1 9 6 6 – 1 9 6 7 (USA)
29 x 50 minute episodes
Inspired by British comic strip heroine, Modesty Blaise, The Girl From U.N.C.L.E (it stood for United Network Command for Law and Enforcement) was a spin-off from The Man from U.N.C.L.E and was also responsible for launching the TV career of Stefanie Powers (real name Stefania Zorfja Federkievicz).
Powers (Stefanie not Austin!) took on the role of April Dancer (badge # 22) who came equipped with a bottomless handbag of specially designed weaponry, including a bracelet armed with exploding charms, and an (oft-used) perfume atomiser that sprayed knock-out gas at any attackers.
Continuity from the parent series was provided in the form of office-bound chief Alexander Waverly (Leo G. Carroll) who would send April and her English sidekick Mark Slate (Noel Harrison) – an agent (badge #14) who had transferred from U.N.C.L.E.’s London office – in pursuit of the evil T.H.R.U.S.H.
Harrison’s style was all camp Mockney mannerisms and slightly fey womanising, dropping ever-so-English words like “luv” into every line. The accent appeared to rub off on April, with Powers also adopting a very Chelsea delivery despite Dancer’s American upbringing.
The series was even more far-fetched than the one that spawned it and it failed to make an impression with viewers.
As a result, April Dancer and Mark Slate were decommissioned after only one season.
Stefanie Powers was not the first actress to appear as The Girl From U.N.C.L.E – Former Miss America, Mary Ann Mobley, appeared as April Dancer in a Man from U.N.C.L.E episode entitled ‘The Moonglow Affair’.
Noel Harrison was the son of famous actor, Rex Harrison. An accomplished singer, Noel hit the charts with The Windmills Of Your Mind – the theme to The Thomas Crown Affair (1968). He represented Britain in skiing at the Olympics of 1952 and 1956 and could have been a career sportsman.
Harrison passed away in 2013.
Leo G. Carroll