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

Friday, June 10, 2016


The Billion Dollar Threat was a 1979 TV movie/pilot that starred Dale Robinette as American secret agent Robert Sands, who must foil the nefarious plan of mad scientist Horatio Black - played by none other than John Steed himself, Patrick Macnee - to destroy the ozone layer with a nuclear missile. The movie was produced by TV veteran David Gerber (who tried a spy show again a year later with Once Upon A Spy), and co-starred Keenan Wynn, Ralph Bellamy, and Robert Tessier as a mechanical-handed henchman (de rigueur for supervillain henchmen of the time; see also Death Ray 2000/T.R. Sloane).

I actually taped this one off of TV, so I watched it a number of times. I remember it as a pretty fair - if cheap - little Bondian adventure, written by Hammer Studios vet Jimmy Sangster (Deadlier Than The Male), who seemed to have a penchant for this type of stuff (He also penned the aforementioned Once Upon A Spy and one of the better episodes of  A Man Called Sloane).

I watched that old VHS tape a lot and dug it as a teenager who was just starting to become obsessed with James Bond and spy-fi. I wish I still had that tape.


El Vox said...

Here's one from around the same year The London Connection:

Fun film.

Paul R. McNamee said...

I remember that one, vaguely. More, I remember describing it to my older brother, who pointed out that the plot borrowed heavily from the original MOONRAKER novel.

Christopher Mills said...

Except for the presence of a rocket, there's little similarity.

Anonymous said...

I do not know if they are available to you but every few months for the last year or so either the Sony movie channel or the MGM movie channel (I think it is the Sony one) puts 'Billion Dollar Threat' in their schedule rotation and they run it two or three times within the month. They - either Sony or MGM - also seem to run 'Once Upon A Spy' in rotation around the same time (but no one ever runs 'Dr. Scorpion' which is the one I really want to see).