Saturday, September 3, 2005



Those of you cursed with razor-sharp memories will remember that with the two-part 'Doctor Who' story which introduced the Slitheen family ("Aliens Of London" & "World War Three"), I postulated a theory that they had to take place in an alternate TV dimension. This was due to the destruction of Big Ben and Number 10 Downing Street, as well as the murder of the Prime Minister before the episode even began.

It would have been no problem at all for the TARDIS to make such a journey - after all, the name is an acronym for Time And Relative Dimensions In Space. It was supposed to be able to traverse dimensional vortexes as well as travel through Time and the Space in which Earth Prime-Time could be found.

Don't we see it doing just that in the opening credits each episode of the new series? Those wormholes down which the TARDIS tumbles are quite similar to the ones through which Quinn Mallory and his friends would slide to reach alternate versions of San Francisco ('Sliders').

And I don't think the Doctor was even aware that he had left the main TV Universe and ended up in a "mirror universe". Quite frankly, I don't think he knows where he's landed half the time until he's had the chance to look around. Just in this series alone, he's come down in Cardiff of 1869 when he thought he was on his way to 1860 Naples; and he brought Rose back to her Mum 12 months after they vanished, rather than the 12 days he had promised.

No, I think it's the TARDIS who makes most of the travel arrangements for the Doctor. It's not only telepathic but it's also able to foretell the future as well. That's why throughout the long history of the show, the TARDIS found itself deposting the Doctor and his Companions in varirous locations in Time and Space where they could avert one crisis or another.

With that in mind, I decided that the first Slitheen story should take place in the world of 'The West Wing'. If it couldn't be located in the main TV Universe, then why not in the alternate world of TV's best pollitical series?

Well, regular reader "Words Say Nothing" splained why not - even though "Aliens Of London" & "World War Three" took place around June of 2006, 'The West Wing' had already reached that point in time during last season's storyline about the presidential primaries for both parties. And in one of those episodes we saw the British Prime Minister - a woman named Maureen Graty, not Harriet Jones as the Doctor suggested would happen.

Through a few back-and-forth emails, we tried to reconcile the timeline with a bit of juggling, - that Graty became Prime Minister right after the crisis was taken care of, and that there was no sense of urgency before Harriet Jones assumed leadership.

But based on the limited info that's come out so far regarding "The Christmas Invasion", the 'Doctor Who' special (which will be David Tennant's first star turn as the Doctor) it appears that by Christmas of 2006, the back-bench minister of Flydale North would already be at the helm as British Prime Minister Harriet Jones.

That seemed like an awful lot of bother to juggle both series convincingly, so I gave up the notion and decided to move those two episodes of 'Doctor Who' elsewhere.

At first I was tempted to land them in the universe of the new ABC series 'Commander In Chief' which will star Geena Davis as the first female POTUS. Something wicked in me thought that perhaps the show would never last long enough into 2006 to even be a problem. But I didn't want to unnescessarily curse the series, especially since it has so many actors involved whom I enjoy watching (Donald Sutherland, Kyle Secor, Jason Wiles, etc.).

But now I've found two series which form the nucleus for a TV Universe in which the President of the United States is different from George W. Bush, who currently holds the office in not only the Real World but in the main Toobworld as well. These shows are no longer on the air and thus can't cause too much trouble - if any! - for any shows I wish to later add to their dimension's roster.

These two shows were both on CBS just a few years ago - 'The Agency' and 'The District'. 'The Agency' was about the inner workings at the headquarters of the CIA, and it lost its berth in Earth Prime-Time as soon as they introduced Tom Arnold playing the half-brother of the President.

As for 'The District', that series was about Jack Mannion, who was brought in to become the Chief of Police in Washington, DC. In one of its last seasons, the show did a crossover with 'The Agency', and so it became allied with that show in a brand new universe.

Since they are both no longer on the air, and enough time has passed for both the American President and the British Prime Minister to have been replaced in office, it makes for the perfect world in which to house those two episodes of 'Doctor Who'.

It also makes a great world in which to situate the new FOX series 'Prison Break'. As we learned in the season premiere last week, (which takes place in early 2006), Lincoln Burrows is in the Fox River State Penitentiary on Death Row for the assassination of the Vice President's brother. If I'm not mistaken, that man's name was Strickland. "I could be wrong now, but I don't think so."

(As 'Prison Break' is a live-action series, I'm not about to link it to 'King Of The Hill' in which Strickland Propane plays a major role. That show is set in the Tooniverse.)

Even though it looks like the Secret Service and other branches of our government might play a major role in the events leading up to the actual 'Prison Break', I don't think that should be a problem. Again, the President in 'The Agency' and 'The District' could have changed by now and even so, he was never named. (His half-brother had a different surname.) Besides, it's the Vice-President's brother who was murdered, and a Veep could be replaced even faster in that time.

And I think it's highly unlikely that the British Prime Minister should ever be invoked on 'Prison Break', let alone actually seen.

So there's a nice alternate TV dimension starting to bloom, with three series ('The Agency', 'The District', and 'Prison Break') as well as the first two Slitheen episodes of 'Doctor Who'.

That's right - just the first two episodes of that particular storyline takes place in that brave new world. Because even though Blon Fel Fotch Pasameer-Day Slitheen of Raxacoricofallapatorius returned in "Boom Town", I think everybody involved had already returned to the main Toobworld for that adventure in Cardiff.

And I'll provide that splainin in Part Two of this essay, "Blon Ambition".


Friday, September 2, 2005


With the September entry into the TV Crossover Hall of Fame, the pattern for the last few years has been to induct a show's creator or a writer who helped to make the TV Universe that much more interesting by coming up with crossovers or new trivia - locations, products, characters - which link shows together.

But this year, during my year-long birthday celebration, when everything I say goes, I'd like to induct a fictional TV corporation as one of those powers that be.

The UBS Network - "UBS! Where we put U before the BS."

UBS headquarters used to be in Alta Coma, California. Back in the mid-70s, UBS president Bill Nickerson hired talk show host Barth Gimble to move his talk show 'Fernwood 2Night' from Ohio so that they could take it national on UBS as the retitled 'America 2Night'. Nickerson gave Gimble thirteen weeks to become a part or to come apart.

Three years later, UBS reporter Jamie Hamilton stumbled upon the story of a ragtag fleet of spaceships arriving in the solar system. These spaceships, led by the 'Battlestar Galactica', had become home for the cousins of Terran humans over decades, as they fled the tyranny of Cylon robots who had destroyed their home star system.
In the TV Universe, I've yet to find another example of the UBS TV network, but the United Broadcasting System is such a perfect name that I'm sure it will eventually crop up again. TV shows are always needing fictional TV networks and channels to be the homes of the fictional TV shows they've created.

For instance, on 'Over There', which will only have an initial run of thirteen episodes, there has already been video clips seen from several cable TV news channels. These include UKN (United Kingdom News), NEN (National Evening News), and USANews.

Other networks seen have been the WOLF network on 'Murphy Brown', ZNN on 'JAG' and 'NCIS', CZN on '7 Days', 'ANT' (America's Network of Television) on 'Millennium', and BadWolf TV on 'Doctor Who'. So I'm not worried that one day UBS will reappear in Toobworld.

In the meantime, I could also hypothesize that certain fictional shows were broadcast on UBS. And especially with those shows whose parent series are no longer on the air, there's no way I could be proven wrong in that assumption.

The best example would be 'The Alan Brady Show' from 'The Dick Van Dyke Show'. One might assume that CBS, which televised the Van Dyke sitcom, might have laid claim to broadcasting Alan Brady's variety program as well. But 'The Alan Brady Show' aired on Sunday nights at 8:30 pm opposite 'Yancy Derringer' which was a Western that was on CBS.

There's no way CBS would allow 'The Alan Brady Show' to be thought of as airing on either ABC or NBC, so it has to have been on a fictional Toobworld network. So why not UBS?

And there's another theory of possibility as to why we haven't seen UBS elsewhere in the TV Universe. Iz pozz'ble, iz pozz'ble, that UBS was sold and then had a name change to reflect its new identity. We've seen this happen in the Real World. Take Spike TV. It used to be The National Network and before that it was known as The Nashville Network.

I have no qualms in inducting UBS into the Crossover Hall of Fame with that all-important third qualification as a theoretical. After all, I did the same thing with Samantha Crawford, Kay Howard, Paladin, Number Six, and Ted Baxter.

But I do have an actual third sighting for UBS. However, it's from the Cineverse - the movie universe. Still, it's from a movie that was about the television industry and therefore I think I'm justified in invoking my right this year to include it.

UBS was the central location for the action in "Network", Paddy Chayevsky's cautionary (nigh-apocalyptic!) tale of the abuses he foresaw in the broadcasting industry.

The most memorable scene from the movie was of anchorman Howard Beale on the set of the UBS evening news. Beale ranted and raved in what was supposed to be his final broadcast of the UBS news. He told his viewers to get up and go to their windows and shout out "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore!"

How can I resist such an inclusion?

So there you go. I've got three definite sightings, albeit one from a movie, and a theoretical link where it appeared without being named. So I feel very comfortable in choosing UBS as the TV industry inductee for this month's entry into the TV Crossover Hall of Fame.

And I feel very comfortable in putting that BS before U.....

Here are the year's inductees so far:

JANUARY - Lt. Columbo
FEBRUARY - Barney Collier aka Mr. Peters
MARCH - John Drake/Number "6"
APRIL - Ted Baxter
MAY - Detective Kay "Katy" Howard
JUNE - Arnold Ziffel
JULY - Hec Ramsey aka Paladin
AUGUST - Samantha Crawford
SEPTEMBER - UBS Television Network

I've been running the TV Crossover Hall of Fame since 1999, and one day I will devote the time necessary to create a permanent home for it on the web.

If you're interested in seeing the full list (There are over 100 members so far!), then drop me a note at:


Thursday, September 1, 2005


On Thursday's 'Situation Room' on CNN, Jack Cafferty brought up the "elephant in the room" did so today - that the people who were struck hardest were the poor blacks. All we see are poor blacks on rooftops, in the Superdome, etc. The system failed them because there was no method of evacuation provided them - they didn't own cars, they were too sick to move, etc.

(Cafferty referred viewers to Jack Shafer's article on "Race, Press, And The Hurricane" in

And then Wolf Blitzer says, "We see image after image of these people who are so poor and so black....."

How black do you have to be?

Just sayin', is all......

God help all of those people still trapped in there, and for those who have been lost, Red Skelton said it best:

"May God bless."



I don't know if the producers of 'My Name Is Earl' will ever include the character of Earl's father in an episode of the show. If so, I don't even know if they've hired an actor already to fill the part.

But here's a suggestion I freely toss out into the Void for the perfect man to play Jason Lee's father on this sitcom:

Dabney Coleman.

And I'm not just basing that on tele-genetics. It's Nurture as well as Nature, and there's just something about Dabney Coleman, even setting aside the characters we know him as best, that seems to suggest there is a LOT in common with Jason Lee's Earl......

Just sayin', is all.



'Doctor Who' is back on Earth!

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.....

Location: Cardiff, Wales
Date: 2006
Enemy: Blon Fel Fotch Pasameer-Day Slitheen, AKA Margaret Blaine

Stopping off in present-day Cardiff to recharge the TARDIS, The Doctor, Rose and Jack encounter an old foe in the midst of hatching a scheme that could destroy the entire planet.
[Thanks to]

The TARDIS crew take a holiday, but the Doctor encounters an enemy he thought long since dead. A plan to build a nuclear power station in Cardiff City disguises an alien plot to rip the world apart. And when the Doctor dines with monsters, he discovers traps within traps.
[Thanks to The Doctor Who Reference Guide]


Sometimes in trying to find a link for a show, I have to resort to one of the most desperate of measures - location, location, location.

It's one of the most basic excuses for linking shows. (Linking as opposed to a crossover is the key; a difference that lets me sleep at night. LOL)

For instance, I could say the venerable 1960s police drama 'Naked City' can be linked to the sitcom 'Taxi' by virtue of the fact that they're both situated in Manhattan. Such a link can serve as a place-holder until a much better link might come along.

Such was the case with "Naked City Taxi", thanks to a crossover, an in-joke, and several fictional locations. Sgt. Frank Arcaro was shot and wounded, and taken to Manhattan General Hospital in an episode of 'Naked City'. Twenty years later, 'Kay O'Brien' went to work at that same hospital after completing her residency at St. Eligius in Boston. (One 'St. Elsewhere' doctor quipped, "She won't last thirteen weeks!")

Dr. Margaret Turner, formerly on the staff at St. Eligius, was interrogated in "The Box" by Detective Frank Pemberton on 'Homicide: Life On The Street'. And Pemberton, along with other homicide detectives from Baltimore, teamed up with their NYC counterparts at the 2-7 precinct. During another case, those detectives questioned a taxi driver at the Sunshine Cab Company, the location for 'Taxi'.

With the 11th episode of the new 'Doctor Who', I found I had to fall back on the location link. There really was no other choice, as the story of "Boom Town" remained quite insular. It focused on a villain last seen in "Aliens Of London" and "World War Three", as well as on the Time-Space rift in Cardiff first seen in "The Unquiet Dead".

It could be said that "Boom Town" serves as Russell T. Davies' valentine to the city of Cardiff, where the series has been filming. There are great location shots of Cardiff Bay's Oval Basin and the Wales Millennium Centre which is dominated by a facade that trumpets a bit o' poetry by Gwyneth Lewis. ("CREU GWIR FEL GWYDR O FFWRNAIS - IN THESE STONES HORIZONS SING.") Plus there's a prominent cameo for the Western Mail newspaper.

So for another show with connections to Cardiff, I chose "Dogfood Dan And The Carmarthen Cowboy".

These two guys were truckers who worked for rival dog-food companies. One carted his load from Cardiff to Hull, while the other one hauled his from Hull to Cardiff. They met in a roadside truck-stop half-way along their route and became friends. And they would spend their meetings regaling each other with overblown tales about their exciting lives and romantic conquests back home.

The thing of it was though, that because they both "embellished" (okay, outright lied about) their backgrounds, neither one of them glommed on to the true identity of the women in their lives. Neither one was ever aware of the fact that by EXTREME coincidence (a force of nature in Toobworld) they were carrying on affairs with each other's wife.

And there wasn't much chance that the wives might realize the connection between their husbands and their lovers, because Dogfood Dan and the Carmarthen Cowboy were lying about their identities to their mistresses as well!

Aubrey Owen (the Cowboy) passed himself as Aneurin, an MP, to Dan's wife Helen; while Dan would tell Myfanwy Owen that he was transporting top secret abnormal loads.

Before this show became a BBC sitcom, it ran as a one-off on the rival 'ITV Playhouse' six years earlier. In that tele-play, Myfanwy was known as Gwyneth - maybe there wasn't a name change.... Maybe she was lying about her identity to her lover as well?

So that might be the way to go for yet another link between 'Doctor Who' and 'Dogfood Dan And The Carmarthen Cowboy'. But it would be an even more indefensible link. Perhaps Myfanwy's use of the name "Gwyneth" was an unconscious manifestation of an earlier incarnation of her soul? Perhaps she had been the scullery maid back in 1869 Cardiff who sacrificed her life in order to close the Rift and prevent the Gelth from taking over our world.

And now Gwyneth Reborn as Myfanwy was finally reunited with the delivery boy she once secretly desired. But whether he was reborn as Dogfood Dan or the Carmarthen Cowboy, I cannot say.

I know..... if that theory was dog food, I couldn't get a starving mutt to swallow it.

Oh well. We still have two episodes to go. So let's keep on trucking!


"If you're going to have an affair,
Make sure her husband has a heart condition."


Wednesday, August 31, 2005




Straight off, the casting of this show made this Toobworld caretaker happy. When it comes to tele-genetics, Dominic Purcell and Wentworth Miller are totally convincing as brothers.
Because Lincoln Burrows is on the Death Row fast track for assassinating the Vice President's brother, we have to unfortunately incarcerate 'Prison Break' in an alternate TV dimension. Bush and Cheney are the elected leaders of this country both in TV Land as well as in the Real World. And I don't even know if Cheney's got a brother.

(I'll have more on the location of 'Prison Break' in the TV Universe in a related post.)
When Michael Schofield arrives in prison, it's April of 2006. Lincoln Burrows is scheduled to be executed a month later - May 11th.

How convenient that it should coincide with May Sweeps.....
One of the supporting players is a prisoner who is supposedly D.B. Cooper. The legendary Cooper stole a fortune/got a big ransom (something like that) and then vanished after parachuting out of a plane over the Northwest woods back in the early 1970s.

I guess the decision to portray an actual personage who's possibly still alive in a fictional drama was probably similar to Ira Levin's decision to use Dr. Josef Mengele in "The Boys From Brazil". If they didn't like it, tough. It's not like they were ever going to come out of hiding to complain.
Peter Stormare should be getting all the roles which would have gone to the late Brion James. And Vincent Schiavelli should play his older brother on the show.
The over-abundance of coincidences in Michael Schofield's plan to help his brother escape from prison could jeopardize the audience's willing suspension of disbelief. (For instance, the prison doctor just happens to be the daughter of the governor.)

I don't think we've seen the last of these.....
The name of the prison is Fox River State Penitentiary. Is this a kiss-up to the network as the name Fox Mulder was once rumored to be?

I suppose if the show had landed on CBS, it would have been Paley Penitentiary.....
I'm intrigued by the mystery woman pulling the strings behind the Secret Service plot. She reminds me of Piper Laurie's character in 'Twin Peaks', Bonnie Bartlet on 'Wiseguy', Meryl Streep in "The Manchurian Candidate" - strong, powerful, utterly ruthless, and in charge. And masking it all behind the facade of "Family".

No clue yet as to who's playing her. But then I haven't begun sniffing around the usual info sites yet.

But for some reason, I got it into my head that if she would only turn around, we'd see Patricia Wettig.

Nothing says "Tune in next week!" like severing a toe!


Tuesday, August 30, 2005


Boy, was I thrown into a funk when TVTome was gobbled up by and replaced with their own version of episode guides. I had my problems with TVTome at times, but it loaded relatively quickly; it was simple to navigate; and most importantly in my "declining wonder years", it was easy to read.

It was depressing to think that were cornering the market on episode guides. Even my first choice to visit,, seemed to be deferring to them when it came to the addition of new episode guides.

But thanks to a recent notice by, I've got a new go-to site for all the info I'll need: TV IV WIKI.

It's set up like Wikipedia, that amazing site which has info on EVERYTHING. This new site has been around for only a few months, but it already has over 1100 pages of information... information... information.....

I'll continue to carry TVTome/ in my links to the left, but you'll find TV IV WIKI perched higher in preference.

Check them out. You might find yourself lost in their site for quite a while!


Monday, August 29, 2005


I noticed in the opening credits for the premiere of 'Rome' on HBO that Jeff Beal wrote the theme music.

Jeff Beal also wrote the theme music for 'Monk' during its first season. It was wonderful. Won an Emmy.

And when the show became a hit, the music was jettisoned for a dopey Randy Newman tune.

Jeff Beal should keep his eyes on any tunesmiths with a lean and hungry look; someone who might cry out "Speak hands for me!" before tinkling the ivories to create a new theme for 'Rome'......

Just sayin' is all.......


"That lost chord they keep looking for, you know?
It's not lost; I got it."
Buzz Murdock
'Route 66'


I want to thank the "Reverend" Pat Robertson for his contribution in regards to the terminology of Toobworld.

With his televised call for the assassination of Hugo Chavez, Robertson has inspired the coinage of "televigilante".

It will take its place in the lexicon between "televersion" and "televisiologist".

If he's now preaching hate, does that mean Robertson is a mullah of Islam? He now fits his own view of the religion, doesn't he?



I visit so many TV news and gossip sites, that I sometimes lose track of where I find some of my information... information... information....

But I think this came from Michael Ausiello's column of scoop at TV Guide online.....

Apparently, Dr. Greg House's parents will be showing up this season in an episode of 'House'. Whoever reported the item, they suggested Jim Broadbent and Linda Thorsen. To me, that's faulty reasoning influenced by the fact that Hugh Laurie is British. But the character of Dr. House is an American.

I once suggested in this blog that House should be the illegitimate son of Dr. Mark Sloan of 'Diagnosis Murder'. But that was pure wish-craft on my part, and even one as disconnected from Reality as I am knows that would never come about.

So here's my candidate for the position of paterfamilias: Patrick McGoohan.

Similar in build, with the square, chiseled features, and capable of an acerbic attitude, McGoohan's mere presence would speak volumes in splainin House's own personality.

As for Mommy Dearest, how about Piper Laurie - and only as I wrote that did I realize they shared the same surname. I was thinking of her because of her steely bitch of a role in 'Twin Peaks' fifteen years ago. Only such a woman would be able to hold her own in the House home.

But if Mama House is supposed to be living in the shadow of her husband, consider Ms. Laurie's performance in "The Faculty" - somewhat mousey, but with surprising wells of strength, even ferocity when needed.

Well, I'm sure the casting decisions have already been made. But whomever they picked, I just hope they satisfy the demands of tele-genetics - I need to believe Greg House sprang from their combined chromosomes.

Ewwww..... It's bad enough thinking about my own parents doing the deed; I don't want to consider his parents making the Beast with Two Backs!


Sunday, August 28, 2005


Nicholas Courtney holds a special place in 'Doctor Who' lore for having acted opposite the first seven incarnations of the Doctor.

With William Hartnell as the First Doctor, Courtney appeared as Bret Vyon in "The Daleks' Master Plan", but he portrayed Brigadier Alastair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart of UNIT with the other six Doctors.

(Technically, he was involved in adventures with all seven Doctors in his role as the Brigadier:

2nd DOCTOR: It's Old High Gallifreyan, the ancient language of the Time Lords. Not many people understand it these days...
1st, 2nd, 3rd DOCTORS: (Together) Fortunately, I do.
BRIGADIER: Yes, all very interesting, I'm sure, Doctors, but what does it say?
3rd DOCTOR: That this is the Tomb of Rassilon, where Rassilon lies in eternal sleep.
2nd DOCTOR: It also says that anyone who has got this far has passed many dangers and shown great courage and determination. (Points to the inscription) What does this bit mean?
3rd DOCTOR: To lose is to win and he who wins shall lose.
2nd DOCTOR: I know what it says - what does it mean?
1st DOCTOR: It also promises that whoever takes the ring from Rassilon's hand and puts it on shall get the reward he seeks.
SARAH-JANE: What reward?
1st DOCTOR: Immortality.
BRIGADIER: What, live forever, never die?
1st DOCTOR: That is what the word means, young man.
SARAH-JANE: But that's impossible.
3rd DOCTOR: Apparently not.
[Thanks to The Doctor Who Transcripts Project]

For "The Five Doctors", the First Doctor was portrayed by William Hurndall.)

Paul McGann only got one chance to play the eighth incarnation of the Time Lord in Toobworld, (He's made several appearances in the creative universes for Radio, Cyber, and Literature), and Nicholas Courtney did not appear in that FOX film. But I hold out hope that one day the Time War will be depicted in an epic mini-series starring McGann. So perhaps Lethbridge-Stewart might get the chance to meet that version of his old friend.

And aside from his appearances in various tie-in novels, Lethbridge-Stewart also appeared in the videos 'Downtime' and 'Daemos Rising', as well as in audio plays like 'Paradise Of Death' and 'The Ghosts Of N-Space'. Truly, this character merits inclusion in the Crossover Hall of Fame!.

Courtney didn't get the opportunity to act opposite Christopher Eccleston as the Ninth Doctor, but there's probably little chance of that ever happening in the Future. Eccleston did only the one season, thirteen episodes in all, and then walked away with the regeneration. There's been no indication he might one day be inclined to return to the role for any multiple Doctors reunion storyline.

I've been wondering if RTD had known going into production that this would be the only year for Eccleston as the Doctor, might he have re-jiggered the "Aliens of London"/"World War Three" script to incorporate an appearance by the Brigadier? After all, UNIT officers are seen in a quick cameo during the first part of the episode, (purely in an advisory role by 2006, of course).

Anyway, Mr. Courtney is in his mid-70s now, so if it was to be done, it would be better if it was done quickly.

(Say! That's a good line! Hope nobody steals it! LOL)

So don't hold your breath waiting to see Christopher Eccleston on screen in a 'Doctor Who' adventure with Nicholas Courtney.. But if you wanted to see the ninth incarnation of the Doctor with Alastair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart? Ah! Well then, I think the case could be made that they met in the episodes "The Empty Child" and "The Doctor Dances".

Aside from Captain Jack Harkness, the major guest character was Nancy, a girl older than she appeared, who lived on the streets of London during the Blitz of 1941. In her care were other children, boys and girls, who were also living on the streets for one reason or another. Not all of them were orphans; some had been shipped out of the city to live with relatives in the country for their own safety. But they drifted back; some because of the treatment they received. (One boy apparently had been molested by an uncle.)

If we were to assume that Lethbridge-Stewart was a contemporary of the actor who portrayed him, then young Alastair would have been about twelve years of age in 1941.

However, there is some debate as to when the UNIT stories of 'Doctor Who' take place. There are those who argue that they occur maybe even a decade after the time they were broadcast.

So, we have some leeway with the age of Lethbridge-Stewart in 1941; he could even have been as young as six. It could be argued that any one of those boys seated around the dinner table with Nancy and the Doctor could have been Alastair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart as a wee lad.

We know two of the likely lads were named Ernie and Jim, and Jim's father was off fighting in the War. (Lethbridge-Stewart came from a military family and it's possible that his father was already stationed over there.) And it could be argued that "Ernie" and "Jim" were nicknames, perhaps taken from popular sports figures or British stars of the day. After all, being known as Alastair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart could not too appealing to a 12 year old kid!

But we'll keep this simple. We'll stick to the theory that Aladair Lethbridge-Stewart was one of the other boys. And that way, he did get to meet the Ninth Doctor without either of them being the wiser.

There has been a circular quality to the hero's journey taken by this Doctor, as far as people and locations seem to go. And none of it seems to have been dictated by the "Bad Wolf" puzzle.

Albion Hospital
The Gamestation/Satellite Five

Cardiff's Rift
Big Ben
Blon Slitheen
The Face Of Boe

And it's always been suggested, within and without of the series, that the TARDIS was sentient and that it knew where it was always going even if the arrival sites seemed at random.

So maybe the TARDIS itself recognized the presence of Lethbridge-Stewart as a young boy during WWII and made sure the Ninth Doctor got the chance to meet him during the wild-goose chase for the Tula ambulance.

Years later, when they officially met for the first time in the abandoned underground tunnels of the Tube, in "Web Of Fear", perhaps on some instinctual level they both recognized something familiar about the other.

Just sayin', is all.

By the way.....

Nicholas Courtney has worked with Michael McManus in writing a book about his life, and especially about his experiences in the Whoniverse. It's entitled "Getting Away From It All", and it will be published on October 20th.

"I think the time has now come for me to write a full and frank account of my life, not least with regard to my unbroken, forty-year association with Doctor Who," Courtney said in a press release. "Some people may be surprised by how candid and forthright I am going to be about certain people and events, but I think I owe it to myself and also to others to be reasonably bold as well as old!"

I know there was a 'Star Trek' novel about the full life of Vulcan Ambassador Sarek, father of Spock. Perhaps one day someone might be so inspired to write such a biography of Brigadier Alastair Lethbridge-Stewart.

And maybe then we might see this idea of his "participation" in the adventures of the Ninth Doctor be validated!


"It's a wonder we win any wars,
With the crackpots we have in this country!"
General Sloat
'Green Acres'