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Series / The Girl from U.N.C.L.E.

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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 Tropes from U.N.C.L.E.:

  • Bound and Gagged: April is frequently captured throughout the series by many villains and is frequently tied and gagged and placed in various perils, but sooner or later she manages to escape and complete her mission.
  • Character in the Logo: Taking its cue from the original series, it shows April standing next to a globe.
  • Comic-Book Adaptation: Gold Key Comics managed to squeak out a couple issues of a comic book spinoff.
  • Creator Cameo: In "The Little John Doe Affair", writer Joseph Calvelli has a part as a police chief.
  • Damsel out of Distress: Although April is frequently captured and placed in dangerous death-traps and other tight corners, she manages to always escape her predicaments.
  • Fanservice: The writers often found excuses for Stefanie Powers to not have many clothes on. Examples: her clothes get burned in a accident, so she can only wear a man's shirt; she's forced into dressing as the member of a harem; an explosion covers her in black, forcing her to take a shower.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Like its parent series, every episode was explicitly titled "The __________ Affair."
  • Idiot Ball: In his episode guide to the series, William J. Koenig identifies this as one of the show's major flaws. Depending on the Writer, the protagonists sometimes act like the competent, highly-trained spies they're supposed to be, but all too often "April and Mark spend a lot of time flailing about against adversaries who really ought not [to] be much trouble to take out."
  • 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 Fiction: Martini flavored and served by a hot serving girl.