Tuesday, July 18, 2006


"Good evening, and welcome to a private showing of three paintings, displayed here for the first time. Each is a collector's item in its own way—not because of any special artistic quality, but because each captures on a canvas, suspends in time and space, a frozen moment of a nightmare."
- Rod Serling
'Night Gallery'


In much the same way as with our own universe, the TV Universe was created with the "Big Bang". (Note to creationists: God does exist in the TV Universe; He's been a character in several TV shows. But the Toobworld concept of the beginning of the universe is a combination of both creationism and evolution. God got the ball rolling and then let events play out as they would.)

The "Big Bang" was the destruction of one universe and the TV universe sprang forth from its remnants. Several of the races from that older universe escaped into the newer one where they became known in various mythologies as the First Ones, the Old Ones, and Those Without Pants. (That last one loses something in translation.)

Those ancient "gods" described in the writings of H.P. Lovecraft fall into this category. They were powerful, demonic beings who would have destroyed the newborn universe before it even had a chance to begin, but they were trapped in an area known as the "Thirdspace", which is neither normal space nor hyperspace. Somehow it is sealed off from all of the different TV dimensions, but there are places where it leaks through; there are holes through which those Ancients can pass through into "our" world and through which TV characters can also travel over into their realm.

Although the Old Ones have not had a major influence on daily life in Toobworld, still a cult has grown around them which centers around a volume called the Necronomicon (sort of a cross between their Bible and book of magic). The Old Ones feed on this worship, as does anyone when somebody pays them a compliment, only magnified to the extreme. And because of this, they see themselves as true gods. As such, they are quick to anger when someone mocks their powers or their very existence. Professor Peabody learned this to his own horror when he began to mock the existence of the Old Ones and derided the religion that had grown around them. He dared to write their names on the blackboard in the lecture hall and sneeringly read from the Necronomicon despite the warnings from some of his students.

The Old Ones were quick in their retribution. As the gathering storm reached its crescendo, Professor Peabody was struck down and either replaced or inhabited by one of the Old Ones; so that now he was a humanoid body but with an octopoidal head.

One of the "thin spots" in the main Toobworld which can be breached by the Old Ones can be found in one of the tonier neighborhoods of London, "Crouch End". It was there that a young American couple met their fate when they thought they were going to visit an old friend for dinner. Instead, they slipped through the dimensional veil which separates Toobworld from the "Thirdspace", and there they found indications of the Lovecraftian denizens: signs proclaiming those same names that Professor Peabody had inscribed on his blackboard: Cthulhu, Rlyeh Cthun, Yogsoggoth.

The wife survived and made it back to the safe environs of Toobworld London. (A few blocks away and she might have run into the cast of 'Hu$tle'. If she headed in the other direction, perhaps she might have found herself in the Powell Estates of 'Doctor Who', although they were about two weeks too late to find the Tyler family there.)

But an odd encounter at the local constabulary made her realize that she would probably never be free of the terrors which had stolen her husband Lonnie away from her.

And that is how the new mini-series based on the works of Stephen King, 'Nightmares & Dreamscapes', can be linked to both 'Babylon 5' and Rod Serling's 'Night Gallery', all through the works of H.P. Lovecraft.

As the Old One said upon assuming its new form at the end of "Professor Peabody's Last Lecture", "Now if there are no further questions...?"


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Impressive. And confusing (to me, at least). But Lovecraft/Babylon/SK fans must be moist!