Tuesday, August 2, 2005


With so many roles which he contributed to the roster of Toobworld, there was bound to be some interesting possibilities for links to be found in the work of Ford Rainey.

I pulled a few examples from his list of credits at the IMDb.com. Upon further investigation, there was at least one which turned out to be a near-miss. Nevertheless, I thought it would be worthy of mention.....

"Captains and the Kings" (1976) (mini) TV Series .... Abraham Lincoln
"The Time Tunnel" playing "Lincoln" in episode: "The Death Trap" (episode # 1.12) 2 December 1966
Our American Heritage: Shadow of a Soldier (1960) (TV) .... Abraham Lincoln

In my recent essay about Wyatt Earp, I said that I usually toss off excess historical portrayals into alternate dimension. And the example I used was Abraham Lincoln.

I haven't given it much thought as to which portrayal of Honest Abe I'd prefer to be the official one for the main TV Universe. At least I do know that Dann Florek's tele-version from 'The Secret Files Of Desmond Pfeiffer' should be relegated as far away as possible, to the same alternate dimension where you'd find 'That's My Bush!'.

But based on the above trio of appearances by Mr. Rainey as our 16th President, I'd say he has a pretty good lock on being the official face for Lincoln in the TV Crossover Hall of Fame. (Although I do like using that faux Lincoln from an episode of 'Star Trek'.)

Tele-genetics are more powerful than the genetics of the Real World. Despite the dilution of DNA that should occur with each succeeding generation, many characters in different generations of the same family might still resemble each other.

Usually we're only talking about going back no farther than to one's grandfather (i.e. in the case of Felix Unger's grandpa on 'The Odd Couple'). But as we'll see with the 'Doctor Who' episode "The Long Game", it could stretch out thousands of generations.

Here are a few examples of possible family ties between characters played by Ford Rainey:
"The Manhunter" (1974) TV Series .... James Barrett (1974-75)
"How the West Was Won" playing "Rancher Barrett" in episode: "The Rustler" (episode # 1.2) 22 January 1979
(Great-Grandfather to James?)
"Cannon" playing "Mr. Taylor" in episode: "Hounds of Hell" (episode # 3.3) 26 September 1973
"Bonanza" playing "Judge Taylor" in episode: "A Home for Jamie" (episode # 13.13) 19 December 1971
(Probably four generations separate these two men.)
"Little House on the Prairie" playing "Dr. Burke" in episodes:
"I'll Be Waving As You Drive Away: Part 1" (episode # 4.21) 6 March 1978
"Four Eyes" (episode # 2.2) 17 September 1975
"The F.B.I." playing "Burke" in episode: "The Swindler" (episode # 5.3) 28 September 1969
(I get this feeling that Dr. Burke would be disappointed in how his great-great grandson turned out...........)

Ford Rainey's career is full of nameless sheriffs, lawyers, doctors; characters that could easily be blended into one person.

Here are two examples:
"Night Gallery" playing "Sheriff" in episode: "The Phantom Farmhouse" (episode # 2.16) 20 October 1971
"The Immortal" playing "Sheriff Billy" in episode: "The Return" (episode # 1.12) 17 December 1970
"Storefront Lawyers" playing "Judge Carp" in episode: "Yesterday Is But a Dream" (episode # 1.21) 31 March 1971
"Storefront Lawyers" in episode: "Hostage" (episode # 1.17) 24 February 1971

There is such a short span between those two episodes that I have to figure Rainey played Judge Carp in the episode "Hostage" as well.

"Amerika" (1987) (mini) TV Series .... Will Milford
"The Bold Ones: The Lawyers" playing "Milford" in episode: "The People Against Dr. Chapman" (episode # 2.4) 6 December 1970

Since "Amerika" took place in an alternate dimension, - and the classic evil mirror universe at that! - I don't see any reason why we can't consider both of the men named "Milford" to be the same individual, separated by the dimensional vortex.

Here's that example that fell through:
J. Edgar Hoover (1987) (TV) .... Harlan Fisk Stone

Gideon's Trumpet (1980) (TV) .... 2nd Supreme Court Justice

Thanks to my brother Bill, I found out that Harlan Stone was a Supreme Court Justice. He was appointed by Calvin Coolidge in 1925 and served until his death in 1946.

But the case of Gideon v. Wainwright wasn't heard by the Court until the mid-60s. In fact, the original crime for which Clarence Earl Gideon was convicted took place in 1961.

Not even Toobworld chronology can be twisted that much, especially since both cases must adhere for the most part to the history of the Real World.


No comments: