Review of "The Man from U.N.C.L.E. - The Complete Series" From The TV MegaSite
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DVD TV Show Reviews

The Man from U.N.C.L.E. Complete Series DVD set

The Man from U.N.C.L.E. - The Complete Series

by Suzanne 11/2/08

My memory of "The Man from U.N.C.L.E." was that it was the best spy show ever made on U.S. TV. Therefore, it is surprising to learn that it only lasted 4 seasons. It had many backstage problems that caused the quality of the stories to change quite a bit in seasons 2-4. Nonetheless, it still remains the best spy show and has legions of fans forty years later. This new box set froM Warner Brothers will no doubt make fans very happy. The show was not available for fans on DVD up until now, aside from a few episodes, so it is eagerly awaited as well.

No one will be disappointed by this set. The DVD's come in a cool spy suitcase. It appears to be made of cardboard, metal, and plastic, but it has the weight and feel of a real suitcase and is very sturdy. Inside are four boxes, one for each season. There are plenty of nice pictures of the cast, and there is a little booklet inside each box, as well as the DVD's. Each box opens out like a book, and each "page" has a DVD. It is a good way to house DVD's so that they don't roll around or become easily damaged. Each booklet talks about that season and lists all of the shows. Each season comes with its own extras disk. They really did a nice job with this set on both the inside and outside. I sure wish every great TV show could have a set like this that shows respect for the fan and the show's history.

In case you do not know, Man from U.N.C.L.E. came about because of the success of the James Bond movies. Both came about during the cold war and the world's interest in spies. Unlike James Bond, and other spy tv shows, Man from U.N.C.L.E. featured an international spy agency, not one that was from one country. The two main agents were Solo, an American, and Kuryakin, a Russian (national enemies at the time). Ian Fleming, who created James Bond, helped with creation of this series. Ilya Kuryakin was given a Beatles-like haircut to appeal to young and female fans (and he sure did). It was very much "of its time", but is not dated like, say, the Mod Squad.

The first season was in black and white. It was a very serious show. A regular every-day person was helped out by the spies. This way, the audience had someone to identify with, and they could have many great guest-stars. Although the series took place all over the world, it was filmed on one back lot in Hollywood. It was a well-written show and had scripts written by excellent writers such as scifi author Harlan Ellison. After the first season, however, it became campy as they had new people running it. The show was canceled two years later, but it did have a spinoff and many TV movies, as well as a reunion movie later on.

You can learn about this and much more from all of the fabulous bonus disks in the set! The show has also been digitally remastered, so it looks nice and clean and new, and the show has closed-captioning for the hearing impaired. The extras on the show are exhaustive and amazing. The show's two main stars are still living, so they participated at length. You will find everything you ever wanted to know about the show in all of these great features (too many here to list).

Any guy you know will love this set as a Christmas gift, but especially if they are over 35. Any spy fan or cult TV fan will love it. You will love it! It's a great set and not to be missed. I know that I speak for all fans when I say how grateful we are to have the shows out finally on DVD, and also THANK YOU for the great job done on the set!

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Updated 11/3/08  


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