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A Time of the Knife

Buy "A Time of the Knife" and all the other episodes from
I Spy Season 1

Season 1 -  originally broadcast
November 3, 1965

 French:  "A couteaux tirés" (Stabbed)

Writer:  Gilbert Ralston
Director:  Paul Wendkos

Missing microfilm is involved in the untimely death of agent Michael Fane in Kyoto, Japan, and places his bereaved fiancee, Jean Dillard, in great danger..


Warren Stevens (Michael Fane), Madlyn Rhue (Jean), John Van Dreelen (Kraft), Jay Novello (Corday), Dale Ishimoto (Oshima), June Kim (Miss Ota), David Chow (Mr. Kurimachi)

 French:  "A couteaux tirés" (Stabbed)


Synopsis:  Is Kelly's old friend Mike Fane dead?  No.  Many murders

Highlights/Comments:  Visitors from all over sequence.

The “I Spy” Forum comments on "TIME OF THE KNIFE"

Author: SAM
Date:  8/5/01 11:07:32 PM

I thought this was a so-so episode with some great moments. The beginning, while lovely to look at, was clichéd. The prelude was well set-up. Kelly (the love-sponge) certainly had a lot of friends around the world!

BUT that first act- WELL-entrenched in my memory... AHH that restrained delicate shamisen faintly in the background as Kelly and Jean wander that exquisite garden- the plaintive flute melody gave me pause, at age 13 and NOW. Mr. Hagen at his absolute best throughout this story, beginning with this heart-warming piece. Their conversation is extremely well-written with  oreshadowing when she fingers the locket and quotes. . .`She is bright and fair . . .` AHHH I KNOW that first act almost off by heart as I made an appallingly dismal-sounding audio tape of it back then - simply could not part with that music, and of course the voices remained.

And the other musical lines were stunning - the `Rick-Shaw Ride` theme through some of the chase scenarios, Scotty`s jazzy `flip` theme-

When I am watching those men in that alien lambent landscape running or following, heightened by THAT music, I am a child again, forever intent and entranced.

Both Warren Stevens and Madlyn Rhue are perfectly cast - she as the forlorn widow particularly touching and again Kelly at his brooding protective best - LOVED the scene when she fainted into his arms- his catch was sooo graceful. AND he promptly and properly checked her pulse. Indeed I noticed this in NO EXCHANGE, even though no one who is shot ever bleeds, the men do take their time and medically speaking, check pulses appropriately before stating the obvious.

The bright/dark bantering between Kelly and Scotty was particularly hilarious at times - Kelly and Scotty's impromptu SUMO imitation, Cosby`s serious soliloquy with the blue towel draped over his face, and Kelly's successive judo prat-falls.

I DID feel the story line itself was weak- or else did it not hold up well- all the `bad guys` a little too stereotyped?

The last scene very strong, and funny - as good as the first scene - 8 out of 10.


John Van Dreelen & Madlyn Rhue

Author:  Tatia Loring
Date:  8/7/01 7:39:04 PM

I did like this one - OK - the story had some problems - the bad guys were too pat - a bit too much Sidney Greenstreet/Peter Lorre school of debonair, polished bad guys ... but interestingly played by John Van Dreelen and especially Jay Novello.

BUT watching that scene leaving the bathhouse, with "30-something-year-old" Robert Culp (or Kelly Robinson - take your pick) that little towel of his - well now, Tatia thinks that was well worth the price of admission - (don't tell me you didn`t just happen to re-wind that section a time or two, dear sister-in-arms SAM?? :-)

Plus Mr. Hagen's evocative music, so exquisite "and" the magnificent gardens in the scene with Jean telling her life story to Kelly - just breath-taking!! As you know Tatia "loves" the Japanese episodes (and the Greek and Mexican and .... OK, OK - all of them! ... but especially the Asian!) I thought Madlyn Rhue did an excellent job as Jean - tragic and sympathetic, yet charming (as when she recites the phrase from her locket "She is bright and fair") then moving onto bewildered and betrayed .... and her character proves to have much greater strength than we suspect - she is a believer in right vs. wrong ... good vs. evil - at a very high personal cost ...

As for Warren Stevens - he's a fine actor - but I'm sorry! I've always wondered if that was his hair in this episode - or a muskrat sitting on his head ... not a great toupee - if it was one ... and not great hair-styling - if it wasn't ... (both Ms. Rhue and Mr. Stevens are 2 more "Star Trek" alumni - to add to the list of I SPY guest stars that ran between the sound stages to their other guest starring roles.) If Michael Fane looks a like golden here, it`s because this is his Rojan from Star Trek

And most of all, I really enjoyed the judo/kendo (forgive me - whichever is the correct term) martial arts that Scotty and Kelly were practicing ... and though some stunt doubles were obviously used in there - that definitely was Mr. Culp taking some of those falls himself - ouch! ... I know you are taught how to roll with the falls - but - again - ouch! And I think we may have just discovered where the infamous trademark "Culp shoulder-roll" originated from - a little stress and strain and repeated landings on those deltoids and trapezius muscles may have been the source .... plus many years of pole-vaulting to boot ...... or maybe not? (who knows what mysterious forces lurk behind those shoulder-rolls of his - just glad they're there ... and they always are!! :-) :-) :-)

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