1980s 'Masquerade' shows how hard spies had it


Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/11/26/intro-to-1980s-masquerade.html


As a former Wichitan, it’s fun to see Kirstie Alley referenced in something like this.


And if this hadn’t been cancelled, Rod Taylor never would have gone on to OUTLAWS, where a Wild West gang was transported almost a century forward into modern-day Houston (along with the sheriff chasing them) and start a private detective agency together. Like one does.

Rod Taylor’s agent was clearly high as hell in the 80s.


That looks… terrible.

And curiously bus-centric, for something that’s trying to be about international excitement and glamor.


I suspect real-life spies are more likely to be issued a bus pass than a tricked-out Aston Martin, but it does tend to undersell the glamor a bit.


Rod Taylor could never get too far from a time machine!


“What’s the pitch?”
“Spy themed soft-porn bus trip!”
“Lay off the coke, Larry.”


Hey! I remember it!
In the late eighties in south america they showed it as a filler at midnight, just before closing emissions.


Omg I had the camera at 0:45 when I was a kid. It took 110 film cartridges.

…Ha! They’re handing off a 110 cart at 1:03. Super high tech spy gear, that.

“You need to get this to Langley ASAP.”
“What’s on it?”
“A dozen blurry pictures of some kids trying to jump over an old tree stump on their BMX bikes.”


I think it had something to do with the bus being the mobile headquarters disguised as a normal tour bus. Not quite a TARDIS, but definitely a typical “just happens to have the Deus ex Machina that the plot needed on board” device.

It’s the sort of show the kids in Stranger Things would have watched and thought it was pretty cool. Cause, yanno, I probably thought it was pretty cool, assuming I could get my parents to turn to it. I recall them already feeling like letting me watch Galactica was concession enough.


But watching Galactica 1980 was a punishment by any stretch of the imagination!


I remember feeling annoyed by this TV show because Kirstie Alley took this job instead of reprising her role as Saavik in Star Trek 3…

I still watched it, though. The pickings on TV we’re pretty slim at the time.


Did Kirstie Alley in Runaway not make up for that?
Come on, it had Tom Selleck AND Gene Simmons in it too!


Good lord, I remember this! It was shown in Australia in (I think) 1985 or thereabouts - probably as a fill in over Christmas where regular shows went on hiatus and the networks (all two of them) bought in whatever cheap crap they could find from overseas.


Written and directed by Michael Crichton, in perhaps his most scientifically plausible moment!


Wow. Apple phone.

Wonder how many cores it had.


Well I at least saw the show opening once as the song was familiar so all I can say is best I can remember is I watched it but that is about it.

There was a lot of mid and late 80’s stuff I missed thanks to school though.




She’d just kicked drugs and got hooked on Scientology.


Yep, out of the frying pan and into the fire. It’s not really that we “love her”, it’s just that aside from Don Johnson or Tom Batuik/Funky Winkerbean, she’s all we’ve got.

Oops, almost forgot Dennis Rader, the BTK killer.