I Spy - Season 3
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36 of 36 people found the following review helpful
on March 28, 2008
This is the last season of I Spy. It featured a lot of upcoming actors (Gene Hackman, Richard Kiel), and some that were well known (Will Geer, Andrew Duggan, Jim Backus). Locations were in Greece, Morocco, and mostly Mexico and USA. Still, another great season, with some excellent scripts and a few good ones from Robert Culp. A great series. Cool, comedic rapport between Culp and Cosby. Loved the series and looking forward to watching it again, after 40 years. See my reviews for Seasons 1 and 2.

Here's the synopsis of each episode for Season 3:

Let's Kill Karlovassi -- Kelly and Scotty balk at their new assignment -- to assassinate a Greek man who turns out to be a Soviet agent playing a dangerous game of double-cross. Filmed in Greece.

The Beautiful Children -- Kelly and Scotty run into more trouble than they'd bargained for when they try to help an agent who rescues kidnapped Greek children from a Communist country. Filmed in Casablanca and Greece.

Laya -- Scotty is ordered to cultivate an African woman to learn about armament shipments to her country, while her boss demands that she manipulate Scotty.

The Medarra Block -- In Marrakesh, Kelly and Scotty acquire an ancient cube bearing inscriptions that contain the secret plans for a revolt against the government. Filmed in Morocco.

Philotimo -- A young Bulgarian music prodigy convinces Kelly and Scotty to help him defect -- then accuses them of kidnapping him. Filmed in Greece.

The Honourable Assassins -- Kelly and Scotty agree to help an Arab woman get her father, who has been marked for death, to Marrakesh to retrieve a fortune. Filmed in Morocco.

Now You See Her, Now You Don't -- The murder of a fellow agent Kelly recruited puts Robinson and Scott on the trail of a British mathematician who is being held for ransom by Greek gangsters. Filmed in Greece.

Red Sash of Courage -- Kelly and Scotty are assigned to locate an enemy base on the Greek-Yugoslav border that is interfering with American flights -- a mission complicated by a Greek who thinks Kelly has sullied his daughter's honour. Filmed in Greece.

The Seventh Captain -- Kelly and Scotty have to find out what connection exists between a Greek colleague and the mysterious disappearance of six other agents. Filmed in Greece.

Apollo -- Scott goes undercover at NASA to discover a saboteur, and the woman hired to pose as his ex-wife is kidnapped. Filmed in USA.

Oedipus at Colonnus -- Kelly and Scotty encounter an aging Arab spiritual leader who is, apparently, assassinated while attending an important meeting. Filmed in Morocco.

The Lotus Eater -- Scotty must find out why Kelly has dropped out of the spy business and sought refuge on a Greek isle. Filmed in Greece.

An American Empress -- While trying to return a ring to a Chinese woman they met in San Francisco, Kelly and Scotty discover that she is the Empress of China (France Nuyen) -- and an unwitting pawn of the Red Chinese.

Home to Judgment -- Running for their lives from ruthless killers, Scotty and a wounded Kelly seek refuge on a farm belonging to the latter's aunt and uncle. Filmed in USA. Stars Will Geer from The Walton's. Written by Robert Culp.

Anyplace I Hang Myself Is Home --A psychiatrist has Kelly and Scotty reminiscing about their experiences as spies-in-training to find out why Scotty has this sudden urge to kill himself. Filmed in USA.

Tag, You're It -- A Soviet agent who has infiltrated The Department's training facility begins killing off trainees -- and putting the blame on Kelly and Scotty. Filmed in USA.

A Few Miles West of Nowhere -- Kelly and Scotty investigate the murder of a government employee in a small town whose inhabitants are hostile towards a proposed atomic power plant. Filmed in USA. Stars Richard Kiel (Mr. Jaws) and Andrew Duggan.

This Guy Smith -- The search for a guy called Smith results in Kelly becoming the chief suspect in the apparent murder of a young woman. Filmed in USA.

Turnabout for Traitors -- Kelly teams up with a thief to prove himself innocent of espionage charges levelled against him by a British agent. Filmed in Mexico.

Happy Birthday Everybody -- Kelly and Scotty must protect a retired agent (Jim Backus) and his family from Frank Hunter (Gene Hackman), a demolitions expert and escaped mental patient seeking revenge against the agent. Filmed in Mexico.

Shana -- Kelly and Scotty must prevent a woman (Gloria Foster) from trading top secret rocket fuel to the Communists in exchange for her brother. Filmed in Mexico.

The Name of the Game -- While checking security arrangements for the visit of a VIP, Kelly and Scotty become the prey in a deadly game of hide-and-seek with a fanatical general. Filmed in Mexico. Stars Lloyd Nolan.

Suitable for Framing -- Little do Kelly and Scotty know that the senator they're assigned to bodyguard in Mexico is actually a look-alike working for the enemy.

The Spy Business -- Kelly and Scotty are trying to keep a defector alive, while evidence suggests that Kelly's old friend, an Army Intelligence agent, is working with the enemy. Filmed in Mexico.

Carmelita Is One of Us -- A Mexican agent is killed and Kelly and Scotty inherit his baby daughter, who has now become the killers' new target.

Pinwheel --Kelly and Scotty are teamed up with a flighty female agent on an assignment to acquire details of the Soviets' espionage network in Africa. Filmed in Mexico.

If I have one gripe, it's the plastic casing. The DVDs are so tightly packed within it's easy to crack a disc, which I did after viewing the first 3 episodes on disc 1. So, be careful when removing the discs and opening the case.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
TOP 500 REVIEWERon January 4, 2009
The third and final season of I Spy, finds undercover US agents, tennis player Kelly Robinson (Robert Culp) and trainer Alexander Scott (Bill Cosby), back in exotic locations, engaged in intrigue and adventure. Though by now, the tennis player cover story is thinner than tissue paper. Producer Sheldon Leonard's method of shooting the series remains the same as in previous seasons, with his crew filming a block of episodes on location, and then returning to Hollywood to wrap them up.

Robert Culp's passion for I Spy was intense. In addition to acting, he also wrote seven of the eighty two episodes in the run of the series. In his commentary for `Home to Judgment', the last episode that he wrote, Culp expresses his frustration that for most part, the various writers for series, failed to capture the true sprit of the characters, in the same way that he did. Disappointed that his vision and writing style was not emulated, he and Bill Cosby were continually reworking scripts, in order to bring them more in line with their perceptions of their characters. These script modifications, Culp explains, were one reason why it was difficult to find writers to work on the show

Culp's expectation that his work would be used as a blueprint, by writers who did not share his vision, or understanding of the characters, was perhaps unrealistic. By year three, Kelly and Scotty are almost joined at the hip, living together in their own world, often detached to some degree, from the reality of the situation. Their freewheeling outrageousness and irreverent humor, is part of the program's appeal, but when things go too far, as they often do, credibility suffers. I Spy attempted to stay close to reality, and did not deal with grandiose schemes for world domination, or venture into fantasy as others in the spy genre did. Having credible stories was very important. With many new writers aboard, the uneven quality of the stories is not surprising. Overall in the final season, there is less violence, action, and romance than Season Two, but with still lots of issues with plotting.

Greece and Morocco are the settings for the first set of episodes, which feature a number of fabulous scenic and historical locations. In `The Lotus Eater', a disillusioned Kelly contemplates leaving the spy biz for a beautiful girl. Other solid episodes are `Philotimo', where a boy who is a musical prodigy, asks the agents to help him to defect, and `Now You See Her, Now You Don't', where they search for a missing mathematician. It seems that each season, Scotty becomes involved with a woman, who then meets with tragedy. `Laya', featuring Janet MacLachlan is that episode for Season Three. In a reoccurring role, Harold J. Stone guests as Zarkas, a Greek cop who after helping the Americans several times, turns into an enemy in a surreal adventure called `The Seventh Captain', where a group of island dwellers take revenge by dressing up in ancient Greek attire, and complete with dancing girls, ceremonially dispose of their enemies by placing them inside a hollow statue, and filling it with wet cement. Very wacky stuff.

Back in America, `Apollo' begins with a rare incident related to tennis, where after a tiff with Kelly, Scotty gets a job as a guide at a NASA facility, to bait a spy ring. Kelly saves the day with some high altitude heroics. On the trail of a drug ring, Kelly and Scott tackle a baffling mystery in `This Guy Smith'. An intriguing episode with several twists, that take a very heavy toll on Kelly's body. Diana Muldaur guest stars.

As detailed in the commentary track for Culp's `Home to Judgment', the episode blends a chase story, with treasured memories from Culp's childhood. In a situation stripped down to the basics, the danger seems more real, as the tension builds to a suspenseful and exciting conclusion. This kind of edginess is something that Season Three could have used more of. As in previous seasons, the commentary is full of information, nostalgia and passion, including covering the importance of composer Earle Hagen's contributions.

The series finishes quite strongly in Mexico, highlighted by several harder edged adventures. "Turnabout for Traitors', features a desperate Kelly on the run, trying to prove his innocence. Wounded, and in dire straits, he finds an unlikely ally in his quest to uncover the truth. Evil, ruthless, over the top nut jobs are rare on I Spy, but a notable exception can be found in `The Name of the Game', where Lloyd Nolan gives a delightful performance, as retired US General who has a bit of a temper. He cold bloodedly pushes a girl off a cliff, then in classic tradition, plans to hunt down and kill Robinson and Kelly safari style! The final episode of the series, `Pinwheel', is set in Acapulco, and features Arlene Golonka, as a spunky agent posing as Kelly's wife, to help the guys obtain information from an enemy agent.

After a rocky start in the Mediterranean, things improve, and the series finishes on an up note. In the final season, the violence is toned down, as are the instances of having beautiful women pop up practically everywhere. Season Two featured a multitude of fabulous female guest stars, including Cicely Tyson, Anna Karina, Rafaella Cara, Joey Heatherton, Barbara Steele, Carol Wayne, Diana Hyland, Anna Capri, Barbara McNair, Leticia Roman, and Marianna Hill, just to name a few. It is not even close in Season Three, as the guys spend most of their time with each other, rather than in the company of the fair sex.

Part of the 60's spy craze, the legacy of I Spy is that stars Robert Culp and Bill Cosby, broke the color barrier on television. It may not seem very significant now, but interracial leads in a prime time series was quite radical then. Bill Cosby, who began in stand up comedy, won an Emmy for his performances in all three seasons. Culp calls `Cos' his best friend, and apparently their relationship is still on good terms, so it is a complete disappointment that there is absolutely no contribution from Mr. Cosby, in any of the three season sets. His absence leaves a huge void, and regrettably so much of the story is left untold.

The I Spy season sets are quite affordable. Unfortunately besides Robert Culp's commentary tracks, there are no bonus features. Exercise care when removing the discs from the case, as they are sometimes held so securely that they can actually be cracked in the center when trying to remove them.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on May 2, 2008
The last season of one of the best action/adventure series ever to air on network tv. Extensive location photography and new music with each episode (something unheard of in tv) and the incredible chemistry between Robert Culp and Bill Cosby. This same year would see the cancellation of THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E. and the next year would see the demise of THE WILD, WILD WEST. The spy craze triggered by James Bond was winding down. Sean Connery had departed the role a year earlier. I am heartened to see this wonderful series available -- very affordable on dvd. A pity there is no commentary or interviews beyond the few with Culp. It would have been interesting to see them both reflect on this classic show. This last season has the one episode that has always stuck in my memory of the show: "Home to Judgment". This was probably the best single episode of the series.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on January 8, 2009
As for the final season of I Spy, there were a few more close calls and dramatic endings than perhaps the previous two seasons. Like the first 8 episodes of The Fugitive's final season, I Spy turned out some weak episodes early in Season 3. The Beautiful Children, The Red Sash Of Courage, The Honorable Assassins, This Guy Smith, and Carmelita Is One Of Us come to mind. These episodes are either painfully slow or have too many cutaways scenes which bury the plot.

Robert Culp & Bill Cosby work overtime ad-libbing in an effort to redeem the scripts, which by now, have become tedious and redundant. Some of the ad-libbing did not relate to the scenes in which it was employed. It had to be disheartening to the stars of the show to reenact an episode with a plot from the preceding week. For this reason, I believe our dear homers "went for themselves" at times. As physically, emotionally, and mentally weary the stars were during Season 3 they did their best to turn in very spirited performances.

There were some great episodes in this Season 3 set. Several which come to mind are Let's Kill Karlovassi, Turnabout For Traitors, The Spy Business, The Lotus Eater, The Name Of The Game, Laya, Pinwheel, Anyplace I Hang Myself Is Home, A Few Miles West Of Nowhere. The Grandaddy of them all is Home To Judgment, which is THE best episode of the series. It was a Robert Culp script and featured top notch acting, writing, directing, and a KILLER climax. It is the companion episode to the 2 part WASTE episodes of The Rifleman TV series (another Robert Culp script). A Few Miles West Of Nowhere and Home To Judgment were the two episodes where upon first viewing them, I really thought both main characters COULD die.

I noticed that the episodes which most captured what I Spy was all about were written by men like Michael Zagor, Jerry Ludwig, Ernest Frankel, Steven Kandel, and of course, Robert Culp. Espionage, treason, mystery, murder, romance and humor. I Spy teems with each of these elements while not weighing itself down with a bevy of villains intent on ruling the world. The latter is an ingredient habitually (at times nauseatingly) entrenched in various comedic and dramatic spy formats. Of course, the parenthesis to I Spy's premise was the chemistry and banter of Robert Culp and Bill Cosby which kept the series from taking itself too seriously. From the outset, the two stars performed more like brothers than partners. Their mutual off camera respect and affection is evident to I Spy viewers.

All in all, the show was actually gaining its bearings at the time it left the air. With a greater emphasis on quality writing (including more scripts by Robert Culp), had I Spy kept its 10pm slot on Wednesdays, and had Sheldon Leonard not pulled the plug for a subsequent bomb, this series lasts five to seven years, guaranteed. I Spy was an NBC ratings winner and a TV Guide review favorite.

This DVD set features all 26 episodes from Season 3 on 5 discs, with commentary from Robert Culp on his Home To Judgment masterpiece. Culp's commentary is insightful, compelling, and sharp when reflecting on technical aspects of the series, as well as his reasons for I Spy's demise. Of course, Culp's commentary wouldn't be complete without a bow to his relationship with Bill Cosby, who certainly would've had some stories of his own to tell. Robert Culp's reflections are too brief (age & time?) while Cosby's absence of commentary is inexplicable and sorely missed.

The picture quality is sharp in Season 3, unlike some of the episodes in Seasons 1 & 2 which have more grain, fade, and darkness. The show is 44 years old and has earned some concessions to the aging process. These are minor issues to circumvent compared to music alterations (hint, hint Paramount)or not having the show available, period.

The 5 discs require care when removing as they are difficult to lift off of their respective stems. Improper removal of a disc could result in surface scratches or cracks to the disc stem or the disc itself. A little more attentiveness to this matter by Image Entertainment would have been in order.

I Spy was a revolutionary show which deserved a revisit by former viewers and an invitation to newer generations. The Culp Cosby duo is one which may never be eclipsed or seen again. The single commentary feature from Season 3 simply whet our appetite for more of "The Wonderfulness of Their Creativeness". A full season collection - not a best of compilation or infernal 1/2 season releases - was a move Image Entertainment should be applauded for. They did this show and they did it right. And the price of $12.49 for 26 episodes is absolutely astounding.

Now, if we could get Image to take on The Fugitive...
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on June 10, 2008
GREAT NEWS ... I SPY is back again on DVD!! If you didn't pick-up the original set or have always wanted to see this great show from the 60s - now's your chance - and at a great price! I SPY was definitely the coolest and most realistic of the "spy genre" shows on 60s TV. The banter between Culp and Cosby is unsurpassed; the mixture of action/adventure/intrigue and comedy/romance/exotic locations is a joy to watch; plus the amazing music of Earle Hagen, add up to a viewing experience you won't want to miss.

For more on I SPY, be sure to check on THE "definitive" book on the series - "I Spy: A History and Episode Guide to the Groundbreaking Television Series" by Marc Cushman and Linda J. LaRosa (with a foreword by Robert Culp)
http://www.amazon.com/Spy-History-Episode-Groundbreaking-Television/dp/0786427507/

... Besides providing a complete and in-depth background and "the Story Behind the Stories," it also includes the real order in which to watch the episodes, not just the way they were broadcast. Everyone connected with I SPY who could be interviewed - was - including writers and production staff, and even censors' reports are included. A really great book for anyone interested in I SPY who wants to know the complete story. And come check out the "I SPY FORUM" too -
[...] - where fans of I SPY share all things "I SPY" everyday...
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on March 27, 2008
Here's the third and final season (1967-1968) of "I Spy" which features a masterpiece entitled: "Home to Judgment", guest starring Will Geer, written by actor Robert Culp and directed by Richard Sarafian and whose Earle Hagen's music score is extraordinary. Find more important episodes as "The Seventh Captain" (guest starring Harold J. Stone and music by Robert Drasnin), "Oedipus at Colonus" (guest starring Maurice Evans), "The Lotus Eater", "An American Empress" (guest starring France Nuyen), and two terrific diehard espionage plots: "Anyplace I Hang Myself is Home" (guest starring Henry Silva as a Soviet mole brainwasher-psychiatrist and Denny Miller) and "Tag, You're It". Robert Culp carries his fancy hip sunglasses through this season...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on December 30, 2008
"I Spy" was my favorite TV show in the 60's. Purchasing this DVD complete my set of three seasons. I absolutely love it and am surprised about how many episodes and script I remember. "I Spy" was one of the first, if not the first, TV show that filmed on location. Some of the places filmed were Hong Kong, Morocco, Spain and many other places. Now that I'm older, I really do appreciate the scenery. This was a great buy.
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on August 26, 2014
Robert Culp is so cool when he explains the post 9-11 state of affairs: if I were a crackpot, I'd probably take my half billion on the outside, march right in and liberate the half billion on the inside of such little places as Russia and China.

omg

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wars are either about real estate/ambition and greed

the raw material with which to satisfy ambition and greed rest in the persons of half a billion Muslims scattered around the world - half in Muslim countries but the other half in NON MUSLIM (so far) countries including 50 million in USSR and 60 million in Red China

hordes(ding ding ding!!) of the faithful

I have more Muslims in the Balkans than in the Kingdom of Jordan.

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The speech by the guest villain claims responsibility for a litany of offenses against mankind and peace on earth before an audience of caucasian, magyar and dArab and nonArab Muslim types:

"as far back as 1912"

the events of baghdad in 1941 could never have been accomplished

most of them are modest about things they have done

men who have performed great services for islam

"betrayed Lawrence of Arabia to the Turks"!!!!!!!!!!!!!

"in the 1940s, received his honours from the Indonesians and his income from the Dutch"

"betraying all who did not support him in the inner circle of damascus to the Palestine Police for execution"

No one ever praises the Jews, the Romani, the Chinese, the Koreans, the Filipinos who survived the Axis onslaught yet after sustained unbelievable suffering, didn't become menaces to society, didnt become terrorists or serial killers.

So if we are praising people, they are probably dangerous and require squiring and undeserved flattery.

_____

The guest villain says in order to get 500 million Muslims to rise up to wage war against infidels, make them uncomfortable so restrict their behavior so they can't have fun. That probably means making it hard to earn a living too. Is that why there is so much corruption in oil rich places like the Stans? So their people are in a constant state of grouchiness?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on December 15, 2010
This is a good spy series if you're a fan of the 60's spy genre. It's not as good as "Danger Man/Secret Agent" but much better than "The Man From U.N.C.L.E." AV quality is pretty good (at least as good as A&E's release of "The Saint").
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on December 28, 2014
The spy genre of TV shows swept over North America in the years after the Kennedy assassination. While "I SPY" had a loyal following, I never really got into it. From my perspective, it lacks the humour, action, and intensity of other spy shows of the era. Nevertheless I bought this series for nostalgic purposes and the hope that the maturity of my advanced years would enable to me to appreciate it more fully! Alas, "I SPY" continued to come off as effervescent as flat ginger ale! On the positive side, I was able to view all episodes produced with some semblance of satisfaction, but it is not a show I would highly recommend! As well, the audio & visual quality is first rate!
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