Season 2 - originally broadcast
October 26, 1966
French: "L'épervier" (same as English)
Writers: Walter Black & Marion Hargrove
Director: Paul Wendkos
The youthful ruler of a foreign country visits Las Vegas on a vacation but it is no holiday for Kelly and Scotty when they are entrusted with the safety of the boy, who becomes an assassin's target.
Walter Koenig (Bobby Seville), Clive Clerk (Bashik), Michael Constantine (Colonel Halouf), Andrea Darvi (Nezhnet), Steve Gravers (Patterson), David Renard (The Aide)
FROM THE NOTEBOOKS
Synopsis: They become unwilling bodyguards for a young Arab.
Highlights/Comments: Scotty's “the sharpness of your scapel” and to the off-putting boy “You say you're a king. I wouldn't trust you to go to the supermarket and buy a jar of yogurt.”
The “I Spy” Forum comments on "SPARROWHAWK"
Author: Colonel Benkovski
Date: January 21 2002 at 9:00 PM
Sparrowhawk. The first of our second season episode reviews. One little comment, you can see a slight physical change in Culp in the second season, he is wearing his hair longer, and has put on a bit of weight since the end first season. Cosby looks pretty much the same, his appearance doesn't really change till the third season.
This episode is not particularly action-packed, only the end scene in the helicopter and the short boat chase on the lake provide any action. In fact it is a almost a character study, of the young king and title character.
And as a character study, it is interesting and well done. The king is young, headstrong and spoiled, but essentially a decent and well intentioned youth. The script gives him a lot of personality, explores his psyche, and we see him mature during the episode. He is supposedly 16 years old, thought the actor Clive Clerk looks to be about 6 or so years older than that. No matter he plays the part well, and allows you to like the king in spite of his immature tantrums and selfishness.
The fictional kingdom of Q'adrah gives the series it's first mention of the labyrinthine politics of the middle east, and how important that region was already becoming to the US foreign policy.
The queen was a very good character too, very young, very pretty and much more mature than the king. Her scenes are enjoyable, and I would really like to know more about the actress - Andrea Darvi, what became of her in the succeeding years, she looked as if she probably grew into a very lovely woman.
Bobby Saville, was a bit a caricature, but fit the plot well, and you really were kept guessing about just how he fit into the scheme of things. I thought, however, that by 1966, teenagers, even kings, were more interested in rock stars than in crooners in cabarets.
The Colonel guardian was played well, too, in a somewhat underwritten role.
The key scenes were when Kelly and Scott talk with the king, getting him to open up and show a more mature and likable nature. I especially like Scotty's speech to the king by the pool, a classic, and it set up the desert scenes well. Amusing scenes were the opening golf scene (I use Scotty's line about "ground ball to the shortstop" too often for my liking when I play golf... and also the tag line was amusing, as is the short line about the grapes, and when Kelly learns that he is speaking to the queen. I also like it when he king teaches the agents about desert survival.
The desert scenery was beautiful, and there was some good shots of Vegas, too. But why was the king staying in what looked like a middle class suburb, instead of a more easily protected penthouse in Vegas?
Overall, the whole episode is likable and entertaining, and has some depth to it, but a lot of it kind of routine and by-the-numbers. The final helicopter escape is too easy, as is the garage escape from he CO fumes.
But the well written dialogue and the well drawn out guest roles make it a bit more memorable than it might have been. I give it a B.
Author: Billy Bob Rover
Date: January 22 2002 at 5:27 PM
Political Background: Like Col. Benkovski, I too applaud the series for delving into middle-eastern politics, even if ever so slightly. Only the following year, the region would explode in the six-day war, after which Israel would emerge as the strongest supporter of US strategic interests in the Middle East, and become by far the single greatest recipient in the world of US foreign aid. Of course, the US has also, since the late 1960s, given support to several autocratic regimes in the region, including Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Egypt, Jordan, Yemen, Iran, and Morocco, often at the expense of the human rights of the citizens there. It is interesting to speculate, therefore, on what sort of country Q'drah was supposed to be, and perhaps someone who has seen SPARROWHAWK more recently than I can recall some revealing lines of dialogue in this regard. Was it supposed to be westernizing, and adopting neo-liberal economic policies? Was there any mention of oil resources? I can recall no more than one or two lines of dialogue from the episode that even refer to the geo-politics of the region, but that's typical for network television (the real US intelligence operations just prior to this episode had been in Indonesia, the Dominican Republic, Greece, and Congo).