Buy "Dragon's Teeth" and all the other episodes from
I Spy Season 1
Season 1 - originally broadcast
October 13, 1965
French: "Dans les griffes du dragon" (In the Dragon's Grasp)
German: "Ein Schiff kam nach Hongkong" (A Ship Came to Hong Kong)
Writer: Gilbert Ralston
Director: Leo Penn
They are being introduced to George Serengi, fiance of hostess Alicia Cavanaugh, when Serengi drops to the floor, apparently poisoned.
Joanne Linville “Alicia), Kam Tong (Wang Lee), Walter Burke (Sax), Laya Raki (Tai Chiang), Mike Faulkner (George Serengi), Ron Whelan (Captain Porter), Robert Donner (Dr. Bustard), John Agrahan (Dr. Stern), James Hong (Dr. Lee), Anabel Garth (Audrey), Carolyn Kido (Servant)
Synopsis: Russian communist turned pagan godFROM THE
NOTEBOOKS - Rating
Synopsis: An old girlfriend, opium & Blue Dragon cards
Highlights/Comments: Culp looked great with a new haircut, typifying the wonderfulness of himself. Kelly reminisces “She came down to Princeton for the weekend, and stayed a month …”
The “I Spy” Forum comments on "DRAGON'S TEETH"
Author: Colonel Boris Benkovski
Date: 7/23/01 11:41:17 AM
This has never been one of my top 10 or 20 episodes, but it is certainly in the top half, and probably my third favorite of the Hong Kong episodes, after No Exchange and Cup of Kindness. It is a more enjoyable episode by far than Danny Was Million Laughs.
Dragon's Teeth is a fun story, though a little bit flawed occasionally some logic and believability. Let me nit pick the points I don't like first, then get on to the positive elements. First, the writers use the plot device of Kelly running into an old flame too many times, I think. Especially in this episode and in One Thousand Fine, but it recurs several times throughout the series. Considering I live in a very small city and still hardly ever run into an ex-girlfriend, it`s a little far fetched that Kelly could travel the world and continually run into old flames from college and high school and so forth. Second, the idea that every single person they contact in their investigation would be a ruling member of the Blue Dragons is also a little bit stretching believability, as is the idea that an Caucasian American woman could move to Hong Kong and become president of a local Tong society after only a couple of years. Third, I really didn't feel Joanne Linville was a strong enough actress to carry the role well (I never found her very attractive, either, but that's just a matter of personal taste). Also those Dragon cards might be good for scaring off snoopers, but it seems like a bad way to avoid prosecution, by leaving your calling card on a murder victim! And finally, the poisoned champagne toast and Kelly's speech to the council at the end was a little bit too "Agatha Christie"-ish, and it was too easy to convince Alicia to kill her fiancé. These are just minor things, but they keep me from calling this episode a top effort.
But the story is very entertaining. It plays like an old Humphrey Bogart or Robert Mitchum movie, or even more so, an episode from the old Terry and the Pirates or Steve Canyon comic strips. More a fast moving detective story than spy story, the Hong Kong locales, the mysterious Eurasian "Dragon Lady" whose loyalties are unclear up to the very end (great job by Laya Raki in her portrayal of Tia), the corrupt but congenial police official, the group of mysterious and eccentric characters they meet in the investigation, all are make a great Saturday Matinee style episode. Maybe a little dated by today's standards, but it looked much like an homage to Oriental adventure stories from the 30`s and 40`s. Even the piano player/spy control Johnny Sax reminded me of Hoagy Carmichael in "Too Have and Have Not", and police Captain Porter was very reminiscent of Sidney Greenstreet in Casablanca or the Maltese Falcon. Added extra flavor from the chemist with the southern country accent and the Chinese acupuncturist with his analogy of the hoop snake.
There could have been a bit more humor in the episode, but otherwise, it played good straight. My favorite scenes were when Porter took Kell and Scott's guns away, and they simply went to the closet and pulled out a couple of spares, and also when Scotty found the second Blue Dragon card in his suit coat pocket (how did it get there?!) when Scotty say "But I don`t drink" when told to drink the poisoned champagne and when we discover Goerge is still alive. Also did anyone notice that the rock & roll music that Tia is dancing to when they visit her apartment was used in several nightclub/dance scenes throughout the series - I particularly remember it being played at the disco in Father Abraham. I aslo liked the comic touch with the fortune cookies in the tag line scene, and I know I have seen Anabel Garth (Audrey) somewhere else.
So all in all, a fun episode, especially if you like old fashioned adventure stories. I`d give it a B+