Thursday, July 2, 2015

THE "RAFFLES" - "MURDER, SHE WROTE" CONNECTION



"For several years she has deluded herself 
that I'm some sort of modern-day Raffles, 
the gentleman jewel thief."
Denis Stanton
'Murder, She Wrote'

This fits right into the policy of the Toobworld Dynamic in that he never mentioned any source material for Raffles, and therefore it can be assumed that Denis was speaking of an historical personage just as "real" as he was in Earth Prime-Time.

A.J. Raffles was an "amateur cracksman" created in a series of stories by E.W. Hornung, the brother-in-law of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.  I suppose he was meant to be the flip side of the World's Greatest Consulting Detective.  Raffles, sometimes with his friend Bunny Manders, had been seen in several movies and on TV as well.  In the mid-1970s he was seen in his own TV series, only about six episodes or so, played by Anthony Valentine.


Having read those stories back during my Sherlockiana phase of that same period, I hope to one day add this series to the library at Toobworld Central.

In the meantime, that tossed-off quote by Denis Stanton serves as a legitimate link between the 'Raffles' series and 'Murder, She Wrote'.

BCnU!


Wednesday, July 1, 2015

TVXOHOF JULY 2015 - SECRET AGENT MAN


By the time July rolls around, the movie season is in high gear.  This year we kicked it off with "The Avengers: Age Of Ultron" and then into "Tomorrowland" and now "Jurassic World" has pretty much shut it down with its juggernaut of a box office take.

So thought we might honor a movie franchise character who made the transition from the Cineverse to Toobworld and played by the same actor.  Especially since this year marks the 50th anniversary of his first foray into film and 20 years since he traveled to Toobworld.  I spy with my little eye....

HARRY PALMER

For three years running, British secret agent Harry Palmer appeared in movies based on the Len Deighton novels and starring actor Michael Caine, who looked amazingly like the "real" Harry Palmer.  
  • The Ipcress File (1965) 
  • Funeral in Berlin (1966) 
  • Billion Dollar Brain (1967) 
  • But then, almost thirty years later, two more adventures of Harry Palmer were produced, but this time for television:
  • Bullet to Beijing (1995) 
  • Midnight in Saint Petersburg (1996) 
And because they once again starred Michael Caine, I had no problem in absconding with the first three movies out of the Cineverse and making them part of Earth Prime-Time.  But within the reality of Toobworld, the movies still existed as movies, especially thanks to a reference to Harry's stylish eyeglass frames back in the 1960s by a suspected rapist (as seen in an episode of 'Endeavour'.)

So as our summer movie character inductee into the Hall during the year-long British theme, Harry Palmer is the perfect choice.


Welcome to the Television Crossover Hall Of Fame!

BCnU!

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

DATELINE: TOOBWORLD - THE TUNGUSKA EVENT (06/30/1908)



On June 30, 1908, there was a massive explosion in the skies over Tunguska, Russia.  Here’s how it played out in the Real World, according to Wikipedia:

The Tunguska event was a large explosion, caused by an asteroid or comet, which occurred near the Podkamennaya Tunguska River in what is now Krasnoyarsk Krai, Russia, at about 07:14 KRAT (00:14 UT) on June 30, 1908. The explosion occurred at an altitude of 5–10 kilometres (3–6 mi) at 60.886°N, 101.894°E. It is classified as an impact event even though the object is believed to have burst in the air rather than hit the surface. Different studies have yielded widely varying estimates of the impacting object's size, on the order of 60 m (200 ft) to 190 m (620 ft). It is the largest impact event on or near Earth in recorded history.


It is estimated that the Tunguska explosion knocked down some 80 million trees over an area of 2,150 square kilometres (830 sq mi), and that the shock wave from the blast would have measured 5.0 on the Richter scale. An explosion of this magnitude would be capable of destroying a large metropolitan area, but due to the remoteness of the location, no fatalities were documented. This event has helped to spark discussion of asteroid impact avoidance.


But as I pointed out, that’s the Real World.

Tunguska has been invoked in several TV shows and I’ve added two more - ‘Batman’ & ‘Saturday Night Live’ - to create the background for one of my favorite villains on ‘Batman’.  Here are the official references to Tunguska (from Wikipedia) that can be used in the world of Earth Prime-Time…..
  • "Listening to Fear", a fifth-season episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, involves a meteor impact, thought to be the newest in a series dating back to the twelfth century.Willow Rosenberg notes that "the most recent meteoritic anomaly was the Tunguska blast in Russia in 1917", getting the date wrong by nine years and ascribing it to the year of the Bolshevik Revolution. She also appears to mispronounce the place name as "Tungusta."
  • In the first season episode "Dalek" from the revived series of Doctor Who, a cure for the common cold was found in 'the Russian crater'.
  • In the last episode of the fifth series of Peep Show, Jeremy joins a cult called the New Wellness Centre that purports to derive its knowledge from gold plates obtained from the Tunguska site.
  • In the Star Trek: The Original Series episode "That Which Survives", after the landing party experiences an unusually large seismic event, Sulu begins to recount the Tunguska event as a possible cause for the quake they experienced, only to be cut off by Kirk, who says that, "If I wanted a Russian history lesson, I would have brought Mr. Chekov."
  • In a two-episode story arc of The X-Files ("Tunguska" and "Terma"), the Tunguska incident was purported to be caused by an asteroid impact. Fox Mulder traveled with Alex Krycek to the site of the impact, where they discovered a military installation mining the rock and experimenting with the black oil found inside, which contained a microbial form of alien life capable of possessing a human body.
  • The Sarah Jane Adventures episode "Enemy of the Bane" centers around possession of an alien artifact known as "The Tunguska Scroll
  • In the Doctor Who episode In the Forest of the Night, the Doctor mentions the Tunguska event as an example of where rapid tree growth helped save humanity.


BCnU!

Monday, June 29, 2015

MINUTIAE MONDAYS - THE LEAGUE OF THEMSELVES... ON SKATES!



'CHiPs'
"ROLLER DISCO: PART 2"

In September of 1979, Ponch organized a roller disco dance for charity and - thanks to Ed McMahon and a talent agent named Balford - he was able to get a lot of Hollywood stars for the event, to participate in the "Skate With A Star" segment of the evening.
  • Melissa Sue Anderson
  • Vivian Blaine
  • Todd Bridges
  • Ruth Buzzi
  • Michael Cole
  • Antonio Fargas
  • Victor French
  • Gwynne Gilford
  • Dody Goodman
  • Dan Haggerty
  • Richard Hatch
  • Earl Holliman
  • Jackie Joseph
  • Dianne Kay
  • Nancy Kulp
  • Tina Louise
  • BarBara Luna
  • Peter Lupus
  • Robert Mandan
  • Peter Marshall
  • Philip McKeon
  • Lee Meriwether
  • Connie Needham
  • Richard Paul
  • George Peppard
  • Jo Ann Pflug
  • Dana Plato
  • Andrew Prine
  • Johnnie Ray
  • Madlyn Rhue
  • Adam Rich
  • Susan Richardson
  • Tommy Sexton
  • Brett Somers
  • Vic Tayback
  • Dick Van Patten
  • Cindy Williams
  • Jo Anne Worley
What makes these appearances a perfect storm of members in the League of Themselves is that none of them were linked on-air with the shows or characters they play in Toobworld.  (Or in the case of Johnnie Rivers, his song "Secret Agent Man" and its connection to 'Danger Man'.)  That would have been a bleep-load of Zonks to deal with!

Some of these stars served as judges for the Beauty Contest: Andrew Prine, Todd Bridges, Melissa Sue Anderson, Ruth Buzzi, Richard Paul, and Lee Meriweather among them.  Earl Holliman presented the winner of the contest to the gathered crowd.

If any of these stars appeared in other shows as themselves - for instance, Earl Holliman ('The Larry Sanders Show') and Cindy Williams ('Strip Mall') - then this episode serves as a central link to connect them all.....

BCnU!

Sunday, June 28, 2015

TELE-QUOTES - VICTOR BUONO



"I've heard or read about actors being asked the immortal question: 
'Why have you never married?' 
They answer with the immortal excuse: 
'I just haven't found the right girl.' 
Because I'm on the hefty side, no one's asked me yet. 
If they do, that's the answer I'll give. 
After all, if it was good enough for Monty Clift or Sal Mineo..."
Victor Buono

Yesterday, such a coy answer was rendered no longer necessary.  If only Mr. Buono lived to see it.....

BCnU!

VIDEO SUNDAY - GAY MARRIAGE IS NOW LEGAL, EVEN IN TOOBWORLD


BIG news yesterday........



Saturday, June 27, 2015

WISH-CRAFT - BAT CROSSOVERS


I belong to a Facebook group that celebrates the 1966 'Batman' TV show and recently Richard K. Rogers posted this bit o' whimsy:

Richard K. Rogers‎

Imagine if Batman and Robin made guest appearances on other TV shows during the 60's (not counting variety and talk shows). For instance, if the bat-boat got stranded on 'Gilligan's Island' while chasing the Joker, or on 'Star Trek' if they accidentally got beamed up with the Penguin. Anyone else have ideas on this?
And it's proving staggeringly popular at Wayne Manor, Squire!
Drew Caldwell 
'Time Tunnel' calls batman to help retrieve Doug and Tony

Drew Caldwell 
Bruce and Dick show up on 'The Avengers'
(John Steed and Emma Peel)


Len Horvath 
'The F.B.I.' tv series enlist Batman and Robin to help catch America's top criminals.

David Singer 
"The Batman from U.N.C.L.E."
Scott Morales 
Jan Brady has a crush on Robin, but when he breaks a date to stop a nefarious evildoer, she becomes her own villain, Whiny Girl. She uses her whiney voice to cripple Robin and holds him in Tiger's dog house.

Kevin Miller 
And then Danny Trejo and Steve Bucemi bring in Snickers for dinner and all is well

Scott Morales 
"It's always Marsha,Marsha,Marsha...Queen of diamonds!"

Charles Creasey 
They work on a case with Joe Friday and Bill Gannon

Jayson Kriedler 
Yeah I always wanted to see tv show cross-overs. I always wanted to see the Lone Ranger coming to the aid of Matt Dillon!

Sac Riligious 
They were in 'Scooby Doo'....  That was pretty cool

Terry Snyder 
Sam the butcher gets abused from customers one too many timeS and becomes an axe murderer called "Sam the Butcher" He captures Bruce and Dick spying in the shop and locks them in the meat locker. Of course the handle is broken off and Dick has to try to squeeze through the window they break due to his smaller size. In the campy type feel of the show, the window size has to be impossibly small for Dick to fit, yet somehow he does (or else the window size gets larger when Dick goes through and then shrinks back down when he is done.)

Alice gets tired of being the maid and an old maid, so she loses her mind and becomes the Harlequin to Sam's joker. She makes puns like she is going to "clean up the town" of bratty kids. She uses a feather duster with sneezing powder on it to cause the tremendous trio to sneeze and captures them that way.

Greg Brady becomes a version of the Joker after the hair tonic turns his hair orange.

OOH, Vincent Price appears as the guy in the cave in Hawaii with the Tiki, but somehow ends up in the Batcave. Even more funny is if he also appeared as Egghead in these episodes.

Jim Backus appears in the episode in the ghost town, which could include Shame and somehow they end up stealing money from Mr. Howell who is on his way to a three hour tour..

Terry Snyder 
Bruce and Dick travel to California for some sort of rich people function. They meet up with Jed Clampett. They become ill and Granny fixes them tonic for what ails them. The Joker makes his way out there and meets up with Mr. Drysdale and they work up a scheme.

Terry Snyder 
I know this isn't a sixties show, but it would be funny if the Dynamic Duo got caught in Rosco's and Boss Hogg's speed trap in Hazzard County. Batman succumbs to the law until he discovers how crooked it is there.

Terry Snyder 
I'm not quite sure of the plots, but they could be on 'Bewitched' and 'I Dream of Jeannie'.

Terry Snyder 
They could also end up in Mayberry fighting the Joker and his cousin, Ernest T Bass. Catwoman could meet up with the Good Time Gals and Penguin with Otis. The Riddler (Gorshin) could kidnap Barney.

Stefan Odinson 
Batman and Robin appear on 'Hogan's Heroes' and help Hogan and crew defeat the Third Reich.

Joseph McGarry 
Actually, there was sort of a crossover back then. On 'The Green Hornet', Britt Reid was setting up a trap to catch someone. When the villain first saw a certain TV monitor, it showed someone locked in a room in the basement. When the police and others saw the same monitor, it showed Batman and Robin climbing the wall. 'Batman' and 'Green Hornet' were both produced by Greenway Productions, which is why Green Hornet and Kato could appear on 'Batman'.

Ferd Appleby 
Boy, it would've been cool having Batman and Robin cross over to 'The Brady Bunch when i was doing kid duty on it! I could have met them before i started drawing them! Both Eve Plumb (Jan) and i were budding artists and i DID help her work out a 'cat-lady' character that she wanted to do....so a Bat-crossover kinda sorta happened, lol........

Richard K. Rogers
'I Dream Of Jeannie' would have to have King Tut!
Drew Caldwell
The Seaview spots the Penguin submarine and notifies Batman
Drew Caldwell
Dr Loveless has a time machine and gets Joker and Catwoman to aid him against Jim West
Dan Ball
Adam West made a few appearances as a guest star wearing the Batman Costume. Why Burt Ward didn't...who knows....  I would've liked to have seen a 'Hollywood Squares' with all the characters in costume,playing pranks on each other from square to square.

Catherine Ehlers 
Can you imagine this: Batman & Robin on 'Dark Shadows' trying to find Maggie Evans? Or how about helping the IMF on 'Mission: Impossible'?

Scott Morales 
Batman helping Maxwell Smart defeat KAOS, run by False Face

Richard K. Rogers 
I was thinking Maxwell Smart and Batman get trapped by the Riddler, 99 solves the riddles with Robin.

Richard K. Rogers 
Penguin working on a smuggling deal with Mr. Haney in 'Green Acres'. "Outrageous! You expect me, the aristocrat of crime, to peddle these petty pilferings for a mere $100? Wack, wack, wack...!"

Richard K. Rogers 
Egghead builds a time machine, sends Shane to Fort Courage. Batman and Robin follow, work with O'Rourke and Agarn to trap him.

Ron Fowler 
They should have been on 'The Monkees', or 'Where the Action Is' - Adam could do the Batusi with Paul Revere and the Raiders.

Richard K. Rogers 
I was just thinking about the Monkees. Catwoman opens a laundromat, and seduces the Monkees. Batman and Robin rescues them. Then they convince Mickey and Davy to dress up as a faux Batman and Robin to trick Catwoman, unaware that Kitten is going to sing in the Monkees' place.

Of course, I had to share my favorite 'Batman' crossover wish-craft:

Toby O'Brien 
For my Toobworld Dynamic shared universe, the Batman at some point must have teamed up with the Third Incarnation of the Doctor. This would account for later incarnations all wearing question mark clothing and having similarly themed accessories like the Seventh's umbrella. For me, it's obvious the Doctor helped himself to the Riddler's wardrobe during his team-up with the Caped Crusader.

BCnU!

Friday, June 26, 2015

TIDDLYWINKYDINKS - REGARDING DAVID GARRICK




The new version of 'Poldark', which must be relegated to the Land O' Remakes, debuted on American TV this weekend.  Much as I favor original productions over their remakes, I'm enjoying what I've seen so far.  Aidan Turner as Ross Poldark goes a long way toward that as I've liked him since I first saw him in 'Being Human' and in the Cineverse as Kili in the "Hobbit" trilogy.

There's also one of my favorite actors, Phil Davis, as perhaps my favorite character from the original - Jud.  And Warren Clarke, whom I enjoyed in "Clockwork Orange" and "Foxfire", is making the most of what would become his last role ever.  (I saw a handful of 'Dalziel And Pascoe' episodes, but it didn't grab me.)

I don't remember it from the original series, but Demelza has a dog named Garrick.  (I've seen online that Garrick was in the book series by Winston Graham.)  And I found the name choice to be interesting.....

From Wikipedia: 
David Garrick (19 February 1717 – 20 January 1779) was an English actor, playwright, theatre manager and producer who influenced nearly all aspects of theatrical practice throughout the 18th century and was a pupil and friend of Dr. Samuel Johnson. He appeared in a number of amateur theatricals, and with his appearance in the title role of Shakespeare's "Richard III" audiences and managers began to take notice.

Impressed by his portrayals of Richard III and a number of other roles, Charles Fleetwood engaged Garrick for a season at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. He remained with the Drury Lane company for the next five years and purchased a share of the theatre with James Lacy. This purchase inaugurated 29 years of Garrick's management of the Drury Lane, during which time it rose to prominence as one of the leading theatres in Europe. At his death, three years after his retirement from Drury Lane and the stage, he was given a lavish public funeral at Westminster Abbey where he was laid in Poets' Corner.

As an actor, Garrick promoted realistic acting that departed from the bombastic style that was entrenched when Garrick first came to prominence. His acting delighted many audiences and his direction of many of the top actors of the English stage influenced their styles as well. Furthermore, during his tenure as manager of Drury Lane, Garrick sought to reform audience behaviour. While this led to some discontent among the theatre-going public, many of his reforms eventually did take hold. In addition to audiences, Garrick sought reform in production matters, bringing an overarching consistency to productions that included set design, costumes and even special effects.

Garrick's influence extended into the literary side of theatre as well. Critics are almost unanimous in saying he was not a good playwright, but his work in bringing Shakespeare to contemporary audiences is notable. In addition, he adapted many older plays in the repertoire that might have been forgotten. These included many plays of the Restoration era. Indeed, while influencing the theatre towards a better standard he also gained a better reputation for theatre folk. This accomplishment led Samuel Johnson to remark that "his profession made him rich and he made his profession respectable."


I'm not sure when exactly Ross Poldark returned to Cornwall after the American Revolution, but I have a feeling that it might be 1780.  And it would have been the death of Garrick in 1779 which brought him to mind for Demelza when it came to naming her dog.  A backwater gypsy girl as she was, I wonder how she came to learn of David Garrick.  


BCnU!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

SAM SPADE'S TELEVERSION - ONE STEP CLOSER



"Well, Sonny, I'm no Sam Spade.
I don't work any miracles,
And uh, I don't break down any doors."
Ed Wallaby
'The Name Of The Game'
["Love-In At Ground Zero"]


This quote by private eye Ed Wallaby is all I have (so far) on which to base my claim that Sam Spade, the main character of "The Maltese Falcon" by Dashiell Hammett, exists in the main Toobworld* as well as in BookWorld, the Radio Universe, and the Cineverse.  

It is standard practice for the Toobworld Dynamic (and, I suspect, for many of my crossover comrades working in the universes of other media) to accept references to characters and events from outside of the home turf as being a part of that particular bailiwick - so long as there is no mention of the source material.  In this case, it means Sam Spade exists in the main Toobworld even though he has never been portrayed in Earth Prime-Time*.

BCnU!

* Sam Spade does show up in a TV dimension - 'The Strange Case of the End of Civilization as We Know It' exists in the Doofus Toobworld.


Wednesday, June 24, 2015

AS SEEN ON TV - ROBERT VESCO



"[He's] the biggest thief since Robert Vesco."
Charlotte Newcastle
'Murder, She Wrote'

From Wikipedia:


Robert Lee Vesco (December 4, 1935 – November 23, 2007) was a fugitive criminal United States financier. After several years of high-stakes investments and seedy credit dealings, Vesco was alleged guilty of securities fraud. He immediately fled the ensuingU.S. Securities and Exchange Commission investigation by living in a number of Central American and Caribbean countries.

Vesco was notorious throughout his life, attempting to buy a Caribbean island from Antigua in order to create an autonomous country and having a national law in Costa Rica made to protect him from extradition. A 2001 Slate.com article labeled Vesco "the undisputed king of the fugitive financiers." After settling in Cuba in 1982, Vesco was charged with drug smuggling in 1989. In the 1990s he was indicted by the Cuban government for "fraud and illicit economic activity" and "acts prejudicial to the economic plans and contracts of the state" in 1996.

Vesco was sentenced to 13 years in jail by Cuba. Five months after his death in November 2007 the New York Times reported he succumbed to lung cancer at a hospital in Havana, Cuba.


At least according to the IMDb, AKA Old Reliable, Vesco was never portrayed by an actor in the main Toobworld, nor in any of the ancillary dimensions.  But I did find him in Skitlandia, thanks to the 1979 Christmas episode of 'Saturday Night Live', hosted by Ted Knight.  (Vesco is seen here playing the piano for Henry Kissinger and the Shah of Iran.)

But the quote listed above may be the only evidence that there was a televersion of Vesco in Earth Prime-Time.  And it's probably doubtful that he would even be mentioned in another TV show as he's basically unknown nowadays by the general public.  So many other crooks have come along since Vesco's hayday.

And many of those are in politics.....

BCnU!