Charmed & Dangerous wrote:
It also follows the North by Northwest plot structure, in which the naive, sheltered innocent caught up in the intrigue and espionage was Roger Thornhill rather than a young woman.
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yes, I know I'm overdue with my report on Season 2, but the truth is, um, er, that is to say, I waited too long and forgot most of it. Generally its more silly than Season 1, especially the two part opening episode the Alexander the Greater Affair, which is much much too silly (yet got turned into one of the movies).
There's also more Mr Waverly content, which pleases me. There begins a running gag where Waverly travels halfway round the world and shows up in the last scene just to pick up Solo's chick right in from of him, while Solo sinks in his chair and Ilya smirks at his colleague's humiliation. Waverly is now my favourite by far of all spy bosses (except for David Lynch's Gordon Cole character of course). Much more entertaining than any version of M.
The only Bond alumni I noticed is Barbara Bouchet (Moneypenny from Casino Royale) who appears in The Project Deephole Affair. George Sanders reappears in The Yukon Affair, reprising the same character he played in Season 1. Ricardo Montalbán reappears in The King of Diamonds Affair, a different character than he played in season 1 (now he's a gentleman thief) but again is a charismatic frenemy rather than pure villain. Off the top of my head, Rip Torn, Vincent Price, and Angela Lansbury all get to chew the scenery as guest stars in this season.
The Cherry Blossom Affair is about an evil THRUSH plan involving Japanese volcanos, two years before You Only Live Twice.
The Moonglow Affair is most significant as it is the pilot for the Girl from UNCLE spinoff despite featuring completely different actors. Mary Ann Mobley plays April Dancer, much more competent than Solo and Ilya are ever portrayed, and Norman Fell (Mr Roper) plays her over-the-hill sidekick Mark Slate. When I saw the first season episode where Marty Balsam plays an UNCLE agent past the retirement age, I thought that was testing the waters for a spinoff, and indeed Norman Fell's character is a variation on the concept. I found some actual Girl from UNCLE episodes online, so shall hopefully file a report on those soon.
I always like the episodes where we learn more about the UNCLE organisation. I forget the title, but there's one where we learn UNCLE owns all the buildings on the block, and rents out apartments in the other buildings as part of their cover. Waverly assigns Solo to act as building manager! in this episode, and we see THRUSH has labeled profile drawings of the entire block as they try to figure out what UNCLE is using all that space for. Wish I'd made a screenshot of that, it was almost like when the comics sometimes include a diagram of the BatCave. In another episode we clearly see the streetsigns outside UNCLE headquarters, and they seemed to be in Hells Kitchen or maybe Chelsea, on the West side at least, despite the establishing shots always showing the United Nations building next to the East River.
Second best gag of the season: in The Birds and the Bees Affair Ilya tells Waverly and Solo about a scientific report published earlier that year, then turns to Solo and says "did you read it?", Solo gives him a silent stinkeye that says "who do you think I am, Roger Moore's version of James Bond? nerd!"
First best gag: in The Foreign Legion Affair Ilya has gone missing and while searching Solo gets distracted by a sexy THRUSH agent. Waverly calls Solo and hearing the sexy THRUSH agent giggling, says "Your report is overdue Mr Solo! and who the deuce is that?" Bonus points for Waverly using "the deuce" in a sentence!
and then there's this subtle one, maybe me seeing something that isn't there, but since I saw it I can't unsee it: in The Nowhere Affair Solo has been captured by THRUSH, and taken an amnesia pill so he cant spill UNCLE secrets. The THRUSH chief decides the amnesia can be broken if all Solo's physical senses are stimulated, i.e. he has to be seduced, and programs the computer to identify the THRUSH agent who would be Solo's ideal sexual partner. The computer selected candidate turns out to be a nerdy uptight blonde, which is to say she's just like a female Ilya!
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the actual reason I'm Reporting today is because I just watched the second Man from UNCLE feature film...
The Spy with My Face (1965)
basically an expanded version of The Double Affair (s1e08 orig broadcast November 17, 1964), in which a THRUSH agent undergoes plastic surgery to look like Napoleon Solo and infiltrate UNCLE. Robert Vaughn plays both parts, so for most of the second half is playing the villain rather than the real Solo. In the first half the double is covered in bandages, and in appearance and context resembles that character at Shrublands from Thunderball, but The Double Affair came first so again Thunderball was "borrowing" ideas from this teevee series.
Senta Berger (the school teacher from The Quiller Memorandum) plays the sexy THRUSH agent overseeing the whole operation.
Whereas the first movie was one and a half episodes cobbled together, this one is mostly the one episode greatly expanded, with some random scenes from two other episodes. Don Harron's character from The Four Steps Affair reappears here, but the remaining plot of that episode (involving a boy king and his guardian) is left out. I'm not even sure its the exact same scenes with Harron, or if maybe they filmed a bunch of scenes with his character and split them into the movie and the teevee episode. Otherwise I cant see how his scenes could possibly have fit the other context. Wikipedia says other scenes were used in The Dippy Blonde Affair, but I didn't spot them. There is the familiar scene where Ilya encounters exploding toy robots outside the tailor shop, which episode was that from?
but mostly the one episode was greatly expanded with more sexual content (lots of ladies in their underwear) and greater violence. Solo points his gun at most of the people he meets and in one shower scene blatantly states the gun is a phallic symbol. And he kills a lot of minions in cold blood. Also the music seems different, more suspenseful than the lighthearted music of the teevee show.
Very stylish action scenes during the opening credits, using varying camera speeds to highlight the action as solo leads a raid. This is much more violent than anything seen on teevee.
Ilya gets very little screentime, but does pick up a stewardess with the line "Well I'm pretending to be a travelling business man, but in reality I am an international spy".
by the way I suggest all new posts to this thread must begin with the words "Open Channel D" or else they will be rerouted to the tailors shop, who will deny any knowledge that this thread exists.
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Just to let you know that you're not alone, cp. I'm reading and enjoying your posts.
Great posts - how did I miss this thread???
I don't have the time to catch up with TMFU. I think one of the TV channels over here (Sony Pictures?) has been showing the series from the start, but as I never drop into anything half-way, I haven't bothered.
Anyone who reads my posts knows I have fond memories of Friday evening telly on the BBC and the eight UNCLE films drop neatly into that category. One summer in the early 1980s I am certain I saw the whole lot week after week, although the details about The Spy With My Face are completely unfamiliar to me. I have a vague memory that To Trap A Spy barely featured David McCullum and the Luciana Paluzzi scenes felt completely out of place. Reading the posts above I now understand why!
Will look forward to reading more.
BTW, I enjoyed the reboot movie.
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I've just finished watching Season One and very much enjoyed your review, CP. I hadn't seen it before, apart from To Trap a Spy and The Spy with My Face, and I hugely enjoyed it once I got over I think being in black & white.
Just to add a couple of things to your excellent review. Richard Kiel briefly fights Solo on a gantry at the climactic battle in The Vulcan Affair; has a much large role role in The Hong Kong Shilling Affair; and I'm sure i briefly saw in a third episode but can't remember which . Also in season one, The Shark Affair stars said the charismatic Robert Culp of I Spy fame; Quatermass and the Pit's Barbara Shelley stars in the Odd Man Affair; and the Girls of Nazarone Affair has the lovely Sharon Tate in a small role too.
I very much look forward to watching Season Two now...