The Man from U.N.C.L.E.: The Complete Season 2 DVD Review: Open Channel C for Color

Six months after The Man from U.N.C.L.E.: The Complete Season 1 was released in conjunction with Guy Ritchie’s feature-film prequel, Warner Brothers Home Entertainment has released The Man from U.N.C.L.E.: The Complete Season 2, another 10-disc set featuring international exploits of espionage. This season contained 28 affairs, including two two-parters, which aired on NBC during the 1965/66 television season, and for the first time in color.

For those new to the series, it features agents Napoleon Solo (Robert Vaughn), an American, and Illya Kuryakin (David McCallum), a Russian, traveling the globe on behalf of the international organization known as United Network Command for Law and Enforcement. Most of their missions involved stopping the evil enterprise known as THRUSH.

The stories are fun spy adventures. My favorite bit of humor was in “The Foxes and Hounds Affair” when agency leader Alexander Waverly (Leo G. Carroll) decided to use Solo as a decoy upon his return from vacation unbeknownst to him.

Unfortunately, the series suffers a tad from the era they were made. The conclusions are predictable, the portrayal of women and minorities can be unfortunate (i.e. “The Indian Affairs Affair”), and there’s little continuity, although G. Emory Partridge (George Sanders) returns in “The Yukon Affair.” Ricardo Montalban also returned but he played a different character. Other familiar faces this season include Rip Torn, Vincent Price, Jill Ireland, Angela Lansbury, Claude Akins, Marin Landau, and Eve Arden.

The season opened with “Alexander the Greater Affair,” which was turned into the movie One Spy Too Many, and “The Bridge of Lions Affair” later became One of Our Spies is Missing. This latter was the only episode based on previously published material: Henry Slesar’s novel The Bridge of Lions.

The success of the series led to “The Moonglow Affair,” a backdoor pilot for The Girl from U.N.C.L.E. starring Mary Ann Mobley and Norman Fell as agents April Dancer and Mark Slate but Stefanie Powers and Noel Harrison took over the roles in the series, which only ran one season. Am really curious why the change but since there are no extras, no explanation is given.

The Man from U.N.C.L.E.: The Complete Season 2 is recommended for any man, girl, or those not falling under those classifications who enjoy the ’60s spy genre.

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Gordon S. Miller

Publisher/Editor-in-Chief of this site.

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