I must have been 7 or so when MFU first aired. I don’t remember why I was allowed to watch this, when I do remember feeling decidedly pissed off being sent up to bed just as the music for Danger Man was starting, but I suppose it had a more kid-friendly transmission time.
Immediately I was hooked. That maybe because I have always loved adventure and excitement, and mysteries and spy stores are always pretty darn good at that. You can perhaps also say that my slash googles were developing quite early, so though obviously not as I would know such things today, I was aware of the real chemistry between the two main characters (and the two lovely actors) and I was drawn to that. And that has drawn me toward characters and series for the following 50 years! ;)
Also, I adore things that are daft but take themselves very seriously. MFU at its best is wonderfully camp and arch, wry and witty. The dialogue, especially between Solo and Kuryakin, was usually understated, a lovely contrast to the high octane campness of the goings-on. The dryness and wit is entirely down to the way Robert and David played it – all very skilful but at the same time giving the impression that it’s really quite fun.
I still have – in a box somewhere – a load of stuff from the 60s that was much played with. I must take pics one day and show them off!
Knowing MFU from that era is quite special. I think the show defined the times and us, with its style and preoccupations (spies and Russians are less scary if they are defeated each week by the MFU!). I’m sure people here have logged these references before, but Victoria Wood sang in her song “I wish I was 14 Again”:
“I was crazy Jools, I had a laugh,
I had Illya Kuryakin’s autograph…”
And in 2010 (I think) Pet Shop Boys included a reference in their song “Building a Wall”, which is full of references to their childhood:
“Jesus and the Man from Uncle,
Caesar conquered Gaul…”
I love how MFU has influenced people in their childhood and adolescence.
Finally, my fave episode: Well, I’m way behind in re-viewing them all but I have a great fondness for superbly over-the-top “The Yukon Affair.”