‘The Man from U.N.C.L.E.’ first episode: ‘The Vulcan Affair’

For those who have forgotten or never seen the original series, “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.,” you can view the first episode of the original series on Amazon Instant for free if you use certain browsers. In that particularly episode, “The Vulcan Affair,” (done before Vulcan had anything to do with “Live Long and Prosper”), the adventure is more of a Solo affair. Napoleon Solo (Robert Vaughn) is off on his own for the most part, battling THRUSH without much help from Ilya Kuryakin (David McCallum).

In the pilot, Solo and Kuryakin are already working together. The agency is already established in hidden back rooms of a tailor’s shop. Alexander Waverly (Leo G. Carroll) has already replaced Mr. Allison. In “The Vulcan Affair,” Solo takes the former sweetheart (Pat Crowley as housewife Elaine May Bender Donaldson) of a suspected THRUSH agent, Andrew Vulcan (Fritz Weaver), to Vulcan’s chemical company in Africa. Solo believes Vulcan intends to kill an African leader, but that’s not quite true.

Kuryakin only appears at the beginning of the story briefly and he is also dressed in a suit. He speaks four lines. His part expanded when fan mail made it clear fans wanted to see more of him. You’ll have to pay for the rest of Season 1 ($14.99) to understand the Kuryakin-Solo dynamics and the Kuryakin’s beatnik turtleneck image.

Although both Solo and Kuryakin act professionally, Kuryakin supposedly the younger and is the more emotional of the two. “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.” only ran for four season from 1964-1968 with 105 episodes.

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