Saturday, June 25, 2005


AP - Fri Jun 24, 5:58 PM ET NEW YORK - San Antonio's Game 7 win over Detroit was the highest-rated of the NBA Finals, though the average for the series was down 29 percent from last year.

Reuters - Fri Jun 24, 3:25 PM ET LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Viewership of the NBA finals finally perked up Thursday as the San Antonio Spurs cruised to victory over the Detroit Pistons to lock up their third title since 1999.

I'm not a basketball fan, so the above news story wouldn't have spurred me (sorry) to look for relevance for Toobworld. Luckily for me, I have a great crossover compadre in Hugh Davis to do that for me.....

I found that Robert Horry appeared for 3 episodes of the daytime soap ['Passions']. Horry of course just went into the record books with his sixth NBA title (tying him with Jordan, Pippen, and Kareem), and his title with a third different team (only the second player to do that--the other is John Salley). I didn't know that he'd been on the soap, but it puts him in the League of Themselves. (He was also on an episode of 'Jack and Jill').

LOL - I'll take Hugh's word for it. I only saw just enough episodes (one!) of 'Jack & Jill' to get the feel of it, but I also never even heard of Horry.

But at least I have a spin on the NBA title. Thanks, Hugh!



I've been asked why I never got around to writing about the movie version of 'The Hitch-Hiker's Guide To The Galaxy' and what I thought about it.

After all, it's been over a month, - maybe two now? - since it came out. And it did concern a TV show (Yeah, I know the radio series was first and I have such great mind-melting memories of how I listened to it!) which does play a very important part in the structure of Toobworld.

But there was no need for me to say much on the matter. Mega-fan MJ Simpson did it for me in a 10,000 word review that brought out the long knives from Disney operatives working in disguise on various bulletin boards around the web. They must have figured that if they curried favor with him (Simpson has been well known for his studies on Douglas Adams on the Internet for years.) by granting him access to film sets and by wining/dining him, that he'd turn belly-up and give the movie all of his support.

Instead he exposes it for the hack job it is. And you can read it all here:

The effort cost Simpson plenty. He's never going to write about Adams or his universes again.

All I'll say is that the film-makers ruined the basic story by trying to inject some heart into it with a maudlin sub-plot. In earlier versions (And Adams was always changing the story - I had no problems with the idea things might go differently.), HHG2TG would gain that heart by the end because we did come to care for Arthur and Ford. They earned our sympathies; it wasn't forced on us to love them as it is here.

I would like to repeat something that Mr. Simpson supplied on his website in hopes it will keep anyone else from succumbing to temptation as it heads to the next round of cheap tix cinemas.

If you're a fan of the original radio series, the TV series (even with all of its faults), and the nearly never-ending trilogy of books, you know there are certain lines, certain situations, certain characters that should be looked upon as Scripture and should not be trifled with; let alone excised.

Yet here is what is missing from the movie version of "The Hitch-Hiker's Guide To The Galaxy":

Most of Arthur's conversation with Mr Prosser
All of Ford's conversation with Mr Prosser
The Guide entry on alcohol or any mention of a Pan-Galactic Gargle Blaster (Update: This narration is in the final cut of the film.)
The description of the Vogon ships hanging in the air "in exactly the same way that bricks don't"
The Guide entry on Earth
Any mention of Eccentrica Gallumbits (although she was mentioned in an early cut, apparently)
The Guide entry on towels
The jump to Barnard's Star
The second part of the Guide entry on Babel fish, about proving the non-existence of God
Most of the Vogon poetry scene, including most of the poem itself (it's there, but as we saw on Parkinson, you can't really hear it because Stephen Fry's narration has been put over the top)
The entire scene with the Vogon Guard (although that was apparently in an early cut) and most of Ford and Arthur in the airlock
Most of the 'space is big' Guide entry including "a long way down the road to the chemist's" and the bit about Bethselamin
Southend Pier, Ford turning into a penguin, Arthur losing limbs and an infinite number of monkeys
Much of the Guide entry on the Infinite Improbability Drive
Ford and Arthur exploring the Heart of Gold entry bay (although a readout that says 'Please do not press this button again' is seen at another point in the film)
Talking doors (they sigh, but they don't talk)
"This is Zaphod Beeblebrox from Betelgeuse Five, not bloody Martin Smith from Croydon."
The Guide entry on Magrathea, and the Ford-Zaphod and Arthur-Trillian conversations about it, or indeed any hint of what Magrathea actually is prior to Slartibartfast saying, "You know we built planets, don't you?"
Eddie singing 'You’ll Never Walk Alone'
The Guide entry on 'Stress and nervous tension'
Eddie's back-up personality
Arthur marvelling at actually standing on another planet
Marvin humming like Pink Floyd
Ford, Zaphod and Trillian exploring Magrathea
Arthur and Marvin watching the Magrathean sunset (they do still watch it, they just don't discuss it)
The Guide entry on Veet Voojagig and the biros
Joo Janta 200 Peril-Sensitive Sunglasses
Most of Arthur's conversation with Slartibartfast
The Guide entry on Deep Thought
Most of the Deep Thought scenes, including Vroomfondel and Majikthise
The whole Vl'hurg-G'gugvant sequence, which apparently will play during the end credits, although at no point does Arthur say "I seem to be having tremendous difficulties with my lifestyle."
Shooty and Bang-Bang
The universe: some information to help you live in it...
Milliways, Disaster Area, the 'B'-Ark, prehistoric Earth and anything else in the later part of the story

Like I said, read through that list and see if it still might something you'd like to see. I knew it was a lost cause with the airlock sequence. If it wasn't excised entirely, it was mis-directed and mis-interpreted.

Do yourself a favor. Track down the radio series first. Then watch the TV series. Then read the books.

Avoid the movie altogether.

What I wouldn't give for a drink with Ford right about now. And that's David Dixon's Ford; maybe Geoffrey McGivern's.

Never Mos Def's!

And so it goes.


Friday, June 24, 2005


So Oprah shows up in France at a store fifteen minutes too late to buy anything, and the store personnel refuse to let her in because they're trying to conduct a p.r. event inside.

And what happens? Oprah makes a big to-do out of the whole "ordeal" (her big crash moment, whatever that's supposed to mean) - and you know her people had to be behind the leak of the story to the press, - and by the next day the store apologizes.

She showed up fifteen minutes late with no advance appointment, and it's the store who has to apologize.

If it had been you or me, we'd have been turned away at the door and if we caused a stink, they'd loose the gendarmes on us.

Sometimes I get sick of this ol' world.

Now, had it all taken place in Toobworld (and who knows? Maybe it did happen during a commercial break!), then Oprah would not have taken "Non!" as an answer. She would have found her way inside the store in a desperate attempt to get the watch she wanted; only to find herself trapped inside once everybody else left for the night. And then she'd be set upon by the guard dog which only understands French words of command.

The dog chases her up onto the fancy shelves - which she practically destroys while heaving herself up, - and it sinks its teeth into her fancy pants suit and rips out le bottom.

Oooh la la! L'Oprah!

Luckily for her, Tom Cruise just happened to see it all through the skylight while he was up on the Eiffel Tower proposing to Katie Holmes. Calling upon the powers of Xenu, he bursts through the skylight and bounces around on a couch to distract the dog long enough for the authorities to arrive and subdue le pooch.

When Steadman rushes in with the store manager, Oprah begans to cry, "Oooooh, Steadman! Waaaaaaah!"

Now that's the way it should have gone down!



Even with the 1996 TV movie to pave the way, it was still somewhat jarring to see 'Doctor Who' entirely filmed and not on cheapjack videotape. It also took a bit of getting used to with the quickened pace, which, when combined with the live-wire intensity of Christopher Eccleston as this Ninth Doctor, made my head spin while trying to keep up. There was one scene as Rose and the Doctor walked down a street (more of a large driveway?) where I thought I'd succumb to vertigo, it was so dizzying. (Trying to grasp the accents at the same time certainly didn't help.)

At first I was put off by Eccleston's raw energy, stripped down to being just pure adrenaline with a non-stop face-splitting grin. It was as though he had been awake for a week, subsisting on a diet of Jolt Cola and Pop-Rocks.

That doofus of a grin was particularly irritating. I began to fear that this was the only level at which he could play the role; wiped clean of any nuance. And it seemed to be reflected in his choice of clothing - nothing more than a "jumper" (his leather jacket), black t-shirt, and black pants. The Doctor as the Fonz - no eccentricities, just the minimum requirements to satisfy decency laws.

But then it occurred to me - the Doctor was in...sane. I figured him to have only just recently undergone regeneration from the Paul McGann model. It was only later we learned the cause of his grief-driven madness....

As for Billie Piper as Rose Tyler, no one is going to replace my fondness for Elisabeth Sladen as Sarah Jane Smith, no matter how out-dated her portrayal might seem as the years passed. (The whole "Perils of Pauline" riff is a bit politically incorrect, I guess.)

But Rose follows closely behind. Billie Piper gives us the template for the 21st Century companion. In fact, she's the ultimate hero in this first episode as she saves the day as well as the Doctor with classic swashbuckling panache. (And it serves as a premonition of the future.)

I'm not yet a completist in my Who-viewing. My record is spotty at best, but I do have about fifteen books at my disposal if I need to seek out a particular reference.

So because the Nestene Consciousness as the villain of the piece had escaped my notice before this, I started in with the research.

Apparently, it is a gestalt intelligence. The Nestene had cast off their physical forms to become an aggregate of energy, something like a coral reef of pure thought. They travelled the universe in small egg-like meteors, linked together by their communal mind. (I suppose in that way the Nestene might seem like a compilation of the Q Continuum and the Borg Collective. Sounds like a trilogy of Robert Ludlum novels!)


While doing a Google search on "Nestene Consciousness", I found a website that theorized that the Nestene is actually Shub-Niggurath, one of the "Old Ones" in the Cthulhu Cycle by H.P. Lovecraft. It can't be proven at this time, but if it was true, they would link 'Doctor Who' to a vignette of 'The Night Gallery' - "Professor Peabody's Last Lecture". (Peabody angered the "Old Ones" by invoking their names during his class.)

Finally, this episode also introduces us to Rose's boyfriend Mickey and her mother Jackie. Since the series will periodically revisit them, Russell T. Davies is fleshing out the concept of the Companion, to show that running off to flit through Time with the Doctor isn't a clean break from one's past. There are people and commitments and issues left unresolved which become the baggage carried on board the TARDIS. It was nice to see a Companion did leave behind a life and then follow up on the ramifications of their "disappearance".

Next week, we look at "The End Of The World". And I'll just say this about that - it ranks right up there as one of my favorite episodes in the run.


Thursday, June 23, 2005


On last night's episode of 'The Inside', the third in this summer series on FOX, Tim Minear threw in a shout-out to the parent series of the show on which he previously toiled.

A movie theatre under surveillance by a potential serial killer was showing "Once More With Feeling". This was the name of the all-musical episode of 'Buffy The Vampire Slayer'.

But it's no more than an in-joke, not a connection to 'Buffy'. To have been an actual connection, we should have heard music being piped out of the theatre that would have been from the original songs performed in that episode. Perhaps the movie could then be considered a theatrical treatment of what happened when Sweet the Demon visited Sunnydale.

Instead, we heard a rendition of "Someone To Watch Over Me".

So it's a no-go on that crossover possibility.



Last night I got the chance (Thanks, Markhael!) to see the finale of the new series of 'Doctor Who'. Having now seen all thirteen episodes of this resurrection of a sci-fi classic, I have to say the suits running the American TV networks have no conception of what they are doing.

The mantra is true: TV network executives should be nibbled to death by ducks!

This was a fantastic re-invention of a legend, stripping away all of those elements which would bring a bemused smile to those who remembered the old series - the pacing, the costumes and sets, the monsters with the zippers up the back.

Instead Russel T. Davies has thrust the premise forward into the 21st Century with a bracing redefinition that belies its status as a "children's show". Instead, it's now more sophisticated than some of the other dramas out there on the prime-time schedule.

Screw Sci-Fi Channel for passing on this! Screw 'em with a sonic screwdriver! Let them waste their sked slots on the crap they're brewing up in their basement - those schlocky flicks that clutter up the weekend evenings. They don't deserve to have this series.

It's good enough to gain entry on one of the main networks - it certainly would have given UPN the opportunity to run with the big boys.

But then again, the freedom displayed in the writing and the character development make 'Doctor Who' better suited for one of the cable outlets - FX or Spike.

In its own way, the Doctor and his companions certainly would be at home on Bravo as well!

At the very least, BBC-America should sacrifice their holdout for potential profits - on this first season at least - to get the American audience hooked on the show. And then they can put the squeeze on some other outlet to shell out more for the rights to continue broadcasting it.

Hopefully the DVD box sets should be available soon for the American market. If and when it is, buy it. Long-time lovers of the series or new to the adventure, you won't be sorry.

This morning it fully hit me - I have to wait now until the Christmas season to see a new installment for the series with the Christmas special.

The only thing which makes that bearable is the knowledge that so many more of you might have to wait even longer to see the series at all. Nyahahahahahaa!

That's right. I'm a bastid.


Wednesday, June 22, 2005


I love the League of Themselves! Toobworld differs from other visions of a TV Universe in that I consider those people who appear as themselves in a fictional setting to be actual characters. And therefore they are legit links for crossovers between otherwise unconnected shows.

(For example, if it weren't for Sammy Davis, Jr. appearing as himself, it would be practically impossible to find any commonality between 'All In The Family', 'I Dream Of Jeannie', and 'Charlie's Angels'.)

In the League of Themselves are those icons, those leaders in their fields, whom producers cast in their shows again and again. They project such oversized images that scenes featuring them can practically write themselves.

Jack Benny, who made his miserly 39 year old violin player into a mythic character of folklore.

Milton Berle, an historic legend as "Mr. Television".

Donald Trump, mega-developer with the super-sized ego and over-inflated hair.

To this group you'd have to add Hugh Hefner, publisher of Playboy Magazine.

For all of those shows that have been set in Hollywood, how can their producers resist the chance to have a few scenes take place at that Xanadu of male fantasy, the Playboy Mansion?

Hef added to his totals this past weekend as hot young movie star Vince Chase and his 'Entourage' were invited to a party. That is, all except for Vince's brother Johnny Drama, who had been banned for life. Johnny blamed Ralph Macchio for the reason; Macchio blamed Johnny; and it turned out that Pauly Shore was the culprit of the monkey cages all along.

With that cleared up, Hef gave Johnny his blessing and a good time was had by all.

Lucky bastards.

Here are stats for Hugh Hefner's membership in the League of Themselves:

"Playboy After Dark" (1969) TV Series .... Himself
"Playboy's Penthouse" (1959) TV Series .... Himself

"Entourage" playing "Himself" in episode: "Aquamansion" (episode # 2.3) 19 June 2005
"The Bernie Mac Show" playing "Himself" in episode: "The Talk" (episode # 3.19) 26 April 2004
"Just Shoot Me!" playing "Himself" (as Hugh Hefner) in episode: "At Long Last Allie" (episode # 5.22) 10 May 2001
"Sex and the City" playing "Himself" (as Hugh Hefner) in episode: "Sex and Another City" (episode # 3.14) 17 September 2000
"V.I.P." playing "Himself" in episode: "Why 2 Kay" (episode # 2.10) 27 November 1999 [possible dream sequence]
"Buddy Faro" playing "Himself" in episode: "Death By Airbrush" (episode # 1.6) 6 November 1998
"Roseanne" playing "Himself" in episode: "What a Day for a Daydream" (episode # 9.3) 1 October 1996 [possible dream sequence]
"Blossom" playing "Himself" in episode: "True Romance" (episode # 4.11) 8 November 1993 [possible dream sequence]
"The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" playing "Himself" (as Hugh Hefner) in episode: "Fresh Prince After Dark" (episode # 4.9) 8 November 1993
"The Larry Sanders Show" playing "Himself" (as Hugh Hefner) in episode: "Broadcast Nudes" (episode # 2.11) 4 August 1993
"The Simpsons" playing "Himself" (voice) in episode: "Krusty Gets Kancelled" (episode # 4.22) 13 May 1993 [This would be the Hef of the Tooniverse]
"Laverne & Shirley" playing "Himself" in episode: "The Playboy Show" (episode # 8.5) 9 November 1982
"The Odd Couple" playing "Himself" (as Hugh Hefner) in episode: "One for the Bunny" (episode # 4.22) 22 March 1974
"Burke's Law" playing "Bunny Club Manager" (as Hugh Hefner) in episode: "Who Killed the Grand Piano?" (episode # 2.31) 28 April 1965

"Doggy Fizzle Televizzle" playing "Himself" (episode # 1.4) 6 July 2003
"The Man Show" playing "Himself" in episode: "Playboy Mansion" (episode # 2.13) 10 September 2000
"Pink Lady" playing "Himself" (episode # 1.3) 21 March 1980
"Saturday Night Live" playing "Host" (as Hugh Hefner) (episode # 3.3) 15 October 1977
"The Dean Martin Show" playing "Himself" (as Hugh Hefner) in episode: "Celebrity Roast: Hugh Hefner" 20 September 1973
"The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour" playing "Himself" (episode # 3.19) 10 February 1973
"Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In" playing "Himself" (episode # 2.1) 16 September 1968

"Beat the Geeks" playing "Himself" (episode # 2.25) 9 August 2002
"Beat the Geeks" playing "Himself" (episode # 2.23) 7 August 2002
"Beat the Geeks" playing "Himself" (episode # 2.22) 6 August 2002
"Whose Line Is It Anyway?" playing "Himself" (as Hugh Hefner) (episode # 4.24) 31 January 2002
"What's My Line?" playing "Mystery Guest" 9 January 1966

"The Surreal Life" playing "Himself" in episode: "The Wedding and Goodbye" (episode # 1.8) 20 February 2003
"Cribs" playing "Himself" (as Hugh Hefner) 16 October 2002


"Smittyism #6:
You want chicks, you can't chicken out!"
Beatrice Lunt as Smitty


While showing Vince Chase a less than ideal house going for one million, a realtor mentioned "that actor from 'Smallville'." Vince wanted to know "Where's Smallville?"

The above quotes are probably how it appeared on paper. More than likely that's the way they played it out. But this is how it's interpreted for Toobworld purposes:

Realtor: "That actor from Smallville."
Vince: "Where's Smallville?"

See what I did there? Gone are the quotation marks for "Smallville". The way they intended the exchange, Vince had no conception of the TV show. And it points up the fact that he's woefully ignorant on the whole DC comics scene, which may have an impact on how he approaches his role in the upcoming "Aquaman" movie.

But since they didn't go into such detail, we're free to look at it another way.

In the TV Universe, there is an actor famous enough to have his name dropped into a conversation as a reference. And apparently everybody knows he comes from a small farm town in Kansas which is called Smallville.

Well, apparently everybody but Vince Chase.

Now this does NOT mean that 'Smallville' and 'Entourage' share the same TV dimension. Instead, 'Entourage' is still in the main Toobworld, but 'Smallville' is off in 'The West Wing' universe. For Vince and his 'Entourage', Superman as a living character has come and gone nearly forty years ago.

But since that realtor thought it relevant to mention where that actor came from, it's likely the people of Toobworld know Superman was the late Clark Kent by this point in time. And thus, they know that Smallville, Kansas, was the small town where Superman grew up.

And that means the use of "Superman" comic books, mentions of the Christopher Reeve movies, and the hero worship by Jerry 'Seinfeld' grew out of that former secret becoming public knowledge in the TV Universe. And thus we are spared all of that ending up as Zonks!.

As for that actor from Smallville, if it's not going to be Tom Welling..... then who? It might be fun to do a bit of digging to find some fictional actor in another TV show who supposedly comes from a Midwestern background.

And my first thought falls on Harry Hamlin's portrayal of Aaron Echolls during this past season of 'Veronica Mars'. Of course, because of his notoriety, it's more likely the realtor might have mentioned "that actor who killed a woman down in Neptune".

Mayhaps you have some ideas on that, Gentle Reader? Let me know!


Tuesday, June 21, 2005



"Wishcraft" is a term coined for a TV show, like others I have purloined such as "Zonk!" and "redshirt". In this case, it was toddler Tabitha Stephens' attempt to say the word "witchcraft".

For my purposes, it's the perfect word to describe those crossovers which I would like to see.

'Rescue Me' returns for a second season tonight on FX. Since we last saw Tommy Gavin, the boozing, brawling, self-medicating NY firefighter has been banished to a more placid station house on Staten Island. (Although after his "punishment" at the end of last season, it could be self-imposed exile.)

But Tommy has his eye on getting back to the "real action" to be found among his old Manhattan crew.

Sound familiar? For ten years, that's been the situation Detective Mike Logan has found himself in. After slugging a city councilman in his last episode of 'Law & Order', Logan has been working out of a precinct in Staten Island. But he's been doing all he can to find a way back into the Big Apple.

He's been able to successfully execute two forays in hopes of laying the groundwork. First up was a TV movie 'Exiled' in which he capitalized on a body found floating in the harbor to get the chance to work with his old buddies back at the 2-7.

And although it did have a bittersweet resolution handed down right there in the precinct's squad room, ultimately the case led Logan right back to Staten Island.

Then last year, circumstances found Logan teamed up with Detectives Goran and Eames on a case that had echoes of Abu Ghraib, right in the heart of Brooklyn. And the way that his brash, charging-bull style clashed with yet complemented Goren's more cerebral approach must have been noticed by the higher-ups in the department.

Because this coming season, Mike Logan will be handling half the caseload of 'Law & Order: Criminal Intent' to ease the burden on Goran and Eames.

But since that's not happening until the Fall, there's still plenty of time during the Summer for us to see Mike Logan interact with Tommy Gavin on 'Rescue Me'.

Sure, one's a cop and the other a fireman, but that's easily overcome. After a blaze is put out by Gavin and his fellow firefighters, Detective Logan investigates a homicide found at the heart of the debris.

And for the dramatic stakes to be raised, it could be somebody that clashed with Tommy. With his string of vices, it shouldn't be too hard to come up with a viable suspect - hooker, pimp, dealer, bookie....

Or the jerk who cancelled 'The Job' over at ABC.



According to Variety, ;Disney is developing a live-action version of 'Underdog', the cartoon about the super-powered pooch which ran on NBC for nearly ten years.

The late, great Wally Cox voiced Shoeshine Boy, a mild-mannered mutt who transformed into the titular top dog. Underdog was probably the first rapper of the Tooniverse. (He spoke in rhymed couplets.)

Most of the time he was rescuing comely reporter Polly Purebred from yet another nefarious scheme by either the wolf Riff-Raff, or by the mad human scientist Simon Bar Sinister. It was the typical Tooniverse town populated by humans living side by side with anthropomorphic animals.

But in the Disney feature film's script, a real dog named Shoeshine gets his superpowers after a lab accident and just before he gets adopted by a 12 year old boy.

As if we've never seen that happen before!

At least when Scooby Doo or the Flintstones or Casper or even Howard The Duck were translated to the Cineverse, at least the trappings of the original were retained. But this doesn't sound like there's any reason why the suits wasted money on snaring the rights beyond name recognition. It doesn't seem likely that this pooch is even going to have the ability to speak, let alone speak in rhymed couplets.

And when it comes down to it, the main attraction to that cartoon was listening to the lisping cadences of Wally Cox's voice, which barely registered a determined timbre once Shoeshine Boy transformed into Underdog.

Without the participation of Wally Cox, who passed away while riding a motorbike out in the California desert back in the early '70s, of what interest could there be in such a project?

I don't know if they're using a classic sound bite clip by Wally Cox in that Visa Check Card commercial or not. But if it is a vocal impersonation, it's spot on. And they should hire that guy if ever a faithful remake of 'Underdog' is attempted. Otherwise they'd be barking up the wrong tree.

And attention, O Powers That Be at Cartoon Network! Bring us the original cartoons.

Bless you, sir.

[Your humble and lovable servant]

Monday, June 20, 2005



'Doctor Who' has returned to Earth!

Fifteen years after the last regular episode, nine years after the one TV movie for the Eighth Doctor, we've had a full series of thirteen episodes featuring Christopher Eccleston as the Ninth Incarnation.

This past Saturday night, the final episode for this year aired, signaling the end of Eccleston's tenure and marking the debut of David Tennant in the role.

And so to celebrate, most of my essays and all of the Crossovers will be dedicated to the Doctor for the rest of the summer.

Be forewarned: In my essays during this summer salute to 'Doctor Who', there will be spoilers for each of the episodes, especially in regard to summaries.....


First off, here's a recap of the episode:

Originally aired: Saturday, March 26, 2005 on BBC-1
Location: London, England.
Date: 4th/5th/6th March 2005.
Enemy: Nestene Consciousness.
Rose Tyler stumbles across a strange individual called The Doctor as he seeks out the Nestene Consciousness to prevent the living plastic it is controlling from taking over the world.
[Thanks to]


As this long-awaited return of 'Doctor Who' progressed, inspiration for possible crossovers came easily. But the first episode, "Rose", proved to be a stumbling block.

I didn't want to tie the Autons into that episode of 'The Twilight Zone' in which Ann Francis embodied a living mannequin. She had something akin to free will and she definitely had life. The Autons are just mindless mannequins under the sway of the Nestene Consciousness.

As for that gestalt mind, I was almost - almost! - desperate enough to use 'The Simpsons' to link the Nestene Consciousness to Squiddly Diddly.*

I guess I really was desperate.

But then I realized that the answer lay in the episode's title. 'Doctor Who' isn't just about the Time Lord and his enemies. There is a long tradition of traveling companions as well. So I would make the crossover through Rose Tyler.

My best bet would be to take the Wold-Newton Universe approach: Make the case for Rose's theoretical family tree; find other members of Clan Tyler in the TV Universe.

True, it's not a solid link. But I think the argument can be made for one particular branch of the main Toobworld Tylers Tree......

Keeping it close to home on that sceptre'd isle, there are two shows set in the general London environs which could serve as the Tyler home base.

First up is a short-lived sitcom from 1985, 'Three Up, Two Down'. Nick and Angie Tyler were newly married, but their families were from different worlds. And because of circumstances, her snobbish mother and his Cockney father had to share the same apartmen-# excuse me, "flat" - on the next floor down from them.

Nick's dad Sam Tyler (as played by the late Michael Elphwick) sounds as if he could have been Pete Tyler's father as well; at the very least, he could have been Pete's uncle. (Peter Tyler was Rose's Dad. He was killed in a car accident back in 1986.)

Also from 1985 - but still going strong! - is 'EastEnders'. In 1993, Debbie Tyler fell in love with Nigel Bates and finally found the inner strength to leave her ogre of a husband, Liam Tyler. As beastly as he was, Liam Tyler nearly succeeded in winning custody of their daughter Clare. Thankfully, Clare was able to live with her Mum and her new step-dad Nigel.

It's funny that it would be younger Tyler cousin Rose who eventually would meet the Gallifreyan Time Lord rather than Clare. At least Clare would have been prepared for the eccentricities of the Doctor's wardrobe, since her step-dad Nigel "owned what seemed to be the world's largest collection of scary shirts and terrifying ties." (from the BBC Online)

Again, Liam sounds like the type of lout who may have been Pete Tyler's brother. But since we didn't meet these three Tylers until nearly seven years after Pete's death, there was no reason why his name should have cropped up in conversation at any point during an episode of 'EastEnders'.

With 'Three Up, Two Down', it might be that the Tylers had become estranged from each other. Perhaps Pete had a falling out with Nick and Sam; or they had disapproved of Pete's marriage to Jackie some months earlier.

All of this has been supposition, of course. But there is another member of the Tyler family who might be able to stake a better claim to kinship with Rose, even though he was living farther north in Manchester. Mainly because - at least when it comes to the scriptwriting process in the Real World, - they share the same parentage.........

"Just remember one thing, Vince.....
You're fantastic!"
Stuart Alan Jones
'Queer As Folk'

Before he revived the long-thought dead 'Doctor Who', Russell T. Davies created a groundbreaking drama/comedy about gay life in England at the dawn of the new millennium. The show didn't preach; it didn't present its main characters with that "noble savage" type of portrayal you usually find when somebody is trying to right the wrongs for some down-trodden group of poeple in a tele-play.

The gay characters of 'Queer As Folk' were presented as if they were like any other character on TV; their homosexuality nothing more than just one more aspect of their nature, not the driving force of their existence. They weren't piled under a load of angst as though they had to suffer spiritually just because they were gay; they knew how to fully enjoy themselves. (But in the case of Stuart, this obsessive, narcissistic need to have a good time without worrying about the consequences proved to be a fault; so that the show made the case that neither extreme in the portrayal of gays was the right course of action.)

Vince Tyler was the stolid, dependable center for his small circle of friends, but inwardly he had a major desire for his friend Stuart; he had a jones for Jones. It could very well be that Vince is an older second cousin of Rose, first cousin to her Dad, and it's because of the distance between them that no mention of her or her mother Jackie came up during the run of 'Queer As Folk'. (I could picture their mothers, Hazel and Jackie respectively, getting along famously at family outings.)

Since Vince was open about his sexual preference, Rose would have known about it and more than likely had been comfortable about it. That's why she felt at ease in pegging the Doctor's attitude on some subject as being "that's so gay".

And it puts a different spin on her initial reaction to the "laid-back" nature of Captain Jack Harkness later in the series - she wasn't necessarily registering shock that this renegade Time Agent was attracted both to her and the Doctor. It might have been that Rose was surprised to find that people from the future were so openly free and easy with their sexuality.

(Considering the current climate sometimes, it seems like our descendants are doomed to be rubber-stamped to fit society's prevailing morality.)

I find it interesting that in both the show he created and in the one which he has revitalized, out of all possible surnames he could have chosen, Russell T. Davies picked "Tyler" for both Vince and Rose. For all I know, it's an in-joke shout-out to someone very near and dear to him.

But wouldn't it be fun if in the second season of the series, before Billie Piper leaves the show as Rose Tyler, Vince Tyler crossed over from 'Queer As Folk' to meet the tenth 'Doctor Who'?

There is, as always when dealing with a universe with so many individual creators, a bit of a contradiction for both shows. Vince Tyler happens to be a big fan of 'Doctor Who'. In fact, at one point he even quotes one of the previous incarnations of the Doctor:

"Unrequited love!
It's fantastic, 'cause it never has to change,
It never has to grow up,
And it never has to die!"

(Hrrmmm.... notice how both QAF quotes contain the word "fantastic"? It came to be the most popular word used by the current incarnation of the Doctor.........)

But there's a way to splain our way around this apparent Zonk. In this very first episode we got to meet an obsessive student of everything pertaining to the Doctor, and Clive put all of his research into the mystery onto the Web. So it's possible that Vince could be familiar with the website rather than the TV show.

And if it is mentioned as a TV show, that doesn't necessarily mean that they're referring to the TV show we know here in the Real World. It could be that there have been TV specials based on Clive's findings.

(If you want to see what Clive's website looks like, visit the link for "Who's Doctor Who?" to be found over on the left hand side of this page......)

One last O'Bservation from the Real World perspective......

Christopher Eccleston auditioned for the role of Stuart Jones. He withdrew himself from consideration shortly after his audition, saying he felt he was "too old" for the part. When he withdrew, he recommended they audition Aidan Gillen.

All in all, it's just as well. This way, we got a fresh new Doctor without any preconceived image of him from Toobworld.

Besides, his ears are too big to be convincing as Stuart......

(I can hear his response now - "Hey!")


* The Nestene used to be "Octopoid" in physical form, but they got rid of their tentacles to become a gestalt energy source. They were able to take control of plastic objects to do their work for them.

And since both the Fourth Doctor and Huckleberry Hound appeared on 'The Simpsons'..... Squiddly Diddly!

Sunday, June 19, 2005


Fifteen years I've waited for a new series for 'Doctor Who', with only a single TV-movie to feed the jones. Finally, it's here! The 27th season! (Some out there consider it the first and to hell with what came before.)

As soon as it returned, the season is over; thirteen episodes. Last night the final episode aired in England, marking the end of Christopher Eccleston's involvement as the ninth incarnation of the Doctor and introducing David Tennant as the next regeneration.

Not that we in the USA are going to see the show anytime soon - an American market for the series has yet to be be delivered.

But that's a mere quibble for your humble servant. As a Caretaker for Toobworld, there was no way I was going to be denied seeing this new series. Thanks to the power of the Internet and the advances in its technology (like bit-torrents), if you're that determined to see something, you can find it.

I do support efforts to curb the piracy of theatrical releases, but if it's a show that was broadcast over the airwaves, than I think it's fair game.

I know I'm probably in the wrong, that there are those out there who don't agree with me. So in order to protect my source for seeing the full 13-episode run of the new 'Doctor Who', I'll only identify my source as Markhael.

The show has been incredibly rich with information to help expand the TV Universe, and it's given me reason to delve deeper into the show's own history as well as search for connections to other TV series.

Markhael was nice enough to invite me over for all-night viewing marathons and hhee loaned whatever episodes from the show's long past which I thought might help illuminate some plot point in the current season.

So for all the help tendered for my blog's summer theme.....