What a long awaited treat! The successful The Man From U.N.C.L.E. had one very unsuccessful spin off- the one hour show- The Girl From U.N.C.L.E.. This obscure spin off lasted a very short one season. During The Man From U.N.C.L.E., two new characters were brought into the episode, THE MOONGLOW AFFAIR which filmed in December of 1965. The characters were April Dancer played by former Miss America Mary Ann Mobley and Mark Slate played by Norman Fell (Mr. Roper from Three's Company). These two characters would go on to do their own series, The Girl From U.N.C.L.E., in the next year in 1966. The producers found the inexperienced Mobley and the ordinary Norman Fell to be less exciting than the pair they wanted to portray in the new Girl From U.N.C.L.E. series. They found a much more hip and mod couple in a 23 year old Stephanie Powers, who spoke several languages fluently, which was an asset to the accents she would need working in all the foreign countries in the episodes, and a 32 year old very British Noel Harrison (Noel is the son of Rex Harrison). Added to the couple of April Dancer (Powers) and Mark Slate (Harrison) was the U.N.C.L.E. boss himself -Alexander Waverly played by Leo G. Carroll.
Although the stories were pure camp, the first two episodes did well in the Nielsen ratings at #24, followed by #30 for the next two episodes. By the 5th episode, the show plummeted down into the bottom numbers, which led to it's cancellation for a second season. Stephanie Powers was always blamed for it's cancellation, as she never made good comments for the press and was not thrilled with the show's crazy, silly unbelievable stories and campiness. Even in the successful first episode-The Dog-Gone Affair, THRUSH develops a drug that causes people to move in slow motion and the anecdote that April must bring is on a flea that is on a dog.
Aside from the campy silly stories, the show spared no expenses with many great guest stars and a $1,000.00 per episode wardrobe budget for Miss Powers. Stephanie Powers mod wardrobe came directly from Carnaby Street in London and she had gorgeous costumes for all the characters she had to play like a daughter of a sheik, a belly dancer or a stewardess. One thing that April Dancer lacked was the ability to get the bad guys. April always played the bait for THRUSH agents, she had compacts and earrings with sleeping gas- but all the fighting was done by her partner Mark Slate. The Avengers Emma Peele did all her own fighting, where April Dancer was always a damsel in distress, making her a weak personality for the already weak story lines. Audiences saw the direct copying off the successful Batman Show, with it's cartoony characters and silly plots, which just didn't work in a spy-fi series as it did for Batman, which was based on a cartoon.
As campy as this show was, it will be great to see Stephanie Powers and Noel Harrison up against the bad guys again and all the THRUSH agents. In the third episode, The Mother Muffin Affair, you'll see Powers teamed up with U.N.C.L.E.'s Robert Vaughn to battle Mother Muffin- Boris Karloff in drag! From only one short year of filming, you'll be treated to a guest star list that is quite incredible, as these episodes included: Edward Asner, Joan Blondell, Tom Bosley, John Carradine, Jack Cassidy, Ellen Corby, Wally Cox, Dom DeLuise, Boris Karloff, Peggy Lee, Fernando Lamas, Gena Rowlands, Ann Sothern, Leslie Uggams, Robert Vaughn, Carol Wayne, Michael Wilding, Yvonne DeCarlo and more.
Warner Brothers is producing this one year Series in a two part disc set. They have divided the series in half and are making the set available together or separately. The Warner Brothers website is selling them together, where Amazon is selling them separately, and the TCM website is selling them together. The prices are all different, so you'll have to shop around. Each half set includes 4 discs, which is 8 discs total. The episodes are made on demand, which means they will only make them as they are ordered and not in mass quantities. These type of sets are always difficult to find in the future, so if you are interested in The Girl From U.N.C.L.E., don't miss out now, as it will be short lived, just as it was in 1966-1967. Warner Brothers website has a sample of the video quality of this show, if you want to see it before you order. Warner Brothers has made this show from the best quality video masters they could find, but it is not restored or remastered, so view before you buy. I looked at the sample and it looks great!
I have waited to see this wonderful campy show for decades and I can't wait to see all the great guest stars along with Noel Harrison and a very young Stephanie Powers with her fabulous mod Carnaby Street wardrobe. A huge Thank You to Warner Brothers for bringing back this fun show!
Here are the Complete 29 Episodes that aired from September 1966 to April 1967:
01. 09-13-1966 THE DOG-GONE AFFAIR
02. 09-20-1966 THE PRISONER OF ZALAMAR AFFAIR
03. 09-27-1966 THE MOTHER MUFFIN AFFAIR
04. 10-04-1966 THE MATA HARI AFFAIR
05. 10-11-1966 THE MONTORI DEVICE AFFAIR
06. 10-18-1966 THE HORNS-OF-THE-DILEMMA AFFAIR
07. 10-25-1966 THE DANISH BLUE AFFAIR
08. 11-01-1966 THE GARDEN OF EVIL AFFAIR
09. 11-15-1966 THE ATLANTIS AFFAIR
10. 11-22-1966 THE PARADISE LOST AFFAIR
11. 11-29-1966 THE LETHAL EAGLE AFFAIR
12. 12-06-1966 THE ROMANY LIE AFFAIR
13. 12-13-1966 THE LITTLE JOHN DOE AFFAIR
14. 12-20-1966 THE JEWELS OF TOPANGO AFFAIR
15. 12-27-1966 THE FAUSTUS AFFAIR
16. 01-03-1967 THE U.F.O. AFFAIR
17. 01-17-1967 THE MOULIN RUSE AFFAIR
18. 01-24-1967 THE CATACOMB AND DOGMA AFFAIR
19. 01-31-1967 THE DRUBLEGRATZ AFFAIR
20. 02-07-1967 THE FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH AFFAIR
21. 02-14-1967 THE CARPATHIAN CAPER AFFAIR
22. 02-21-1967 THE FURNACE FLATS AFFAIR
23. 02-28-1967 THE LOW BLUE C AFFAIR
24. 03-07-1967 THE PETIT PRIX AFFAIR
25. 03-14-1967 THE PHI BETA KILLER AFFAIR
26. 03-21-1967 THE DOUBLE-O-NOTHING AFFAIR
27. 03-28-1967 THE U.N.C.L.E. SAMURAI AFFAIR
28. 04-04-1967 THE HIGH AND THE DEADLY AFFAIR
29. 04-11-1967 THE KOOKY SPOOK AFFAIR
IMPORTANT NOTE: This PART 1 includes only Episodes 1 to 15. PART 2 will include Episodes 16 to 29.