With the upcoming The Man From U.N.C.L.E. film making its way to the big screen soon, it only made sense for Warner Bros. to release the TV show that started it all on DVD. Starting in 1964 and running four seasons with 105 episodes, it was one of the better James Bond wannabe shows and one of the best series of its time. This season one set contains the first 29 black and white, hour-long episodes spread out across eleven discs that’s sure to keep fans busy while possibly making some new ones for those who have never seen or heard of the show.
The series follows the adventures of the American Napoleon Solo (Robert Vaughn) and Russian Illya Kuryakin (David McCallum) who are forced to work together during an era where tension between their countries is at an all time high. They work as secret agents for an organization called U.N.C.L.E. (United Network Command for Law and Enforcement) where they take on missions all around the world to stop the enemy group called THRUSH (I know, some wild names here).
Whether it’s stopping mad scientists or just evil bigwigs trying to take over the world, the two of them use their wits, weapons and gadgets to save the day while also saving an innocent lady caught in the middle. The show is obviously a bit dated, so don’t expect fast-paced, well choreographed action here and you’ll be fine. The thing that really makes the show worth watching is the awesome chemistry between Vaughn and McCallum, who fit their stereotype roles perfectly with Solo being the cool lady magnet / hero while Kuryakin remains focused on the mission but can trade often funny but intellectual quips with Solo at a moments notice.
Another thing that made this show popular was the amazing cast of guest stars that appeared on it. I found myself laughing at how cool it was to see people such as Ricardo Montalbán, William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, Slim Pickens, a very young Kurt Russell and more. Seeing these guests on here definitely made staying glued to the screen a lot easier as I watched.
This being the only season filmed in black and white makes a perfect fit on DVD, as everything looks and sounds better than when the show was aired. Fans will be happy to know the episodes are unedited unlike when they come on cable. There are no special features, but with 29 hour-long episodes on eleven DVD discs, it would’ve been nice to have but is not needed.
The Man From U.N.C.L.E. Season One DVD set is perfect for fans and those who enjoy classic TV shows. It’s a no frills package shown in black and white, in fullscreen format with no extras. That’s really no problem though, as the real special parts are the chemistry between the lead characters and the amazing guest stars that show up throughout. This is a set you’ll want to spy with your eye and add your DVD collection.