The original choices I made for the June 2007 entry in the TV Crossover Hall of Fame weren't exactly tied in with this year's mini-theme celebration of 'Doctor Who', although they could have operated in the same universe easily enough. Scotland Yard detectives Charlie Barlow and John Watt ('Z Cars', 'Softly, Softly', and 'Barlow At Large') were supposed to continue the British invasion as a team for the Zodiac sign of the Twins, Gemini. (The 'Doctor Who' episode "The Feast Of St. Stephen" back in 1965 was actually supposed to contain a crossover with 'Z Cars', but for some reason it fell through.)
However, due to the seismic events in the third season finale of 'Lost', the proposed inductee for March 2008 was moved up: Charles Heironymous Pace, an apt pick for June since a tie-in to the series has been the novel "Bad Twin". (The choice of March for Charlie's induction would have worked as well, thinking of the March Hare, what with Charlie's fateful and fatal association with the "White Rabbit" logo of the Looking Glass station.) And to make that twin pairing idea work still, a second nominee has been added from 'Lost' - the airline responsible for stranding them there on the Island, Oceanic Airways.
Charlie was one of my favorite characters in 'Lost', and his noble sacrifice in order to insure his beloved Claire and Aaron made it safely back to civilization was a memorable high point for the series as a whole, not just in the season finale. But it's not because he died that Charlie becomes a member of the Hall of Fame. If that's all it took, roaming the halls of the Hall would be such ghosts as Dr. Eliott Axelrod from 'St. Elsewhere' hospital, Bobby Simone of the 'NYPD Blue', Livia Soprano, and Sheriff 'Nichols'.
No, Charlie is being inducted because of all the characters in the show, he is responsible for linking 'Lost' to two other TV series.
First up: during an episode of 'Alias', another show by 'Lost' producer JJ Abrams, the song "You All Everybody" could be heard playing at a birthday party. This was the one hit wonder of Charlie's band DriveShaft and so his music and his singing crossed over into another show.
Secondly, when Charlie was dating a girl back in England just so he could rip off her father's house, we learned that her wealthy Dad was away on a business trip. He was scouting out a paper company in Slough with the intent of acquisition. I don't think Slough is the kind of town that could support two paper companies, so it's O'Bvious that this was a reference to Wertham-Hogg, the company featured in the original version of 'The Office'.
There will be two other posts about Charlie in the coming days: one looking back at his death, and the other a "Wish-Craft" for him to show up in more flashbacks... on other shows.
This fictional airline was already being used even before 'Lost' brought it international infamy and scrutiny. It even shows up in the movie universe, thanks to its appearance in "Executive Decision", perhaps its most famous use prior to 'Lost'.
It was mentioned in an episode of 'Diagnosis Murder' and it was featured in two TV movies. First, there was "Code 11-14", for which the IMDb.com supplies this summary:
An FBI agent went to Australia with his family to capture a serial killer. When Australian Police captured the main suspect, he and his family went back to USA. Unfortunately the REAL serial killer also went back to USA in the same airplane with the FBI agent and his family.
And the same company, the same travel route (from Sydney to Los Angeles)!, was used in "Nowhere To Land":
Over 300 people are believed to be held hostage in a Boeing 747 enroute from Sydney, Australia, to Los Angeles, California. The plane, under command of veteran pilot Captain John Prescott, is two hours from land; however, early reports suggest that a biochemical device hidden onboard the plane is timed to detonate within the hour. The device, believed to contain a nerve gas ten times deadlier than the Sarin gas released in a Tokyo subway in 1995, is reported to be tied to a countdown trigger with less than an hour remaining. Apparently disguised within passenger carry-on luggage, the bomb seems to have been planted not by a political terrorist, but by a madman acting in hopes of revenge.
Since 'Lost' premiered, Oceanic Airways was also mentioned in an episode of sister show 'Alias' and a view of one of their planes was also the punchline for an episode of 'The War At Home' on FOX.
Here at Toobworld Central, we think the corporate giant that owns Oceanic Airways also has a stake in the Oceanic casino in Las Vegas, as seen in a recent episode of 'Hustle'. Or they could have sold it outright, but it maintained the name due to nostalgic value.
And so there's our pair of Gemini inductees into the TV Crossover Hall of Fame for June of 2007. And because it is June, we'll be having another inductee in just a few days!