In the early months of 1965, actor and screenwriter Robert Culp undertook a task that would change his life forever. Secretly working without the knowledge of the show's producers, he wrote several scripts for "I Spy." Ult... more »imately these scripts would become some of the series' most popular and acclaimed shows. Now, for the first time, Robert Culp candidly reveals the intriguing story behind the scenes of "I Spy" in unique and exciting commentaries about this groundbreaking television series. Episodes: "So Long, Patrick Henry" - Heavily guarded, Browne and his fiancee, Princess Amara, arrive in Hong Kong, where Browne's endorsement of the proposed Afro-Asian Olympics will result in a propaganda coup for the Reds. Co-Starring Ivan Dixon and Cicely Tyson. "The Loser" - Ring-leader General Chu orders nightclub owner Ramon to hold straight-jacketed Scotty in Angel's dressing room until Kelly Robinson surrenders a huge cache of heroin which the agents intercepted the day before. Co-Starring Eartha Kitt. "The Tiger" - Dr. Owen McLean, known by the natives as the Tiger Who Walks Upright, has refused to ally himself with any political movement in the country where he has spent his professional life. Co-Starring Lew Ayres and France Nuyen. Audio Commentary by actor/writer Robert Culp« less
"Since other reviewers have commented on the high quality of the dramas on these two discs, I want to talk about the audio commentary by actor/writer Robert Culp, which is, if you are interested in how series TV was created in the Sixties, reason enough to buy these DVDs. Mr. Culp talks engagingly and personally about the genesis of the series; his troubled professional relationship with producer Sheldon Leonard; his unsuccessful attempts to get Sam Peckinpah hired onto the show as a director; the unadulterated joy of working with Bill Cosby for three years; where his script ideas came from and how they were developed; working with creative collaborators like directors Richard Serafian and Tom Gries; how John Chambers worked, unpaid, for six months to create Culp's make-up for "The Warlord"; how Earl Hagen's scores enriched certain shows -- in short, everything you've ever wanted to know about I SPY. These excellant commentaries -- thorough, entertaining, and well-researched -- add up to the book about I SPY that no one has yet written. Much thanks to Mr. Culp and Image Entertainment for these invaluable discs."
The Best Episodes Ever!
Kevin Bray | Corona, CA United States | 12/07/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Robert Culp saved "I Spy" from being just another spy show during the James Bond craze of the early and mid-sixties. He saved it by writing intelligent scripts that were long on characterization and tight, swiftly-moving plots, a stark difference from the wincingly trite bill of fare offered up to us on shows like "The Man From U.N.C.L.E." and others. Culp's scripts showed us that Robinson and Scott were a couple of CIA working-stiff operatives with plenty of heart, rather than comic book superheroes in tight pants. Kel and Scotty sweated and suffered through their jobs, and the episodes on this first volume of the Robert Culp collection were amongst their finest hours. Honestly, this is arguably the among the finest television that came out of the sixties, certainly in the spy genre, if not in television as a whole. We owe a great deal to Robert Culp for raising the bar in television drama to establish a standard of excellence that is still recognized today. All three episodes are cases-in-point, but if I had to pick one out of the lot, I would say that "The Loser" is the finest. This episode covers an incredible amount of ground in 51 minutes and never-not once-meanders into the absurd. An excellent plot and moving, relevant dialog make for one hell of a fine viewing experience, and even the most discriminating audience will be pleased. Incidentally, the commentary tracks (there are three) are informative and entertaining, too. Thanks, Bob, for all of your hard work on "I Spy" and all of the other shows on which your talent and heart showed through."
The Best of the Vintage
The Breech | Long Beach, California United States | 01/12/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
""I Spy" is that rare show that transcends its genre. Sure it was a espionage program, but it was also high adventure, witty comedy and riveting drama. "So Long Patrick Henry" showcases three gems in this remarkable series: the aforementioned title episode, 'The Loser,' and 'The Tiger.'
It's no coincidence that the best episodes of "I Spy" were written by Robert Culp. Culp episodes have the distinction of brilliant dialogue, taut plotlines and memorable characterizatons. They also hold up well some 40 years later.
All the episodes are fantastic, but 'So Long Patrick Henry' will always be my favorite. It was the episode that hooked me on "I Spy." This is probably the most action-packed installment of the series' entire run and features great performances by Ivan Dixon (Kinchloe on "Hogans Heroes") and Cicely Tyson. Their relationship, as written by Culp, is very touching.
I am huge fan of "The Man From U.N.C.L.E.," but if you compare the two, "I Spy" holds up much better.
It's a shame television doesn't make 'em like this anymore.
A series that transcends the decades.
Mrs. S. Creighton | Co.Antrim Northern Ireland | 01/04/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"So Long Patrick Henry is genuinely suprising by way of the sheer scope that these three episodes cover. I can state categorically owning the entire series of I Spy that these three episodes and The Warlord set of episodes are the best. Robert Culp is an exceptionally gifted writer as well as actor. As a massive fan who was not alive at the time of first broadcast I thoroughly enjoyed his insightful, riveting and intelligent commentaries. He definitely has etched a little piece of himself onto these must have discs. These three episodes are unusal for the spy genre because of the pathos they demonstrate. The Loser in particular shows the audience that all can not be tied up and explained away with a neat bow. Mr Cosby definitely deserved the recognition he received for this performance. The Tiger is excellent because you witness the character of Kelly doing the 'rough, tough and nasty business' of what he is trained to do, instead of his usual looking cool and handsome in beautiful clothes. The entire supporting cast for these three episodes are far beyond the bit player status and into the realms of exceptional artists. As a child of the 1970's and 1980's I have yet to watch anything that remotely lives up to the relationships, dialogue, repartee, locations and sheer 60's cool with a capital C of I Spy."
Greatest I Spy video ever!
Mrs. S. Creighton | 11/03/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is, by far, THE greatest I spy video ever! The storyline, the actors, and great locations. Bill Cosby and Robert Culp proformed great stunts, the storyline was well thought out, and the locations featured all the famous cities! Let me refrase, This IS THE BEST I spy video ever!"