The Return of the Man from U.N.C.L.E. was intended to spark interest in reviving the series. Unfortunately executive producer/ writer Michael Sloan watched only a few episodes of the third season of the original series as a basis for his research. The result is a campy version of a Roger Moore James Bond movie (which in themselves were campy.) If the Batman TV series had been a Quinn Martin production, it would probably have looked a lot like this. All those late seventies/early eighties character actors that dominated the small those screen are there—particularly Anthony Zerbe, as the head of THRUSH.
There are some little nudge-nudge jokes here, and some insider references, but the made-for-TV movie falls back on cliches to drive the story. THRUSH grunts wear orange overalls, U.N.C.L.E. agents wear blue. The final assault plays out like a boy’s fantasy wherein good guys never get hurt and the bad guys drop like flies. And that’s the part that reminds me of when I was a ten–year old U.N.C.L.E. operative. This DVD also reminds me of how some childhood fantasies are best left alone. It’s a TV movie, presented in its original format, mono soundtrack and all. The only extra is a trailer—read that “commercial”—promoting the film. And while it’s not the reunion I would have wanted, it was still enough to transport me to a time when when things were simpler.
Even if the bad guys had a nuke pointed at us.