Personal blog - and temporary home page until new website is finished - of writer, editor and graphic artist Christopher Mills

Monday, December 01, 2014

A MAN CALLED SLOANE: "Collision Course"

The seventh episode of A Man Called Sloane (original airdate, November 17, 1979) begins with Sloane in London, where he is to meet another UNIT agent at a planetarium. When he arrives, he discovers his contact – an old friend – murdered, with strange markings on his neck. Noticing a beautiful woman apparently fleeing from the scene, he follows, and is attacked by a couple of thugs.

Investigating the agent's death, Sloane discovers that an old adversary, Jefferson Crane (Eric Braeden, The Rat Patrol), a man that Sloane believed he had killed some years before, is behind a plot of cosmic proportions. Using two stolen nuclear missiles, he plans to divert a comet (the fictional Caesar's Comet, which the script would have us believe was first spotted at the time of Julius Caesar's assassination, and which has returned every 100 years since) and crash it into the Earth.

Soap opera veteran and popular heavy Braeden makes a satisfactory villain, and Nancy DeCarl, as the dead agent's sister, is a lovely girl of the week, but the story is pretty unspectacular. For one thing, while the script goes to great lengths to emphasize how involved and difficult it was to calculate the comet's trajectory, it also posits that the U.S. military transports nukes around on the back of easily hijack-able trucks. (Actually, stealing nukes is made to look very easy throughout the series!)

Not one of the stronger episodes, unfortunately... though the scene where a bunch of polo players on horseback attack a van containing Sloane, Torque and the girl is both kinda cool and damned weird.

• This episode was written by Stephen Kandel, a frequent contributor to various spy-fi shows, including Mission: Impossible, The Wild Wild West, It Takes A Thief and MacGyver.


Anonymous said...

For some reason, this is the one episode about which I remember something. That is, I remembered that there was an episode with Eric Braeden as the villain, and that the plot had to do with him trying to divert a comet. Also the part about the heroes thinking that he'd been killed years before. And I remembered that Nancy DeCarl was in it, but I didn't remember offhand if she played the heroine or the villainess.

Janus said...

First, I presuming that UNIT was an acronym. And since you haven't mentioned it in any of your reviews so far, did they ever state what UNIT stood for?

Christopher Mills said...

Unless it's stated in the T.R. Sloane pilot, which I haven't watched in a very long time, UNIT doesn't appear to stand for anything.

I'll be re-watching and reviewing the pilot film when I finish up with these episode reviews, so we'll see then.

Janus said...

So UNIT didn't stand for United Nations Intelligence Taskforce? ;)