Thursday, December 13, 2007

Man From U.N.C.L.E. - 41 DVDS!

It was one of my favorite shows when I was kid, so it was a no-brainer when Time-Life announced this nifty MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E. collection -- all four seasons + the unaired original pilot ("Solo") plus all sorts of extras. All packed in a cool attache case with the U.N.C.L.E. emblem front and center.

Just goes to show, tastes DO evolve, and the stuff eight-year-old Mark loved comes off just a bit silly today. Well, more than a bit. In a way, these U.N.C.L.E. shows are like silver age DC comics come to life. There are adventures with gorillas, the abominable snowman, ridiculously unscientific "science"... frankly, a Bizarro Napoleon Solo would have fit right in. And then there's the cheese factor; as other blogs have pointed out (most notably Ken Levine at http://kenlevine.blogspot.com/2007/12/man-from-uncle.html) the wildly unconvincing back lot was getting a serious workout back in the day.

It probably proves that I've got striking on the brain, but my favorite catch so far was in the first episode of season two, starring a very young and stiff Rip Torn as "Alexander", a maniac who steals a military passifying gas (!) so he can rule the world like Alexander The Great. At one point, for no discernible reason, there is a picket line in the background as our hero Napoleon chases after the unbearable Dorothy Provine (don't ask). What are the very well-dressed strikers picketing? Who knows; all the signs say is "UNFAIR!" in different handwritten styles. Well. That explains that!

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