Saturday, June 23, 2007


'The Young & The Restless' has another of its cross-overs with 'The Bold & The Beautiful' beginning on July 5th. (The most recent one - I think - involved Amber arriving in Genoa City.) This time, Brooke is going to show up in the Wisconsin city to "bust a prominent Genoa City resident", as Carolyn Hinsey, editor of "Soap Opera Weekly" put it in the New York Daily News).

Although I was inclined to think it might have to do with the Senate race between former stripper Nikki Newman and her ex-husband Jack Abbott who would be viewed by the public as a bigamist if they learned he was living with two of his wives, I'm now leaning towards this revelation of Brooke's to be about Lauren Fenmore Baldwin.

Lauren used to live in L.A. and was a regular for a time on 'The Bold & The Beautiful' and could be the only regular now on 'The Young & The Restless' whom Brooke would know enough about to make life difficult.

July 5th is just around the corner.....

And here's another soap note: one of my favorite actresses, Georgia Engel, who is indelibly enshrined in my pantheon of great TV characters as Georgette Franklin Baxter on 'The Mary Tyler Moore Show', will be appearing on 'Passions' next week for just six episodes.

I haven't visited the spooky environs of Harmony for a very long time, probably not since the death of the actor who played Timmy, but I'll definitely be stopping into town to see whomever Ms. Engel plays!

Toby OB


I don't know what to make of this show. I've gone into its first two episodes thinking, well, if this is as weird as I've heard, then I'm out of here, but let me just give it a chance. And by the end of both episodes, I'm intrigued enough to come back another week.

And I'm not alone. Here's what TV critic Alan Sepinwall of the Star-Ledger of New Jersey had to say about it:

'What an intriguing, frustrating show this is.... I can barely make heads or tails of it at times. There's obviously something about it that's compelling me to keep watching (and it's not just loyalty to Milch, as "Big Apple" lost me around here), yet I'm hard-pressed to explain why I'm watching, or what the hell this show is about.'

As for me... first off, it's such an alien world; not just the surfing sub-culture, but the whole oceanfront beach scene. I'm a fresh-water man; I grew up on The Lake, spending entire summers on its shore into my high school years. I still spend my vacations there every year.

A beach just feels wrong to me. All that annoying sand, and no real relief from the sun and the heat... and the salty water? It's not for me. Maybe once or twice I went to Hammonassett and Misquomicutt, but that's not the real ocean; that's Long Island Sound, blocked by the island. I spent one summer working Westhampton Beach, and the first day in the water, I walked out to greet an approaching wave with arms flung wide. Next thing I know, I'm underwater, being rushed back to shore like a limp rag doll, like Aquaman in the Guernica painting.

Not for me, thanks.

So add to that this strange creature, John Monad, and you've got double-weird for me. I looked up "monad" in Wikipedia, and it's a Pythagorean concept of "God, the first being, the totality of all beings". Is John God? If he is, Dude's seriously messed up.

But after this second episode, a theory came to me. In the first episode, John broke away from just repeating what others said to him and began spouting strange expressions. One of them was "Shaun will soon be gone." And in the second episode, 13 year old Shaunie broke his neck in a surfing competition and lost oxygen to his brain to a catastrophic level.

However, the episode ended with a miracle - his friend and father figure Bill brought his bird Zippy into the hospital and the bird kissed Shaunie, bringing life back into the boy's eyes.

So I'm thinking, what if John from Cincinnatti is a modern day John the Baptist, sent here to prepare the world for the return of the Messiah? If so, he didn't give the world much time. By the second day, I think He's already returned. What if John's prophecy that "Shaun will soon be gone" came true? What if Shaun really is gone, and Someone Else has come to occupy the body he left behind?

What if I've been watching 'Lost' too much and reading too much into every show I watch now?

It's just a possibility, but this show is weird enough for my theory to be feasible.

John pointed out that "the end is near", so if this does turn out to be the time of the Rapture and Jesus has returned in the recently vacated body of a thirteen year old "grommet", it could be all over for this particular Toobworld dimension. We'd have to surf it over to some other TV dimension, one which we'll probably never see again.

Maybe the one for 'Commander In Chief'? Or how about the world from '7 Days'? (That started out taking place on Earth Prime Time, but once Frank Parker began futzing with the past, he changed his own timeline - as seen by the fact that they had a Pope Sylvester instead of a John Paul II.) If only we saw an airship or two floating over Imperial Beach, we could claim it was the Earth where Rose Tyler is currently stuck, as seen on 'Doctor Who'.

(I'd throw '24' into the suggestion box, but I think there's life in that dog yet. And I believe that 'The West Wing' will return for a reunion movie ten years down the line.....)

We'll see what we shall see, Dude.

Toby OB

Thursday, June 21, 2007


Cleaning out my stockpile of never-blogged stories that were piling up in my "Waiting To Be Sent" folder......

There was a big news conference today in Hollywood dealing with 'Heroes' - plans for next season (ending in April so that 'Heroes: Origins' can take the crucial May Sweeps), and plans for a world tour of the actors involved (even those whose characters died) to promote the first season's arrival on DVD.

About the only negative news that came out of the series all year was the controversy over the direction to be taken with the character of Zach, Claire's confidante who was played by Thomas Dekker. Originally it was planned that he would admit - at least to her, - that he was gay. There was to be a line about the upcoming Homecoming, which would turn out to be so crucial to the lives of so many of the 'Heroes', in which Zach would tell Claire: "I would take you to homecoming but you have to know that I don't like girls that way."

But when Dekker's management got the script, they flipped out and saw it as a firebomb to his career path. Eventually the line was excised, or at the very least altered/neutered to be read with several meanings, but it caused a lot of bad blood and finally they just decided to write Dekker and Zach out of the show.

Not that it mattered much to me, and I think to most viewers; as far as we cared, the intimation was already there that Zach was gay. And it's nice to read in an interview that the producers felt the same way. ("In really, in all of our minds, the character was still gay but we couldn't say it explicitly." - Bryan Fuller)

I don't know how Dekker felt about it all; I haven't seen any interviews with him dealing with the controversy. I'd like to think that at the worst he was just kowtowed by his management to go along with their decision.

But to the Ari Gold in his life, I'd have to say "Nuts!" to you! Your plan didn't work, and in the annals of Toobworld, the character of Zach will always be considered as gay.


Toby OB


I could very easily max out my credit cards worshipping at the shrine of and other online DVD outlets. I ordered the following items on Tuesday and got them this morning, and never had to leave the comfort of Number Two's egg-shaped chair.

"Soon I Will Be Invincible" by Austin Grossman
This is that novel about a world of super-heroes that I was blogging/blathering about the other day. It's going to be my summer vacation read up at The Lake.

'The Loop' (Season One)
So far, I haven't had my socks knocked off by Season Two, but then that could be because I don't normally wear socks. But I loved the first season, especially for the ladies back home and could have done with less of brother Sully. So what happens? The show comes back and the two girls are gone and Sully's still around!

At any rate, Mimi Rogers is delicious and Philip Baker Hall is an evil genius of comedic acting.

'Kyle XY: Declassified' (Season One)
Something about the style and delivery of the show tells me that it just shouldn't work; that it should be outright lame. And yet I'm totally hooked on its dynamics. So far, the second season has not disappointed me, and I found myself choking up over Kyle's reunion with Mrs. Trager and the rest of the family. (Her realization that Kyle must be in the next room reminded me so much of Myrna Loy's reaction in "The Best Years Of Our Lives".)

'Picket Fences' (Season One)
The final season of this show, after DEK departed, left a bad taste in my memory as I'm sure it did for a lot of viewers. Doesn't matter - this still holds up as one of my Top Ten series of all time. Can't wait to revisit Rome, Wisconsin!

'The Lost Room'
This mini-series was "voted" the Toobit Award for Best Mini-series of 2006. Totally original and highly imaginative and all with the most mundane of items. It left itself open to a possible sequel, but I hope they trust to leave this gem just as it is.
I'm already itching to head back into the online stores - not for myself, mind you (cough cough!), but for my 2½ year old nephew. There's so much out there in movies and TV for kids that I want him to have access to. So much stuff that I grew up with.... Man, that poor kid will never catch up!

Toby OB


A couple of months ago I wrote about the 'Little Britain' characters of Lou & Andy, played by David Walliams and Matt Lucas, appearing on the Australian soap opera 'Neighbours'.

Well, they finally made their appearance June 14th, and you can see their scene by clicking here.

As I mentioned in the earlier post, technically these are not the Lou & Andy as seen in 'Little Britain' when judged on the Toobworld scale. These are their televersions from Earth Prime-Time, while the originals exist in the sketch comedy dimension which I refer to as "Skitlandia".

Too many discrepancies lie in wait within comedy sketches to ever fit them comfortably into the main Toobworld. (For instance, when they spoof existing TV shows and a member of the sketch show's cast plays the role instead of the original actor.) And with 'Little Britain', one of the biggest discrepancies is the character of the Prime Minister, who is NOT Tony Blair as he should be in the main Toobworld (as well as in real life... for the moment, anyway).

So this appearance by Lou and Andy on 'Neighbours' can't count as a true crossover, but that's okay. This way we can find them in two planes of existence in the TV Universe. It's the same situation for characters like the Nordge repairman (played by Dan Ackroyd on 'Saturday Night Live' and 'The Nanny'), and Father Guido Sarducci (from 'Saturday Night Live', 'Blossom', 'Married... With Children', 'Great Performances', and 'It's Garry Shandling's Show' and portrayed by Don Novello).

(When the original actor plays his or her character in a sketch comedy show - like the appearance by Vinnie Barbarino and Lenny & Squiggy in a "Tarantino-directed" skit about 'Welcome Back, Kotter' on 'Saturday Night Live', then we get the same situation in reverse.)

And based on what I've been reading from various commenters for the YouTube videos, not many people enjoy mixing their genres of Television. They don't like it when you get chocolate in their peanut butter - or in this case, sketch comedy characters in their prime time soap.

But for the most part, it's all one for Toobworld Central.

Toby OB


David Bianculli, TV columnist and critic for the New York Daily News, had an interesting article yesterday about this stupid idea by TV Land to show theatrical movies. He offered up ways to make the idea at least somewhat palatable and in keeping with the original goals of the network.

Personally, I'd like to see them schedule all of those made for TV movies from the early 1970s that were all over the map as far as topics go, instead of the generic "woman in jeopardy" flicks they devolved into.

O'Bviously you'd have the classics like:

"Trilogy Of Terror"
"The Execution Of Private Slovik"
"The Burning Bed"

But I'd also want to see these movies again:

"Seven In Darkness"
"A Little Game"
"But I Don't Want To Get Married"
"Wake Me When The War Is Over"

For one reason or another, they've always held fast in my poor excuse for a mind.

On a similar topic, writer and producer Ken Levine wrote about those old "showcases" in which networks would burn off their unsold pilots in order to recoup some of their costs. Levine calls them "Failure Theatre".

I'd love for the chance to see some of these pilots that didn't sell, like the one about the Zombies which would have starred Amber Tamblyn. But Levine says that the networks today don't want the audience to second-guess them.

That happens way too often already on the internet.....

Toby OB


Even fictional characters from TV Land aren't safe from identity thieves here in the real world.

In chat rooms dedicated to selling the personal information of people to potential credit card fraudsters, someone named "Supra" was offering info on Herman Munster - including his home address (as we all know, 1313 Mockingbird Lane).

Herman's birth date was listed as August 15, 1964, which may have been chosen because it was close to the airdate for the show on which he first appeared, 'The Munsters'. (The show premiered September 24, 1964.

But in "actuality", Herman (who is a member of the TV Crossover Hall of Fame under the general category of "Frankenstein's Monsters) was assembled from parts stored at Heidelburg School of Medicine in 1814.

I suppose pretty soon they'll be offering up Fred Flintstone's info, like the fact that he lived on Gravelpit Terrace in Bedrock.....

Toby OB

Wednesday, June 20, 2007


If there is such a thing as a regular visitor to Inner Toob, they might have noticed that since last November there has been no installment of The Hat Squad, The Hat Squad would be a tribute to the actors and creative forces that enriched the Television experience, usually listing those characters they left behind to populate Earth Prime-Time.

But it was never an easy feature to run, and I don't mean just for the work involved in re-arranging their TV credits properly. It was always just so depressing. And since I stopped doing it (although I always thought I'd go back to it again with a bank of free time, like say, on summer vacation), sadly the list just kept growing until it became too daunting to attempt it again.

And the people on that list that we lost! Ian Richardson, Yvonne deCarlo, Tige Andrews, John Inman, Betty Hutton, Stan Daniels, Roscoe Lee Browne, Kurt Vonnegut, Tom Poston, Kitty Carlysle, Dabbs Greer, Mr. Wizard, and yes, Anna Nicole Smith, and so many more...... Like I said, it would have been depressing and daunting to give them their proper due.

But there's one passing that I've been thinking a lot about the last few weeks - that of Charles Nelson Reilly. In particular, for one of his last, great contributions to Toobworld, that of the novelist Jose Chung in episodes of 'The X-Files' ("Jose Chung's From Outer Space") and 'Millennium' ("The Doomsday Defense").

Two shows, both already connected, and Jose Chung was two-thirds away from being qualified for entry into the TV Crossover Hall of Fame. Sadly, the character was killed off in the 'Millennium' episode and with the death of Mr. Reilly, we don't even have the hope he might have appeared in a show like 'Supernatural' in a flashback cameo.

But there's still the faintest of possibilities his presence can still be felt in the TV Universe. All we would need would be a copy of his book "From Outer Space" to appear in some episode of a third show. It wouldn't have to be a blatant display of the cover (which featured a very Streiberesque alien); 'Lost' has shown us that the smallest of detail needs to be visible of a book and the fans will pick up on it thanks to high-def freeze frames.

'Lost' and 'Supernatural' are just two possibilities in which we might see a copy of "From Outer Space". 'Heroes', 'Kyle XY', 'Entourage', 'The Dead Zone', 'Eureka', 'The 4400', 'John From Cincinnatti', and upcoming new shows like 'New Amsterdam', 'Moonlight', and 'Samantha Be Good' could all have characters who own a copy of the book.

And by extension, Jose Chung could be immortalized in the TV Crossover Hall of Fame bringing along Charles Nelson Reilly for the ride.

Because God knows he'll never get in thanks to Hoodoo!

Thanks for all of the blank, Mr. Reilly.

Toby OB


Those who enjoy creating timelines for TV shows got a great touchstone for 'Entourage' Sunday night. In the documentary detailing the filming of "Medellin" in Colombia, the filmmaker mentioned that production of the movie began in September of 2006. That certainly sets every previous episode of the show backwards in time by up to a year at least.

The season premiere also added another book to the Toobworld Library (not to be confused with the Toobworld Central Library): "Is That Something You Might Be Interested In?" by Hollywood legend Bob Ryan. His picture (actually that of Martin Landau who played the role to great effect in the show) graces the back of the book.

Toby OB


We learned in "Blink" (the best episode of 'Doctor Who' so far this season*, perhaps the best episode of TV I saw all year!) that Sally Sparrow owned only 17 DVDs. If I'm not mistaken, the only one named during the episode was "Angel Smile", which was the DVD pre-programmed by the Doctor to trigger the TARDIS to dematerialize in order to catch the Weeping Angels off-guard.

A nice way to defeat the enemy - with a pun....

But what of the other 16 DVDs? What were they?

The cover art for "Angel Smile" and eight others are shown on the BBC's website:

"Breakfast In The Rain"
"Dance Of Days"
"Civilization Zero"
"Falling Star"
"One Oak County"
"Mean Teens"
"Shooting The Sun"
"My Best Friend's Boyfriend"

The tagline for that last disk ("A ghastly tale of love and friendship") proves that it's the perfect movie for Sally, who only truly feels happy by sad things.

That still leaves eight more movies or TV series boxed sets to be discovered in Sally's collection.

They have to be fictional films, since Billy Shipton had the rights to publish them and to add the hidden Easter Eggs from the Doctor to them. And they should also be depressing, to be in keeping with the types of movies Sally Sparrow might enjoy.

So let's look around Toobworld and see what we can come up with.....

"Queens Boulevard" - A Billy Walsh movie starring Vincent Chase which contained the iconic phrase "I am Queens Boulevard". From the little we saw of it when Vince screened it, "Queens Boulevard" was deep and sorrowful and in black and white - just the kind of movie that Sally would go for.

"The Monster That Devoured Cleveland" - Not all bad movies can be considered camp classics. Some of them are just plain bad. And not even the recommendation of a beatnik wunderkind like Maynard G. Krebs can rescue its reputation. I mean, this is a guy who claims his middle initial of "G" stands for Walter! How can you trust what he thinks?

As such, perhaps "The Monster That Devoured Cleveland" still called out to something in Sally's soul which wanted to rescue it from obscurity.
('The Many Loves Of Dobie Gillis')

"The Collected Shorts of Chick Morton and Eddie Hayes" - Morton and Hayes were third-rate variants of the Laurel & Hardy/Abbott & Costello equation of a comedy team making short films together in the 30s and 40s. Among their movies are:

"The Vase Shop" (their first)
"The Bride Of Mummula"
"Mr. And Mrs. Murderer"
"Pardon My Puss"
"Morton And Hayes Meet Sherlock Holmes At Charlie Chan's"

Rob Reiner may have thought their comedy routines in these dreary little films to be classic, but when you consider how Chick Morton ended up in life, they seem a little sad today.....
('Morton & Hayes')

"San Quentin Blues" - This is probably a grim prison flick with only one bright spot: the sparkling presence of sexy starlet Ginger Grant in the cast. Perhaps the movie was re-released to cash in on the mysterious disappearance of Miss Grant during a three-hour tour on a pleasure boat. That type of marketing might have appealed to Sally.
('Gilligan's Island')

"The Last Milkman In New York City" - Just because Paul Buchman was the main character in a sitcom and seemed like a really nice guy, that doesn't mean everything he directed would be filmic gold. "The Last Milkman" sounds like it would be a really depressing and ultimately boring documentary - the perfect movie for Sally to pop into the player while she folds her laundry.
('Mad About You')

"Please Don't Eat The Daileys" - Kyle X. (Not to be confused with 'Kyle XY') Applegate, star of the 'Cowboy Kyle' TV series, starred in this bloody, violent tale about the cannibals next door.
('Out Of This World')

"The Pain And The Yearning" - A title like that just cries out to join Sally's DVD collection. It was probably a foreign flick with lots of black and white cinematography, long pauses, weird imagery, and maybe a head in a rusty box.

I could see her also getting hold of a copy of "Cupid's Rifle" someday as well. Not sure what it was about, but it sounds like a weird Ray Harryhausen Western to me.

"Godzilla And The Bobbysoxer" - Perhaps one of the cheapest knock-off titles that were ever produced. Maybe it even starred a reunited Morton & Hayes for one last shot at glory. Cashing in on the "Godzilla" craze of the 1950s and combining it with the teen hi-jinks genre (perhaps with a very young Ginger Grant in the role of the Bobby-Soxer?), this movie might at least be entertaining for any other extras to be found on the disk, besides those concerning the Doctor.

So Toobworld Central is not declaring these as the definitive additions to Sally's collection, just eight titles that perhaps made up the rest of her paltry seventeen DVD collection.....

Toby OB

*I haven't seen "Utopia" yet, but it sounds like everybody's raving about the last fifteen minutes only, while the first half an hour was bunk. "Blink", however, was a joy throughout.


'Scrubs' creator Bill Lawrence decided last season to kill off Nurse Laverne Roberts, but he promised the actress who played her, Aloma Wright, that if the show came back for another season, he would bring her back as well - as Laverne's twin sister.

And so a grand Toobworld tradition is upheld - that of the identical twin. I'm not so sure the character of the sister will be taking it further and be an evil twin as well - the gold standard of the tradition right up there with "identical cousins" - but she will be the polar opposite of Laverne. Whereas Laverne was God-fearing and God-loving, Shirley will be single, alchoholic, and someone who turned her back on religion. She'll also be sporting a wig to make her physically different from her "sister" as well.

Hunh. Laverne & Shirley. Just noticed that in-joke as I typed the story up. Getting slow in my old age.

Toby OB

Tuesday, June 19, 2007


Since Saturday night, Jolly Olde has been abuzz in fan forums and bulletin boards with the latest episode of 'Doctor Who', "Utopia", with its return of a classic character, a crossover with its own spinoff ('Torchwood'), and lauded performances from guests Derek Jacobi and John Simm.

And here I am about to discuss an episode from a month ago - "Human Nature" (with its second part, "Family of Blood").

I caught up with that two-parter as well as with "Blink" in a marathon session late Wednesday night/Thursday morning. But that's okay; it's not like I do reviews here very much. I'm all about O'Bservations - analyzing the impact TV shows and their episodes have on the TV Universe in general.

So anyway, let's take a look at "Human Nature"/Family Of Blood".

The Doctor compared the Family of Blood to mayflies, in that they would have a short life span without some sort of host body. (I'm assuming they would prefer sentient ones.) Apparently their use of a human shell burns it out too quickly, which only makes me wonder how Blon Slitheen was able to keep the skin suit of Margaret Blaine so fresh for over six months. Ewwwwww.

The Family of Blood was some kind of group mind, of which there only seemed to be four members left. Perhaps the nature of their accelerated lifespan brought such a quick finish to the race. (They may not have even been in existence for very long either.)

It looks as though they not only stole their host bodies, but the technology of their victims as well. The spaceship they used may have been a TARDIS discarded after the Time War - it had a similar organic design as the Doctor's, plus it could travel through time and space as well. And their choice of firearms was reminiscent of those used by the Red Lectroids of "Buckaroo Banzai" (which has the most tenuous of Toobworld connections).

It's never splained in the televised story how the Doctor is able to imprison the Daughter of the Family in the mirror's universe. (It may have been in the original novel, however.) I imagine the technology must be similar to the 'Lost In Space' episode "The Magic Mirror".

In order to escape that world, one had to shoot their reflection in a stream. Perhaps that's why we didn't see the Daughter of the Family in that dimension nearly a century later - she had already escaped.

The Boy, who lived alone in that mirror world save for the hairy monster, may even have been the son of the Family's Daughter. That is, if she was allowed to age in that mirror dimension - and if there were any other humanoids living in that world... besides the hairy monster.

On a personal level, I liked seeing Gerard Horan as Mr. Clarke, the Father of the Family. He reminded me of my own great-grandfather as he looked around that same time. (Click here to see the comparison between Mr. Clarke and Grandpa Rowley.)

If Tim Latimer is the same age as Thomas Sangster, the young actor who played him, then he was sixteen in 1913. (The kid looked like he was twelve!) So I think his "reunion" with the Doctor and Martha probably took place at the latest in 1975, when Mr. Latimer was about 78 years old or so.

If only Harry Lloyd, who played Jeremy Baines, could be cast as an android or some kind of alien in human form again, because his performance as the Family's Son was brilliance!

It's now official by Toobworld "standards" (Ha!): Christopher Eccleston's incarnation of the Doctor regenerated from Paul McGann's version, as seen in the 1996 FOX TV movie. The journal of "John Smith" confirms that with his sketches of all of his past "lives", from the First Doctor played by William Hartnell to the current version as portrayed by David Tennant. And there in the center of it all is McGann's Ninth Doctor.

Some other TV shows from that same general time period: 'Blackadder Goes Forth', 'Upstairs, Downstairs', 'Captains And The Kings', 'Beacon Hill', and 'Q.E.D.'. A teacher at the Rock Spring School for Boys in Rock Spring, Vermont, by the name of Ellis Fowler, may have gone to the school depicted in this 'Doctor Who' two-parter before moving to America to be a teacher for 51 years. (As seen in "Changing Of The Guard", an episode of 'The Twilight Zone'.)

The Doctor must have some kind of temporal GPS intalled in the TARDIS, a device which can plot the future for a specific area. How else would he know that the field in which he imprisoned the Family's Son would forever remain a field? Sooner or later that field could have fallen to the encroachment of urbanization.

The Doctor probably also made arrangements with the people of the village to keep watch over that scarecrow; made them guarantee that their descendants down through the generations would do the same.

Thinking about such details can undercut the power of such a scene as that image of the Doctor abandoning "Jeremy Baines" as the scarecrow, while we hear Baines' voiceover in which he realizes that the Doctor's decision to flee was not an act of fear but an act of mercy. But such is the curse of the televisiologist.

That, and spoilers.

Did anybody else watch that scene and think of a certain field in Royston Vesey?

The story was based upon a 'Doctor Who' novel by the same author, Paul Cornell. However, the novel was written with the Seventh Incarnation of the Doctor as the protagonist. And his actions throughout bear out the more ruthless personality quirks of that particular regeneration. This is as good an example as any that the "canon" of 'Doctor Who' must be partitioned into the different universes of Mankind's creative spark.

The Doctor of the TV series must be considered a different creation from that to be found in the novels. The Doctor from the books is not the same as the various incarnations to be found in the comic strips and graphic novels. The movie version, the Doctor played by Peter Cushing in the "Cineverse", definitely can't be reconciled with the Doctors from other creative endeavors.

And within the TV Universe, there is a separation yet again, from the live-action version of the two installments of the TV series as well as the 1996 TV movie, as opposed to the cartoon versions seen in cameo on 'The Simpsons' as well as in the currently unspooling adventure of 'The Infinite Quest'. Those versions of the Doctor belong in the alternate dimension of "The Tooniverse".

It's tempting to want to reconcile the tie-in novels and other franchise venues into one single "universal canon" for the Doctor, as it must be for the fans of 'Star Trek'. I must have read over fifty or so tie-in novels connected to the world of Roddenberry's creation, but there's no way you could squeeze them and the hundreds (?) more books out there into that original five year exploratory mission. Better for a tele-purist (a contradiction in terms, I suppose) to just abandon them to their own niche in the fictional multiverse and be done with it; leave it for some other type of scholar to wrangle with them.

(It's a shame, too. Up until I finally had to make this decision for myself because of "Human Nature", I really wanted to include Barbara Hambly's 'Trek' novel "Ishmael" in the TV Universe, as it also contains characters from 'Here Come The Brides', 'Bonanza', 'Maverick', and 'Have Gun Will Travel'. But in a way, this decision is for the best. Keeping it in a universe for the printed word helps establish those characters in that world as well.)

Characters from other media venues can cross over into the TV Universe. For instance, comic book characters have become live-action characters, as seen in the TV show 'Once A Hero' and in the A-Ha video for "Take Me On". But the comic art world they came from remains separate from Toobworld. The same has to hold true for the characters from tie-in novels. The Doctor from Paul Cornell's book "Human Nature" can not be reconciled with the Doctor from the two-part episode 'Human Nature'/'Family of Blood'. But the Family of Blood, as well as other characters like Nurse Redfern and Tim Latimer, have doppelgangers in both worlds. (At least I'm making that assumption about those two in particular; I never read the novel.)

The novelization of "Human Nature" should remain in the literary universe along with all other printed word stories about the Gallifreyan Time Lord - unless they are also adapted for Television as well (as will be the case with the next episode, "Blink").

Well, that should just about do it for any O'Bservations about "Human Nature" and "Family In Blood". Next I'll turn my attentions to "Blink", not that there's any rush. I've promised the father of one of my god-daughters that I won't rush off to his brother's place to watch "Utopia" and the last two episodes, but instead wait until I can see them all in a viewing marathon with him and his family.

From what I've been reading, that'll be three weeks of Agony!

Toby OB

"Everyone's a character.
Some of us just haven't met the right writer yet
Dash Goff
'Designing Women'