Saturday, June 2, 2007


After the penultimate episode of the first season for 'Heroes', Sean - my Li'l Buddy, fellow Iddiot, and father of my god-daughter Rhiannon - sent me the following poem about Ted Sprague's fatal encounter with Sylar:

Ted is dead.
Ted has no head.
Beneath him is red.
Red dead Ted.
Without a head.
For prison, he wanted a cell of lead.
"Maybe I'll explode," he said.
Sylar he fed.
Poor Ted.
Poor dead Ted.

Ted Sprague had the power to induce radioactivity in various forms. His power was absorbed naturally by Peter Petrelli and via the removal of his brain by Sylar. Here are the stats about his character from the 'Heroes' Wiki:

Known power Induced Radioactivity
Alias TeddyBear616
Age 33
Date of birth August 28th, 1973
Date of death November 7th, 2006
Home Los Angeles, CA
Residence 93 Laramie Street, Los Angeles, CA, 90016
Occupation Medical equipment salesman
Significant other Karen Sprague (deceased wife)
Ted was 5’10” tall, weighed 175 pounds and had brown eyes and hair.

Ted was played by Matthew John Armstrong, and when he first appeared on the show, there were a lot of people who thought he might be one of the actors playing the GEICO Cavemen in a series of blipverts for the car insurance company. But this rumor was later dismissed.

However, even though his character was not one of those cavemen, that's not to say Ted Sprague wasn't the first generation descendant of a cave dweller.....

"It's about time, it's about space,
About cave-people in the strangest place.
They will be here with all of us, dodging a taxi, car or bus.
Where will they go?
What will they do
In this strange place
Where everything is new?
Will they manage to survive?
Watch each week and see.
Will they get accustomed to
The 20th Century?
It's about time for our goodbyes
To all these prehistoric gals and guys.

In 1967, two astronauts who had been tossed back in time to the prehistoric caveman days, were able to fix their spacecraft and make it back to the present times. But they didn't come back alone - they brought along a caveman named Gronk and his wife Shadd and their two children: a teenaged daughter named Mlor and a twelve-year old son named Breer.

Who knows what this disruption in the past did to the timeline for Toobworld! Whatever the world was like before Hector and Mac hurtled back into the Stone Age, a place right out of history, but we can use this temporal disruption to splain away any discrepancies that might have arisen in other shows.

At any rate, when Mac and Hector returned to 1967, the cave family had to adjust to modern day life - and to do it in New York City, no less! (If I had been in charge, I'd have stuck them out in a little house on the prairie, far away from anybody else where they wouldn't get into too much trouble.)

Life continues in Toobworld even beyond the cancellation of a TV series. Fox Mulder has assumed an alias and has helped NYPD Detective Andy Sipowicz on a case; the seventh incarnation of the Gallifreyan Time Lord known only as The Doctor helped solve a murder with Lt. Columbo; and Father Mulcahy once tried to perform an exorcism on Dave Crabtree's car (which allegedly held the spirit of Dave's mother).

And so it is with 'It's About Time', the TV show which charted the adventures of Mac and Hector across Time and Space. Breer and Mlor would have been sent to school (perhaps to Lexy High School, which the Davis children attended in 'Family Affair') so that they could function as normally as possible in the world of modern man.

This is pure speculation, of course, but by the early 1970s, Mlor would have been old enough to have children. (Her parents might even have thought that she was more than old enough by that point!) So it's pozz'ble, just pozz'ble, that she met a young man named Sprague and fell in love. Perhaps they met in connection to whatever top secret organization was monitoring Gronk's family. This Sprague could have been a bodyguard for Mlor and their close relationship led to her getting pregnant. (Sprague could have been anybody who crossed paths with Mlor. She may have had the reputation of being so easy, you didn't have to be a caveman to do her.)

Her pregnancy could have resulted in the birth of Ted, whose name Theodore means "Gift Of God".

And that "gift" would have been his ability to emit radiation, something that might have developed in him due to the combination of his father's Homo Sapien DNA with that of his Neanderthal mother's genes.

Ted Sprague would be only half-caveman, unlike the crew from the GEICO blipverts.
Just sayin', is all.....

Toby OB

Friday, June 1, 2007


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 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!

Toby OB3

Thursday, May 31, 2007


As much as many fans of 'Doctor Who' hate the FOX TV movie from the mid-1990s, they've generally accepted it with all its faults as being part of the Canon. After all, you can't refer to David Tennant's tenure as the Tenth Doctor without including the Eighth, as played by Paul McGann.

And there was the fact that the last actor to play the Doctor in the long-running series, Sylvester McCoy, was seen in the opening ten minutes of the movie as the Seventh Doctor before he was gunned down and forced to regenerate into the new incarnation.

It's just that business about his mother being human that bothered a lot of fans......

However, it looks like Paul McGann's portrayal is now officially part of the Canon - thanks to a sketch resembling him that shows up in the latest episode of the revived series, "Human Nature".

This could be the first baby step toward bringing back Paul McGann as the Eighth Doctor - not in the series itself, but in a TV movie (which could lead to a franchise of side projects).

Empire Online is reporting that BBC and director Geoffrey Sax want to continue the story of McGann's Eighth Doctor in a way to separate it from the popular television franchise.

Here's the report from Empire Online:

"Because of the demand for Eighth Doctor stories on film, due to the popular Big Finish audios and BBC7 Radio audios made specifically for those productions, a film is finally in negotiations. There are still many things to finalize, such as if Paul McGann is interested in portraying The Doctor on film again. The Tardis interior from the 1996 TV movie [was] auctioned off back in 1999, but they plan on recreating the same interior from the TV movie, which is a popular design."

According to the article, the movie would avoid already established 'Doctor Who' villains like the much-overused Daleks, the Cybermen (Mondasian or Lumical), and the already utilized Master (who was played by Eric Roberts in the FOX version). Instead, a new alien species would be introduced, and instead of traveling to the United States, the TARDIS would be on Earth for just a few minutes before heading to three different alien worlds.

So far this is just rumor, something which the series can generate quite easily. Just last weekend, The Sun, allegedly a cat-pan liner which purports to be a newspaper in the UK, claimed that Freema Agyeman was going to be axed from the series because her work has been sub-standard. Of course, The Sun's timing sucked, as she's been garnering fantastic reviews for her work in "Human Nature".

The script for a TV movie about the Eighth Doctor has been updated several times since 1999. If it turns out to be successful, it could lead to a franchise of movies that would finally give McGann's portrayal the tenure it is due. And with the 45th anniversary of the series coming up, perhaps a pairing of the Eighth Doctor with the Tenth might be in order to mark the occasion.

Toby OB

Wednesday, May 30, 2007


When I can't find anything else to tape in the evening while I'm sleeping/getting ready for work/commuting, I turn to classic shows available on American Life Network.

Until my fave summer shows come back, I'll be doing that often, I think.

Monday night, I taped an episode of 'Hawaiian Eye' after 'Waking The Dead'. (That was on BBC-America.) It was called "Baker's Half Dozen" and it was about a pair of con artists who were swindling sailors in transit out of their money with the girl promising to marry each of them. The guy was a real scumbag (played by Peter Breck of 'The Big Valley'), but Dory Baker was never comfortable helping out in his hustle. Eventually, she helped Tommy Lopaka in nabbing her partner (who had killed his previous accomplice) and she promised to make things right for all of the sailors she conned.

In the end, it looked like Dory would even profit from the experience as she was probably going to end up married to one who was a member of an old-money family in Philadelphia. But first, she'd have to go to Denver, Colorado, and atone for a crime she had been involved in there.

As they parted at the end of the episode, Tommy gave Dory a letter of introduction to a friend of his in Denver who could probably help her. No mention of a name or occupation, and at first I thought it might be a reference to some other show from the Warner Brothers stable under the aegis of Wm. T. Orr, a member of the TV Crossover Hall of Fame (Creators' Wing). But my limited research didn't turn up any leads along those lines.

Basically that left me free to fill in the blanks as to the identity of this mystery character. I knew it couldn't be 'Perry Mason', as he didn't start practicing law in Colorado until the late 1980s. And a quick check of TV Acres (one of my favorite TV trivia sites, link to the left, of course!) didn't offer up any private eyes or police detectives who might have known Thomas Jefferson Lopaka.

So I chose Andrew Laird, an attorney who worked in Denver. By the 1980s, he'd be working almost exclusively for Carrington Oil (as seen in 'Dynasty' where he was played by Peter Mark Richman). Back in 1960, however, he could have been just starting out and willing to take any client who might help enrich his reputation. And Dory Baker's case may have been the perfect cause for him to champion.

And until somebody tells me otherwise, or gives me a convincing substitute that's even better, that's how it'll stand in Toobworld - one more tiny patch holding the great mosaic of the TV Universe together.

Toby OB

Tuesday, May 29, 2007


I'll be the first to admit that I'm off the deep end about Television at times, but some of these comments I see in TV-related blogs can sometimes scare me.

Take, for example, this one in response to a question about what to cover during the summer doldrums:

I loved Marc's suggestion about posting about old shows, or maybe a "do you remember..." thread for shows like 'Holmes and Yoyo' and 'Mr. Merlin'. You and I are prob about the same age, so I think I would enjoy that. A sort of Proust meets Bellisario, if you will.

Proust and Bellisario? Why not Kierkegaard and Grant Tinker?

Luckily for my computer screen I had my spit-take tendencies curbed through dream regression therapy.....

Toby OB

Sunday, May 27, 2007


Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof, executive producers of 'Lost', have said for months that the third season finale would be a game changer. They called it "The Snake In The Mailbox".

And as a son of a letter carrier, I can tell ya - that was some mailbox snake!

Plenty of other sites have gone into detail about it. And I have to save a major chunk for a few days anyway for a special post. But these are just a few thoughts I had with a few Toobworld O'Bservations:

As everybody knows by now, the final scene was a reboot of the system. For three years, the "present" took place on the island, with most of the characters having flashbacks to their previous lives. But for these two hours, we weren't seeing Jack's flashbacks to his past, but "flashforths" of his time in the actual present time. Based on clues in those scenes, like the make of his phone (The KRZR wasn't released until October of 2006.), or some bridge graffiti (I've seen it alleged that there was a "PHS 2006" visible.), we were watching Jack as he is "now".

The island sequences in the finale were now the actual flashbacks.

In the present, Jack is now one seriously messed-up dude. And that fulfills the meaning of the show's title: Jack is more lost now than when he was stranded on that island.

According to that premenstrual Amazon bitch Bonnie, the code for the jamming signal had been programmed by a musician. Here's one of my pet theories, and it ties into another of mine (and that which is mine, is mine!): That musician who was working for the DHARMA Initiative was once a member of the rock group Geronimo Jackson. Let's face it, there has to be a reason for that band to keep popping up. (Their album "Magna Carta" was in the Hatch and the undercover agent at Locke's hippie commune was wearing the T-shirt.)

I also think that if you look at that album cover, easily to be found via a Google image search, one of the band members is striking a very Sawyeresque pose. It could be that he is actually the father of James Ford, and it was through his time in the band that he made all of his money - which drew Anthony Cooper to him as a mark for a con.

We've pretty much wrapped up Sawyer's storyline when it comes to his daddy issues in relation to the original Sawyer. It would be another venue to explore should he meet this DHARMA bum musician/computer programmer and find out that he was once a band-mate with his dad.

Here's an idea I have for what may develop over the coming season: having lost his best friend on the island, Hurley may step up to take the place of Charlie Pace in watching out for Claire and Aaron. (We saw that he had assumed some of that responsibility in preparing for the radio tower exodus while Charlie left for the Looking Glass Hatch.) I'm not saying that this will lead to romance, but at the same time, Hurley's a lovable guy so why shouldn't it?

One thing we know for sure - he could certainly provide for her and the baby once they got back to the mainland. (If in fact they do both leave. Although Desmond saw Claire and Aaron get on the rescue helicopter, maybe Hurley stays behind because his luck is better there.)

Desmond's dreams weren't always literal. He saw Charlie flicking the switch and then drowning. It wasn't as simple as flicking a switch - instead Charlie had to tap out the rhythm of "Good Vibrations" by the Beach Boys (perfect combo for this show!). And the drowning bit didn't follow immediately.

So what if it's not a rescue helicopter that he saw Claire and Aaron get into? Maybe it will be a black ops chopper from the Hanso Organization and they abduct Claire and the baby for some dark purposes off-island.

"Mailbox Snake" would make a great name for a band. I've already got it in mind for use in a Toobworld story.....

When Charlie is about to drown in the looking glass he makes the sign of the cross. However he does it incorrectly. He touches the correct parts in the correct order, but he does make a fatal error; he uses his left hand instead of his right.

Charlie was such a religious person (even when he was a sinner), that it's inconceivable to this old altar boy that he could make a mistake like that. Even if you're a southpaw, the Church insisted that you make the Sign of the Cross with your right hand.

This show has been so attentive to its own details, could this really be a mistake? If so, I'm thinking that perhaps the film was reversed for some reason. But what if it wasn't done in error? I wouldn't put it past this show's creators to have had some hidden meaning for it.

Or, as with Jack's tattoos, they'll come up with some splainin for why it happened. Even if we don't want it, as with Jack's tattoos....

I sent an "Extra" in-joke to David Bianculli of the Daily News - that Kate was wearing Charlie's hoodie during the nighttime portion of the exodus. I think it was recognition of her off-screen sweetie's last episode......

It was the same zippered sweatshirt/windbreaker that Charlie was wearing during that first night on the island.

Ben told Richard Alpert to lead the rest of the Others to "the temple". I'm wondering if the temple has any connection to the remains of that four-toed statue?

And does the island provide yarmulkes at the temple?

I was sorry to see the character of Tom go; when it comes to villainous Others, he was a rather personable fellow. He was probably the show's best stand-in for Alan Hale as the Skipper.

But at the same time, I understood the justification Sawyer gave for killing him - in revenge for taking Walt off the boat. And Tom was in favor of killing Sayid, Jin, and Bernard against Ben's orders, something I would have thought was more in keeping with the personality of Ryan Pryce, the commando leader. (However, Pryce was not one to disobey orders.)

Speaking of following orders, there was a moment there when I thought Mikhail might break rank with Ben Linus, once he saw how much Ben had lied to them all about the Looking Glass Hatch. In the end, he did as he was told and killed Bonnie and Greta to make sure the communication jammer would never be activated. And when that failed, he nearly sacrificed his own life by detonating a grenade against the porthole to flood the communications room and drown Charlie.

(I say "nearly sacrificed his own life" because I'm not convinced Mikhail is dead. That Rasputin of 'Lost' will probably show up again someday, minus an arm perhaps - losing parts like Allardyce T. Merriweather in "Little Big Man" - but still alive and kicking.

Unless I actually see his body being chomped on by the DHARMA shark, I'll refrain from declaring him to be really most sincerely dead.)

Nice foot action by Sayid in killing that other Other. Had I been in that same situation, I could have done the same thing - except I'd just have to take the boots off and gas him like Ben's dear old Dad....

I wonder if Bernard's confession will ostracize him from the other 815ers, and especially his wife Rose? On the other hand (something Mikhail no longer has - an Other hand! ba dum dum!), we know she doesn't want to leave this island and may see his attempt to spare their lives as the only way they could guarantee both of them could stay there together.

I was sorry to see Marsha Thomason leave the show so soon after being introduced into the storyline. (The fembots of the Looking Glass Hatch were dispatched with even more dispatch, but they were little better than ciphers as characters.) In a way, Thomason's Naomi was this season's Leslie Arzt - introduced into the series with a sense that she'll be around for a while. I let my imagination cast forward in wondering what her flashback story might be, what was her full name and was it an anagram or had some link to a philosopher? Basically, the same kind of thing I did with Mr. Arzt before he blowed up real good.

Another reason it was a shame to lose her services on the show - Naomi was exotically beautiful and the island could always use that kind of scenery. Besides, the show has killed off way too many of the women over the last three seasons.

Perhaps we haven't seen the last of her - once they get around to pulling the knife out of her, maybe Naomi will begin to revive as Locke and Mikhail have been seen to do.

Or maybe Marsha Thomason might return to the series in another role. I get the feeling that there's supposed to be something to do with genetics when it comes to DHARMA research, which might be why Gary Troup's novel was called "Bad Twin". Perhaps when we see who else was aboard that freighter of hers, there's another woman who looks just like her; maybe even a whole platoon of them!

But the killing of Naomi totally pushed Locke into the villain category for me. (As if his selfish obsession to destroy the submarine and Mikhail's communication shack weren't bad enough to qualify.) I don't care if in the end he was right about trying to make sure they all stay on the island - that was morally wrong. Stabbing a woman in the back in order to prevent her from completing the call to the ship, and yet then not shooting Jack for trying to do the same thing? Bad guy. And one who can't even carry through with his convictions.

When Walt appeared to Locke while he was lying wounded in the mass grave, I'm convinced that it was a manifestation of the smoke monster, just as Eko's brother, Jack's Dad, Kate's horse and Sayid's cat were. And as such, quibbles about the height spurt by Malcolm David Kelley can be splained away by the smoke monster's fudging with the details.

But at least now, Walt can come back in some other "flashforth" since he grew too much to continue the island part of the story and yet still have it only be several months after the plane crash in 2004.

If so, it could tie in with one of several new mysteries for the last three seasons which were provided in Jack's "flashforth":

Who's in the coffin we saw when Jack went to the funeral and was the only person who showed up? I'm thinking it was for Michael Dawson, Walt's Dad. It was held in a black neighborhood of Los Angeles, probably similar to the one where Michael used to live during the Rodney King riots.

And the blowup of that newspaper clipping about the funeral seemed to suggest that whoever had died killed himself. After what Michael did to get himself and his son off the island, killing Ana Lucia and Libby, he deserved no better than the coward's way out. And it would also splain why nobody else bothered to show up to his funeral.

The clipping also suggested that the name of the deceased might begin with a "J" and end with "ntham", leading some to suggest that it's a "Jeremy Bentham", yet another philosopher name. Even so, Michael could have been using it as an alias.

Another "flashforth" mystery: Who is the mystery man Kate is living with now, off the island? (She said that she had to get back to him before he started wondering where she was.) Could it be Sawyer? Nathan Fillion's cop from Tallahassee? Some character from DHARMA we haven't met yet? Maybe she even hooks up with Richard Alpert?

And a third: What was the deal with Jack saying that his father was upstairs at the hospital - and probably drunk - when we saw that he was dead before Jack crashed on the island.

Or was he? Remember, the coffin was empty when Jack finally found where it landed. And even though he saw his Dad's body in the Sydney morgue, maybe Christian Shepherd was just temporarily paralyzed by the venom of a Medusa spider. (I believe now that those beasties have been introduced into the series, they better not be forgotten when it comes to island life!)

(I've read a LOT of online articles and interviews since this episode aired, so everything is starting to blend and blur. However, I think I may have read somewhere that Lindelof & Cuse have stated that Christian Shepherd is definitely dead. Not that it really matters - Death isn't all it's cracked up to be in this show!)

By now, readers of this blog post will have noticed that I've barely mentioned the sacrifice made by Charlie Pace, for me the high point of the episode. This is the segment I'm reserving for about three more days, and regular visitors to the site may figure out why......

All in all, this episode justified my claim that 'Lost' is one of the five best TV shows in my personal Toobworld pantheon. (Since you insist, the others are 'The Prisoner', 'The Mary Tyler Moore Show', 'The Dick Van Dyke Show', and 'Columbo'.) I've said it time and again that I'm in it for the ride, and Lindelof & Cuse have shown that nothing is presented in this series without reason.

Hurley's rescue mission in the Shambala DHARMA van proves that!

And finally, speaking of Hurley, I did have one small complaint which ties in with his appearance in the season finale:

Where was the Hurley bird?

For the last two season-enders, we got to see that weird bird fly at Hurley, screeching his name. It would have been a nice touch if it happened again while he was making that boastful challenge to the surviving Others via the walkie-talkie. (And by the way, with the finale, he and Bernard have joined the ranks of those among the survivors who have killed.....)

Well, sorry for the delay - not that I think anybody was on pins and needles waiting for my O'Bservations.......

Check back in a few days to see what I have in store for the late, great Charles Heironymous Pace......

Toby OB3

"Jack Flashforth" would make a great name in a swashbuckler.....