The Man from U.N.C.L.E.: The Complete Second Season [10 Discs] [DVD]

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Synopsis

Switching from black-and-white to color for its second season, the popular espionage series The Man From U.N.C.L.E. also lightens up its attitude a bit. Whereas the season-one episodes tended to be played straight, the season-two installments are less serious and more frivolous in nature, replete with overacting villains espousing overbaked conquer-the-world schemes, outlandish Bond-like gadgetry and doomsday weapons, eccentric and sometimes downright addlepated leading ladies, and a plethora of decidedly offbeat casting choices. Where else but The Man From U.N.C.L.E. would such comic actors as Charlie Ruggles and John McGiver be tapped to play homicidal criminals? And where else would Broadway musical-comedy headliner and perennial game-show contestant Phyllis Newman appear in the role of an Arabian princess? The season begins with the series' first two-part episode, "The Alexander the Greater Affair," in which U.N.C.L.E. agents Napoleon Solo (Robert Vaughn) and Illya Kuryakin (David McCallum) cross swords with a loony industrialist (Rip Torn) bent on breaking all Ten Commandments as part of a master scheme to rule the world! Expanded with a bit of additional footage, this two-parter would later be released as the theatrical movie One Spy Too Many -- just as another multipart episode, "The Bridge of Lions Affair," would be retooled into the ready-made "feature film" One of Our Spies Is Missing. Perhaps the most noteworthy second-season entry is "The Moonglow Affair," featuring Mary Ann Mobley as novice U.N.C.L.E. agent April Dancer and Norman Fell as her veteran partner, Mark Slade. This episode would serve as the pilot for the spin-off series The Girl From U.N.C..L.E., in which Stefanie Powers played April and Noel Harrison was seen as Mark. As a footnote, two of this season's Man From U.N.C.L.E. installments proved to be springboards for movie stardom. On the strength of her performance in "The Foxes and Hounds Affair," guest star Julie Sommers was cast as the leading lady in the 1966 feature film The Pad and How to Use It. And as result of her work in "The Discotheque Affair," Judi West was hired by Billy Wilder to appear opposite Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau in another 1966 release, The Fortune Cookie. ~ Hal Erickson

Cast & Crew

  • Robert Vaughn - Napoleon Solo
  • David McCallum - Ilya Kuryakin
  • Leo G. Carroll - Alexander Waverly
  • Barbara Ann Moore - Lisa Rogers

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