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Remembering The Man From U.N.C.L.E.
Robert Vaughn and David McCallum
"The U.N.C.L.E. and Me Affair"
In 1964 I was 13 years old. I don't remember all that much about my life way back then but I remember a few TV shows that influenced me. One of them was The Man From U.N.C.L.E.
Ian Fleming had created the iconic James Bond and Hollywood had made 007 the most popular spy in the world. A title which he still holds, in my humble opinion. Then Mr. Fleming used the last name "Solo" from one of his novels (Goldfinger) and helped create an American character for NBC.
One of the things I love about HubPages is that you can do what I am doing here. Get something out of you system. I had watched an episode of I Spy and Starsky and Hutch on Hulu but was disappointed to find that there were no U.N.C.L.E. shows. Then I saw three of the U.N.C.L.E. books on my bookshelves downstairs from 1965 and the idea of doing a hub was like one of those songs you can't stopping humming.
"The Well Documented Facts Affair"
I searched on HubPages and did not find another hub on this show and then looked it up on Wikipedia. Here is some of what I found there.
There were 105 episodes of the show from September, 1964 to January, 1968. The first season was in black and white and there were 8 films released on the big screen. Several of those were two-part TV shows that were tweaked for that market.
There was one reunion movie on TV on CBS in1983 called "The Return of The Man From UNCLE" or "The Fifteen Years Late Affair". (I remember seeing just a bit of it and being disappointed.)
Guest stars on the series included Willaim Shatner and Leonard Nimoy together 2 years before Star Trek and James Doohan (Scotty) was in several as different characters,, Also seen were Vincent Price, Joan Collins, Jill Ireland (married to McCallum at the time), Nancy Sinatra, Kurt Russel, Robert Culp, and both Sonny and Cher.
All four seasons (really 31/2) came out on DVD in 2007. I downloaded the first episode, "The Vulcan Affair", from itunes last night. I really enjoyed it and it stood the test of time much better than you might think. I noticed that the guy who played "Jaws" in the Roger Moore 007 movies had a bit part as a bad guy in this episode. Cool.
The part of Illya Kuryakin, played by David McCallum, was so well received that he was added as a main character. The United Network Command for Law and Enforcement was a world-wide organization, Illya was a Russian and this was originally broadcast at the height of the Cold War. For network TV this had to be scary stuff!
"The 'I Found It' Affair"
Forty-six years ago, I sent a fan letter to NBC. In return I received a letter with a photo of Robert Vaughn and a small yellow card emblazoned with the U.N.C.L.E. logo. I lost the picture but I kept the card and somewhere along the line I encased it in plastic. I used to carry the thing tucked back in my wallet, but had not seen it in years, maybe decades. Here it is.
"The wrapping It Up Affair"
There are lots of Man From U.N.C.L.E. web sites out there and one devoted to the U.N.C.L.E.GUN where you can purchase an airsoft version of the guns used in the show.(Not cheap!) I just found that Ebay is full of toys, books, t-shirts, photos and I have high bid right now on an album with the theme music. No sniping!
From Wikipedia I also noted that an original communicator pen is housed in the museum of the CIA ...... but there is no public access. Even Mitch Rapp can't get in there!
I hope that Hollyweird does NOT make a Man From UNCLE movie. Part of me would love to see it done and then I think about the way they ruined The Wild Wild West, I Spy, and Starsky and Hutch.
No, I think I will just keep getting my U.N.C.L.E.. fix from the old black and white versions of the first season from itunes. At $1.99 a pop, how can you go wrong. In the meantime:
"Open channel D, please."