The Forgotten Spy

The Billion Dollar Threat was a 1979 TV movie/pilot that starred Dale Robinette as American secret agent Robert Sands, who must foil the nefarious plan of mad scientist Horatio Black - played by none other than John Steed himself, Patrick Macnee - to destroy the ozone layer with a nuclear missile.

The movie was produced by TV veteran David Gerber (who tried a spy show again a year later with Once Upon A Spy), and co-starred Keenan Wynn, Ralph Bellamy, and Robert Tessier as a mechanical-handed henchman (de rigueur for super-villain henchmen of the time; see also Death Ray 2000/T.R. Sloane). The director was Barry Shear, an old pro with tons of television episodes under his belt.


I actually taped this one off of TV, so I watched it a number of times. I remember it as a pretty fair - if cheap - little Bondian adventure, written by Hammer Studios vet Jimmy Sangster (Deadlier Than The Male), who seemed to have a penchant for this type of stuff (He also penned the aforementioned Once Upon A Spy and one of the better episodes of  A Man Called Sloane).

I watched that old VHS tape a lot and dug it as a teenager who was just starting to become obsessed with James Bond and spy-fi. I wish I still had that tape.

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