[identity profile] rallamajoop.livejournal.com posting in [community profile] muncle211
One of the nice things about having all the scripts in text format is that it makes it very easy to throw together a few lines of code to search through them all at once for particular word, or to trace down the origin of particular quotes. To wit: I ran into an interesting discussion on the Section VII LJ comm from a while back about catch phrases that turn up in fic, and which ones actually came from the canon – nicknames mostly, like 'tovarich' or 'partner mine'. Though they were able to source a few, others they weren't too sure about. So out of curiosity, I ran a search through the scripts for some of the things I've seen come up in fic, and came up with some interesting results – particularly when I started checking up on 'Smart/Sly Russian', which I'll get into last.

Using the subs as a definitive script as I have here does come with one big caveat: they're not always perfect. Even if they contain no accidental errors, subtitles will often abbreviate slightly to save space, and I've noticed a few dropped words in a few places in the UNCLE subs already (see 'my friend' below for one example). So it's totally possible there are uses of a number of these that I haven't caught because they're missing from the subs. And you are, of course, completely free to go on using all or any of these in fic to your heart's content, regardless of what's actually said in canon. All that aside, here's what I found.


Tovarich
Used once, Napoleon referring to Illya when speaking to a third party (The Girls of Nazarone Affair, "Tovarich here, he always thinks that he knows-"). It's worth noting that Napoleon was making a point about Illya's 'Russian stubbornness' at the time as a cover for why they were trying to trace a racing car part, so it's perhaps reaching a little when fans use it as an all-purpose affectionate nickname. Illya's also called 'tovarich' once by a third party in The Terbuf Affair, and the word is used once more in the same episode referring to someone else again. It appears nowhere else in the series (regardless of spelling), as far as I can tell, but it's certainly no pure fan invention.

IK
Used exactly once by Napoleon in The Mad Mad Tea Party Affair ("Ready when you are, IK."). This may actually be the case of Napoleon using one of these nicknames for Illya purely for the hell of it, without obviously making some sort of point (as in 'Tovarich' or 'Pussycat', those couple of times in the See Paris and Die Affair).

Illyusha/Illyushenka
Both used once in reference to Illya by a third party (an elderly Russian woman who was hitting on him) in The See-Paris-And-Die Affair.

Polya/Napasha/etc
Pure fanon, no-one in the show is ever called any variation on these, though I'm pretty sure most people are aware of that when they use them. Napoleon does once tell a woman she can call him 'Nappy' if she likes (The Deadly Toys Affair), though. I don't think I can see that catching on in fic.

Partner (all variants thereof)
Surprisingly, this is almost never used in reference to Illya and Napoleon. Only once do either of them use 'partner' in direct reference to the other, when Illya uses it to explain who Napoleon is to a third party (The It's All Greek To Me Affair). Other people refer to one of them as the other's partner 4 times that I've caught: twice by villains (The Re-Collectors Affair and The King of Diamonds Affair), once by Mr Waverly posing as a villain (The Pieces of Fate Affair) and once by a guest character in the It's All Greek To Me Affair. That, amazingly enough, seems to be it.

By and large, people seem to talk around the subject of Napoleon and Illya's professional relationship rather than qualifying it as a partnership. Even in The Moonglow Affair – an episode which explicitly deals with the forming of a new partnership between April Dancer and Mark Slate – the word 'partner' is never used in reference to either duo: Waverly calls them a 'team' once or twice in that ep, but never partners. In total, there are 22 hits for the word 'partner' in the subs from all seasons, but mostly not in reference to our heroes. (And just to clarify, 'partner mine' specifically never does appear either – I imagine we have the website to thank for popularising that one.)

My friend
I have not checked every single use of this, as a search gets me 93 hits (even before you consider variations like 'my dear friend'), many of them from contexts which have nothing to do with UNCLE's star duo. Still, from even a very quick check of a few hits, it's obvious this is common from both of them. It's the default way they explain their relationship to other people – for example, when Napoleon is introducing Illya to his old commander in The Secret Sceptre Affair, or when Illya is explaining his job in the  'Welcome to UNCLE' sequence ("Like my friend Napoleon, I go and I do whatever I am told to by our chief") which appears in every episode from 2-6. 'Your friend' seems more likely to be how other people refer to their relationship with each other too (often in the context of "if you want to save your friend Mr Kuryakin/Solo", because that's pretty much how the job seems to go). Mr Waverly actually refers to Illya as "your Russian friend" even in the office on one occasion, when talking to Napoleon once in The Spy With My Face.

Napoleon and Illya also call one another 'my friend' directly a number of times. To list just a couple of examples, Illya calls Napoleon that twice directly in Brain-Killer, and Napoleon calls him that once in See-Paris-And-Die. There are probably others, but you get the idea.

It's worth noting that 'my friend' is also something Illya uses in other contexts, and sometimes even when he's threatening someone. In Terbuf, for example, he refers to Napoleon as 'my friend' twice when speaking to other people, though he also calls a gypsy 'my friend' while trying to convince them he's one of them (a gypsy later calls them 'my friends' a few times too, so this eventually took), and a captured enemy officer 'my friend' twice in quick succession while threatening him (worth noting here that one of these was missing from the subtitles, demonstrating that they will occasionally miss things). He seems to find it a pretty useful all-purpose sort of phrase.

[adjective] Russian, [adjective] American
I've saved this for last because some interesting stuff came up while checking this one, which I wanted to go into in a little more depth. Though it's rare, this definitely happens. Napoleon calls Illya a 'Sly Russian' ("Well, you are a sly Russian. Someday, when you grow up you should make someone a marvelous secret agent") during The Odd Man Affair, and a 'Smart Russian' ("You're a smart Russian.") during The Never-Never Affair. He also refers to himself as a 'Smart American' once in the same episode, though I can't trace any time where Illya refers to him as such.

Napoleon uses 'Smart Russian' once more in The King of Diamonds Affair, and this is this interesting one. The line is a little hard to hear, and the subtitles actually have it as 'Ah, smart Russians'. In context, it's a little ambiguous as to whether Napoleon's referring to Illya (who just picked a safe), or whoever designed the alarms (which just went off), but considering there's no reason to suppose anyone Russian was involved in designing the system, I'm assuming he means Illya. The line is said as a very vague aside and is hard to make out, and I'm half-suspicious it may even have been an ad-lib.

But the really odd thing about it is that this is literally the only time anyone refers to Illya as Russian anywhere after the end of the first season – and the longer I look through the scripts, the more I suspect that has to have been deliberate. And for all the discussion I've seen of how S1 was the strongest of the seasons, the one most willing to take itself seriously, this is one factor I don't know if anyone has pointed out before – only that when you look at search results by episode like I've been doing, it becomes pretty hard to ignore.

Though the first season doesn't do a lot with Illya's heritage, it doesn't shy away from admitting to it. Illya is explicitly referred to as Russian in The Girls of Nazarone Affair (by Napoleon), The Love Affair (by himself), and by other parties in See Paris and Die and The Shark Affair, not to mention getting a scene in Russia in Russian Military uniform in The Neptune Affair. Though I don't have the complete script for The Spy With My Face (extended theatrical version of The Double Affair), he's referred to as Russian so many times that one can't help but suspect the writers were worried the audience might forget if they stopped dropping in regular reminders (none of these lines made the TV cut though, ftr). But as soon as we hit season two: nothing, but for that one 'Smart Russian' mumble. Nor is he Soviet, Communist, or from the USSR in any variation I can think to look for. Seasons three and four are all more of the same.

On the two occasions where Illya's geographic origins come up at all, he's suddenly not Russian but specifically Ukrainian. We hear a reference to his childhood in Kiev in The Foxes and Hounds Affair, and about his education at the 'University of Georgia, in the Ukraine' in The Hot Number Affair – which is a pretty odd reference, given that the European Georgia is not a part of Ukraine at all, but a wholly separate country. A fair bit of googling has yet to find me a single reference to a place called Georgia in Ukraine, let alone one with a university (though if there is one that I have missed somehow please do someone let me know – lord knows I'm no expert on European geography), which probably indicates a bit of awkward research-fail in order to make a joke on screen. Notably, the joke would've made perfect geographic sense had Illya specified that he went to university in Georgia in the USSR, which it was back in 1966. But they don't, and I can't help but be suspicious that someone behind the scenes has chickened out big time, and has made sure the scripts downplay Illya's Russian/Soviet connections to the point of near-invisibility. Ukraine may still be a Soviet state, but one I'd imagine would have been much more palatable to a US audience.

But the coup de grace of Illya's ambiguous origins may remain the seriously weird events of The Jingle Bells Affair, in which Napoleon and Illya play chaperone to a visiting dignitary from an unspecified but clearly Soviet nation, who not once in all their scenes seems to notice that one of his guides is, himself, also from the USSR. Illya himself spends the episode talking about western capitalism as if he's as familiar and comfortable with it as any native. Neither seem to be aware they're spending time in the presence of a fellow countryman. I'm honestly not sure what we're supposed to make of it; it's bizarre to watch. About the only possible way I can make sense of it is to assume some mandate from behind the scenes to avoid talking about Illya as a Soviet citizen at just about any cost.

Come to think of it, maybe it should be no surprise we never heard 'tovarich' again either.


Anyhow, that's about it for this particular foray into the scripts of The Man from UNCLE – but if there's anything else you'd like me to plug into my search script to see if I can source the quote, drop me a line! Now I've got the code set up it's very easy to do.

(no subject)

Date: 2016-04-14 02:58 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] spikesgirl58.livejournal.com
Wow, talk about a boon for us writers. I have one for you that someone asked a long time ago. Did Illya ever speak Russian during the series?

(no subject)

Date: 2016-04-14 03:44 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] spikesgirl58.livejournal.com
I remember him saying Nostrovia once. She was wondering if he'd ever said "Da." I couldn't remember a time, myself. I know he spoke French once, but I couldn't tell you which episode it was. They all bleed together on me after a bit.

(no subject)

Date: 2016-04-16 01:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] spikesgirl58.livejournal.com
That's was the consensus from everyone else, too. Thanks for looking, though!

(no subject)

Date: 2016-04-14 03:21 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] loxleyprince.livejournal.com
Fascinating! Ta muchly for sharing this info! :-)

(no subject)

Date: 2016-04-14 05:43 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] laurose8.livejournal.com
I agree with loxleyprince, and add my thanks!

(no subject)

Date: 2016-04-14 06:01 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] threecee.livejournal.com
Nice bit of database searching there! Thanks for doing this!

This should maybe be included in the Man from UNCLE Bible? (I have the pdf bookmarked but remember it as being somewhere in MFUWSS.

Writer's Bible and Other Meanderings

Date: 2016-04-14 08:55 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fiorenza-a.livejournal.com

The Writer's Bible (http://mfuwss.livejournal.com/520992.html) can indeed be found on MFUWSS :0)

The shows rarely air in the UK, although they're more accessible now we have a plethora of digital channels. And memory is a very good distillation tool, so I could never go with Tovarich or Partner Mine because I couldn't hear them in Napoleon's voice, which led me to believe he couldn't have said them at all often. And I suspected, at all.

Eventually being able to watch the DVDs confirmed me in that view. But My Friend did sound in my ears in Napoleon's voice, so I assumed a regular usage - because it sounded so familiar.

Which is not to say that people can't have Napoleon speaking entirely in Hungarian if the whim so takes them. It is after all Fan Fiction.

As for Illya's Russian-ness, it does take a very big back seat - and I wonder if that has something to do with the popularity of the character. Perhaps having their teenage daughters besotted with a Russian was too much for conservative parental comfort. He was already long haired and sounded suspiciously foreign, even when he wasn't being Russian.

I know fandom makes a big deal out of Illya's ethnicity, but at the time the show aired 'Russia' was synonymous in most minds with the USSR. One big Red Menace. Poland was remembered, and Hungary and Czechoslovakia - mainly for their protests. And the GDR had a separate identity because of the wall and the Berlin airlift. Yogoslavia because of Tito. But most people would have thought both Georgia and the Ukraine were Russian. Kiev was a Russian city in the popular conception. The Balkans were Russian. So I suspect the writers just picked 'Russian' sounding places without a thought to research. Certainly if their depictions of the UK are anything to go by, research was not a priority.

Illya does stumble with 'American' sometimes - but not linguistically. I'm thinking of the loaf of bread he sticks in a bucket because he's never heard of 'raisin rye'. (Which to be honest, neither had I - I had to look it up!)

And as for the vodka, my sense was always that Illya drank it as I do - as one of a choice of drinks. If the show is anything to go by, he's more partial to champagne, or at least champagne cocktails. Although, I've not made a scientific study....

Edited Date: 2016-04-14 08:59 pm (UTC)

RE: Writer's Bible and Other Meanderings

Date: 2016-04-16 06:03 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fiorenza-a.livejournal.com
As far as Illya's Russian-ness - I'd be surprised if anyone suggested it with the intention of examining the Cold War. It was probably more of an idealistic multi-cultural thing - Illya was never supposed to be such a pivotal character. And Mr McC is quoted as having said that with so little to go on, he turned a weakness into a virtue and played on the fact that no one knew what Illya did when he went home. Hence the enigmatic Russian is born. (And legend has it, very nearly killed off, if a studio executive hadn't been hoodwinked.)

I never know what is Americana and what is the show. For this reason all my fic (I mean the stuff I scribble, not the stuff I read) is set in the same back-lot fantasy world as the show.

The 'champagne' is distillation of memory again - I just remember him with a champagne glass more often than I do with other drinks. But they are distinctive and may just stand out more than other tipples. Like I said - not scientific.

I'm planning a proper re-watch of the DVDs and was going to post notes to my Lj - I'll look out for what he (and Napoleon) actually drink.

I'm not sure the show ever intended that they were partner's in the cop-show sense. I get the feeling it was supposed to be more on the British model (although I doubt anyone knew what that was), where there are a pool of officers (or in this case, agents).

You might work almost exclusively with one particular person because your talents and skill set make that a logical choice - but you're not partners - although you may be very firm friends. Illya and Napoleon do get teamed with other agents when it's called for, and/or work alone, without any reference to a temporary hiatus in their 'partnership'. In my mind when partnership is used in canon, it may only mean 'the person you are currently working with' not 'the person you always work with'.

The THRUSH profiles don't, from memory, mention a partner, and you'd I'd think they would...

(no subject)

Date: 2016-04-14 09:37 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] eilidhsd.livejournal.com
That's a power of work you have put in, to make such an interesting post. It really is fascinating. That Nappy I heard once, and it made me cringe! Probably because in the UK it is the smelly loin cloth babies wear - no hint of romance in that pet name at all.

Just as an aside, since Santa brought me my first Man from Uncle Annual in 1960-whatever, I have clung to this for Illya's origins!!

Image

(no subject)

Date: 2016-04-15 07:50 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] eilidhsd.livejournal.com
Yes, Napoleon's was on the facing page, but I don't seem to have saved the scan. I'll scan it again tonight.
(And I think it is actually the second annual, but they are easily found!)

(no subject)

Date: 2016-04-14 11:11 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] vysila.livejournal.com
Wow, quite impressive! What an interesting topic - love the searches you can do (even if there are some glitches).

And I cannot claim to have coined "partner mine"; it was already in usage when the site went up. I just borrowed the phrase for the site. I knew it wasn't from the show, but loved the possessive and intimate connotations of the phrase for a slash site.

(no subject)

Date: 2016-04-15 08:57 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] glennagirl.livejournal.com
Wow, you have quite a reference tool here. Thanks for sharing. Since you mentioned [livejournal.com profile] section7mfu as the catalyst for this quest you went on, do you think you could share this to the comm? I don't know how many of our writers are privy to MUNCLE, or get it on their Friends Page.

(no subject)

Date: 2016-04-16 02:10 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] glennagirl.livejournal.com
Thanks, that's terrific. You post it whichever way seems good to you. I really appreciate it.

Matching file on partner

Date: 2016-04-15 11:45 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] eilidhsd.livejournal.com
Don't know if this is clear enough.
In the last line Illya says Napoleon makes a good friend and an even better partner in danger.

Btw, note the scientific measurement of IQ - very high!

Image

Re: Maybe better?

Date: 2016-04-16 12:39 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] eilidhsd.livejournal.com
That line really does jar!

RE: Maybe better?

Date: 2016-04-16 05:35 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fiorenza-a.livejournal.com

Having compared the signatures - with the same scientific rigour applied to the calculation of the IQs - I too suspect a forgery :0)

Also, "My friend Napoleon is smooth and sophisticated, with a quick smile and a quicker gun." hardly sounds like the words of a man who is 'not at all gregarious' and of whom his partner says "Like a machine that has been fashioned for a specific purpose, nothing seems to exist for him but the task to be performed."

Some might think there's something they're not telling each other...
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