2x26 The Project Deephole Affair

Rewatching the Man from UNCLE

blog review uncle

I'm rewatching every episode of the Man from UNCLE series from start to finish. This review contains spoilers.

Evil THRUSH is after Dr. Remington, a leading geologist. What does THRUSH want with a geologist?? Nobody knows, but UNCLE figures that if THRUSH wants to kidnap him, it's probably important, and anyway they're UNCLE and they like to protect people.

Kuryakin has managed to get the good doctor to a hotel, but knows that THRUSH agents are watching. They wait nervously for an extraction team.

Inconveniently, there's a sort of low-level con man named Buzz Conway (Jack Weston) staying at the same hotel, currently on the run from his many debtors. Just when UNCLE moves in to retrieve Dr. Remington, Buzz Conway climbs out a window, ducking out on the angry landlord. Because THRUSH has photos of all UNCLE agents but not the scientists they want to kidnap, they instantly believe that Conway must be Dr. Remington and pursue him instead.

UNCLE manages to foil THRUSH all around, for once, rescuing both Dr. Remington and Buzz conway. At the same time, they realise that they've inherited the perfect decoy. THRUSH already believes that Conway is Remington, so Waverly orders Napoleon Solo and Ilya Kuryakin on an escort mission to get Buzz Conway to some place for some reason.

And it works!

You can't con a con

There are all kinds of complications as THRUSH follows UNCLE around and plants bugs and drones everywhere, but they eventually capture the decoy, and I don't think they ever really believe that he's not the real Dr. Remington. This is a very average episode, but for a few moments in THRUSH headquarters when Conway is doing what he does best, it's awfully intriguing. He's used to taking odd jobs he's not qualified for. He'll do anything to make a buck. So he plays the role of Dr. Remington, the geologist. He looks at THRUSH's plans to dig a subterranean hole so the human race can move underground (I lost track of why that would be a goal, but it has something to do with the main villain being highly photosensitive, I think).

Nothing comes of the charade, sadly. It ends up being a minor delay tactic so Napoleon Solo can arrive and save the day. Bit it's clever and well done, and I'd have loved 40 minutes of it instead of the escort mission.


The THRUSH agent in charge of the pursuit is Narcissus Darling (Barbara Bouchet), a beautiful woman who, as her name suggests, is a chronic narcissist. She thinks of nothing but appearance, and most of all her own. She's a quirky character, and like Buzz Conway, I enjoyed what she brought to an otherwise plain episode.

Also like Conway, nothing really ever happens because of Narcissus. She's in the right place at the right time, and then the wrong place at the right time, and then she's arrested with a smile and a wink about how kooky it is that UNCLE could have nabbed her again (this is actually the first time we've ever seen her, but the episode pretends at the last minute that she and Solo have a history).

Barbara Bouchet as Narcissus Darling

But I did like the character. She's self-absorbed, but her physical fight with Solo is one of the most ferocious we've seen in the series. No holds barred, they tumble to the floor and struggle as if for their lives. You really believe she wants to get away and possibly kill him in the process, and you really believe he's fighting to restrain her. He ends up tossing her into a wardrobe, which I guess turns her back into a pouty helpless beauty queen because she stays in there until he lets her out, at which point they flirt and she's sort of not the same character any more.

It had its moments

All in all, not a great episode but it had its moments. I think with a little workshopping, which they probably didn't have time for, this could have been one or two really intriguing episodes. As it is, I appreciate the glimpses of some great story moments. And it's not a bad episode. I'd watch it again.

Lead image by Anthony DELANOIX under the terms of the Unsplash License. Modified by Seth in Inkscape.

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