In writing his review for the series premiere of 'Boston Legal', David Bianculli (New York Daily News TV Critic) voiced his Crossover Wish List:
What I'd love to see is these "Boston Legal" heroes face off in court, from time to time, against familiar "Ally [McBeal]" faces of old:
Calista Flockhart's Ally vs. Spader's Alan Shore.
Peter McNichol's John Cage vs. Shatner's Denny Crane.
Lucy Liu's Ling vs. Mitra's Tara.
After all, both firms are in Boston, so why not? How many times has a legal show driven us to root for both sides?
But of course, this doesn't go far enough by Toobworld standards. We have a few more suggestions we'd like to see show up at the Beantown offices of Denny Crane......
1] First off, we'd like to see a few judges return from both 'Ally McBeal' and 'The Practice': specifically, Dyan Cannon as "Whipper" Cone and Linda Hunt as Zoey Hiller.
2] David E. Kelley also created 'Boston Public'; so who cares if it was on another network? It's cancelled now and the characters should be considered fair game to be used by their creator. At the very least Winslow High School should be used as the background in some case involving the education system.
3] Poland, New Hampshire, can't be too far away from Boston; so the argument to use characters from a cancelled DEK show on FOX would apply to the cancelled CBS show 'The Brotherhood of Poland, New Hampshire'.
4] I can't be the only one who would love to see Mandy Patinkin show up somewhere once again as Dr. Jeffrey Geiger am I? He's no longer affiliated with 'Chicago Hope' Hospital; why should he then be tied down to the "Windy City"? Geiger and his foster daughter should come to Boston for at least a vacation.
5] Bill Bixby unfortunately is no longer with us, but his 'Goodnight Beantown' co-star, Mariette Hartley, is. There's always a good court case to be found in TV journalism when "women of a certain age" are dismissed on such grounds while their male co-anchors keep going and going and going....
6] Can't somebody in the cast go for a drink at 'Cheers'? Can't somebody fly out to Nantucket on Sandpiper Air ('Wings')?
7] Wouldn't it be cool if we saw an autopsy report admitted as evidence in court, and there in the corner is the signature of a Dr. J. Cavanaugh? ('Crossing Jordan')
7] If DEK wants to use characters once seen on 'Against The Law' or 'The Great Defender', who's really going to mind, let alone notice? (Besides crossoverites such as myself?) Both shows were cancelled soon after their debuts.
8] And please, PLEASE! Can't there at least be a mention of St. Eligius Hospital? What good is setting a show in Boston, if you never make mention of 'St. Elsewhere', the center of the Great Link itself?
Just some ideas I'm tossing out there. And here's hoping for a healthy run for 'Boston Legal' so that some of those ideas have time to be applied! (The series premieres tonight on ABC at 10 pm EST.)
"I'll get the best legal mind around - Perry Mason!"
- Tom Ballard
'Waiting For God'