Wednesday, March 1, 2006


Darren McGavin had the face for hard-boiled, inner-city stories, drama and comedy, which could also work well in period pieces of Americana (most notably "A Christmas Story" and "The Natural").

Even with the "Westerns" in which he was involved, his characters didn't seem to have lost touch with the influence of Life back East.

But it's hard to picture him doing all-out, star-hopping science fiction. The sci-fi subsets of horror and the supernatural... of course, he was a natural fit. But on board a rocket ship to outer space?

He did have a big part in the adaptation of Ray Bradbury's "Martian Chronicles", but even then his storyline played out more like a modern Western.

Still, out of all the many guest appearances he made in TV series, I was surprised that with all the 'Trek' shows, they never got around to casting him in any of them. It's not like they never used actors you'd never expect to see in a space saga - Brian Keith, Jason Alexander, Sarah Silverman. And I think Darren McGavin might have played some kind of character, be it human or alien, who would fit right into the environs of 'Deep Space Nine'.

At any rate, Toobworld believes that in a small way, one of Darren McGavin's characters played a role in the heritage of 'Star Trek'.

Captains of the various incarnations of the starship "Enterprise" have mentioned the many ships of the past which bore that name. They speak of these past vessels as thought it is a family tree, and their starship is the latest in that lineage.

In "Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home", the Enterprise crew even got to visit one of those earlier ships - the aircraft carrier Enterprise which was docked in 1980s San Francisco when they journeyed back in Time.

Whether it be clips during the opening credits for 'Enterprise', or artwork decorating the captain's quarters in a later starship bearing the name, we've seen that aircraft carrier displayed; as well as a clipper ship and others who were known as "Enterprise".

But they always seem to overlook the 'Riverboat' which was piloted by Grey Holden. Trueniverse splainin? Economics. Somebody would have to be paid for the rights, I imagine. (That's also the reason why they never could just come right out and say that 'The Prisoner' known as Number Six was actually the 'Secret Agent' John Drake.)

But I'm under no such constraint here in Toobworld. And although we didn't see the particular illustration of the riverboat adorning the captain's walls, that doesn't mean he wasn't aware of the contribution made by the "Enterprise" to the expansion of the West.


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