We were catching up on the newly released season 7 set of The FBI television series. It turns out there are *two* actors who played James Bond movie villains who appeared during the show’s 1971-72 season.
Louis Jourdan was the lead villain in The Minerva Tapes, the 12th episode broadcast that season. It was Jourdan’s third appearance in the series, all of which involved either espionage or international intrigue storylines.
In the story, Jourdan is the ringleader of a Communist spy ring operating in the United States. His daughter becomes involved with one of his operatives. Meanwhile, there’s a power struggle going on within the spy ring. Into this volatile situation, the FBI’s top operative, Inspector Lewis Erskine (Efrem Zimbalist Jr.) goes undercover.
It would end up being at least the fourth time that Zimbalist’s Erskine character would employ the actor’s Dandy Jim Buckley/Alfred the Butler voice to carry off the impersonation.
In the very next episode, Bitter Harbor, the actor who played the very first 007 film villain, Joseph Wiseman, who played the title character in 1962’s Dr. No, was the lead guest star.
Wiseman plays a respected leader of West Coast fisherman who has agreed to a massive loan by mobsters. The mob is looking to take over. Zimbalist’s Erskine dispatches his deputy, special agent Tom Colby (William Reynolds) to go undercover.
As it turns out, these season 7 episodes were never shown in syndication. A few episodes from the season were made available several years ago by AOL. But the new season 7 set, for the most part, is the first time these episodes have been made available since they were shown by ABC.
EARLIER POST: THE FBI SEASON 7: END OF AN ERA