Sunday, August 09, 2015

Pop Focus: The Man from U.N.C.L.E.


With a new "Man from U.N.C.L.E." film opening this week, we take a look back at the 1960s TV series that inspired it all.

Starring Robert Vaughn as American spy Napoleon Solo and David McCallum as his Soviet counterpart Ilya Kuryakin, "The Man from U.N.C.L.E." ran on NBC from 1964 and 1968 and, along with the James Bond films, spearheaded the mid-Sixties spymania phenomenon.

Numerous imitators followed in the show's wake, and, along with the "Batman" TV series running on ABC around the same time, "U.N.C.L.E." spawned hundreds of merchandising tie-ins, from a comic book series and toys to lunch boxes, paperback novels, board games and more.

U.N.C.L.E. stood for United Network Command for Law Enforcement, an international group formed to take on the larger threat of T.H.R.U.S.H., a criminal group bent on taking over the world.

While often considered a James Bond knock-off, it's interesting to note that 007 author Ian Fleming was involved in U.N.C.L.E.'s creation and came up with the character and name of Solo.

Here is a selection of pics from the program and associated products. More U.N.C.L.E. here next week.



























































    

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