Saturday, April 1, 2006


(AP) -- Britt Lomond, who played the dastardly Capitan Monastario in the 1950s TV series "Zorro" and was a staple on other Western series including "Death Valley Days" and "Rawhide," has died. He was 80.

Lomond died of kidney failure at a Huntington Beach nursing home, according to Tyler St. Mark, his friend and former publicist.

Lomond later turned to directing and production work, but his fame stemmed from playing opposite Guy Williams' Zorro from 1957-58. A postage stamp depicting Lomond as Monastario was issued by the Netherlands in 2004.

"He has a huge following in Europe," his widow, Diane Lomond, told the Orange County Register. "It's amazing how something like that can live on."

"Chasing After Zorro" is the title of Lomond's 2004 memoir.

"The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp" (1955) TV Series .... Johnny Ringo (1960-1961)
"Zorro" .... Capt. Monastario (1957-1958)

"Simon & Simon"
- Murder Between the Lines (1983) TV Episode .... Jerry Gelson
"Mission: Impossible"
- The Widow (1967) TV Episode .... Thornton
"I Spy"
- A Room with a Rack (1967) TV Episode .... Psychologist
"The Virginian"
- If You Have Tears (1963) TV Episode .... Kyle Lawson
- The Prairie Elephant (1961) TV Episode .... Dario
"Perry Mason"
- The Case of the Posthumous Painter (1961) TV Episode .... Jack Culross
"Peter Gunn"
- Deadly Intrusion (1961) TV Episode .... Gil Manson
"The Case of the Dangerous Robin"
- Falling Star (1961) TV Episode
- The Heartbreak Gang (1961) TV Episode
- A Good Imagination (1961) TV Episode .... Arnold Chase
"Zane Grey Theater"
- The Atoner (1961) TV Episode .... Logan Drew
"Lock Up"
- His Brother's Keeper (1961) TV Episode .... Patrolman Larry Wade
- Bathhouse Justice (1960) TV Episode .... Clete Slade
"The Brothers Brannagan"
- Her Brother's Keeper (1960) TV Episode
"Tales of Wells Fargo"
- The Journey (1960) TV Episode .... Haggerty
"Tombstone Territory"
- The Legend (1959) TV Episode .... Jay Pelf
"Men Into Space"
- Moonquake! (1959) TV Episode
"Colt .45"
- A Legend of Buffalo Bill (1959) TV Episode .... Buffalo Bill Cody
"Death Valley Days"
- A Piano Goes West (1959) TV Episode
- Faro Bill's Layout (1956) TV Episode .... Faro Bill
"26 Men"
- Slaughter Trail (1958) TV Episode
"Disneyland" . - The Saga of Andy Burnett: Andy's Love Affair (1957) TV Episode .... Captain Paco Reyes
- Test of Courage (1957) TV Episode .... Lieutenant Poole
"Annie Oakley"
- Annie Rings the Bell (1956) TV Episode .... Gentleman Jim Corbett
"Navy Log"
- A Day for a Stingray (1956) TV Episode .... Lieutenant Fraser
- The First Shot (1956) TV Episode .... Executive
- The Pollywog of Yosu (1955) TV Episode .... Garrigio
"The Count of Monte Cristo"
- Victor Hugo (1956) TV Episode .... De Crissac

[thanks to the]



I realize that with the passing of my Mom last week, my mind would automatically pick up on any mentions of funerals and mortuaries and Death in general.

But now it's getting spooky with the specifics.

There's a new blipvert for Cingular which is using Peter Gabriel's "Solsbury Hill" as its theme as it extols its abilities to provide more bars. (As someone who doesn't buy into the cell phone culture, I'm like Dr. Temperance Brennan on that topic: "I don't know what that means.")

I've already made the arrangements for this song to be playing at my own funeral....

"Today I don't need a replacement
I'll tell them what the smile on my face meant
My heart going boom boom boom
"Hey" I said "You can keep my things,
they've come to take me home

Guess I'm next.....



While hanging out with the Brokeback Boys (Mark's from Wyoming, Michael's a human 'Mr. Ed'.), they showed me a couple of episodes of 'Absolutely Fabulous' so that I could catch up on the adventures of Patsy and Edina. (I last saw them in the "wrap-up" movie, "The Last Shout".)

One of these was a Christmas-themed episode with a guest appearance by Kate O'Mara.

And it reminded me of my idea about fanfic writers finding inspiration for crossover stories with pictures from unrelated sources. It occurred to me that they might make use of a particular frame grab from this episode.

At one point, Patsy Stone is in the hospital and she's visited by her evil sister as played by O'Mara.

Freeze frame!

For a lot of people like me, Kate O'Mara is best known as The Rani, one of the Doctor's best adversaries in 'Doctor Who'. And Joanna Lumley, who plays Patsy, played the "Ultimate Doctor" in "Curse Of Fatal Death", a sketch for a Comic Relief telethon.

So for Skitworld, a dimension of the TV Universe which comprises the comedy sketches from such shows as 'Laugh-In', 'Saturday Night Live', 'MAD-TV', and 'In Living Color', this screen capture could inspire a 'Doctor Who' fanfic writer to come up with a tale about the Doctor - now a woman - trapped in hospital and at the mercy of The Rani!

Just sayin' is all. I just toss the ideas out there; not my problem what others end up doing with them......



If you see news blips that the 200th episode of 'Stargate SG-1' was going to tip its hat to 'Firefly' and "Serenity", don't let it trip you into arrhythmia. It's not going to be like the inside joke homage seen in a quick cameo on 'Battlestar Galactica'; there will be no crossover possibility.

Instead, it's the situation of the plotline that seems to echo the Real World history of Joss Whedon's sci-fi series, which was untimely ripped from the schedule, only to be reborn as a theatrical released sequel.

As such, it provides more fodder for the entertainment folder of Toobworld trivia:

From SCI Fi Wire:

The 200th episode will bring back the character of Martin Lloyd (Willy Garson) and his fictional TV show 'Wormhole X-treme', which was the subject of the 100th episode, "Wormhole X-treme," and is a parody of SG-1 itself.

This time around, the SG-1 team helps Lloyd turn 'Wormhole X-treme' into a movie. "Even though the series was canceled after three episodes, it did well on DVD."

Thus, the 'Firefly'/"Serenity" reference.



'Love Monkey' lives!

After only three episodes, CBS cancelled the series with five hours left hanging. I never got the chance to see it because I was taping 'Boston Legal' during that Michael J. Fox arc, which was going to include an appearance by my friend Shirley Jordan.

I really wanted to see 'Love Monkey', though. I figured that its look at the recording industry in NYC through the eyes of a cynical music scout would provide plenty of TV trivia to expand Toobworld. And as I have a friend who used to be a veep in the Bertelsmann Group before grabbing the golden chute, I'd like to compare tele-version to what I know about the Real World version.

So now VH1, which (I think) is owned by the same parent company as CBS, will pick up the show and run that monkey to its conclusion. It will air the three previously seen shows back-to-back on April 11, starting at 7 p.m. EDT. The remaining five installments will air weekly on Tuesdays at 9 p.m. beginning April 18.



Mike Szymanski of the SCI FI Wire reports on the possible options for spin-offs from 'Charmed' when it ends this spring, but most of them seem unlikely at this point.

However, Brian Krause is keen on the idea of seeing his character, Leo Wyatt, end up getting his own show.

"I'd love to do it," said Krause in the article. "I'd jump at the chance. ...The greatest thing about the character that I play is that my character has integrity, and ... I think that my character brought up the idea and emotions of right and wrong."


Friday, March 31, 2006


'As The World Turns' celebrates its fiftieth anniversary on Sunday, and the soap opera closed out the week with the first of two episodes marking the occasion. (The second one opens next week and looks to be a lock on the Crossover Of The Week on 4/10.)

This certainly wasn't a run-of-the-mill episode of 'ATWT', but the type of offbeat diversion that many of the soap operas have mounted in the last quarter century.

Three of the main characters, "teenagers" Will, Gwen, and Casey, helped Maddie with her project's research into the leading families of Oakdale. So they all visualized the pertinent residents in town as the characters in five different classic sitcoms:


The show also utilized one of the old opening credit sequences, including the opening iris shot of the CBS logo.

I'm not familiar with 'As The World Turns', so I can't say whether or not the characters properly fit the dynamics of the original sitcoms. But as far as recreating the look of those old shows, from the costumes to the sets, the soap's crew did a bang-up job, especially with the living room of 'The Munsters' and with the genie costume worn by Carly.

Best acting job of them all was by Trent Dawson doing double duty as Henry and Henrietta, the Fred and Ethel stand-ins. His first off-stage line as Henrietta did evoke Viviane Vance, but that evaporated once he stepped onto the set and we could see him in drag. As for his William Frawley impersonation, however, that was classic; well done!

And although Don Hastings looked great as Grandpa in 'The Munsters' spoof, it was a mistake for him to attempt a Transylvanian accent. Everybody knows the late Al Lewis sounded like he'd be more at home among the Bowery Boys than with the Drac Pack.

The 'I Dream Of Carly' sequence had the best lines, both very suggestive:

"He is not worthy of polishing your helmet."
Say no more!
"Now I can bend you."
I bet she does, I bet she does! Know what I mean? Nudge nudge wink wink!

What really puzzled me is why CBS didn't step in and tell the writers to come up with two classic CBS sitcoms to replace the spoofs of NBC's 'I Dream Of Jeannie' and ABC's 'Happy Days'.

Like I said, I don't have a clue about the relationships nor the personality quirks of the characters involved, but couldn't they have found a way to use 'The Dick Van Dyke Show', 'The Mary Tyler Moore Show', 'Hogan's Heroes', 'The Honeymooners', 'The Andy Griffith Show', 'All In The Family', 'Green Acres', or even 'Mr. Ed'?

Will, Casey, Gwen, and Maddie would have fit perfectly into a recreation of 'The Many Loves Of Dobie Gillis'.

Just sayin', is all. At least it was a nice touch that with the 'Happy Days' scenes, the writers were able to work in the show's spin-off by having Gwen and Maddie play 'Laverne & Shirley' respectively.

And just so's you didn't think I forgot one of the classic CBS sitcoms, the show kicked off the episode with Maddie watching 'Gilligan's Island' on her VCR. Of course it was the unmistakable theme song that we heard, rather than any of the stranded castaways.

How to splain it all? I'm at a loss. All of those shows should exist in the same universe as 'As The World Turns'. But even so, it was a nice touch to give the current cast of the soap opera the chance to cut loose a bit from their characters; sort of a way to celebrate an anniversary as a costume party.


Thursday, March 30, 2006


The folks behind 'Doctor Who' have coined a new term - "Tardisodes".

This refers to one-minute mini-dramas, "like little prequels to the episode playing that week." As can be expected with this growing trend, these "Tardisodes" will be available for download to mobile phones "a few days" ahead of each episode of 'Doctor Who', which broadcasts on Saturday nights over in the U.K. They will also be made available on the official website.

The production team was also responsible for the interactive adventure 'Attack of the Graske': Gareth Roberts (writer), Ashley Way (director), Sophie Fante (producer), Simon Winsone (editor), Edward Thomas (designer) and The Mill will be providing the special effects.

The "Tardisodes" will not feature David Tennant or Billie Piper, as the actors have been too busy, but Roberts claims that it's okay, because this way, they can expand the particular corner of the universe which they're exploring.

Simon Winstone mentioned that they will "show you something you wouldn't have seen otherwise … An element of back story. Some are live action… We didn't want these to be previews … They're part of the show's world".

Gareth Roberts sees them as pre-credits sequences, and as examples of "what Tardisodes might present", he suggested:

a computer graphic of a Cyberman being formed
Jackie talking to camera
an excerpt from a TV show

He also mentioned that the "Tardisode" for "The Girl in the Fireplace" will "follow suit" in being "very scary".

Luckily for those of us in other TV markets, Winstone also suggested that they will probably be included on a DVD release.

There's just something goofy about that word, "Tardisodes". It just makes me think of neat little packages of turds all shrink-wrapped.

But at least it's not as bad as that word coined by Dick Wolf to describe his latest attempt to cash in on his 'Law & Order' world, 'Conviction'....


Ugh. If that doesn't make you want to rinse out your mouth with vinegar......



Sorry, but the following dialogue exchange is paraphrased....

Agent Booth:
You're a regular Dr. Phil, aren't you?
Dr. Brennan:
I don't know who that is. Who's Dr. Phil, some kind of expert?
Agent Booth:
He likes to think so.

In just a few years, since he first gained nationwide recognition from his appearances on 'Oprah!', Dr. Phil has become a pop culture reference. He now has his own daily TV show and has done prime-time specials as well.

'Bones' isn't the first series to recognize Dr. Phil's place in the TV Universe, but it's probably the first one to make fun of the guy. Perhaps it's a sign that Dr. Phil's status in pop culture has begun the inevitable shift into becoming a national joke, as so often happens.

Just ask Michael Jackson.

But if he's lucky, Dr. Phil will ride it through as William Shatner and Adam West did; embracing the ridicule and scorn until once again he's re-established as "cool".

Like Shatner and West, Dr. Phil has certified his presence as a fictional character in Toobworld via appearances on 'Frasier', 'The Norm Show', and 'The Bernie Mac Show', as well as in a 'Sesame Street' special and in blipverts for Having met the requirements, he's now eligible for entry into the TV Crossover Hall of Fame, League of Themselves wing.

Once there, he can talk shop with Dr. Joyce Brothers, a member since 2000.


Wednesday, March 29, 2006


Tele-journalist Bill Kurtis, host of 'American Justice' on A&E, appeared within the framework of his own series when he made a cameo appearance on this week's episode of 'The Sopranos'.

However, it was in a fictional episode of the show, focusing on the Soprano crime family and primarily on AJ Soprano (at least in the segment we saw). So in that sense Bill Kurtis was appearing as his own tele-version.

Not that he's really got other credits like that; most of his work is still in the reality/news programming realm of the TV Universe. Technically eligible, but boring as all hell.

Seems apt.

Who said dat????



When the second season of 'Slings & Arrows' opened, it was the last day of performance for the New Burbage production of "Hamlet". Rachel MacAdams and Luke Kirby returned for just the one episode to bring a close to their sweet love story as stars of the play Kate McNab and Jack Crewes.

However, it wasn't a seamless transition from one season to the next when it came to the actors and the characters they played. When "Hamlet" opened in the final episode of the first season, the role of Claudius was played by a tall, lanky, somewhat big-eared actor who might one day be considered for playing the role of Abraham Lincoln.

But with Season Two, we saw that Claudius was being played by Brian Cabot (as portrayed by Leon Pownall). Brian was shorter and quite rotund, with a small white beard and a manner of dress that seemed to suggest to me that he grew up near the sea. (Hence, I'm thinking that he may somehow be related to the town founders of Cabot Cove, Maine, as seen in 'Murder, She Wrote'!)

This is a "Re-Castaway" case in which we can actually cite re-casting as the reason behind the change in characters. Such a reason can't be used in most cases as that's a behind-the-scenes decision made in the Real World and thus can't be considered within the inner reality of Toobworld. But this time it works, mate!

For reasons unknown, the actor originally hired to play the role of Claudius must have dropped out of the production. Perhaps he got a role in a TV series to be filmed in Toronto, or headed west to Vancouver to film a role in a movie that was supposed to look like New York City.

Brian Cabot was a long-standing member (up to that time) of the troupe at the New Burbage Shakespeare Festival; his association with the late Oliver Welles, who used to be the festival's artistic director, went back many years. We know from the very first episode of Season One that there were certain actors in the company for whom there were no roles that season and so as a thank you for past contributions they were given complimentary ducats to opening night of "Midsummer's Night's Dream". Perhaps Brian Cabot was one of those actors.

Or more likely, since he did have the perfect bearing for playing Claudius, it could be that he was not available at the time of casting and rehearsal for "Hamlet" to play the murderous King. (Ooh! Is that a spoiler?)

Mayhaps he was the one who was busy in Toronto or Vancouver filming some other production. (If the character's life mirrored that of the actor, that's likely - it seems from the, that Leon Pownall has been quite in demand for his services on both sides of the border.)

So that's the easy way out splainin for the two different characters portraying Claudius from one season to the next. And I must say it's nice to be able to come up with a reason that doesn't depend on plastic surgery, alien/android impersonations, or quantum leaping!



On the season finale of 'Monk', Adrian Monk found himself stuck on jury duty. Among his fellow members of the jury were the following actors:

VAN EPPERSON - Postal Worker Juror
KEVIN BERNTSON - Sports Fan Juror
CARLEASE BURKE - Teacher Juror
BRYAN COFFEE - Sneezing Juror
KIMI REICHENBERG - Pierced Girl Juror
BONITA FRIEDRICY - Housewife Juror

Should any of these actors ever appear again in a TV series set in San Francisco (or if they already did), then we might be able to claim that they are playing the same characters they played on that jury, since none of them were known by more than their description or at best, by their seating number.

Some of the above jurors seem to have very specific identities - "Teacher Juror", "Postal Worker Juror", "Ex-Marine". But a character's occupation or background history, especially among the lesser supporting cast, is rarely mentioned. And even then, splainins can be found: for example, I'm sure there are plenty of teachers who have to moonlight in a second job because of the notorious low pay in their chosen profession.

At any rate, by remaining nameless these characters may one day provide the trivial links needed to connect 'Monk' to shows like the current ABC offering 'The Evidence', as well as to past series like 'Killer Instinct', 'Midnight Caller', or maybe even as far back as to 'The Streets Of San Francisco'!



I was just kidding myself if I thought posting about all the funereal TV references I saw during this past downer of a week would make it all stop.

Right after I posted "Mom", I turned on the TV to catch up on the tapes I made in the last few days. The toob was already tuned to the Hallmark Channel, and there was little Laura Ingalls talking to an old woman who had staged her own wake and funeral with the help of Charles Ingalls. (They were discussing why it was - is! - that people always make the effort to show up for your funeral, when they should instead be there for your birthday party so that you have the chance to appreciate their presence in your life.

And then it was on to the second episode of 'The Sopranos' for this season, which of course centered around the bedside vigil in the hospital as Tony lay in a coma after being shot by his Uncle Junior.


Tuesday, March 28, 2006


You'll notice that between last week's big crossover and the big crossover of this week there are no other entries. The stats in my profile used to boast an average of 14 posts per week.

Wha' hoppint?, as Ricky Ricardo might ask?

My Mom passed away last week at the age of 75. She was a fighter and a survivor, the strongest woman I'll ever know. But after sixteen years bouncing back from everything else that was thrown at her - from strokes and a heart attack, to a process that seared her lungs so that they wouldn't fill with fluid, and the amputation of her leg last October, Mom finally was defeated by a breakdown of the inner works. Had she been younger and stronger, surgery might have been the answer; but her healing process had long since been compromised. She never would have made it through the operation.

So Mom was placed in hospice mode, at the hospital where she herself worked as a nurse for nearly forty years, and made comfortable. Thankfully the end wasn't too long in coming, and my three brothers, my sister, and I were all there with her as she passed over to be with all the loved ones who left before her.

Although I was away from the blog the whole week, the concept of Inner Toob was never far from my notice. I've mentioned before the sense of a higher power guiding the serendipity of my channel surfing; landing on a channel just in time to see something that I could use to expand the makings of the TV Universe.

But this time, it was as if Television wasn't going to let me stray from thoughts of the week's events.

Mom passed away last Wednesday morning. That night, Chef died as well on 'South Park'.

Thursday night, the episode of 'Everybody Hates Chris' was "Everybody Hates Funerals". It dealt with the death of a grandparent as seen by the grandchild.

Friday night's episode of 'Doctor Who' on the Sci-Fi Channel was "The Unquiet Dead", which took place in a mortuary in 1869 Cardiff, Wales.

Sci-Fi Channel also premiered a new movie on Saturday night, entitled "Mortuary".

And Sunday night's episode of 'The Wing' ended with a preview that seemed to suggest that the death of actor John Spencer will be reflected in the death of his character of Leo McGarry next week.

Add to this that I brought a DVD of 'Sings &Arrows' home with me, to fill the downtime of that long week, which contains a death, a very theatrical funeral, and scenes in a mortuary and the morgue. I also brought along a DVD of "Remembrance Of The Daleks", the 20th anniversary celebration of 'Doctor Who' which also has scenes set in a mortuary - something I didn't know was coming.

And as if to rub it in, I got back to NYC to find the latest issue of "Entertainment Weekly" in my mailbox; its cover proclaiming "TV IS KING".

There is no escape from Toobworld's reflection on my life, and by extension, on my Mom's. As a matter of fact, her love of 'The Young & The Restless' - and her prized possession of a personally autographed picture of Peter Bergman as Jack Abbott - were mentioned by my sister in her eulogy.

At any rate, if this all seems a little irreverent, well, that's who I am. And I can't be too sad, as Mom is past all her suffering and on the next part of her journey. The faith she helped instill in me says that this life is just a stage, a way-station along the Way. How can I be sad that she's now reunited with my Dad, her parents (hopefully her Dad made it.....), her godson Norman and her neice Linda, as well as all the pets she had through life?

My sister said that Mom's now free of all the pain and suffering of the last sixteen years, but I think Father Tucker had it right in his homily - Mom's trials and tribulations started fifty-one years as she began her second career, that of raising "those five characters" (as Father Tucker dubbed us).

BCnU, Mom. I know I'll never be able to watch 'The Price Is Right' or 'The Young & The Restless' without feeling you near.


Jean Marie Griffin O'Brien

Monday, March 27, 2006


This week's crossover came at the beginning of last week (on 3/19), in a throwaway line which I had forgotten about until I was reminded by a reader of the blog for Tommy Westphall's Mind.


While running through a list of the upcoming appearances Congressman Matt Santos would have to make on TV for the final push in his presidential campaign, Josh Lyman mentioned taping an appearance for 'Good Morning Miami'. This show is obviously following the 'Today' show - NBC wouldn't want to tout any other network, would they?

Like I said, it was a throwaway reference, but it was enough. What made it surprising was that it brought back memories of an NBC series that didn't do very well during its only season on the air, and which had no other real connections to other NBC shows except for 'Queer Eye For The Straight Guy', which airs on Bravo (owned by NBC).

Of course, there aren't really any other shows on NBC right now that deal with fictional TV shows, (unless you count the Out TV network on 'Will & Grace'), so they went with the recent past. (Had they dipped into the archive of classic NBC programs, then they could have invoked such fake shows as 'Lateline'.)

Overall, using 'Good Morning Miami' works out well for Toobworld purposes. 'The West Wing' had to be relegated to an alternate TV dimension because of Jed Bartlet being the President, when in Earth Prime-Time, the POTUS must always be the current Commander-In-Chief for Earth Prime. As I mentioned, 'Good Morning Miami' never lasted long enough, or wasn't prized enough by the Powers That Be, to get crossovers and tie-ins to any of the other fictional shows on the Peacock Network. This means we don't have to worry about banishing any other shows with 'Good Morning Miami' to Earth Prime-Time/Jed (for lack of a better classification).

As for 'Queer Eye For The Straight Guy', there's no problem with this - that's a "reality" series and the Fab Five appear as themselves. There have been a few other people who have appeared as themselves on 'The West Wing' (Jay Leno, David Hasselhoff, and this past week, Atrios perhaps?) and others have been mentioned, like Matt Drudge. (And there was a real-world scientist portrayed by Christopher Lloyd as well.)

So, like many other real-world celebs, the Fab Five have counterparts in at least one other TV dimension.

And this doesn't mean we have to lose 'Good Morning Miami' from the main Toobworld, although there's no real compulsion to keep it. The local TV show within a network series could just as easily have its own doppelganger in several different TV dimensions.

The TV dimension housing 'The West Wing' now has several TV shows joining it Among them are:

'The West Wing'
'Mr. Sterling'
'Good Morning Miami'

And even after it shuffles off its mortal coil with the end of this season, 'The West Wing' may still have a "life" should it ever be mentioned by some show in the future.

Hey, it happened for 'Good Morning Miami'!


With the episode of 3/26, options were bandied about as to Santos making an appearance in a pre-taped Halloween-themed sketch for 'The Tonight Show'. Go-betweens handled the details and we didn't see Jay Leno, but as mentioned above, he has appeared on the show in the past.

I bring this up now so I don't feel the temptation to cite it for next week's Crossover Of The Week. Just this weekend, I noticed a great one that had been flying under the radar for weeks since the Super Bowl.......