Plot & Details
Though not quite as bad as it might have been, the 1994 "reunion" TV-movie I Spy Returns was some distance removed from great. Written by Michael Norell, this two-hour film is set some 25 years after the conclusion of the original I Spy weekly series. Former secret agent Alexander "Scotty" Scott (Bill Cosby), now a romance-language professor at a tweedy California college, is aghast to learn that his feisty daughter Nicole (Salli Richardson) has signed up as a spy with Special Services. Making a beeline to the organization's director Kelly Robinson (Robert Culp), who'd once been his partner in the espionage business, Scotty demands that Nicole be bounced from the program. Kelly merely chuckles and replies that the girl couldn't be in safer hands: Her partner is the organization's most gifted and resourceful young agent-Kelly's own son Ben (George Newbern). Realizing that he will never be able to win an argument with his old pal Kelly, Scotty agrees to join Robinson in surreptitiously supervising Nicole and Ben as they head to Vienna to tackle their first assignment: Providing protection for defecting Russian scientist Cherbakov (Nikalous Parlya) and his wife (Lynsey Baxter). When they discover that their former adversary Baroodi (Jonathan Hyde) is also in Vienna, Kelly and Scotty take an active hand in matters-and the results are, if not hilarious, certainly diverting. The film's high points include the lengthy "bickering banter" exchanges between old pros Culp and Cosby. I Spy Returns originally aired as a "CBS Movie Special" on February 3, 1994.