Saturday, April 28, 2007


By the way.....

The "Betty" mentioned in that previous summary is Betty Jones, the daughter-in-law of the show's title character. At the time of the series, she was a widow, as her husband Hal died before the show aired. Betty and Barnaby's son met "on the job", so to speak - he arrested her as a fugitive in L.A. after her escape from Gotham Prison back in the late 1960s.

She had been serving time for her crimes as the second Catwoman.

Betty had appropriated the identity of the feline felon for herself after the death of the original, Selina Kyle, in the caves beneath Gotham City. She wasn't the last to do so, either. A cat burgler by the name of Tia Mara also took on the identity after she was jilted out of what she felt she was rightfully due from her association with a covert government agency known as the IMF. And then there was the Egyptian cat goddess Bastet, whose spirit reanimated the body of Ms. Kyle so that she once again purr-sued her former life as the Catwoman in Gotham City. (And she still does to this day!)

While escorting his prisoner back to Gotham City after her extradition hearing, Hal Jones and Betty fell in love. They were married after she served her full sentence, but the union didn't last long - the son of Barnaby Jones was killed in the line of duty. To take her mind off her troubles, Betty went to work for her father-in-law as a secretary and general gal Friday. And that's why Peter Kirkland decided to involve her in his plans.

(I never saw the episode - at least I don't remember doing so, - but come on! That plotline screams out as a case of misdirection!)

'Barnaby Jones'
'Mission: Impossible'
"Batman" (the 1966 movie)

Toby OB


Everybody in Toobworld has a twin; that's a given. Most are related by blood, such as actual identical twins, or maybe half-siblings. Sometimes the relationship is a little farther out, like identical cousins who walk alike and talk alike. Or maybe there's a generational difference - sometimes parents look exactly like their children (Felix Unger and his dad, Morgan O'Rourke and his father). Identical twins can also be caused by plastic surgery, by magic, or be due to android duplication and alien shapeshifters.

Most rare are the identical twins related to each other not by blood, but by marriage. And in my :ahem!: sciolistic research yesterday into the identity of the first Mrs. Sam Malone, I discovered that Carlie Kirkland of 'Banacek' (1972-74) may well have been the exact double to Virginia Kirkland, seen in the "Fatal Overture" episode of 'Barnaby Jones' in 1979. But in my theory, they obviously can't be sisters or cousins, but instead perhaps they were sisters-in-law.

Here's a description of that episode:

"Betty witnesses the quarrel of a neighbor with two women. On the next day one of them is dead and the man, Peter Kirkland, asks Betty to investigate the apparent suicide. He fears his jealous, unbalanced wife Virginia might have committed a crime."

It's my supposition that Peter Kirkland and Carlie Kirkland were brother and sister, but that Carlie lived in Boston while Peter lived in the City of Angels. It's no wonder Peter's wife Virginia was mentally unbalanced.... Ladies, how would you feel if you found out that your husband married you because you were the spitting image of his sister?

Let's crank up that Eww Dial to 11, shall we?

Toby OB

Friday, April 27, 2007


In his blog this week, Ken Levine spoke about the little trivial bits of business that were done on 'Cheers' that the audience ignored when it came to believability or impact on the series. Of all items on the list - from the placement of the phone to customers actually paying for drinks - there was one in particular which caught my non-network logo eye: He mentions that "In the second episode [of Cheers] it was established that Sam was divorced, then never mentioned again."

No need for me to verify that trivia tidbit; Mr. Levine must know what he's talking about, since he was a writer and co-producer for the series.

'Cheers' has been off the air for well over a decade; even its sequel, 'Frasier' is gone now. So the possibility that any speculation on the identity of the former Mrs. Malone might contradict the established "history" of the character isn't very likely. And I don't think that, should it ever come back in a reunion special, Sam's first wife will be the major plot point for the show.

Before he retired to open the bar "Cheers", Sam Malone had been a relief pitcher for the Boston Red Sox. This doesn't necessarily mean that he always played for that team, nor should we infer that he remained in the area because he already had established roots there from growing up in Beantown. (If his family was from the Boston area, we should have seen more of his brother Derek, and perhaps meet his parents - if they were still alive.)

I think he chose to open his bar in Boston because that was the site of his greatest fame and that would be something he could rely upon to help keep the customers coming in - the chance to see a "local legend" from their beloved Sox. So I'm thinking that Sam was originally from elsewhere, but most likely the East Coast, before he joined the team.

I'm also going to assume that, like Carl Yastrzemski before him, Sam Malone spent his entire baseball career with only one major league team. (And woohoo for me - I spelled Carl's last name right on the first try!)

It's my own assumption that if most major league ballplayers came to "the Show" already married, their wives were high school sweethearts or at least somebody they knew from their lives before joining the team. If that was the case for Sam, then we've got the entire Tele-Folks Directory at our disposal to find candidates for Mrs. Malone!

I'm going to go with the idea that Sam didn't fall in love and get married until he got to Boston. That would narrow down the list to characters from TV shows that were set in the Beantown locale.

One of my favorite research sites for televisiology is TV Acres (as always, the link is to the left) where Mr. Holst has an incredible collection of trivia tidbits for all sorts of categories - from "aardvarks" to "Yugoslavians". Under "geographical locations", I culled this list of shows that take place in Boston, Massachusetts:

The Adams Chronicles/PBS/1976
Against the Law/FOX/1990-91
All Souls/UPN/2001 All Soul's Hospital
Ally McBeal/FOX/1997-2002
Beacon Hill/CBS/1975
Boston Common/NBC/1996-97 Randolph Harrington College
Boston Public/FOX/2000-04 Winslow High School
Crossing Jordon/NBC/2001+ Boston's Coroner's Office
Goodnight, Beantown/CBS/1983-84
The Great Defender/FOX/1995
Hothouse/ABC/1988 Near Boston
It Had To Be You/CBS/1993
James at 15/NBC/1977-78
The Law and Harry McGraw/CBS/1987-88
The Paper Chase/CBS/1978-79 The Paper Chase: The Second Year/SHO/1983-84

The Paper Chase: The Third Year/SHO/1985
The Paper Chase: The Graduation Year/SHO/1986
Paul Sand In Friends And Lovers/CBS/1974-75
The Practice/ABC/1997-2004
The Righteous Apples/PBS/1980.
Sabrina, the Teenage Witch/ABC/WB/1996-2003 Adams College

St. Elsewhere/NBC/1982-88
Spenser: For Hire/ABC/1985-88
To Have & To Hold/CBS/1998
21 Beacon Street/NBC/ABC/1959-60
Two Guys, A Girl And A Pizza Place (Two Guys & A Girl)/ABC/1998-2001
The Young Lawyers/ABC/1970-71

Out of all those options, there were two in which I found pozz'ble candidates for the first Mrs. Sam Malone; one was a specific case and from the other, it's more of a generality.

First up: Carlie Kirkland, from 'Banacek' (played by Christine Belford)

If Carlie was ever married to Sam, it had to have been before 'Banacek' aired (1972-74), when they were both in their early twenties. But Sam's inevitable philandering would have driven Carlie to seek a divorce, and could account for why she had such a bitter attitude towards Banacek - perhaps she saw a lot of her former husband in the insurance investigator?

(And we know Sam had to be fooling around during his marriage - in the 'Cheers' episode "Sam Time Next Year" from 1991, we learned that Sam had been carrying on a one night a year affair for at least twenty years with one Lauren Hudson - the name by which he knew Mandy Stephenson aka "Agent 99"......)

The other example would be 'Beacon Hill', the American copy of 'Upstairs, Downstairs', which was set during the 1920s. There is no specific character, obviously, from that show but one of the descendants of the Lassiter family could have met Sam and eventually married him. It would certainly have made all the papers in Boston at the time - young heiress from a Kennedyesque family falls in love with handsome young sports star.

But the pressures of that celebrity, with Sam on the road most of the year, and the notoriety - again, from Sam's dalliances - would have taken their toll on their marriage.

What's great about this option is that the candidate is nebulous enough that we don't even have to narrow it down to a specific actress... or even what her first name was. And she could be a direct descendant of the Lassiter family, yet with a different last name. This would be due to her being the daughter of any child borne by Fawn Lassiter (assuming she gave birth after marriage, which would have changed her surname).

I could have looked among the female characters from the cast of 'St. Elsewhere', but as that show is already linked to 'Cheers' I didn't have much interest in fortifying the connection.

Besides, I'm in the camp that believes that the events of 'St. Elsewhere' actually took place. I didn't want to get into that whole argument that it all took place in the mind of the autistic Tommy Westphall. (And which is apparently what I've just done anyway.....)

'Beacon Hill'
'St. Elsewhere'
'Get Smart'
'The Man From U.N.C.L.E.'

Toby OB

Thursday, April 26, 2007


To mark the return of Regis Philbin to his talk show with Kelly Ripa this morning, David Letterman appeared on the program to welcome him back (just as Regis had done on his show when Dave had bypass surgery a few years ago).

Said the "gap-toothed TV Boy" (as he once called himself):
You know, my first bypass was ‘The Tonight Show.’”

Then he added this advice:
The only thing I can advise both of you is to stay away from ‘The View,’ because they’re dropping like flies over there.”

Toby OB


The witchcraft-filled soap opera 'Passions' was supposed to end this fall on NBC, but now it looks like it will get a second life. However, in a deal that the Peacock is working on, life in the town of Harmony will only be seen on DirecTV

It won't be "same as it ever was", though. It's expected that the budget will be greatly decreased to accommodate the new format. As such, it will probably only air four times a week and there will probably be a reduction in the cast.

But think of the blipvert they could make to promote the fact that 'Passions' is now on DirecTV, following in the footsteps of the ads using 'Entourage', the 'Star Trek' films, 'Ferris Bueller's Day Off' and 'Back To The Future' (which both have a Toobworld existence).

Just so long as they kept Tabitha Lennox in Harmony. Not that I watch the soap, but it really isn't even worth the effort if that witch isn't on board the project!

Just sayin', is all....

Toby OB

Wednesday, April 25, 2007


Shades of 'Good Times'! The BBC is developing a spin-off from a spin-off to perhaps give them a boost on Wednesday nights. For now it's being referred to as 'Holby Blue' and will focus on the police station that's nearby to the hospital, which is featured in 'Holby City' and its parent series, 'Casualty'.

According to the story I read about this, ITV did something similar with 'The Royal' in 2003, which was spun off from 'Heartbeat'. 'The Royal' was about a small hospital in the village of Aidensfeld in the North York Moors (but only to be found in Toobworld), while 'Heartbeat' was about the police in that area.

The producers of 'Holby Blue' haven't decided yet how much crossover there will be between the various series, but if the past is any indication, then it may be limited to special events like the Christmas specials. (I would imagine there would also have to be at least a few characters from the other two shows to help launch 'Holby City', which is supposedly scheduled to debut on April 30.)

As it stands now, there's not much interaction between 'Holby City' and 'Casualty' as it is, and they take place in the same hospital. (Again, those crossovers mostly occur just during the holidays.)

With the re-invigoration of BBC-America, I wouldn't be surprised if 'Holby Blue' was launched on that network over here, while it was still in its infancy, allowing the American audience to jump in without so much backstory to absorb.

Telly Toby


It's "hump day" for this theme week on 'Jeopardy!', when all the categories are coming from the various sections of the New York Times. (This will happen again during the week of July 9th.)

Each day this week there has been one category from the Times using information and news stories to be found in either the Book Review, Business Day, House & Home, Science Times, and The Arts sections.

The connection between the game show and the newspaper works both ways. The "Clue of the Day" has been a feature in the paper and online at And the Times is also a sponsor of the program's "Brain Bus," a Winnebago that travels across the country, from which the producers conduct auditions for new contestants.

Who Is Toby OB?

Tuesday, April 24, 2007


My padiwan, Sean - known in the Annals of Iddiocy as as the legendary "Shoe Hand" - sent me this case he made for linking the latest episode of 'Doctor Who' to one of the best episodes from the Tom Baker era:

Now, we'll have to see what turns up next episode, and of course, 'Doctor Who' history has been very whatever-we-come-up-with-goes lately, but I think this new development with the Daleks in "Daleks in Manhattan" could be very interesting.

Obviously, this new evolution of the Daleks towards a more humanoid creature has its advantages and disadvantages for the race. On the one hand, they're bereft of their classic tank armour and seemingly weakened physically. But on the plus side, they may not be as acceptable to the downfalls of logic, as with their cold war with the Movellans.

Of course, it remains to be seen where the writers are taking this, but I think it would be very interesting if these new Daleks did survive and prosper, spreading out and perhaps retreating back in time through the ages to thrive, build an empire, and begin a history, eventually, apart from their ancient, non-humanoid ancestors.

Eventually, they may even, through the diffusion of time and changes in dialect and language, lose the name Dalek and come to be known as the Jagaroth, the race the Doctor once described as “a vicious, callous, warlike race whom the universe won't miss.”

A race we see in "City of Death", at the end of their history having wiped themselves out through war, 400 million years before their re-genesis in Manhattan.

A race whose last members finally die out trying to escape the primordial Earth on a damaged star ship in an explosion that releases enough energy to jump start cellular growth in a nearby pool of primordial soup leading to the development of complex life on Earth.

How ironic would it be that the Daleks would have a hand in the creation and technological development (through the meddling of the last of their kind, Scaroth, splintered in time through human history) of their arch nemesis, the Doctor's, favorite race.
- Sean

One thing I will add to Sean's theory is that when looking at a picture of the latest incarnation of a Dalek, as well as a picture of Scaroth, I think it's possible that the Jagaroth could be counted among the races of the Old Ones as mentioned by Lovecraft.

And the Dalek/human hybrids would be mistaken for them.....

See them both by clicking here:

Just sayin', is all....

Toby OB


My newspaper has a Sunday TV magazine with a Q&A section that usually has at least one genealogical question. (The most famous/most often-seen question: "Are Maureen and Jean Stapleton related?" They're not.)

There was one this past Sunday that was at least different:

Is the actor who plays Agrippa on 'Rome' related to the actor who plays Patrick on 'Men In Trees'?

Well, they're not. Allen Leech is from Ireland and Derek Richardson is from Queensbury, NY, respectively.

Technically, that question wasn't of particular interest to the concerns of Toobworld. But it did spark an idea:

What if Agrippa and Patrick are related?

Lost in the countless generations of the past 2,000 years, there would be no definitive record of a direct line of descent from the televersion of an historical Roman figure to a purely fictional character in Alaska.

But that doesn't rule out the "pozz'bility".

We've seen stranger connections in 'Lost'....

Toby OB

Monday, April 23, 2007


On this date in 1616, William Shakespeare died in Stratford on Avon. So in tribute, I held off on this last note regarding "The Shakespeare Code", the second episode of 'Doctor Who' this season until today....

It's possible that a copy of Shakespeare's "lost" play, "Love's Labors Won", might have survived the maelstrom that swept the rest of the copies into the vortex which sent the Carrionites back to their distant home dimension. I find it hard to believe that every scrap of paper from that play disappeared. Why not all the rest of the papers that must have been in the Globe theatre at the time? Couldn't one of the actors have left his copy in a trunk or even at home?

In the real world there have been several mentions of this lost play, most notably in a reference by Francis Meres. This may have been found in "Palladis Tamia" which apparently was published later in the same year as when "The Shakespeare Code" took place (1599).

"Witness his Loves Labours Lost, his Loves Labours Wonne."

One reason the Doctor shouldn't have stated so categorically that every copy was lost is because there's always the chance, slim though it may be, that a volume might be uncovered in some bookseller's or somebody's attic which contains the play. And then the Doctor would be shown to be wrong.

Of course, he may already know that it has/will be found, and stated this anyway because he's a known liar.....

Originally when I was going to write this up, I was going to make the claim that it was this play which was discovered in Virginia back in 1970, as seen in an episode of 'The Name Of The Game'. My memory of the episode was vague, with only that one viewing (and I was just a teenager at the time), but it always stuck with me for its connection to real world history.

From what I remembered, a reclusive millionaire in Virginia owned the only copy of a lost play by Shakespeare and didn't want to share it with the world. Apparently he inherited it down through his family tree from a soldier who accompanied "Bonnie Prince Charlie" in his exile to the Virginia colony during the Cromwell years.

Henry "Harry" Worthington Rayner wanted more than anything to see his precious heirloom performed. So he hired a troupe of travelling actors to come to his estate in the mountains and had them act it out for his video cameras to record. But then he fixed their brakes so that their bus crashed on the treacherous mountain roads when they left - leaving no survivors and no witnesses to his possession.

'The Name Of The Game' was the umbrella title for an anthology series that centered around three men in the Howard Publishing empire - the publisher himself (played by Gene Barry), the editor of Crime magazine (Robert Stack), and a reporter for the Toobworld version of People (Tony Franciosa).

But helping them all out was a Gal Friday named Peggy Maxwell, played by Susan St. James. And this episode focused on her for a change, as it was a friend of hers who had perished on that bus with the others.

I would have loved for the chance to declare that the actual play was never named nor described, so that I could then claim that it was the same play from the 'Doctor Who' episode. Unfortunately, there was this little fragment of memory stuck in the back of my noggin that said it was an early, quite different, draft of "Hamlet" which Rayner owned. (I suppose the writer of the episode wanted a recognizable name for the TV audience of the time.)

Doing a little research, it turns out that this may indeed be the case. After all, the name of the episode is "King Of Denmark".

And a Patricia Gallagher posted to a Shakespeare list group back in 1995 about the episode:

Date: Wednesday, 1 Mar 1995 12:23:37 -0600
Subject: "Lost Play" on TV
I believe I know the TV detective show you seek. It was an old (late '60s early '70s) show called 'The Name of the Game'. It was about three men who worked for the same magazine company; two as reporters (each for a different magazine put out by the company), the third was the owner/editor.

The episode in question, I believe featured Joseph Cotton as the discoverer of the lost play. I clearly remember the play being destroyed in the end by the mad housekeeper. However, I believe the play was an early version of "Hamlet".

Other than that, my only recollection was that Susan St. James (a regular on the show) figured heavily in the action. I cannot remember which of the three other regulars was featured.

This pretty much jibes with my memory - especially of the housekeeper destroying all the copies of the play and the videotape in a fire. (And I do remember vividly that Louise Latham, a very good character actress of the time, played the housekeeper. Joseph Cotton played Rayner, as Ms. Gallagher stated.)

So sadly, I can't link "The Shakespeare Code" to "King Of Denmark" for Toobworld except in the most general of terms. Nevertheless, I think it does make for a nice expansion of information regarding the works of Shakespeare as seen on TV.

Sir Toby


Boris Yeltsin, the first freely elected president of Russia after the collapse of the Socialist Republic, died Monday. He was 76.

In Toobworld, he came to America in March of 1996 for a secret treaty signing and was the target of an international assassin code-named "Hemlock". But the plot was uncovered when the assassin mistakenly faxed his own plans to the JAG office in Washington, DC. And although he shot one of the JAG officers in the head to cover up his presence in retrieving that fax, she survived and he was hunted down by Harm (with a little help from Oliver North).

Needless to say, Yeltsin survived that "Day Of The Jackal"-like attempt on his life.

By the way, North's appearance in the episode links 'JAG' to 'Wings'.....

Toby OB