Saturday, August 31, 2013

I Spy (TV Series) - Robert Culp (1965) - King Yin Lei, Hong Kong

Let's kick off the I Spy posts with the beginning of the episode entitled Affair in T'sien Cha. The location should be very familiar to anyone who has read either of my two HK-based blogs. Yes, it's our trusty Chinese-styled house above Wanchai - 8 years before it became the distant lair of the nefarious Han, and ten years after it was the abode of Clark Gable.


For those familiar with the series itself, you will know that the premise is that Robert Culp plays a tennis player who travels the world participating in competitions and Cosby is his coach - but of course the roles are just a cover for their real work as spies.

What I hadn't realised, and which I have to thank AP for making me aware of is that - as you can see - King Yin Lei used to have a (grass, no less) tennis court right at the front of the property, next to Stubbs Road! I had no idea until AP sent me these caps - anyway, sadly the court was buried under a land slip during a typhoon the following year (1966).

5 comments:

  1. Here is a link (provided by AP) which shows the scenes following the June 1966 landslides (you'll need to page down to comment #8)

    http://www.uwants.com/viewthread.php?tid=8222891&extra=&page=1

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  2. Very interesting. I'll have to see if I can find this to watch myself! Thanks to AP for sharing it with us all...

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    1. Indeed - I can tell you from the amount of screen caps AP has sent to me, this could keep me busy for the rest of the year. Some great stuff to see.

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  3. Just got done watching the full episode a little while ago. Most of it was pretty clearly filmed on sets in the US (probably a lot somewhere in Los Angeles.) And man, some of it is cringe-inducingly racist.

    I don't think Vera Miles was even in Hong Kong. Seems to me the cast was mostly in the US, with only Culp and Cosby making the trip to Hong Kong, where locals filled the remaining roles. (And a stand-in for Miles was used, who never gets near the camera, and mostly faces away from it.)

    Miles' scenes are all distinguished by the presence of faux-Chinese objects like wicker baskets in the background, or too-new-looking walls for the walled village.

    But yes, a good few scenes with *real* Hong Kong in it. Unlike more than a few flicks of that vintage where they are supposedly in HK but the entire film is done in the States.

    Would love to know where the walled village was -- I'm presuming somewhere on the original shoreline of Tolo Harbour, but I'm sure somebody can recognize the peaks and islands in the area. Haven't tried to figure it out myself.

    Strikes me that near the beginning of the episode, when they're supposedly on the train to Tai Po, the direction the scenery is moving on the seaward side of the train says they have to have been headed in the opposite direction, towards Tsim Sha Tsui. D'oh! ;-)

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    1. I am in the process of tracking the village down but it doesn't look like Tolo Harbour to me. I don't think there were any walled villages (at least of that type) in the Tai Po area - of course I could be wrong. I'm thinking perhaps further over towards Fanling. But that's just a guess of course.

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