Saturday, July 14, 2007


The latest arrivals for the Toobworld DVD collection were on my doorstep yesterday, waiting for me to wake up from nappies. And one of the boxes contained a very nice bonus!

"The Last Unicorn"
The animated film from the early 1980s which featured the voices of Alan Arkin, Mia Farrow, Jeff Bridges, Angela Lansbury, and Christopher Lee. I picked this up for my 2½ year old nephew.

"Shirley Temple's Storybook Collection" - two boxed sets
Not exactly sure which volume is considered "One" and the other as "Two", but one holds six episodes of her anthology TV show and the other has five episodes.

"The Princess And The Goblins"
"Winnie The Pooh"
"Babes In Toyland"
"Pippi Longstocking"

"The Terrible Clockman"
"The House With The Seven Gables"
"The Land Of Oz"
"The Reluctant Dragon"
"The Little Mermaid"

I have no memories of this show at all; I only know it from references and photos in my many books on the early days of TV. I imagine that it must be a percursor in many ways to Shelley Duvall's 'Fairy Tale Theater' from the 1980s.

But no matter the quality of the recording or the special effects, I think many of the episodes will qualify as the official versions of these classics for Toobworld. (I'm most excited about seeing this version of the "Oz" story!)

Among the actors involved are Jonathan Winters, Martin Landau, Agnes Moorehead, Mel Blanc, Arthur Treacher, Frances Bergen, Sterling Holloway, Ben Blue, Joseph Wiseman, Michael Rennie, Alan Napier, Ann Jillian, Billy Gilbert, Imogene Coca, Jane Rose, John Raitt, Jonathan Harris, Alice Pearce, Robert Culp, Jerry Colonna, Carl Ballantine, Joe Besser, Ray Kellogg, Angela Cartwright, Willard Waterman, Ted de Corsia, Eric Portman, Sam Jaffe, Jacques Aubuchon, J. Pat O'Malley, Nancy Kulp, Nina Foch, Ray Walston, John Hoyt, Mary Wickes, the Bil and Cora Baird puppets, and Shirley Temple herself.

For a fan of character actors like m'self, there are quite a few treasures in that list!

Now, the bonus was a DVD of Shirley Temple's first films, "The Early Years". These are seven short films she made in 1932, like "Pollytix In Washington", "Kid In Africa", and "War Babies". There's no mention on the invoice that I was getting it; I know I wasn't charged for it.

Woohoo! Freebie!

Toby OB


Larry David's life in the real world is finally catching up to the one that his televersion lives in Toobworld. After 14 years of marriage, the creator and star of 'Curb Your Enthusiasm' will be getting a divorce from Laurie David, his wife of 14 years. They have two daughters, Cazzie and Romy, who have televersions themselves as they appeared with their father in a recent episode of 'Hannah Montana'.

Back on May 13th, I wrote about the discrepancy between the lives Larry David led in Toobworld and in the real world, saying that TV's Larry must have divorced his previous wife and then got remarried to Cheryl David, his wife as played by Cheryl Hines on 'Curb Your Enthusiasm'. (I kind of doubt that either Larry or Laurie got the idea for this from reading my blog.....)

A representative for both of them said, "It's completely amicable. They are both really sad but they are great friends and they are still spending a lot of time together at their LA home with their kids."

The other day, during the latest press tour for the upcoming TV season, Larry David joked at the HBO press conference that he might even mine the situation for laughs on 'Curb Your Enthusiasm'. He needled Cheryl Hines that her job would then probably be in jeopardy.

But that would be Toobworld, not reality. If he ever did get a divorce from Cheryl on the show, it would be his second as he's already divorced from Laurie. He just never seems to mention her, or see his kids. (He has to sneak out to other shows in order to do that......)

Toby OB


It's a boring night here at work. Everything's going smoothly. That's fine when it comes to the paperwork, computer reports. But I could use some of the live theatre like last night when the security staff (No Slappys here, Ivan!) had to tussle with an unruly drunk who's not even staying here.

Worse, he's the nephew of the guy who owns one of the ancillary businesses here.

So I'm just counting down the hours until I can get home and watch the shows I recorded from Friday night. For me, it's a powerhouse of a lineup for a summer Friday:

'Doctor Who'

As I've already seen the full 13 episode run of this 'Doctor Who' season, I may give that a pass until after my nappies and move directly on to the two comedic detective shows from USA Network. I'm especially curious to learn more about this character that Tim Curry is playing on 'Psych', Nigel St. Nigel.

Sounds like a fake name, doesn't it? Could it be that twenty years earlier he went by the name of Winston Newquay, a record company executive? Even that was an alias as his birth name was Sammy Fishbein.

For some reason those two names have remained lodged in the back of my medulla oblongata for these past twenty years. I guess I just liked how radically different they were from each other.

So anyway, I want to see if I can make the theoretical claim that Nigel is Winston/Sammy, taking on a new life in the music biz.....

Toby OB

Friday, July 13, 2007


Character actor Charles Lane, who appeared in hundreds of movies and TV shows, passed away the other day. The temptation was to add "finally" to that last sentence because Mr. Lane was, after all, 102 years old. And one could almost say he was working until the end - just last year, he narrated a short film version of "The Night Before Christmas".

I don't do full-on Hat Squad tributes anymore for the people who made an impact on Toobworld; it's just such a depressing chore. But there comes a passing of an actor or other creative artist in Television whose career and life demand that attention be paid. And I think Charles Lane falls into that category. At 102 years of age, he could be said to be the Dean of Character Actors; certainly he was one of my faves, right up there with Herb Vigran, Vito Scotti, Dabbs Greer, and Phil Leeds.

Cinephiles would quickly name movies like "It's A Wonderful Life", "It's A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World", and "You Can't Take It With You" for examples of his credits. And most students of TV history would first cite his role as Homer Beldoe on 'Petticoat Junction' and as Mr. Barnsdahl on 'The Lucy Show' for his work in Toobworld. For me, his most impressive role in Television was that of the elderly patient who "memory-walked" the Heritage Trail in an episode of 'St. Elsewhere'. (I can only hope that DVD sales for the first season of that show will prove good enough to insure the rest of the series makes it to DVD.)

On his 102nd birthday back in January, I watched "The Gnome-Mobile" at work in which he played a doctor. (For most of his roles, he was a doctor, judge, banker, or some ornery skinflint.)

As Judge Petrillo on a handful of 'Soap' episodes, he made an excellent foil for the maddening antics of Jessica Tate. On 'Bewitched', he played about eight different clients at McMann & Tate - it's incredible that nobody ever noticed that they all looked so much alike!

Here then, is a list of the TV credits for Charles Lane:

"Karen" (1975) TV Series .... Dale W. Busch (1975)
"Petticoat Junction" .... Homer Bedloe / ... (23 episodes, 1963-1968)
"The Pruitts of Southampton" (1966) TV Series .... Maxwell
"Dear Phoebe" .... Mr. Fosdick (13 episodes, 1954-1955)

"Soap" .... Judge Anthony Petrillo (7 episodes, 1978)
"The Beverly Hillbillies" .... Foster Phinney / ... (7 episodes, 1963-1971)
"Temple Houston" .... Amos Riggs (2 episodes, 1964)
"The Lucy Show" .... Mr. Barnsdahl (4 episodes, 1962)
"The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis" .... Wayzack (2 episodes, 1961-1962)
"Dennis the Menace" .... Mr. Finch (6 episodes, 1960-1962)
"The Gale Storm Show" .... Pierce (2 episodes, 1957-1959)

The Return of the Beverly Hillbillies (1981) (TV) .... Chief

"Dark Shadows"
- Episode #1.6 (1991) TV Episode .... Antique Dealer
"L.A. Law"
- Leave It to Geezer (1989) TV Episode .... Walter
"St. Elsewhere"
- Weigh In, Way Out (1987) TV Episode
- The Girl Next Door (1987) TV Episode .... Motel Owner
"Comedy Factory"
- Side by Side (1985) TV Episode .... George McCloskey
- Village of the Motorpigs (1985) TV Episode .... Mr. Velcrows Widley
"Little House on the Prairie"
- Welcome to Olesonville (1982) TV Episode .... Jess Moffet
"Lou Grant"
- Generations (1981) TV Episode .... Rupert Hume
- Gambling (1979) TV Episode .... Mort Farber
"Mork & Mindy"
- Little Orphan Morkie (1980) TV Episode .... Judge Baker
"ABC Weekend Specials"
- The $1000 Bill (1978) TV Episode .... Walter Becker
- Arthur's Crisis (1977) TV Episode .... Doc Prichard
"Chico and the Man"
- Old Is Gold (1976) TV Episode .... Mr. Chipps
- Thursday's Child (1976) TV Episode .... James Lawrence
"One Day at a Time"
- Julie's Job (1976) TV Episode .... Herbert
"The Family Holvak"
- The Long Way Home: Part 2 (1975) TV Episode .... Deacon Hurd
- The Honeymoon (1974) TV Episode .... Mr. Fosner
"The Rookies"
- Another Beginning for Ben Fuller (1973) TV Episode .... Dealer
"Adam's Rib"
- Katey at the Bat (1973) TV Episode .... Mayor
"The Odd Couple"
- Take My Furniture, Please (1973) TV Episode .... Sid
"The Sandy Duncan Show"
- Play It Again Samuelson (1972) TV Episode .... Judge
"Temperatures Rising"
- Ellen's Flip Side (1972) TV Episode .... Briggs

- School Days, School Daze (1972) TV Episode .... Mr. Roland
- The Warlock in the Gray Flannel Suit (1971) TV Episode .... Mr. Cushman
- Laugh, Clown, Laugh (1971) TV Episode .... Mr. Jameson
- Samantha's Magic Potion (1970) TV Episode .... Mr. Harmon
- Make Love Not Hate (1970) TV Episode .... Mr. Meikeljohn

- You're So Agreeable (1967) TV Episode .... Mr. Shotwell
- Humbug Not To Be Spoken Here .... Mr. Mortimer
- Speak the Truth (1965) TV Episode .... Ed Hotchkiss
"Nanny and the Professor"
- One for the Road (1971) TV Episode .... Ticket Seller
- Nanny on Wheels (1970) TV Episode .... Driving Inspector
"The Debbie Reynolds Show"
- Hurray for Our Side (1970) TV Episode .... Samson
"The Flying Nun"
- The Breakaway Monk (1969) TV Episode .... Mr. O' Reilly
"Green Acres"
- The Rummage Sale (1968) TV Episode .... Mister Wilson
"Judd for the Defense"
- The Grand Old Man (1968) TV Episode .... Baliff
"Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C."
- The Prize Boat (1967) TV Episode .... Charlie
- Pay Day (1964) TV Episode .... General Richards
"The Wild Wild West"
- The Night of the Hangman (1967) TV Episode .... Roger Creed
"He & She"
- The Old Man & the She (1967) TV Episode .... Immigrations Officer
"Love on a Rooftop"
- Low Calorie Love (1967) TV Episode
- My Husband, the Knight (1966) TV Episode
"Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre"
- Dear Deductible (1966) TV Episode .... Charles Eckhardt
"The Man from U.N.C.L.E."
- The Pop Art Affair (1966) TV Episode .... Mr. Harrison
"F Troop"
- Reach for the Sky, Pardner (1966) TV Episode .... Mr. S. A. MacGuire
"The Munsters"
- The Most Beautiful Ghoul in the World (1966) TV Episode .... Holmes
"Honey West"
- King of the Mountain (1966) TV Episode .... Mr. Ash
"Please Don't Eat the Daisies"
- Say UNCLE (1966) TV Episode .... Dynamite Man
"Get Smart"
- My Nephew the Spy (1965) TV Episode .... Uncle Abner
"The Farmer's Daughter" (1 episode, 1965)
- Crisis at Crystal Springs (1965) TV Episode
"The Smothers Brothers Show"
- A Boarding House Is Not a Home (1965) TV Episode .... Wiggins
"The Bing Crosby Show"
- The Dominant Male (1964) TV Episode
"The Andy Griffith Show"
- Aunt Bee the Crusader (1964) TV Episode .... Mr. Frisby
"Make Room for Daddy"
- The Hex (1963) TV Episode .... Mr. Baker
"Burke's Law"
- Who Killed Harris Crown? (1963) TV Episode .... Dr. Lusk
"Mr. Smith Goes to Washington"
- The Resurrection of Winesap Corners (1963) TV Episode .... Caleb
"77 Sunset Strip"
- Tarnished Idol (1963) TV Episode .... Henry Distal
"The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis"
- Too Many Kooks Spoil the Broth (1963) TV Episode .... P.T. Atwood
- The Sweet Success of Smell (1962) TV Episode .... Prof. McGuffy
"McKeever & the Colonel"
- Blackwell's Stand (1962) TV Episode .... Mayor
"Mister Ed"
- Wilbur in the Lion's Den (1962) TV Episode .... Charles Foster
"The Comedy Spot"
- The Soft Touch (1962) TV Episode .... Mr. Martin
- The Doctor (1962) TV Episode .... Morris Weeks
- Mr. Muldoon's Partner (1962) TV Episode .... Proprietor
"Surfside 6"
- The Money Game (1962) TV Episode .... Cyrus Radford
"The Bob Cummings Show"
- Who Chopped Down the Cherokee? (1961) TV Episode
"The Tab Hunter Show"
- Personal Appearance (1961) TV Episode .... Dr. Spike
"Guestward Ho!"
- The Hootens Build a Barbecue (1961) TV Episode .... Mr. Langdon
"The DuPont Show with June Allyson"
- The Old-Fashioned Way (1961) TV Episode .... Dr. Shelley
"The Twilight Zone"
- Mr. Bevis (1960) TV Episode .... Mr. Peckinpaugh
"Bachelor Father"
- Bentley and the Travel Agent (1960) TV Episode
"Goodyear Theatre"
- Lady Bug (1959) TV Episode .... Adam
"The Ann Sothern Show"
- Johnny Moves Up (1959) TV Episode .... Cameron
"The Millionaire"
- Ralph the Cat (1958) TV Episode .... Whipple
"The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour"
- Lucy Goes to Mexico (1958) TV Episode .... Customs Officer
- Lucy Hunts Uranium (1958) TV Episode .... Claims Clerk
"Richard Diamond, Private Detective"
- One Foot in the Grave (1958) TV Episode .... Kevin Anders
"Perry Mason"
- The Case of the Fiery Fingers (1958) TV Episode .... Dr. Williams
"The Gray Ghost"
- Secret and Urgent (1958) TV Episode .... Hall
"The Thin Man"
- Acrostic Murders (1957) TV Episode .... Harry
"The Real McCoys"
- The Egg War (1957) TV Episode .... Harry Poulson
"On Trial"
- Alibi for Murder (1957) TV Episode .... Grayson
"The People's Choice"
- Paper Hangers (1957) TV Episode
- Bankrupt Alibi (????) TV Episode .... Larkin
"Star Stage" (1 episode, 1956)
- Screen Credit (1956) TV Episode
"I Love Lucy"
- Staten Island Ferry (1956) TV Episode .... Passport Clerk
- The Business Manager (1954) TV Episode .... Mr. Hickox
- Lucy Tells the Truth (1953) TV Episode .... Casting Director
- Lucy Goes to the Hospital (1953) TV Episode .... Mr. Stanley
"Screen Directors Playhouse"
- Tom and Jerry (1955) TV Episode .... Garrity
"Jane Wyman Presents The Fireside Theatre"
- Stephen and Publius Cyrus (1955) TV Episode .... Henry
- Episode #1.1 (1954) TV Episode .... Willy's Boss
- A Ghostly Joke (1954) TV Episode .... Mr. Kittler

The Night Before Christmas (2006) .... Narrator
The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes (1995) (TV) .... Regent Yarborough
Acting on Impulse (1993) (TV) .... Bellhop
When the Bough Breaks (1986) (TV) .... Van der Graaf
Sunset Limousine (1983) (TV) .... Reinhammer
Love Nest (1975) (TV) .... Ned
Hitched (1971) (TV) .... Round Tree
My Dog, the Thief (1969) (TV) .... Mr. Pfeiffer
Ernestine (1962) (TV)

Sybil (1976) (TV) .... Dr. Quinoness
"War and Remembrance" (1988) (mini) TV Series .... Adm. William Standley
"The Winds of War" (1983) (mini) TV Series .... Adm. William Standley
The Great Man's Whiskers (1972) (TV) .... Philbrick

(These were garnered from the I can't say for certain if any are missing.)

There are some interesting characters in that list that could make for theoretical links by way of tele-genealogy or aliases. For instance, Mr. Lane's role as Larkin in an episode of 'The Whirlybirds' could be the brother of Grandpa Larkin on 'Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman'. Perhaps the judge he played in an episode of Sandy Duncan's sitcom could have been Judge Baker of 'Mork & Mindy' or Judge Petrillo of 'Soap'. And the passport clerk he played in one of Lucille Ball's series could have been the customs official in another. (He and Lucy were old friends dating back to their days at RKO in the thirties.)

Looking over that list of his credits, I'm amazed by the number of shows he didn't appear in. I'd think there were plenty of opportunities in the forty plus years he worked in Television where he could have contributed even more to other series, both in drama and in comedy.

Perhaps a post for another day.......

My Toobworld cap is doffed to you, Mr. Lane. Thank you, and may God bless......

Toby OB


I have a four year old god-daughter. Her name is Rhiannon.

On Wednesday, she informed me that she has a new name.

She wants to be known as George.

That's George as in the girl from the TV series 'Dead Like Me'.

Four years old and she watches 'Dead Like Me'.

When I was four, I was watching 'Captain Kangaroo' and 'The Hap Richards Show'.

That's NOT my fault. I blame her father.....

Toby OB

Thursday, July 12, 2007


Yesterday I caught the last three episodes of this season's 'Doctor Who'. (Don't give me a headache with all of that third season vs. twenty-ninth season bullbleep!) Along with "Utopia", "The Sound Of Drums", and "The Last Of The Time Lords", I also had the chance to watch the online cartoon adventure of the Tenth Doctor and Martha, "The Infinite Quest".

It's all a bit of a mish-m*a*s*h still in my noggin, but let's see if I can sort out my thoughts here as I go along.

One thing to remember: I'm not a reviewer. I'm looking at this from the televisiologist's point of view; trying to reconcile the show with the overall Toobworld mythos.

So, on with the show.....

In the weeks leading up to their appearances on 'Doctor Who', there was a lot of speculation as to who Sir Derek Jacobi and John Simm would be playing. For Jacobi, my pal Michael clued me in to what would become my favorite suggestion - that he would be the latest incarnation of the Meddling Monk, a character not seen since the Hartnell years.

Perhaps this rumor was fueled by memories of Jacobi as Brother Cadfael. Also, the name of Harold Saxon kept cropping up in both 'Doctor Who' and in 'Torchwood', and the Meddling Monk tried to change the history of the Battle of Hastings. That occurred in 1066, when Harold Godwinson of the Saxons lost the crown (and his life) to William the Conqueror.

As for Simm, Rob Buckley's "The Medium Is Not Enough" (link to the left, dear reader) teased with the notion that he would be the Doctor himself, a younger version of Hartnell's First Doctor, and perhaps from a parallel dimension to boot.

That theory really grabbed hold of me; I've always thought the earlier life of the First Doctor was ripe for many seasons of adventures, with the possibility of casting several actors in the role to cover various ages (a la 'The Indiana Jones Chronicles'). But to take that idea and then add the current incarnation of the Doctor to the mix... that would be a real time and mind bender. One can only imagine what Stephen Moffatt would make of such a ripping yarn.

Earlier this season I saw a suggested chronology for this year's adventures which proposed that on a linear timeline, the Doctor met Martha Jones (in "Smith And Jones") before he met Donna Noble ("The Runaway Bride") even though in his personal timeline he met Donna first. The chronology put "The Runaway Bride" during the Christmas period for 2007, while "Smith And Jones" would have been earlier in the year, probably in May or June based on the clothing people wore outdoors.

Here's the reasoning from the website, "History of the Whoniverse":

[The date (of "Smith And Jones") is never stated. Martha mentions the events of "Doomsday", but not those of "The Runaway Bride" when talking about recent alien invasions, so presumably this story is set between these other stories. In "The Shakespeare Code", the Doctor believes Martha hasn't read the final Harry Potter novel, which is due for release on the 21st of July 2007, so this is likely to be set before then.]

Click here for The History of the Whoniverse.

That reference to the Harry Potter novel does seem to confirm the placement of "Smith And Jones" in the first half of 2007.

Personally, I think the "invasion" of the Spider race would not be known to the general public, unlike "The Christmas Invasion" of the Sycorax and the Canary Wharf battle between the Cybermen and the Daleks. (The public was earlier gulled into believing that the invasion by the Slitheen family was some kind of hoax.)

Still, they must have wondered why the Thames suddenly was drained at Christmastime....

This idea of the Doctor appearing in a timeline before a later insertion or interaction with a character came up several times in this season: in "The Shakespeare Code" he encountered Queen Elizabeth I for the first time, but she had already met him. (And she was not quite pleased with the last meeting.) And in "Blink", Sally Sparrow helped the Doctor and Martha to escape a tricky situation a year before she even met them.

And Martha's first encounter with the Doctor in "Smith And Jones" was later in the day (for him) after their first adventure together.

It happens again in the three-part finale. When the Master regenerates, Martha recognizes his voice as she's heard it hundreds of times before as that of Harold Saxon.

I've resigned myself to the fact that as long as RTD was at the 'Who' helm, this Doctor was off in some other TV dimension, not on Earth Prime-Time. I had some hope that with no sighting nor even a mention of Prime Minister Harriet Jones throughout this season, perhaps the perspective had switched back to the main Toobworld. I don't know when this might have happened, but it could have transpired last season just before the Doctor, Rose, and Mickey landed in the alternate dimension where John Lumic created the Cybermen.

My reasoning? Mickey cited Tony Blair's name as though he was still alive and still the PM. (In "Aliens Of London", apparently Blair was killed by the Slitheen.)

Even the shadowy presence of Mr. Saxon in the background as well as the upcoming election could have fit into Earth Prime-Time, so long as it was a temporary stay in power once he was elected (with Gordon Brown eventually assuming his rightful place in Toobworld, as in the real world). And with RTD's "magic reset button" as the deus ex machina, everything that occurred in that year of Master-dominated Earth was magically erased anyway.

It all could have worked out just fine, had it not been for the presence of President Winters.

Everybody who visits this site on a regular basis must know the drill by know: the POTUS of the main Toobworld should always reflect that of the real world. Too many shows are going to mention him (someday, "her"), so to do otherwise - as is the case with 'The West Wing', '24', 'Prison Break', and 'Hail To The Chief' - means a one-way ticket to some other dimension.

The presence of President Winters not only meant that 'Doctor Who' is still in another TV dimension, but also that this journey with Martha Jones as his companion lasted for well over a year. That's because Winters identified himself as the President-Elect when meeting with Prime Minister Harold Saxon.

If he had been elected the President of the United States based on a timeline similar to that of the real world and Toobworld, then the election took place in November of 2008. But he would only be the "President-Elect" until January when he would be sworn into office.

Here's the hitch: as President-Elect, he would have had no authority to be meeting with Saxon as the representative of the American people - on that 'Captain Scarlet'-influenced, space age Air Force One of a "cloudbase". I doubt UNIT would have loaned it out to anyone but the actual sitting President.

It did sound as though Winters was acting on the authority of the United Nations rather than that of the United States, but I can't see any politician here in America risking political suicide by allying himself first with the UN over his own country. Even if he was a lame duck, the sitting President should have been the one to represent Earth in that first contact encounter with the Toclafane.

My theory? Winters mis-spoke. He was still used to calling himself "President-Elect" instead of "President", and nobody dared to call him on the error. (Why would Saxon bother? He knew he was going to kill the President anyway.)

So I'm thinking that the events of "The Sound Of Drums" had to be soon after the January 2009 inauguration.

Since RTD was planning to go all in with his story and make the situation look as bleak and despairing as possible before wiping it all away, why didn't he have the balls to have George W. Bush meeting with the Toclafane? (Better yet, to have Bush as the figurehead, but Dick Cheney as the real power on board the Valiant!)

He could have killed Dubya off, only to make sure that the reset would bring the timeline back to just before he was killed. No harm done. (Warning! Editorial content ahead: The real harm was already done twice over by the American voters anyway.)

Let's get back to the Valiant. It's a good thing that the "cloudbase" belonged to UNIT, because if it had been part of America's military fleet, it would have also damned the show to a different dimension just as much as the presence of President Winters.

It's one thing to have a moon-based colony from the late 1950s through 'Get Smart' of the early 1970s until its destruction in 1999 - that was a secret government installation unknown to the general public. But the Valiant had to have received scrutiny by the press and just about anybody looking up as it flew overhead. (They couldn't have used a cloaking device as Earth wouldn't be getting their hands on one until the year 2268, as seen in the 'Star Trek' episode "The Enterprise Incident".)

So it never could have been hidden away from public notice in other TV shows in a unified TV dimension had it belonged to the US military. But as a secret weapon of UNIT, especially one that may have been on its maiden voyage, we can give it a pass.

Toobworld can absorb such sci-fi locations as 'The Time Tunnel', the 'Quantum Leap' facility, and the DHARMA Initiative operations on the 'Lost' island. Like the moonbase, they were top-secret and so characters from other shows shouldn't have known about them.

Devices like "The Lazarus Experiment" in 'Doctor Who' and the weather machine used by Mikos Cassidine to attack 'General Hospital' in Port Charles, New York, were ultimately destroyed and quickly enough not to have too great an impact on other TV shows. Wonder Woman's invisible plane was common knowledge and is mentioned in other TV series. (Charlie Pace told his abductors in "Through The Looking Glass", the 'Lost' season finale, that he had an invisible submarine. I wonder if Wonder Woman had one of those as well.....?)

The scene between Martha and Chantho in "Utopia" should have been one between Chantho and Captain Jack.

In Bed.

I realize this is supposed to be a "kid's show", but if we keep hearing about how Jack Harkness is supposed to be this omnisexual Lothario of the Universe, we should see him sooner or later shagging an alien rather than just other humans, male or female.

Besides, it would have given John Barrowman at least a little more to do in order to justify his three episode appearance as a credited co-star. (That was a classy touch on the part of the producer.)

It would have been nice to have more of Derek Jacobi. In a way, we were treated to two performances from him - a sly, inventive turn as Professor Yana, and five minutes of malevolent delight as the Master. Yet 43 minutes wasn't enough.

It was my dream that one day Jacobi could appear on 'Doctor Who' as his most famous character, that of the Roman emperor Claudius from 'I, Claudius'. He's the right age now to play the role with little need for old-age makeup. But he's now played two different roles in the world of 'Doctor Who' so I can't be greedy. (He was also the metallic vesion of the Master in "Scream Of The Shallka".)

That vocal tic of "Chan... Tho" from the insectivorid Chantho was pretty irritating. Good thing the episode lasted less than an hour or I'd have put the cable to her as well!

Whatever did happen to Martha's brother Leo and his wife (girlfriend?) and child during that year under the Master's dominion? I'm guessing they were killed while trying to elude the Master's troops. But all would have been set right again by the end.

I don't want to sound too harsh on RTD, although I think he is way over the top with this show when he's writing the scripts. He had a lot of grand (as in grrrrrrreat!) ideas all throughout this tryptich of a finale. It just became overkill by the end, rendering the audience numb.

I'll give him props for two topics especially - most of all, for resisting the urge to make the Master a brother to the Doctor. That leaves the door open for the future so that one day we might meet a new character to fill that role.

Also, the revelation that the Toclafane were those poor "hyoooomans" at the end of the Universe/Time seeking Utopia. It almost seemed as though the Master had cannibalized technology from the Daleks in their creation.

I think we have a justification as to why Captain Jack seemed to have two different personae - the devil-may-care adventurer of 'Doctor Who' and the kind-of mopey leader of 'Torchwood'. It's because they were two different characters, in two different dimensions.

The proof can be found in a comparison between the first season finale of 'Torchwood', with the opening of "Utopia". In 'Torchwood', it's obvious that the TARDIS materialized within the Torchwood Institute complex, based on the swirling papers as it vanished. But in the episode "Utopia", the TARDIS is outside, perched on the temporal rift in that Cardiff plaza. And Jack is seen running towards it outside.

I've only had a once-through with each of the 'Torchwood' episodes, but I think it safe to say that nothing in the series violates the premise that it could be located in the main Toobworld. As I stated earlier, Harold Saxon could have been in the running for Prime Minister on Earth Prime-Time without need for a new TV dimension. So the "Vote Saxon" posters seen near the end of the 'Torchwood' season aren't a liability.

That Jack's adventures with the Doctor and Martha could have been almost identical - except that it would be Bush killed by the Toclafane and not Winters. And that Jack got to "dance" with Chantho.

(By the way, based on just the "Invasion Of The Bane" episode for 'The Sarah Jane Adventures', I'd say that show could also be based in Earth Prime-Time whenever it finally arrives.)

So there you have it, my scattered thoughts about the three-part season finale of 'Doctor Who'. Oh! As for 'The Infinite Quest', it's a fun little story to be set in the Tooniverse alongside the cartoon version of the Fourth Doctor found in episodes of 'The Simpsons'.

I still have another Toobworld idea generated by these episodes - a catalogue of the things (and people) Captain Jack Harkness did along the way, from 1869 onwards. It will utilize a lot of TV shows from both sides of the Atlantic.

But there's enough time for that another day. I've blathered on here long enough.

Toby OB

Tuesday, July 10, 2007


Sunday night's episode of 'The 4400' was entitled "The Truth And Nothing But The Truth" which gave me a fleeting glimpse of a future USA Network crossover.

When April Skouras asked her boyfriend Colin where they would go next to practice their scam, he mentioned South Beach in Florida; that Miami would be the place for her to practice her new promycin-installed talent to force people to tell the truth.

With that, I could see the two of them in sunny Florida, crossing paths with Michael Westen and his ex-spy friends in an episode of 'Burn Notice'.

And then Colin took a bullet to the brain.

Ain't that a kick in the head?

April ended up in the custody of NTAC, but it looks like she'll be sitting pretty working for one of the major U.S. law enforcement agencies. So who knows? Maybe it could still happen....

Toby OB


In last week's review of 'Kyle XY', reader "mickbw" pretty much called it when it came to what would happen this week:

A pretty obvious meet-up between Declan and Jessie is in his future.
Posted at 8:34AM on Jul 7th 2007 by mickbw

And it looks like I was right about MadaCorp being behind Stephen's loss of his job. They swooped right in and offered him an even better one so that they can keep him under surveillance... and their control.

The mystery behind the disappearance of Amanda's charm bracelet caught me off-guard; never even considered that possibility. And I don't think the MadaCorp bigwig (I want to call him Morgan because of the actor's previous role on 'The Dresden Files'.) truly realizes what he now sports on his ring finger!

Definitely 'Kyle XY' is one of my faves for the summer!

Toby OB

Sunday, July 8, 2007


During the course of their investigation in the second episode of 'Burn Notice', Michael's friends Sam and Fiona passed themselves off as Miami detectives by the names of Cagney and Lacey.

It's a funny enough in-joke, especially considering the fact that one of their co-stars is Sharon Gless. She played Chris Cagney in 'Cagney & Lacey' from the 1980s.

But in the reality of the TV Universe, that would have been a risky move had 'Cagney & Lacey' been a cop show in that dimension as well. Either one of their two marks (Greg and Bonnie) could have remembered seeing the show in reruns. And the DVD boxed set of the first season was recently released, to boot. (I mean "as well", not "to boot" as in "bootleg edition"!)

However, in Toobworld, 'Burn Notice' shares the same dimensional plane of existence as 'Cagney & Lacey'. So Greg & Bonnie more than likely had no reason to know who a couple of NYPD broads (Sorry, didn't mean to channel my inner Gene Hunt!) er, female detectives are.

But Sam probably not only knew of them, he may even have known them personally. It could have been in the line of duty when he was a younger spy, but his connection to them may have moved on from there. We know Sam has an eye for the ladies, and he's not above making a play for a skirt that's not quite in fashion anymore, shall we say.

So who knows? Maybe Sam and Chris Cagney played a little flat-footsie at one time.....

Toby OB


"Television is the educator and the communicator, the informer,
The thing that can inspire and enrich man
As he makes his greatest transition from what he is today
Into the first genuine adult human being
Sylvester L. Weaver

Or not......

Check out
this clip from YouTube:

Toby OB

By the way, "Schadenfreude" is a German word meaning 'pleasure taken from someone else's misfortune'. (Wikipedia)


There's a series of blipverts out there for the Visa check card which tries to get us to believe that life would be better if we were all robotized automatons who never used cash.

In one of these ads, a cash-payer disrupts the flow at an outdoor gardening site and there, lying in wait, is one of the best villains ever to appear on 'Doctor Who': a Weeping Angel from the episode "Blink".

The one seen in the Visa commercial is just a baby, but even so, it's no less deadly! Luckily, with all of those people about, it's sure to remain quantum-locked for awhile. And as such, probably serves to caution the 'Who' fans NOT to use the Visa check card. After all, if everyone is in lock-step and not feeling free to look around, that Weeping Cherub is going to gorge on all of that potential future energy!

I'm such a geek......

Toby OB