I Spy

Season 1 Episode 1

So Long Patrick Henry

Aired Wednesday 10:00 PM Sep 15, 1965 on NBC
out of 10
User Rating
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Episode Summary

So Long Patrick Henry

Robinson and Scott are sent to recover an American defector in Hong Kong who may or may not be disenchanted with his lot.

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  • Culp writes a script that is a little light on action but it's a great Cold War caper.

    "I Spy" premiered on TV with "So Long Patrick Henry," a relatively action-free but smart story about loyalty and freedom and with a look at front-line Cold War soldiers who were more 9-5 than 007.

    Want proof that "I Spy" wasn't your typical cloak-and-dagger series? Kelly and Scotty are on what is essentially a PR mission: trying to persuade a high profile defector to return to the States. Granted, they get the chance for some shooting and derring-do, but the mission boils down to a conversation. From the start, Culp and Cosby have the chemistry that helped to define the series. You never doubt that these guys are friends who have worked together for years and would die for the other. Robert Culp wrote this episode and did a fantastic job. Rather than turn the script into a star turn for Kelly Robinson, Culp gives a lot of meaty material to Cosby and writes some terrific guest spots for Ivan Dixon and Cicely Tyson. Not that Culp is left out in the cold - he gets a bevy of quips and a karate fight at the climax.moreless
Ivan Dixon

Ivan Dixon

Elroy Browne

Guest Star

Cicely Tyson

Cicely Tyson

Princess Amara

Guest Star

Richard Loo

Richard Loo

Mr. Tsung

Guest Star

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (4)

    • Scott: Looks like you got the world by the tail, Elroy.
      Elroy: Yeah. Well, you know what happened to that guy who grabbed the tiger by the tail. But in the meantime, it's quite a ride.

    • Elroy: I'm the first bonus baby in the Cold War. That's my politics, sweetheart.
      Scott: You did it for money.
      Elroy: Yeah, that's the general idea. So what's that tone coming out of your mouth, who do you think you are, huh?
      Kelly: He knows who he is, Elroy. It's you we're not too sure about.

    • Kelly: Don't you ever remember to bring a silencer?
      Scott: Ruins the line of my suit.
      Kelly: (ruefully) Mine, too.

    • Scott: We sat down, smiled, looked at his Japanese watch. Then he yawned, got up, and he said, "So long, Patrick Henry."
      Mr. Laswell: You disliked him intensely?
      Scott: I enjoy being made a fool of when I'm pleading for my country. It gives me a warm glow all over. Now, what's the assignment? You want his head on a platter? I think I can arrange that.

  • NOTES (2)

    • NBC's Far Eastern News Staff receive a thanks for their cooperation in the end credits.

    • While writing the screenplay, Robert Culp based the Elroy Browne character upon Rafer Johnson, the Olympic decathlon champion. Culp originally had Sammy Davis Jr. in mind to play Elroy Browne, but realized that a larger, more athletic actor would be required for the role.


    • Kelly: He saw Goldfinger twenty-seven times.
      Referencing the 1964 James Bond movie--the third in the series--based on the 1959 novel by Ian Fleming. The title character, Auric Goldfinger, is obsessed with gold and comes up with a scheme to radioactively contaminate the gold in Fort Knox to increase the value of his own horde of gold a hundredfold. The movie was the first Bond film to win an Academy Award (Best Sound Effects Editing), and introduced many of the tropes that the Bond films would become famous for.

    • Elroy: Don't pay any attention to Charlie Chan here.

      Referencing the fictional private investigator created by Earl Derr Biggers in 1926. Initially a detective with the Hawaiian police, Chan soon took cases throughout the world. The character moved on to radio, movies, comic strips, and television, and found his greatest success when portrayed by non-Asian actors such as the Swedish Warner Oland. The character, often considered stereotypical and racist, has been the subject of much controversy over the years.

    • Scott: Probably never looked under my shirt to see this big red S, have you?

      Referencing the comic book character created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster in Action Comics #1 (June 30, 1938). Arguably the most recognized comic book character in the world, Baby Kal-El was rocketed from the doomed planet Krypton, landed on Earth, and gains superpowers under the yellow sun. Assuming the identity of mild-manner Clark Kent, Superman fights a neverending battle for Truth, Justice, and the American way, and has appeared on radio, television, cinema, video games, and novels among other media.

    • The title is an allusion to Patrick Henry's famous "give me liberty or give me death" quote because of this episode being about getting an expatriate to return to the US.