Okay, figured out how to finally in the tradition of the Star Trek Yum thread, and neotrinity's Bond girl thread, start one devoted to the long list of ladies who graced "The Man From UNCLE" (and the "Girl From UNCLE" spinoff as well) from 1964-1968!
Starting with the pilot movie "Solo" (where Ilya Kuryakin was just a minor player and Will Kuluva was "Mr. Allison" instead of Leo G. Carroll as Alexander Waverly) which was later re-edited as the first episode "The Vulcan Affair", with the difference being that the pilot was shot in color while the aired episode was in B/W.
In the pilot, Napoleon Solo was opening his Channel D to UNCLE operative Margaret Oberon (renamed Sarah Johnson in the series when the character returned in a number of first season episodes), played by Leigh Chapman (she enjoyed spending her time under the sunlamp)
While the first lady in distress to be saved by Mr. Solo was the elegant Patricia Crowley, later star of the sitcom "Please Don't Eat The Daisies" (and where both Robert Vaughn and David McCallum cameod as Solo and Ilya at the height of UNCLE-mania). (In more recent years, Pat played Roger Maris' widow in the wraparound sequences of Billy Crystal's outstanding baseball movie *61)
Okay, as promised this UNCLE Yum spotlight focuses on a well-known Bond Girl alumnus, Luciana Paluzzi!
Eight months before she became best remembered as Fiona Volpe, Luciana was already tuning up for the role in S1's "The Four-Steps Affair" as treacherous THRUSH operative, Angela.
Here, she foreshadows Fiona by nonchalantly brushing her hair after sending an UNCLE agent ironically named "Dancer" into a THRUSH ambush.
And later, she attempts her charms on Mr. Solo.
Luciana meets her demise in the episode at the halfway point. But she would return to the UNCLE fold after her success in "Thunderball" in the premiere episode of "The Girl From UNCLE", this time as helpful Greek innkeeper "Tuesday Hajadakis"
(She didn't send April Dancer to an ambush like she did "Mr. Dancer" in the MFU appearance!)
I've been taking the scattershot approach to viewing them, doing a mixture of episodes from all four seasons (interspersed as well with early episodes of GFU from a recently purchased boot set) rather than going in sequence. The transfers are outstanding, with the softest looking ones being in S3. They probably could have saved themselves a lot on packaging if they hadn't done three episodes per disc (or OTOH, found space to include more than just one of the theatrical releases, or perhaps even GFU itself!) but there's really no reason to quibble about any aspect of this release. It's a topnotch job well worth savoring slowly, and a model of what a TV on DVD release *should* be like.
Just made a quick edit to the first entry as I discovered too late I'd read the credits sheet wrong regarding the identity of the UNCLE radio operator in the pilot.
Okay Zelig, as promised, Barbara Luna in the Season 4 "Man From Thrush Affair"! This one of the last episodes of the series, as it tried to overcompensate for the overly silly S3 by becoming a bit too serious.
This was Barbara's first TV guest shot after her memorable "Star Trek" appearance.
Mostly discontent in her association with the lead villain (John Larch) by episode's end, she's jumped back to the good guys side.
Oh, and as an extra bonus to Zelig, and since we don't have a Yum thread for Hawaii Five-O, here are a couple caps of Barbara from "A Thousand Pardons, You're Dead". (Notice how she color coordinates her headbands with her swimming attire?)
Quickly now, to one of the worst, if not the worst episode of the series, S3's "My Friend The Gorilla Affair" in which we have to be greeted to the sight of Napoleon Solo, investigating a THRUSH plot in Africa, having to dance the Watusi with a cheap-suited gorilla. Who is companion to Vitina Marcus's, vine-swinging, leopard-clad "Girl" (and whose jungle cry courtesy of the MGM sound FX library is lifted from what they came up with for Maureen O'Sullivan in "Tarzan And His Mate").
These kinds of roles were nothing new for Vitina, as she had played similar roles in "The Lost World" and two episodes of "Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea" (using the same Lost World costume). And of course she was the green-skinned alien Athena in two episodes of "Lost In Space."
She could best be described as a European Linda Harrison.
Right after her appearance in the memorable "Outer Limits" episode "Demon With A Glass Hand", Arlene Martel turned up in "The King Of Knaves Affair" as UNCLE Rome operative Gemma Lusso.
Although restricted to back end of the episode credit status, Gemma was quite resourceful, knowing how to operate the equipment that would fill Napoleon and Ilya with the info that would let them have plausible covers.
With Ilya, she's all business, but with Napoleon she determinedly mixes business with pleasure!
And later, she passes on important info to Napoleon while dancing.
She returns in the final scene as part of the UNCLE group that rescues Napoleon and Ilya. While this would be her only appearance as an UNCLE spy, she would have a recurring part as a French Resistance operative "Tiger" on a half-dozen episodes of "Hogan's Heroes."