Season 2 - originally broadcast
September 28, 1966
French: same as original
German: "Der Daddy aus Amerika" (The Daddy From America)
Writers: Mort Fine & David Friedkin
Director: Robert Butler
While vacationing in Rome with Kelly, Scotty gets involved and jailed over the impending marriage of his Italian foster-daughter.
Rafaella Carra (Sophia), Enzo Ceruscio (Gino), Caterina Boratto (Contessa), Umberto Dorsi (bartender), Also Bufi Landi (policeman), Fulvio Franco (Wife), Calisto Calisti (Husband), Carlo Risso (magistrate), Pietro Tordi (lawyer), Gordon Mitchell (Angelo), "Sophia" sung by Tommy Leonetti
FROM THE NOTEBOOKS - Rating
Synopsis: Scotty meets his adopted daughter in Rome.
Highlights/Comments: Offbeat story with good reparte and humorous, characturized, but very human characters. Brilliant performance by Bill Cosby as he first meets his daughter, and to Kelly “Keep your hands off my daughter.”
The “I Spy” Forum comments on "SOpHiA
June 3 2003 at 7:56 PM
From: Colonel Benkovski
First of all, great scenery and filming. Except for the jail and the courtroom which were on sets, it appears that all the other scenes were real location shots. And the music was very good, too, Italian airs with a touch of the Mancini-esque. Another highlight was that little car they drove, I still haven't figured out exactly what make it is.
As for the episode itself, it's funny and well paced, light weight and enjoyable. Scotty having had a foster daughter through an "adopt a child program" certainly fits his character, although if he had adopted her ten years ago, he must have been quite young (18 or 19) when he did so. But taking on that responsibility even during his college years and even with his own mother and sister to support is in character for him.
The plot of Sophia being in love with a roustabout like Gino, and Scotty having to get him out of trouble for Sophia is entertaining. The banter between the two guys is top notch in this one, with great lines throughout the show, especially in the jail scenes.
Gino seems to be something of a more light-hearted version of JP Belmondo's character from the movie "Breathless", without the violent nature. He's something of a stereotypical European male youth, egotistical, lazy, untrustworthy -- he thinks he deserves Sophia simply because "I am Gino!"
Sophia is sweet and headstrong, and for some weird reason, you can actually accept her being in love with Gino, she seems so tolerant. Even though we never get to the point where we can like Gino, we can accept that she does.
The only real tension is in the bistro where Kelly and Scotty confront the fence Angelo, to get the watch back. The knife fight between Kelly and Angelo was great, and might have been better used in a more serious episode, because the intensity seemed out of place in this one. Angelo, an American expatriate deserter was certainly menacing enough and his short scene was a
Another great scene is where they first meet Gino, and he says about Kelly "He looks so much older (than Scotty)", and Kelly retorts with "I've changed my mind. Hit him."
The rest of the episode is a series of comical adventures, with two separate scenes in jail, with extremely amusing dialogue in both of them, and the court room scenes, where their attorney, Vittorio, is hilariously inept, and the judge just as amusingly weary of the whole mess.
The ending, where Gino steals the gun and wants to take the ring again, never really has much tension, but I love the silent bit where Kelly grabs the gun and turns it back toward himself and away from Sophia. that sort of by play is taking place all through the episode. Especially as Scotty is "protecting"
Sophia from her "uncle" Kelly.
The funniest bit of all is the look on Kelly's face while Scotty is on his lap in the car -- absolutely priceless.
It's a breezy little episode with nothing really special about it, but fun and amusing to watch. It's not the best the show had to offer, of course, but it's well worth a B grade.
June 4 2003 at 3:20 AM
From: Tatia Loring
I did my part and watched "Sophia" this week-end, also. I had not seen it in a long time - and had the same reaction as you. It was a sweet, light, and charming episode - it didn't try to be more - and succeeded in being just that!
And Mr. Hagen's music was delightfully charming - it captured all the lightness and brightness of a sunny day on a Roman holiday!!
I, too, found Sophia (Raffella Carra) winsome and sweet and quite engaging. You can't help but like her. And I agree with the Colonel - you accept that she is actually in love with "I am Gino" - though his faults shine through all too loudly.
And what makes this episode so pleasantly delightful was not the whole, but the terrific little small scenes scattered here and there. One of the best (which the Col. also noted) was the scene where Scotty is driving into Rome with Sophia sitting on the smiling Kelly's lap. "Papa" Scotty is none to happy with this arrangement - and we next see Sophia driving the car with Scotty now sitting on Kelly's lap ... and what made this all so darling was the look on Kelly's face regarding this new arrangement - his expression was - to borrow from the Colonel - absolutely priceless.