow, too. Kate Jackson was my favorite Angel. I was glad she got her own show. It makes sense now why Get Smart was so sophisticatedly funny.ReplyDelete
I wanted to wear her outfits but I knew it would just not look the same. Glad you loved Scarecrow and Kate Jackson was my favourite too. Get Smart was fun.Delete
My comment just got eaten twice. Might be in spam I suppose. Blogger doesn’t like me tonight.ReplyDelete
ouch...hopefully no probs in the futureDelete
I loved Scarecrow and Mrs. King. It was one of my favorite shows back in the day. I seem to recall seeing some of Get Smart in syndication, but it was more of a hit or miss.ReplyDelete
If I were to pick one, it would be Alias. Oh, Alias, I so didn't want to watch you. But I happened to flip it on half way through the third episode, and I was hooked.
Scarecrow was fun and I want to revisit the show. Get Smart I saw when in syndication and loved it. Alias is excellent but I felt they lost their way later on.Delete
I loved Get Smart too - such a fun shoe. Did you also wish you had a shoe phone, Birgit?ReplyDelete
I so want a shoe phone and am thinking of changing my name to Pussy GaloreDelete
I so want a shoe phone and am thinking of changing my name to Pussy GaloreDelete
I'm pleasantly surprised I'm not the only person to have selected Scarecrow and Mrs. King!ReplyDelete
I love that opening for the Avengers. I've never seen an episode of The Scarecrow but it looks really interesting. Thanks for sharing such intriguing TV!ReplyDelete
Thanks and I love that opening as well from The AvengersDelete
Well, the first one that popped into my mind was 'GET SMART' -- one of my all-time favorite TV shows.
The second show I thought of was 'THE PRISONER'. The ending of it disappointed me but, boy-oh-boy, they sure had me hooked to the end!
I've never seen 'SCARECROW & MRS. KING' but based on your description, it sounds like something I might like. (Especially since I'm a huge 'MOONLIGHTING' fan, and this sounds kinda-sorta like it.)
Stephen T. McCarthy Reviews...
Get Smart is a great show. I already used The Prisoner so i couldn't choose that one but I almost chose Secret Agent also starring Patrick McGoohan. I think you might like the show but it is not as clever or sophisticated because we are dealing with a single mom.Delete
A big yes to Get Smart since I also picked that one. The only other show here, I've seen is Scarecrow & Mrs. King, but I wasn't a fan. I might've been too young to get it back when it came out.ReplyDelete
Yes we match with that zany comedy. Oh bummer...loved ScarecrowDelete
I never watched Counterstrike but it looks like something I'd like.ReplyDelete
Hope you're having a glorious weekend, my friend.
Counterstrike is great..I think. I had a great weekend and hope you had the sameDelete
MI5 sounds good. Glue all over your hands watching the show. Ha.ReplyDelete
The remade Get Smart was pretty funny. Even though I'm not normally one for remakes, I enjoyed it.ReplyDelete
Does "Point of No Return" count as a spy movie? She was more of an assassin, I suppose, but it'll have to do. Never been much for gangster/organized crime/espionage movies. I haven't even seen a single James Bond. Ooh, I know! Austin Powers, Man of Mystery.
My favorite spy shows were Man from U.N.C.L.E> and Mission Impossible. I was into these types of shows and movies especially when I was in high school and middle school. I still enjoy spy movies, but there are not many TV shows that I keep up with.ReplyDelete
Tossing It Out