“The Man from U.N.C.L.E.”

September 22nd Celebrates The Man from UNCLE

Today’s “Days to Remember,” on September 22nd 1964, the television series called, “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.” debuted on NBC-TV.

If you never heard of this television show before, let me give you small synopsis what this television series was all about?

“The Man from U.N.C.L.E.” starring Robert Vaughn, was American television series about secret agents.

Who work for a secret international counter espionage and law and enforcement agency called U.N.C.L.E.

Originally, co-creator Sam Rolfe wanted to leave the meaning of U.N.C.L.E. ambiguous so it could refer to either “Uncle Sam” or the United Nations.

Concerns by the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer legal department about using “U.N.” for commercial purposes resulted in the producers’ clarification that U.N.C.L.E. was an acronym for the United Network Command for Law and Enforcement.

The series consisted of 105 episodes originally screened between 1964 and 1968. It was produced by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and Arena productions. The first season was broadcast in black-and-white.

Ian Fleming contributed to the concepts after being approached by the show’s co-creator, Norman Felton.

The book The James Bond Films says Fleming proposed two characters, Napoleon Solo and April Dancer (The Girl from U.N.C.L.E.). The original name was Ian Fleming’s Solo.

Robert Towne, Sherman Yellen, and Harlan Ellison wrote scripts for the series. Author Michael Avallone, who wrote the first original novelization based upon the series (see below), is sometimes incorrectly cited as the show’s creator.

Today’s YouTube clip brought to you by user name, (elkadumpo) is theme song of the original show, that was aired on September 22nd 1964, the television series called, “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.”

The series, though fictional, achieved such cultural prominence that props; costumes and documents, and a video clip are in the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library’s exhibit on spies and counterspies. Similar U.N.C.L.E. exhibits are in the museums of the Central Intelligence Agency and other US agencies and organizations gathering intelligence.

A film adaptation of the television series has been produced by Warner Bros. and Turner Entertainment. Directed by Guy Ritchie, the film stars Armie Hammer, Henry Cavill, and Hugh Grant, played Kuryakin, Solo, and Waverly character, respectively.

Filming began in September 2013, and the movie was released on August 14, 2015. The film received generally positive to mixed reviews but so were Tom Cruise movies when they did the remake of Mission Impossible television series.

So whatever happened to the actor that started the television series called, “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.”

Robert Vaughn, who recently appeared in an episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, explains that the original show was conceived in much the same way, with Ian Fleming’s blessing. Fifty years later, the proud grandfather is still plenty pleased with his days as an international man of mystery.

Ian Fleming and Norman Felton were friends. U.N.C.L.E. was basically a tongue-in-cheek Bond. It wasn’t quite as serious and dramatic as Bond, nor did we have the budget for that.

Before making its debut on NBC, on September 22nd the pilot began shooting on November 22nd 1963, which was the same day President Kennedy was killed, and which also the actor Robert Vaughn’s birthday.

Robert Vaughn has said, “Shooting the pilot was the hardest thing I ever did because I was close friendship with John F. Kennedy.”

Robert Vaughn was also considered for the role of Tom Hagen in the movie called the Godfather, before Robert Duvall was cast.

David Keith McCallum, Jr who was the blonde haired partner from the television series called, “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.”

McCallum was born in Glasgow, the second of two sons of Dorothy Dorman, a cellist, and orchestral leader David McCallum, Sr.

When he was three, his family moved to London for his father to lead the London Philharmonic Orchestra. Early in the Second World War he was evacuated back to Scotland, where he lived with his mother

The Man from U.N.C.L.E., intended as a vehicle for Robert Vaughn, made McCallum into a sex symbol, his Beatle-style blond haircut providing a trendy contrast with Vaughn’s clean cut appearance. McCallum’s role as the mysterious Russian agent Illya Kuryakin was originally conceived as a peripheral one.

Since 2003 McCallum has starred in the CBS television series NCIS as Dr. Donald “Ducky” Mallard, the team’s chief medical examiner and one of the show’s most popular characters.

McCallum was first married to actress Jill Ireland on 11 May 1957 in London. In 1963 he introduced Ireland to Charles Bronson when both were filming The Great Escape.

She subsequently left McCallum and married Bronson in 1968. McCallum and Ireland had three sons: Paul, Jason (an adopted son who died from an accidental drug overdose in 1989), and Val (short for Valentine). Val McCallum is a successful guitar player, playing with Jackson Browne most recently in 2014.

Hope you enjoyed today’s blast from the past story, as we remember today’s day to remember how on September 22nd 1964, the television series called, “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.” debuted on NBC-TV.

Written & Designed by JD Mitchell
jdmitchelldesigns@gmail.com

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