Wednesday, November 30, 2011


I've been rewatching The Man From U.N.C.L.E. Right now, I'm on the first season. I consider it the best for its more graphic, for the time and serious approach. Well it's as serious as series TV might have been then and as a fictional espionage program might have been for the time.

Fictional it was. But, like James Bond, which generated the spy craze of the 60s, there was some basis in truth.

Ian Fleming helped develop the show in early stages. He set up the initial framework and the character of Napoleon Solo came from him. Norman Felton, a noted producer, had consulted Fleming. Incidentally, April Dancer, the Girl From UNCLE, had started out as a suggestion from Fleming as a Monneypenny secretary to the organization chief.

Fleming had contractual conflicts with the Bond movie producers, so he had to drop out. Felton and Sam Rolfe, who worked on Have Gun Will Travel among others, pushed on. The framework was set. Now it was Hollywood's turn.

The innocent caught up in a world of espionage was a constant, even when the series digressed to the absurd in the third season. It was good to see it begin recovery to a darker more realistic fiction in the fourth. Too bad it was cancelled. Laugh In was hated by some for the longest time as it filled the air spot lol.

Among the other contributors was Alan Caillou. He was a writer, actor, soldier and agent who brought a certain professional expertise.

Though the orgs were fictitious, much of the procedure was common practice among operatives in the 60s. You can only take my word for this. Believe it or not. Tech was fictionalized but was forward thinking re comm and as for programming an agent for a specific role, that was common practice.

Understandably today there are those who are concerned about international police who are above the law. Certainly orgs have exceeded authority. I would remind you they are comparmentalized and watchers are watched.

Conjecture? Sure. I can't name names.

But UNCLE was fun and good guys beating bad guys is always a great story device.

Those who care about people fighting those who exploit and destroy.

Hmm. It DOES sound familiar doesn't it?


Cary Black said...

The truth is out. So there.

Sam Igo said...

Some of the tech supposedly ahead of its time. it was monitored by CIA etal.

unclefan said...

The music was great. Jerry Goldsmith and several others did signature work.

Mike H said...

Yep. Edwin Astley's score for Danger Man and Earle Hagen's music for I Spy were faves as well as John Barry's great scores for Bond etal.