Saturday, July 2, 2005


[Thought it was going to be about the Japanese hero? Well, surprise! This is yet ANOTHER essay about the new 'Doctor Who'. If you're a reader from the United States, chances are good that you haven't seen the series at all - it has yet to find a market here. So there will be spoilers a-plenty within and you may want to skip reading altogether.

You have been warned.....]

With the second 'Doctor Who' episode for the Ninth Doctor, "The End Of The World", we learned that Gallifrey has been destroyed and that he is the last of its people, the Time Lords. (The Doctor will be proven wrong about one of the other major combatants being all dead later in the series, so he may be wrong about this as well.)

But we learned a little more about this apparently all-encompassing war in the first episode as well. The villain of "Rose" was a segment of the Nestene Consciousness, which was planning a new invasion of the Earth (having tried twice before in the original series). In order to survive, the Nestene Consciousness needed the rich toxins in the Earth's atmosphere which had been churned out by the humans.

During the war fought by the Time Lords, all of the protein planets harvested by the Nestene had been destroyed - sort of a "scorched Earth" policy on a galactic scale. Villains though they may be to the Terran point of view, it's not clear whether or not the Nestene were a part of this all-out war. As we will learn in the next episode, many inhabitants of other star systems were caught in the crossfire as it were. And the destruction of the Nestene's protein planets may have been just a side skirmish that had nothing to do with the Nestene themselves.

It's hard to think of that uni-mind energy source as being an innocent bystander, but there you are.......

The Nestene must have realized the far-reaching consequences and outcome of that war; otherwise it might have respected the Doctor's invocation of Convention 15 of the Shadow Proclamations when he requested a parley. But if the major adherents to that treaty had been all wiped out, why bother honoring the old covenants yourself?

So with the first two episodes, that's all we know about this Great War. But it seems to me that if the Doctor is the only Time Lord left, he must have been somehow at the heart of the last conflagration; more than likely he caused it. And to do so, he had to remain outside the influence of whatever doomsday device was used, in order to insure that all of the enemy was destroyed as well. That would splain how he survived.

But the activation of that ultimate weapon must have taken its toll on him as well. I think it triggered his regeneration from his eighth incarnation to his latest bodily form. (And I think it couldn't have been too long before we first met him as played by Christopher Eccleston either. There's just something totally off about his personality - almost manic, crazed, even deranged! - that suggests the after-effects we've seen in the past from a regeneration.)

And that would mean this Great War was waged by the Eighth Doctor as portrayed by Paul McGann.

From a logical, outside-the-Box viewpoint, this has to be. Christopher Eccleston only did this one season of 'Doctor Who' and walked away. (I'm still a bit confoozled by the details - I don't always stay up to date on behind the scenes details - but I think that was always the original plan. Eccleston was just going to help get the series relaunched and then move on. However, once the press found out, the BBC tried to cover their bureaucratic butts by claiming he was walking away to avoid being typecast.)

At any rate, he's left the series and David Tennant has assumed the role. And I think it's going to be a long time before they can lure Eccleston back for any kind of "Multiple Doctors" storylines. So it doesn't seem likely that he'd come back for the War prequel either.

But that story would be the perfect showcase for Paul McGann, who (through no fault of his own, really) got screwed out of the chance to continue with the role on TV, after he did the pilot movie in 1996. (He's done radio serials as the Doctor and even a webcast resolution to the "Shada" storyline, but for the TV Universe, he's been shut out of the loop.)

This would make for either a fantastic TV movie, or a mini-series, and would give McGann the closure he deserves for his contributions towards reviving the series.

And it doesn't have to pick up exactly where the TV movie left off. Many years could have passed as he and Grace continued their journeys in the TARDIS, which could help splain away any signs of aging that McGann might now be displaying.

As for Grace, I don't think you'd even have to worry about rehiring Daphne Ashbrook to play the role. What if she stayed with him for decades (even though only ten years have passed for us here on Earth)? The producers could always hire a much older actress to then play Grace. (Personally, I'm thinking along the lines of the actress from 'Waiting For God', Stephanie Cole, who played Diana.)

I would think the Doctor, having proclaimed his love for her in the TV movie, would have remained true, despite her aging. And it could be worked into the main plot of the War - perhaps she gets killed early on in the story by the main antagonists. Not only would that provide a driving motivation for the Doctor to seek ultimate revenge, but it would help remove the character of Grace from the storyline in the most dramatic fashion for a companion since Adric bit... the dust.

And the removal of Grace from the story would make a lot of fanboys happy. Not that it bothered me, but they didn't like the idea of the Doctor snogging his companion. Still, it's not like it's without precedent for the Doctor to fall in love with a human. Aside from the fact he revealed that his mother was from Earth, there's also the matter that he has (had?) a grand-daughter out there in the Universe named Susan Foreman. The way she was played by Carol Ann Ford, it seems obvious that she was part human.

At any rate, sooner or later this War should be a storyline for the series. Obsessive fans are going to demand it after awhile. And as such, Paul McGann deserves the chance to be involved in that story. It would also give him the chance to have his grace note: the regeneration scene. For this, it might be nice to get Eccleston back for a cameo to complete the transformation, but with the wonders of CGI, you might not even need him! They didn't need Colin Baker to start a regeneration scene (He refused to do it.), and the special effects weren't as advanced as they are now. All they'd need do is find an appropriate shot of Eccleston and then blend McGann into it.

So there it is. My proposal. I'm sure I'm not the first one to suggest it. And who knows? I throw it out there to be considered, and perchance someone with the clout happens upon it while googling and Runcible's your uncle! It ends up getting made and added to the official canon.

Until then, I suppose it will have to remain just this fanboy's fantasy.


Friday, July 1, 2005


Even someone better known in the music world can make a name for himself in Toobworld - and that's not even including appearances on talk shows like 'Oprah', variety shows like 'Saturday Night Live' and even game shows like 'Family Feud'.

Luther Vandross, who passed away today after a long struggle following a stroke several years ago, had all of those credits and more.

But he also secured for himself a position in the League of Themselves with several appearances by his fictional self.

"Beverly Hills, 90210" playing "Himself" in episode: "My Funny Valentine" (episode # 7.19) 12 February 1997
"New York Undercover" playing "Himself" in episode: "Toy Soldiers" (episode # 2.17) 8 February 1996
"227" playing "Himself" in episode: "Do Not Pass Go: Part 2" (episode # 5.19) 10 February 1990
"Sesame Street" playing "Himself" (episode # 1.1) 10 November 1969



I've always been a big fan of names; one reason I still find enjoyment in the line of work which keeps the roof over my head - I come across thousands of interesting names in any given year.

A great name has poetry and power, either summing up the traits of a character or making some kind of comment (ironic or otherwise) on that character.

Classics of literature are filled with great names - Ahab, Natty Bumppo, Hester Prynne, Bilbo Baggins, and Vito Corleone. And there are great ones in the movies - Waldo Lydecker, Margo Channing, Travis Bickle, Buckaroo Banzai, and Charles Foster Kane.

And as this is a website celebrating the universe of Television, of course we find there are great names in the annals of Toobworld as well - Archie Bunker, Maxwell Smart, Marcus Welby, Fred Mertz, and Dharma Finkelstein.

There were always the bland and the boring names over the years - Jeff Miller, Timmy Martin, Mark Craig, Mark Sloan, - but at least many of those characters were still interesting. Having a great name doesn't guarantees a great character or show, and the TV Landscape is littered with their headstones - Nick Freno, Royal Paine, Serena Southerlyn....

I know there will be naysayers but Chachi Arcola and Steven Urkel are interesting names, but the characters were a waste of prime time.

The bland names got out of hand with many sitcom characters who were played by big name stars; they'd use the same first name and just a plain, white-bread surname. Andy Taylor, Danny Williams, Lucy Carter, Mary Richards, Bob Hartley, Roseanne Conner, Tim Taylor..... Geez, Jerry Seinfeld just chucked it all and played himself.

Of course it probably didn't matter, since those shows provided lots of entertainment without the need for singular names. And at least there were always those characters who bucked the trend - Rob Petrie, Cliff Huxtable, Victor Sifuentes, Rhoda Morgenstern, Simka Gravas, and Napoleon Solo and Illya Kuryakin.

Why am I bringing this up? I've been thinking about 'Star Trek' now that we're facing a TV schedule with no 'Trek' for the first time in about 18 years.

And I finally saw the last 'Star Trek' movie, "Nemesis", just the other day. In a discarded final scene, Steven Culp showed up as the new First Officer on the Enterprise now that Riker was going off to helm the Titan. His name was Martin Madden - yeesh. Gives me those early Marvel Comics flashbacks.

Anyway, there always seemed to be this separation between the TV shows set in the present day "now" and 'Star Trek' in the future. Far too many contemporary shows refer to 'Trek' as a TV show, when they shouldn't even be aware of it; it's part of their unknown future.

It would have been nice if, over the years and the four different series, 'Star Trek' would occasionally have a character appear who had such a distinctive name that you just knew (s)he must have been descended from the TV character with the same moniker whom we knew in the past

But maybe this is a case where it's a good thing we had so many Toobworlders with those bland last names.
Timmy Martin? Perhaps the great-plus grandfather of Dr. Martin who was in charge of the sickbay after Dr. Crusher fell into a coma. ('Star Trek: The Next Generation' - "Violations").

Or Jeff Miller - perhaps he founded the family line that led to Wyatt Miller, who was betrothed to Deanna Troi when they were both very young. ('ST:TNG' - "Haven")

And Christopher Pike, the captain of the Enterprise before James Kirk... well, we've hypothesized in the past that he was descended from Cyrus Pike, a young ex-gunfighter in the Old American West who could be found in a 'Gunsmoke' spin-off, 'Dirty Sally'.

There have been a few Ensign Tylers on different shows in the franchise - perhaps related to Rose Tyler of the new 'Doctor Who'?

So that's going to be one of my projects over the summer while there's a bit of a dry spell (at least from the major networks). I'll be poring through the personnel registrars of the various 'Star Trek' series. I'll be searching for those characters who might be descended from the TV characters of their past.

None of it will be conclusive, but it should be fun. Stay tuned!



British actor Sir Ian Holm is to play Pope John Paul II in a four-hour television mini-series. He will portray the late Pontiff from his 1978 elevation to the papacy until his deah, and a younger actor will play out the role of Karol Wojtyla's earlier years.

The mini-series will cover topics like his time as a student in Poland during the war, the assassination attempt in 1981, and even his Parkinson's Disease. I'm not sure how the script has been structured, but my suggestion would be to do all the earlier years material as flashbacks. Otherwise, we'd have to wait about an hour before Sir Ian Holm finally shows up.

However it's presented, the script has already been vetted by Vatican historians. Of course, they're probably far from unbiased, so I hope it was also checked out by more independent experts.

Then again, those Vatican historians will probably have the final say if the producers of the mini-series want to stay in their good graces. Otherwise they might find that the permission they were granted to film in St Peter's Square and its surroundings revoked. As a fictional character, Pope John Paul II will be represented in the Toobworld Crossover Hall of Fame by Gene Greytak, who played the role in so many TV show episodes.

But there will now be three major presentations of John Paul's life in the TV Universe in biographical TV movies and mini-series. Sir Ian Holm joins Albert Finney and Piotr Adamczyk in assuming the mantle. And the arnice, the alb, the cincture, the maniple, the stole, the chasuble, the zucchetto, the mitre, and the fanon.

(I just flashed on this video image of ZZ Top helping the Pope become a sharp-dressed man!)

So I figure that Finney, Adamczyk, and Holm will each be sent off on missionary work to represent the TV Pope in different TV dimensions.

Thank God for 'Sliders'!


PS: Not that Peter Jackson will ever read this, but should all the legal entanglements get cleared up for the filming of "The Hobbit" as a prequel to his LOTR trilogy, he might want to at least take a look to see who gets cast as the younger Wojtyla in this production. I'm sure the producers of the mini-series will casting more for someone who resembles Sir Ian Holm than someone who looks like a younger version of the Pope. And that actor should then be considered for playing the younger Bilbo.


I spent the day at the Museum of Television & Radio with no real objective in mind, just looking for the chance to explore their library.

I did look up what they had for both Paul Winchell and John Fiedler, and chose "Death Of A Fruitman", an episode from 'The Bob Newhart Show'. It dealt with Mr. Giannelli's death by zucchini and was one of my fave episodes of that series. As for Paul Winchell, nothing struck my fancy although I might check out the one episode they have of his old show with Jerry Mahoney some day.

Instead, I picked three of the four episodes they have of 'Doctor Who' - one each for William Hartnell ("The War Machines" Part One), Tom Baker ("Robot" Part One), and Peter Davison ("The Visitation" Part One).

They also had a Colin Baker episode dealing with the Cybermen. But as I was only allowed four choices, and I did want to hear that great poem about Dr. Hartley one more time, I had to put that one aside. (Nothing personal, Colin!)

I also stopped off at my favorite DVD bootleg location in Midtown (Sorry, not telling!) and picked up four new additions to the Library of Toobworld Central:

'The Scarecrow Of Romney Marsh' - the Disney mini-series starring Patrick McGoohan.

I'm a big fan of both Patrick McGoohan and "The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen", so how could I resist?

'Sherlock Holmes In New York' - starring Roger Moore, Patrick Macnee, and John Huston

I'm more of a fan of Holmesian pastiches than the original canon; I suppose that makes me a heretic. (I became a Sherlockian with "The Seven Per Cent Solution".)

And it doesn't matter if this can fit into the official timeline or not - Toobworld has plenty of alternate dimensions where this version of the Legend can find a home.

'Dr. Cook's Garden' - a movie of the week starring Bing Crosby, Frank Converse, and Blythe Danner.

It's based on a Broadway play by Ira Levin ("The Stepford Wives", "The Boys From Brazil") which featured Burl Ives and Keir Dullea. I remember seeing it back in the early seventies and being really fascinated with it: a combination of the suspense, the shock ending, and a radical role for Der Bingle.

I'm curious to see now if it will hold up.

And finally.....

"Unsold TV Pilots 4" - the classic 'Lookwell' with Adam West, and 'Poochinsky' with Peter Boyle

I saw 'Lookwell' on Trio and was totally confused as to why it had such an underground fan following. But it linked in to 'Lou Grant', so what did I care?

As for 'Poochinsky', I did see that when it got burned off in a pilot showcase years ago. Sure, it's crap. But it supports my Toobworld claim as to why dogs can talk on TV - they are reincarnated humans.

Besides, I have a friend who's an ADA here in Manhattan. And he has this thing about talking dogs on TV. I don't know if it's an obsession, a fear, or an acid flashback, but I can't wait to subject him to this!

Yeah, I'm a baaaad boy.


Thursday, June 30, 2005


As always, a warning to my American visitors:

The newly revived version of 'Doctor Who' has yet to find a Market on American Television. I've been able to see all 13 episodes, but I have my sources. So in my discussions of aspects for each of the episodes, I may be revealing some information you might want to avoid, in order to maintain the element of surprise when you finally get the chance to watch the show.

Of course, I don't kid myself that anything I write is to be considered deathless prose, so it's more than likely you'll forget all that will be revealed here by the time the show gets on the Tube in the States.

"The End Of The World"
Written by Russell T. Davies
Directed by Euros Lyn

The second episode of the new 'Doctor Who' ranks as one of my favorites. It really thrust the look of the series into the 21st Century, leaving the community theatre sets and rubber monster suits behind forever.

Davies showed an excellent imagination in creating new aliens for the series with the guests invited to witness the coming destruction of the Earth. He doesn't just phone it in by slapping a contoured forehead onto an actor and proclaiming them to be some new humanoid species as the 'Star Trek' series were wont to do. (His best new vision of aliens won't show up yet for another two episodes, when we finally meet the Slitheen family....)

The Moxx of Balhoun, the Face of Boe, the human/tree hybrids from the Forests of Cheem, the birdlike couple Mr. and Mrs. Pacoon..... nothing so fancy that CGI was required to create these species, but still the sense of the alien was well established. For instance, The Moxx of Balhoun is still a human actor inside a puppet-like contraption, but it's all in the way he's posed.

The Face of Boe was the sponsor of the event but that doesn't mean he (she? it?) owned the viewing platform. I hold fast to my theory that the family that owned Milliway's, the Restaurant at the End of the Universe, owns Platform One. The Face of Boe would be just the client who booked the reservation.

Davies also came up with some great names, and since I'm such a fan of "neocognomina", I had a great time as they rolled across the wrinkles of my brain: The City-State of Binding Light, Hop Pyleen, the tree people Jabe, Lute, and Coffa, and the Adherents of the Repeated Meme. (More on them later.)

For her first trip in the TARDIS, Rose was offered her choice of destination - anywhere in Time. But the Doctor pooh-poohed her first choice - 100 years into the Future - as being too dull. So I decided to check not only the 'Star Trek Chronology' book, but also my own private collection of historical data for the ever-evolving Toobworld Timeline to see if he was right. (I have yet to incorporate any dates from 'Enterprise' which may prove relevant.)

If we treat the TARDIS controls more like a digital radio rather than a simple dial, we have to lock them into exactly 100 years into the Future - 2105. In that year, eight women were brutally murdered, knifed to death, by an unknown assailant in the Martian Colonies. It would be more than a century before we learned that the "Wolf In The Fold" was an evil energy source known as Redjac. During the Victorian age on Earth, it was known as Jack the Ripper. ('Star Trek')

But those were isolated events, not something exemplifying the era, so maybe that's why the Doctor didn't take the murders into consideration when he proclaimed 2105 as being dull.

Stretching out the parameters five years in both directions, I suppose it was a dull time - at least to a being who had gone through as much as the Doctor had by that point in his lives.

Earth scientists prove the existence of telepaths and begin keeping genetic records of telepath families.
('Babylon 5')

Toobworld Theory - It is probably only at this time that the Earth Government makes the official announcement of this. Telepath studies were being conducted back in the mid-1960s in the controlled experiment gulag known as "The Village".
('The Prisoner')

Mars is colonized.
('Babylon 5')

Toobworld Note - This should probably be "re-colonized". There were settlers on Mars at the beginning of the New Millennium, - complete with an atmosphere for the planet, - but the War of Nerves with the Mysterons and the Eugenics Wars put an end to that.
('The Martian Chronicles', 'Captain Scarlet And The Mysterons', 'Star Trek')

Ensign Kim mentioned this date as when Mars was colonized by humans from Earth.
('Star Trek: Voyager')

Toobworld Note - I don't see a discrepancy in the competing dates. Kim does say it was colonized by humans from Earth. It could be that the majority of settlers who arrived earlier were either from the Lunar Colonies, or humans who had been raised on space stations.

Human cloning experiment approved and successfully attempted for breeding new workers.
('Mercy Point')

The Earth Government begins to regulate telepaths.
('Babylon 5')

The Centauri conquer the Narn.
('Babylon 5')

Well, it might have been fun to see the Doctor and Rose get involved in that conflict!

Two more temporal items of note: the Doctor alludes to being on board the Titanic, or at least close at hand when it launched its maiden voyage. As he has had several regenerations and can travel in Time, he may have been able to do both.

If he was on board, the Doctor was just one more time traveller mucking up the works so much that the ship has become a nexus for the launch of several new time-lines and alternate dimensions. ('The Time Tunnel' and 'Voyagers!' are two other series that have featured the "unsinkable" vessel.)

Another event to mark on the calendar would be the New Roman Empire of 12,005. The way Rose laughed at his suggestion to explore that time made me wonder if she was suggesting the Doctor might like to hang out with a group of men wearing togas. It won't be the last time she pokes fun at his sexuality.....

The basic storyline for the episode can be described as "Agatha Christie in Outer Space": a collection of the Beautiful People in Society ("beautiful" and "people" being relative terms), seemingly unrelated, gathered together when a murder takes place.

With that theme in mind, I thought at first the Moxx of Balhoun might turn out to be the extra-terrestrial equivalent of Hercule Poirot; something about his look suggested the prissy Belgian with the little grey cells at work. (But don't mention this idea to anyone you meet in outer space! According to Douglas Adams, the word "Belgium" is a universal insult.)

The first murder happened so quickly, we never even got the chance to see what type of hors dour-#, er, hors d'our-# what kind of appetizers they were served. But more than likely Swedish meatballs were on the menu. Every civilization in known space has a variant of Swedish meatballs in their cuisine. ('Babylon 5')

I've written in the past about the possibility that the humanoid trees from the Forests of Cheem were a link to a past 'Doctor Who' episode featuring the Sixth Doctor, "The Mark Of The Rani". Back on Earth in the 1820s, The Rani used a magical/scientific device which transformed humans into trees; trees which still could move somewhat of their own volition (at least as far as their limbs were concerned), and which could still reason and think.

I believe these trees, and others like them around the world who had been victims of The Rani in the past, retained their human DNA and combined with their new genomes began the quantum leap forward in evolution.

Jabe (a great character teasingly played by Yasmine Bannerman) was descended from the trees of the great rain forests on Earth. And she and her companions Lute and Coffa all had very humanistic qualities in their appearance, so I think the theory is a sound one that they had human as well as wooden ancestors in their family trees. (I'm not apologizing for that pun!)

Jabe offered a cutting from her grandfather as a gift to the Doctor and Rose. So I'm wondering if "Little Tree" made it back on board the TARDIS before they left. If so, it might be interesting to see how he develops in a few seasons time. Perhaps he might be left behind somewhere, maybe "regifted" to somebody else, and then retrieved far enough along in the Timeline for him to have grown up a bit and become a new companion.

Just an idea to consider, RTD! (Although I'm afraid the concept of an arboreal Adric might too easily fall into a Pinocchio scenario.)

Among the guests invited on board were the Adherents of the Repeated Meme. The name intrigued me so I went to the Hyper-Dictionary online to get the splainin:

Definition: /meem/ [By analogy with "gene"] Richard Dawkins's term for an idea considered as a replicator, especially with the connotation that memes parasitise people into propagating them much as viruses do.

Memes can be considered the unit of cultural evolution. Ideas can evolve in a way analogous to biological evolution. Some ideas survive better than others; ideas can mutate through, for example, misunderstandings; and two ideas can recombine to produce a new idea involving elements of each parent idea.

The term is used especially in the phrase "meme complex" denoting a group of mutually supporting memes that form an organised belief system, such as a religion. However, "meme" is often misused to mean "meme complex".

Use of the term connotes acceptance of the idea that in humans (and presumably other tool- and language-using sophonts) cultural evolution by selection of adaptive ideas has become more important than biological evolution by selection of hereditary traits. Hackers find this idea congenial for tolerably obvious reasons.

I'm sorry I asked.

But for some reason, before my head started to hurt from reading all of that, I got an idea that they may have somehow been influenced by the phrase "Bad Wolf", which we will hear or see in every episode from this point on. (Moxx says to the Face of Boe that their predicament was a "classic Bad Wolf scenario".)

If the Adherents of the Repeated Meme are somehow connected to the true meaning of "Bad Wolf", I think their actions proved that the instigator of the phrase didn't quite have everything under control as previously thought. (Okay, I don't want to give EVERYTHING away!)

Earlier here at Inner Toob, WordsSayNothing said... "The iPod line in 'The End of the World' is awesome, though I wonder if the line will be as funny ten years from now. But Britney Spears' 'Toxic' as a piece of classical music? Magnificent."

I liked the concept of a jukebox being mistaken for an iPod five billion years into the Future, and it reminded me of the definitions Miles Monroe supplied for various artifacts in the movie "Sleeper". It also reminded me of that abhorrent Pepsi commercial where the archaeologist was so stupid, he couldn't recognize the shape of a Coca Cola bottle. (I hate Pepsi, by the way. That commercial helped shaped that opinion.)

As for Britney's song, I guess I've been the fortunate son. Until this episode I was able to avoid ever hearing an example of that TPT's repertoire. So the joke of it being considered classical music was lost on me... not that I recognize every piece of classical music I might hear today however.

I did like the use of SoftCell's "Tainted Love" though. The idea of that song as being "classical" worked for me.

The sight of the destruction of the Earth, which no one actually got to see after all, truly made it "a sad and beautiful world" as Roberto Benigni once said in the movies. Even though it's five billion years into our future, the image still evoked a sense of nostalgic loss in me.

We also got to learn something more of the Doctor's mysterious past as he filled in the blanks as to what transpired in all the years since we last saw him on our TV screens.

DOCTOR: My planet's gone. It burned like the Earth. There's nothing left, just rocks and dust.
ROSE: What happened?
DOCTOR: There was a war and we lost.
ROSE: What happened to your people?
DOCTOR: I'm a Time Lord. I'm the last of the Time Lords. They've all gone. I'm left travelling on my own because there's no one else.
ROSE: There's me.

So Gallifrey is gone. I'm sure they got more of a write-up in the Hitch-Hiker's Guide To The Galaxy than just as a footnote marking them as "Mostly harmless". (Which, considering all in all, they were not!)

But I'm hoping the Doctor is mistaken about being the last of the Time Lords. He does get proven wrong about the other combatants in that horrible war in a few episodes, so there's hope for the Gallifreyans.

If there are exceptions, one automatically thinks of his arch-enemy, the Master. But there's also The Rani. And the Doctor's own grand-daughter Susan. (Wouldn't it be great if Carol Ann Ford as Susan could meet the Tenth Doctor, played by thirty-five year old David Tennant? What a mind-bender that would be for her!)

And there's always Romanadvortlundar. (I probably should have played it safe and just typed "Romana"!) She's still supposed to be in E-Space, unless she found a way back in order to fight the great Time War.


"People themselves alter so much
That there is something new to be observed in them forever."
Spoken by Elizabeth
Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice

Probably the main reason this episode ranks up there as one of my faves is because of Lady Cassandra O'Brien. As played by the incomparable Zoe Wanamaker, she had been nip/tucked over the many centuries (She was about 10,000 years old, I think.) to become nothing more than a stretched out translucent sheet of skin with eyes and a mouth. Her brain was stored in a tank below her and she was constantly being moisturized by her attendants to avoid drying out and ruining her delicately preserved image.

What a deliciously fun character she proved to be! And speaking as a member of the Clan as well as the Caretaker of Toobworld, I can't tell you how cool it was for me that the last human from the TV version of Earth should be an O'Brien! Lady Cassandra is the best O'Brien as a villain since the interrogator from George Orwell's "1984".

Here's hoping that somehow, some way, Lady Cassandra can be brought back again as a guest star. By the end of the episode that wish seems to get blowed up real good, but as this is a science fiction series about Time travel, nothing's impossible! And that way we might find out more about her life as a little BOY living in the Los Angeles Crevasse.

(To me, the name of that location means the City of Angels finally does tumble into the seas. Perhaps one day we might see it happen on 'Doctor Who'. Just so long as it doesn't happen in the Real World this coming November when I'm out there!)

Lady Cassandra dismissed all of the other humans who had scattered across the galaxy as being mongrels, now interbred with other humanoid species. We know Spock was one, as was the little girl whose father was one of the 'V' lizards. And so was the son of the 'Starman'.

But I'll bet Lady Cassandra would have been shocked to find out that her ancestors were actually from another world (not the soap opera!) as well. They were survivors from the planet Golgrafrincha, who crashed on Earth at the Dawn of Man. These petty bureaucrats and phone sanitizers were the true ancestors of the human race, not the bone-wielding ape-men who were just getting around to evolving when the Golgafrinchons showed up.

Next week: 'The Unquiet Dead' in one of my favorite periods of Time - the Victorian Age!



When you are such a unique and talented character actor as John Fiedler was, you're sure to rack up quite a long list of credits. And sooner or later certain patterns might suggest themselves, especially when dealing with the universal overview of Toobworld.

I found the following which I thought to be worthy of notice.......

"A Raisin In The Sun"
John Fiedler appeared in the original Broadway production of "A Raisin In The Sun". On the IBDb (Internet Broadway Database), he is listed as having played a character named "Karl Lindner".

Apparently he recreated that role for the movie version in 1961, but now his character was known as Mark Lindner - at least according to the IMDb (Internet Movie Database). The site also states that he once again portrayed the character - still as Mark, not Karl, - in the 1989 televersion.

Every so often I find actors/characters who are worthy of an honorary mention in the Crossover Hall of Fame for their multiversal contributions. The Pigeon Sisters of 'The Odd Couple' are the best example - played by the same actresses in the Broadway, movie, and TV versions of the Neil Simon story.

Aside from the discrepancy in the first names, perhaps John Fiedler as Mr. Lindner might be considered for such an honor one day.

Meanwhile, my advice to both databases? As Stan Laurel would put it, "Let's you and him fight."

"Star Trek" playing "Mr. Hengist" in episode: "Wolf in the Fold" (episode # 2.14) 22 December 1967
"Tom Corbett, Space Cadet" (1950) TV Series .... Cadet Alfie Higgins (1951-1954)

Mr. Hengist was an off-worlder administrator on the planet Argellus II who died in 2267. Young cadet Alfie Higgins was a member of the Solar Guards in 2350.

Since Argellus II needed to hire citizens of other worlds to run their bureaucracy (because of their own peaceful yet hedonistic tendencies), Mr. Hengist was not a native of that world. He came from Rigel IV, possessed by a murderous energy source that had once possessed a Victorian named Sebastian on Earth in the 1880s. (As seen on 'Babylon 5', that symbiotic relationship led to the terror of Jack the Ripper.)

Whether Mr. Hengist was a native of Rigel IV or not, it's likely his ancestry began on Earth. And perhaps he left his family behind on the third rock from the Sun while he journeyed the galaxy performing his bureaucratic duties. It might even be that he came from London, and that's where he first absorbed the Redjac entity after the Vorlons purged it from Sebastian.

So it's my theory that Alfie Higgins, who would have been born in 2325 (with a name like that, probably in London), was the great-grandson of Hengist.

"One Life to Live" (1968) TV Series .... Gilbert Lange/Virgil (1987)
"The Twilight Zone" playing "Field Rep" in episode: "Cavender Is Coming" (episode # 3.36) 25 May 1962

The "Field Rep" is actually an angel, as was Virgil who served as the guardian angel for Vicki Buchanan on the soap opera. As he wasn't named in the episode of 'The Twilight Zone', I can find no reason why he couldn't be the same character from 'One Life To Live'. Man, I just love the idea of that crossover!

"The Streets of San Francisco" playing "Mr. Winkler" in episode: "Mask of Death" (episode # 3.4) 14 March 1974
"Switch" playing "Harry Winkler" in episode: "Dancer" (episode # 3.6) 5 December 1977

Not to be confused with Henry Winkler!

I'd like to think that both of these characters are one and the same. And that at some point in those three intervening years, he moved down from San Francisco to Los Angeles.

I can't find any info on the 'Switch' episode, and very little about the one from 'Streets Of San Francisco'. (Man, what a long title to type! I would have punched it up with 'Frisco Streets'.)

In "Mask Of Death", John Davidson played a cross-dressing serial killer. He went out on dates with middle-aged men (who had no idea he wasn't a she) and then stabbed them through the heart with a hatpin.

So I've got this feeling that John Fiedler's character fits the vic profile perfectly. And you know what? Still not a problem! Maybe both his Winklers (Man, that sounds dirty!) had different first names, but that could just mean that they were twin brothers!

And as such, it makes a better fit for a link, since any character discrepancies can be splained away by them being twins and not the same guy.

"Kolchak: The Night Stalker" (1974) TV Series .... Gordy Spangler (1974-1975)
"Bewitched" playing "Spengler" in episode: "Three Men and a Witch on a Horse" (episode # 8.13) 15 December 1971

Here's another case for identical twins. Mr. Spengler in New York and Westport was a client of McMann & Tate (and usually not one to gamble on a horse). Gordy "The Ghoul" Spangler was a morgue attendant working in Chicago.

As to the differences in spelling the surnames, let me give you a Real World example of why this is not a discrepancy. The late Pete Duel who starred in 'Alias Smith And Jones' has a brother named Geoffrey Deuel. I believe Geoffrey kept the traditional family spelling, while Pete updated his for show business reasons.

And since it's possible that the Spangler family began in Chicago, it could be their Dad was a real horndog who slept around. After all, there's another resident of the Windy City who looks just like the both of them, one Emil Peterson. (I'll have more on Mr. Peterson in a later post.)

Spangler & Spengler could be related to an old-time radio legend named Happy Spangler. This is just conjecture, but Happy was once a mentor to comedy writer Rob Petrie who happened to also come from Illinois.... ('the Dick Van Dyke Show')

Cannon (1971) (TV) .... Jake
"Cannon" playing "Brent" in episode: "Flight Plan" (episode # 1.14) 28 December 1971

Aside from 'Columbo', many of the detective dramas from the early seventies don't have much of a presence on the Internet. It's tough trying to find something as simple as an episode guide for them.

So I have no way to confirm whether or not the characters of "Jake" and "Brent" might not in fact be "Jake Brent". It's a possibility that will have to be put on hold until the next seismic shift at TV Land, when something like 'Hunter' finally gets a stake through the heart so that the really classic detectives can get some exposure.

"Quincy" playing "County Health Commissioner" in episode: "For the Benefit of My Patients" (episode # 5.10) 22 November 1979
"Quincy" playing "Howard Clausen" in episode: "Matters of Life and Death" (episode # 3.14) 20 January 1978
Columbo: Blueprint for Murder (1972) (TV) .... Doctor

If the DVD boxed set of the first season of 'Quincy' proves popular enough, maybe all of the seasons will eventually be released. And then I can order up the appropriate discs through Netflix in order to find out if "Howard Clausen" in the third season was also - or became - the "County Health Commissioner" in season five.

Otherwise, I'd like to think his un-named doctor character from 'Columbo' became the Los Angeles Health Commissioner in the the intervening seven years.......

"McMillan and Wife" playing "Simpson" in episode: "Freefall to Terror" (episode # 3.3) 11 November 1973
"McMillan and Wife" playing "Sykes" in episode: "The Devil, You Say" (episode # 3.2) 23 October 1973

Just one episode apart from each other, and although I don't know where they stood in the production order, and even though their broadcast dates were a month apart in the 'Sunday Night Mystery Movie' on NBC, I can't believe the continuity people were asleep at the switch.

I'm thinking that this could be the case of an error at the IMDb.

Gee! The IMDb made a mistake? Who'd a thunk it???

If I'm not mistaken, Fiedler's character was a forensics technician for the San Francisco police department. And I know there were several episodes in which John Astin contributed a very funny portrayal of a similar character. And his CSI guy was definitely named Sykes. (I still haven't fully abandoned the theory that he was the father of Matt Sykes of 'Alien Nation'.)

So if Fiedler's character was called "Sykes" in that first episode by Stuart McMillan, I'll chalk it up to the Commissioner's distracted mind. I think by this time in his marriage he was beginning to suspect that Sally was illegally terminating her pregnancies.....

It could be due to another reason; one of those little quirks many citizens of Toobworld seem to have to make them more interesting to the viewers at home. Maybe in this case, Mac just has this thing about calling ALL the guys in Forensics "Sykes".

And then there's another reason why I favor the name of "Simpson" for Fiedler's character......

"McMillan and Wife" playing "Simpson" in episode: "Freefall to Terror" (episode # 3.3) 11 November 1973
"Destry" playing "Bill Simpson" in episode: "Deputy for a Day" (episode # 1.8) 3 April 1964

Tele-genetics are strong; the DNA strands which can create carbon copies from one generation to another can last for centuries. For example, Ric and AJ Simon ('Simon & Simon') had ancestors who resembled them going back to the American Revolution.

I also believe that it can even occur after thousands of years. As my example? It's been a long-standing theory that Dr. Miguelito Loveless of 'The Wild, Wild West' is descended from Alexander the Platonian who appeared in one episode of 'Star Trek'. I think the dwarf may have taken advantage of some Greek peasant girl during his sojourn on Earth circa 400 BC.

[And long-lasting genetic echoes will be my contention when I present my theory of the connection between 'NewsRadio' and 'Doctor Who' in a few weeks.....]

So I think Bill Simpson may have founded the bloodline which eventually can be traced to Mr. Simpson of the Frisco crime lab.

Guns of Diablo (1964) (TV) .... Ives
"The Travels of Jaimie McPheeters" playing "Ives" in episode: "The Day of the Reckoning" (episode # 1.26) 15 March 1964

Although these get separate mentions in the IMDb, they are technically one and the same. 'Guns Of Diablo' consisted of at least two episodes of the TV series 'The Travels Of Jaimie McPheeters' edited together.

"Peter Loves Mary" playing "Clerk" in episode: "Getting Peter's Putter" (episode # 1.22) 22 March 1961
"Get Smart" playing "Mr. Hercules" in episode: "Classification: Dead" (episode # 3.12) 23 December 1967

"Peter Loves Mary" was an early sitcom which took place in Oakdell. Might it be possible that one of John Fiedler's many other characters - even Emil Peterson of 'The Bob Newhart Show' - once worked as a clerk in a store? (Based on the episode's title, I'm assuming he sold sporting goods. Hrmmmmm, that is a very suggestive title.)

That's the great thing about characters with no names - you can assign them to just about anybody else!

My choice for the best bet? Mr. Hercules, the KAOS agent who was a physical fitness nut. If it really was a sporting goods store, perhaps it was also serving as a front for the evil organization to keep it hidden from CONTROL.


"Police Story" playing "Richard Steele" in episode: "The Ripper" (episode # 1.15) 12 February 1974

Did Mr. Steele ever get called by the nickname of "Dick"?

That would be... unfortunate.

And interesting that the title's name would be "The Ripper". Somewhat prophetic (at least in the inner timeline of Toobworld, not that of the Real World broadcast schedule) considering that about 300 years into the future, the latest incarnation of Jack The Ripper would look like Richard Steele......


Wednesday, June 29, 2005


During the summer doldrums, I'm catching up on shows I missed for one reason or another. One of these shows is 'Stacked' on FOX with Pamela Anderson.

Tonight they replayed the pilot episode. And from it I culled a great trivia tidbit which adds to the long list of references for the tele-version of Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut.

Dr. Edward Berlinger is a noted psychiatrist who won the Nobel Prize and wrote an 800 page book on discovering one's self through the sub-conscious.

He also happened to have strangled his wife with his Nobel Prize and then stuffed her head in the freezer.

So when it comes to mentally unbalanced criminals among the faculty at Yale, I guess Professor William Omaha MacElroy, head of the Department of Egyptology, is no longer the top bulldawg.



In 1969, Paul Winchell made a pilot for a TV show which never got on the air. This is what the IMDb had to say about it:

Vernon's Volunteers (1969) (TV) .... Chief Vernon
In 1969, he starred in an unsold sitcom pilot for CBS called "Vernon's Volunteers." The plot concerned the enthusiastic but incompetent volunteer fire department who protects the small town of Vernon from burning to the ground. He played the fire chief.

In the book "Unsold Television Pilots (1955 through 1989)", Lee Goldberg wrote this entry:

"Vernon's Volunteers. 30 min. Production Company: CBS Productions. Director: Charles Barton. Producer: Si Rose. Writer/Creator: Walter Kempley. The misadventures of the willing, but inept, volunteer fire department in the small, rural town of Vernon. Joe Flynn played the chairman of the town council and Paul Winchell was the fire chief. Other cast members included Mickey Shaughnessy and Cliff Norton."

The IMDb also lists Ron ('Murder, She Wrote') Masak and Whitey Hughes, great stuntman from 'The Wild, Wild West' as being involved with the pilot.

So where was Vernon located? Nearly forty years on, it hardly makes a difference, especially since the series didn't sell.

Well, that's not good enough reason to stop me! As a proud expatriate of the Nutmeg State as well as the leading proponent for Toobworld, I want to make the case that it's the Vernon to be found in the state of Connecticut.

The Town of Vernon is a residential community located east of Hartford on Interstate 84 in north central Connecticut. Even though I had to drive past it on my way to UConn at Storrs, I don't know much about the town. So the following info is courtesy of the town's website.

The history of Vernon is one of industrialization, urbanization, suburbanization and regionalization. It's a suburban community and a commercial center for neighboring towns. And the former Rockville mills section has made a transition from being primarily an industrial and commercial center to being a professional and governmental center. It is the site of local government, education, and State of Connecticut administrative offices.

Vernon was first settled in 1716 by families from East Windsor, so it's possible that Chief Vernon's family was one of them and they were the inspiration for the name. Vernon was incorporated in 1808, when it was partitioned from the town of Bolton. (As a side note of information, the palindrome for Bolton is Notlob.)

Because of the Hockanum and Tankerhoosen Rivers, Vernon had plenty of mills and power looms during the Industrial Revolution, mostly dealing with cotton and fine woolens. But since World War II, the textile industry entered a regional decline which continued steadily over the following decades.

Industrialization led to the urbanization of Rockville, while the rest of Vernon remained agricultural and rural. So there's a mark in its favor as being the setting for 'Vernon's Volunteers'.

The Vernon Historical Society admits that no one knows with certainty just how Vernon got its name. Who named it, when, or in whose honor are all a matter of conjecture.

Some early records say that it was named VERNON after "Mount Vernon," Washington's home in Virginia. Other accounts say that Vernon was named from the French word, "verdure" which means "green vegetation." Its hills were covered with virgin forests of green trees and its valleys lush with green grasses.

It has also been surmised that it was named for the town of Vernon in Evreux Province in northern France. So if the town's historical society doesn't know for sure, my theory works just as well. We're dealing with the telefictional town of Vernon rather than the historical one, so the idea that it was named for one of Chief Vernon's ancestors is as good as any.

As one would expect from any small TV community like Cicely, Alaska, or Fernwood, Ohio, or the ultimate classic, Hooterville, there should be signs of off-beat individuality and eccentricities. So why should Stars Hollow and Dunn's River be the only Connecticut towns populated with residents who march to the beat of a different drummer?

On the Town of Vernon's official website, you can (for the moment) find this web link:

"Read some interesting comments from an ammeter history buff"

"Ammeter". T'hee!

I'm not sure how long it may be up now, though. Before posting this essay, I wrote them a letter alerting them to the spelling error.

Here's the link for the Town of Vernon's website:

And best of all, the town Vernon has a volunteer fire department, and Vernon's Volunteers have their own website as well:

I didn't stay there for more than just a cursory glance (They certainly like their pictures of twisted metal car wrecks!), but I doubt I would have found any mention of Chief Vernon in their history.

But then, they're only dealing with Reality. Pshaw!


Tuesday, June 28, 2005


In such a visual medium as Television, it takes a real gift to be known more for just your voice. Paul Winchell, even when standing right there in front of the camera, was best known for his voice - especially when he was throwing it as a "belly-talker", a ventriloquist.

And then there are all of those cartoon voices he supplied, most notably as Tigger in so many short films. "Winnie The Pooh And The Blustery Day" marked Winchell's first appearance as Tigger and I like to think that it was his robust over-the-top playful energy that helped earn the short an Oscar.

But do you know what was my favorite of all his voice-over roles? That of the Scrubbing Bubble in the Dow commercial back in the 1970s. There was just something about his energy and verve, and the earnest pride he took in his work as a cleanser.

"Oh, we work hard! We do! We do! We really do! Woohoo!"

I've even got one of the promotional rubber toys which I paid a nice penny for at some memorabilia convention because I enjoyed the ads so much.

But Paul Winchell was more than just an entertainer. As many of his obits have noted, he was also an accomplished inventor and he held many patents; none of which was more famous than for the artificial heart he created.

During the run of 'St. Elsewhere', the show had a sub-plot over several episodes about a ventriloquist who invented an artificial heart, and Winchell was asked if he'd like to play the role. He turned them down and so Alan Young was tapped for the honors.

I always wondered why he didn't the offer, especially since he wasn't getting much screen time, face-wise during the 80s. But perhaps he felt that he already had accomplished the feat in real life; why sully it with a fictionalized version that didn't tell the true story?

Then again, he had no problem playing a fictional ventriloquist in an episode of 'The Dick Van Dyke Show'......

Since he appeared as the tele-version of himself in an episode of 'The Lucy Show' and because he hosted his own variety show with his "pals" Jerry Mahoney and Knucklehead Smiff, as well as hosting 'Runaround', someday Paul Winchell will be made an honorary member of the Toobworld Crossover Hall of Fame. I'll be proud to use my Birthday Honors option to grant him entry.

"The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh" (1988) TV Series (voice) .... Tigger (1988-1989)
"The Gummi Bears" (1985) TV Series (voice) .... Zummi (1985-1989)
"Meatballs and Spaghetti" (1982) TV Series (voice)
"Heathcliff" (1980) TV Series (voice) .... Marmaduke (1981-1982)
"The Smurfs" (1981) TV Series (voice) .... Gargamel (1981-1989)/Baby Smurf/Nosey Smurf
"Spider-Man" (1981) TV Series (voice)
"Casper and the Angels" (1979) TV Series (voice)
"Yogi's Treasure Hunt" (1978) TV Series (voice) .... Dick Dastardly."The C.B. Bears" (1977) TV Series (voice) .... Shake
"The Skatebirds" (1977) TV Series (voice) .... Moe Howard/Woofer
"Fred Flintstone and Friends" (1977) TV Series (voice)
"The Three Robonic Stooges" (1977) TV Series (voice) .... Moe
"Clue Club" (1976) TV Series (voice) .... Woofer
"The Oddball Couple" (1975) TV Series (voice) .... Fleabag
"Hong Kong Phooey" (1974) TV Series (voice)
"These Are the Days" (1974) TV Series (voice)
"Wheelie and the Chopper Bunch" (1974) TV Series (voice) .... Revs
"Goober and the Ghost-Chasers" (1973) TV Series (voice) .... Goober
"Help! It's the Hair Bear Bunch" (1971) TV Series (voice) .... Bubi Bear
"Dastardly and Muttley in Their Flying Machines" (1969) TV Series (voice) .... Dick Dastardly/The General
"The Perils of Penelope Pitstop" (1969) TV Series (voice) .... Clyde/Softy
"The Banana Splits Adventure Hour" (1968) TV Series (voice) .... Fleegle
"Wacky Races" (1968) TV Series (voice) .... Dick Dastardly/Clyde/Pvt. Meekley
"The Jetsons" (1962) TV Series (voice) .... Additional Voices

The Tiny Tree (1975) (TV) (voice) .... Turtle
Adams of Eagle Lake (1975) (TV) .... Monty
"The ABC Saturday Superstar Movie" (voice) in episode: "The Banana Splits in Hocus Pocus Park" 25 November 1972
Tabitha and Adam and the Clown Family (1972) (TV) (voice) .... Ronk/Mr. McGurk/Haji/Ducks/Railroad Conductor

The Kingdom Chums: Little David's Adventure (1986) (TV) (voice) .... King Saul
Dr. Seuss on the Loose (1973) (TV) (voice) .... Joey/Sam-I-Am/Sneetches

"Garfield and Friends" playing "Mr. Baggett" (voice) in episode: "Supermarket Mania" (episode # 3.18)
"Ghost Story" playing "Carlson" in episode: "The Ghost of Potter's Field" (episode # 1.21) 23 March 1973
"McMillan and Wife" playing "TV Interviewer" in episode: "Cop of the Year" (episode # 2.3) 19 November 1972
"Love, American Style" in episode: "Love and the New Act" (episode # 4.3c) 29 September 1972
"Love, American Style" in episode: "Love and Lover's Lane" (episode # 3.21d) 18 February 1972
"The Brady Bunch" playing "Skip Farnum" in episode: "And Now a Word from Our Sponsor" (episode # 3.11) 5 November 1971
"Love, American Style" in episode: "Love and the Nutsy Girl" (episode # 2.18b) 29 January 1971
"Love, American Style" in episode: "Love and the Serious Wedding" (episode # 2.17d) 22 January 1971
"Nanny and the Professor" playing "Herbert T. Peabody" in episode: "The Humanization of Herbert T. Peabody" (episode # 2.13) 25 December 1970
"Love, American Style" in episode: "Love and the Dummies" (episode # 1.10b) 1 December 1969
"The Virginian" playing "Jingo" in episode: "Dark Corridor" (episode # 7.10) 27 November 1968
"The Lucy Show" playing "Doc Putman" in episode: "Lucy Puts Main Street on the Map" (episode # 5.18) 30 January 1967 & in episode: "Main Street U.S.A." (episode # 5.17) 23 January 1967
"The Lucy Show" playing "Paul Winchell" in episode: "Lucy and Paul Winchell" (episode # 5.4) 3 October 1966
"The Dick Van Dyke Show" playing "Claude Wilbur" in episode: "Talk to the Snail" (episode # 5.25) 23 March 1966
"Perry Mason" playing "Henry Clement" in episode: "The Case of the Nervous Neighbor" (episode # 7.18) 13 February 1964
"77 Sunset Strip" playing "Skeets Riley" in episode: "Falling Stars" (episode # 5.13) 4 January 1963
"The Beverly Hillbillies" playing "Grandpa Homer Winch" in episode: "No Place Like Home" (episode # 1.14) 26 December 1962 & "Home for Christmas" (episode # 1.13) 19 December 1962

"Runaround" (1972) TV Series .... Host
"Keep Talking" (1958) TV Series .... Himself/panelist
"The Paul Winchell and Jerry Mahoney Show" (1950) TV Series .... Himself
"The Bigelow Show" (1948) TV Series .... Himself (regular performer)
"Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In" playing "Himself - Guest Performer" (episode # 1.13) 22 April 1968
"Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In" playing "Himself - Guest Performer" (episode # 1.11) 8 April 1968
"Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In" playing "Himself - Guest Performer" (episode # 1.8) 11 March 1968
"The Dean Martin Show" playing "Himself" 6 April 1967
"What's My Line?" playing "Himself - Guest Panelist" 5 August 1956
"What's My Line?" playing "Guest Panelist" 24 June 1956
"What's My Line?" playing "Guest Panelist" 17 June 1956
"What's My Line?" playing "Guest Panelist" 3 June 1956
"What's My Line?" playing "Guest Panelist" 29 April 1956
"Your Show of Shows" 23 December 1950
"Toast of the Town" playing "Himself" (episode # 3.40) 18 June 1950
"Toast of the Town" playing "Ventriloquist" (episode # 2.37) 22 May 1949

Dow Scrubbing Bubbles bathroom spary cleaner (1970s)
Tootsie Roll Pops (1960s - still airing in 2001)

Vernon's Volunteers (1969) (TV) .... Chief Vernon

This isn't the last of my posts regarding Mr. Winchell. Stay tuned for more....



As a way to describe him as an actor, I always thought of John Fiedler as a Donald Meek of Television: a slight man many times found in situations that belied his appearance, and usually a surprising source of inner fury when finally pushed to his limits.

As such, he was a character actor much in demand and probably too often taken for granted by fans of the noble roster of supporting players. I know I fell into that category.

John Fiedler could always be depended on to deliver the goods and it's hard to think of anyone working in the business today who can replace him and do it convincingly.

His passing definitely marks another loss to the era of great character actors.

"The Book of Pooh" (2001) TV Series (voice) .... Piglet
"House of Mouse" (2001) TV Series (voice) .... Piglet
"Poketto monsutâ" (1997) TV Series .... Narrator (1997-1999)
"The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh" (1988) TV Series (voice) .... Piglet
"One Life to Live" (1968) TV Series .... Gilbert Lange/Virgil (1987)
"Buffalo Bill" (1983) TV Series .... Woody Deschler
"Kolchak: The Night Stalker" (1974) TV Series .... Gordy Spangler (1974-1975)
"The Bob Newhart Show" (1972) TV Series .... Mr. Emil Peterson
"Tom Corbett, Space Cadet" (1950) TV Series .... Cadet Alfie Higgins (1951-1954)

A Raisin in the Sun (1989) (TV) .... Mark Lindner
The Monkey Mission (1981) (TV) .... Jimmy Papadopolous
Human Feelings (1978) (TV) .... Lester
Woman of the Year (1976) (TV) .... Justice Of The Peace
Who Is the Black Dahlia? (1975) (TV) .... PX Manager Bad Ronald (1974) (TV) .... Mr. Roscoe
The Whiz Kid and the Mystery at Riverton (1974) (TV) .... Charles Blackburn
Double Indemnity (1973) (TV) .... Jackson
Mystery in Dracula's Castle (1973) (TV) .... Bill Wasdahl
A Tattered Web (1971) (TV) .... Sam Jeffers
Hitched (1971) (TV) .... Henry
Guns of Diablo (1964) (TV) .... Ives
Mickey and the Contessa (1963) (TV) .... Arney Tanner
All the King's Men (1958) (TV)

Winnie the Pooh & Christmas Too (1991) (TV) (voice) .... Piglet

Cannon (1971) (TV) .... Jake

"Cosby" playing "Randy" in episode: "Refrigertor Logic" (episode # 3.13) 18 January 1999
"George & Leo" playing "John" in episode: "The Cameo Episode" (episode # 1.8) 3 November 1997
"L.A. Law" playing "Francis Pencava" in episode: "Eli's Gumming" (episode # 8.8) 9 December 1993
"The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd" in episode: "Here's Some Ducks All in a Row" (episode # 3.9) 17 June 1989
"The Golden Girls" playing "Eddie" in episode: "Love Me Tender" (episode # 4.14) 6 February 1989
"Tales from the Darkside" playing "Arthur" in episode: "The Old Soft Shoe" (episode # 2.18) 16 February 1986
"Amazing Stories" playing "Man on Boat" in episode: "Guilt Trip" (episode # 1.9) 1 December 1985
"Father Murphy" in episode: "Outrageous Fortune" (episode # 2.4) 9 November 1982
"Hart to Hart" playing "Arnold" in episode: "Harts at High Noon" (episode # 4.5) 9 November 1982
"Cheers" playing "Fred" in episode: "The Tortelli Tort" (episode # 1.3) 14 October 1982
"Hart to Hart" playing "Arnold" in episode: "With This Hart, I Thee Wed" (episode # 4.2) 12 October 1982
"Quincy" playing "County Health Commissioner" in episode: "For the Benefit of My Patients" (episode # 5.10) 22 November 1979
"Vega$" playing "S.J. Henderson" in episode: "Demand and Supply" (episode # 1.17) 14 February 1979
"Fantasy Island" playing "'Ace' Smith" in episode: "Carnival/The Vaudevillians" (episode # 2.11) 2 December 1978
"Fantasy Island" playing "Mr. Fox" in episode: "Trouble, My Lovely/The Common Man" (episode # 1.11) 1 April 1978
"The Rockford Files" playing "James Bond" in episode: "The Competitive Edge" (episode # 4.19) 10 February 1978
"Quincy" playing "Howard Clausen" in episode: "Matters of Life and Death" (episode # 3.14) 20 January 1978
"Tabitha" playing "Max" in episode: "Arrival of Nancy" (episode # 1.6) 17 December 1977
"Switch" playing "Harry Winkler" in episode: "Dancer" (episode # 3.6) 5 December 1977
"Three's Company" playing "Morris Morris" in episode: "Jack Looks for a Job" (episode # 2.2) 20 September 1977
"Alice" playing "Customer" in episode: "Mel's Happy Burger" (episode # 1.24) 26 March 1977 & "Vera's Mortician" (episode # 1.14) 25 December 1976
"Ark II" playing "Norman Funk" in episode: "The Cryogenic Man" (episode # 1.7) 23 October 1976
"Jigsaw John" in episode: "The Executioner" (episode # 1.10) 5 April 1976
"Mobile One" in episode: "The Crusader" (episode # 1.8) 3 November 1975
"The Manhunter" in episode: "Trial by Terror" (episode # 1.22) 5 March 1975
"The Odd Couple" playing "Hugo" in episode: "The Dog Story" (episode # 5.5) 10 October 1974
"Dirty Sally" playing "Al Fromley" in episode: "The Hanging of Cyrus Pike" (episode # 1.12) 5 April 1974
"The Streets of San Francisco" playing "Mr. Winkler" in episode: "Mask of Death" (episode # 3.4) 14 March 1974
"Police Story" playing "Richard Steele" in episode: "The Ripper" (episode # 1.15) 12 February 1974
"McMillan and Wife" playing "Simpson" in episode: "Freefall to Terror" (episode # 3.3) 11 November 1973
"McMillan and Wife" playing "Sykes" in episode: "The Devil, You Say" (episode # 3.2) 23 October 1973
"Gunsmoke" playing "Mr. Ballou" in episode: "A Quiet Day in Dodge" (episode # 18.19) 29 January 1973
"A Touch of Grace" in episode: "The Weekend" 27 January 1973
"Banyon" in episode: "Time Lapse" (episode # 1.15) 12 January 1973
"Banacek" playing "Paddle" in episode: "Project Phoenix" (episode # 1.2) 27 September 1972
"The Odd Couple" playing "Mr. Duke" in episode: "Security Arms" (episode # 2.15) 7 January 1972
Columbo: Blueprint for Murder (1972) (TV) .... Doctor
"Cannon" playing "Brent" in episode: "Flight Plan" (episode # 1.14) 28 December 1971
"Bewitched" playing "Spengler" in episode: "Three Men and a Witch on a Horse" (episode # 8.13) 15 December 1971
"The Doris Day Show" playing "Harvey Krantz" in episode: "A Fine Romance" (episode # 4.7) 25 October 1971
"The Most Deadly Game" playing "Alfred" in episode: "I, Said the Sparrow" (episode # 1.12) 16 January 1971
"Bewitched" playing "Augustus Sunshine" in episode: "Turn on That Old Charm" (episode # 6.29) 9 April 1970
"Get Smart" playing "Felix" in episode: "Age Before Duty" (episode # 5.11) 5 December 1969
"Bewitched" playing "Bliss Jr." in episode: "Darrin the Warlock" (episode # 6.11) 27 November 1969 & "Daddy Comes to Visit" (episode # 6.10) 20 November 1969
"Bewitched" playing "Mr. Beams" in episode: "Marriage Witch's Style" (episode # 5.21) 20 February 1969
"I Spy" playing "Andrew" in episode: "Suitable for Framing" (episode # 3.23) 15 March 1968
"Death Valley Days" playing "Slack" in episode: "The Great Diamond Mines" (episode # 16.13) 23 February 1968
"Felony Squad" playing "B.G. 'Bug' Travis" in episode: "Man on Fire" (episode # 2.24) 20 February 1968
"Get Smart" playing "Mr. Hercules" in episode: "Classification: Dead" (episode # 3.12) 23 December 1967
"Star Trek" playing "Mr. Hengist" in episode: "Wolf in the Fold" (episode # 2.14) 22 December 1967
"Bewitched" playing "Fergus F. Finglehoff" in episode: "Nobody But a Frog Knows How to Live" (episode # 3.32) 27 April 1967
"Captain Nice" playing "Gunnar" in episode: "Who's Afraid of Amanda Woolf?" (episode # 1.10) 27 March 1967
"The Donna Reed Show" playing "Fred Johnson" in episode: "Painter, Go Home" (episode # 7.19) 21 January 1965
"Gunsmoke" playing "Fitch Tallman" in episode: "Hammerhead" (episode # 10.14) 26 December 1964
"Perry Mason" playing "Howard Stark" in episode: "The Case of the Tragic Trophy" (episode # 8.9) 19 November 1964 "The Munsters" playing "Warren Bloom/The Mailman" in episode: "My Fair Munster" (episode # 1.2) 1 October 1964
"The Fugitive" playing "Sam Reed" in episode: "The End Game" (episode # 1.30) 21 April 1964
"Destry" playing "Bill Simpson" in episode: "Deputy for a Day" (episode # 1.8) 3 April 1964
"The Travels of Jaimie McPheeters" playing "Ives" in episode: "The Day of the Reckoning" (episode # 1.26) 15 March 1964
"The Farmer's Daughter" playing "Watson" in episode: "The Swinger" (episode # 1.24) 4 March 1964
"Dr. Kildare" playing "Mr. Calhoun" in episode: "Never Too Old for the Circus" (episode # 3.18) 30 January 1964
"Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre" in episode: "One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich" (episode # 1.6) 8 November 1963
"The Great Adventure" playing "Philip Arnold" in episode: "The Great Diamond Mountain" (episode # 1.7) 8 November 1963
"My Favorite Martian" playing "Professor Jennings" in episode: "Man or Amoeba" (episode # 1.5) 27 October 1963
"Bonanza" playing "Claude Miller" in episode: "Rich Man, Poor Man" (episode # 4.32) 12 May 1963
"Dr. Kildare" playing "D.R. Dromley" in episode: "Ship's Doctor" (episode # 2.27) 18 April 1963
"The Alfred Hitchcock Hour" playing "Malcolm Stuart" in episode: "I Saw the Whole Thing" (episode # 1.4) 11 October 1962
"The Twilight Zone" playing "Field Rep" in episode: "Cavender Is Coming" (episode # 3.36) 25 May 1962
"The New Breed" in episode: "Hail, Hail, the Gang's All Here" (episode # 1.30) 24 April 1962
"The Tall Man" playing "Abner Moody" in episode: "A Time to Run" (episode # 2.31) 7 April 1962
"Adventures in Paradise" playing "Professor Henry Hoag" in episode: "Blueprint for Paradise" (episode # 3.28) 1 April 1962
"Alfred Hitchcock Presents" playing "Amos Duff" in episode: "The Last Remains" (episode # 7.25) 27 March 1962
"Outlaws" playing "Ludlow Pratt" in episode: "No More Horses" (episode # 2.20) 1 March 1962
"87th Precinct" playing "Cole" in episode: "A Bullet for Katie" (episode # 1.20) 12 February 1962
"Thriller" playing "Herbert Bleake" in episode: "A Wig for Miss Devore" (episode # 2.19) 29 January 1962
"The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis" playing "Cheever" in episode: "I Do Not Choose to Run" (episode # 3.14) 9 January 1962
"Dr. Kildare" playing "Father Hughes" in episode: "A Shining Image" (episode # 1.3) 12 October 1961
"The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis" playing "Corporal Whistler" in episode: "The Ruptured Duck" (episode # 3.1) 10 October 1961 & "I Didn't Raise My Boy To Be A Soldier, Sailor, Or Marine" (episode #2.23) 28 March 1961
"Checkmate" playing "Mr. Mitchie" in episode: "A Slight Touch of Venom" (episode # 1.35) 17 June 1961
"Pete and Gladys" playing "Charley Brown" in episode: "The Fur Coat Story" (episode # 1.27) 3 April 1961
"Peter Loves Mary" playing "Clerk" in episode: "Getting Peter's Putter" (episode # 1.22) 22 March 1961
"Alfred Hitchcock Presents" playing "Leon Gorwald" in episode: "Incident in a Small Jail" (episode # 6.23) 21 March 1961
"Have Gun - Will Travel" playing "Turner" in episode: "The Gold Bar" (episode # 4.26) 18 March 1961
"Peter Gunn" playing "Oliver Neilson" in episode: "The Deep End" (episode # 3.22) 6 March 1961
"The Aquanauts" playing "Mr. Jacobs" in episode: "The Defective Tank Adventure" (episode # 1.19) 22 February 1961
"Adventures in Paradise" in episode: "Man Eater" (episode # 2.17) 6 February 1961
"The Twilight Zone" playing "Mr. Dundee" in episode: "The Night of the Meek" (episode # 2.11) 23 December 1960
"Brenner" in episode: "False Witness" (episode # 1.1) 6 June 1959
"Hallmark Hall of Fame" playing "Vollenhoven" in episode: "Hans Brinker" 9 February 1958
"The United States Steel Hour" playing "Boris" in episode: "You Can't Win" (episode # 5.7) 4 December 1957
"Studio One" playing "Jouvin" in episode: "Death and Taxes" (episode # 9.38) 1 July 1957
"Armstrong Circle Theatre" playing "Kean" in episode: "Night Court" (episode # 7.14) 30 April 1957

There is so much in that list on which I want to comment, so I'll save all that for another post, probably more than one......



My hometown of Meriden, Connecticut, gets a little more Toobworld exposure for itself beginning next Monday night on the Sundance Channel.

"Hamburger America" is a documentary which celebrates our favorite fast food sandwich. And Ted's in Meriden is featured for its steamed burgers topped with a molten goo of their "secret cheese". (Rest assured, Readers, should you find yourself in the Silver City and wish to sample their fare - it won't make your nose bleed like the secret stuff from Royston Vasey!)

My hometown has a connection to the great hub of the TV Universe, 'St. Elsewhere'. Meriden was the last reported location where the son of Dr. Paulette Kiem had been spotted after he bolted Choate to hitch-hike his way to Boston.

Meriden's other Toobworld prominence is more from the reality genre in a way, as it is the home base for Connecticut's forensic labs which are headed by Dr. Henry Lee. (And aside from his own reality series, Dr. Lee has a tele-version to be found in the TV movie about the OJ Simpson case.)

If you want to find Meriden on a map, I'd like to suggest the map to be found on the back of Donald Fagen's album "Kamakiriad". (A little bit o' multi-verse cross-promotion there.....)

And if you want to learn more about "Hamburger America", here's the URL for their website:

Monday, June 27, 2005


From the New York Times.....

JUNE 27, 2005

Paul Winchell, 82,
TV Host and Film Voice of Pooh's Tigger, Dies
Paul Winchell, the ventriloquist creator of the puppet Jerry Mahoney, later became famous as the animated voice of Winnie-the-Pooh's exuberant friend.•

John Fiedler, 80,
Stage Actor and Film Voice of Pooh's Piglet, Dies
John Fiedler gained lasting fame among young audiences as the voice of Piglet in Walt Disney's Winnie-the-Pooh films.•

I'll have more thoughts on both men as the week progresses.......




'Doctor Who' is tangled up in Blue!

Fifteen years after the last regular episode, six 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.

The final episode for this year has 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.....

For this second episode of the series, we actually have two theoretical crossovers!

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

"The End Of The World"
Originally aired: Saturday, April 2, 2005 on BBC-1
Location: Platform 1 (A space station orbiting Earth).
Date: 5, 000, 000, 000 AD
Enemy: The Lady Cassandra.

The Doctor takes Rose on her first voyage through time, to the year five billion: the Sun is about to expand and swallow the Earth. But amongst the alien races gathering to watch on Platform One, a murderer is at work. Who is controlling the mysterious and deadly Spiders?

[Thanks to]


On board Viewing Platform One, we met various blue-skinned humanoids who served as the crew for the space station. Just as it is with the humans of Earth, they were from different races of the same species. Many of them were analogous to pygmies here on Earth, while two others - the Platform's Steward and Raffalo the plumber - were of taller stature.

It's my contention that they were of the Bolian race first seen in 'Star Trek: The Next Generation'.

The Bolians, according to the "Star Trek Encyclopedia", are native to the planet Bolarus IX. They have a light blue skin color and a bifurcated ridge running down the center of their faces.

Even if you haven't seen the episode yet, it's possible to find pictures of the Steward and Raffalo online. And you'll of course notice that their skin color - as well as that of the pygmy servants, - is of a much deeper, richer hue of blue.

This is sooo easy to splain away!

Actually, there could be two reasons. First off, just as is the case with humans, there could be Bolian races with different skin colors. [It's not without precedence in the 'Trek' universe either. Until we met Tuvok on 'Star Trek: Voyager', I don't think we had ever seen a black Vulcan before.]

I'd like to think that the depth of their skin color wasn't a factor in race relations among the Bolians. But there apparently was some kind of class system inherent when it came to dealing with other races, as Raffalo was not allowed to speak to Rose until Rose gave her permission.

As to the other reason why the skin color differed between the Bolians of 'Star Trek' and these theoretical Bolians of 'Doctor Who'..... The Doctor and Rose met them five billion years into Earth's future. There was more than enough time for some kind of evolutionary change to have occurred for their race.

After all, Lady Cassandra O'Brien was supposedly the last "true" human and she was nothing more than a nip/tucked hide of eyes and lipstick. (According to Lady Cassandra, all of the other humans who had fled the planet had intermingled the species with the inhabitants of other planets. And we know Spock was a good example of that.)

Raffalo - who was one of my favorite guest characters during the run of the series, by the way. I found her charming. - does mention to Rose that she was from Crespallion, not Bolarus IX. Crespallion wasn't a planet, but instead part of the Jaggit Brocade which was affiliated to the Scarlet Junction, Convex 56.

But that doesn't negate the theory either. Look how many humans we've met in other star systems who no longer consider themselves Earthlings but natives of their home planets.

Frell! I have ancestors mostly from Ireland, but my great-grandparents on my father's maternal side were from the Dolomite region of Italy. Yet I proudly declare myself to be of Connecticut stock whenever somebody asks [as if it should matter]; that's as far back as I care to take it.

Screw 'Roots'.


I don't think the fact that these future Bolians who were running Viewing Platform One were also the race of the people who owned it. I don't think we can assume that the Milliway family was Bolian, and it's a good thing too since they were running a restaurant. According to an episode of 'Star Trek: Deep Space Nine', Bolian cuisine made use of meat which had been allowed to partially decay.

They did, however, provide an excellent tonic water and that was more than likely to be found among the array of special waters served at Milliway's.

Granny Moses of 'The Beverly Hillbillies' would have loved Bolian cuisine, I'll bet. Road kill made for good eatins!


He's blue!