Thursday, November 20, 2008

Liaison with the Past


I've wanted to combine two of my interests for quite a while now and I've finally done it. Here is my first photo story, using 16" Tonner fashion dolls in a story about my all-time favorite character, Illya Kuryakin.

For doll fans, Illya Kuryakin was a character on The Man from U.N.C.L.E., a NBC television show from 1964-68. It was the first spy show on TV and Illya was one of the good guys even though he was Russian and this was during the Cold War. It added to the multinational feel of international cooperation of the show. The part was played by David McCallum (yes, the same man who plays Ducky, the forensic pathologist on NCIS now). He was wildly popular in the part of Illya, receiving 70,000 fan letters a month at MGM, more than any movie star there ever. Along with millions of other girls worldwide, he was my teen crush.




I had a lot of fun doing the photo story even though it sure was a lot of work. Tracy Weston did the two repaints, including my David/Illya. She did her always fantastic work, especially since she was working with a Peter Parker sculpt to make him.

For David McCallum fans, this photo story was done using fashion dolls from the Robert Tonner Doll Co. They are sculpted realistically and are 16" and 17" tall. Some of the clothes are from Tonner and some are made by me, MTS Designs (see my April post for more on my doll clothes). I made the sets, using doll furniture and props from several sources.

I hope you enjoy my story. As you may have noticed from my movie poster at the top, I've rated this PG-13. This rating is for adult situations. Please read no further if you will be offended. You can click on each picture individually for a better view. Now, on to the story.


Liaison with the Past


U.N.C.L.E. Headquarters
New York City
November, 1966
[Illya approaches the desk of the receptionist, Lara Eriksson, to turn in his badge at the end of the work day.]
Illya: Miss Eriksson?
Lara: Yes?
Illya: I didn't get a chance to introduce myself this morning. I'm Illya Kuryakin, one of the field agents.
Lara: Oh, yes, Mr. Kuryakin, I've heard all about you. It's a pleasure to meet you. Please call me Lara.
Illya: And please call me Illya. I wanted to welcome you to the New York headquarters and to America. I hear you transferred here from U.N.C.L.E.'s Stockholm office. How do you like it here?
Lara: Yes, that's right. I arrived from Sweden a week ago. I think America's wonderful. Everyone has been so friendly and helpful to me. I'm looking forward to working here, but my goal is to become a field agent, though.
Illya: I enjoy living in America myself. I came to the New York headquarters from the U.S.S.R. several years ago. I wish you luck on becoming a field agent. I've known several people who passed U.N.C.L.E.'s survival school to become agents after working in the office staff here. It takes a lot of work, but it can be done.
Lara: I almost expected to see you rushing out of here on an assignment today.
Illya: No, today was devoted to bureaucracy for me, writing my report of my most recent assignment and filling out my expense account. How I hate paperwork! Put me in the field, laying my life on the line any day rather than these dreaded reports.
Lara: (smiling, with a short, quiet laugh) I understand how you feel. That's one of the reasons I want to do field assignments myself. Of course, the new IBM Selectric typewriters we have here certainly cut down on the drudgery, but if the lab guys can come up with pen communicators and mini explosives for the field agents, why can't they come up with a way to help the office staff with all this paperwork? Maybe something that makes use of all the large computers here?

Illya: Yes, that would be helpful, but with the pace of technology now, maybe it won't be too many years before something like that comes about. Well, I hope you have a nice evening. I'll see you tomorrow.
Lara: Good night, Illya.
Illya: Good night, Lara.

Illya's Apartment
The same day, 10 PM

[(buzz) The doorbell rings.]
[Illya approaches his apartment door. He's not expecting anyone so he takes out the gun he keeps in a table drawer near the door and opens the door cautiously.]
Illya: (surprised) Tatyana!
[Tatyana smiles and Illya stares at the beautiful raven haired woman at his door for a long moment.]
Tatyana: Well, aren't you going to invite me in?
Illya: (still a bit surprised) Of course, of course, yes, come in!
[Tatyana enters his apartment, tossing her mink stole on a chair.]
Illya: I had no idea you were in the U.S. How long have you been here?
Tatyana: Mmmm, about a month now.
Illya: You look wonderful! What are you doing here in America?
Tatyana: I'm a translator at the U.N. I just came from a dinner at the ambassador's residence and thought I'd come see you.
Illya: All those languages coming to good use now, eh?
Tatyana: It's mostly just Russian to English and English to Russian at this point.
Illya: How many languages is it that you know now? Eight? Ten?
Tatyana: Twelve.
llya: Do you like the U.S. ?
Tatyana: Yes, this is my first time living here. I could definitely become accustomed to it. Bourgeoisie living has it's appeal. But, frankly, I'm a bit bored. Perhaps I'll travel around the country a bit when I have some time off.
Illya: So you're only working at the U.N. now? Nothing for the government?
Tatyana: (with a wry smile) Well...... Let's just say I'm making good use of my education.
Illya: How did you find out where I live?
Tatyana: Illya, you know me...I have my ways. (changing the subject) Americans are quite charming. They think my accent is rather exotic and they want to know about Russia. You know, we Russians are quite popular now, with Pasternak's novel, Dr. Zhivago, out as a movie. It was nice to be able to see it here since we aren't allowed to read the book or see the film at home - a different perspective of Mother Russia. Have you seen it? What did you think of it?
Illya: No, it's not my thing.
Tatyana: “Thing”?
Illya (chuckling quietly) : It's not my preferred genre of cinema. I don't care for long, overblown, romantic epics. You still have some American slang to learn, Tatyana.
[Tatyana moves closer to Illya on the couch.]
Tatyana: You know, you haven't changed a bit. You're still the dashing young man I met at Cambridge, working on his PhD in Quantum Mechanics.
Illya: And you were working on your degree in modern languages. I would have been attracted to you even if you weren't from home. I hadn't traveled much then, only the Sorbonne before Cambridge, and I always enjoyed being with you.
Tatyana: Remember the last time we were together? Back in Russia, you were in the Navy, getting ready to leave for your tour of duty on that nuclear submarine. Do you remember that last night before you left?
Illya: (with a wry smile) Ah, yes, I was exhausted all the next day – but very pleasantly so.
Tatyana: (alluringly) Would you like to be pleasantly exhausted all of tomorrow?
[Illya smiles, takes her in his arms, and gives her a passionate kiss. He then leads her to his bedroom.]
Tatyana: (seductively) Come to me, moy lyoo bov neek (my lover).
[Illya undresses and slips into bed next to Tatyana. He kisses the back of her neck, his hands starting to explore her body.]
Tatyana: Oh! Ahhh....mmmm... (whispers in Russian) I've been waiting to get you like this for a long time.

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©2008 Marianne T. Smith
©Illya Kuryakin, U.N.C.L.E. - Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.