Thursday, July 21, 2005

The Girl from U.N.C.L.E.

I never saw a single episode of The Girl from U.N.C.L.E. when it was on network TV in the '60s, so last night I decided to watch one. It was pretty awful. The best thing about it was the clothes Stephanie Powers wore: vinyl vests, jackets, and hats. Wow. It made the '60s seem like a million years ago, and I know that to some of you it really was that long. The show was played mostly for laughs, but the humor was so strained that nothing worked.

The guest star was Wally Cox, who played a hit man named Little John Doe. He was mildly interesting, but nothing more.

I think this show lasted only about a year, and now I know why.

I remember The Man from U.N.C.L.E. with affection, but mainly for the first season. Seems to me that the first year was actually a pretty good action/adventure show, but that later it became almost as silly as Girl. At which point I stopped watching it. American Family Network is rerunning it, so I may take a look one of these days.


James Reasoner said...

Yes, the first (black & white) season of The Man From U.N.C.L.E. is the best, although it got better again in its fourth, shortened-by-cancellation season when the stories were less silly. The paperback novels and the digest stories by Whittington, Lynds, etc., were always better than the show itself.

The Girl From U.N.C.L.E. was just a mess. In the pilot, which aired as an episode of MFU, Mark Slate was played by Norman Fell. I think it might have been better if the producers had left him in the role of the older, experienced agent, rather than recasting Noel Harrison in the part.

Having said all that, I was a huge U.N.C.L.E. fan and watched all the episodes of both series multiple times.

Anonymous said...

Bill, I have to echo what James said, adding only that season 2 of The Man from UNCLE was also pretty good. The show went downhill season 3 and you can blame Batman. When that became a hit, everybody wanted the same campiness and UNCLE suffered for it. I'd also add that you found a great picture of Stephanie Powers as The Girl from UNCLE that I've never seen.