"No man is free who works for a living . . . but I am available." (-- Illya Kuryakin, "The Bow-Wow Affair")

These reviews/commentaries on the show's 105 episodes originally appeared in slightly different form on the Yahoo! Groups website Channel_D, from 2008 to 2010. If you're new to MfU fandom, these may give you some idea of the flavor of the series, which is still famous and beloved more than 50 (!) years after its premiere in 1964. Enjoy!

News: Decades Channel is running a "Weekend Binge" of MfU episodes on July 2, 2017. Check the schedule here.

(Except where otherwise noted, images are used with permission of the exhaustive site Lisa's Video Frame Capture Library. Thanks to Lisa for all her work!)

Friday, March 12, 2010

Summing Up: Season Four, The Awards

On the whole, the back-to-basics approach from Season Four producer Anthony Spinner worked. (Given a choice between fluff like "Jingle Bells" and a dark-toned mystery like "J for Judas," I'll go for the latter every time.)  Even the best episodes this year lacked some of the sparkle that graced the best of Seasons One and Two.  But on Spinner's watch, U.N.C.L.E. regained much of its strength and occasionally prefigured the grimmer tone of today's movie and TV spy thrillers.

Now, my coveted Silver Communicator Awards.  Feel free to join in with your own winners and losers:

Best in Show: "Summit Five," "Deadly Quest," "Maze"

Best Performance by Robert Vaughn: "Man from Thrush"

Best Performance by David McCallum: "Gurnius"

Most Important to the U.N.C.L.E. Universe: "Summit Five," "Survival School"

Best Innocent: Sheila van Tillson, "Deadly Quest" (the best of a rather dull lot)

Best Villains: Viktor Karmak, "Deadly Quest"; Harry Beldon, "Summit Five"

Most Colorful: "Prince of Darkness"

A for Atmosphere: "Deadly Quest"

And the Tarnished Medals go to:

Dullest: "Fiery Angel," "Gurnius"

Weakest: "Seven Wonders" (sadly, a poor final note for the series to go out on)

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