Saturday, March 18, 2006


As far as I'm concerned, all TV shows are already a part of Toobworld. It's just a matter of finding the link to make it "official".

'City Of Angels' premiered in 1976, starring Wayne Rogers as private eye Jake Axminster in 1934 Los Angeles. And both in Toobworld's timeline as well as the chronology of the Trueniverse, 'City Of Angels' may have been first to use a particular bit o' TV trivia which, in its way, had its own TV show!

Near the beginning of the three-part pilot episode, "The November Plan", Jake saw his client's face plastered on the front page of the Los Angeles Tribune with the header: "ACTRESS SOUGHT". This is the same newspaper where 'Lou Grant' went to work after he was fired from WJM in Minneapolis on the final episode of 'The Mary Tyler Moore Show'.

It was also seen in the pilot episode of the second incarnation of 'Burke's Law' as well as in the unsold pilot for 'Lookwell!'.

I know there are other instances in which it's appeared - after all, it got inducted into the Crossover Hall of Fame! - but without access to my files right now, I can't look up the details.



The last "Crossover Of The Week" for 2005 was between 'Doctor Who' and 'The Hitch-Hiker's Guide To The Galaxy', when we learned that the Doctor knew Arthur Dent.

But it wasn't the first time we saw that the Doctor and the guide-book (with the words "Don't Panic!" emblazoned on the cover in big, friendly letters) co-existed in the same universe.

In "Destiny Of The Daleks", the fourth incarnation of the Doctor had nothing better to do while pinned under a stone column so he started reading "The Origins Of The Universe" by Oolon Colluphid. But he got no further than the first line before he started scoffing at how Colluphid got it wrong, and that he should have consulted with somebody who had actually been there - apparently the Doctor had himself in mind as the expert.

According to the Wikipedia:

Oolon Colluphid is the author of several books on religious and other philosophical topics.

Colluphid's works include:
Where God Went Wrong
Some More of God's Greatest Mistakes
Who Is This God Person Anyway?
Well That About Wraps It Up for God
Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Guilt But Have Been Too Ashamed To Find Out
Everything You Never Wanted To Know About Sex But Have Been Forced To Find Out

In the episode "Ghost Light", the Seventh Doctor is reminded of a passage from The Book about how Earthlings never invite their ancestors round for dinner.

The new season begins on the BBC in the middle of April. (The first season of the revived series which features the Ninth Doctor finally got its Amerivan premiere on Friday night.) Maybe we'll now get reference/connections to 'Red Dwarf', 'Blake's 7', and 'The Children Of The Stones' among others.



A couple of years ago, when I published a salute to 'Murder, She Wrote' in the old Tubeworld Dynamic, I suggested that Charlie Garrett - a private eye who was played by Wayne Rogers on a recurring basis, - just might be the illegitimate son of private eye Jake Axminster from 'City Of Angels'.

While watching the three-part pilot episode for that series, I may have found myself one step closer to making that theory work.

While discussing a new grand jury impanelled to fight city-wide corruption, Axminster was asked if he knew the chief investigator, Mike Garrett of the Daily News.

I'm hoping Mike Garrett is a fictional character - that pilot worked in some real-life figures like General Smedley D. Butler into the storyline. And as the storyline was based on fact, Mike Garrett might be a real-life "historical figure", and I'd hate to speak ill, but.......

If he was fictional, it could be that Axminster didn't know Mike Garrett personally......

But he probably knew Garrett's wife REALLY well!

Nudge nudge wink wink!


Wednesday, March 15, 2006


The week's crossover can be added as an example to one of the articles I've already written for my Toobworld guidebook.


In the section which splains the discrepancies of the animal kingdom in the TV Universe, I covered the expanding category of comercials which feature intelligent squirrels: Clusters cereal, Post-It Notes, Geico insurance, and LeafGuard raingutter filters.

Their heightened intelligence can be traced back to the accidental transmutation of a California red squirrel into a human being through the use of Martian technology.

When Red the Squirrel was transformed back to his original furry form, he retained that increased IQ and passed it down to his descendents as genetic memory. (And considering how many litters a male squirrel can sire, and then how the future generations can multiply exponentially, the red squirrel population of today would all be related to Red within that first decade.)

So that splains red squirrels. But the squirrels seen in the blipverts have all been gray squirrels. (My brother, who hates squirrels, would call them blipvermin.)

It's not a common occurrence, but red and gray squirrels can cross-breed. And so in the past forty years since human intelligence was introduced into the genetic strain of squirrels, the gray squirrel has acquired that genome as well.

However, there must have been some mutation due to the cross-breeding; some kind of Mogwai/Gremlin twist in the DNA, so that although the gray squirrels were now intelligent as well, they used this newfound power for EVIL!

The proof is on our TV screens - gray squirrels steal our cereals; they use Post-It Notes to keep dogs under their mental control; they re-route street signs; and they cause traffice accidents just for kicks.

And now, as we saw in the commercial for Western Union, gangs of nut-gathering thugs are mugging humans and stealing their money.

Pretty soon we may see squirrels teaming up on TV with Vic Mackey on 'The Shield', or with Tony and his crew on 'The Sopranos'!

Evil, I tells ya! EVIL!!!!!


Tuesday, March 14, 2006


Peter Tomarken, host of the hit 1980s game show "Press Your Luck," and his wife were killed Monday when their small plane crashed in Santa Monica Bay shortly after takeoff on a volunteer medical transportation flight, authorities said.

Tomarken appeared in at least four other game shows in addition to "Press Your Luck," which was well known for contestants shouting the slogan "Big bucks, no whammies!"

The Beech A36 went down about 9:35 a.m. while apparently trying to return to Santa Monica Airport because of engine trouble, said FAA spokesman Allen Kenitzer. The airport is about two miles inland from the ocean.

The plane, found in 19 feet of water 200 yards offshore, was registered to Tomarken, according to Federal Aviation Administration records.

Tomarken's agent, Fred Wostbrock, said his client's first game show was "Hit Man!," which ran 13 weeks on NBC, followed by the four-year hit "Press Your Luck" on CBS.

"He was always a fun guy to be around, and he just loved the genre of game shows," Wostbrock said.

In 1987, Tomarken was on ABC with a show called "Bargain Hunters," and then went to the syndicated "Wipe-Out" in 1990. He returned to game shows in 2000 with the program "Paranoia."

[My thanks to for the link to this story.]



Maureen Stapleton, who created a gallery of pugnacious, sometimes profane but always vulnerable heroines on Broadway, in films and on television and who won an Academy Award for her fiery performance as the anarchist Emma Goldman in "Reds," died yesterday at her home in Lenox, Mass. She was 80.

Ms. Stapleton had one of the most honored acting careers of her generation. Her Academy Award for "Reds," Warren Beatty's 1981 epic about the Russian Revolution, came on her fourth Oscar nomination. She also won two Tony Awards and an Emmy among many nominations.

When NBC was adamant about producing a sequel to 'Columbo' when Peter Falk was ready to pack it in, and that they wanted it to be about Mrs. Columbo, Levinson & Linke (the producers) reluctantly agreed, suggesting Maureen Stapleton for the role. (My idea: Sada Thomson.)

When NBC said they wanted someone young and glamorous, L&L balked and walked.

I think she had to be part of the most asked question in all those "TV Key Mailbag" type of Q&A columns in the paper dealing with TV:

"Are Maureen Stapleton and Jean Stapleton related?"

The answer is no, by the way. Stop asking.


What a Tangled Web We Weave (1995) TV Episode .... Maggie MacPhee

Miss Rose White (1992) (TV) .... Tanta Perla

Last Wish (1992) (TV) .... Ida Rollin

"The Equalizer"
The Caper (1989) TV Episode .... 'Emmy' Rutherford

"B.L. Stryker" - Auntie Sue (1989) TV Episode

Liberace: Behind the Music (1988) .... Frances Liberace

"The Thorns" (1988) TV Series .... Peggy/Mrs. Hamilton

Private Sessions (1985/I) (TV) .... Dr. Liz Bolger

Sentimental Journey (1984) (TV) .... Ruthie

Family Secrets (1984) (TV) .... Maggie Lukauer

Alice in Wonderland (1983) (TV) .... White Queen

Little Gloria... Happy at Last (1982) (TV) .... Nurse Emma Kieslich

The Electric Grandmother
(1982) (TV) .... Grandmother

The Gathering, Part II (1979) (TV) .... Kate Thornton

Letters from Frank (1979) (TV) .... Betty Miller

"Saturday Night Live"
Episode #4.19 (1979) TV Episode .... Host

The Gathering (1977) (TV) .... Kate Thornton

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1976) (TV) .... Big Mama

Queen of the Stardust Ballroom (1975) (TV) .... Beatrice 'Bea' Asher

Tell Me Where It Hurts (1974) (TV) .... Connie

Mirror, Mirror Off the Wall (1969) (TV)

Among the Paths to Eden (1967) (TV) .... Mary O'Meaghan

"East Side/West Side"

One Drink at a Time (1964) TV Episode .... Molly

"The DuPont Show of the Week"
The Betrayal (1962) TV Episode .... Professor Gretchen Anna Thaelman

"Naked City"

Kill Me While I'm Young So I Can Die Happy (1962) TV Episode .... Ruth Cullan
Ooftus Goofus (1961) TV Episode .... Abbey Bick

"Car 54, Where Are You?"

The Gypsy Curse (1961) TV Episode .... Mrs. Anna Lupesko

"Play of the Week"
Four by Tennessee (1961) TV Episode

"Playhouse 90"
For Whom the Bell Tolls: Part 2 (1959) TV Episode .... Pilar
For Whom the Bell Tolls: Part 1 (1959) TV Episode .... Pilar

"Kraft Television Theatre"

All the King's Men: Part 2 (1958) TV Episode .... Sadie Burke
All the King's Men: Part 1 (1958) TV Episode .... Sadie Burke

"Studio One"
Rachel (1956) TV Episode .... Rachel Jackson

"The Alcoa Hour"
No License to Kill (II) (1956) TV Episode .... Vi Miller

"Armstrong Circle Theatre"
H.R. 8438: The Story of a Lost Boy (1956) TV Episode .... Mrs. Elizabeth Steigerwald
Minding Our Own Business (1955) TV Episode

Track of Fear (1955) TV Episode

"The Philco Television Playhouse"

Incident in July (1955) TV Episode .... Mrs. Johnson
The Mother (1954) TV Episode

"Star Tonight"
Gallant Lady (1955) TV Episode

"Goodyear Television Playhouse"
The Accident (1953) TV Episode

"Curtain Call"

Carrie Marr (1952) TV Episode

Lincoln (1992) (TV) (voice) .... Sarah Bush Lincoln

[Thanks to the]

Monday, March 13, 2006


With the lamentable litany of classic TV actors who passed away at the beginning of the month, it completely slipped my mind to announce the latest induction into the TV Crossover Hall of Fame.

As we're celebrating the original show in the 'Law & Order' franchise all year, the month of March has been chosen to celebrate the entry of Captain Donald Cragen into the lineup.

But as I'm also still in a stealth, hit-and-run mode as to computer use, I must be concise with the introductions for the induction. So here's a quick recap of the good Captain's career:

Donald Cragen is Irish Catholic, and a recovering alcoholic (not that the two necessarily go together.)

He's married to Marge, a flight attendant and he has a child, who by the fifth season of the series was 13 years old. Whether or not this child (boy or girl?) has Marge as a mother is unknown.)

Before he became captain at the 2-7, Cragen was partnered with Max Greevey.

Cragen left the precinct to lead the NYPD's Anti-Corruption Task Force and is currently the Captain of the Special Victims Unit.

Toobworld Facts: Cragen likes to use the word "freaking" a lot. He also likes to answer the phone by yelling "What!?!" into the receiver.

Toobworld theory: Being so fond of the word "bupkes!", it could be that he learned it from a hit song written by Rob Petrie and Sticks Mandelay in 'The Dick Van Dyke Show'.

And apparently, he wouldn't mind getting a little on the side. Otherwise why so many fond wishes for a girl-friend?

"And I'd like a girlfriend named Mimi..."
"And I'd like a girlfriend named Lola..."
"And I'd like a girlfriend named Trixie..."


Sunday, March 12, 2006


With my computer dead, I haven't suffered the withdrawal symptoms yet at home, but I find it hard to remember what it was I used to do before I got Alexand'r the First. (My computers are so named because of all of my prompts - sign on, error, mail alerts - are all lines of dialogue by Michael Dunn, mostly as Dr. Loveless but also as Alexander from 'Star Trek'.) I guess that's because I still have access here at work... for now.

I have this pile of videotapes, about fifteen in all, all full, which I've been putting off for a time like this. Last night it was an old 'Close To Home' from November, Alec Baldwin hosting the 2005 Christmas episode of 'SNL', and a lot of classic TV eps from TV Land for Christmas.

My apartment will reap the benefits of this downtime as well. I think the last time I even made a superficial attempt at cleaning it was back in November, so that Ivy wouldn't think I was as big a slob as I truly am when she came over to feed Sand while I was in L.A.

I'm pretty sure if I dig deep enough into the detritus, I'm going to find out what really happened to Chuck Cunningham.....

This will also give me the spark needed to get cracking on my guidebook to the TV Universe. From the essays in the old Tubeworld Dynamic website to the stuff I've dumped on you here at Inner Toob, I've got enough to work with, really. But I do need to get the introductory stuff down on paper and that's always a toughie.

And then there's my latest Inner Toob project - a "biography" of Walter Nichols, the character played by Burl Ives in 'The Bold Ones - The Lawyers'. So far, I'm connecting it (via my own "imagineering") to 'The Paper Chase', 'The Name Of The Game', 'The Sopranos', 'Boston Legal', 'Nichols', 'Banyon', 'Columbo', 'City of Angels', 'Quantum Leap', 'The Defenders', and 'Rumpole Of The Bailey'.

It's being written in a similar style to my earlier essays on Dr. Miguelito Loveless of 'The Wild, Wild West'; very much in the same vein as those essays to be found in Win Eckert's excellent website dedicated to Philip Jose Farmer's concept of the Wold Newton Universe, as opposed to the actually defined crossovers of the Tommy Westphall Universe.

To me, the connections all make sense. (For 'Quantum Leap', check out the cast list of the pilot "The Sound Of Anger" for a clue to the splainin.) When I finally get a chance to post it, I hope you'll like it.

Well, that's all for this night's shout into the void.........