Hal Humphrey’s column from May 17, 1965.
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Using information mentioned or otherwise inferred in the episodes and from the 1994 I Spy Returns TV movie, Barbara K. Emanuele has compiled comprehensive character bios for Kelly Robinson and Alexander Scott. Given the fact that the show ran for three seasons and accounting for continuity issues and conflicting tidbits, Barbara has managed to pull together information that brings further depth to these characters. TheConsummateCulp.com is pleased to showcase these character bios!
“They were partners in the truest sense of the word. Ideally matched in wit, charm, looks, and strength, at no point was one far superior to the other. Mission after mission, locked room after opened room, they were equals who never let the obvious difference in race be anything more than a physical difference. Their work and their cover allowed them to function above the racial turmoil of the late sixties.”
The final first season episode of I Spy, “One Thousand Fine” aired this date (April 27) in 1966. Still in Acapulco, Kelly and Scotty are given an assignment to locate a missing US Air force plane that was carrying nearly $6 million in gold when it crashed 8 years earlier. The only surviving crew member, Jack Gannon, is an old acquaintance of Kelly’s and together the men, along with Jack’s fiancé go looking for the plane. To complicate things a bit Jack’s fiancé is someone from Kelly’s past…
The past between Kelly and Jean (Jack’s finance) creates some tension in this episode. This first clip shows the tension with Jack and the brewing jealously. The second half of the clip has a great bit of comic relief from Scotty.
…is to make you bow to someone else’s command. The I Spy episode “It’s All Done With Mirrors” originally aired this date, April 13, 1966. While on a break in Acapulco, Kelly is abducted and brainwashed into believing that Scotty must be killed because he has turned traitor. But does Kelly believe it enough?
Carroll O’Connor plays the enemy scientist, Dr. Karolyi, who conditions Kelly and is very far removed from Archie Bunker here.
In the clip below, “Miss Pemberly” reminds Kelly of why Scotty must be killed. Although Kelly thinks she’s a government agent like himself, she is actually part of the team that brainwashed him.
…she was a pain in the butt for Kelly and Scotty! The I Spy episode “There Was a Little Girl” aired this date, April 6, 1966. Kelly and Scotty are assigned to “babysit” the teenage daughter of a US cabinet member on her vacation to Mexico. Buying a souvenir at a shop gets her and the boys mixed up with drug smugglers.
In the clip below, the young Kathy Sherman is easily dazzled, but not dazzled enough with Kelly’s history lesson on the Church of San Sebastian and Santa Prisca in Taxco, Mexico.
…make up the jist of the I Spy episode “My Mother, the Spy” which aired March 30, 1966. Kelly and Scotty must convince a female spy who’s been betrayed and is targeted by the enemy to return to the United States. The fact that she is with child complicates things.
Kelly and Scotty spend a good portion of the episode in fisticuffs with mysterious thugs. At one point they’re escorted from the hospital grounds to a bar and questioned, more or less, under the encouragement of a sawed off shotgun.
After getting out of that scrap, they go back to the bar later to try to find out who wanted them roughed up. Some more beer gets thrown around…
Kelly gets decked at the beginning and the end of the I Spy episode “Crusade to Limbo” which aired this date, March 23, 1966. An acquaintance of Kelly’s, Sean Christie (a well known – if fictitious – American Hollywood actor) is seen in Mexico and has apparently joined up with other notable people and celebrities to take part in an invasion and revolution of “a neighboring country.” Kelly and Scotty pretend to have anti-American views in order to get inside the elite group and get to the bottom of their plans.
I dunno about you but the guy on the left (character actor Wesley Addy) reminds me of Anderson Cooper…
Although the premise borders on the absurd (celebrities being part of an invasion? With guns? Seriously?) the episode does have its moments. In the clip below, Kelly and Scotty must prove their allegiance by killing Sean who has been marked a traitor by the group. An interesting show of the trust between Kelly and Scotty.
As I noted above, Kelly gets decked twice in this episode. The first time is at the beginning when he sees Sean at an outdoor art fair (Sean punches him). The second time is at the end of the episode. Kelly and Scotty are back at the art fair again and Kelly spots another celebrity. A real one this time and it’s none other than creator and producer of I Spy Sheldon Leonard himself.
When Kelly can’t stop putting his foot in his mouth, Sheldon belts him. (And yes, Sheldon Leonard really talked out of the side of his mouth.)
On March 8, 1967 the I Spy episode “Blackout” aired. A drugged Kelly awakes in a seedy hotel room to find the beautiful Russian ballerina who was his assignment, dead. With Scotty’s help, he has to piece together what happened the night before and clear himself of her murder.
One minute into the episode and Culp has his shirt off. Practically a record!
Ok, all kidding aside on Culp shirtless (can you blame me? I mean, really, can you?) this is a fine whodunnit episode with the boys having to piece everything together. Scotty doesn’t let Kelly give in for one second.
Although it’s hard to see it as the scene takes place during the night, Kelly appears to wear a full length leather duster in this episode. Nice!
Here’s the opening act (after the credits) that sets the stage for the rest of the episode. This, folks, is a fine example of the drama that I Spy was known for.
…falls “Mainly on the Plains,” the I Spy episode which aired February 22, 1967. Scotty and Kelly have to convince a scientist (played by Boris Karloff) who has declared no support to either side (East or West) that it would be beneficial for him to give an allegiance to the West. Matters are complicated by the scientist’s somewhat excessive enthusiasm for “Don Quixote” and the occasional delusion in thinking he IS Don Quixote.
“That’s exactly it. That’s just how beautifully I’ve worked it all out — because for a knight errant to go crazy for good reason, how much is that worth? My idea is to become a lunatic for no good reason at all.” – Don Quixote
“I am in my right mind, now, clear-headed and free of the murky darkness of ignorance, brought upon me by my continual, bitter reading of those abominable books of chivalry.” – Don Quixote.
The whole episode is a lot of fun and there’s too many good scenes to choose from. But here’s two. The first “Don Quixote” faces down the windmills…