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Directory of I Spy Fans
Are you a diehard fan of the original I Spy television series?
If so, I hope you'll help in the creation of a worldwide directory of aficionados. A similar project was undertaken by the webmaster of a site (which I much admire) for a similar series, and the result, over time, was a network of like-minded individuals, many of whom corresponded on a regular basis about their "obsession."


So here's how it works. Email ispy65@lycos.com with your name (first name or alias will do), geographical location, contact information (optional), special items in your I Spy collection, a brief description of how and why you became an I Spy fan, a want list (if you have one), and even I Spy-related anecdotes.
Your trusty webmaster will go first. I'm counting on YOU to see to it that I'm not left alone in here for too long!
Mark Ellis (JAxler2@aol.com)
Hi My name is Mark Ellis, I live in Newport, RI and I'm a professional writer. I've been visiting this great site for about six months now.
I guess it's my turn to launch into a testimonial about how much I Spy has meant to me since I was 10 years old. I still have vivid memories of watching "So Long Patrick Henry" and being entranced even though I didn't quite understand all the socio-political subtleties of it.
The following year I had a lengthy hospital stay due to a life-threatening illness...it was there that I saw "The Warlord" for the first time, which to me became the quintessential I Spy episode. It may have been a little light on the Kelly/Scotty interplay but the drama and heartache in that episode (not to mention the exotic settings) and the wonderfully elegant final scene and elegiac last line burned itself into my brain forever.
It was shortly after that, while recuperating at home I began writing, initially pastiches of Kelly and Scotty types in a Man From UNCLE kind of setting. I often wrote listening to the first I Spy soundtrack LP. Years later, I couldn't remember those days without hearing "Hi-Yo, Scotty" in my head.
I was extremely impressed by all of the episodes Robert Culp wrote for the series. I was already familiar with him as am actor before I Spy because of the Outer Limits episodes, particularly Harlan Ellison's "Demon With A Glass Hand." When I wrote, I found myself emulating what I could remember of his pacing and dialogue. One of the very first things I ever completed was an unabashed steal of "Home To Judgment"...except in my version it wasn't hit men surrounding the house but vampires (I had recently read Richard Matheson's I Am Legend, see, so I--aw, you get the idea).
Over a period of time I realized that Robert Culp was a hell of writer. His two-part Rifleman episode was not only a very memorable segment of that series, it had disturbed me deeply as a child (I don't think I realized he scripted it until watching the reruns one night in the late 60s).
At one time or another in my life, I owned every piece of I Spy merchandise that was produced...not that there was a lot of it. But I had all the books, the comics and all the TV Guides and any articles I could find. Unfortunately, my two prized soundtrack LPS were ruined in a waterbed leak in the mid-70s.
Well of course I eventually grew up. Even so, I always watched I Spy reruns and eventually my daughter became a fan, too. I also became a professional writer...first for newspapers, then copy-writing, then comics and finally novels. Over the years, Kelly and Scotty had become character archetypes in my head. They had lived there for so long I had forgotten where they came from.
About seven and a half years ago, I was contracted to create a science-fiction adventure series for a publisher of "men's adventure" novels.* Because of the perceived nature of the audience (truck drivers with third grade educations) and the setting (post nuclear war), I wasn't too crazy about taking the project on. But I was told by the editor that more than likely the series wouldn't last more than 4 books (as had the previous dozen series they had launched in the preceding five years), so I could move on to other things within a year.
Well, okay. For the lead characters I drew on my archetypes--by now quite unconsciously--of Kelly and Scotty, warped them around a little and they became Kane and Grant. That was in 1996.
Jump ahead now to November of 2002. I've been writing Outlanders, the series that wasn't supposed to last more than 4 books for over six years, 26 novels at that point. I'm on the verge of burning out. I dread writing the next installment. I wonder why I've stayed with the thing for so long--it sure ain't the money or the glamour.
My mind drifts and I think back to the days when I hammered out my I Spy/Man From UNCLE pastiches in my bedroom. The brass of "Hi-Yo, Scotty" echoes in my head and I think, "Hey, why haven't those I Spy soundtracks ever been reissued on CD like the original Hugo Montenegro UNCLE soundtracks?"
I check on the Internet and to my astonishment, find that the original ORIGINAL I Spy soundtrack is about to be released by Silver Age Classics (bless 'em!). I order it immediately. When it arrives and I start listening to it, I become 11-12 years old again. All of sudden, I'm itching to write the next installment of the Outlanders series.
My output and enthusiasm increases. It's very weird. I start ordering the I Spy DVDs...of course the first ones are the Robert Culp collection. As I listen to the first Robert Culp commentary, he makes a statement that puts everything in perspective for me: " One of my first fantasies in childhood, seven or eight years old, when I wanted to become a cartoonist, was the comic strip Terry and the Pirates, by the immortal Milton Caniff. I collected everything I could get my hands on, and it seemed to me that I SPY was the closest thing I had ever seen to that tone, that spirit of a kind of noir-heightened realism that I so loved in Terry and the Pirates."
I suddenly realized one of the main reasons I'd stayed with Outlanders for so long was that it was the closest thing to I Spy I had ever been involved in or was likely to be. That was the epiphany for me and it took Robert Culp to trigger it. So many little things in the Outlanders series (I even titled one of the novels Tigers of Heaven!) had been directly inspired by I Spy, particularly the episodes he scripted.
Well, now to wrap up this tale...I developed the urge to contact Mr. Culp if for nothing else but to say thank you for the inspiration and influence his work had provided me. But, at my age ...edging closer to 50 than to 40, I felt a little funny about it. I mean, I knew people who knew him, various writers and such and I suppose I could have gone through them. But I had never used them to do the fan thing before. Besides I understood Mr. Culp valued his privacy highly and I didn't want to put him on the spot: "Hi, Mr. Culp...David Gerrold gave me your phone number--"
Finally, I decided what the hell. I got the address of his management agency and sent him a copy of "The Warlord" script and a couple of my novels, as well as a letter. I asked him if would mind signing the script for me.
In a relatively short period of time, I received the script, with a nice personalized message, thanking me for the books and also pointing out that he did NOT write the teaser in the script (which has been transcribed on the site here) and noted, "Thank God it was never used!"
By the way, this was all within the last month or so.
He also included an 8X10 glossy of him as a disheveled Kelly from " The Warlord", also autographed with a personalized message.Mr. Culp only cemented my 35 year long impression of him as a gracious gentleman and class act. Needless to say, both items have become treasures, right up there with my original art from Will Eisner, Jim Mooney, Don Heck and other comics greats. And before anybody asks, there is no way will either the photograph or the script ever show up on Ebay.
So anyhow, there's my I Spy testimonial. I'll keep alert for the 40th anniversary bash and I certainly hope I can attend...and I hope Mr. Culp can as well.
PS: If anybody is interested in the Outlanders series, it's written under the "house name" of James Axler. Check out Jamesaxler.com for more information.
[added 8.25.03]
Jonathan Andrew Sheen (jsheen@leviathanstudios.com)
I was a child during "I Spy's" original run, but enjoyed it even then, and my love -- and respect -- for the series has only grown since. By the way, if you're in range of Long Beach, California, and are free Saturday, August 9 & Sunday, August 10, you might want to attend "SpyFest" at the Queen Mary Exhibit Hall. Robert Culp is one of the featured guests. (He's just been signed, so isn't yet listed on their web page: http://www.spyfest.org/ ) I bet you'd both be thrilled to say "Hello." I've managed to pick up the first three John Tiger novels, with the fourth on the way. Of got three of the DVDs -- including "Warlord"! -- and an off-cable taped copy of "I Spy Returns," which I agree is a disappointment, but God, do I love the ending, with Scotty and his wife! What can I say? I became a fan of '60s-style spy adventures through James Bond -- liking the novels more than the movies -- and, while I hold fond memories of "Mission: Impossible" and even "The Man From U.N.C.L.E.", "I Spy" stands head and shoulders above the rest, with its hip, smart dialogue and underlying seriousness. I'm sort of re-discovering my love for the series, and am eager to find more folks who remember it.
[added 8.25.03]
desirae (desirae98042@yahoo.com)
Have been an I Spy fan since the series originally aired. While I was not able to watch too much of the original run, because I was very young and it was on very late for one so young, it still made a huge impression on me. I watched it in reruns for as long as I could find them, which was not very long, if I remember correctly. Then as an adult, my continued obsession left me checking the internet every few months to see if I could find anyone else out there. Then I found the DVDís, my family thinks I have disowned them, and I am in heaven. I also found more people like me! I am amazed sometimes at the effect that this show had on so many people that I know, and countless others that I do not. I live in the Pacific Northwest, and canít wait to go to Mexico or someplace equally as cool to see other I Spy fans. 2005 seems so far away though....
[added 3.8.03]
D'Ranger (psi314@yahoo.com)
Saw bits of the series now and then long ago when adolescent. always loved it and will start building a collection now that's available. got the bug to see what's out there having heard the hoopla on the new movie though not seen after seeing the trailers, joined a yahoo group but not much action. this one has alot, also liked the I Spy convention idea and would attend. I also am in the San Francisco area having heard of an I Spy trip in the area. Keep up the fine work and writings. Anything on all things I Spy is appreciated. I marvel at those characters, acting, music theme, stories, etc. more now than ever. Hope this database continues to grow as 2005 approaches.
[added 12.7.02]
Mark Robinson (Srmark901@aol.com)
Wilmington, Delaware
I was in high school when "I Spy" first aired. However, I did not get to watch the original run. In the Summer of 1967, while on vacation with a cousin, he introduced me to: I SPY. (The Trouble With Temple, rerun). I was well acquainted with Bill Cosby, having memorized his comedy routines: Tonsils, Go-Carts, The Chicken Heart; but just how did this funny guy become a spy?
When I Spy went off the air, it appeared every afternoon in reruns. I watched them all and immediately became hooked. I compiled my own list of episodes, writers, directors, and guest stars. I would tape record episodes. (I still have some audio tapes that are 30 years old.)
For years I assumed that I was the only I Spy-aholic in existence. Then came the internet and the I SPY DEFINITIVE SITE. I have logged on and even contributed some comments to that site. Thought it was time that I logged on here and joined the rest of the gang.
I have long hoped for a book that would chronicle the I SPY story and include interviews with the stars, the writers, and anyone still around who could recount their I SPY experience.
A gathering of fellow I SPY afficionados would be fantastic.
[added 11.22.02]
Herbie Rimstead (Srmark901@aol.com)
I was in high school when "I Spy" first aired. However, I didnot get to watch the original run. In the Summer of 1967, while on vacation with a cousin, he introduced me to: I SPY.
(The Trouble With Temple, rerun). I was well acquainted with Bill Cosby, having memorized his comedy routines: Tonsils, Go-Carts, The Chicken Heart; but just how did this funny guy become a spy?
When I Spy went off the air, it appeared every afternoon in reruns. I watched them all and immediately became hooked. I compiled my own list of episodes, writers, directors, and guest stars. I would tape record episodes. (I still have some audio tapes that are 30 years old.)
For years I assumed that I was the only I Spy-aholic in existence. Then came the internet and the I SPY DEFINITIVE SITE. I have logged on and even contributed some comments to that site. Thought it was time that I logged on here and joined the rest of the gang.
I have long hoped for a book that would chronicle the I SPY story and include interviews with the stars, the writers, and anyone still around who could recount their I SPY experience.
A gathering of fellow I SPY afficionados would be fantastic.
[added 11.21.02]
Jason Manning (ispy65@lycos.com)
The Woodlands,Texas
I was not quite a teenager when I SPY first aired on NBC, and I was instantly hooked. I started writing short stories based on the characters Kelly Robinson and Alexander Scott. (None have survived the passage of years, and that's probably just as well!) I was an avid reader (over and over and over again!) of the John Tiger novels. I have since become a professional writer (though not of spy stories). I don't have a want list because the one thing I want I can't have -- the scrapbook of I SPY-related clippings that I put together as a child. It was lost in one of my many moves -- a tragedy of epic proportions! My most prized I SPY possession is the promo poster that used to hang in my room over 35 years ago; it's on the wall right in front of me. Different room, of course, but the same poster, under glass now, a bit frayed around the edges, but then so am I!
[added 11.18.02]