Season 1 - originally broadcast
February 9, 1966
French: "Cuisine à la Turque" (Turkish Cooking)
German: "Die Gäste des Karafatma" (The Guests of the Karifatmas)
Writer: Eric Bercovici
Director: Paul Wendkos
Several internationally famous agronomists disappear in Mexico City, where they were expected to attend a conference.
Victor Buono (Karafatma), Franco Corsaro (Stefanello), Louis Mercier (De Pierrefeu), Nick Georgiade (1st Guard), Charles Horvath (2nd Guard), Rudolfo Hoyo (Beltran), David Renard (clerk), Pepe Hern (bellboy), Victor Millan (2nd clerk), Nestor Paiva (Del Gado), Waever Levy (unnamed man), Robert Hernandez (1st porter), Abel Franco (salesman), Andy Anza (2nd porter), Diana Sands (Dr. Rachel Albert)
FROM THE NOTEBOOKS - Rating
Synopsis: Scotty and three agronomists are kidnapped for sale.
Highlights/Comments: First half quite slow. Cos look great. Zippy music. Scotty's threat “I have a friend who has a habit of showing up when things get rotten." Kelly's lame "I've come to save you."
The “I Spy” Forum comments on "TURKISH DELIGHT"
Author: Colonel Boris Benkoski
Date: 10/3/01 9:42:05 AM
Turkish Delight - I had not seen this episode in many years until I got the dvd a few months ago, and this was only the second time I have watched it since getting the dvd. On the website D.P. lambastes this episode, calling it a "clunker" and a waste of time. While I don`t think it represents I Spy at it's best, I don't agree that it is an entire fiasco.
There are some nice elements in the show. It's the first episode in a non-Asian locale, and it`s the first time we actually see the guys entering a new country. Kelly is doing his usual journalist impersonation and Scotty is coming in the plane as a famous scientist. There is excellent use of the scenery of Mexico City and the Mexican country-side and west coast. And the best part of it is that Scotty gets a girlfriend for the first time (not counting Angel from the episode "the Loser", who was not attracted to him, nor he to her, he just felt pity for her.) It's refreshing to see Scotty be the lady`s man for a change, although he has an entire different approach to women than Kelly does, less suave, more cerebral. In fact, this one is really Cosby`s show, with Culp in only a few short scenes. Cosby`s scenes with Diana Sands (Dr. Albert) are very good and look very relaxed, showing his growth as an actor by this time in the series. Likewise the scenes between Kelly and officer Hernandez are enjoyable, Hernandez being both amusing in his pose as cab driver and likable as a cop. Kelly's frantic search for Scotty shows the tension as he worries for his friend. The final scene together on the dock is very amusing and has good word-play between the two.
The premise of the show isn`t a bad idea, disappearing scientists (similar to the plot of The Ipcress File). I think that hotel lobby was the same one as in The Barter, I know the elevators look the same. Anyway, the trunk idea is not new or fresh but works with the plot, and Karafatma`s plan to sell the scientists to China is far-fetched but not logically unacceptable. Scotty's bluff is an interesting part of Dr. Albert's "spilling the beans" scene. She comes across as naive and stubborn in spite of her intelligence. The knockout drops are another example of the frequent occasions when Scotty calls on his vast knowledge to save the day, like the bomb he made in "Cup of Kindness".
Buono is the weak link that gives this episode its bad rap. He seems far too campy and comic for I Spy, and would seem to fit better in a Man from UNCLE or Get Smart episode, or even The Avengers. But there is one saving element that makes it work here - he always, always, has a drink in his hand, and Buono plays the character as if he were an alcoholic. This makes it all make more sense, Karafatma is his eccentric self due to his alcohol consumption. This makes his lapses of logic and his gullibility at the end in letting his men drink the drugged wine more acceptable. So if you look at him as if he were a villain whose drinking habits make him erratic, the episode seems less campy and comic book like and a little closer to I Spy as we know it. In fact, viewed in this light, it becomes a much more sensible episode than Chrysanthemum.
So overall, I don't think the show is the mess that some of the other think it is. I`d grade it a C.
Date: 10/7/01 6:23:05 AM
Admittedly, this is my first post but I had to stand up for this episode and especially Mr. Buono who was taken from us much too soon.
This is one of my personal favorites for talent, the basic story and the very production itself. Mr. Hagen's flute piece, played during the scene where Karafatma explains his plans, is lovely and worthy of note. Cosby was much more at ease with the character and himself as an actor by then plus he had an excellent supporting cast. The confrontation scene where Scotty convinces Karafatma to let him continue to play Dr Smithfield is a real gem.
Personally, I thought Victor's performance was top notch. The way he played the part as if he was intoxicated reminded me of William Powell in The Thin man. Perhaps he wasn't as over the top as he was as Count Manzeppi on the Wild, Wild West or as King Tut on Batman but I'd like to see who could have done a better job in the role? (I loved him as Mr. Schubert on The Man from Atlantis and if you ever need a hearty laugh, play his “Heavy” album. He did a GREAT stand up act and was a fine performer in every other category. )