A Man Called Sloane, "Architect of Evil." (Original air date: December 15th, 1979.)
Worthington Pendergast (Michael Pataki)
is the titular architect, who has conceived a "perfect city" for KARTEL
to build and rule in an undisclosed location. Who will construct – and
ultimately, live in – this city? Well, Pendergast has a typically
complicated and insane plan to solve that problem: using a ray projector
that can increase the mass of objects, he intends to sink a ship
carrying nuclear waste which will then contaminate a large portion of
the West Coast of America. This will dispossess millions of people, who
KARTEL (will somehow) then draft as slave labor to build their city.
for Pendergast, the unique "blue crystal" that makes the ray weapon
work, has been stolen from his home safe along with his other valuables,
by a cat burglar named Harry Helms (John Aprea),
who has no idea what it is and thinks it's worthless. Fortunately, UNIT
had Pendergast under observation and caught the thief on film, so
Sloane is able to track him down, and ultimately impersonate him (an
impersonation which, as usual, isn't very effective) in order to
infiltrate Pendergast's operation...
The story is
nonsensical, but for some reason, it plays out pretty well. Pataki's
villain is suitably over-the-top, executing his own henchmen with sonic
deathtraps and playing Bach's tocatta and fugue in D minor
on the organ to relieve stress. There's a sequence set in a health
club where burglar Helms attempts to kill Sloane in a manner highly
reminiscent of the Shrublands scene in Thunderball, and an interesting – and unusual - climax featuring Sloane, Torque, a helicopter, and a lot of soapsuds.
Well directed by veteran TV and B-movie (Cujo, Alligator) director Lewis Teague,
"Architect of Evil" is a satisfyingly silly but entertaining hour of
spy-fi adventure, and is probably one of the best in the series.
Only one more episode to go!