Because of the holidays (Thanksgiving on Thursday, Dabsgiving on Friday), this week’s edition of the Friday Hall of Famers got off to a late start. But thanks to the Dashboard system of Blogger, it will still show up as having been posted on this past Friday in the archives. Time travel!
For our last induction of November, we’re going to be dealing with a man who wasn’t so much of a newsmaker who made the headlines. He worked very much behind the scenes, doing his part through much of the 20th Century in shaping the course of the “Free World”. Oftentimes the actions in which he either took part (in the beginning of his intelligence career) or oversaw (as one of the heads of U.N.C.L.E.) saved the lives of those who would be recognized as the newsmakers or prevented the actions of madmen from becoming the leading news story of the day.
In doing so, he never received the public accolades which he deserved, such as a knighthood. Those of us in Earth Prime recognize his contributions and this honorific from the Television Crossover Hall of Fame is a paltry shade of the thanks due to him.
May I present….
MISTER ALEXANDER WAVERLY
“Hmm? Oh, yes.
Number 1 in Section 1.
In charge of this,
our New York headquarters.
It's from here that I send these young men
on their various missions.”
‘THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E’
Alexander Waverly is a fictional character from the 1960s television show ‘The Man from U.N.C.L.E.’ and its spin-off series ‘The Girl from U.N.C.L.E.’.
On occasion, Toobworld Central absconds with movies from the “Cineverse”.* Because of the character of “The Professor”, Toobworld has made the movie “North By Northwest” part of the TV Universe. And it is our contention that “The Professor” was in fact Alexander Waverly.
In his position as “The Professor”, working in Intelligence but not yet affiliated with U.N.C.L.E., Mr. Waverly may have been “working” undercover either at Channing College or at the Institute of Foreign Policy as Professor John Miller. This would have occurred when Professor Paul Atherton was offered to become the new head of the Institute for Foreign Policy.
Unfortunately I’ve never seen this episode, never seen any from the TV show ‘Channing’. As the characters of the Professors John Miller and Paul Atherton were one-shots, I could see “Miller” (Waverly) as being the “retiring” head of the Institute (in order to take a position with U.N.C.L.E., no doubt) and that Atherton does take over its leadership. But that’s supposition on my part.
Back to Waverly’s Wikipedia entry:
He is one of five regional heads in charge of the multi-national organization, though his position appears to be that of primus inter pares, i.e., first among equals. In one episode he presides over an annual meeting of the regional heads ('The Summit Five Affair').
He is the head of Section One in U.N.C.L.E. headquarters in New York. He appears to have been something of a ladies man in his youth ('The Bow Wow Affair).
Although primarily working out of headquarters, on rare occasions Waverly joins in missions in the field. He goes undercover in 'The Pieces of Fate Affair' and during the show's fourth season, he is captured along with three of his agents. He masterminds their escape with the aid of a blade hidden in a flower in his buttonhole ('The Deep Six Affair').
Toobworld Central has come up with a shadow ops organization to help in splainin away some of those discrepancies which we call “Zonks” – especially those in which TV characters talk about other TV characters from other TV shows as being fictional.
“UNREEL” is the group that foments this belief in the hopes that if the general public thinks characters like James Bond, and the Time Lord known as The Doctor are fictional, it then makes it easier for those do-gooders to continue in their work without alarming or generally involving ordinary citizens. (But hey, it happens.)
The inspiration for UNREEL grew out of the details in Dr. Watson’s chronicles of his friend Sherlock Holmes’ exploits which he fictionalized for his friend’s sake, or his clients. (Chief among these – in my opinion – would be the true identity of “The King of Bohemia”.)
We know that ‘Laugh-In’ is a TV show within the world of Earth Prime-Time - Paul and Jamie Buchman dreamed about it! So it’s our theory that UNREEL arranged it so that Mr. Waverly appeared on that pilot episode of the comedy sketch series to make it appear as if he was a fictional character, to go along with their earlier underwriting of ‘The Man From U.N.C.L.E.’ series using actors who bore incredible likenesses to the actual agents.
To help muddy the waters further, Leo G. Carroll himself later made an appearance on 'Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In.'
To Wikipedia, once again:
Carroll died in 1972 and his character did not appear in the 1983 reunion movie “Return of the Man from U.N.C.L.E.:The Fifteen Years Later Affair”, where it is implied that Mr. Waverly had died relatively recently.
According to Wikipedia, there was a Mrs. Waverly (whose maiden name was Hemingway) and they had at least one child since Mr. Waverly does mention a grandson named Melvin. He also has a cousin named Lester Baldwin who is one of those Toobworld “rarities” known as identical cousins. (As for Maude Waverly, who appeared in the movie adaptation of one of the TV adventures but not in the original story, I’ll leave that for others to de-Zonk.)
But there is another relative I think helps the case for Mr. Waverly’s inclusion into the TVXOHOF. It was said during the series that in his day, Mr. Waverly was something of a ladies’ man. So it’s not outside the realm of being pozz’ble, just pozz’ble (as Muskie Muskrat would say) that he wasn’t always that careful with the dispensation of the Waverly seed. It could be that he sired a child outside of marriage, and to spite him for not divorcing Mrs. Waverly to acknowledge this child, the mother gave her son the legal name of Alexander Waverly.
I have seen a wiki entry for Alexander Waverly with quite a padded backstory in which it’s declared he was born in 1892; give the name Francis Alexander Nugent; and that he attended the Greyfriars School in 1907. I have no problem with him having attended that school, but the years would not have synched up with that attempt to link him into the Famous Five of the Greyfriars stories by Charles Hamilton. (Not to be confused with the Enid Blyton books about a different quartet of young people – and a dog! – known as the Famous Five.)
I believe in adhering to the age of the actor portraying a character unless otherwise specified within their series. As an example, there was Luke Carpenter of ‘The Second Hundred Years’ who may have looked to be in his thirties but thanks to a natural case of cryogenics, he was over 100 years old.
As for Alexander Waverly, I prefer to think that, like Leo G. Carroll, he was born in 1886. This of course means that he was close to 97 years of age when he died, lasting about a decade longer than the actor who portrayed him. If that reference to him in the reunion movie as having died “recently” also suggested that he had been still involved with the U.N.C.L.E. organization, I think there’s a fanfic way to splain that away which I’ll get to in a moment.
But first, here’s a list of the qualifications for the entry of Alexander Waverly into the Television Crossover Hall of Fame:
North by Northwest
(Either acting under his own name or perhaps the alias of “John Miller”)
OFFICIAL EARTH PRIME-TIME ENTRIES
The Man from U.N.C.L.E.
The Girl from U.N.C.L.E.
Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In
Guests: Barbara Feldon, Flip Wilson, Leo G. Carroll, Lorne Greene, Buddy Hackett, Sheldon Leonard, Tiny Tim, The Strawberry Alarm Clock
- A Claim to Immortality
... Professor John Miller
REASON: GAME OF THE NAME
Mr. Waverly could have been using an alias.
(6 May 1981)
REASON: THEORY OF RELATEEVEETY
The character of Alexander Waverly was either the U.N.C.L.E. chief’s son in his marriage or an illegitimate child.
I mentioned a splainin for why Mr. Waverly was able to be active with U.N.C.L.E. into his late nineties. And for that we have to venture into pure fanfic speculation.
There are several TV series which I think Mr. Waverly could make an appearance in their fan fiction. For instance, if he was born in 1886, it could be possible that as a child he might have met Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson. (Could he have been at the Priory School in Mackleton when the Great Detective investigated the kidnapping of a student from there? He would have been about fifteen at the time.)
But there could have been any number of opportunities for the young Waverly to have met Holmes and perhaps he was allowed to partake in Holmes’ scientific studies into the revitalizing effects of a queen bee’s royal jelly.
During the Great War, he might have crossed paths with several TV characters who also fought the Bosch – Matthew Crawley, Sherman Potter, Thomas Barrow, and William Mason among others.
Then there could be involvement with Quentin Everitt Deverill, Nick Carter, Adam Adamant, Colonel Robert Hogan, Sgt. Chip Saunders, Ellery Queen, Hercule Poirot, James West and maybe Artemus Gordon, and members of the Bellamy household, among many others.
I could even see him somehow getting tangled in adventures with Maurice and Endora, Exigius 12½, and The Doctor!
For an old duffer who was in his eighties before he was officially introduced as Alexander Waverly, our latest inductee racked up an impressive number of official credits in the role.
Welcome to the Hall, Mr. Waverly!