The Girl from U.N.C.L.E.
This article possibly contains original research. (November 2016)
|The Girl from U.N.C.L.E.|
|Created by||Norman Felton|
|Directed by||Richard C. Bennett|
E. Darrell Hallenbeck
Richard C. Sarafian
Leo G. Carroll
|Theme music composer||theme composed by |
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||1|
|No. of episodes||29 (list of episodes)|
|Executive producer||Norman Felton|
|Running time||50 minutes|
|Production companies||Arena Productions|
|Distributor||Warner Bros. Television Distribution|
|Original release||September 16, 1966 â|
April 11, 1967
|Related shows||The Man from U.N.C.L.E.|
The Girl from U.N.C.L.E. is an American spy fiction TV series that aired on NBC for one season from September 16, 1966, to April 11, 1967. The series was a spin-off from The Man from U.N.C.L.E. and used the same theme music composed by Jerry Goldsmith, in a different arrangement by Dave Grusin.
The Girl from U.N.C.L.E. stars Stefanie Powers as American U.N.C.L.E. agent April Dancer and Noel Harrison (son of Rex Harrison) as her British partner, Mark Slate. Leo G. Carroll plays their superior, Alexander Waverly. The character name "April Dancer" was suggested by James Bond creator Ian Fleming who was a consultant in the creation of the parent program shortly before his death.
The series was not as successful as its parent program and was cancelled after 29 episodes due to low ratings. Several crossover episodes were produced in conjunction with The Man from U.N.C.L.E.. The The Man from U.N.C.L.E. episode âThe Moonglow Affairâ served as a backdoor pilot where the two main characters, April and Mark, were portrayed by Mary Ann Mobley and Norman Fell, respectively. In the Girl crossover episode "The Mother Muffin Affair", Napoleon Solo (Robert Vaughn) teamed up with April Dancer.
Similar to the later spy series Alias, April Dancer often went on undercover missions where she had to affect a foreign accent (Powers is fluent in several languages). Her dance training was also put to good use in several episodes, particularly "The Mata Hari Affair" where Powers recreated the dance performed by Greta Garbo in the film Mata Hari (1931) and The Drublegratz Affair, where April Dancer went undercover as a go-go dancer.
Another feature was the sometimes outlandish avant-garde outfits worn by Powers intended to make her appear hip and modern. She was featured on the cover of TV Guide (December 31, 1966 â January 6, 1967), and the article on her mentions the show "...allocating roughly $1,000 an episode for stretch vinyl jackets and skirts, a bare-midriff harem-dancer outfit, miniskirts and the latest mod fashions from Swinging London's Carnaby Street."
The article also underscores the show's major flaw: "Unlike her fellow U.N.C.L.E. agents, the ladylike April is not required to kill the bad guys. Her feminine charms serve as the bait, while her partner Noel Harrison provides the fireworks. She does carry, however, a perfume atomizer that sprays gas, earrings and charm bracelets that explode, among other interesting gadgets."
In contrast to her keen martial arts contemporaries, the lead character in Honey West and Emma Peel in The Avengers, the more demure conception of April Dancer weakened the character and often turned her into a helpless damsel-in-distress. April was often knocked unconscious by T.H.R.U.S.H agents and also frequently kidnapped and left in some very perilous positions. Arming her with gimmicks and gadgets was not enough.
Additionally, the stories generally leaned toward parody, campy humor and cartoonish villains instead of the more realistic action-suspense format of its progenitor. This is largely due to the influence of the Batman series which became an instant sensation in early 1966. During the 1966â1967 season, The Man from U.N.C.L.E. also suffered a decline in ratings due to a change in format designed to appeal to Batman fans.
Despite attempts at cross-promotion with its parent series â Harrison appeared as Slate in an episode of Man from U.N.C.L.E. while Robert Vaughn appeared as Napoleon Solo in an episode of Girl â the show failed to build an audience and lasted only one season. According to The Man from U.N.C.L.E. Book by Jon Heitland, and commentary on the DVD release of the parent series, the failure of Girl from U.N.C.L.E. was considered a contributing factor in Man's mid-season cancellation in early 1968.
- Stefanie Powers as April Dancer
- Noel Harrison as Mark Slate
- Leo G. Carroll as Alexander Waverly; chief of U.N.C.L.E.
- Randy Kirby as Agent Randy Kovacs
Notable guest stars
- Edward Asner
- Joan Blondell
- Tom Bosley
- John Carradine
- Jack Cassidy
- Ellen Corby
- Wally Cox
- Yvonne De Carlo
- Dom DeLuise
- John Erwin
- Bernard Fox
- Stan Freberg
- Boris Karloff
- Fernando Lamas
- Peggy Lee
- Raymond Massey
- Luciana Paluzzi
- Lyn Peters
- Pernell Roberts
- Ruth Roman
- Gena Rowlands
- Ann Sothern
- Olan Soule
- Olive Sturgess
- Leslie Uggams
- Robert Vaughn
- Carol Wayne
- Michael Wilding
Backdoor pilot (1966)
|Title||Directed by||Written by||Original air date|
|"The Moonglow Affair"||Joseph Sargent||Dean Hargrove||February 25, 1966|
|When Solo and Kuryakin are incapacitated, Waverly assigns agent April Dancer (Mary Ann Mobley) and Mark Slate (Norman Fell) to complete their mission.|
Season 1 (1966â67)
This section needs an improved plot summary. (August 2020)
|No.||Title||Directed by||Written by||Original air date||Prod.|
|1||"The Dog-Gone Affair"||Barry Shear||Tony Barrett||September 13, 1966||8622|
|April Dancer is on her way to a Greek island with a dog whose fleas contain the antidote to a THRUSH developed drug. A man named Fromage sits next to April and suspecting he is a THRUSH agent, she contacts Mark and attaching a parachute to the dog, throws it from the plane. Mark is captured briefly but the dog escapes. Later Mark and April meet and using a dog whistle April attracts the dog. However, it escapes again and when April gives chase, she is karate chopped on the neck and April Dancer faints and is kidnapped. When she revives, she is questioned by Zakinthios, who leads the mission for THRUSH. Refusing to talk, April is quickly knocked out again. She wakes up tied to a swing over a pool of piranhas but April escapes in the nick of time, manages to retrieve the dog yet again and Mark defeats Zakinthios in a fight. April and Mark eventually hand the dog over to the authorities to enable them to make the antidote.|
|2||"The Prisoner of Zalamar Affair"||Herschel Daugherty||Max Hodge||September 20, 1966||8611|
|3||"The Mother Muffin Affair"||Sherman Marks||Joseph Calvelli||September 27, 1966||8624|
|4||"The Mata Hari Affair"||Joseph Sargent||Samuel Peeples||October 4, 1966||8617|
|5||"The Montori Device Affair"||John Brahm||Boris Sobelman||October 11, 1966||8601|
|6||"The Horns-of-the-Dilemma Affair"||John Brahm||Tony Barrett||October 18, 1966||8606|
|7||"The Danish Blue Affair"||Mitchell Leisen||Arthur Weingarten||October 25, 1966||8615|
|8||"The Garden of Evil Affair"||Jud Taylor||John O'Dea & Arthur Rowe||November 1, 1966||8607|
|9||"The Atlantis Affair"||E. Darrell Hallenbeck||Richard Matheson||November 15, 1966||8609|
|10||"The Paradise Lost Affair"||Alf Kjellin||John O'Dea & Arthur Rowe||November 22, 1966||8621|
|11||"The Lethal Eagle Affair"||John Brahm||Robert Hill||November 29, 1966||8626|
|12||"The Romany Lie Affair"||Richard Sarafian||Tony Barrett||December 6, 1966||8630|
|13||"The Little John Doe Affair"||Leo Penn||Joseph Calvelli||December 13, 1966||8628|
|14||"The Jewels of Topango Affair"||John Brahm||Berne Giler||December 20, 1966||8614|
|15||"The Faustus Affair"||Barry Shear||Jerry McNeely||December 27, 1966||8613|
|16||"The U.F.O. Affair"||Barry Shear||Warren Duff||January 3, 1967||8623|
|17||"The Moulin Ruse Affair"||Barry Shear||Story by : Jay Simms|
Teleplay by : Jay Simms & Fred Eggers
|January 17, 1967||8610|
|18||"The Catacomb and Dogma Affair"||E. Darrell Hallenbeck||Warren Duff||January 24, 1967||8629|
|19||"The Drublegratz Affair"||Mitchell Leisen||Boris Sobelman||January 31, 1967||8625|
|20||"The Fountain of Youth Affair"||E. Darrell Hallenbeck||Story by : Robert Bloch & Richard DeRoy|
Teleplay by : Richard DeRoy
|February 7, 1967||8605|
|21||"The Carpathian Caper Affair"||Barry Shear||Arthur Weingarten||February 14, 1967||8631|
|22||"The Furnace Flats Affair"||Barry Shear||Archie Tegland||February 21, 1967||8603|
|23||"The Low Blue C Affair"||Barry Shear||Berne Giler||February 28, 1967||8632|
|24||"The Petit Prix Affair"||Mitchell Leisen||Robert Hill||March 7, 1967||8634|
|25||"The Phi Beta Killer Affair"||Barry Shear||Jackson Gillis||March 14, 1967||8619|
|26||"The Double-O-Nothing Affair"||John Brahm||Dean Hargrove||March 21, 1967||8638|
|27||"The U.N.C.L.E. Samurai Affair"||Alf Kjellin||Tony Barrett||March 28, 1967||8636|
|28||"The High and the Deadly Affair"||Dick Bennett||Jameson Brewer||April 4, 1967||8620|
|29||"The Kooky Spook Affair"||Dick Bennett||John O'Dea & Arthur Rowe||April 11, 1967||8640|
Beginning in 1968, reruns of all 29 episodes of The Girl from U.N.C.L.E., including 99 of 105 of its parent series, The Man from U.N.C.L.E., were combined into a 128 episode syndication package in the United States. Years later, a few more episodes were added to the package, rounding it out to 132.
On August 23, 2011, Warner Bros. released the complete series in two parts on DVD in Region 1 via their Warner Archive Collection. The two 4-disc collections contain all 29 episodes of the series. These are Manufacture-on-Demand (MOD) releases, available exclusively through Warner's online store and only in the US.
Jerry Goldsmith's theme for The Man from U.N.C.L.E. was adapted for the series by Dave Grusin in an energetic variation. Of the 29 episodes, eight had complete original scores and six were partial scores, with the rest being tracked by the previously written material.
Grusin wrote four complete scores ("The Dog-Gone Affair," "The Mother Muffin Affair," "The Mata Hari Affair" and "The Furnace Flats Affair"), Richard Shores â who would be the principal composer for The Man from U.N.C.L.E the following season â did three ("The Montori Device Affair," "The Prisoner of Zalamar Affair" and "The Danish Blue Affair") and Jack Marshall composed his only score for either U.N.C.L.E. series with "The Horns-of-the-Dilemma Affair." Jeff Alexander, also writing his only U.N.C.L.E. music, provided a partial score for "The Garden of Evil Affair," sharing "Music Score by" credit with Grusin and Shores (the latter two share the credit on all the other episodes, tracked and partial score alike). The opening and closing title themes and suites from the episodes "The Dog-Gone Affair," "The Prisoner of Zalamar Affair," "The Mother Muffin Affair," "The Mata Hari Affair," "The Montori Device Affair" and "The Horns-of-the-Dilemma Affair" are included on the third FSM album of music from The Man from U.N.C.L.E.
The Girl from U.N.C.L.E. was featured in five original novels, only two of which were published in the United States:
- The Birds of a Feather Affair by Michael Avallone
- The Blazing Affair by Michael Avallone
- The Global Globules Affair â Simon Latter (published in United Kingdom, and in France as L'affaire des Globules)
- The Golden Boats of Taradata Affair â Simon Latter (published in United Kingdom only)
- The Cornish Pixie Affair â Peter Leslie (published in United Kingdom only)
Unlike the series, the novels were quite serious, with the plot of The Birds of a Feather Affair ending in tragedy for April when the 'innocent' character usually featured in the TV show dies despite what April does to stop the villains. In addition, the prohibition on April using deadly force on the TV series (described earlier) did not apply to the novels.
- Heitland, Jon (2003). Man from U.N.C.L.E. Book: The Behind-the-Scenes Story of a Television Classic. Griffin. ISBN 9780312292157.
- [dead link]
- [dead link]
- "Girl from U.N.C.L.E., The: The Complete Series Part One DVD â Warner Bros. Archive: WBshop.com â The Official Online Store of Warner Bros. Studios". WBshop.com. Retrieved 2012-01-01.
- "Girl from U.N.C.L.E., The: The Complete Series Part Two DVD â Warner Bros. Archive: WBshop.com â The Official Online Store of Warner Bros. Studios". WBshop.com. Retrieved 2012-01-01.
- Jon Burlingame, liner notes, The Man From U.N.C.L.E. Volume 3, featuring The Girl From U.N.C.L.E., FSM Vol. 7, No. 14
- "Television Obscurities â Bookshelf: The Girl from U.N.C.L.E. #1, "The Birds of a Feather Affair"". 2009-10-21. Retrieved 2012-12-03.
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