I have to admit I've never been the greatest fan of THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E. More artificial than I SPY, sillier and campier than MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE, less relevant to Cold War politics than DANGER MAN/SECRET AGENT. However, when Amazon last week featured a one-day Gold Box sale of Time-Life's THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E.: THE COMPLETE SERIES for just $89, I had to pull the trigger. Retailing at $249.99 and usually sold for around $170, I couldn't say no.
And, just judging from the extras, I'm glad I did. Like Time-Life's exemplary GET SMART: THE COMPLETE SERIES box set, this one features terrific packaging and enough supplemental material to convince you that everything U.N.C.L.E. you ever wanted to know is right here. I watched four hours or so of bonus material last night, which has been scrupulously and lovingly assembled. Included is a 77-minute interview with stars David McCallum and Robert Vaughn together, where they talk about the show, their roles, and its influence on their lives. Other extras involve writers, directors, cinematographer Fred Koenekamp even. How many TV series box sets bother to chat with the cameramen?
Everything comes packed in a pretty sturdy briefcase with the U.N.C.L.E. logo on the lid. Looks pretty sweet in the living room. I guess eventually I'll have to watch the episodes. Of the 104 shows, I've seen probably a dozen or so. It's an okay series, but not one I ever thought I'd have to own. Until last week.