Secret Multinational law enforcement agency
featured on the spy spoof THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E./NBC/1964-68
and the spin-off series THE GIRL FROM U.N.C.L.E./NBC/1966-67.
U.N.C.L.E. (United Network Command for Law and
Enforcement) is located a block from the East
River at East 46th Street between 2nd and 3rd
Avenues in New York City near the United Nations
(Introduction for the first several
[The scene opens with a shot of the New
York City skyline from the East River,
showing the United Nations building.
Then the scene cuts to storefronts and
brownstone apartments. Solo and Kuryakin
enter Del Floria's tailor shop located
just below street level.]
In New York
City on a streets in the East Forties
there's an ordinary tailor shop...or is it
[Sound of a
steam press]. We enter through the agents'
entrance and we are now in U-N-C-L-E
headquarters. That's The United Network
Command for Law and Enforcement.
is an organization consisting of agents
of all nationalities. It's involved in
maintaining political and legal order
anywhere in the world.
chatter] My name is Napoleon Solo. I'm
enforcement agent in Section 2 here.
That's Operations and Enforcement.
I am Illya
Kuryakin, I am also an enforcement agent.
Like my friend Napoleon, I go and do
whatever I am told to do by our chief.
What, Oh, yes.
I'm Alexander Waverly, No. 1. Section One.
In charge of this, our New York
headquarters. It is from here I send these
young men on their various missions.
Hidden behind the facade of four brownstone
buildings on the north side of the block is a
modern three-story office building that houses
Tailor Shop is the front for U.N.C.L.E.
Upon entering Del Floria's, agents walk into a
dressing cubicle. Then, Mr. Del Floria pushes a
button on his clothing press which allows the
agents access into the U.N.C.L.E. headquarters
reception area through the rear wall of the
cubicle (opened by pulling on a clothing hook).
Solo pulls hook to access entrance
receptionist issues agents their badges
A beautiful female receptionist who monitors all
visitors to the tailor shop via a camera hidden
in a TV set next to the tailor's press then
issues the agents numbered triangular badges
(worn on the lapel) which give access to
particular parts of the building. Each badge
gives the agents different privileges:
- Red badges give access only to the ground floor
which houses routine personnel and
- Yellow badges give entry to the second floor
which houses communications and code devices.
- White badges permit entry to all three floors.
The third floor contains the armory,
interrogation rooms, and offices of both
Enforcement agents, and Policy and Operations.
Napoleon Solo and
Illya Kuryakin report to Mr. Waverly
U.N.C.L.E. is divided into eight sections (with
overlapping jurisdictions). They consist of:
- Section 1, Policy and Operations
- Section II, Operations and Enforcement
- Section III, Enforcement and Intelligence
- Section IV, Intelligence and
- Section V, Communications and Security
- Section VI, Security and Personnel
- Section VII Propaganda and Finance
- Section VIII Camouflage and Deception
To gain access to U.N.C.L.E., employees use
one of five entrances:
- Hinged-wall in the locker room shower area
of a public garage (used by clerical staff);
- Underground tunnel from the river;
- Nightspot called the Mask Club; and
- Del Floria's, a below-street-level tailor
- Fifth entrance used by high-level
personnel was later shown on episode No.18
"The Mad, Mad Tea Party Affair". Enforcement
agents Napoleon Solo (Robert Vaughn) and his
Russian partner Illya Nickovetch Kuryakin
(David McCallum) generally used the tailor
shop entrance at the base of the first
Illya, Solo and
The suave, cool Napoleon Solo is usually issued
badge No. 11 and his quiet-mannered Russian
partner Illya Kuryakin wears badge No.2. They
both report to Mr. Waverly (Leo G. Carroll),
chief officer in charge of Section I who wears
badge No.1 (in the original pilot actor Will
Kuluva played Section I Head).
In the 1983 TV movie reunion The Return from the
Man from U.N.C.L.E.: The Fifteen Years Later
Affair the new U.N.C.L.E. badges were still
triangular but black with yellow logo and
numerals. To prevent unauthorized access to
U.N.C.L.E., each ID badge was coated with a
special chemical (applied by the receptionist's
fingertips). Any person entering the facility
without the chemical marker would activate
delicate sensors which set off the security
When leaving U.N.C.L.E. all agents return their
ID badges to the receptionist. Some sharp-eyed
TV viewers, might point out, however, that in
the "The Vulcan Affair" and "The Love Affair"
certain U.N.C.L.E. personnel were seen without
badges and the alarms did not go off. And in
"The Waverly Ring Affair" Solo leaves Del
Floria's wearing his badge; and in episode "The
Summit Five Affair," Illya wears his badge
outside of U.N.C.L.E. headquarters.
The original idea for the MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E.
was conceived by Norman Felton, the executive
producer of the series whose inspiration came
from a combination of actor Cary Grant's suave,
witty role in Alfred Hitchcock's 1959 suspense
film North by Northwest and Ian Fleming's
Thrilling Cities, a travel book on the best
places to wine and dine around the world based
on the author's own experiences as a journalist
and former intelligence agent.
In fact, Ian Fleming was paid a consultation fee
to collaborate on the series which had the
tentative title "Solo-Around the World;" and
later "Mr. Solo" (a Solo character also appeared
as a minor villain in Fleming's novel Goldfinger).
Ian Fleming later bowed out of the series
project due to legal concerns over the
similarities of his James Bond character and
Napoleon Solo. He died shortly after this. His
two distinct contribution to the series were the
names Napoleon Solo and April Dancer (originally
envisioned as Solo's secretary, a la Miss
Moneypenny in Fleming's Bond novels), who would
became the lead character in the GIRL FROM
U.N.C.L.E., a spin-off series.
It was scriptwriter Sam Rolfe who created the
name U.N.C.L.E. In his series prospectus he
noted on the very first line that "although the
term "U.N.C.L.E." is not defined, it does not
stand for "United Nations Committee for Law and
Enforcement). However, some folks from the
United Nations thought the "UN" in "U.N.C.L.E."
stood for United Nations and so to avert a
lawsuit that would invariably point to the
criminal statutes in the State of New York Penal
Code, Paragraph 974(a) that made it illegal to
use the United Nations name for commercial gain,
the series producers stated their acronym
U.N.C.L.E. stood for "United Network Command for
Law and Enforcement" (Unilateral Network of
Combined Leaders against Evil." was an alternate
Apparently, the UN changed its tune when a few
years later the official UN Newsletter The
Secretariat News (issue 2/16/1966) ran a
tongue-in-cheek article about a UN visitor who
encountered agent Napoleon Solo in a secret
floor below the basement level of the United
The MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E. spawned a number of
- Mad magazine's "The Man from AUNTIE
- Archie comic book's (featuring Jughead) "The Man
- MGM's Tom and Jerry cartoon "The Mouse from
- MY FAVORITE MARTIAN episode entitled "The Man
from Uncle Martin" with the evil organization
- THE DICK VAN DYKE SHOW episode "The Man from My
Uncle" Episode No. 153 about undercover agent
who conducted a stakeout from Richie's bedroom
- GET SMART episode No. 51 "The Man From YENTA"
(YENTA-Yiddish for "a gossip" - stood for Your
Espionage Network and Training Academy)
- THE AVENGERS episode "The Girl from Auntie"
- PLEASE DON'T EAT THE DAISIES episode "Say Uncle"
with cameo appearances by both Robert Vaughn and
TRIVIA NOTE: The
New York street set on the MGM lot used for
filming THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E. including the
brownstone entrances to Del Floria's tailor shop
was destroyed by fire in 1967. What was left of
the MGM backlot was later sold for a housing
development in the early 1970s.
Solo returned to Del Floria's tailor shop on the
1983 TV movie reunion The Return of the Man from U.N.C.L.E.: The Fifteen Years Later Affair
working as a computer industry executive) he
tried to enter U.N.C.L.E. headquarters through
the rear wall of Del Floria's dressing room but
discovered much to his chagrin (the current
owner thought he was crazy) that U.N.C.L.E.
headquarters had moved to a novelty shop and was
now headed by Sir John Raleigh (Patrick Macnee
of THE AVENGERS) who replaced Mr. Waverly. See
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