Buy "Oedipus at Colonnus" and all the other episodes from I Spy Season 3
as Dr. Soenbawa
as heavy #1
Season 3 - originally broadcast
November 27, 1967
French: "Oedipe à Colonne" (same as English)
The Arabian Nights episode
Writer: Marion Hargrove
Director: Christian Nyby
They must seek out Jahbad, the only man capable of averting a religious holy war from igniting in Morocco.
Maurice Evans (Jahbad), Delia Boccardo (Perizadah), Fouad Said (Mousa), Ken Tobey (Conway), Marne Maitland (Dr. Soenbawa), Milton Reid (Aba'ahman), Arthur Batanides (heavy #1), Frederick Screlmer (Samui), Barry Shanzin (Hassan)
FROM THE NOTEBOOKS
Synopsis: They are held prisoner so a holy leader can be at a meeting.
Highlights/ Comments: none to speak of
I SPY REVISITED
The long processional sequences in first two segments which did not move the story forward only serve to use footage shot in Morocco. Overblown character of Russ Conway was, as always, hackneyed. Extra preposterous touch trying to make viewers believe that kings and prime ministers would be meeting with a mere field control agent. Russ' flippant , “kill him,” provides a further indication that this will be another comic book episode.
With the touching death of Mousa , Oedipus at Colonnus starts to turn around, and develops into both a thoughtful and witty episode. Other sparks which begin to bring it to life are the mysterious woman's voice seeming to come from nowhere, her engaging presence and the suspenseful scene as a sword is thrust into each of the baskets. Despite the early sign points to a bad episode, everything opened up in terms of dialogue, story and charm with the appearance of Maurice Evans.
His speeches are full of irony and philosophy, and his character makes the point which would become clear to a new generation three decades later, “I have more Muslims in the Balkans than in the entire Kingdom of Jordan.”
Oedipus at Collonus made excellent use of color, and that added much to the episode. The highlights on this new look turned out to be many. There are numerous references to other lights of the entertainment and media world.
As Kelly and Scotty expound in the car about Marrakech, the teaser ends with them saying “good night, David, good night Chet,” followed by a riff of the Beethoven signature of the Huntley Brinkley Report ….. Drumming sequence in the market place gave a great sense of confusion, that something was about to happen …. Another take from a TV show comes when they hear a woman's voice seeming to come from nowhere, and Scotty calls, “come in mystery guest and sign in please.” ….. Good suspense when one of the henchmen comes in and stabs at some wicker baskets among which Kelly and Scotty are hiding ….. As he completes his exposition on war, Jahbad is interrupted, and he says to his aid, “must you always spoil the climax?” …. To a roar from one of the henchmen, Scotty says, “you'll never make it with the teenage crowd.” ….. “What kind of mafia goes around sounding like Robert Donat in Goodbye Mr. Chips?” says Kelly, to which Scotty replies, “I'd prefer my man Lawrence Harvey myself.” Kelly appears confused, then says, “oh, you mean Lawrence Olivier.” …… Referring to Kelly's going on and on about tales of the Arabian Nights, Scotty tells Kelly that all they've just encountered with the Sultan and his grand daughter are just hallucinations. “Part of a fevered brain. Your brain, so keep me out of it.” …. Describing his meeting with the Sultan, Scotty says, “you get him talking about his favorite hobby …. Another ten minutes, I would have joined myself.” ….. Handling a large gun, the Sultan says, “It feels somewhat heavy to me, but then everything does at my age. I've always preferred small, delicate, intimate things. Like hand grenades. ….. In the locked room, Scotty asks, “listen, you want to make a go of busting out of here?” Kelly replies, “All we would do is end up in the principal's office again. I really cannot take any more of that tea and sympathy. …. Is he a compulsive talker or just a plain egomaniac?” Scotty responds, “he told you exactly what he was, sly, devious, vindictive …..”
Jahbad states, “there is no such thing as a holy war. Wars are either political, having to do with self determination and real estate, or economic, which means that the other scoundrel gets all the tax money, and you get nothing.” He adds, “has it ever occurred to you that the raw material with which to satisfy ambition and greed lies scattered around the world in the persons of a billion Muslims? A quarter billion of them living in Muslim countries and the other half billion living under non-Muslim rule? 50 million in the Soviet Union and 75 million in Red China.” He then evokes his vision, “hordes of the faithful galloping about the Siberian sand dunes with green flags and terrifying noises. Brandishing their scimitars and hurling their fearful swords in all directions.”