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July 11, 2015

Is This Something?

The Man From U.N.C.L.E., separating itself from a bazillion other action series reboots by keeping to the original sixties setting.

Guy Ritchie directs. Even average Guy Ritchie (as in Sherlock Holmes 2) is better than most directors.

Oh, and if this all seems like a James Bond parody/ripoff, well, it is and it isn't -- Ian Fleming developed concepts for the show when networks asked him to help develop it. The networks were obviously seeking to cash in on the Bond craze. So, while it is a ripoff, it's Bond's creator ripping himself off, which is... well, still a ripoff, but kind of allowed.

You might notice Fleming borrowed a name of a thug in Goldfinger -- "Solo" -- for the hero in this.

Ian Fleming was in court an awful lot over Bond:

Filmed in color from late November to early December 1963 with locations at a Lever Brothers soap factory in California, the show was originally Ian Fleming's Solo and later just Solo. However, in February 1964 a law firm representing James Bond movie producers Harry Saltzman and Albert R. Broccoli demanded an end to the use of Fleming’s name in connection with the series and an end to use of the name and character "Solo", "Napoleon Solo" and "Mr. Solo". At that time filming was under way for the Bond movie Goldfinger, in which Martin Benson was playing a supporting character named "Mr. Solo". The claim was the name "Solo" had been sold to them by Fleming, and Fleming could not again use it. Within five days Fleming had signed an affidavit that nothing in the Solo pilot infringed any of his Bond characters, but the threat of legal action resulted in a settlement in which the name Napoleon Solo could be kept but the title of the show had to change.

That's from Wikipedia. I'm surprised they didn't sue him over the villainous organization T.H.R.U.S.H. -- which sounds a lot like S.P.E.C.T.R.E -- but that angle would involve a lot of lawsuits with other people, too.

Also from Wikipedia, this bit of trivia. You know who this young child actor is?

Answer in white font (hold-scroll over it to see the answer): That right there is Kurt Russell.

I never saw this show, by the way. Not even once. I know about it because, secret confession, I was really into the Top Secret Role Playing Game, and the Dragon Magazine had a reprint once where they gave the stats of all the big fictional spies of movies and TV. So I really only know the Man from Uncle from that article.

Which is actually available on line, as part of a full scan of the full issue. It starts on page 10.

Nerd joy!

Anyway, looks stylish and fun.

Gardening Thread below.

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posted by Ace at 03:02 PM

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