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.
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.
Trivia: Four of the guests at Marion's party are played by U.N.C.L.E. production staff in cameo roles. Creator-producer Norman Felton is the man playing chess, producer Sam Rolfe is the dancing Texan, associate producer/writer Joseph Calvelli is the writer typing at the coffee table, and director Richard Donner is the drunk in the extremely loud sport coat.
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.
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.
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."
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.
Trivia: When Napoleon informs Mr. Waverly that Illya once played the French horn, and Illya corrects him that it was the English horn, Napoleon wonders what the difference is. There is actually quite a difference: the French horn is a member of the brass family, a relative of trumpets and trombones, and the English horn is a member of the woodwind family, a relative of oboes and clarinets.
Trivia: There are a pair of meta-references to Sonny and Cher's guest appearances in this episode. One of the Harrys at Agnes Sue mentions the pair a few moments before Cher makes her first appearance, and when they appear on screen together for the first time, the song playing under the scene is their #1 hit "I Got You Babe".
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.
Trivia: David McCallum recalls that in this episode, when Illya was supposed to drive a fork lift down a corridor and stop, he accidentally hit the accelerator instead of the brake, crashed through a wall and demolished the set. While he and Robert Vaughn found it a source of much hilarity, MGM's "bean counters" were reportedly not at all amused.
Trivia: On their plane ride to Transylvania, Napoleon and Clemency watch a movie called One Spy Too Many. This is actually the title of a theatrical U.N.C.L.E. movie which combined the "Alexander the Greater Affair" episodes and added in a new subplot. The film is included as a special feature on the season 2 DVD.