"No man is free who works for a living . . . but I am available." (-- Illya Kuryakin, "The Bow-Wow Affair")

These reviews/commentaries on the show's 105 episodes originally appeared in slightly different form on the Yahoo! Groups website Channel_D, from 2008 to 2010. If you're new to MfU fandom, these may give you some idea of the flavor of the series, which is still famous and beloved more than 50 (!) years after its premiere in 1964. Enjoy!

News: Decades Channel is running a "Weekend Binge" of MfU episodes on July 2, 2017. Check the schedule here.

(Except where otherwise noted, images are used with permission of the exhaustive site Lisa's Video Frame Capture Library. Thanks to Lisa for all her work!)

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Summing Up: Season Three, the Awards

I know, I know: "Awards?  Why?"

Good point.  This year gave us hardly anything worthy of the sort of laurels earned by the Season One gems like "Project Strigas" and "Fiddlesticks," or Season Two sparklers like "Ultimate Computer" and "Minus-X."  The highlights of Season Three are, with a few exceptions, more a succession of clever scenes or memorable moments, rather than entire episodes.  Still, we shall reward excellence, or at least above-averageness, whene'er we find it.  Accordingly:

Best in Show: "Concrete Overcoat," "Thor," "Deadly Smorgasbord," "Galatea"

Best Villains: Sutro, "Her Master's Voice"; Strago and Miss Diketon, "Concrete Overcoat"

Worst Villain: Colonel Hamid, "Come with Me to the Casbah"

Best Innocents: Captain Morton, "Yo-Ho-Ho and a Bottle of Rum"; Stavros, "It's All Greek to Me"; Rosy and the Baroness, "Galatea"

Worst Innocent: All the innocents in "Hot Number."  Every one of 'em.  They can sit over there next to Nina of "Apple a Day" and Marvin Klump of "Matterhorn."

Silliest/Dumbest: "My Friend the Gorilla," "Abominable Snowman," "Jingle Bells," "Pop Art," "Hot Number". . . ah, the list goes on . . .

Funniest: "Pieces of Fate," "Sort of Do-It-Yourself Dreadful," "Super-Colossal"

Best Scenes and Shots Dept.:
-- The whole jail-cell and escape sequence in "Five Daughters, Part II";

-- the teaser, with Solo grumping about being yanked away from a date, in "Monks of St. Thomas";

-- one of the great defining Solo Moments in "Deadly Smorgasbord," when Beckman "fires" the SAD and gets only a stuffed snake, and Solo holds up his hands with a "For my next trick . . ." smile;

-- the night shot of Solo in "Jingle Bells," crouched on the rooftop with the yellow skylight behind him;

-- the scene in "Candidate's Wife" when Solo tells Irina, "Whatever happens, I'm on your side";

-- in "When in Roma," Illya, after reading young Sammy to sleep with a blood-and-thunder comic book, looks to see how the story comes out;

-- Illya swiftly plugging Sutro in "Her Master's Voice," and the hidden thug about to jump Solo in "Pop Art";

-- and the best, of course, is the moment in "Concrete Overcoat, Part II" in which Solo stands up to Waverly, determined to save Illya and Pia.

Field-strip, oil, reassemble, and load your Specials!  Ensure your communicator is properly tuned for Channel D and local office frequencies!  Onward and upward, to Season Four!

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