For the very first time this classic TV series that ran from 1964-1968 is going to be available on DVD. I was hooked when I saw the trailer. The Man From U.N.C.L.E. was an absolute staple on the weekly TV watched in my family. Even as a pre-teen of the tender age of 10 when the series premiered, I was hooked. This was the first time that the TV networks had taken the subject of Spies and Spying and turned it into a series.

At the time The Cold War was running in high gear, and with the JFK assassination still fresh in everyones memory, as the saying went, there were ‘Reds under the beds’. This was groundbreaking television. Although it was designed as a drama series, the over the top special effects and futuristic gadgets made it a firm favorite with the younger generation. Who could not love Napoleon or Illya taking out their expensive Fountain Pens, uncapping them and saying Open channel ‘D’ into them? Yes folks, these guys had super secret radios. Even watching them enter their secret headquarters was drama, the front for the U.N.C.L.E organization was a somewhat dingy basement Tailors shop, however the rear walls of the changing rooms were false, permitting access to the most high tech office complex imaginable.

I know that among my peer group we all wanted to join U.N.C.L.E. What could be a finer way of life than saving the western world from the international terrorist group T.H.R.U.S.H.? In what I am sure is a complete coincidence the evil adversaries usually spoke with a rather affected Russian accent. Oh, you had to love the Cold War.

Our heroes were Robert Vaughn (“HU$TLE”, Superman III) as Napoleon Solo, David McCallum (“NCIS”, The Great Escape) as Illya Kuryakin, and Leo G. Carrol (Mr. Waverly) playing the ‘big boss’, we are treated to them saving the world each week from evil dictators, and mad men.

A total of 104 episodes were aired, however 105 were produced, and for the first time we are going to see the episode one, the demo program, which has never been seen on network television. OK, lets talk packaging, the 41 DVD’s (yes I did say 41) come in an aluminum attache case, just like they use on the show. If you know someone over 50, I can just bet they would love to wake up on Christmas morning and find this under the tree? I know I sure would!

Alas so far all I have been able to review is the press teaser DVD, but I am hooked! Today I found some other teaser previews, and I recommend you take them for a spin.

A Thrush executive (Vincent Price) lends his handkerchief to a competitor with explosive results near the conclusion of “The Foxes and Hounds Affair.”

In this opening of the third-season two-parter “The Five Daughters Affair,” Solo and Illya, driving along a mountain road in the U.N.C.L.E. Car, are attacked by a trio of one-man mini-helicopters.

The fourth-season two-parter “The Prince of Darkness Affair” opens with Solo and Illya in Africa, investigating a devastated installation and discovering that a powerful new incendiary weapon has been developed.

Time Life has stated that this wonderful collection will not be available in stores until Fall 2008, but, as of November 27th 2007 it will be available from this web site. I have been fighting with my wife Jan over this, she thinks that we need boring stuff for the house, whereas I am convinced that this DVD collection would be better!

Simon Barrett

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