Wednesday, September 17, 2014

TV ON TELEVISION - DE-ZONKING "RUMPOLE"




'WILL & GRACE'
"FEAR AND CLOTHING"

After Grace's apartment had been burglarized, she moved in with Will.  The trouble was, Jack had "temporarily" moved in as well.  Having two such roommates was driving Will crazy and this was the breaking point......

(WILL is watching TV on the TV room couch when JACK runs in, grabs the remote, and changes the channel.)

WILL: 

What are-- What are you doing?

JACK: 
It's "Behind the Music" with Mariah Scarey.

WILL: 
I am right in the middle of "Rumpole of the Bailey." Don't just grab the remote!

JACK: 
I'm sorry. It was very wrong of me. 

[JACK PULLS A REMOTE CONTROL OUT OF THE COUCH CUSHIONS AND SWITCHES THE CHANNEL]

WILL: 
What?! Where did you get that?

JACK: 
Ooh, look! This is the part where Mariah pretends not to hate Whitney.

WILL: 
Give me that! [WILL GRABS THE REMOTE FROM JACK AND CHANGES THE CHANNEL] We are going to watch "Rumpole of the Bailey."

GRACE: 
Out of my way! Out of my way!  They're reattaching a woman's scalp on The Learning Channel!  Put it on!

JACK: 
Sorry, Grace. Will's watching "Bunghole up my Mainly."

WILL: 
It is "Rumpole of the Bailey," and seeing as I have the remotes, that's what we're watching.

[GRACE GRABS A REMOTE OUT OF THE COUCH AND SWITCHES THE CHANNEL]

WILL: 
Grace! You've seen this thing, like, 5 times.

GRACE: 
I know, but it's hard to watch the whole thing. Each time I watch, I see a little-- [REACTING TO THE TV] Whoa!

WILL AND JACK: [REACTING TO THE TV] 
Oh!

WILL: 
No, no! We are watching this!

JACK: [CHANGING THE CHANNEL] 
Mariah!

WILL: [CHANGING THE CHANNEL] 
Rumpole!



~~~~~~~~

Nan knew just how Will felt.....



'THE CAFE'
"OUT WITH THE OLD"

"Leave me alone to enjoy my Rumpole."
Mary "Nan" Ellis
'The Cafe'



[A pile of books was donated to Cyril's Cafe in Weston, including a gardening book by Alan Titchmarsh and several volumes of stories about "Rumpole Of The Bailey".]



Horace Rumpole (as well as his twin brother known as Number Two and their younger sister Mrs. Warbus) share the same TV dimension as Will Truman and the patrons of Cyril's.  So the splainin for this potential Zonk is that old stand-by - biographies.

John Mortimer chronicled the life and career of Horace Rumpole as a barrister.  What we saw on our screens were not re-enactments of Rumpole's life, but that actual life played out which Mortimer then wrote up in a series of books (much in the same way Dr. Watson fictionalized the life of his friend Sherlock Holmes.)  

As it is resignedly accepted at Toobworld Central that eventually everybody in that world will have a TV show made about them, these stories were then dramatized for television.  Here in the real world, people have had TV shows made of their lives while they were still alive - Jerry Seinfeld, James Van Der Beek, and David Toma.  So in Toobworld, Rumpole could be added to that mix.  

These are the only two TV series I've found which make references to 'Rumpole Of The Bailey' and neither one is very specific on details.  For alls I know, Horace Rumpole might be played by a different actor other than Leo McKern in the TV show within a TV show.  

What would be great is if that actor was a fictional one to be found only in the TV Universe!

I would have suggested Larry Summers who starred in 'Pulaski'.  His show was on the air over twenty years ago, and he should look the part by now.  But then, he was an American working in a British TV show.  And the meta-televersion of Rumpole should be English through and through.  Not that it probably matters - the way he drank, Larry Summers is likely dead by now.

So instead I'm going to suggest Alex Conway, the star of ITV's 'Eddie Weary' back in the late 1980s.  Twenty-three years on since he was last seen on the TV, Conway should be perfect for the Rumpole role....



SHOWS & TV MOVIES CITED:
  • 'Rumpole Of The Bailey'
  • 'Will & Grace'
  • 'The Cafe'
  • 'Pulaski The TV Detective'
  • "The World Of Eddie Weary"
  • 'The Prisoner'
  • 'Inspector Morse'
  • 'Seinfeld'
  • 'Toma'
  • 'Don't Trust The Bitch In Apartment 23'
BCnU!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

THE HAT SQUAD ON TUESDAY NEWS DAY: REMEMBERING BRUCE MORTON



Death has been awfully busy these last two months when it comes to celebrities.  (I realize It is even busier when it comes to the general population of this old world.)  Outside of a few 'Sesame Street' videos, I haven't even marked the passing of Robin Williams.  Not that I didn't try - I wrote a piece about his breakthrough character of Mork from Ork and how 'Mork & Mindy' could never get a reunion special or TV movie without a major recasting.  But just as I was finishing it up, I hit a key that erased it all from the screen.  And I'm not one who enjoys rewriting from scratch; the creative spark is gone.

There are a few deaths I do wish to give a tip of the Hat Squad to: Denny Miller, Richard Kiel, Angus Lennie because of some interesting televisiological point about them... and I do plan on revisiting that Mork post in honor of Williams.  But those are all about the characters they played and not the men themselves.  

There is another, however, who was known more for his own contributions to television, a broadcasting legend in the field of news reporting.  Bruce Morton made his mark during the time when CBS was the gold standard for television news reportage, a class act in the field and in the studio.  (He would later go on to continue his fine work with CNN.)

But I don't know what I could say without sounding maudlin or simplistic with platitudes or just stating the facts:
  • Joined CBS in 1964 after working for ABC news
  • Six time Emmy winner, including one for his coverage of the William Calley court martial
  • 29 years with CBS, 13 with CNN
  • Anchored the CBS Morning News beginning in 1975
  • Highlights would include his work reporting on elections and the space program
Instead I'll just share these comments from my brother Bill, a newspaper editor in Connecticut:

I cried a little bit over this one. He was one of my faves. Always right on. Rather recognized his talent and had him at his elbow for elections. 

Of course Fox News reported him as being a blatant liberal. Well, badge of honor in my book. CBS was the Roman Empire of broadcast journalism once and Bruce Morton was one of its best centurions. 

The only thing I can contribute is my usual salute......

Good night and may God bless.

Monday, September 15, 2014

LITTLE BIG SCREEN - THE NEXT BATMAN


"I'm scared of the big things:

Cancer, terrorism....

Ben Affleck being a lousy Batman
."

Johnny

'Sirens'


Everybody on Earth Prime-Time knew about the "Caped Crusader" of Gotham City by 2014.  By that time he had been retired from the crime-fighting game and his secret identity of Bruce Wayne was no longer a secret.  

Even before he had hung up his cowl and cape, Batman had a TV show produced about him, probably by the secret organization known as UNReel, in order to maintain some semblance of plausible deniability.  Because of this, people knew about the Batcave and the Batmobile, the Bat signal and the many Bat-climbs.


This TV show, similar to the one available in the Trueniverse, also starred Adam West as the Batman.

After he retired as Batman, Bruce Wayne sold the rights to his life story to Hollywood.  So after the 1970s, any mention of Batman by other TV characters probably is a reference to the movie versions, unless otherwise specified as being about Adam West.

The Bruce Waynes from the movies were the same as in the Trueniverse movies - Michael Keaton, George Clooney, Val Kilmer, Christian Bale, and now thanks to Johnny  we have confirmation that Toobworld will also have a movie starring Ben Affleck as the Batman.....


BCnU, Boys (and Girls) Wonder!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

LITTLE BIG SCREEN - "HIS KIND OF WOMAN", MY KIND OF TV TRIVIA


'The Mod Squad'
"A Time For Hyacinths"

On her first night at a beachside cottage for a recuperative vacation, Julie Barnes was watching an old movie on TV.  Although she didn't know it at first, the actor in the film with the rifle was the same man who arranged for her to rent that cottage; his name was Castor.  Later she would meet - or think she met - the other actor, John Wentworth.

 

Actually, the movie seen was a clip from "His Kind Of Woman", a film noir from 1951 (the same year in which John Wentworth supposedly died.)  It starred Robert Mitchum, Jane Russell, Vincent Price, Charles McGraw, Tim Holt, and Raymond Burr, with supporting help from Jim Backus and Phil Van Zandt (a Stooges ensemble player).  Also in the cast were plenty of great character actors: Tol Avery, King Donovan, Anthony Caruso, Robert Cornthwaite, Paul Frees (the man of 1000 voices), Charles Horvath, Mickey Simpson, Peter Brocco, and Mamie Van Doren.  Plus Mike Lally - the actor who appeared in more 'Columbo' episodes than any other actor (excluding Peter Falk!)



It is unknown if "His Kind Of Woman" actually exists in Toobworld.  These clips were the only time the film was referenced in a fictional setting, and as I mentioned, they were supposed to be from a movie to be found only in Toobworld.  Actors like Mitchum, Holt, and Backus probably had nothing to do with this production.  

Standing on its own, it would appear that the character played by Vincent Price was the good guy and McGraw's Castor (playing Tompkins) was the bad guy.  In "His Kind Of Woman", McGraw was one of Raymond Burr's henchmen and apparently the narrator of the movie.  (Dying remembrance?  Confession to the cops?)  Vincent Price was Mark Cardigan, a Hollywood actor and Jane Russell's lover... until Mitchum shows up.

BCnU!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Friday, September 12, 2014

TELE-FOLKS DIRECTORY - WHO'S A FAN OF VICTOR WOOLF?



CEDRIC DERWENT & ROBIN HOOD

Actor Victor Woolf may have been the hardest working man in the TV series 'The Adventures of Robin Hood'.  He had two established characters (which I will be combining into one.) plus other roles - sometimes even playing several in the same episode.

In fact, in at least two episodes Woolf played four roles!  Here's an example:

"QUEEN ELEANOR"
1.  At the table with the Sheriff of Nottingham



2.  A forester when fighting the ambushers


3.  The baker, bringing his bread to Nottingham


4.  Innkeeper at the Blue Boar


Woolf's two main characters were members of Robin Hood's gang of "Merry Men" - Cedric and Derwent.  But I think we could say that they are one and the same man - that his full name was Cedric Derwent.  Perhaps he was named after his father, but we'll have more on that rogue later.


Not of all of Victor Woolf's other characters on the show had names.  They would only be listed in the credits by their description.  But here's a list of those others he played whose names were revealed:
  • Hugh of the Wood
    (Hugh may be the villager in "The Ordeal" who accused Edgar of murder.)

  • Alfred the Innkeeper
    (I'm assuming his inn was the Blue Boar....)
  • The Abbott of Whitby
    (Could the monk he played in earlier episodes have been elevated to that post?)

  • Peter the Cobbler
  • Albert the Barber
  • Andrew Limpus the Ironsmith
  • Mat Maynard
  • Sir Henry
As you can see, I tried to combine other characters with those so named who had similar lots in Life, just to keep things tidy.

And then there were a slew of other characters, background fodder as it were.  And although several of them are listed only once - for instance, the Soldier, the Monk, the Tramp - they appeared in several episodes each......
  • A Forester
  • A Squire
  • A Monk
  • A Tax Collector
  • A Tramp
  • A Soldier
  • A Jailer
  • A Prisoner
  • A Court Clerk
  • A Pilgrim
  • A Master Armourer
  • A Goldsmith
Imagine if the jailer had to keep watch over his own look-alike!

I've also determined that every character he played who was only listed as "Outlaw" was in actuality Cedric Derwent.

By the time the series reached its third season, Woolf's output on the series began to wane until he was only playing Derwent - if he appeared at all.  I have seen it suggested online that he may have asked for a raise for doing double and triple duty, and that led to a reduction in his workload.

But now comes the second bit of televisiology associated with Victor Woolf on this show.

None of those characters listed above ever knew it probably, but they were all half-brothers!  (Some of them may have been acknowledged as twins of the same mother.  I'd like to think the Soldier and the Monk, and perhaps the Goldsmith and the Master Armourer, came from the same families.)

It's the Toobworld contention that there is a character never seen on the series who played an important role - as the "father" of Cedric Derwent and all of those other characters.  And by "father" I just mean he was the sperm-donor, a regular Little Johnny Happyseed.  He wooed a lot of lonely housewives throughout the Nottingham countryside and then left them behind, impregnated with his future sons.  Those women would be left on their own to explain how they got pregnant to their husbands who may have been away on the Crusades.

In this situation, Cedric Derwent, Senior was a lot like Cass Caldicott many centuries later.  In fact, it's pozz'ble, just pozz'ble, that the elder Derwent was born to rerun as that mountain man.


It would appear that the DNA strain of Derwent the Elder was so strong that all of his offspring bore an incredible likeness to their biological father, in much the same way as happened with Cass Caldicott and with the family tree of Randolph Agarn.  So perhaps we could claim that other characters played by Victor Woolf in other TV series were descended from this one man.

Perhaps even another villager centuries later, but in "The Village" where they had given him a number, but taken away his name....


It's worth a shot....

SHOWS CITED:
  • 'The Rifleman'
  • 'F Troop'
  • 'The Prisoner'
BCnU!

PS:
The picture of Victor Woolf to illustrate what Derwent the Elder looked like comes from the Cineverse - "Frankenstein And The Monster From Hell", Mr. Woolf's penultimate film........

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

THE HAT SQUAD: TIGER, TYGER - REMEMBERING ARLENE MARTEL


There was a point there in August when Death was working overtime (and sadly given assistance by one of its collectibles.)  
  • Robin Williams
  • Lauren Bacall
  • Ed Nelson
  • Arlene Martel
Along with James Garner having passed away just a few weeks before near the end of July, the death of a legend like Bacall and the suicide of Williams overshadowed the passings of the other two.  As such, I'd like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to one of the many Toobworld characters played by Arlene Martel:

MARIE LOUISE MONET

But she is better known as "Tiger Lily", a legendary member of the French Resistance during World War II.

"Tiger Lily" was her code name, taken from the German Tiger tank.  It was the object of her first mission with the French Underground.


Marie Monet was born on November 9, 1921.  It is believed that she is college-educated, but otherwise not much is known of her pre-war background.  At least half a dozen times she came into contact with the "prisoners" of Stalag 13 while on her missions.  And she may have become romantically involved with Colonel Robert Hogan while hiding in the camp.  


The last time she was seen by Colonel Hogan (that we know of) was when she had been captured by the Gestapo and sentenced to execution.  Hogan and his men were able to get her away safely and sent her off to England.


The 'Hogan's Heroes' wiki has no speculation as to whether or not she survived the war, but I'd like to think that she did.  And in fact, she arrived in England with a little more than just the clothes on her back, something she had not bargained on.....

I think she was pregnant by Colonel Hogan.

Marie Monet knew she was not the maternal kind and that it would only be to the detriment of her unborn child if she even tried to raise it herself.  (For one thing, I believe the adrenaline allure of her chosen cause was too much to ignore.  Sooner or later she would return to the fight across the channel in her native land.  And should die for that cause, what traumatic effect would that leave on her daughter?)

While in England, she spoke to several anti-war groups and was debriefed by the OSS on what she knew from her past missions.  It was during this time, as she remained in the country for the birth of her baby, Marie became friends with an aristocratic couple, Mr. and Mrs. Rowan.  They took her in and gave her lodging at their estate, with the hopes that she would change her mind about going back to the front and re-joining the Resistance.  


But Marie was more determined than ever to get back in order to help bring down the Third Reich and the Rowans soon accepted that there would be no changing her mind.

She did, however, have one request of them: Marie hoped that the Rowans could find a good home for her baby so that she wouldn't be distracted by worries for the child as she carried out her missions.

The Rowans knew there was only one perfect solution - they would raise the baby themselves, never letting the child forget who her real mother was and what a hero she had been during the War.

And so, soon after giving birth to a baby girl, Marie Louise Monet, otherwise known as "Tiger Lily", slipped away in the night to return to France.  She left only one caveat for the Rowans - that the little girl was to be named Roberta, after her father Robert Hogan.

Perhaps the 'Hogan's Heroes' wiki was right.  Maybe her fate was never discovered; perhaps she did die during the war.  We never saw Colonel Hogan after the war ended either, unlike Colonel Klink.  It could be that he didn't survive the war either.  It's the sick and twisted romantic in me that would like to think they died together on one last mission......


At any rate, I don't think she ever got the chance to come back to Great Britain and see how her daughter had turned out.....

Roberta Rowan grew up to be a lovely young woman who was known by all her friends as Bobbi.  By 1962, Lady Bobbi Rowan had a daughter of her own, whom she named after the mother she only knew as this mythic figure - "Tyger" Hayes.


When she grew up, Tyger Hayes was determined to succeed in the business world in America.  After the death of her husband Chase Marshall in a racing car accident, Tyger attempted to join his family's firm of Kellico in order to carry on his legacy, but she was opposed by Chase's father, Hadden Marshall.  However, Chase's aunt, Hadden's sister Margaret, encouraged Tyger to make a go of a new line of perfumes despite the machinations of Hadden Marshall's other daughter-in-law, Ava.


As I said, I'd like to believe that Marie Monet survived World War II and one day, when she was much older, she had the chance to meet her granddaughter who was named in her honor.

BCnU!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

TUESDAY NEWS DAY - A BRITISH "GOOD WIFE"?



It's believed that ITV is currently developing a British version of 'The Good Wife'.  Hopefully, they'll at least change the names of the characters.  (I hate when they're that lazy with a remake!)  But it would also be nice if they strike out on their own with the plot developments.

There's nothing wrong with the basic premise being used  again - a woman finds out her husband, who was powerful in local government, is brought low by a sex and corrupton scandal which will be sending him off to jail.  

Needing to bring in the income herself now for her family, the woman re-enters the workforce as a lawyer - for the first time since she got married.  

It's not unreasonable to believe that happens often in Toobworld.

But when it comes down to the details, I'd rather not see British counterparts to Eli Gold or Clarke Hayden or Louis Canning.  At least not slavish copycats.  I would especially hate to see this woman begin an affair with a co-worker, only to fight him in a power struggle over the law firm and then see him get gunned down.

If all that happened, I think there would be no choice but to ship this drama off to another TV dimension.

'All In The Family' may have been a remake of 'Til Death Do Us Part', but they established their own voice from the get-go despite have the same basic family dynamic.  The American version of 'The Office' may have followed the Ricky Gervais original for about a dozen episodes but then struck off into fertile new territory so that they were quite different beasties.  (Which is a good thing since David Brent eventually met his American doppelganger, Michael Scott.)

But the American version of 'Shameless' took the lazy route and used the same names for the family members as the original series did.  And the American 'Being Human' couldn't think of any other combination for the roommates than vampire, werewolf, and ghost.  Is that really so commonplace?

Not that it matters, I guess.  I shipped all the vampire shows off to their own TV dimension.  They are just too prevalent and in the spotlight (even if it burns.....)

So here's hoping the British version of 'The Good Wife' doesn't try to pass itself off as the same show.  She should stand on her own feet and make her mark on Toobworld.  That way they can co-exist.

BCnU!

Monday, September 8, 2014

THEORIES OF RELATEEVEETY - THE OSWALDS (ALPHA & OMEGA)



Arthur A'Bland was accused of a murder he did not commit and was forced to flee into Sherwood Forest where he sought sanctuary among the outlaws.  Having left his children, Oswald and Alys behind, they were forced into serfdom by the local lord.

Oswald knew that even though he was just a boy, he was a free man.  And so he rebelled against his servitude for which he was punished by being chained in the dungeon.  


Alys came up with a plan of escape and they fled into the forest to find their father.  Eventually Arthur's name was cleared and the family was able to return to their home.

When Oswald came of age, he married and had children of his own.  And his family eventually dropped the surname of A'Bland and took up the name of their founding father - Oswald.

The lineage continued unbroken into the 20th Century where a young woman would be born into the Oswald family by the name of Clara.  And in the new millennium she would be known as "The Impossible Girl" who was born to save the Time Lord known as the Doctor.


UPDATE: This may be the reason why Clara was so keen on meeting Robin Hood, to meet the legendary hero who helped save her ancestors.  However, because she and the 12th Doctor met a Robin Hood (in "Robot Of Sherwood") who looked nothing like the official Robin Hood of Toobworld, it would appear that the TARDIS brought them into an alternate dimension.  (The TARDIS doesn't always bring the Doctor where he wants to go, but always to where he needs to go.....)

BCnU!