Saturday, November 5, 2005


When reviewing the career of an actor who was high in demand in life, there are bound to be patterns and similarities to be found among the roles he played. (And a few oddities as well.)

This year we saw that with the resumes of John Fiedler and JD Cannon. And it is true of Lloyd Bochner as well.

So here are a few of the roles that made me, as a "televisiologist", go "Hrmmmmmmm".

First off......

These were my top three favorite performances by Lloyd Bochner in Toobworld:

1] "The Wild Wild West" playing "Zachariah Skull" in episode: "The Night of the Puppeteer" (episode # 1.21) 25 February 1966

Outside of all nine of the episodes featuring Dr. Loveless (and you should know - Dr. Loveless is my idea of a Dark Lord of the Sith!), this is my all-time favorite episode of 'The Wild Wild West'. For me, this defines "steampunk" fiction. It was the first time I ever saw Mr. Bochner as an actor, and probably had a lot of influence in my enjoyment of the Number Three choice.

2] "The Twilight Zone" playing "Michael Chambers" in episode: "To Serve Man" (episode # 3.24) 2 March 1962

I can't put this in my Top Five for 'The Twilight Zone', but it's Number Two on the Bochner Exchange. It is quite a shock of an ending, and one of the best twists, and thus one of the worst-kept secrets among all the twist endings to be found in Toobworld. Never fails to scare up a chill even if you do know how it ends though.

I even own a pair of "To Serve Man" boxers from TV Land, which is probably more than you need to know.......

Here's a thunk - Michael Chambers as the father of Diane Chambers of 'Cheers'.....? (We never did meet him on the show, only her mother as played by Glynis Johns. If she was a widow, maybe we now know what killed Diane's father... basting.)

3] "Ironside" playing "Supt. Faber" in episode: "Shadow Soldiers" (episode # 6.14) 21 December 1972

This also had a twist ending, one reminiscent of an episode of 'Batman'. I think the fact that Lloyd Bochner was the guest star had a lot to do with my remembering it all these years later.

Sheep farming in Australia (or New Zealand) figured into the finale, and I think that may play a part in the splainin as to why there were so many Toobworld characters who looked like Lloyd Bochner. (See below for details.)

Now, on with the other persons of interest.....

Loyal Opposition: Terror in the White House (1998) (TV) .... President Hayden

This is part of the alternate dimension known as "Earth Prime-Time MOW", which stands for "Movie Of The Week". There have been plenty of TV movies in which a fictional president has been portrayed, and a chronological case can be made that they all follow each other in the order in which they first appeared on the air.

There is some shoehorning to be done, but I think it can be safely argued that President Hayden was the Commander-in-Chief just before the POTUS played by Gregory Harrison in three different action chick flicks about the Secret Service agent played by Mariel Hemingway (and Patricia Arquette).
Morning Glory (1993) (TV) .... Bob Collins

It's got to be a fairly common name, so he should not be confused with the character made famous by Robert Cummings on 'Love That Bob!'.
"The Bold Ones: The New Doctors" playing "Dr. Harkness" in episode: "Moment of Crisis" (episode # 3.8) 2 January 1972

Regular readers of my blog this past year can already see which way I'd go with this one. Obviously, Dr. Harkness is one of the ancestors for Captain Jack Harkness of the 51st Century, as seen in 'Doctor Who' and who'll be starring in his own series next year, 'Torchwood'.

Care to dance?
"Vega$" playing "Alexander Waverly" in episode: "French Twist" (episode # 3.21) 6 May 1981

It's my contention that Bochner's character of Alexander Waverly was the son of Alexander Waverly, head of U.N.C.L.E. (and played by Leo G. Carroll on 'The Man From U.N.C.L.E.').

Sadly, it looks as though Mr. Waverly's tireless dedication to fighting the evils of the world was not high on the list of priorities for his son to continue.......
"The Golden Girls" playing "Patrick Vaughn" in episode: "The Actor" (episode # 2.14) 17 January 1987
"Fantasy Island" in episode: "Lady's Choice/Skin Deep" (episode # 7.13) 28 January 1984
playing "Earl of Norfolk" in episode: "The Tallowed Image/Room and Bard" (episode # 6.12) 29 January 1983
playing "Marquis Phillippe de Sade" in episode: "Cyrano/The Magician" (episode # 5.3) 24 October 1981
playing "Maurice Benson" in episode: "Vampire/The Lady and the Longhorn" (episode # 2.13) 16 December 1978

Even though he was a Gallifreyan Time Lord (at least in my Toobworld-view), Mr. Roarke couldn't handle everything in his projects on 'Fantasy Island'. He needed actors to play out the roles for each fantasy.

Patrick Vaughn was a member of Roarke's repertory of players for several years before finally retiring to Miami where he toiled in community theater. And that's where he met and seduced 3/4 of 'The Golden Girls'.

Dorothy: "He made me feel beautiful!"
Blanche: "He made me feel young!"
Rose: "He made me feel smart!"
Dorothy: "God, what an actor!"

Vaughn probably called on all he had learned in the art of seduction while making fantasies come true while working for Mr. Roarke on 'Fantasy Island'.

Why those ladies never realized that this "pafluganockin" was also Eduardo, as seen in the episode "Rites Of Spring"? Could be a case of aggregate Alzheimer's......
"Matt Houston" playing "Elgin Cody"

in episode: "On the Run" (episode # 2.22) 30 March 1984
in episode: "Heritage: Part 2" (episode # 2.2) 9 September 1983
in episode: "Heritage: Part 1" (episode # 2.1) 9 September 1983
playing "Scott Neville" in episode: "Shark Bait" (episode # 1.8) 21 November 1982

It's not uncommon to find people in the Real World, as well as in Toobworld, who have been given family names as their first names. (Why would anybody name their daughter "Gates" McFadden, otherwise?)

A few examples out of TV Land: Beeley Garrett of 'Centennial', 'Murphy Brown', perhaps Seeley Booth of 'Bones'.

So it's going to be my contention that Elgin Cody is related to Jim Elgin, who is the stepfather of Jamie Sommers, 'The Bionic Woman'.

As to why a man named Scott Neville looked exactly like Elgin Cody? I'm not sure, but 'Quantum Leap' technology may have played a role. However, I think we're more likely to find that one of my reasons listed below for all of the Bochnerites roaming Toobworld is the cause - especially since Matt Houston never noticed the similarity between the two men. (Although it may have led to the events which transpired in the episode "On The Run", March 30, 1984.)
"Macmillan and Wife" playing "Gregg Patterson" in episode: "Phillip's Game" (episode # 6.3) 23 January 1977
"Honey West" playing "Gus Patterson" in episode: "The Owl and the Eye" (episode # 1.2) 24 September 1965

Take your pick on this one: either Gregg is an alias for Gus Patterson, or Greg and Gus are twin brothers. I'm leaning heavily towards that latter option.

But then I tend to lean heavily all the time. Luckily, the one good thing about being heavyset? You've always got something fall back on.

Thank you, Johnny Brown!
"Police Story" playing "Mayor Langdon" in episode: "Chief" (episode # 1.20) 19 March 1974
"Thriller" playing "Harry Langton" in episode: "The Prisoner in the Mirror" (episode # 1.34) 23 May 1961

Name changes in families are nothing new. If I'm not mistaken, some members of Ronald Reagan's family spelled their name as "Regan".

According to an interesting episode guide for 'Thriller' which I found online, Alexander Cagliostro, an "undead master of the black arts, possessed the living in order to hypnotize and then strangle his companions when the conversation grew the least bit dull."

Obviously not even Perry Mason would have been able to sell that line of defense. So more than likely Mayor Langdon changed his name to the more traditional spelling, so as to avoid any hint of a connection with his twin brother. After all, he had his future political career to consider!
"Highway to Heaven" playing "Trevor Steele" in episode: "The Reunion" (episode # 5.5) 2 June 1989

Trevor Steele was an old high school buddy of Arthur Morton, who passed away in 1948. (Arthur took the name Jonathan Smith when he became an apprentice angel.)

Dismiss that knee-jerk notion that Trevor Steele could be related to 'Remington Steele', since Laura Holt created that name out of the blue for the fictional detective who would "front" her private investigation firm.

But Ms. Holt might have known Trevor Steele as an old family friend, and decided his last name had just the right heft to serve as the surname of her "partner".

What helps this possibility is the fact that Lloyd Bochner apparently never appeared in an episode of 'Remington Steele'.
"Murder, She Wrote"

playing "John Thurston" in episode: "Tinker, Tailor, Liar, Thief" (episode # 8.15) 1 March 1992
playing "Jason Richards" in episode: "Deadpan" (episode # 4.21) 1 May 1988
playing "Dr. Terence Mayhew" in episode: "Unfinished Business" (episode # 3.3) 12 October 1986

Wouldn't you think that a woman who was supposed to be as observant as Jessica Fletcher would have noticed so many people had doppelgangers wherever she went?

Because these three characters played by Mr. Bochner weren't the only ones who had look-alikes. Why just from Dr. Mayhew's episode alone, she would meet veritable twins of the characters Bernard Kale and Sheriff McCoy.

Right to the end of her series, Jessica was far too astute for us to crack any jokes about senior moments. (At least not mental ones.) So I think there must be something about those characters, which is not noticeable to us viewing at home that differentiates them from other characters played by the same actors.
But when there isn't any way to avoid noticing such similarities, it's always nice to find definitive splainins. And luckily for us, Lloyd Bochner supplies three options:

"The Amazing Spiderman" playing "Dr. Moon" in episode: "Night of the Clones" (episode # 1.4) 26 April 1978

"When a scientist, Dr. Moon, clones himself, his clone tries to kill members of the Tovald Committee, who has denied the real Dr. Moon the Tovald Award 5 straight years."

Dr. Moon may have done much of his research down in Australia and New Zealand, where his work would later influence the cloning of Dolly the Sheep.

See? I told you it would play into that episode of 'Ironside'!

I don't know how many clones of himself were created by Dr. Moon, but he also created clones of Peter Parker and others. It could be that, like the Eves of the Litchfield Project in an episode of 'The X-Files', many of them are still scattered around the globe.

"Bewitched" playing "Franklyn Blodgett" in episode: "Marriage Witch's Style" (episode # 5.21) 20 February 1969

Franklyn Blodgett was a warlock trying to pass himself off as a mortal, in order to find a mortal bride through a computer dating service. (Instead, he got matched up with Serena, Samantha's cousin.)

He was vain, egotistical, more in love with himself than he could ever have been with Serena.

It's the Toobworld contention that Samantha used her magicks to alter the appearances of Gladys Kravitz and of her own husband Darrin, without anyone ever being the wiser. Perhaps Franklyn Blodgett did the same thing - so that he might surround himself with men who mirrored the debonnair good looks in which he took such pride.

"Superboy" playing "Old Vampire" in episode: "Young Dracula" (episode # 2.4) 28 October 1989

We never did learn the name of the old vampire who served as the mentor for the tortured young genius trying to control his bloodlust. But it's likely that he may have been around for centuries.

And we know from 'Angel' that vampires can breed.

So it's possible that the Old Vampire sired children throughout the centuries and throughout the world. And as is customary with tele-genetics, his DNA imprint was strong enough so that his children all resembled him.

This would help splain all of the Lloyd Bochner characters from Europe and from shows set in the Old West.

I hope there are those fans of Lloyd Bochner's work out there who eventually stumble across this small tribute to his body of work. And I hope they enjoy it as much I did in composing it.


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