Monday, October 12, 2015

TV review - "Spyforce" Ep 20 - "Reilly's Army" (1971) *** (warning: spoilers)

After the death of a coastwatcher in the opening sequence, Jack Thompson and Peter Sumner (whose German accent feels more pronounced here) are sent to New Guinea to force another coastwatcher to come home. He's played by Chips Rafferty in his last role - filmed after Wake in Fright, apparently - and it's a magnificent part: an old planter gone troppo in the sun, leading his native army (a couple of extras really). When he refuses to come home, the guys are sent to blow up a fuel dump. There's a subplot about Rafferty's wife giving information accidentally to an enemy agent.

This is an entertaining episode, surprisingly cynical - Cato basically engineers the mission to force Reilly to come home, to such a degree that he encourages Reilly's "army" to be wiped out... though he claims its the fault of Thompson and Sumner.

It's a decent script from Peter Schreck, based a little of Kurtz in Heart of Darkness. I was hoping for more of that, seeing Raffety go ga-ga, but he's relatively sane just a bit slack. It's great to see Rafferty acting up a storm and Schreck gives moments to support characters so their deaths actually mean something.

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