Some U.N.C.L.E. myths, goofs for April Fool’s Day

U.N.C.L.E. insignia from a second-season episode

It may be April Fool’s Day, but one website apparently takes its readers for fools. It has some myths and goofs about The Man From U.N.C.L.E. television series.

The CrimeReads website has an April 1 article proclaiming, “These are plot descriptions of actual episodes from the 1960s spy television series The Man From U.N.C.L.E., and wow they are…insane.”

But not necessarily accurate. Time for a fact check.

The acronym for the villainous organization is T.H.R.U.S.H, which I think is also some kind of yeast infection.

In the series, the villainous organization was just named Thrush. No acronym. A tie-in novel, The Dagger Affair by David McDaniel, invented one. But it was never canon in the show. In fact, it was never referenced.

The Iowa Scuba Affair (S.1, Ep. 2)

When a young air force officer is shot to death in an Iowa cornfield, Solo finds scuba-diving suits, a fresh-scrubbed farm girl and a “farmer” whose silos contain not grain but a super-secret missile.

The air force officer is really a saboteur. He was shot to death by Solo. It turns out the saboteur murdered the air force officer and took his place.

The Finny Foot Affair (S.1, Ep.10)

A 12-year-old boy, a beautiful stripper, a dog named Spike and a murderous Japanese warlord send Solo and Illya to a mysterious castle where they discover a strange plague that ages its victims.

There is no stripper in the episode. I have no idea where CrimeReads got this from. I’ve seen the episode more times than I count. The boy was played by Kurt Russell, 13 years old at the time.

The Bow Wow Affair (S. 1, Ep. 20)

When world leaders are found dead with their throats slashed, Solo, Illya and Mr. Waverly suspect THRUSH has electronically gained control of the brain of each victim’s pet dog and turned it against its master.

One, Thrush isn’t part of the episode. Second, world leaders aren’t found with their throats slashed. They are rich people who have been attacked by their dogs. The person behind the threat is a gypsy. The gypsy is trying to get control of a major company. The rich people attacked by their dogs are major shareholders in the company.

The See-Paris-and-Die Affair (S. 1, E. 22)

A singing student is turned into a glamorous Parisian nightclub singer by Solo, Illya and Mr. Waverly when they use her to trap jewel thieves.

Waverly doesn’t appear in the episode.

The Discotheque Affair (S. 2, Ep. 5)

Solo, Illya and Mr. Waverly Watusi, frug and swim into a wild bunch of deadly dancers at a discotheque run by THRUSH.

Waverly is in the episode but goes nowhere near the discotheque until the end of the story when other U.N.C.L.E. agents arrive to mop things up. He certainly doesn’t Watusi, frug or swim.

The Thor Affair (S. 3, Ep. 7)

The Men from U.N.C.L.E. travel to Switzerland to protect an Asian leader and receive unexpected help when a vacationing schoolteacher’s dental work can tune in THRUSH’s radio communications.

Thrush isn’t part of the episode. The title refers to the villain, Brutus Thor, who is working for himself.

One Response

  1. Good thing we all have plenty of time these days 😉 and I intend not to waste mine!

    It’s not that I don’t enjoy a worthy send-up of MFU (like Preppies of the Apocalypse – http://preppiesoftheapocalypse.blogspot.com/p/uncle.html ) But there are a few shortcomings in the CrimeReads’ post. It appears to be part of Monmouth University which is advertising on its homepage a “Grad Open House” (gathering) April 18, 2020 (ironically for “Creative Writing”). Is this considered essential college networking or elite ignorance? The acronym of U.N.C.L.E. lacks a period after the E where it appears in both the header and in the text. The decade of the “60’s” uses no apostrophe. According to the opinion expressed, if 60’s television was “emotional medicine” then how would serious drama (which explored the human condition) fit in?

    Interminableness is a word? Paul Lynde “starred” in the shows mentioned? Does 60’s TV “represent happy, joyful” days or was it unapologetic escapism, like comic books, which never seem to challenged? Is it each “independent” (or should it be) each “individual” episode features Solo and Illya? What was the “Flynt” series, or is it a reference to “In Like Flint” movies? How does sexism “pack a nasty punch?” How does copying inaccurate plot descriptions from Amazon make a point other than misdirection? Do we assume accuracy doesn’t matter when the topic doesn’t?? If there’s little memory of the show and no interest in watching it again, isn’t the trip down memory lane a self-mockery? Are the opinions based on weak sources and broad generalities self-defeating? WOULD someone write “about how the show handles and reflects Cold War-era anxieties about nuclear fallout and international collaboration and female power”? Questionable grammar aside, was the analysis assumed to be an effort applicable to the past or present? Aside from superficialities, a few more journalistic skills might help. Just a thought, as usual. 😉

    Reference link:
    https://crimereads.com/plot-descriptions-the-man-from-uncle/

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