[identity profile] rallamajoop.livejournal.com posting in [community profile] muncle211
So, I got a little carried away and compiled family trees for each of our three UNCLE heros, including every specific relative we meet or hear about, plus a few extras whose existence can be reasonably inferred from what names we’ve got. For consistency, I’m considering only what appeared in the original TV series as definitive canon – extra details that showed up only in the theatrical versions or production notes get flagged as debatable (not even touching on the tie-in novels here, life is too short). Drop me a line if you can point out anything I’ve missed.

We’ll start with Mr. Waverly since his family tree is the best populated (and if I'm honest, a lot of why I made these at all owes to my amusement at realising how much more we know about his family than either Napoleon's or Illya's).

Alexander Waverly

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Though we never do meet Waverly’s wife, she’s mentioned in passing in The Mad Mad Tea Party Affair, and we do meet her brother, Mr. Hemingway. We see a photo of Waverly’s grandson Melvin in The Bat Cave Affair, so presumably they’ve got at least one kid. We meet his cousin, Lester Baldwin (‘distant cousin’ according to Waverly, though given they’re identical I’m presuming he meant this figuratively), and Lester’s niece, Alice Baldwin, in The Bow Wow Affair, so Waverly must have had at least two male cousins with the surname ‘Baldwin’. An UNCLE staff member is revealed to be Waverly’s niece Maude Waverly (or possibly ‘Wanda’ – more about her here) in the theatrical cut of the Alexander the Greater Affair, though you may or may not want to count that for various reasons.

In conclusion: Waverly evidently comes from a large, well-connected family (some even with high-level UNCLE clearance), who aren’t above calling one another in for favours as it pleases them. Very likely he has a number of other living relatives we’ve never heard of at all.

Napoleon Solo

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From The Green Opal Affair we know Napoleon has (at least) two grandfathers, one an admiral and one an ambassador, and possibly also another older male relative who worked as a country town lawyer, but who was more likely invented as a handy rhetorical device. A mention of a morbidly paranoid grandmother from Topeka, Kansas in Four Steps was likewise probably fabricated on the spot. An aunt called Amy is mentioned as having left Napoleon a very nice New York apartment in The Fifteen Years Later Affair, which you may or may not prefer to take as canon. Early production notes mentioned a late wife of Napoleon’s who died young, but as she was never mentioned on screen in any form, her canonical status remains debatable. Even earlier character notes stated his father was an electrician and his mother a hotel cook, but also said he was Canadian, so would be best taken with a generous helping of salt. The Terbuf Affair and The Secret Sceptre Affair deal directly with characters from Napoleon’s past, but don’t elaborate on his family whatsoever.

In conclusion: Napoleon certainly seems to have come from money, and may be following a family tradition of getting involved with military and international affairs. He’s not shy about doing favours for old friends like Clara and Col. Morgan, so the fact his actual family is virtually never mentioned could be taken to suggest he’s not on friendly terms with any living family he has, though this is largely speculation.

Illya [coughhack] Kuryakin

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Illya’s middle name ‘Nichovetch/Nickovitch/Nikovech/etc’ was uttered aloud all of once in the original series (The Terbuf Affair), largely ignored by contemporary merchandisers, remembered once more in The Fifteen Years Later Affair, and has scarcely been spelt the same way twice in all the years since. (‘Nickovetch’ seems to have been the 'original' spelling, though apparently no-one bothered to tell the DVD subtitler.) In theory, it ought to mean he had a father called something like Nico or Nicolai, though it's oft been pointed out that it makes very little sense as a conventional Russian patronymic name. During The Pieces of Fate Affair, Illya makes a statement implying he knew at least one of his grandmothers (or at least once saw something written down by one, or has called someone ‘grandmother’ at least once in his life). In a scene which appears only in the theatrical cut of The Double Affair he alludes to having a sister, though this may have been merely a rhetorical device (”I find [Americans] very charming, but I would not want my sister to marry one.”) His claim to gypsy heritage in The Terbuf Affair is occasionally cited by fans, though it didn’t fool anyone for a moment in the episode itself. A reference to his “parents in Jersey city” in Cherry Blossom can hardly be taken the least bit seriously. His own marital status remains an open subject of fan debate.

In conclusion: I’m not saying Illya Kuryakin was grown in a lab somewhere, I’m just saying, based on everything we actually know about his background, you’re never going to prove he wasn’t grown in a lab somewhere.

[ Cross-posted on tumblr ]

(no subject)

Date: 2016-10-01 03:45 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jkkitty.livejournal.com
Nice job, in was interesting to see this way.

(no subject)

Date: 2016-10-01 04:09 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] glennagirl.livejournal.com
The lab scenario seems very plausible ;)

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Date: 2016-10-01 04:45 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] glennagirl.livejournal.com
We've been spoiled by the current trend to make everything in a series full of details and the obligatory continuing story lines. Kuryakin's vague beginnings (and middle, current, etc...), leave the fanfiction possibilities delightfully wide open, so there is at least that bit of happy for all of us. On the down side, it would have been an awesome show set in the current parameters, with a lot of secrets revealed.

(no subject)

Date: 2016-10-01 05:22 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] laurose8.livejournal.com
This is great. Thank you very much.

For myself, I think they overdid the Man of Mystery for Illya: I could have done with one or two minor but solid facts.

(no subject)

Date: 2016-10-01 07:21 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] garonne.livejournal.com
What a great idea to do this!

Like the other commenters, I do wish the show gave us a little more background about Illya and Napoleon too.

(no subject)

Date: 2016-10-01 09:13 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] threecee.livejournal.com
You are doing an excellent job of ferreting out information and organizing it into patterns that make sense. UNCLE could have used a researcher like you!

I have always interpreted Illya's remark about not wanting his sister to marry an American as just a snarky reversal of the American cliché; "I know some [Jews, African-Americans, Poles, Catholics, etc.], are good people, but I wouldn't want my sister to marry one." Meaning the minority is fine if they "keep their place". I think the question of whether anyone else was created using some of the same genetic material is still open until we find the lab notes.

(no subject)

Date: 2016-10-02 01:50 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lindafishes8.livejournal.com
Love these bits of goodness coming from you. I still say all of this needs to be in The UNCLE Bible.

(no subject)

Date: 2016-10-11 10:41 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] maxbryansk.livejournal.com
We&rsquoll start with Mr Waverly since his family tree is the best populated (and if I'm honest a lo
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