Speculation: could U.N.C.L.E. and Holmes be tied together?

David McDaniel's The Dagger Affair

David McDaniel’s The Dagger Affair


A response to a recent post has a reminder there’s a sort-of Sherlock Holmes tie to The Man From U.N.C.L.E. Could director Guy Ritchie, who’s helming a movie version of the 1964-68 series, seize upon that?

Background: The original show generated 23 paperback novels based on The Man From U.N.C.L.E. Author David McDaniel penned many of the best. His first effort, The Dagger Affair, suggested that the villainous organization Thrush was a remnant of the group started by Professor Moriarty, the arch-nemesis of Sherlock Holmes.

McDaniel also devised that Thrush was really an acronym standing for the Technological Hierarchy for the Removal of Undesirables and the Subjugation of Humanity.

The series had its own origin for Thrush, in the second-season episode The Adriatic Express Affair, written by Robert Hill, in which Thrush chieftain Madame Nemirovitch (Jesse Royce Landis) claims she founded the organization. The McDaniel version isn’t canon but many fans of the original show perfer it to the Nemirovitch version.

Ritchie’s second Holmes film, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, featured a showdown between Robert Downey Jr.’s Holmes and Jared Harris’s Moriarty. So for director Ritchie and his U.N.C.L.E. producer Lionel Wigram (who worked on the Holmes movies) this is familiar territory.

The new movie, scheduled to start filming on Sept. 7, is to depict the first mission where Napoleon Solo and Illya Kuryakin are paired. Whether it also has an origin for Thrush (or THRUSH, if you prefer) remains to be seen.

RELATED PAGE: BOOKS FROM U.N.C.L.E.

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3 Responses

  1. As C. Walker reminded us:

    Holmes and UNCLE *were* tied together in Sam Rolfe’s original development notes. Sam likened Thrush to Moriarty’s organization, which is where David McD got the idea.

    In addition, Rolfe postulated that the Mafia was under Thrush’s direction.

  2. Headline referred to the new movie but ran out of space.

  3. […] previously noted, ONE OF THE ACE U.N.C.L.E. NOVELS of the 1960s provided an origin for Thrush (the name of the villainous organization in the […]

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