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The Man From U.N.C.L.E., Complete Series - DVD review - VIDEOS

by Bob Sassone, posted Nov 19th 2007 2:03PM

Man From U.N.C.L.E. DVD set

The Man From U.N.C.L.E. was one of the more successful spy shows/movies inspired by the James Bond craze of the 1960s. It was a fun show (with a great theme song!), and the complete series has just been released on DVD.

Some people might see the show as a "spoof," and one could take it that way, but it holds up really well as a straightforward spy drama too. Personally, I prefer I Spy, but The Man From U.N.C.L.E. is right up there too. And this set should make fans of the show (you are probably in your 30s at least, maybe older) very happy.

Packaging: This is where hardcore fans will go ga-ga. The entire collection is housed in a spy-ish looking attache case. OK, maybe they won't go ga-ga, because the case only looks like metal. It's actually cardboard, but anything else would have probably been too costly. It still looks nice though. The DVD boxes are inside, stacked on top of each other. I think the box is a little too small for all of the DVDs inside (and it's kinda hard to figure out how they go back in the first time you take them out), but it's still a cool case.

Audio/Video: The only way I remember this show (I was a little young to see it when it first appeared on NBC, from 1964-68) is from syndication and VHS, and both weren't that great. This is the clearest, nicest version of the show you'll find. The first season was in black and white, then the show switched to color, and both are represented here nicely.

Extras: One thing that disappoints me about some DVD sets is when the stars of the shows don't participate in the episode commentaries (that's true of Mary Tyler Moore, who doesn't contribute to any of the commentaries of either The Dick Van Dyke Show or Mary Tyler Moore Show sets!). Luckily, both Robert Vaughn and David McCallum (now on NCIS) do commentaries here.

You also get new interviews with both Vaughn and McCallum, and several features, including behind the scenes footage from the set of the show, "The Cloak & Swagger Affair: The Untold History of The Man From U.N.C.L.E.," "U.N.C.L.E. VIPs," which looks at all the famous guest stars the show had over the years, home movies from the set, TV promos, and more. All of the episodes are uncut. You also get to see the first pilot which never aired. There's over 10 hours of extra features to keep you happy for a while.

This is an impressive set. It's always sad when a studio takes a half-assed approach to releasing a show on DVD, as if just having it on DVD alone is all that fans want, the hell with packaging and extras. Good to see Time-Life took some care. And now, to get you into the mood to order the set, the opening credits from the first season and later seasons:

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Scott

You can buy the first season alone from Time Life for $39.99. Shipping is free.

http://www.timelife.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?catalogId=10001&storeId=1001&langId=-1&categoryId=90027&top_category=90001&productId=18501

December 14 2007 at 3:26 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Dan

I am definitely buying this package. I loved that show. And for those wondering....it stood for....United Network Command for Law Enforcement.

November 27 2007 at 7:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Ellen

You can buy the set online only right now:
http://davidmccallumfansonline.com
or
http://www.manfromuncle.org

November 19 2007 at 6:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
emor8t

where di you guys find this, I search Amazon, couldn't find it. Dad would love this for Christmas.

November 19 2007 at 4:13 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Mary

Apparently there will be an individual first season release, but I have no other information on it nor do I know whether you'd get all the fantastic special features on that release. I've pre-ordered the full set and am looking forward to it's arrival with much anticipation.

I became a fan of MFU when I was very young, and still have fond memories and associations with the series. I'm especially looking forward to the home movies David McCallum filmed behind the scenes on the set, interviews and commentaries. I too wish other series releases to dvd were as well done.

November 19 2007 at 4:12 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
David D

Any idea if they're going to break this up into individual seasons? 'Cause I've been clamoring for the first season for YEARS but have no interest in the progressively more ridiculous second and third. (My local station chose not to carry the fourth, which I understand is a major improvement, before it got cancelled mid-season and replaced by "Laugh-In.")

(And yet... I was such a fanatic that I even kept a chart of the ACT TITLES!)

November 19 2007 at 2:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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