Thursday, July 27, 2006


For the Toobworld concept, it's a given that life goes on in the TV Universe for all of its characters even when we can't see what's going on. This includes the downtime (if any) during the commercials, and even after a TV show gets cancelled.

Sometimes we get to re-visit with those characters even after a show's cancellation, sometimes even decades later. This usually happens in TV reunion movies (as with 'Gilligan's Island' and 'The Mary Tyler Moore Show'), or when a show gets a renewal (which is what happened with 'Columbo' and 'Doctor Who'). Sometimes it's just an individual character like Alan Brady of 'The Dick Van Dyke Show' returning after 33 years on 'Mad About You'. (A few years after that, he and the other surviving members of the show got back together for a reunion movie.)

But that always picks up the action at that moment, with only some mention of what happened during the time we didn't get to see them since the show went off the air. What exactly did occur during that downtime?

Sometimes there are episodes that were completed but never broadcast. Nowadays it's common for those episodes to finally make it into DVD boxed set collections, as was the case with 'Wonderfalls'. The way that the industry has been evolving, I think we have to accept unaired episodes into the canon, because that's what its creators had intended.

But should we consider the finished scripts for episodes never filmed to be considered canon as well? These scripts may be what the creators intended, but not for the show's canon; they were more than likely dashed off to fulfill some contractual obligation.

Ken Levine has a very funny story about just such an enterprise when he was working on 'Big Wave Dave's, which can be found here:

Just reading that one tidbit from the script is enough to have you crying for mercy. As a reading exercise, it's kind of funny. Stretch it out to half an hour of taped inanity and you'll gladly join the anti-TV crusade.

If you're like me, you might just read the blog entry and never bother with the comments added by other readers. In this case, you'd be missing out this very funny anecdote from overseas to show how the Toobworld experience is global:

Ger Apeldoorn said...
I once had a series (here in Holland) cancelled after the second season was ordered. We were allowed to bill three episodes, which we have to give titles for bookkeeping purposes. The first one was called "They Killed Our Baby".

Now them's good viewing!


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