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Secret Organizations - The Bad Guys

T.H.R.U.S.H. - Sinister organization and nemesis featured on the spy spoof THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E./NBC/1964-68 and spin-off series THE GIRL FROM U.N.C.L.E./NBC/1966-67.

T.H.R.U.S.H Insignia - THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E.
T.H.R.U.S.H. Insignia

T.H.R.U.S.H was the yang of espionage agencies, while their nemesis U.N.C.L.E. (the good guys) was the ying.

U.N.C.L.E agent Napoleon Solo once said of his competitors, "T.H.R.U.S.H. believes in the two-party system: the masters and the slaves." and "T.H.R.U.S.H. might be a man or a woman or a committee that heads a secret international organization, very powerful, very wealthy. It has no allegiance any county nor to any ideal. It would embark upon any undertaking it may decide is in its own interest. If T.H.R.U.S.H. succeeds, many, many people pay a terrible price."

T.H.R.U.S.H. agents used an M1 Carbine like rifle equipped with  an infrared sniperscope for use at night. It shot lethal bullets, just the opposite of U.N.C.L.E. who preferred to use a fast-acting tranquilizing darts to disable an opponent. But when lethality was required, U.N.C.L.E., too, could provide a deadly volley of bullets.

T.H.R.U.S.H. rifle - THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L..E.


[Napoleon Solo kills a T.H.R.U.S.H. agent who infiltrated U.N.C.L.E. He inspects the corpse.]

Solo:

No labels. Nothing in his pockets except these extra clips. Prints removed from the ends of his fingertips by surgery.

[Illya looks through a briefcase owned by the dead agent]

Illya:

An assault force from T.H.R.U.S.H.. That is is "their" way.

[Illya hands a piece of plastic packaging to Solo. He smells it, then tastes it with his tongue]

Solo: Manganese and thermite, Illya
Illya: What do think their purpose?
Solo: To kill him.
Mr. Waverly: Quite right. Mr Solo. Their idea was to prevent me from acting on some new information we just received. Here, you can have the information. Then T.H.R.U.S.H. can try and kill you for a while.

[Solo looks at the dossier]

Solo: And just, ah who is this Andrew Vulcan?
Mr. Waverly: He's the president of the United global chemical corporation of Maryland. He is also the the eastern seaboard head of Operations for T.H.R.U.S.H..
Illya: Can we take him?
Mr. Waverly: Not yet, unfortunately, however we intercepted his last communication from T.H.R.U.S.H. and decoded it to read. "When the Premier of Western Utumba visits our plant, we must assassinate...".
Solo: That's all?
Mr. Waverly: At that point the message was garbled and lost. Now the Premier of this newly independent nation is visiting Washington DC right now. You, Mr. Solo, must go there immediately and prevent the assassination of this man. Channel D will brief you.
 

 -- excerpt form "The Vulcan Affair"


Eventually, THRUSH was defeated and their leaders imprisoned. Yeard later, one of their leaders escapes. This incident becomes the story line of the TV movie The Return of the Man from U.N.C.L.E.: The Fifteen Years Later Affair.

TRIVIA NOTE: Pre-production suggestions for the name of the group later to be known as T.H.R.U.S.H. (coined by Sam Rolfe) included :

  • ADDER
  • ASP
  • BRUTE
  • CRUSH
  • CONDOR
  • HAZARD
  • HARM
  • LUCRE
  • MAGGOTT
  • MEDUSA
  • PHANTOM,
  • NOOSE
  • RAVEN
  • SCORPION
  • SCOURGE
  • SHARK
  • SMEAR
  • SNIPE
  • SPHINX
  • SPIDER
  • SQUID (Society for Quiet Unification through International Destruction)
  • STIGMA
  • TARANTULA
  • THOR
  • THREAT
  • THRUST
  • VERSUS
  • VIRGO
  • WASP (Used in the series Pilot movie)
  • ZEUS.

Paperback novelist David McDaniel coined the now accepted acronym meaning for THRUSH "The Technological Hierarchy for the Removal of Undesirables and the Subjugation of Humanity" in the No. 4 U.N.C.L.E. paperback novel The Dagger Affair (Ace Books).

The name T.H.R.U.S.H. was almost dropped when the "suits" at NBC got concerned over legal problems arising from the similarity of T.H.R.U.S.H. to the name S.M.E.R.S.H., the Soviet espionage organization featured in the James Bond novels.

Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles was used as T.H.R.U.S.H. headquarters on episode No.8 "The Double Affair".

TRIVIA NOTE: In 1968 ROWAN & MARTIN'S LAUGH-IN (which replaced THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E. program) featured a wild party skit on the very first episode with a cameo of Leo G. Carroll as U.N.C.L.E. head, Mr. Waverly. Disguised as a cart-pushing busboy Mr. Waverly whipped out his U.N.C.L.E. pen communicator and said "Mr. Solo, Mr. Kuryakin, come quick. I think I've found T.H.R.U.S.H. headquarters at last!"


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