Can You Get Channel D?

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Zine
Title: Can You Get Channel D?
Publisher: Terry L. Neill and J. M. D'Agostino-Toney
Editor(s): Pigs in Peril Press
Date(s): 1992-1996
Series?:
Medium: print
Size:
Genre: gen
Fandom: Man from U.N.C.L.E.
Language: English
External Links:
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Can You Get Channel D? is a gen Man from U.N.C.L.E. anthology with five issues.

Issue 1 (On Cable?)

Can You Get Channel D on Cable? was published in 1992 (fourth printing May 1997) and contains 71 pages. Contains art by Joel Winter (front cover) and J.M. D'Agostino-Toney.

From the editorial:

In January (January!) of 1992, we discovered that two very excellent U.N.C.L.E. zines wouldn't be available at MediaWest*Con 12 (held in Lansing, Michigan over Memorial Day weekend). Both 11 & 2 and The St. Crispin's Day Society had been put on hold. Kuryakin Files is issued in January. We already had that. Ditto for The P.U.N. from U.N.C.L.E. Alas! Woe! What would MediaWest*Con be without U.N.C.L.E. zines? How could we make that long flight back from Lansing without something new to read? We figured that if we were so distraught, many other fen would be too. Thus was born Can You Get Channel D On Cable?
cover of Can You Get Channel D on Cable?
  • The Boyfriend by Linda Cornett--A look at Illya from the POV of his girlfriend's teenage daughter. (1)
  • Farbror by C.W. Walker--Napoleon offers some hard-won truths to some green agents in his new command. (13)
  • The Hawk Affair by Jean Graham--A very young agent's head is turned by an accused assassin. (17)
  • The Missing Mistletoe Affair by Jennifer Adams Kelly--April and Mark accidentally get mixed up with a THRUSH novelty shop selling drugs disguised as mistletoe. (25)
  • The Worst Case Affair by Terry L. Neill and J.M. D'Agostino-Toney--After being trapped by an explosion, Napoleon and two UNCLE medics try to keep a severely-injured Illya alive. (41)


Reactions and Reviews: Issue 1

[The Worst Case Affair]: "Can You Get Channel D on Cable" is a short one-shot notable for its final story, in which the authors, a nurse and an EMT, conspire to trash-Illya within an inch of his life, in full gore, in a medically-correct manner, and still believably survive (none of this running around with a chest wound and a broken leg BS!). [1]

[zine]:

Call this one The Zine That Almost Got Away. Somehow I missed CAN YOU GET CHANNEL D ON CABLE? at REVELcon. I glanced at the cartoonish computer-generated cover and thought it was a novelty zine or something, then got distracted before I had a chance to look at it closely. Fortunately my friend [name redacted] was more perspicacious; she bought the zine, took it home, read it, and called me on the phone. "I'm coming over with this zine," she said. "You have GOT to read it." And you know what? She was right. Like Illya, the zine is deceptively slight, but packed with surprises. It has just 71 pages and 5 stories. The first story, "Boyfriend," by Linda Cornett, was unlike any other M.U.N.C.L.E. story I have ever read. It was the story of a computer expert's brief involvement with Illya, told from the point of view of her teenage daughter. The story held my interest firmly, even though Illya is practically a minor character and Napoleon doesn't appear at all. The ending, which was both happy and sad, felt absolutely right. "Farbror," by C.W. Walker, is a vignette written in the distinctive style of her St. Crispin's Day Society zines. This author has an unusual "take" on M.U.N.C.L.E.: she writes as if it were for real, with a serious and mature tone. This little piece offers us a glimpse of Napoleon, a few years after the original series, dealing with subordinates in a leadership position. Dry wit abounds in an excellent story. "The Hawk Affair" by Jean Graham was my least favorite of the zine, though I normally enjoy Jean's writing. A dangerous mercenary being guarded by Solo and a new agent escapes. I simply could not believe the naivete and faintheartedness of the new agent; it didn't seem realistic for her to be allowed a position of such responsibility. Unfortunately, those unrealistic characteristics are necessary to the plot, which is set in motion by an escape that would never have happened had she been competent. That criticism aside, I did like the clever trap that the escaped mercenary set for his pursuers, and I enjoyed the Solo-Kuryakin banter, written with a light and accurate touch. In all fairness, I should add that [name redacted] liked this story more than I did, and cited the good character development undergone by the new agent. "The Missing Mistletoe Affair" by Jennifer Adams Kelly is a G.U.N.C.L.E. story that's better than most aired G.U.N.C.L.E. episodes. (Scarcely a term of distinction, I realize.) The story is just plain fun. My favorite part was the cliffhanger when Mark Slate was trapped in a life-size snowman mold about to be drowned in molten plastic! Very true to the flavor of the original series, with a lot more consistency of plot and cleverness of the agents. Some great lines, such as one Thrush underling to another: "Like you're Mister Bigshot because you get to deliver toilet paper to all satraps in a three-state radius." The Thrush's kindly, confused father was a funny and touching character, whose poignancy never degenerated into melodrama. The authors of "The Worst Case Affair" have some impressive credentials -J.M. D'Agostino-Toney is an RN and Leigh Zavakos an EMT, and Terry L. Neill came up with a fascinating story idea. Although it features a desperate attempt to save Illya's life after horrible interrogation, it is not a simple "get" story, but a gripping and vividly detailed medical drama. A running subplot concerns Napoleon's resistance to an expensive pilot program of sending field medics out with U.N.C.L.E. teams - until he sees the program in action. Although technical, the medical parts of the story are explained clearly for the lay reader. Furthermore, the authors convey the sense of being trapped for several hours awaiting rescue in a realistic manner: even heroes get grouchy sometimes! The only objection I have is the age of the pilot program leader. I don't think a person can get a Ph.D. plus field medic training plus become a specialist in interrogation plus rise to the rank of Section Head by the age of "26 or 27!" Thirty-six I could buy. Maybe a workaholic thirty. The editors, Terry L. Neill and J. M. D'Agostino-Toney, are to be commended for a thoroughly enjoyable fanzine, small but densely packed with delightful stories! I gave the one I had read back to Leah & bought one of my own; it's a definite keeper. It's cheap, too! It was $6 in person. The moral of the story is: take [name redacted] to every zine convention! Uh, no, I guess the moral of the story is, don't pass by a zine too quickly - you may overlook a gem. [2]

Issue 2 (On A Satellite Dish?)

cover of Can You Get Channel D on a Satellite Dish?

Can You Get Channel D on a Satellite Dish? was published in 1993 (third printing 1995) and is 120 pages long. Art is by Joel Winter.

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 2

See reactions and reviews for My Dinner with Angelique.
[The Cayo Hueso Affair]: Most folks in MFU fandom know Nan Mack as my collaborator for the Escape from New York/MFU crossover universe, but she’s written some pretty memorable stories on her own.

Like this one, for example. Set sometime after the Return movie, we find a melancholy Solo and a resigned Kuryakin traveling to Key West on what appears to be a “milk run.” There, they bump into Chris Larson, the little boy from “The Finny Foot Affair” now grown, and an embittered Gervaise Ravel from “The Quadripartite Affair” and “The Giuoco Piano Affair” who has a few scores to settle. As we soon discover, a lot can happen in twenty years.

This is a tough, absorbing, complicated affair with a great plot and a lot of heart (read: Solo angst). The details and background atmosphere are superb (Key West is Nan’s favorite place), the voices are spot on, and there are some very enjoyable characters, most notably a scary young sociopath named Joey who has an interesting relationship with Gervaise. [3]

Issue 3 (in the Back of a '57 Chevy?)

cover of ... in the Back of a '57 Chevy? by Joel Winter

Can You Get Channel D in the Back of a '57 Chevy? was published in May 1994 (second printing 1997) and is 84 pages long. The cover is by Joel Winter and is made of laminate. Other art by Joel Winter, Connie Crouch, Anne Davenport, Vanya, Diane Roe, Warren Oddsson, and Hindman. The zine also included LoCs from readers.

The editors dedicate this issue to:
CompuServe Information Services without which this zine would not have come to be." They also state this will be their last issue: "By March 1994, we had one story in our file for this issue. We will not print without a minimum of five stories and 70 pages. So, we told our one writer that there wouldn't ben an issue this year. We told our one writer there wouldn't be an issue this year. We told all our friends, acquaintances and relations there wouldn't be an issue this year. Stories started arriving in the mail and via E-mail (CompuServe ID: 71035, 337 hint, hint). By the end of April, we had seven stories and barely enough time to edit them all and find illustrators. Oh, wonderful writers and illustrators with very FAST fingers!! However, we WON'T do this again. We stayed up late. We missed deadlines at work. The stories didn't get the kind of editing we felt they deserved. It was not NEARLY as much fun as last time. It was FAR more expensive. [4]
  • The Cat From U.N.C.L.E. by Leah McGrew--A cat who shows up at UNCLE headquarters may be involved with an information leak. (5)
  • The Lala Land Affair by Linda Cornett--Post-movie. When Napoleon is kidnapped by Justin Sepheran, Illya invites himself along on the rescue mission, much to Agent Kowalski's irritation. (11)
  • Body Language by C.W. Walker--Napoleon and April share a final night together. (21) (reprinted in The St. Crispin's Day Society #5)
  • The Bring 'Em Back Alive Affair by Gina Martin--Solo, Illya and white slavery in the jungle. (25)
  • The Rendezvous Affair by Lisa Brazdil--After picking up a mysterious passenger, Illya starts seeing visions of his life on the side of the road. Won a 1995 FanQ. (37)
  • Fandom by Hindman (poem) (44)
  • The Winners and Sinners Affair by Jennifer Adams Kelly--Illya and April go undercover as newlyweds after gifted couples start disappearing. (45)
  • The Black Tuesday Affair by Anne Davenport--A minor witness protection job goes wrong when THRUSH comes for the witness and Illya and Napoleon wind up in the hands of a skilled interrogator. (63)

Issue 4 (in a Yellow Submarine?)

cover of issue #4, Joel Winter

Can You Get Channel D in a Yellow Submarine? was published in May 1995 and contains 151 pages. The cover is by Joel Winter. Interior art is by Joel Winter, Anne Davenport, C.L. Crouch, Jennifer Adams Kelley, and Joey Rodrigues.

The zine is "Dedicated to CompuServe Information Services (and the Internet). Without which this zine would have been a whole lot more expensive."

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 4

[Pawn to King's Two]: This is an old and well known story but although this author is well represented here this story has never been recced. I suspect that it is a bit too open ended for many people's liking but I have a particular fondeness for "how it all started" stories and particuarly for ones that give us a bit of insight into IIlya.

I also consider her to be a fine writer, this is an image which has stayed with me ever since I read this first.

"Look at it well," the officer in charge of them warned. "If you choose to serve in the GRU, there is only one way out for you -- from this very chimney. If you have died an honorable death in the service of our country, your body will be sent here. If you are ever found to be disloyal to our service, your will be put alive and screaming into the conveyor of the furnace and pay for your traitorous acts in its flames. Either way, this is your final fate. [5]

Issue 5 (In Heaven?)

cover of Can You Get Channel D in Heaven?

Can You Get Channel D in Heaven? was published in 1996 (third printing 1997, fourth printing October 1998) and is 136 pages long.

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 5

[The Waverly's Day Affair]: Mr. Waverly is in his office, drowning in paperwork and staff meetings. As he tries to get rid of some of the items cluttering his desk, he keeps getting interrupted by calls, such as the one from Solo stating that the mission failed. Other agents are also calling in for instructions and advice. Waverly handles it all while he steadily attempts to empty his in-box. [6]

This a treat.

[Alma Mater]: I'm usually not one for either of our agents settling down separately and starting a family, but I really love st_crispins exploration of a Solo family cycle, and Allyson Solo is, hands down, one of the damn best OFCs I've read in this fandom. One of the things that's always fascinated me about Napoleon is his "fist in a black velvet glove" quality, his intuitive sense of what tactics to employ at any given moment for maximum effect, his occasionally reckless bravado and his unwavering moral certainty glossed over by the Brylcreemed, man about town patina. Even after retiring from the organization, st_crispins poignantly shows us how Solo can never really leave UNCLE, how attending that alma mater has left its imprint for life on him, so deeply that all of his relationships are forever tinged by the interweaving of his personal identity with UNCLE. Napoleon Solo, man, and Napoleon Solo, UNCLE agent are inseparable, for better and for worse. Fundamentally, though, this story is about the agony and the ecstasy of raising children. Our efforts to protect the ones we love all too often seem to end in vain (st_crispins's Daddy is a breathtaking exploration of this as Napoleon learns what it means to be a father); as much as we are shaped to the core by parents, our children's choices are ultimately their own. Isn't that why we make such sacrifices in the first place, so that our children have the freedom to make their lives in their own image? I can only hope that the next generation of UNCLE agents have someone like Allyson to lead the good fight the wars they've inherited. [7]

References

  1. from a fan on Virgule-L, quoted anonymously (October 28, 1992)
  2. from Psst... Hey Kid, Wanna Buy a Fanzine? #5. The reviewer in gives it "4 trees." The reviewers in "Psst... Hey Kid, Wanna Buy a Fanzine?" rated zines on a 1-5 tree/star scale. See that page for more explanation. This review was also later reposted at Zine Reviews, accessed 6.1.2011
  3. a 2004 comment at Crack Van
  4. The editors went on to produce two more issues.
  5. a 2006 comment at Crack Van
  6. a 2012 comment at Crack Van
  7. a 2008 comment at Crack Van