The Man From U.N.C.L.E.

Trivia: "The Man From U.N.C.L.E.'s" original working title was "Solo," and its lead character was named for a spy with a minor role in one of Ian Fleming's early Bond novels. U.N.C.L.E. producer Norman Felton had a handshake agreement with Fleming to use the name and to develop "Solo" as a TV spy series. But the Bond film franchise had other ideas, reneged on the agreement on Fleming's behalf, and sued, forcing the title change. Felton prevailed only in retaining the character's name: Napoleon Solo.

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Trivia: Thrush, U.N.C.L.E.'s nemesis organization, was an international bad-guy conglomerate with the single-minded goal of taking over the world. Though "Thrush" was never an acronym on the show itself, U.N.C.L.E. novelist David McDaniel assigned it a meaning that became fan canon: he called it the Technological Hierarchy for the Removal of Undesirables and the Subjugation of Humanity. That pretty much described Thrush's nefarious ambitions to a T.

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Trivia: U.N.C.L.E. stood for the United Network Command for Law & Enforcement. The original intent was that the U.N. portion of its name should stand for United Nations, until it was learned that the real U.N. doesn't permit its name to be used as part of any commercial enterprise. So the more nebulous term "Network" was used instead.

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Trivia: Though U.N.C.L.E. was entirely fictive, thousands of fans wrote NBC and MGM in the 60s begging to join up. Might have had something to do with the bogus disclaimer at the end of every episode: "We wish to thank the United Network Command for Law and Enforcement, without whose assistance this program would not be possible." So many requests came in that MGM printed U.N.C.L.E. membership cards and sent them to the letter writers.

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Trivia: U.N.C.L.E. had cell phones 30 years before they were invented in the real world. Even before Star Trek, U.N.C.L.E. had "communicators" that utilized the brand new technology of the recently launched TelStar communications satellite. The communicators were first disguised as cigarette packs and cases, but later became spiffy pocket pens that morphed into satellite radios when the cap was upended. U.N.C.L.E.'s spies then "phoned home" with the request to "Open Channel D."

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Trivia: When Napoleon uses his pen communicator, he twists the bottom of the antenna after extending it. According to an interview with the prop master on the season 2 DVD, this action wasn't a necessity for the prop to "work". It was just something Robert Vaughn incorporated during filming.

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Trivia: When "Solo", the original pilot, was screened for NBC, the studio initially disliked David McCallum as Illya, curiously only because of his hair length, and asked that the role be re-cast. But because of how the request was worded, Alexander Waverly (originally named Mr. Allison) was re-cast instead.

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Trivia: Of the three lead actors, David McCallum was the only one who never appeared on The Girl from U.N.C.L.E.. Robert Vaughn made one guest appearance, while Leo Carroll was a series regular on both shows simultaneously.

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Trivia: The correct Russian spelling of Illya's name should be "Ilya," with only one L. But series creator Sam Rolfe chose the name as an homage to Illya, the Greek character in Never on Sunday, and retained the Greek spelling. "Kuryakin" came from the Greek word for Sunday, "Kyriaki."

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