How Much Do You Remember From “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.”?


By: Ian Fortey

6 Min Quiz

Image: NBC

About This Quiz

For years the western was the biggest thing going on TV. As the '60s really got underway and James Bond became the coolest man in the world, the spy genre started taking over as the thing everyone wanted to watch. "The Man From U.N.C.L.E." really kicked off the world of TV spy shows. It had the right pedigree thanks to some early involvement from Ian Fleming himself, the man behind the success of James Bond, and the first season was a great mix of spy intrigue, humor and likable characters. It was a winning formula and quickly became one of the most popular shows on TV. 

Over the show's run, it evolved and changed from a straight spy drama to a goofy, slapstick kind of a show to an outright parody of itself before doing a full 180 and becoming a serious spy drama again. The result is one of the most interesting and unique programs ever on TV that probably ended before its time, and it has lived on in the hearts of its many, many fans. If you count yourself as one of them, then why not prove your mettle by showing off your stuff in this quiz!

What was the name of the villainous organization that U.N.C.L.E. was fighting?

U.N.C.L.E. squares off against the mysterious and dark organization known as THRUSH. That word meant absolutely nothing on the show, but in some novels written about the characters, they said it stood for "Technological Hierarchy for the Removal of Undesirables and the Subjugation of Humanity." Oof.


What happens to the wife of Presidential candidate Bryant in the episode "The Candidate's Wife Affair"?

The plot of this one was a rollercoaster. Miranda Bryant is to be protected by Solo and Kuryakin, only they find out she's already been replaced by a THRUSH duplicate. In an effort to turn the tables, the group plays along only to find out Bryant's trusted aide was actually a THRUSH agent all along.


What was an agent supposed to use if they were captured by the enemy?

Every agent of U.N.C.L.E. was outfitted with a radio pen, and every radio pen had a secret inside of it called Capsule B. That capsule could be taken if an agent fell into enemy hands and it would induce temporary amnesia so that they couldn't be forced to give up secrets.


According to the show, U.N.C.L.E. had different sections in its command structure. How many sections where there?

U.N.C.L.E. apparently operated with eight separate divisions that covered various aspects of the spy game. For instance, Section 2 was "Operations and Enforcement" while Section 8 was "Camouflage and Deception."


The evil organization THRUSH had a different name in the pilot. What was it?

Before THRUSH was a thing, there was WASP. THRUSH was the original choice, but it was swapped for WASP until someone realized there was a group called WASP on a different TV show, so they went back to THRUSH.


The show was rebooted with a movie starring Henry Cavill and which of. these actors?

The 2015 reboot of "The Man From U.N.C.L.E." featured Henry "Superman" Cavill as Napoleon Solo and Armie Hammer as Illya Kuryakin. The movie has a 66% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and made about $109 million at the box office.


What was THRUSH trying to accomplish?

The villainous THRUSH had the lofty goal of simply taking over the entire world somehow. As a result, U.N.C.L.E. was created to thwart them with the aid of agents from numerous countries, even enemies like the United States and the Soviet Union.


THRUSH had its own logo because why wouldn't an evil organization design a logo? What was it?

THRUSH seemed to brand a lot of their gear and as such used a recognizable logo. Their emblem was a bird, which makes sense since a thrush is also a kind of bird, though it's not known for being very nefarious.


What would an U.N.C.L.E. agent say before using their radio?

Agents from U.N.C.L.E. all have secret pocket radios that are often disguised as everyday items, including fountain pens. Though not exactly a catchphrase, it was common for characters to say "open channel D" when they started talking on the radio.


What movie is partly to blame for the series not being called "Ian Fleming's Solo"?

Ian Fleming, the creator of James Bond, was involved in the planning process, and there was talk of the show either being called "Ian Fleming's Solo" or "Solo" right until the movie "Goldfinger" came out. In that movie, there's a character named Solo, who is a mob boss that ends up being killed by Oddjob. A threatened lawsuit saw the name changed, but the character was allowed to stay.


Which famous literary character does the world of U.N.C.L.E. technically share a universe with?

A man named Sebastian Moran supposedly started the evil organization THRUSH. Moran was an adversary of Sherlock Holmes and was said to have started THRUSH after his boss Professor Moriarty died. So, weirdly, "The Man from U.N.C.L.E." is a sequel to Sherlock Holmes.


"To Trap a Spy" was the name of the theatrically-released pilot movie of the show. What was the second theatrical release called?

The second theatrically-released episode that had new footage added to a previously aired episode of the TV show was retitled "The Spy with My Face." The episode of the show was originally called "The Double Affair."


What was notable about the episode entitled "The Project Strigas Affair"?

"The Project Strigas Affair" was an episode that aired a couple of years before "Star Trek" was a show. Both William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy appeared in the episode, including in one scene together, though Shatner was a good guy and Nimoy was a villainous henchman.


There was a spinoff of the show. What was it called?

Though it didn't last very long, there was a spinoff known as "The Girl From U.N.C.L.E." that focused on the character April Dancer, who had been introduced in "The Man From U.N.C.L.E." in its third season.


When Solo and Kuryakin head to India, what Indiana Jones-esque scheme do they discover?

A French botanist needs help figuring out why the jungle is dying and in the process, the agents from U.N.C.L.E. discover that the Prince has been kidnapping locals and forcing them to work in a jewel mine.


Illya Kuryakin was a bit of a mysterious man. Was he married?

Kuryakin's personal like was a bit of a question mark on the show. For part of the series, he seems to be wearing a wedding band, but he doesn't always wear one. In one episode, someone asks him point-blank if he's married and his answer is "had I but world enough and time."


Vincent Price guest-starred in an episode in which U.N.C.L.E. and THRUSH are both trying to get their hands on a powerful device. What does it do?

THRUSH take out a magician who invented a device that is able to read minds, which is petty impressive work for a magician. Both U.N.C.L.E. and THRUSH fight to gain control of the device so that the other can't have it.


Do you know what U.N.C.L.E. stands for?

Originally, the show's creator wanted the meaning of U.N.C.L.E. to be entirely ambiguous. Still, the network was afraid people would think it was related to the United Nations, who were already being harassed by fans, so they had to clarify it.


Do you remember Napoleon Solo's badge number?

For reasons that never really get explained, while Illya Kuryakin is badge number 2, Napoleon Solo's number is clearly 11. It's been suggested that it was a reference to Section II in the command structure, but the digits are clearly 11 and not II.


Do you know how many films were released theatrically in the '60s?

An impressive eight films based on the show were released back in the '60s. Each one was an episode of the show that had been edited to include new footage and sometimes even new actors wth new subplots, meant to appeal to audiences overseas and released in color.


At what age are agents supposed to retire from U.N.C.L.E.?

Agents are said to be forcibly retired at the age of 40 when they're apparently too old to be field agents. They can stay on in desk jobs or management positions, or (if they leave the agency) they can have memories blocked so they won't be security risks.


In "The Brain Killer Affair," THRUSH tries to take out Waverly at the hospital. How do they get him to the hospital in the first place?

THRUSH has a brain-altering ray device, and they plan to use it to make Waverly's brain useless, effectively destroying him without killing him. The plan is set in motion when he's poisoned and then sent to the hospital for treatment.


In "Alexander the Greater Affair," the sinister Alexander wants to control the world. Who played Alexander?

Rip Torn appeared in this two-part episode as Alexander, a thoroughly evil guy who wants to commit every atrocity he can in abid to conquer the world. The two-part episode was later released theatrically under the title "One Spy Too Many."


G. Emory Patridge wants revenge on Solo! What does he do to trap the spy?

In order to exact his revenge on Solo and U.N.C.L.E. for a past encounter, Emory Patridge kidnaps Kuryakin to use him as bait. When Solo takes it, the two agents are trapped in a dungeon until Patridge's wife helps them escape.


What was the car used by agents from U.N.C.L.E. called?

The spies from U.N.C.L.E. got to use a pretty exceptional car, the Piranha Coupe. The vehicle was a concept car based on the Chevy Corvair. The car apparently vanished when the show ended and wasn't found again until sometime in the '80s. For what it's worth, the actors hated the car because it rarely worked and was hard to get in and out of.


George Lazenby guest-starred in the reunion movie "The Return of the Man From U.N.C.L.E." What was his character's name?

George Lazenby guest-starred as a character named "JB" which was a quick James Bond joke. Lazenby had appeared in a single 007 movie, "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" as James Bond.


Stan Lee was inspired by "The Man From U.N.C.L.E" to create what staple from the Marvel Cinematic Universe?

Nick Fury and S.H.I.E.L.D. were inspired by "The Man From U.N.C.L.E." according to Stan Lee in the book "Son of Origins." Just like U.N.C.L.E., S.H.I.E.L.D. has an evil nemesis agency that uses an acronym as well — H.Y.D.R.A.


According to the show, where do the agents of U.N.C.L.E. go to train?

When in training to become a full-fledged agent of U.N.C.L.E., the agents have to go to a secret tropical island. A man named Colonel James Cutter runs the facility, and they do visit it in one episode of the show.


Was the pilot episode black and white or color?

It's possible you saw the pilot in black and white or in color, as it was filmed in both. It aired on TV in black and white, but when some episodes were bundled and released theatrically, the color version was used.


In the episode "The Love Affair," what was evangelist Brother Love trying to make?

Brother Love, played by Eddie Albert, is only a pretend evangelist! In truth, he's actually an agent of THRUSH and he's working on a plan to build a nuclear spaceship with the aide of a scientist that they kidnapped.


Getting into U.N.C.L.E. headquarters required entering a secret entrance. What kind of shop was it located in?

Though the show mentions other entrances from time to time, the one we get to see most often as an audience is located inside Del Floria's Tailor Shop. The shop is supposed to be located somewhere in New York City.


What famous military leader was Robert Vaughn's character named after?

Let it never be said that the characters on this show didn't have memorable names, as Robert Vaughn's character was known by the name Napoleon Solo, after the famous French emperor and military leader.


What future superstar appeared on the show when they were just 13 years old?

Kurt Russell, star of movies like "Tombstone" and "Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2," has been acting for a very long time, and that included an appearance in "The Man From U.N.C.L.E." when he was 13. The episode was called "The Finny Foot Affair."


Every episode had a title. What was the final word of every single title?

Every episode of "The Man From U.N.C.L.E." was "the (something) affair." In fact, only one episode didn't begin with the word "the," but they all ended with "affair," such as "The Deep Six Affair" and "The Round Table Affair."


Which actor became a teen idol?

David McCallum played Illya Kuryakin, the Russian agent teamed with Solo. The character was not intended to last long, but he became a massive hit with teen fans. Word is McCallum got more fan mail than any other actor working for MGM at the time.


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