Reviews & Ratings for
"The Man from U.N.C.L.E." The Iowa-Scuba Affair (1964)

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16 out of 18 people found the following review useful:

The first post-pilot episode has a lot to offer

Author: DSearch1 from United States
5 March 2007

The high rating is in the context of the show. If you're an UNCLE fan, you'll enjoy this hour. In a sense, it's the Goldfinger of TMFU, in that it provides the template for the series: innocent and naive female gets entangled in megalomaniacal plot, gadgets, harrowing escapes, and humor.

Unlike later color episodes, the B&W filming frequently makes good use of shadow and light, compensating some day-for-night scenes. And the action moves briskly enough to forgive its implausibility. But Illya fans be forewarned: this is a solo Solo episode. Kuryakin shows up only in nominal HQ scenes. Mr. Waverly has some nice moments, and Robert Vaughn carries the rest of the load impeccably.

All told, director Richard Donner delivers a solid, watchable show. (As of this writing, it's available to download -- along with several other TMFU episodes -- and watch at no cost on AOL Video's free Hi-Q system:

Among writer Harold Jack Bloom's previous accomplishments, he and UNCLE "developer" Sam Rolfe were nominated for an Oscar for their 1953 screenplay, "The Naked Spur." In an interesting (and uncredited) turn, three years after this episode aired -- his sole TMFU teleplay -- Bloom contributed additional material to the 007 flick, "You Only Live Twice. Ever notice TMFU show credits always include, "Developed by Sam Rolfe" -- not "Created by?" That's because it was James Bond author Ian Fleming who originally came up with the idea of a globe-hopping spy named Napoleon Solo (as well as the name for a female agent, April Dancer -- later The Girl From UNCLE).

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7 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

International Intrigue in Iowa!

Author: ShadeGrenade from Ambrosia
18 June 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Having recently reviewed a number of episodes of 'M.F.U.''s fourth season, I thought for a change to look at one of the earliest. Season 1 is always omitted from British repeat screenings because it commits the cardinal sin of being in black and white. B.B.C.-2 kicked off their 1992 re-runs with 'The Ultimate Computer Affair', and Sky's Granada Plus a few years later only served up the second and third seasons ( I am reliably informed that the 'Bravo' cable channel showed Season 1 in the early '90's, but as I have never subscribed to cable I tragically missed it ).

I recently acquired Season 1, I'm pleased to say. 'The Iowa-Scuba Affair' was the second episode to be broadcast, and was penned by Harold Jack Bloom and directed by Richard Donner.

An Iowa serviceman kisses a woman goodnight, before riding off into the night on a motorbike. Solo confronts him. The man tries to run him down, so Napoleon kills him. The U.N.C.L.E. agent poses as the man's brother, and gets angry when he finds the body on the mortuary slab is not the one he expected. The real serviceman was killed and replaced by an impostor.

Solo goes to take a shower in his hotel room when it spits poison gas at him. He narrowly escapes with his life.

A group of terrorists plans to steal a top secret plane from an underground silo owned by the U.S. Air Force. They will then fly it to South America. To this end, they are using a tunnel that is part of a farm's system of wells owned by Clint Spinner ( Slim Pickens ).

Bloom co-wrote with Sam Rolfe the classic Western 'The Naked Spur'. He was later approached by Harry Saltzman and Cubby Broccoli to write the screenplay for the 1967 Bond movie 'You Only Live Twice'. Though Roald Dahl receives main credit, Bloom claimed the space age plot was his.

Richard Donner directed the 'Twilight Zone' masterpiece 'Nightmare At 20,000 Feet' and the films 'The Omen', 'Superman' and 'Lethal Weapon'. He comes up with some great set-pieces, including the opening, the shower scene, and Solo and the Katherine Crawford character stalked through a forest at night by killers equipped with infra red-sighted guns.

No THRUSH here though, nor Illya.

Slim Pickens as a villain? The casting surprisingly works. By acting the fool most of the time, it makes the surprise all the greater when he is finally exposed.

The early episodes featured a title sequence spelling out the purpose of the U.N.C.L.E. organisation, with Solo, Illya and Mr.Waverly talking to the audience to explain what it is they do. From episode 8 onwards, a different sequence would be used.

Nothing happens here that is beyond the scope of reality, and it is a pity the show got more 'way out' as it progressed. Very good stuff all told, and it is easy to see why it became a '60's pop culture phenomenon.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:


Author: gordonl56 from Canada
11 November 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E. – The Iowa- Scuba Affair – 1964

This is the second episode of 1964 to 1968 spy series, THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E. The series ran for a total of 105 episodes. The first season was filmed in B/W with the remainder shot in colour. Robert Vaughn plays agent Napoleon Solo while David McCallum plays Illya Kuryakin. Leo G Carroll plays Mister Waverly, the boss of the secret agency known as U.N.C.L.E. (United Network Command for Law & Enforcement) Their main enemy is THRUSH, an organization out to take over the planet.

Another fun episode of "The Man From Uncle" with this one taking place in Iowa. "Thrush" is planning on stealing a jet bomber and an H-bomb from a secret underground U.S. Air force base.

Robert Vaughn is out to stop the villain's evil plans. The Thrush side is represented by Slim Pickens who is tunnelling into the base. One inside, they plan on gassing the military personal and stealing the H-bombs.

Local civilian Katherine Crawford gets mixed up with Agent Vaughn and helps round up the baddies.

Plenty of action and a solid pace are supplied by director Richard Donner. Donner would go on to big screen fame as the helmsman for SUPERMAN, THE OMEN, THE GOONIES and the popular LETHAL WEAPON series. This series is a real blast from the past. I recall getting all the toys that were sold as a tie in to the series. We all wanted to be Napoleon Solo.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Especially enjoyable.

Author: oscar-35 from working in Movieland
10 October 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

*Spoiler/plot- "The Iowa-Scuba Affair", Man from U.N.C.L.E. Thrush seeks taking over a secret Air Force instillation with it's special aircraft to help in the takeover of a South American fragile country.

*Special Stars- Regulars: Leo G. Carroll, Robert Vaughn, David McCallum. Slim Pickets, Kathleen Crawford. DIR: Richard Donner.

*Theme- South American countries are fragile from outside coupe take-overs.

*Trivia/location/goofs- B & W. Shot at MGM studio lot and back-lot, now gone.

*Emotion- Especially enjoyable due to the appearance of old rodeo cowboy and clown, Slim "Dr. Strangelove' Pickets in this eps. An exciting confrontation of two fictional international spy rings with many spy gadgets, cars, guns, and beautiful women to keep the viewer interested in the plot. Almost an 'exploitation' genre of the spy plot from a major weekly TV show of the early 60's times.

*Based On- The TV show spy craze of the early 60's.

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