Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Me, The Man from U.N.C.L.E., and David McCallum

When I was a teen-ager I became a big fan of the TV show The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (MFU) and most especially of David McCallum who played Illya Kuryakin. Along with millions of other girls, he was my teen crush during the mid '60s. Sadly, the show was on the air for only 3½ years. When the show went off, I was a junior in high school, preparing for my SATs and thinking about college. The show and David McCallum became a very fond memory of my teen years for me.

Because I've always lived in "fly over" parts of the US, David never came to a city where I lived when he was doing live theater work and I didn't remember hearing of any of his movies. So I lost touch with his career. Fast forward to 2006. I started watching NCIS, the CBS program in which David (his fans always seem to refer to him by his first name when talking about him) plays the forensic pathologist. That man has aged very well! Then, a few months later in the summer while channel surfing, I find The Man from U.N.C.L.E. is on every Wed. night on a cable channel. Wow, this was the first time I had seen these episodes in over 40 years. I loved it! And I loved seeing David again as young man in his '30s. (I think I know now why I was attracted to my husband so quickly. I definitely see physical similarities to David in him, especially when he was young. Once while I was looking at some informal photos taken of David and another NCIS star at some event, my husband looked at my monitor and said, "He looks like my cousin Bill." So, even a casual observer can see it, I guess.)

After starting to watch NCIS and MFU, I looked around on the Internet to see what I could find. What a thrill it was to find groups of fans who never let MFU or David or Robert Vaughn (Napoleon Solo) fade away! So I joined the Channel_D Yahoo group, devoted to MFU and the Channel_M Yahoo group, devoted to the career of David McCallum. Wow, I had a lot of catching up to do, but, boy it's been fun! As a fan, I'm not sure what I would be called. I am a "first cousin" because I saw the shows when they were first broadcast in the '60s, but my fandom lapsed in those intervening years. Fortunately, I came back at the most opportune time for MFU fans ever. The entire MFU series with many hours of extras was released on 41(!) DVDs by Time-Life in Dec. '07. Truly a great time to be a MFU fan!

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