Work/Text: Investigating The Man From U.N.C.L.E.
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Sub-title: Investigating The Man From U.N.C.L.E.
Author(s): Cynthia W. Walker
Publish Date: June 2013
|In the mid-1960s The Man From U.N.C.L.E. was the coolest show in television. It was also “cool” in the way media theorist Marshall McLuhan used the term. Debuting the same year that McLuhan’s groundbreaking book, Understanding Media, appeared, The Man From U.N.C.L.E. presented a universe in which fantasy and reality collided, interacted, and blended together. It invited audiences to participate and the fans responded, embracing the show as their own.|
Employing a new methodological approach that considers the creative as well as the economic, the producer as well as the consumer, this book explores how a cultural “work/text” like The Man From U.N.C.L.E. develops through the many dialogues occurring, often simultaneously, between and among the various collective parties, growing from the first spark of an idea into a complex multileveled media ecosystem of multiple relationships, collaborations, interpretations, and communities.
Contents: ONE VERY COOL SHOW. “Television Will Change Totally”. Paying Attention to McLuhan. “The Mystic Cult of Millions”. The Essence of Cool. Inventing the Future. TOWARD A NEW APPROACH TO STUDYING MEDIA IN A CONVERGENCE CULTURE. Communication: The Problem of Persistent Linearity. Communication Is Communication. Culture: The Ideology of Mass Culture. Culture Is Culture. Creativity: The Novel and the Familiar, Choice and Constraint. Collaboration: Negotiation of Meaning. WORK/TEST: APPLYING A DIALOGIC MODEL. Defining a Site. The Site as Ecosystem. The Site as Multileveled. The Site as Dialogic. The Dialogic Micro Level: Writer, Reader, Work/Text. The Ecologic Macro Level: Collaborative Dialogue Occurs Within Community. The Man From U.N.C.L.E. as a Media Culture Site. Typical, Successful, Popular, and Cult. Influences. 1960s Television. James Bond and The Spy Story. Science Fiction. Star Trek. Trek and Media Fandom. PRE-SERIES: FROM CONCEPT TO SCRIPT. A Different Kind of Action Hero. The Mysterious Man. Edgar Solo. Napoleon Solo. Napoleon Solo, International Agent. Napoleon (Tony) Solo, U.N.C.L.E. Agent. Mr. Solo, U.N.C.L.E. Agent. PRE-SERIES: FROM PILOT TO PREMIERE. Solo. The Man From U.N.C.L.E. (Pre-production). The Man From U.N.C.L.E. (Pre-Air). Agent 006 7/8. FIRST SEASON: THE MAN TO THE “MEN’ FROM U.N.C.L.E. Napoleon Solo and Illya. Budding Favorites. Visiting Agents: Beyond the Series’ Boundaries. Illya K! and U.N.C.L.E. Mania. The Men from U.N.C.L.E. SECOND TO THIRD SERIES: SUCCESS. Smart, Hip, Cool Spies. Serious Robert; Mysterious David. Ubiquitous Uncles. Our Guys from U.N.C.L.E. The Other Dynamic Duo. THIRD TO FOURTH SEASON: COMPETITION, CONFUSION AND CANCELLATION. Wild and Crazy Spies. Too Wild and Crazy Spies. Rebalanced Characters. Serious Spies. Too Series Spies. Irrelevant Spies. THE VALUE OF A DIALOGIC MODEL. Symbiotic, Not Just Complementary. Producers: Professional Routines and Personal Relationships. Active Audiences: Power and Community. Work/Text: How Opened or Closed? Continuing as Both Work and Text. Lessons Learned. Epilogue: The Once and Future U.N.C.L.E. Appendix. References. Author Index. Subject Index.