The Man From U.N.C.L.E. is finally, officially headed to DVD, according to the ever-reliable TVShowsOnDVD.com. It will be released by TimeLife, the same people who put out last year's highly regarded Get Smart set. Unfortunately, that means it will also be distributed like that set, exclusively from the company online and over the phone ("as advertised on TV!"). That means that it will probably be costly, and consumers will have no discount alternatives like Amazon price reductions or DeepDiscount.com, for the first year. It will supposedly be released to retailers in late 2008, just as Get Smart will supposedly be released commercially this fall, after TimeLife's year of exclusivity is up. Still, I suppose it's worth whatever cost they charge to finally have this highly anticipated DVD set! More good news: TimeLife's release strategy means that all four seasons will be released at once, with plenty of bonus material! Stars Robert Vaughn and David McCallum are both involved.
The Man From U.N.C.L.E. originally ran from 1964-1968, and spawned a series of theatrical movies that were made by cobbling two episodes together. (These have been available in Region 2 for some time.) It's had a long and troubled road to American DVD, first being announced by Anchor Bay a few years ago and then cancelled at the last minute when the company found out the party they'd secured the rights from didn't really control them! It was next rumored to be coming from Warner Bros., who will now release it through their TimeLife partner. While there are still some cultier gems out there awaiting release (like It Takes A Thief), in my opinion U.N.C.L.E. is the last absolutely essential Sixties spy series we've been waiting for, now that Paramount has started releasing Mission: Impossible. So this is great news.