Friday, March 13, 2009


There was an episode of 'The Man From U.N.C.L.E.' entitled "The Jingle Bells Affair" which concerned the visit to America by Chairman Georgi Koz of an unnamed country similar to the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. There was also an episode of 'Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea' entitled "The Exile" which featured a man named Brynov, the recently ousted premier of a country that also sounds very similar to the Soviet Union.

Although the 'Voyage' episode aired before the 'U.N.C.L.E.' episode (March 15, 1965 vs December 23, 1966), "The Jingle Bells Affair" happened first on the Toobworld timeline. It took place just a few weeks before it aired - in the first scenes, the characters are held up in traffic by the Thanksgiving Day Parade. "The Exile", on the other hand, begins on October 3, 1974, as former Premier Brynov is about to be executed by firing squad.

It will be the Toobworld contention that Chairman Koz and Premier Brynov had been in charge of the same unnamed country.

As background, it could be that Brynov saw that the older Koz was turning soft after his experience in America. (At one point, Koz played the role of Santa Claus for the kids!) In fact, Chairman Koz foresaw that he would probably relieved of his duties once he got back home, especially because of a speech he gave at the U.N. Hoping to cover all of his bases, Koz asked Mr. Macy if he could be a department store Santa if he was out of a job.

So seizing his opportunity, the hard-liner Brynov probably had Koz ousted from power. Sadly - because Koz was an endearing character in his own way - Brynov probably had the Chairman executed.* What goes around, etc.: almost a decade later Brynov found himself in the same position. (Although he would survive the firing squad thanks to loyalists, he would later die at sea.)

As for what country they both ruled, we might as well seek out its identity in a third TV show, just to forge another link. In describing both Koz and Brynov, I said their country was similar to the USSR. So their fictional country should be a huge, sprawling collection of smaller countries and it should have a very utilitarian and generic name.

I think we have a candidate in The Federated People's Republic, from an episode of 'Mission: Impossible'. Further, here are a few choices for those republics under the FPR's control (at that time): Zemenia ('Monk'), Boravia ('Danger Man'), Drublegratz ('The Girl From 'U.N.C.L.E.'), Argonia ('The Adventures Of Superman'), Boldavia ('Night Court'), and maybe Tavilia from 'The Amazing Spiderman' (but that feels, to me, more like it should be close to Italy for some reason). I think all of those countries are now on their own; like the USSR, the FPR probably crumbled eventually.

As always, this theory cannot be proven or disproved. (Suddenly the voice of Bob Johnson is in my head. He's the voice we heard on those tapes and discs - the 1988 version - that Jim Phelps played each week......)

Toby O'B

*Then again, the holiday season in Toobworld is all about last-minute Christmas miracles!

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