One day Hudson University of New York will be inducted into the Television Crossover Hall of Fame. It gets used often enough to be on a par with Morley’s Cigarettes and the Los Angeles Chronicle and the New York Chronicle. Among the shows in which Hudson University showed up:
ALTERNATE TV DIMENSIONS:
- Without a Trace
- The Cosby Show
- Degrassi: The Next Generation
- Law & Order
- The Secret Life of the American Teenager
- Murder, She Wrote
- Beauty & the Beast
- The Mysteries of Laura
- The Flash
- 13 Reasons Why
- Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
- SEAL Team
Just as a fluke, today I caught the “Fade Away” episode of ‘Without A Trace’ which had the references to Hudson University.
- Blue Bloods
- The Flash
- ShooterXander Marrs:Dude, you're gonna get into Hudson U. You can make it easy.Samantha Spade:All right, his name is Lyle Carver. Hudson U, class of '85. He's now a big donor to the athletic department.Ted Soros:Oh, I'm going in style too. Xander Marrs:I like HU already.Xander Marrs:We went to a Hudson U mixer last weekend. That's when I knew Ted was in deep. Xander Marrs:So, what happens at these parties? Ted Soros:Well it starts with alums and boosters trying to sell you on playing for Hudson U. BCnU!
Tuesday, July 16, 2019
Monday, July 15, 2019
We were all gathered in the mess hall for dinner and one of the counselors stood up and announced that he had some very sad news to tell us.
This was the middle of July in 1969. Cut off as we were from the outside world, we still knew what the big story was that week - the Apollo 11 mission to the Moon was nearing the day of its historic landing on the surface. It would be another five days before we heard that historic phrase from Neil Armstrong:
“That’s one small step for man; one giant leap for mankind.”
(He was supposed to say "for A man", but flubbed it in the excitement. I don't think it mattered in the long run but don't tell my high school English teachers that.)
So there we were, isolated at Deer Lake Boy Scout Camp in Killingworth, Ct., and when the counselor told us that he had some very bad news to report, my heart sank. I thought for sure the Apollo 11 had exploded!
And then he revealed the news:
"Clarence the Cross-Eyed Lion has died."
There were a lot of jeers and laughs that he had faked us out, but even so, it was still a sad story to hear. I used to enjoy watching Clarence in the TV show 'Daktari' starring Marshall Thomson (one of the most wooden actors I've ever seen!)
Clarence died on July 14th, 1969, and the news made the papers the next day. He was 7½ years old. Apparently the life expectancy for a lion is 10 - 14 years, more so in captivity. So Clarence was basically "middle-aged" when he passed away.
I'm writing this up two years in advance as it's a lazy Sunday afternoon in July, my first year of retirement, and I started thinking about the recent anniversary of the moon landing. And naturally my thoughts turned to the only real memory I have of that time period. It was one of those moments in Time in which I did not have access to TV - or the appropriate channel, at least - so that I could join in with the communal experience. (The most recent example as of the time of writing happened just last weekend - I was stuck in the hospital with no access to BBC-America so that I might see the revelation of the new Time Lord for 'Doctor Who'. Thankfully, one of my favorite Whovians - and closest friends - Mark Thompson, was able to send me the video just moments after the big reveal.)
So here's to you, Clarence the Cross-Eyed Lion. I'm hoping to find a way to honor you in my Toobworld adventures. There have been several humanoid/leonine alien races in various TV shows; perhaps I will bring one to Earth Prime-Time who is cross-eyed as well.
How does the name K'Larinz strike you?
Saturday, July 13, 2019
Friday, July 12, 2019
To end this week celebrating ‘Endeavour’ and ‘Inspector Morse’, it’s time to induct another TV character into the Television Crossover Hall of Fame for the category of Friday Hall of Famers.
But… surprise! It’s not whom you might expect….
From the “Inspector Morse wiki”:
Jim Strange is a character featured in both ‘Inspector Morse’, played by James Grout, and its prequel ‘Endeavour’, played by Sean Rigby.
Chief Superintendent Jim Strange also shows a clear respect for and of Sergeant Lewis, Morse's loyal assistant, and ultimately gives Lewis strong encouragement to seek promotion to Detective Inspector - as indeed he had encouraged him earlier in the series to apply for a vacant Inspector's position in the Oxford traffic police. However, the character does not appear in the sequel series ‘Lewis’, in the timeline of which, he appears to have retired.
28 Episodes (and counting)
Set in the 1960s, the show follows Endeavour Morse in his early years as a police constable. Working alongside his senior partner DI Fred Thursday, Morse engages in a number of investigations around Oxford.
Inspector Morse has an ear for music, a taste for beer, and a nose for crime. He sets out with Sergeant Lewis to solve each intriguing case.
First broadcast in 1987, the Inspector Morse series is a crime drama based on the Colin Dexter novels of the same name. The show is based around the exciting exploits of Morse - a senior officer within the Criminal Investigation Department of the Oxford Police - as he investigates heavy crimes in and around Oxford with his sidekick, Sergeant Lewis. Morse is a grumpy classical music aficionado who loves beer, and who frequently loses patience with the earnest but somewhat slow Lewis.
‘INSPECTOR MORSE: REST IN PEACE’
Clip show that represents a biography of sorts of the now late great Inspector Morse. Chief Superintendent Strange fills in the blanks in between the clips with his first hand testimony about the man.
Clips from the following episodes were featured:
- The Dead of Jericho (1987)
- The Silent World of Nicholas Quinn (1987)
- The Wolvercote Tongue (1987)
- Last Seen Wearing (1988)
- Deceived by Flight (1989)
- Driven to Distraction (1990)
- Masonic Mysteries (1990)
- Promised Land (1991)
- Dead on Time (1992)
- The Death of the Self (1992)
- Twilight of the Gods (1993)
- The Way Through the Woods (1995)
- Death Is Now My Neighbour (1997)
Welcome to the Hall, Jim Strange!
Thursday, July 11, 2019
Keeping with this week’s theme of ‘Endeavour’-“Deguello” centered posts, since it’s Thursday, we usually have a theory of “relateeveety. And this episode concluded the plotline of a good candidate for such a theory.
Normally I would have saved this post for next New Year’s Day when I run my annual “Who’s On First?” blogathon. But since this is a week for “Deguello” posts, I’m going to run it now.
Henry Gordon Jago is a character who appeared in the 1977 ‘Doctor Who’ television serial, “The Talons of Weng-Chiang”. He was played by Christopher Benjamin. He worked so well with Trevor Baxter's character, Professor George Litefoot, the production team briefly considered giving them their own spin-off series. In 2009 they reprised their roles for the Big Finish Productions audio drama, “The Mahogany Murderers”. This led to their own audio series, ‘Jago & Litefoot’.
(That last sentence refers to their adventures in the audioverse and perhaps in BookWorld, so they are not officially part of Toobworld. I just liked the images brought up by those two adventures.)
But if so, there could have been issue. At least one son, I would imagine; and that son would have a family of own, carrying the family name of Jago into the 20th Century.
Wednesday, July 10, 2019
On 16 May 1968, a gas explosion in the kitchen of an 18th floor flat resulted in the collapse of the entire south-east corner of Ronan Point, a 22-storey east London tower block, killing four people and injuring 17. The disaster led to a loss of public confidence in high-rise residential buildings and resulted in major changes in UK building regulations
Ronan Point was a 22-storey tower block in Canning Town in Newham, East London, which partly collapsed on 16 May 1968, only two months after it had opened. A gas explosion blew out some load-bearing walls, causing the collapse of one entire corner of the building, which killed four people and injured 17. Although there were few casualties, the spectacular nature of the failure (caused by both poor design and poor construction), led to a loss of public confidence in high-rise residential buildings, and major changes in UK building regulations resulted.
The building had just opened, and three of the four flats immediately above Hodge's were unoccupied. Four of the 260 residents were killed immediately and seventeen were injured, including a young mother who was stranded on a narrow ledge when the rest of her living room disappeared. Hodge survived, despite being blown across the room by the explosion—as did her gas stove, which she took to her new address.
Tuesday, July 9, 2019
I guess the ‘Endeavour’ finale of “Deguello” had quite an effect on me because I’m talking about it again today, and it looks like I’ll make it through Friday covering the topic….
"Memoirs Of A -#" What was it, Morse?
DS ENDEAVOUR MORSE:
Voluptuary. Racy go for a numbers man, I'd have thought.
DOCTOR JASPER NICHOLSON:
I'm writing a paper on Edwardian erotica. It's very popular.
Well-thumbed, I'm sure. I'm more of a Holly Martins man myself.
“The Third Man” is multiversal.
- There’s the original book by Graham Greene.
- Then there’s the 1949 adaptation by Carol Reed which starred Orson Welles, Joseph Cotton, Trevor Howard, and Valli.
- And finally there’s the bowdlerized, sanitized TV series from 1959 starring Michael Rennie in the Orson Welles role of Harry Lime and Jonathan Harris.
In two of his meta-fictional universes, Harry Lime was a duplicitous con man and black marketeer whose dilution of penicillin caused agony and death in sick children in post-war Vienna. But in Toobworld? Lime was a suave international ladies’ man who was an art dealer and who would on occasion solve mysteries that might have an impact on his life. For the TV Universe, he came off more as a predecessor for Simon Templar.
But that leaves us now with the little problem of what to do with the TV version of “The Third Man”? “Little”… yeesh!
One option would be to just ship it off to another TV dimension. We’ve got plenty of them, according to the opening narration of ‘Sliders’ and they’re always needing new occupants.
Or we can claim that it’s an actual TV show from within the TV Universe, visible to us in its entirety. We’ve seen that happen in the past – the best example is that span of episodes from ‘The Lone Ranger’ which starred John Hart as the Masked Man instead of Clayton Moore. When it was Moore in the role, we were seeing the actual Lone Ranger. When it was Hart, we were watching the TV show based on the Lone Ranger’s adventures.
And I think we might invoke the Toobworld-specific group known as UNReal for being the reason behind this TV show which rehabilitates the image of Harry Lime. Why did they do this? To preserve the tenuous nature of the global political alliances, especially in Vienna would be a good enough reason I should think! And there could be reputations to protect, chief among them Western writer Holly Martins.
"Makes my head hurt...."
It’s a more complicated splainin than I prefer, but ironically I think the world is a better place for having the embodiment of scum and villainy having walked through it.
But I’m open to how you would interpret/reconcile this Zonk quandary.
Zonk Quandary…. Sounds like another bad name for a “Star Wars” character…..
Monday, July 8, 2019
The sixth season finale of ‘Endeavour’ – “Deguello” - aired on PBS last night. It had already been broadcast back in March in the United Kingdom.
Through the fifth season I was worried that TV Crossover Hall of Fame member Russell Lewis was pulling back on all the trivial connections he was liberally sprinkling throughout the earlier seasons. But it looks like he was getting back to form with these four episodes.
Here’s one to kick off the week….
“The Music Man” was performed on television in 2003, but I don’t include it in Earth Prime-Time, the main Toobworld. Instead it is in a TV dimension in which the musical demon Mr. Sweet holds sway. For Toobworld, “The Music Man” is a Broadway show and a movie.
Based on the age of Precious Mustapha, who played Lucy Paroo, I believe Lucy was born in 1947. The musical debuted on Broadway in 1957 when Lucy was ten years old; and the movie came out when she turned fifteen, in 1962.
The Broadway musical would not have had an effect on her, but she certainly could have seen the movie in 1962. And it must have been quite a kick for her to see that Shirley Jones was playing a character with the same last name as she had. And I think that might have started her thinking that perhaps she too could one day have a career as a librarian.
I realize it’s not the wild connection that some of Team Toobworld have come to expect from me, but sometimes it’s best to just go with a simple O’Bservation. And in this case, it does sort of expand Lucy Paroo’s life beyond the episode into the greater world of the Toob.
Saturday, July 6, 2019
July 6, 2019
Today marks the 74th birthday of Burt Ward. Everybody should know at the very least that he played Dick Grayson (AKA Robin the Boy Wonder) in the 1966 TV series ‘Batman’. (And I admit, that is the very least about him that I know.)
But the standard rule from Toobworld Central that characters are the same age as the actors who play them – unless otherwise stated – has that codicil invoked in this case. Dick Grayson is six years younger than Burt Ward.
As seen in the episode “Enter Batgirl, Exit Penguin”, high school student Dick Grayson has his driver’s license which makes him at least sixteen. As that takes place in 1967 when the episode is aired, I take it to mean that Dick was born in 1951.
I’m assuming that his birth day could also be the same as Burt Ward’s. Those who do the trivia research upon which I depend don’t offer any other dates which might have come up in the TV series.
Just so you know how it stands in Toobworld, here are some suppositions we’ve made about his life not seen in the show:
- Dick Grayson became the Batman after Bruce Wayne retired.
- He also is long since retired. The job takes a lot out of a guy!
- The Boy Wonder joined the Television Crossover Hall Of Fame this past January in tandem with his mentor, the Caped Crusader. Long overdue.
- In the genealogies to be found in various meta-fictional universes, Dick Grayson is somehow related to Amanda Grayson of the Future, mother of Spock. I find this perfectly logical. Indeed.
- He is also somehow related to the televersion of Mark Thompson Grayson. (Mark is a friend of mine who has been “televersed” by at least one appearance on the news in which he was interviewed.)
- I've been focused a lot on the Hartford Circus Fire this week. Dick Grayson was born on the seventh anniversary of that tragedy. If his birth parents were the same for his televersion as they were for his original version in the comic books, they were the Flying Graysons, a trapeze act. It could be that they had once been associated with the Hartford Circus, or they knew people who had been there that fateful day.
Happy birthday to both Burt Ward and to Dick Grayson!
Friday, July 5, 2019
We just inducted Jessica Jones into the TVXOHOF on Wednesday, and here we are with the first of July’s Friday Hall of Famers. So if I’m giving the month of July over to law enforcement – at least for this year – we’re going to kick off the weekly inductions with a defense lawyer in a series which ended fifty years ago this coming September.
‘Judd, for the Defense’ was an American legal drama originally broadcast on the ABC network on Friday nights from September 8, 1967, to September 19, 1969.
The show stars Carl Betz, who in his new role, plays Clinton Judd, a flamboyant attorney based in Houston, who often took on controversial cases across the country. Playing his top assistant, Ben Caldwell, was Stephen Young.
In an attempt to boost the low ratings of the hour-long program, the episode which aired on January 31, 1969, combined the Judd cast with that of another ABC series, ‘Felony Squad’, starring Dennis Cole. The idea did not salvage either program, as both were soon cancelled.
“The Law & Order Blues”
Sam and Jim arrive at an unusual crime scene-- an African national named Marcel Nburu has a fund-raising expert, Charlie Bannerman, hanging upside down from a tree. They initially arrest Nburu on an attempted murder charge, for.which noted defense attorney Clinton Judd arrives to defend him. Sam's position with regards to Nburu changes to one of sympathy after they investigate Bannerman and discover him to be a con artist who fleeced Nburu out of money entrusted to him by his country. Sam finds himself changing his position once again when they go to arrest Bannerman, but find him dead and Nburu standing over the body. A scuffle ensues where Sam causes Nburu to fall down a flight of stairs and become seriously injured (The episode concluded later that evening on ‘Judd for the Defense’).
This was the final show of the series and part 1 of a two-part crossover episode. The conclusion aired on ‘Judd for the Defense’: “The Law and Order Blues: Part 2” (1969).
‘Judd, For The Defense’
“The Law & Order Blues, Part 2”
This was part 2 of a two-part crossover episode. Part one aired on ‘The Felony Squad’: “The Law and Order Blues” (1969), which also served as that program's final episode.
For his third entry to qualify for membership, we’re declaring Clinton Judd to be a multi-dimensional.
In this series from Skitandia, Betz played an unnamed prosecutor in a sketch. I’m making the claim that in the sketch comedy dimension, Clinton Judd wasn’t a defense lawyer, but an unhinged district attorney.
Welcome to the Hall, Mr. Judd.