Left to right: Mark Slate (Noel Harrison) and April Dancer (Stefanie Powers).The Girl from U.N.C.L.E.
is an American spy drama which ran one season (1966-67) on NBC
, as the Distaff Counterpart
to The Man from U.N.C.L.E.
. It received a Poorly Disguised Pilot
in the second season The Man from U.N.C.L.E.
episode "The Moonglow Affair", which featured Mary Ann Mobley as April Dancer, and Norman Fell as her partner Mark Slate. When the series was actually put into production, the leads were recast; Stefanie Powers played American U.N.C.L.E. enforcement agent April Dancer and Noel Harrison backed her up as British partner Mark Slate. The Man from U.N.C.L.E.
veteran Leo G. Carroll reprised his role as U.N.C.L.E. Chief Alexander Waverly (one of the first times, if not the first, that an actor played a major role as the same character in two separate shows). Nowhere near as successful as The Man from U.N.C.L.E.
, the show was canceled for low ratings at the end of its first season; its broadcast coincided with a disastrous Screwed by the Network
scenario in which the parent series was transformed into a comedy, causing its ratings to collapse and taking Girl
down with it, though Man
regrouped, reverted to being a more serious spy show, and limped along for a final half season.
The Girl from U.N.C.L.E. provides examples of the following tropes:
- Creator Cameo: In the episode "The Little John Doe Affair", writer Joseph Calvelli has a part as a police chief.
- Distaff Counterpart (of The Man from U.N.C.L.E., of course)
- Fun with Acronyms
- Idiosyncratic Episode Naming (like its parent series, every episode was explicitly titled "The __________ Affair")
- Nebulous Evil Organisation (THRUSH)
- Red Scare (THRUSH as a thinly disguised variant of SMERSH, a real-life Soviet counterintelligence agency)
- Required Spinoff Crossover (Mr. Waverly in a regular role in both series; Napoleon Solo in a one-episode appearance ("The Mother Muffin Affair"); while The Girls sidekick, Mark Slate, crossed over into the third season The Man from U.N.C.L.E. episode "The Galatea Affair" (this is not counting the series's Poorly Disguised Pilot, "The Moonglow Affair", which cast different actors in the roles of April Dancer and Mark Slate)).
- Shoe Phone (Much of U.N.C.L.E.'s spy equipment was disguised as mundane items)
- Special Guest (Boris Karloff in "The Mother Muffin Affair". Possibly Stunt Casting, inasmuch as Karloff plays the eponymous Mother Muffin—a female villain!)
- Spy Couple
- Spy Fiction (Martini flavored and served by a hot serving girl)
- What Could Have Been: "The Montori Device Affair" was originally set to be another Required Spinoff Crossover pairing April Dancer with Illya Kuryakin, but it didn't pan out (thus making Kuryakin/David McCallum the only one of the main characters/cast members never to appear on/with The Girl From U.N.C.L.E. - Stefanie Powers was never on The Man From U.N.C.L.E., but her character was).