"Model Spy" is the fourteenth instalment of the Supermarionation television series Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons. First transmitted in the UK on Template:Start date on ATV Midlands, it was written by Bill Hedley and directed by Ken Turner.
In it, when the Mysterons threaten to kill a French intelligence agent-in-charge whose cover is as a fashion designer, Captain Scarlet, Captain Blue, and the Destiny and Symphony Angels go undercover to protect the target.
The Mysterons threaten to assassinate André Verdain. Publicly, Verdain is a little-known French fashion designer, but privately, he is the Controller of the European Area Intelligence Service in Paris. Colonel White suspects that an attempt on Verdain's life will most likely be made during a fashion show that he is due to host in Monte Carlo the next week. Colonel White assigns Captain Scarlet, Captain Blue, and the Destiny and Symphony Angels to an undercover mission to protect Verdain.
Captain Scarlet takes the cover of a PR officer; Captain Blue, that of a photographer, and both the Destiny and Symphony Angels, those of models attached to the House of Verdain. The Spectrum agents fly directly to Monte Carlo after Paris proves to be fog-bound. But alas, they are not the only ones acting undercover: two of Verdain's models, Helga and Gabrielle, have secretly been killed in a train derailment and reconstructed in the service of the Mysterons. When the Spectrum agents accompany Verdain on a luxury yacht cruise around Monte Carlo bay the next morning, Gabrielle's likeness sabotages a fuel release in the engine room. The heat from the motors causes the fuel to ignite, and all on board just manage to abandon ship before the yacht explodes.
Although Captain Scarlet advises that it be postponed, Verdain decides to go ahead with a press reception scheduled for that evening at the Hotel Imperial. An agent resembling Captain Black has recently been sighted in Europe, and Verdain is confident that he will make an appearance. At a cocktail party prior to the reception, Captain Scarlet receives positive proof that Gabrielle is a Mysteron agent when the model's likeness mentions that she and Helga flew to Monte Carlo from Paris the previous day when it was in fact fog-bound. At this moment, Captain Black, stationed on a maintenance cradle outside a window, shoots Verdain with a tranquilliser gun and the Helga likeness turns off the lights: in the confusion, Captain Black and his accomplice, abducting Verdain, escape the Hotel Imperial in a saloon car.
The Spectrum agents converge on the position of the Mysteron agents with the aid of a homing drug that Captain Scarlet had slipped into Verdain's drink. Although Captain Black throws a grenade into the path of Captain Scarlet's convertible, Captain Blue collects his comrade in a Spectrum Pursuit Vehicle, while the Destiny and Symphony Angels follow the course of the enemy car in a helicopter. Captain Black and the Helga likeness notice that they are trapped between the Spectrum team and a police roadblock. The Helga likeness throws Verdain out of the car and the hostage regains consciousness in time to see Captain Black, the Helga likeness, and the car vanish due to the influence of the Mysterons. Later, Verdain expresses his gratitude to his protectors, presenting the Destiny and Symphony Angels with gowns courtesy of the House of Verdain.
Lieutenant Green is seen, for the first and only time, wearing his Spectrum radio-cap aboard Cloudbase; he is wearing it when he is talking to Captain Scarlet and Captain BLue about the Mysteron threat.
Knowing Verdain's identity, Captain Scarlet says of himself and Captain Blue, "And we'd better drop our Spectrum code names. I'm Paul Metcalfe; this is Adam Svenson." This is one of a handful of times when Spectrum captains's real names are used.
The model of Monte Carlo bay had previously featured in the Thunderbirds episode "The Man From MI.5" and would make another reappearance in the Joe 90 episode "The Race." In a four-hour studio session held on Template:Start date, incidental music for both this episode and "The Trap" was recorded by Barry Gray with an orchestra of 16 musicians. Two pieces, "Models on a Train" and "Cocktail Music", are included on the commercial CD release of the Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons soundtracks.
Critics Chris Drake and Graeme Bassett wrote that "Model Spy's" theme of undercover espionage and its Monte Carlo setting added up to what they called a "'Man From U.N.C.L.E.'-type episode" which was a "break from the routine."
Drake and Bassett also praised the technical work during the climactic closing car-chase sequence, which featured "under-control" super-marionation puppets which were controlled by levers from underneath as opposed to strings from above their heads: they called these "convincing antics from a couple of stringless puppets towards the end."
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