A Man Called Sloane, "Lady Bug," features more spy-fi gadgets than any other episode, including a gas-spewing silver dollar, a submersible automobile, a tape-recording wristwatch, a keyring that can give off electric shocks, and a cigarette case with a 2-way TV communicator. Oh, and The Director (Dan O'Herlihy) plays around with a rocket-launching umbrella in the lab, much to "Q"-girl Kelli's (Karen Purcill) dismay.
The villain of the piece is a KARTEL contractor named Chandler (the late Edie Adams),
a glamorous, middle-aged woman who likes to surround herself with young
male bodybuilders. She's working with a disgruntled entomologist (!)
who has bred a hybrid species of "devil locusts" that can strip a field
of crops in a matter of seconds, and whose bites are fatal to humans.
With the help of a pretty young entomologist (Barbara Rucker),
Torque and many of those aforementioned gadgets, Sloane manages to save
America's breadbasket from KARTEL's sinister plan to corner the world's
"Lady Bug" is a hoot, with an entirely
ludicrous – but amusing – plot and a great performance by Adams, who
seems to be enjoying her opportunity to play against her usual image,
with charm and a sly wit. Torque actually gets a little bit more to do
in this episode, rescuing Sloane from a grasshopper (!) and demonstrating a
few new accessories for his cybernetic hand. There's also a fun homage
to Hitchcock's North By Northwest
when a low-flying crop duster drops a load of poison gas on Sloane and
his lady faire in a field. Unfortunately, there's also a judo match
between Sloane and a henchman (played by Martin Kove), where it's clearly – even on my crappy copy of the show – a stunt double filling in for Conrad.
A fun episode. Two more to go!