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On October 8, 1965, Vincent Price guest starred in one of the best episodes of the 1960’s US spy series, The Man from U.N.C.L.E, the second season case called The Foxes and Hounds Affair, in which UNCLE and THRUSH compete for a mind-reading machine. The episode had its UK screening on 31 August 1968.
In this episode, llya tries to obtain a thought-reading device from a magician, but THRUSH agents Victor Marton (Vincent Price) and Lucia Belmont (Patricia Medina) are also after it. Mimi Doolittle (Julie Sommars), the magician’s assistant, is drawn into the chase, and Solo is sent on a wild goose chase to distract Marton, complete with an exploding handkerchief and an untimely sneeze.
‘Have our little plans gone askew, Miss Belmont?’
Reportedly, the story was originally written to have Victor Gervais (Cesar Romero’s character in The Never-Never Affair) as the lead villain. But a new Thrush chieftain is used instead, in the person of Price’s Victor Marton. Price is excellent, particularly in his scenes with his rival THRUSH operative (Patricia Medina, who appeared in 1948’s The Three Musketeers, which also featured Price, and was the second wife of Price’s The Abominable Dr Phibes co-star, Joseph Cotton).
The episode also boasts an excellent Robert Drasnin music score. Especially good is his theme during the pre-credits sequence and at the start of Act I. This piece of music would be re-used constantly during season two. The script by Peter Allan Fields, from a plot by Eric Bercovici, is extremely witty with some great one-liners, including a scene where Waverly motions to Marton that it’s time to be locked up. Marton protests Waverly is too good to do such a thing. ‘Victor’, says Waverly, ‘No one is all good.’
US Airdate: October 8, 1965
Filmed: July 6-9, 12-13, 1965
Former Title: “The Elba Affair”
Producer: David Victor
Writers: Peter Allan Fields, Eric Bercovicci
Director: Alf Kjellin
Assistant Director: Tom McCrory
Production Assistant: Mort Abrahams
Editor: Bill Gulick
Music: Robert Drasnin
Set Decorator: Charles Thompson
Rerun Date: April 29, 1966
UK Airdate: August 31, 1968