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Tuesday, Jan. 7, 1964

Jerry Goldsmith records his score for the Solo pilot.

Sunday, Jan. 19, 1964

David McCallum appears in “The Day of the Search” episode of

the MGM Television series The Travels of Jaimie McPheeters,

starring future U.N.C.L.E. guest stars Dan O’Herlihy and Kurt

Russell, and McCallum’s friend and “Great Escape” co-star

Charles Bronson.

Sunday, Jan. 26, 1964

The New York Times publishes “TV Notes” column by Val Adams describing James Bond-like secret agents in pilots for CBS (“Dr. Stryker”) and NBC (“Mr. Solo”), noting about the latter that “Mr. Felton had met several times with Mr. Fleming who had suggested a character named Napoleon Solo.”

Thursday, Jan. 30, 1964

“Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb” opens. Director Stanley Kubrick distills the madness of MAD into brilliant black comedy, and demonstrates to lesser filmmakers that absolutely anything can be spoofed.

February 1964

Both ABC and CBS decide against their spy show pilots for 1964-65 — ABC had McCaffrey with Darren McGavin as a CIA agent and CBS had Stryker, starring Richard Egan as a flamboyant American agent — leaving the TV spy field clear for NBC and Solo.

Tuesday, Feb. 4, 1964

Cubby Broccoli telephones Sam Kaplan of Ashley-Steiner, telling Kaplan he intends to sue Arena, Felton and all others connected with Solo for violating Broccoli’s and Saltzman’s rights to the James Bond stories, referring specifically to the Jan. 26 New York Times story.

Monday, Feb. 10, 1964

Sam Rolfe is hired as producer of Solo.

Wednesday, Feb. 12, 1964

“Seven Days in May,” cautionary tale of nuclear-age passions that nearly result in military coup against the United States government, opens. Created in crisply understated style by television graduates — director John Frankenheimer, writer Rod Serling, composer Jerry Goldsmith — and brought off by star team of Burt Lancaster and Kirk Douglas. Terrific supporting cast includes Fredric March, Ava Gardner, Edmond O’Brien, Martin Balsam and John Houseman.

Wednesday, Feb. 19, 1964

New York law firm for Saltzman and Broccoli sends cease-and-desist letter to Felton, MGM, NBC and Ashley-Steiner demanding immediate end to use of Fleming’s name in connection with planned Solo series — and end to all use of name and character “Solo,” “Napoleon Solo” and “Mr. Solo,” claiming theft of the “Mr. Solo” character in Goldfinger, which Eon is currently filming.

Thursday, Feb. 20, 1964

David McCallum appears in the Perry Mason episode, “The Case of the Fifty-Millionth Frenchman.”

Thursday, Feb. 20, 1964

Rolfe’s pilot writer’s agreement is amended to have him write additional material for expansion of the pilot into a feature film.

Monday, Feb. 24, 1964

Fleming signs affidavit acknowledging that nothing in the Solo pilot infringes on any of his characters.

Monday, Feb. 24, 1964

UPI wire story says Richard Burton will portray James Bond in Kevin McClory’s production of “Thunderball,” to begin shooting in spring.

Wednesday, Feb. 26, 1964

Rolfe delivers first draft of additional feature scenes for pilot.

March 1964

In view of the threat of legal action from Broccoli and Saltzman, Felton and Rolfe are faced with the prospect of inventing a new name for Napoleon Solo, a new title for the series, and a new name for Thrush (which studio lawyers, hoping to avoid further problems, have decided sounds too much like SMERSH).

March 1964

Rolfe hires Harold Jack Bloom, his writing partner on “The Naked Spur,” to script “The Iowa-Scuba Affair,” based on one of Rolfe’s brief story springboards included in the show’s promotional package. In 1966, Bloom writes an original screen story for “You Only Live Twice” before Roald Dahl is hired to write the screenplay, becoming the only writer credited in both an U.N.C.L.E. episode and a James Bond movie.

March 1964

You Only Live Twice, Fleming’s twelfth Bond book, is published in England.

Wednesday, March 4, 1964

NBC makes official announcement that Solo will join its fall schedule, Tuesday nights at 8:30.

Tuesday, March 24, 1964

NBC announces that Chevrolet will be the major sponsor of Solo.

Tuesday, March 31 – Thursday, April 2, 1964

Robert Vaughn, Luciana Paluzzi, Miguel Landa and Robert Brubaker shoot new scenes for feature film version of Solo.

April 1964

You Only Live Twice is serialized in the April, May and June issues of Playboy.

April 1964

In a bid to retain “Thrush,” Rolfe re-conceives the organization as something he and Felton believe is a new take on international criminal groups, a “supra-nation” that establishes controlled “satraps” all over the world. The studio still suggests many other silly names (Raven, Shark, Squid, Vulture, Tarantula, Snipe, Sphinx, “Dooom”). “Wasp” is agreed upon just long enough to loop that name into the feature version of the pilot. Meanwhile, lawyers for each side reach a settlement, agreeing that “Solo” will not be the series title but the character “Napoleon Solo” can keep his name. NBC still refuses to accept Felton’s choice of “U.N.C.L.E.” as the obvious new title, considering it “too cryptic.” NBC programming exec Grant Tinker tells Felton the network wants him to drop the character “with the K name.” Felton seizes the opportunity to tell him that they already have decided to replace Will Kuluva, knowing Tinker actually means Kuryakin, the Russian character with the funny name and haircut.

Friday, April 3, 1964

David McCallum appears in The Great Adventure, CBS anthology series dramatizing events in American history, in the episode “Kentucky’s Bloody Ground,” with future Mission: Impossible star Peter Graves as Daniel Boone.

Wednesday, April 8, 1964

“From Russia With Love” opens in the United States.

Friday, April 10, 1964

David McCallum appears in The Great Adventure episode “The Siege of Boonesborough,” the conclusion to last week’s story.

Thursday, April 16, 1964

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer celebrates its 40th anniversary.

May 1964

NBC titles the series “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.” over Felton’s objections. Studio lawyers still refuse to okay “Thrush” and first draft scripts must use the ludicrous and distasteful alternative, “Maggot.” MGM’s New York office tells Felton that the name “U.N.C.L.E.” may violate a New York law forbidding commercial exploitation of the United Nations, causing studio lawyers to demand a full name making it clear that U.N.C.L.E. has no connection with the UN. Felton and Rolfe come up with Unified Network Command for Law and Enforcement to match the acronym, but Felton balks when told the name will have to be recited in dialogue every week. The lawyers accept his inspired solution: a facetious title card thanking the non-existent organization for its assistance in producing the show. Final wording changes “Unified” to “United.”

Monday, May 4, 1964

David McCallum appears in “The Forms of Things Unknown” episode of The Outer Limits, also the pilot for a proposed series titled The Unknown.

Wednesday, May 6, 1964

NBC announces its new Solo series set for fall premiere is now titled The Man From U.N.C.L.E.

Monday, May 18, 1964

Felton officially informs NBC that Vaughn and McCallum will remain to play running characters but Will Kuluva has been dropped. The new chief at U.N.C.L.E. will be played by Leo G. Carroll, and the character’s name has changed from Allison to Alexander Waverly.

Wednesday, May 20, 1964

Felton notes in a memo to file that use of “Thrush” finally has been approved, ending the show’s many frustrating problems with names and titles. “Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer then assigned a person,” Felton recalled, “whose sole job was to read all of our scripts for all the years we were on. He was well versed in all of the Bond books, and if he found anything we were doing was remotely like them, by character, place, story, setting, they would ask us to refrain from doing that, because they didn’t want another lawsuit.”

Monday, June 1, 1964

Shooting begins on first series episode of The Man From U.N.C.L.E., “The Iowa-Scuba Affair.”

June 1964

Thrilling Cities is published in America by New American Library, with short-short Bond story “007 in New York” added to the New York chapter.

Wednesday, July 22, 1964

Morton Stevens records his first U.N.C.L.E. score for “The Iowa-Scuba Affair.”

Friday, July 24, 1964

Walter Scharf records his first U.N.C.L.E. score for “The Shark Affair.”

August 1964

You Only Live Twice is published in America.

Wednesday, Aug. 12, 1964

Ian Fleming dies at the age of 56 in a hospital in Canterbury, England, following his second heart attack. The creator of James Bond and thereby the entire 1960s spy craze does not live to see the inconceivably explosive success his imagination and influence brings to every realm of the entertainment field mere months after his death.

Wednesday, Aug. 12, 1964

Jerry Goldsmith records his second U.N.C.L.E. score for “The King of Knaves Affair.”

Thursday, Aug. 20, 1964

Vaughn and McCallum shoot scenes with Leo G. Carroll as Mr. Waverly for insertion into the TV cut of the pilot, replacing scenes with Will Kuluva as Mr. Allison.

Friday, Aug. 28, 1964

Filming starts on series episode “The Double Affair” and on additional scenes that will expand this episode into a second U.N.C.L.E. movie that MGM’s International office titles “The Spy With My Face.”

Saturday, Sept. 5, 1964

Last episode of The Lieutenant airs on NBC.

Tuesday, Sept. 8, 1964

Jerry Goldsmith records his third and last U.N.C.L.E. score for “The Deadly Games Affair.”

Wednesday, Sept. 9, 1964

Last episode of The Eleventh Hour airs on NBC.

Monday, Sept. 14, 1964

Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, the first of producer Irwin Allen’s four 1960s science-fiction series, premieres on ABC at 7:30 p.m. In its first season, Voyage includes a number of espionage plots in addition to the hokey monsters for which it’s remembered.

Thursday, Sept. 17, 1964

“Goldfinger,” the third James Bond film, opens in London to all-time record-breaking British box office.

Monday, Sept. 21, 1964

Eon Productions announces that “Thunderball,” produced by Kevin McClory in association with Saltzman and Broccoli, will be the next Bond film. Prints of “Goldfinger” announcing James Bond will return in “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” are altered accordingly.

Tuesday, Sept. 22, 1964

The Man From U.N.C.L.E. premieres on NBC at 8:30 p.m. with “The Vulcan Affair” — the Solo pilot cut to broadcast length, with Leo G. Carroll’s brief appearance as Waverly inserted. Although it takes several months to catch on, series becomes a national, then an international phenomenon. U.N.C.L.E. is the first TV series to develop a true cult following, the first television production to so fully seize the imaginations of huge numbers of viewers that it creates a dedicated, widespread and permanent fandom of the type previously generated only by popular, fanciful literature, i.e., Sherlock Holmes, Tarzan, science fiction, pulp adventures and comic books. Unprecedented popularity of U.N.C.L.E. on television coupled with the James Bond movies in launching and driving the spy craze simply cannot be overstated. U.N.C.L.E. also is Arena’s fourth consecutive series sale (MGM-TV also sells Flipper, based on the studio’s 1963 picture, to NBC, and Many Happy Returns to CBS).

Tuesday, Sept. 29, 1964

“The Iowa-Scuba Affair” airs without commercial interruption, followed by five-and-a-half minute commercial introducing the 1965 Chevrolet lineup. Commercial also appears at end of Sept. 27 episode of Bonanza, series fully sponsored by Chevrolet. Robert Vaughn, Bonanza stars and cast of new Bewitched series also sponsored by Chevrolet appear in the commercial.

October – December 1964

Top-30-market Trendex ratings and National Nielsen ratings show The Man From U.N.C.L.E. consistently in third place behind The Red Skelton Hour on CBS and McHale’s Navy on ABC.

November 1964

“To Trap a Spy,” feature version of the Solo pilot, receives its first theatrical release in Hong Kong.

November 1964

Susan Sontag’s essay “Notes on Camp” appears in the Fall 1964 issue of Partisan Review, giving some writers, producers and publishers of the mid-60s an excuse to foist the silliest, godawful claptrap on the public by claiming that it’s not really garbage, it’s “Camp.” They ignore Sontag’s basic observation that things simply are or are not Camp and Camp cannot be created at will. Her conclusion — “The ultimate Camp statement: it’s good because it’s awful” — becomes a license to churn out junk entertainment while ignoring her disclaimer — “Of course, one can’t always say that. Only under certain conditions, those which I’ve tried to sketch in these notes.”

Thursday, Nov. 12, 1964

The first part of “Rome Will Never Leave You” airs on Dr. Kildare. Three-part story (continuing Nov. 19 and 26) sends Kildare to a medical conference in Rome where he falls in love with a woman played by Daniela Bianchi. Felton cast Bianchi after seeing her in “From Russia With Love,” not realizing she was dubbed in that film and spoke no English. American actress Nancy Kovack dubs her voice in Kildare.

Thursday, Dec. 3, 1964

NBC confirms to Felton that U.N.C.L.E. will move to a new timeslot in January, Mondays 8 p.m. to 9 p.m., replacing two of the sitcoms that make up the 90 Bristol Court series. Chevrolet cannot be persuaded to transfer its sponsorship to the new timeslot and therefore will drop U.N.C.L.E. at the end of December.

Friday, Dec. 11, 1964

Morton Stevens records the new intro to his revised arrangement of Goldsmith’s opening theme, at a session also recording his score for “The Yellow Scarf Affair.”

Monday, Dec. 21, 1964

“Goldfinger” opens in New York, breaking all-time opening-day box office records. Film opens everywhere Dec. 23 or Christmas Day to rave reviews and record box office, officially igniting Bondmania and the spy craze. Theaters run the film 24 hours a day to accommodate audience demand. Minor role of Mr. Solo — the troublesomely named Mafia boss who declines to participate in Goldfinger’s plan to rob Fort Knox and so is taken by Oddjob to a pressing engagement — is played by familiar British character actor Martin Benson.

Thursday, Dec. 24, 1964

Morton Stevens records theme music in one-, two- and three-guest star versions of his revised arrangement of Goldsmith’s theme for the show’s main title, at the same session recording additional music for the feature scenes of “The Spy With My Face.” The new opening is heard for the first time in “The Deadly Decoy Affair,” the first episode to air in the new Monday night timeslot. The one-guest version is never used.

Sunday, Dec. 27, 1964

David McCallum appears as John Adams in tonight’s episode of Profiles in Courage, NBC series based on Senator John F. Kennedy’s Pulitzer Prize-winning book.

Thursday, Dec. 31, 1964

Lalo Schifrin records his score for “The Fiddlesticks Affair,” his first work for U.N.C.L.E. and his only first-season score.

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