The BBC don’t seem to have episode guides for these series so it’s back to series 2 this week.
It’s all gone 1940s Noire in an alleyway in New York. Kuryakin is pacing about in a hotel room. There’s a nice bit of ‘private eye’ music to set the scene. Some men have been following Kuryakin and a chap called Dr Remington who is hiding with him at the hotel. There’s a Lady Penelope type posh lady outside in a car preening herself in the mirror. She seems to be in charge of the ‘heavies’ in the alleyway. She gets a message that Solo has just arrived. These must be THRUSH people then. Solo joins Kuryakin and Remington in the hotel room. So THRUSH are trying to capture Dr Remington for some reason.
In another room, Mr Buzz Conway is getting hassled on the phone by Harry who he owes money to and at the same time by his landlord who wants his rent. In desperation Conway climbs out of the window, but the posh lady spots him, mistaking him for Dr Remington and it seems she is a bit of an expert with a sniper rifle. Conway gets a hypodermic dart in the neck and collapses. This is a perfect distraction for the UNCLE men. They have a shoot out with bad guys and the posh lady drives off. Solo inspects the sleeping Conway. Roll credits. I definitely prefer this version of the theme music!
Back at UNCLE HQ Waverley is playing chess with Dr Remington, who we learn is a geologist. Remington’s geologist partner was killed by THRUSH so UNCLE think he will be the next target. Remington has an appointment at a geology conference and our spies are assigned to escort him there.
The preening posh lady has the classic Fleming-style unlikely name Narcissus (of course!) Darling. She receives a phone call from an unpleasant fat lecherous Russian man who tries to flirt with her. And what lady could resist a guy like that eh? One of her henchmen, Leon, is asked to bring her film they took of ‘Remington’ when he was shot with the sniper rifle (it has a film camera attachment). “He certainly isn’t much to look at” Narcissus says looking at a close up of Conway. Perhaps she’s not his type either.
Meanwhile Conway wakes up in pyjamas with a flight ticket to San Francisco and a wad of cash. As if that’s not a brilliant enough way to wake up, Ilya orders a “change of apparel” for him and so he gets a new suit as well. Positively delighted with this change of luck he rings Harry with the good news that he can pay his debt, but immediately afterwards opens his wardrobe door to find an apparently dead Dr Remington hanging from a coat hook with a knife in his chest. On noticing that the corpse is wearing the same suit as him the now frightened and paranoid Conway cautiously creeps out of the room.
Solo has been waiting nearby and goes into Conway’s room, where he goes to the ‘body’, removes the knife which is actually fake, and wakes Dr Remington who has a rare ability to snooze while hanging from a coat hook. At least personally I’ve never managed to sleep in that position but maybe that’s just me. Aha! A cunning ruse… Lucky Remington isn’t a snorer or he’d have given the game away.
Conway is now on the plane. A stewardess gives him a flower from “an admirer”. It’s the posh lady a few rows down. Kuryakin is also on this flight, and when they get to the airport he meets up with Solo. Solo then approaches Conway pretending to mistake him for Remington, and tells him he is there to escort him to geology conference. A hesitant Conway eventually plays along.
They stop to refuel the car, and there at the garage is Ilya in his own car. They plan was to get THRUSH to follow them. A garage mechanic secretly puts something in Solo’s car bonnet. Then they notice the real mechanic tied up in corner, so they shoot the imposter. But the mysterious device was a “drone control” so Solo’s got one of those self drive cars now, 50 years early. Also, it locks all the doors and windows so Conway is driven away by his car with Narcissus on the remote controls. The UNCLE guys follow, and we get a chase scene, with some car to car stuntery from Solo, breaking the glass and getting into the car, taking control. They talk on their mobiles by the way, while driving. Yup.
Kuryakin has spotted the control car and follows it to a big office block. This is Elom Industries. He takes the lift up after speaking to the receptionist. after he’s gone she speaks on a secret mic “he’s on his way up”. Three goons greet him as the lift door opens. Narcissus appears and recognises Ilya who’s taken away. She’s still fussing with her hair.
Mr Elom is the randy Russian guy from earlier. He has light sensitivity and wears sunglasses indoors like a rockstar. He offers Kuryakin some cold turkey soup (“no thank you”), then tells him about something called Operation Deep Hole. Elon wants to know where Remington is being kept. The agent won’t talk so one of the goons, Leon, knocks him out with some ”persuasion”.
Meanwhile Conway is pissed off with Solo at being used as a decoy. Solo gets a call from Waverley on his pen, which gives Conway a chance to sneak out of window. He works his way round the building and sees Narcissus through one of the windows looking at building plans. I note that she says please. I like a polite villain.
Leon is still smacking a barely conscious Kuryakin around with his brand of persuasion. He’s clearly one of those thugs who enjoys their work. Narcissus rings Elom and says she knows where Remington is. Conway overhears her say there are teargas guns so he spots one and threatens them with it. It all goes off. Solo and Narcissus fight. They roll around on the floor…she’s wild. He gets the upper hand and locks her in a cupboard before running out. Conway accidentally runs into a cunningly disguised lorry, the doors close and it drives off. The goons are waiting inside it. “Where am I supposed to sit?”, he says. Cue commercial break.
Elom introduces himself to Conway who he believes to be Remington and needs his help for his dastardly deeds. He elaborates about Project Deephole: he has a cunning plan to create an enormous earthquake by “drilling into mother earth’s crust.” He shows him some old films of earthquakes to illustrate. He points out that they are on San Andreas fault. Elom hates the sun and all those stupid Californian sun lovers. Conway admits indignantly that he is not Remington but the Russian doesn’t believe him. They put a gun to Kuryakin’s head unless Conway cooperates so he gives in and says he’ll look at the drill for them.
There’s some sixties “woman music”, as Solo lets Narcissus out of the cupboard. He gets all flirty with her while holding a gun to her face (the old charmer), and she does her hair. He wants her to get him past security so he can free Kuryakin.
Meanwhile Conway buys time by pretending to know about drilling, walking around like he knows what he’s doing.
Solo and Narcissus arrive at the building with a homing device to find Ilya. “We better not step on that magnetic plate or it will set off the alarm”, warns Solo, giving himself the perfect excuse to lift the lady over it like a proper hero.
But Narcissus calls out to Leon, so Solo bursts into the room and there’s a big fight. The UNCLE agents tell Conway to short circuit the elevators and guard the stairs after they’ve made it to the top.
The two agents exit the lift on the 28th floor and confront the Russian but he has expected them and ambushes them with his goons. Elom gets all lecherous with Narcissus and she hates it so much that she changes sides immediately. Conway cuts the power, and there’s the chaotic end-of-episode fight. The Russian falls down lift shaft, Narcissus breaks a nail, and Conway gets chased away by his creditors. The end.