Sunday, November 20, 2005


One of the basic rules of Toobworld is that a character's life continues after his or her show is no longer broadcast. Just because we can't see them anymore, that doesn't mean they go into stasis until revived for some future reunion special.

But when do their lives finally do end? Do they die at the same time as the actors who portrayed them? I'd like to think even then they continue to thrive; it's just that we won't ever have the chance to see them grace our Television screens ever again. (Unless some producer figures we don't care at home who plays the role.)

However, eventually everyone has to die - among the mortal characters anyway. And it would be nice to think that it could be somehow tied into a Televisual moment.

And sometimes just such a moment arrives that can help us say good-bye to a whole slew of characters.

Back in November of 2001, I published an essay in the Tubeworld Dynamic about the possibility that some long-missing TV characters - whether due to series cancellation or because of the deaths of the actors - might have perished in the televersion of the World Trade Center.

For example, perhaps John Kelly of 'NYPD Blue' became a security expert for some financial corporation after he left the force. Maybe the entire staff of 'Empire' were at work on one of the upper floors when the planes struck.

I tried to write the piece respectfully because of the real people who passed away, but I was still considered a ghoul for even considering it.

And yet here we are less than five years later, and the wife of Mac Taylor from 'CSI: NY' perished on 9/11. Samantha Spade of 'Without A Trace' got shot in the leg due to some widower lashing out in grief over the loss of his wife in the collapse. The various crews on the 'Third Watch' had to deal with the loss of their comrades who rushed in to save others. Just about every dramatic series on TV since that awful day has addressed the issue in a fictional sense.

So was I being ghoulish? Or was it all a matter of timing? How come nobody ever seems to care that so many TV characters were on board the Titanic in Toobworld? Or at Pearl Harbor when the Japanese struck? If all the fictional characters who claimed to be in Dealey Plaza on November 22, 1964, really were there, the President's motorcade might never have made it through.

Tonight, a major disaster will again be presented in Toobworld. But this time it's a fictional event - 'The Poseidon Adventure' on NBC beginning at 8 pm EST. According to the website for the Hallmark Channel (who will eventually be showing the full four-hour version of the mini-series), the ocean liner will be carrying 2500 passengers and 1200 crew members for a month-long cruise out of Athens.

But the mini-series will be focused on only about a dozen or so major characters.

Later today I'll post my ideas about who else might be on board this coming New Year's Eve when the ship capsizes. And who's to say we're wrong? Many of my choices were either portrayed by actors now deceased themselves, or they were part of TV shows no one is likely to ever revive.

So while you're watching 'The Poseidon Adventure' tonight on NBC (8 PM Eastern, 7 PM Central), keep an eye on those other passengers you see in the background before they become fish food.

You never know..... One of them might be a member of 'The Colbys'!


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