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