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  • 'The Man from U.N.C.L.E.' was an bona fide television phenomena when it first aired, in 1964. The brainchild of producer Norman Felton, who was a fan of Ian Fleming's 'James Bond' novels, the missions of the United Network Command for Law and Enforcement (U.N.C.L.E.), would be set on an international scale, pitted against SPECTRE-like THRUSH, an organization composed of terrorists, anarchists, and megalomaniacs. In the original concept, a 'civilian' would be drawn into the intrigue, each week, to aid U.N.C.L.E. on a mission, and provide a link that viewers could relate to.

    Felton sent his notes to Ian Fleming, asking the author to create a name for the series' hero, and Fleming came up with 'Napoleon Solo', the last name 'lifted' from a gangster character from 'Goldfinger'. He offered a few other minor suggestions, and gave Felton his blessing on the endeavor. With a 'pedigree' like this, how could the series fail?

    Veteran writer Sam Rolfe came on board to write the pilot script and co-produce, and an excellent cast was assembled. Oscar-nominee Robert Vaughn, who'd worked with Felton on the series, 'The Lieutenant', was cast as Solo; young Scot actor David McCallum, fresh from THE GREAT ESCAPE, would play the supporting role of fellow agent Illya Kuryakin; and, in a casting coup, legendary character actor Leo G. Carroll, who'd portrayed a spy chief in Alfred Hitchcock's NORTH BY NORTHWEST, would assume the same function for U.N.C.L.E. (Getting Carroll required some creativity; while his 'official' birth date was listed as 1892, he was actually born in 1887, and NBC would never have permitted a nearly 80-year old series regular...Felton stuck with '1892', and made his scenes as easy as possible, which worked, as Carroll survived the entire series' run, not passing away until 1972).

    Shot in black and white for the first season, and featuring a marvelous 'bulletproof glass' opening sequence, with a majestic, John Barry-influenced theme (by Jerry Goldsmith), 'U.N.C.L.E.' debuted in 1964 as both FROM Russia WITH LOVE and GOLDFINGER were in theaters, and soon became a major hit...then reached unprecedented heights, when McCallum, with his 'Beatles'-like haircut, captured the attention of younger fans caught up with the 'British Invasion' of Rock music, and became an overnight sex symbol nationwide. McCallum's role was quickly 'beefed-up' to co-star status, and U.N.C.L.E.-mania had begun!

    With a terrific mix of action, tongue-in-cheek humor, and what NBC would allow for sex, the first season offered many memorable moments, including the first appearance of future 'Star Trek' stars William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy, together, in an episode (Shatner was the heroic 'civilian' called in to aid U.N.C.L.E., Nimoy was the villain's henchman).

    NBC was very pleased with their hit series, and Vaughn and McCallum were soon doing 'cameos' in other series, as well as promotions for the Peacock Network. One of the first 'primetime' series to be extensively marketed, a line of U.N.C.L.E. merchandise appeared, with dolls, toy guns, lunch boxes, comic books, model kits, cologne, clothing, and more filling store shelves. It was a heady time for everyone!

    For the second season (1965-66), 'U.N.C.L.E.' was produced in color, and a 'guest' list of legendary stars lined up for appearances on the series, but despite respectable ratings, the overall quality of the show fluctuated, with some episodes downright silly. Just as the 'Bond' films peaked in popularity in 1965, with THUNDERBALL, then began to decline as the 'craze' subsided, the novelty of 'U.N.C.L.E.' began to wear off, and new 'line' producers were more interested in comedy and campiness, discarding, by season's end, any 'edge' the series first had. By the third season (1966-67), 'camp' was the rule; a spin-off, 'The Girl from U.N.C.L.E.', flopped; and the writing was on the wall that the series was on it's way out.

    The producers made a last-ditch attempt to return the more dramatic elements to the series at the start of it's fourth season, in 1967, discarding the campiness, and, unfortunately, nearly all of the humor, as well, but the newly 'serious' 'U.N.C.L.E.' had lost it's audience, and the show was canceled in early 1968.

    The impact of 'The Man from U.N.C.L.E.' cannot be minimized. It paved the way for 'The Wild, Wild, West', 'Get Smart', 'Mission Impossible', and all the other 'spy' shows that followed in it's footsteps, became a 'cult' favorite after cancellation that is still generating interest, to this day (with successful conventions, a 'reunion' TV-movie, and a steady stream of fan mail continuing to be sent to Vaughn and McCallum, 35 years after the final episode first aired), and there is talk of a feature film in the works.

    And, as we fans will always remember, without the cooperation of the United Network Command for Law and Enforcement, none of this would be possible!
  • spacelord19 March 2001
    The Man From U.N.C.L.E. is arguably one of the greatest shows of the Sixties and definitely the best American spy show. It blended tongue in cheek humour with action and adventure for an end result that was extremely entertaining. Unfortunately, all good things cannot last. The first season (when it was still shot in black and white) and the second season (the first one shot in colour) place The Man From U.N.C.L.E. among the best television has to offer. All of this changed with the third season, when the series became so silly that watching its episodes became nearly unbearable. The show recovered somewhat in its abbreviated fourth season (it would be cancelled midway through), but by that time The Man From U.N.C.L.E. had lost its charm. Though the fourth season episodes are watchable, they lack the humour and pinache of the first two seasons. Regardless, The Man From U.N.C.L.E. is a testament to what Sixties television could do at its very finest.
  • This show which debuted on NBC in September 1964 was the first movie or show to cash in on what was becoming the "James Bond Phenomenon". With only two Bond films released and the blockbuster "Goldfinger" to be released in the US at Christmas time "The Man from UNCLE" was the first introduction to secret agents for many people. Each week Napoleon Solo and Illya Kuryakin saved the world or part of it from the evils of Thrush, an organization bent on world domination.It started as a cult show but quickly became a hit and at times the #1 show in the ratings to losing it's focus by the third season when it decided to copy the campy tone of the "Batman" TV show which turned off viewers who had liked the more serious tone of the first two seasons. As someone growing up in the sixties the Christmas of 1965 was flooded with secret agent toys with "The Man From UNCLE" even rivaling James Bond as far as toys and other product tie-ins. For a lot of people including myself this is their all time favorite TV show.
  • The Man From UNCLE premiered in 1964 based on the popularity of the James Bond movies. I never was a big fan of the Bond flicks, but I loved the Man From UNCLE. The combination of tongue-in-cheek humor and outlandish gadgets was not only entertaining, but great fun! And Robert Vaughn and David McCallum did a terrific job in their roles, skirting just on the edge of silliness, but still with a certain gleam in their eye that let you know the whole business was just too outlandish to possibly be real. Secret headquarters, outlandish villains, super spy gadgets, MFU had it all. And it was all great fun!

    Leo G. Carroll played the unflappable Mr. Waverly, who always seemed to be one step ahead of his agents. Season 1 was undoubtedly the best, although 2 had its moments. Season 3 was not entirely a disaster, but the producers tried too hard to make it all silly comedy, a la Batman, which was a campy hit, and lost the flavor of the show, although there are some outstanding moments, as when Solo is busy kissing the girl in the warm comfort of a car, while Kuryakin is fighting the bad guys in the pouring rain. As he stands there, drenched, Illya looks at his warm, dry partner and remarks, "we make such good partners." But by the time season 4 rolled around, the damage had been done, although they tried going back to the original concept. All the actors had lost interest and it was canceled.

    It's still fun to watch and nice to know both actors are still busy performing, Vaughn in the British series, Hustle, and McCallum in the CBS hit NCIS. I still miss the fun of the Man From UNCLE. No-one ever did a spoof better, and we'll never see anything quite this good again. Too bad Warners seems to have some kind of problem releasing it to DVD, there are plenty of people who'd love to have it.
  • My dad used to watch this show during the first two seasons of the show,and I immediately became hooked! The Man From U.N.C.L.E was one of the best spy shows ever to come out of a period which the cold war,civil rights,and the height of the Vietnam War was a great escape for young minds back then. Since the show was a huge hit on the NBC network when it premiered on September 22,1964,it was something that no one thought of at that time: a character who was in the same ranks as James Bond 007 himself! The gadgets on that show were awesome(pens that acted as a radio to phone back at headquarters;an automobile with a built in machine gun and seat ejector)and the headquarters of the United Network Command for Law and Enforcement which were secretly hidden in a tenement complex in New York..something to beholded!!! Robert Vaughn was a true gentlemen and a suave secret agent who was in the same category as Sean Connery,but he made the role very interesting as Napoleon Solo,and his Russian counterpart Illya,played by David McCallum,the coolest ever with a 60's shag blonde look(who looked like a rock star instead of an secret agent)!! The show's first two seasons were very dramatic and their was a great chemistry between the actors themselves which kept the action intense and very hipped!!! The sad part is that when the show's color episodes came it wasn't dramatic or very appealing anymore,but incredibly silly by the end of series' final run in 1968 (the 29 black and white episodes from 1964-1965 were the best ever and some of the best gadgets too). Jerry Goldsmith's theme score for the series was the best ever for a TV series,and still is to this day. U.N.C.L.E was so,so good it spawned two feature films,and dozens of toys,comic books,mystery novels,and posters,and can you believe that David McCallum have a hit record out based on the show back in 1965(which he teamed up with Nancy Sinatra on a hit song,which hit the top of the charts too-very rare to find that album nowadays),plus a very short-lived Saturday Morning cartoon show? The repeats are rarely seen on TV nowadays,but they can be seen on TNT every once in a while if possible. A total of 105 episodes were produced with 29 episodes of Season 1 were in black and white. 76 episodes of Seasons 2 thru 4 were in color until the series finale on January 15,1968.
  • Hollywood has missed a bet by not capitalizing on the fact that Robert Vaughn and David McCallum are still alive. There should be another series or a movie with these two, but it would require some good writing to get a show worth watching. DO NOT MAKE THE MISTAKES THAT WERE MADE ON THE AVENGERS MOVIE. I've always maintained that if you wanted to watch a show about the past, you could watch Wild, Wild, West; if you wanted to watch a show about the present, you could watch Man From Uncle; if you wanted to watch a show about the future, you could watch Star Trek; if you wanted a foreign flavored show you could watch The Avengers; and if you wanted to watch a comedy, you could watch Get Smart. MFU started in 1964, WWW and Get Smart in 1965 and Star Trek in 1966. The Avengers with Emma Peel hit here around 1967. You can get by in life just watching these shows. My feeling is that the Sixties started in February 1964 with the Beatles on Ed Sullivan and ended with the Manson murders in August 1969. Those were 5 magical, wonderful years that I wish could be recaptured and relived somehow. Anyway, what made MFU such a hit? There were numerous teen-age baby-boomers who thought the exciting life shown on the show was how life was going to be. Women, travel, women, cool suits, women, weapons, excitement, women, etc,. Did I mention women? Sure beat the work-a-day world our Dads had to live in the 1960s. We were in for a big surprise when we grew up. No UNCLE organization, no space travel, no huge amounts of leisure time. Sigh.
  • Like other baby boomers, I grew up with this weekly spy series. It was very popular with all my classmates, and the talk the next morning at school after its TV showing would invariably be the latest exploits of the daring young Napoleon Solo and Illya Kuryakin. The boys all wanted to be just like them, and the girls were all besotted with them. We were all hooked on their ridiculous intelligence seeking or defensive gadgetry devices. After the spin off series The Girl From U.N.C.L.E. premiered, then all the girls wanted to be just like HER.

    The show chronicles the assorted adventures and derring do of two agents of the agency U.N.C.L.E. (the United Network Command for Law Enforcement)... the American Napoleon Solo and the Russian Illya Kuryakin. (For a change, the Cold War enemies were comrades here.) Together the pair use their charm, wits, and of course assorted spy gadgetry to defeat the forces of evil, notably the terrorists and other threatening international villains of the wicked agency T.H.R.U.S.H. The duo take their orders from the older Mr. Alexander Waverly.

    The two lead actors had the looks and the charisma to carry off the show, with great chemistry between them. Robert Vaughan plays the suave, dashing dark haired Solo, and David McCallum his cool, blond, British accented sidekick, Kuryakin. The role of Mr. Waverly is portrayed by the gentlemanly Leo G. Carroll.

    It's been quite a few decades, have not seen it in re runs, so have forgotten many of the details. However, it was an adventurous, suspenseful, and primarily fun show, shades of James Bond's 007. Lots of fights, close calls, torturing villains, assorted intrigue, and of course beautiful women! Around this era there was also a cute comedy spy series, Get Smart. To this very day, whenever The Man From U.N.C.L.E. comes to mind or I chance upon either of its two stars on TV, I'm filled with a great sense of nostalgia. Sigh.
  • Watching a "Christmas Carol" and seeing Leo G. Carroll, more or less made me remember the "Man from U.N.C.L.E.". Napoleon Solo, in my humble opinion, was the only other spy who could seriously rival Sean Connery. Vaugn was not only kool and suave, but handsome and cunning, much like James Bond except that Napoleon Solo had a quite different style. Illya Kuryakin, aka David Mcallum, was excellent as the right hand man for solo and was the first time I had seen an intelligent Russian portrayed on the screen. Although I had previously seen Mcallum in "The Great Escape". Finally, Leo G. Carroll gave a commanding performance as Mr. Waverly, a man who had complete control over his agents yet had a fatherly kind of feel. But, hey, you all know this and now back to the movies!
  • I know the last user thought the episodes were just average, but you cannot judge very early 60's TV by today's standard and technology. The show was very cool, and so were Napoleon and Illya. Heck, that is why there is still a huge following forty years later.

    Yes, the shows look as if they were filmed on back lot. They were. The pace and budget did not allow for on location scenes. Look at old Star Trek and you will see the same limitations.

    Many shows were intended to be funny or at least tongue in cheek. The episode with Joan Collins is a riot. The agents are trying to get a low class woman to pass off as a lady. This episode, The Galatea Affair, is a take on My Fair Lady and introduces Noel Harrison as Mark Slate. OF course you will remember that his father had the task of transforming Liza Doolitle in MFL.

    Try the very early pairing of Shatner and Nimoy in Project Strigas or The Ultimate Computer Affair, another great MFU episode. There were over 100 of them in this popular 60's show.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Actually, after reading all the glowing reviews here, I was reluctant to weigh in, because, speaking generally, other users don't like it when you knock their favourite shows off the pedestals they put them on. But this is a database, and it is intended for different perspectives. So here we go. For the time, this was ground-breaking and fascinating. Much like MISSION IMPOSSIBLE, its contemporary, also unique. If you were a kid in the 60s (guilty) you could not get enough of these shows. In fact, even today (2013) I have friend who will phone me and the first words out of his mouth are "Open Channel D." But the real test of these shows I think is whether they stand the test of time? UNCLE was part of the spy culture of the era and trust me, there were spies everywhere. I mean in the bookstore, in the drugstore, on TV and in the movies. (No computers then, no streaming media). With hindsight, however, we now know (from numerous biographies) that Fleming was just a frustrated frat boy at heart, sitting on the beach, typing with one finger, and banging out fantasies with characters like Pussy Galore. If you were a serious writer, like John LeCarre, or even semi-serious like Donald Hamilton (Matt Helm) you had trouble finding a filmic audience in the 60s because the viewer demand was for stylized action and superficial situations. (Matt Helm movies, so-called, reviewed elsewhere on IMDb, with a lot of subsequent angry feedback from groovy 60s kids in serious denial). This series was clever. At first glance Vaughn seemed an excellent counterpoint to David McCallum, the latter being the very definition of "foreign hunk" for the period, and guaranteed a high female turnout from week to week. And part of the "gimmick," according to TV GUIDE of the era, was that there was to be at least one "innocent civilian" involved in each episode, to try to ground the series and avoid the mad Bond-esqe fantasies. Still, in the opinion of this reviewer, the series quickly fell into the same traps experienced by shows like WILD WILD WEST and BATMAN. Similar plots. Similar villains. Predictable plot arcs, including the obligatory "Rescue/Resolution" with only 7 minutes left on the clock per episode. No one's fault. Not blaming anyone. But viewers in the 60s wanted their action shows like they wanted their coffee -- sweet, double sugar. If someone had tried to do a Bourne film with Matt Damon (in theory) back then, they would have been arrested for excessive violence. And notice that this show was really the only point in Vaughan's career where he tried to be likable. He ultimately ended up playing bad guys, and McCallum ended up hosting multiple reality shows. The truth is that you wanted serious spy action in this period, there were lots of books, but your TV/film choices were limited. I have on IMDb done a very positive review of the Danger Man (Secret Agent) series out of Britain, followed by the Callan series, also from the UK. If the question on the floor is, which product holds up best over the decades?, and could be enjoyed even today, I give to nod to the latter titles. THE MAN FROM UNCLE is, I think, very dated and very specific to the period.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    "Open Channel D!".

    I never saw 'U.N.C.L.E.' during its '60's heyday, I regret to say. I came to it in 1972, when I.T.V. broadcast the movies ( beginning with 'The Karate Killers' ) at peak-time on Saturday evenings, followed by reruns of 'The Persuaders!'.

    My first glimpse of 'Napoleon Solo' and 'Illya Kuryakin' was of them in a silver sports car being chased by a squad of mini-helicopters, equipped with rocket launchers. I was hooked. For the next seven weeks, I was in secret agent heaven. These were the days before I.T.V. bought the 'James Bond' films, so 'U.N.C.L.E.' was the next best thing.

    Then I found some paperbacks in a second-hand book store, and from these learned that 'U.N.C.L.E.' stood for 'United Network Command for Law and Enforcement', and was an international spy organisation whose main headquarters were in New York, cunningly concealed behind the facade of a dry cleaners. Its main adversary was 'T.H.R.U.S.H.' - the Technological Hierachy for the Removal of Undesirables and the Subjugation of Humanity ( actually, that acronym was invented by the writer David McDaniel in his superb novel 'The Dagger Affair'. It was never used on the show ). 'T.H.R.U.S.H.' wanted to take over the world, and 'U.N.C.L.E.' were out to stop them.

    What really made the show a big hit was the chemistry between Robert Vaughn and David McCallum. Vaughn's 'Solo' was the extrovert, McCallum's 'Illya' was the shy intellectual. Leo G.Carroll played their gruff boss 'Alexander Waverly'.

    Each week, 'T.H.R.U.S.H.' embarked on a new world domination project, usually with the aid of some fantastic invention - earthquake machines, tidal wave machines, invisible killer bees, mind control devices, death rays, even exploding apples! The stars were cool, the girls were hot, the action fast, the whole thing was executed in a colourful, tongue in cheek manner that was simply delightful to watch.

    The show ended in 1968. The spy craze had run its course. Whereas 'Mission: Impossible' was able to reinvent itself as a crime show, 'U.N.C.L.E.' simply could not follow suit. One could not imagine Napoleon and Illya hot on the trail of 'The Syndicate'. Its equally impossible to imagine it being set in any era other than the '60's. The concept of an American agent working alongside a Russian was a novelty at the time. I don't think it would impress anyone today. For that reason alone, I hope nobody tries to make a movie of this show. The Eddie Murphy and Owen Wilson movie 'I Spy' was a stinker, and I would not like to see 'U.N.C.L.E.' getting the same treatment. Let's all continue to enjoy the original!

    "Close Channel D!".
  • This series, I believe, provided the best balance between spoofing the James Bond movies, and being "serious" about spying in general.Even though you knew it was supposed the be funny, you really got the feeling that the writers bothered to do their homework and addressed many issues concerned with "real" espionage.Compared to this, Austin Powers seems completely lame and unintelligent.By the way, I thought T.H.R.U.S.H. stood for The Heinous Regiment of Unscrupulous Spies and Henchmen!
  • I believe The Man From U.N.C.L.E. was made to cash in on the success of the James Bond success. It was certainly an interesting and camp show even if the actors and actresses looked like they were close to laughing at the show's ridiculousness at times.

    Robert Vaughan played Napoleon Solo (must have been bullied at school with a name like that) whilst British actor David McCallum played the Russian Ilya Kuryakin (what's this-a Russian and an American teaming up during the height of the cold war and a couple of years after the Cuban Missile Crisis?). Solo and Kuryakin worked for U.N.C.L.E. (United Network Command for Law Enforcement). U.N.C.L.E. was based in a secret HQ behind a dry-cleaners shop and Solo and Kuryakin received their orders from Mr Alexander Waverly played by the late Leo G. Carroll.

    If you thought James Bond was tongue in cheek, then this was even more tongue in cheek. Each week, Solo and Kuryakin armed with their array of gadgets battled the villains of T.H.R.U.S.H. who were more camp than any Bond villain you could come across. There were guest stars galore throughout the show and some of the craziest plots you could ever watch. The villains seemed to delight in torturing Solo and Kuryakin rather than just putting a bullet in their heads.

    Gadgets, fight scenes, total camp-that was The Man From U.N.C.L.E. and it was an awesome show.

    One more thing-T.H.R.U.S.H. stood for Technical Hierarchy for the Removal of Undesirables and the Subjugation of Humans. However, don't quote me on that.
  • The mid-1960's saw a proliferation of fantasy-oriented series, starting out in the domain of comedy, with 'Bewitched' and 'Dream of Jeanie.' 'Man From UNCLE' (MFU) is historic because it was the 1st major big budget dramatic fantasy series to capture an adult audience (Irwin Allen's big budget 'Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea' also premiered in 1964, but it never gained an adult audience).

    Besides being on the leading edge of the fantasy trend, MFU was one of the 1st TV series to utilize a truly cinematic approach to the photography of the scenes, which makes the series more interesting and exciting. MFU also featured some elaborate fight sequences, stunts, and car chase scenes...MFU resembles movies more than any TV series prior to it.

    MFU also featured TV's first Beatle-haircut character, Ilya Kuryakin, who was quite popular with admirers of male beauty...it helped that David McCallum and co-star Robt. Vaughn were both very fine actors with high personal appeal and good screen chemistry...they set the bar for many other 1960's heroic TV duos, such as Kirk and Spock, West and Gordon, etc.

    MFU was a ratings success and was appreciated by critics as well because of the dry banter and quasi-satirical touches (such as early episodes featuring an intro that broke the 4th wall). The success of MFU was a factor in the 1965-68 explosion of dramatic or quasi-dramatic fantasy TV shows: Mission Impossible, Wild Wild West, Time Tunnel, Lost in Space, the Invaders, Land of the Giants, etc.

    Two hugely influential series, Star Trek, and Batman, both premiering in 1966, were also part of this trend. Star Trek, to a large extent, was basically MFU in outer space...especially Season Two. And Batman was an simply an exaggeration of the the spoof element of MFU.

    Today, most popular cinematic and TV scifi owes something to Star Trek, and the whole superhero movie explosion that began in 2000 owes a debt to the 1966 Batman.

    Another way MFU broke ground was in outright sexiness...compared to dramatic series before it, MFU had quite a lot of sexy stuff going on. But despite the sexual liberties, MFU never got political, except in the most oblique sense...perhaps mild satire of nations and politics in general, yet never getting anywhere near jabs at actual identifiable persons or institutions.

    MFU's first season was the best...the producers were still experimenting with the format, the humor and satire were used with restraint, and the crisp B/W photography helped mute the cartoonish elements of the series and gave it a certain resemblance to film noir.

    Subsequent seasons are generally enjoyable, but humor, satire, and camp increased in Season 2 and took over in Season 3. In Season 4, a new producer stepped in and the humor was greatly reduced and the camp eliminated...Season 4 is nearly as good as Season 1.

    It was too late and MFU cancelled in early 1968. But, between 1968 and 1970, everything else from the mid-1960's fantasy explosion was also cancelled...my pet theory is that the sudden and irreversible evaporation of ratings for 'Batman' in '67-68 spooked everyone, causing them to flee the realm of fantasy as though it were a sinking ship...and no doubt, new trends were waiting to be mined.
  • Yes the comments of wnewman106 is true. He only forgot some others marvelous 60's series. Like the Invaders, The prisoner, Time tunnel and Lost in space. And i'm very happy these days that we have now the opportunity to buy theses series on DVDs. And the sixties was a great decade. I'M so sorry that in our decade now, not enough people are ready to stand, speak free and move like the 60's. We seems to have given the world to the financial political and religious systems who controls the world. Anyway, give the passion to yours children's. In looking these series with you can teach them history. I'm historian born in the beginning 50's and my wife born in the late 60's and we exchange a lot about the 60'S and TV series and films of these times are a good way to learn.
  • My mom first introduced me to the show in the last part of 1964 and I immediately became hooked. This was a spy show that ranked right up there with Mr. 007 himself! There was a fantastic chemistry between the actors and the first year or so were more dramatic than comedic. Still, I have found memories of this show. I collected everything I could find: books, posters, toys, & comic books (I still have those!). At a time of Viet Nam, the Cold War and Mao Tse-Tung - this was a great escape for young minds.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    With the cold war raging their was a wave of Bond influence spy shows. Watching rerun of The Man from U.N.C.L.E. what I saw was: Some very neat gadgets like pens that squirt into drinks, hidden compartments in watches etc. Fast camera pans, and quick moves with explosions and quick raids. Robert Vaugha has a certain camera presents and suave demeanor which drives the show. The Man from U.N.C.L.E. is formulated show with plot lines like there is doomsday bomb, a kidnapping etc, helping a nice looking women escape over the border etc. With the formulated episodes their is the old school dialogue of past relationships etc. Back ground 60's bongo music with that cheesy organ sounds is mech. The strong parts of The Man from U.N.C.L.E. out weigh the negatives. 7 stars out of 10!
  • This is one of those weird old shows that ended 11 years before I was born...and yet I have memories of watching it as a child. Clearly they were reruns, but I just can't place them in the timeline of my life.

    So...excuse me when I say that "it doesn't age well."

    And when I say that I mean that it doesn't make that transition between liking it as a child to liking it as an adult. Not 1968 to when I watched it as a little kid.

    When I was a child I liked the humor...now that I am older I sort of feel that it needed to pick a direction. Be a Sean Connery Bond or be a Roger Moore Bond, but don't try and be both.

    Still, it does entertain, and that was the point of making it. Plus, I loved it when I was little so, 10 of 10. The only complaints I have about it are pretentious anyway. It's worth a watch.
  • "The Man From U.N.C.L.E" trailed off in the way of quality after the black and white episodes finished. Those ones are the best by a long way. The colour ones became too silly and quite tiresome. It was always going to be a tongue-in-cheek series but it still maintained a certain level of drama in the first two seasons. Robert Vaughn and David McCallum compliment each other very well in their respective characters. They both have different personalities which helps. The action is fairly mild by today's standards as the violence is of a "comic strip" kind.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    The '60s were a golden age for television, in the days before political correctness and when everything was easy (sort of) and stylish, and The Man from U.N.C.L.E. was no exception.

    Here you have the dashing, handsome, and womanising American spy Napoleon Solo, the cute, blonde, hunk of a Soviet spy Illya Kuryakin, and the embodiment of a stereotypical English gentleman and head of the U.N.C.L.E. Mr. Alexander Waverly, all fighting against the evil forces of their greatest enemy THRUSH.

    Also, the equipment they used were way ahead of their time.

    Another thing I particularly have to mention about this show, is Barbara Feldon of Get Smart fame's appearance in the episode, "The Never-Never Affair", as a Portuguese weather translator Mandy Stevenson. She just looks so darn beautiful and gorgeous , especially when after she takes off her glasses, with her lovely voice to match. Also, I could really see the bonding (this being a spy series, no pun intended) between Napolean and Mandy in the scene in which they are both captured.

    All and all, this show is great, and in my opinion redefined the spy genre.

    R.I.P. Robert Vaughn (1932-2016)
  • The complete season one of "The Man From U.N.C.L.E." that was released on Monday (3rd of August 2015), and delivered by the GPO today was a pleasant surprise when I opened up the 'box'. In my view most boxed sets are very badly designed and totally unacceptable. Without exception when I come across them I always put the disc's into spare storage cases and throw the unacceptable packaging away. However in this instance the spare triple and quad storage cases I had put to one side in advance of delivery of this set, in order to cater for no less than 7 discs, were not actually required.

    The reason being that this box set is supplied in a proper DVD storage case (or box if you prefer), very much like the 6 disc DVD storage cases, despite this one being slightly narrower. Yet it caters for the 7 discs containing all 29 episodes of season one. There are 5 episodes on disc 2 and 4 episodes on all of the others, which of course gives us the complete first season.

    Season one was, for the most part in B&W, however two episodes were filmed in colour as there were plans to turn them into feature films. They were the pilot episode "The Vulcan Affair", along with "The Double Affair". Both were actually broadcast on TV in B&W anyway. All subsequent seasons were in colour.

    I sat through "The Vulcan Affair", this afternoon switching from 4:3 to full 16:9 modes. Eventually going back to 4:3. The entire collection has been digitally remastered, but the picture quality does show it's age a little. Still one has to make allowances for the time when the filming took place. Season one being transmitted in the USA, at least, in 1964/65. Sound is in Dolby Digital Mono in English with subtitles in English, French and German (along with English and German for the hearing impaired).

    This all brings back very happy and fond memories of going out of my way to ensure that I never missed an episode of "The Man From U.N.C.L.E.", on the BBC on a Thursday evening as it was one of my all time favourite TV shows when I was in my late teens. About the time that I started working for a living. It should be noted that I have not rated this collection yet as I've only watched the one episode thus far. I'll need to watch a few more before I decide on a rating, but there is already a plus 1 to be added just for the packaging of this collection.

    Anyway if you will excuse me... the time has come to resume my catch up with a few more of Napoleon and Illya's attempts to bring the dastardly THRUSH rabble to account for their crimes.
  • I was 8 when this show premiered and I loved it from the first episode. It was unlike anything else on TV. It had lots of action, intrigue, and suspense. Of course I simply 'loved' Illya Kuryakin, who wouldn't with that blond hair and cute Russian accent. Little did I know then that the actor, David McCallum, was actually British. The Man From U.N.C.L.E. is the reason I am such a James Bond fan today.
  • When U.N.C.L.E. was "on" it was great and when it was not it was awful. As a 10 year old in San Francisco, me and every kid I knew had our U.N.C.L.E. Specials and T.H.R.U.S.H. rifles and we regularly pretend we were attacking T.H.R.U.S.H. HQ somewhere. Even then, I had developed a talent for voices and did a fairly good imitation of Robert Vaughn's voice and so was always playing Solo. I wanted to grow up to be like Vaughn and couldn't believe the gorgeous women on the show then. Years later I became friends with David McDaniel, a writer of the U.N.C.L.E. books and through his association with Norman Felton, I was appointed head of T.H.R.U.S.H. for Nevada. So when you hear about evil doings in Las Vegas, you know your unfriendly neighborhood T.H.R.U.S.H. Satrap is on the job !

    Recent action movies have tried to revive the spy shows of the 60s but fail because the producers and writers don't have a sense of history and a feel for what the various shows were about ( The Wild Wild West, The Avengers).

    There is a Yahoo group about U.N.C.L.E. and I am awaiting the release of the DVD set.

    Curiously, there has been a U.N.C.L.E. movie in the works kicking around the studios for about 10 years, but nothing ever seems to come of it ( the same goes for an A-Team movie.

    There are U.N.C.L.E. references in the show NCIS and the A-Team.

    Closing Channel D....

    George Senda Martinez, Ca.
  • There was an original style in this TV series that made it fun and different from James Bond. Bond is a super spy who works intently for England and for the world. Solo and Illya were "salaryman" spies which manages espionage as a job. Most of the stories, whether good or bad, had this atmosphere. One I remember is The Deadly Toys Affair. In the scene in the beginning, Solo and Illya are told by their boss, Waverly, that they are expendable, and they are sent out to destroy a Thrush factory. In the midst of a shootout with the Thrushmen, they receive next instructions from Waverly thru their pen communicator without forgiveness, saying that they are not expendable anymore. I guess many people working in an organization had an experience of receiving a forcing message from their boss in the midst of an important meeting or work. This had turned into an everyday situation now due to the cellular phone, and it seems that the present was predicted 40 years ago. The sympathy of those who work in an organization is obtained, which makes this series fun and interesting. It was also because of the three wonderful actors that was able to have this peculiar wonderful atmosphere of this show. If an UNCLE movie or another series is to be made in the future, this atmosphere must not change. The actors must be good and must understand the original UNCLE concept, they must not be too tall, they must be handsome and smart looking, and neat, and clean. I mean, no beard or mustache, no hairy actors. Everybody involved in such plan should understand the original atmosphere of UNCLE, or will fail like most of the remakes. Also, it must not be forgotten that the music by the greats (J. Goldsmith, L. Schifrin, R. Drasnin, G. Fried, W. Scharf, R. Shores, M. Stevens, N. Riddle) was the big element that made this series so pleasant. Quentin Tarantino, how about trying out an UNCLE movie, as producer? I think you can do it!
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