Sunday, December 21, 2014

"LAVERNE & SHIRLEY" - FROM A TO ZONK




One of the biggest Zonks in the new TV season is the fact that Zelda and Stephie lived in the same building that served as the exterior for the credits sequence of 'Laverne & Shirley'. Once they found that out upon moving in, it became a ritual for them to re-enact that scene as they left for work each morning.

A few years ago, ye olde caretaker of Toobworld threw up his hands in defeat over so many Zonks created by the mentions of other TV shows which should be sharing the same TV dimension. But we've come to accept that just about everyone on Earth Prime-Time will have their lives documented in one kind of TV show or another eventually.

Sometimes those Zonks can be splained away as being movies rather than TV shows. ('Starsky & Hutch', for example) Other times we can claim the shows mentioned have nothing to do with the show we in the Trueniverse got to see. (Some of the police procedurals with generic names - like 'Naked City' or 'N.Y.P.D.' could be documentary/reality series, so long as the actors were never mentioned. Unfortunately the franchises for 'CSI' and 'Law & Order' violate that rule, mostly due to David Caruso and Sam Waterson especially.)

But those shows that are made within Toobworld's reality about the lives of various TV characters should have something about them that would make them worthy of a TV series. One that is often Zonked is 'The Brady Bunch' - so there must have been some interest back in the late sixties about such a blended family with three boys and three girls (the youngest one in curls.) The ditzy housewife married to a Cuban bandleader and her legendary attempts to break into show business herself would be enough inspiration for a series about her. (Gee, I can't seem to remember the name of that show.....)

So what about 'Laverne & Shirley'?

The series was a spin-off of 'Happy Days' and took place on the Toobworld timeline back in the late 1950s, early 1960s. Decades later it became a TV series in both the Real World and in Toobworld. But since Ms. DiFazio and Ms. Feeney were real life people on Earth Prime-Time, what was so unique about their lives that warranted a TV show?

We never saw how Laverne's and Shirley's lives played out after the series was cancelled. And being so long ago, anything could have happened since then. Maybe they became the "Thelma And Louise" of their times and the TV show mentioned within other TV shows was an attempt to show how their lives led up to the pivotal moment that made them household names across America.

I'd like to think that they killed a guy......

BCnU!

Saturday, December 20, 2014

MARY RICHARDS AND WONDER WOMAN



'The Mary Tyler Moore Show'
"Anyone Who Hates Kids And Dogs"


MARY: What are you reading there?
STEVIE: Comic book.
MARY: What’s it about?
STEVIE: (sarcastically) I don’t know, that’s why I’m reading it.
MARY: (reading the cover) “The Fantastic Blob.” Huh. Is he a good guy or a bad guy?
STEVIE: They don’t give bad guys their own comic books.
MARY: Right, of course, they don’t. I should have realized that. I used to like comic books when I was your age. I used to love Wonder Woman. Do you know her?
STEVIE: Sure.
MARY: I used to love the way she’d ward off bullets with her golden bracelets. Gee, every month I couldn’t wait for the next issue to come out. Oh, I remember this one story when Egg Fu, her archenemy, had her trapped in this giant mustache of his. And he had her tied up in one end of the mustache, and in the other end of the mustache was her boyfriend, uh …
SUE ANN NIVENS: (excitedly) Steve Trevor.
MARY: Right. Right. Well anyway just before Egg Fu was about to crush them both, Wonder Woman worked her arm free and twirled her magic lasso around his head and she cracked it into a thousand pieces, and the world was safe for democracy once again. I just thought it was wonderful. Do you like Wonder Woman?
STEVIE: Naw, she’s too butch.


The issue of 'Wonder Woman' which Mary Richards was talking about had to be this one:


And there is no Zonk when it comes to 'The Mary Tyler Moore Show' sharing the same TV dimension as 'Wonder Woman.'  UNReel would have been hard at work even during World War II to protect such people as the Amazon princess from public scrutiny - by creating examples of plausible deniability.  In this case it would have been a comic book about Wonder Woman's exploits.  

Not that it came up in conversation, but Wonder Woman was active once again during the 1970s, and in such a way as to bring her notoriety from the general public.

BCnU!

Friday, December 19, 2014

MISSING LINKS: "WONDER WOMAN" AND "BATMAN"


Lloyd Moreaux:
"All of Henry's so-called statues are, as you are about to discover, flesh and blood individuals delicately frozen by a minute stream of electrons controlled by a neuro-impulse modulator - developed by that brilliant neurophysiologist, Robert Henderson.
"Presently known to his friends as Henry Roberts....."

'WONDER WOMAN'
"THE FINE ART OF CRIME"


I don't think this was Henry Roberts' first encounter with a costumed crime-fighter.  But he wasn't known as Henry Roberts then.  Nor was he known as Robert Henderson - at least, not during his criminal career.

Back in the mid-1960s, I think he used the alias of Bookworm in a thwarted attempt to steal the greatest trove of priceless books in Gotham City!


Robert Henderson, the nephew of Inspector Bill Henderson of Metropolis, was more inspired by the sordid lifestyle his uncle sought to eradicate rather than by the straight and narrow path Inspector Henderson chose to follow.

But Henderson lacked the human trait of originality and had to borrow all of his ideas from other sources.  Having been a nerdish "bookworm" as he was growing up, young Henderson chose that as his nom de crime and he set about basing all of his crimes on plots from books.


This lack of originality didn't deter him from developing scientific gadgets geared to help his criminal career, but he did have to pilfer from the work of others to get started on the projects (like the many traps he laid out for Batman in Gotham City.)  

After he served his time in Gotham State Prison, Robert Henderson retired the Bookworm persona and continued to pursue his technological creations.  But at the same time, he changed his name to Henry Roberts and by that moniker he became world famous as a sculptor.

The inspiration for his living statues probably came from the myth of Pygmalion in which one of Pygmalion's statues came to life.  The actual technology which he developed was probably first designed by some other scientist and then stolen/purchased by Lloyd Moreaux for his plans to steal the great works of art all around the world.

The Bookworm - er, Henry Roberts - probably welcomed the chance to have a patron like Moreaux so that he didn't have to tax himself trying to come up with ideas for his crimes.  

Not that it did him any good.  Both he and Moreaux were soon captured by Wonder Woman......


BCnU!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

"WHO LOVES YA, WONDER BABY?"



'WONDER WOMAN'
"THE FINE ART OF CRIME"

When the annoying IRAC computer used the term "an inside job", it confessed to having watched reruns of 'Kojak'.

This would not be the same show as we in the Trueniverse used to watch.  (Free plug - and you can still watch it every Sunday evening on ME-TV.)  What we saw was the actual Theo Kojak of Earth Prime-Time; what the citizens of that same world saw were recreations of his career in the NYPD (probably broadcast concurrent with his still active investigations.)

Based only on this reference, we could even suggest that Kojak was played by some other actor, real or fictional.  As far as I can tell, Zonks about 'Kojak' dealt with the show and the character, but Telly Savalas wasn't mentioned.  (Of course, my research is far from complete.)

Here are just a few of the shows that mentioned either Lt. Kojak or the show based on his life:
  • 'Good Times'
  • 'Rhoda'
  • 'Barney Miller'
  • 'All in the Family'
  • 'Sanford and Son'
  • 'The Sweeney'
  • 'Are You Being Served?'
  • 'Good Neighbors'
  • 'The Muppet Show: Bruce Forsyth'
  • 'The New Avengers'
  • 'Porridge'
  • 'The Bob Newhart Show'
  • 'The Love Boat'
As you can see, the lollipop-sucking, bald-headed fancy pants had quite an international following as well.  And I think we can assume that most of the references to Kojak by characters in the NYC-based TV shows were to the actual detective still working the beat in Midtown.

References to the show might not even be about the Toobworld TV series.  It could have been an extremely popular movie based on Kojak's life.

We have to go overseas to Germany for that suggestion:

'Kottan ermittelt': "Wien Mitte" (1978) (TV Episode)
Major Kottan sucks on a lolly. His colleague remarks: "You're in the wrong movie."

So when during an episode of 'The Bob Newhart Show', a TV announcer says that a political program will preempt "Kojak", it could be that he was referring to the movie.

And that would be what IRAC had illegally downloaded through his dial-up computer connections......

BCnU!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

A DEARTH OF EARTH'S HEROES



"Henry, say goodbye to the one person in the world
Who could have stood between us and everything in the world worth stealing."
Lloyd Moreaux
 
'WONDER WOMAN'
"THE FINE ART OF CRIME"

I saw no reason to doubt Mr. Moreaux's claim.  So if he was fixated only on Wonder Woman, then he knew Superman was no threat to their plans whatsoever.  And so I view that as a confirmation that the Man of Steel had passed away back in the early 1960s.
 
Batman was probably still in the "biz", but as he wasn't super-human and because he was centered in Gotham City, then he was no threat to Moreaux's current plans in Washington, DC., or anywhere else in the world for that matter.  This would be the excuse for any other super hero, supernatural being, or general do-gooder - even Mr. Terrific and Captain Nice! - to be unavailable to stop Moreaux's plans: location, location, location.

And Barry Allen didn't gain his powers as the Flash until 1990, so Moreaux didn't even know of him as a threat yet.

Of course, there was always the Hulk, but he wouldn't purposefully be seeking out the mastermind behind the art world thefts.  And being mostly a raging brute on a destructive rampage, the odds were pretty high against him ever crossing paths with Moreaux and Roberts.

As long as Moreaux didn't fall into any pattern to his crimes, as he did during this episode (although that was just to lure Wonder Woman into a trap), then not even the super sleuths of the world who were working at that time could have anticipated his next move.

About the only one I could still see as being a viable threat would have been the Gallifreyan Time Lord known as the Doctor.  But even he would have stumbled into an active crime scene rather than be actively seeking out Moreaux.

On a side note, since Wonder Woman was around during the 1950s (being practically immortal), it is left to our imaginations to picture her working with Superman - as played by George Reeves.
 
BCnU!
 
 

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

CROSSING ZONE: CONNECTING "WONDER WOMAN" TO "THE TWILIGHT ZONE"


Connecting (in a way) to two episodes of 'The Twilight Zone'.  The best I could do for "Two For Tuesday".....

'WONDER WOMAN'
"THE FINE ART OF CRIME"

In order to track down the thieves who stole a valuable crystal bowl, Diana Prince followed the leads provided by IRAC the computer - a list of fences in the Washington, DC area who might have an interest in moving the stolen goods.  



One of these men was a fellow named Shubert who hid his fencing operation behind the respectability of a midtown art gallery.  He knew Diana Prince was on to him but he played it cool, thinking that his henchmen could make it look like she died in a tragic car accident.  Of course, since she was also Wonder Woman, Diana Prince was able to put the kibosh on that plan.

To top it off, the crystal bowl had already been stolen from him!  (Probably by the living statue on display in his shop.)

Diana Prince didn't know it, but Shubert was just as alien to this human world as she was.....

SPOILER ALERT!!!!!

'THE TWILIGHT ZONE'
"THIRD FROM THE SUN"
"THE LITTLE PEOPLE"

From the IMDb:
William Surka works as a hydrogen specialist in a highly secure plant. Conditions are tense and there are constant rumors of war. The latest is that it's going to happen in the next 48 hours. Unbeknown to his wife Eve and daughter Jody, he and his friend Jerry Riden have been planning an escape of sorts for themselves and their families. Jerry is a test pilot and they plan to steal the government's latest spacecraft heading off to a planet they believe may sustain life. Their biggest challenge is Carling, a security officer who seems to be onto their plan. 
[Written by garykmcd]

Okay, I warned you there would be spoilers......


As it turned out, the planet they were going to was Earth Prime-Time!  Once there, they established new identities and new lives for themselves.  Jody Surka became a doctor even though human anatomy was slightly different from her own.  Under her new name of Dr. Lesley Webber, she gained some fame at the Port Charles General Hospital.

But life didn't work out so well for Jerry Riden.  It was too dangerous to fake a new identity that would pass scrutiny with the federal government if he wanted to begin his new life as a test pilot again.  (The biggest problem was that another astronaut in the secret space program looked just like him - Peter Craig.  And the authorities were already in an uproar when Craig never returned from a mission to another planet.)  He tried other ventures but either they weren't too his liking or the ways of American customs were too foreign to him.


Unfortunately, Riden found that Terran alcohol and his alien biology went together only too well and his life fell apart soon after, with his wife Anne leaving him.  With nowhere else to turn, Jerry Riden took on a new identity and began his new career - dealing in stolen goods.  (He may have taken the name of "Shubert" because the composer was his favorite on this new world.  Or he was tipping his hat to a mysterious benefactor - a billionaire industrialist bent on world domination. [See: 'The Man From Atlantis'])

BCnU!

Monday, December 15, 2014

MISSING LINKS: "WONDER WOMAN" & "MARCUS WELBY, M.D."




"The only way to get an 'A' is to find out exactly how you guys are put together.
And since nobody will tell me, I'll have to do my own little analysis.
I wonder what kind of surgery Marcus Welby would call this?"

Harold Farnum

'Wonder Woman'
"The Fine Art Of Crime"

With the passage of Time, a lot of things that might not have been accepted as being part of Earth Prime-Time can finally be brought into the fold.

Take for example, Senator Farnum.

He wasn't seen on TV, but his son Harold was.  

Harold Farnum was a college student sweet on Diana Prince of the IADC back in the 1970s.  Determined to find out how Henry Roberts created such life-like statues, Harold broke into Roberts' warehouse in order to slice away some of the material used in making the statues.  (As it turned out, they were actuallty criminals who had been frozen in suspended animation thanks to the genius of Robert Henderson aka Henry Roberts.)


Just before he made an incision into the "Forrest Gump" golfer statue, Harold mused on how Marcus Welby would handle such a surgical procedure.

By this, I think we can assume that Senator Farnum was a Senator from California, no matter who really was the Senator from there back in the day here in the real world.

Not only that, but I think Senator Farnum's family was centered in Santa Monica, where Dr. Welby practiced medicine.  I would even go so far as to say that Dr. Welby was the family doctor for the Farnums.....

Could that be little Harold Farnum?
Zonk averted!

BCnU!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

WONDER WOMAN - THE DC UNIVERSE VS TOOBWORLD


Rob Buckley, master of the fourth most popular TV blog in the UK ("The Medium Is Not Enough"), writes every week about one of his favorite superheroes, Wonder Woman. (I myself prefer Power Girl and Starfire.) And in a recent column, he gave a pretty good synopsis of the major changes to Diana Prince's character and history since the launch of the "52" reboot of the DC Comics line:
  • Her origin was completely changed so that she became Zeus’s daughter when her mother Hippolyta had had an affair with him (her previous ‘clay’ origin was revealed to be a ruse to keep Hera in the dark)
  • The Amazons were changed from a society of women living isolated from the world in a superior civilisation to one that went out seducing then murdering men for procreation before giving away their male babies in return for weapons
  • The gods were transformed from largely benevolent anthropomorphic beings, fit to be worshipped, to various zoomorphic creatures, personifications of office, and generally unpleasant individuals
  • Diana was eventually apotheosed to goddess of war
  • Most of the supporting characters from pre-nu52 times were removed, killed or ignored, to be replaced with male characters.
None of this has any effect on the Wonder Woman we know from Toobworld. Lynda Carter made an indelible impression (did she ever!) as the Amazon princess in a TV series that ran three years and over two networks and which spanned the Toobworld Timeline from the war years of the 1940s to the more mundane 1970s.

Diana's history is set in stone thanks to the TV series, including the origin story about Hyppolita's clay statue. And because the Toobworld Dynamic embraces most TV shows into one dimension, the demi-gods are still human in form (although with the power to alter their appearance.)

There are rumors that another revision to the legend of Wonder Woman will happen in the first stand-alone movie for the warrior princess with it being set in the 1920s. The Toobworld Dynamic has absorbed movies in the past - "Maverick", the 1966 "Batman", the "Star Trek" franchise being the best examples - but since it's obviously not Lynda Carter, we can't just absorb the entire movie. Especially since it will tie into the movie which will introduce Wonder Woman as played by Gal Gudot - "Superman vs. Batman" starring Henry Cavill and Ben Affleck. 

Everyone SHOULD know that for Earth Prime-Time, they were played by George Reeve and Adam West.

However, the adventures Wonder Woman has in that time period over in the Cineverse could conceivably have happened to TV's Wonder Woman as well. It certainly wouldn't create a Zonk with anything that happens later along Diana's personal timeline. (Although since the producers only have to answer to their own vision of a DC Universe, who knows what might happen that could have ramifications in the Present?)
 
I gave you the link above to Rob's site in general. But if you'd like to read the full article about Wonder Woman, click here.
 
BCnU!

Saturday, December 13, 2014

WOLD NEWTON DAY "WHAT IF?" - WONDER WOMAN & DOC SAVAGE


Today marks the anniversary of the meteorite crash near Wold Newton in 1795.....

THE WOLD NEWTON METEORITE


A group of passing witnesseses were bathed in the meteorite's radiation and that led to the creation of some of the greatest heroes (and villains) in the fictional universe.
PHILIP JOSE FARMER'S WOLD NEWTON UNIVERSE

Many of those same characters have televersions in Earth Prime-Time, but the Toobworld Dynamic should never be confused with the Wold Newton Universe.

This week, Inner Toob will be celebrating the TV version of Wonder Woman, so to put my yearly Toobworld spin on the WNU I looked through the "family tree" for a character who might have crossed paths with Princess Diana off-screen.

The first season of the series took place during WWII and I'm sure there are a few Wold Newton heroes from that era who could have teamed up with Wonder Woman. But she's far older than that, an Immortal from the Age of Legend. We might even suggest an encounter with some long-past character, perhaps even Hadon of ancient Opar. TV could always use a sword-flashing hero full of blood and thunder.

But there's one Wold Newton colossus whom I've always wanted to see get the TV treatment: Clark Savage, Jr. also known as Doc Savage.  And I think the Man of Bronze would have been the perfect candidate to work with Wonder Woman.

His globe-spanning adventures may very well have brought Doc to Themyscira - Paradise Island, the Amazon home in the Bermuda Triangle. But to make it more interesting, perhaps Wonder Woman could have met Clark at an earlier stage in his life, perhaps even before he was given to adepts for training at the age of fourteen months.

In 1901, most likely in November of that year, Clark Savage was born on the schooner Orion to Arronaxe Larsen and Clark Savage, Sr. This occurred off the coast of Andros Island, geographically not that far from Themyscira. Perhaps there is more to this story than had ever been revealed, which would be what the Amazons wanted in order to protect their hidden work. But I would think such a birth would almost invite some sort of calamity in which Wonder Woman could save the day.

Lester Dent, who wrote the original stories about Doc Savage, set up a scenario in which a grown-up Clark found himself back in the Bermuda Triangle.  Here's the synopsis of "The Sargasso Ogre" from Wikipedia:

"Trapped in the Bermuda Triangle, Doc and friends end up on a vast armada ofrotting ships battling a gang of vicious criminals."  Perhaps there's a period of time in that story in which Doc could have met Diana - together again for the first time, in a way.....
 
What if Doc Savage met Wonder Woman
(Adam & Eve as the stand-ins)
 
It would have to fall under fanfic since Lynda Carter, beautiful as she still is, no longer can match her earlier luminance for Diana's immortal features. And then there's the fact that Doc Savage - even as a baby - has yet to become a part of the Toobworld Dynamic.

And that's not likely to happen. He's already been in a movie and a new adaptation is in development. If it is made and is successful, that would probably put the kibosh on a TV version. Of course maybe an ancillary TV show could be made in which Doc Savage might guest star to kick off the series. We've seen it happen before with Nick Fury and 'Agents Of SHIELD' and Conner MacLeod on 'Highlander'.

I suppose it's pozz'ble, just pozz'ble, in the Comic Book Universe. Doc Savage has teamed up with the Batman and the Spirit in the past. And it was Doc who first had an Arctic Fortress of Solitude. So with such a DC connection, some sort of team-up with Wonder Woman could have happened.

At any rate, it's just "wish-craft" on my part as a tip of the hat to perhaps the greatest contribution made by Philip Jose Farmer to the shared universe of literature.

I hope you enjoyed Wold Newton Day, which fell on the numerical sequence of 12/13/14!

WELCOME TO WONDER WOMAN WEEK!


All this week we'll be taking a look at the Toobworldly aspects of one particular episode of 'Wonder Woman' - "The Fine Art Of Crime".  I saw the episode back in September, so why did I wait until now to give it a full week's showcase?

To make it a Winter Wonder Woman Land, of course!

If you've finished booing, we can continue.....

Here's the IMDb summary for "The Fine Art Of Crime":

Wonder Woman foils a ring of art thieves who use realistic-looking statues who are actually people in suspended animation to rob museums.

And from TV.com:

When valuable artwork in a museum mysteriously begins to vanish, Wonder Woman discovers the museum statues may be more life-like than originally thought.

The full episode is available for viewing via Amazon for $1.99 (at least as of September 7th), but there are a few scenes available at YouTube which give you the basics of the villains' plot:





And one YouTube contributor had a different idea on what constitutes a happy ending:



I hope you enjoy the week's worth of articles about this episode!

BCnU!