The Little Black Box and The 4 Different Theme Music Scores Used For Each Season
What I liked about this episode is where Kurt Russell's character, who was 13 years old at the time, introduces to Robert Vaughn's character during a flight scene at the beginning of Act II "Lickety Split", a battery operated black box, where a hand comes out and begins pushing it's toggle lever towards the OFF position, as the hand quickly springs back inside the black box. The black box appears again about a third of the way of ACT III "The Little Black Box" in a scene where the evil Japanese General activates it. I thought how cool the black box looked when I first saw it on DVD. At first, I thought the black box was a prop made by the MGM studio's prop department. I later came to discover that it was actually a battery operated novelty toy called "Little Black Box" by Poynter Products Inc., released in 1959. This novelty black box was also the precursor to another novelty black box called "The Thing From The Addams Family" a battery operated mechanical coin bank, also by Poynter Products Inc., released in 1964, based on the The Addams Family TV series from 1964 to 1966. The Thing box is all most identical to the Little Black Box version seen here in this episode, but a slight modification was done to the toggle lever section. A special coin slot stand was now added in it's place, which activated The Thing box when placing a coin on the slot, side ways for the hand to grab it. The black box version that appears on this U.N.C.L.E. episode, is the rarer one of the two black boxes described here on this review and both were made in Japan. I was only 3 years old at time when this series premiered in September of 1964. I sort of remember watching a few re-runs in the early 1970's, but I don't recall seeing this particular episode that I'm reviewing here, until I purchased the complete DVD set in 2007. The only thing about this 1964 to 1968 TV series that bothered me were for the 4 different theme music scores used for each of the 4 seasons. The worst theme was season 3 with season 4 behind it. The season 3 theme sounded like a cartoon theme, which went with the episodes themselves, which were just plain silly when compared to the more serious episodes of seasons 1, 2 and 4. But the damage was done when the show tried to go back to a more serious format after season 3 which is probably why season 4 ended up being a half season. The two best themes for me were for seasons 1 and 2 with the season 2 theme being my personal favorite. Both were definitely well recorded for their original catchy sound and cool, jazzy like rhythms that were and still are timeless.
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