Saturday, September 29, 2007


Must be 'Reaper' Day in our Toobworld Fall Season Guide!

Although it was never stated explicitly in the series, it is believed that 'Dead Like Me' takes place in Seattle. With its first episode, the new series 'Reaper' is definitely situated in the "Emerald City" - Sam Oliver's brother was reading a Seattle newspaper in one of the opening scenes.

In 'Dead Like Me', Christine Willes played George's boss at the temp agency, Delores Herbig - as in "her big" brown eyes - and she appeared in the 'Reaper' pilot as well. She was Gladys, the Devil's minion at the DMV, which of course is literally Hell on Earth.

Even though 'Dead Like Me' is canceled as a series, it will be coming back as a direct-to-DVD movie next year. So the DMV clerk and Delores can't be one and the same, with "Gladys" being an alias. Besides, Delores hardly seems like the type to be making deals with the Devil or committing any sin that might get her soul sent packing to Hell. But despite her horns, Gladys did look enough like Delores to suggest that they might be related.

Sadly, I think the Devil's Minion at the DMV is Delores' Mom!


I've only just started watching 'Dead Like Me' and so far I don't remember any mention of Delores' parents being still alive, nor what their names might have been. And we've seen in other shows - like 'Maverick', 'The Brady Bunch', 'The Odd Couple', 'Wiseguy', and 'F Troop' - that a parent could look exactly like their offspring.

So here's my theory of "relateeveety" - Gladys Herbig made a deal with the devil and is now paying it off by being his servant at the DMV. Of course, it could have been a situation like Sam's, in which her parents bartered away her soul which the Devil collected after she began her own family. (He probably conscripted her into service when she was about the same age as her daughter Delores is now and that's why she still looks to be that age.)

According to Ms. Willes' profile at the
William Davis Centre, it looks as though her role as Gladys will be recurring on 'Reaper'. If we don't learn too much more about her personal life and background, then this theory should hold up......

Toby OB


Describe the basic premise of 'Reaper' to somebody who knows their TV, and you should get this response: "That already was a TV show, called 'Brimstone'!"

There are a lot of differences, however. And the big one is that 'Brimstone' was too dark and depressing; 'Reaper' is light-hearted fun.

But even so, somebody might want to call out 'Reaper' as being a copy. But as Toobworld's Ambassador without portfolio, I'd say it's a continuation of the premise.

The Devil, as played by Ray Wise, is the same guy as portrayed by John Glover in 'Brimstone'. And the mission is still the same, just nine years later. Being the Devil, he can assume any visage he wants. Old Scratch probably figured the latter day Rat Pack look would make for a better mentor to Sam instead of that skeevy, long-haired look he sported while dealing with Zeke Stone.

It would seem that the Devil's problem with souls escaping from Hell is growing. Originally the number was 113. (And thanks to a suggestion by my "Iddiette" friend, Listener Mara, we can count the vampire 'Angel' among their number.) But now he's got so many loose on Earth Prime-Time that he's had to open branch offices and "hire" on more bounty hunters.

Miami and Dallas might make for interesting locations if Sam Oliver ever has to take his act on the road.... JR Ewing once had to confront his own personal demon, but I don't think that was a different guise for THE Devil. I think "Adam" used to be the personal Christmas Past for an Ebenezer Scrooge in some TV dimension. After Scrooge finally died, Adam needed to find employment elsewhere.

And the Devil probably has a couple of bounty hunters working around the clock in Cleveland. According to Rupert Giles, Cleveland was located right over a Hellmouth......

'Buffy The Vampire Slayer'
"A Christmas Carol"

Toby OB


I'm two days late in this. I just read the news over in Mark Evanier's "News From ME" site. (Link to the left)

Thursday was Carl Ballantine's 85th birthday.

All the best to Lester Gruber of 'McHale's Navy' as well as to the Great Ballantine!

Toby OB

Friday, September 28, 2007


Since 'Doctor Who' returned to the airwaves back in 2005, I've been able to see the episodes long before they reach the USA by way of... Magic & Mystery as well as by Something Else Really Good & Clever. The same holds true for 'Torchwood' and the special hour-long episode of 'The Sarah Jane Adventures'. But now I can state where I found the first regular series episode of 'The Sarah Jane Adventures' - someone has posted them up on YouTube - not only the first half-hour episode which aired Monday, but the conclusion to the two-parter which won't be airing until this coming Monday over in the UK.

(Just type in "Sarah Jane" and Slitheen - you'll get all the chapters.)

It's not giving anything away to say that the Clan Slitheen made a return appearance, as their name appears in the episode title, "The Revenge Of The Slitheen". But I won't give anything else away of major importance for the many who have yet to see it. However, I will say that the show tackles a moral quandary near the end that I think an American production would have taken the opposite approach, ignoring the details of the character's past. And Maria gets off a risque joke that seemed out of place for what is supposed to be a children's show. ('Doctor Who' is supposed to be a children's show as well, but I think they've tossed that concept aside long ago; they know who their true audience is!)

I have to admit though that the joke was pretty funny and probably something a 14 year old girl would have said......

Sarah Jane Smith is already a member of the TV Crossover Hall of Fame, as of this past May, and with this episode two more candidates emerged for eventual inlcusion should they complete the requirements with a third appearance on another series.

First up is the actress Lachele Carl, who appears in the second episode as the American news anchor for the news network AMNN. She has appeared four times in that role on 'Doctor Who', and it's likely she could pop up again in 'Torchwood' someday.

And then there are the Slitheen Family, of the calcium-based alien race from the planet Raxacoricofallapatorius. Members of the Clan Slitheen have appeared in three episodes of 'Doctor Who' and now in these two episodes of 'The Sarah Jane Adventures'. If they show up in 'Torchwood', the Raxacoricofallapatorians will be just as eligible as an alien race to be inducted into the Hall as are the Vulcans and Klingons. (I'm hoping I'll be able to add the Minbari to that list as well. Anybody know if that's possible yet?)

You know "Inner Toob" isn't really supposed to be about reviews; that's not why you come visit here. But I will say that it looks to me as though 'The Sarah Jane Adventures' will be a worthy member of the 'Doctor Who' franchise, finding its mark straight off (unlike 'Torchwood' which didn't have a handle on what it really wanted to be by the end of its first season).

There was also a Zonk that must be dealt with. Maria's airhead mother complained about the time that the lights went out when she was a kid and she was watching 'Manimal'. (She was devastated.)

'Manimal', no matter that it's recognized as one of the worst concepts for a TV show (a man can turn into any animal to fight crime), is an accepted part of the TV Universe. It also is linked to the series 'Nightman' with an actual crossover. So we can't just dismiss out of hand this reference to the TV show as a TV show.

Of course, the easiest thing to do would be to just dismiss it because 'Manimal' is definitely in the main Toobworld, whereas 'The Sarah Jane Adventures' could be located in an alternate dimension like the current incarnation of 'Doctor Who'. The parent series had to finally be shipped off to a "mirror universe" (not the original series, however) because of all of its deviations from the world of the main Toobworld - like Prime Ministers Harriet Jones and Harold Saxon and the death of Prime Minister Tony Blair.

However, until such time as 'The Sarah Jane Adventures' forces the issue - by dealing with or even just by mentioning those Prime Ministers - I'm inclined to view the series as returning to the main dimension of Earth Prime-Time. Even though the Slitheen appeared in 'Doctor Who' and therefore were also in that alternate TV Land, it's my contention that the events of the new 'Doctor Who' still also took place in the main Toobworld... but without all of those Zonking deviations.

I know. It gets pretty damned confusing.

So getting back to 'Manimal', here's an option: news of Professor Jonathan Chase's ability to transform himself into animals must have eventually leaked out after the series ended. (If secrets were easy to keep, Nixon would never have resigned.) So some enterprising hotshot producer in Hollywood decided to capitalize on the idea and created a version of Chase's story. That producer may have even coined the word "manimal" to describe his main character, who didn't necessarily have to be Jonathan Chase.

Since Maria's mom wasn't forthcoming with details about the show, that splainin should hold.......

I'm hoping for two things in the future for this show: one, that at some point - perhaps in the second season - the Doctor should make a crossover visit. Sarah Jane certainly held out hope that he might someday. And secondly, that an American network won't take too long to pick up this series. My blogging buddy Rob over in the UK suggested Nickelodeon and I think that would be perfect. Or maybe even Noggin and especially its night-time version "N".

But in the meantime, if you want to see it, head over to YouTube. I'm not sure for how much longer the shows might be allowed to stay up there!

Toby OB

Thursday, September 27, 2007


Promos for TV shows are just as much a part of the TV Universe as are commercials. And no network does a better job in integrating their shows in the same world than the USA Network. Small plays have been acted out with characters from their various shows mingling with each other, and for the most part these jibe with the established realm of Earth Prime-Time: Shawn Spencer and Adrian Monk arguing over the benefits and advantages of the numbers 9 and 10. (For the audience, the debate dealt with timeslots for their shows. But within the context of that interstitial, the main characters of 'Psych' and 'Monk' may as well have been arguing over their rankings as police consultants, or even an episode of 'Sesame Street'.)

When it comes to the promos that have united Mr. Monk with John Smith, then we have to accept that this is not the Adrian Monk of Earth Prime-Time, but rather from an alternate dimension where 'The Dead Zone' takes place. The adaptation of the Stephen King novel was chugging along nicely in the main Toobworld until last season, when they decided to create their own President and Vice President of the United States. And then they killed off the Veep so that Greg Stillson could be maneuvered into the office. So now 'The Dead Zone' is out there on its own in its own TV dimension.

But as I said, that show now has an alternate version of 'Monk' to keep it company.

With 'Law & Order: Criminal Intent' moving from NBC to USA, Detectives Goren, Eames, and Logan have been exposed for their own "promoscuity". To trumpet their network change, scenes of the detectives at work have been interrupted by moving men who come in to remove all the props, including a corpse. Although they seem angered and confused by the disruptions, they're not traumatized by it at all. So it's probable that, like many TV characters like David Addison of 'Moonlighting', they have a touch of tele-cognizance. (They understand that they live in a universe based on Television.)

They've also been intercut and super-imposed into scenes with other USA Network characters. Goren and Eames are seen entering Monk's apartment for some reason and remarking on how nice the place looks, much to Adrian's delight. (It reminded me of the scene in "Hadley's Hunters", an episode of 'Maverick' in which Bart tried to hail down 'Cheyenne' Bodie as he rode past.)

But best of all is the shot of Mike Logan being given directions by Jordan Collier of 'The 4400' in the background because they share the same shot.

There's another promo I like a lot for 'Criminal Intent' in which characters from the main Toobworld finally acknowledge the presence of those annoying ID "bugs" in the corner of the screen. This has happened plenty of times in the past with shows like 'Family Guy' and 'The Simpsons', but those take place in the Tooniverse, not on Earth Prime-Time, and they subscribe to the laws of "quantoon phsyics".

Once 'Criminal Intent' has settled into its new home, maybe we'll be seeing a new batch of promos in which Goren and Monk share screen time, or Logan butts heads with Shawn Spencer.

The great thing about Toobworld - always something to look forward to.......

Toby OB


In order to protect themselves from a real sugar and rum-producing Cuban family in Florida, the producers of 'Cane' moved the location of the series from Palm Beach to Playa Azul, only to be found in Toobworld.

If the location is developed properly, it may overtake Deepwater (from the series 'Maximum Bob') as the best fictional Florida town in Toobworld!

Toby OB


'Dirty, Sexy Money' premiered tonight on ABC. I'm too lazy to get off my Jabba the Hut butt to go into the other room and see if I "divvered" it or not, but I had already seen the pilot at the Paley Center about a month ago on their ABC Preview Party night. Short analysis - I liked it, I may come back to it, but it's not a must-see.

But then, you don't come to visit Toobworld for reviews.......

As often noted here in the past, tele-genetics are strong in Toobworld. Genetic combinations repeat far more often in the TV Universe than they do in the "Trueniverse". That's why 'Columbo' kept running into so many people who looked like an actor named Vito Scotti.

And they can repeat down through countless generations.

But they don't always have to be an exact match, just close enough so that we can recognize that there must be some kind of family tie.

And having the same family name certainly helps in that argument.

There is a clan of music-loving, moonshine-swilling backwoods folk in the hills surrounding Mayberry, North Carolina, who go by the name of Darling. Back in the 1960s, Briscoe Darling was the patriarch of the clan and for alls I know, he may yet be. (Breaking out of the moment for a moment, the actor who played him - Denver Pyle - has passed away.)

At some point back in the late 1800s, it's my contention that someone in the Darling clan decided to head north to seek his fortune in the big city. (That would be, of course, New York City, not Big Town of 'Captain Nice'.) Down through the ensuing generations, the two branches of the Darling family lost contact with each other, and more than likely neither side would have felt any inclination to re-establish the family bond as they had become so different from each other.

The New York Darlings gained their fortune long ago and probably found a way to hold onto it through the Crash of 1929 and the ensuing Great Depression. By 2007, the Darling wealth was looked upon as "old money", with Patrick "Tripp" Darling III held up as the patriarch of the family.

Meanwhile, the Darlings of North Carolina continued with their simpler lives and were probably the richer for it in comparison to their northern kinfolk.

However, there appears to have been a hiccup in the genetic mix-n-match lottery; so that near-perfect facsimile of some common Darling ancestor was reborn to both branches of the families. Take a look at the two patriarchs, Tripp and Briscoe Darling:
Not exact matches, but just enough of a resemblance to suggest that they shared the same branch in the family tree once upon a time.......

The family name of "Darling" looks to be quite popular this season. We've also met Chuck Darling, the Pittsburgh anchorman at WURG Channel 9. I'm thinking that at best he may be a second cousin to the New York Darlings - close enough to perhaps trade on the family name but without the fortune, and yet distant enough so that he never interacts with those members of the family.

Also - unless there were significant changes to the 'Pushing Daisies' pilot after I saw it at that ABC Preview Party - there are these two weird sisters named Vivian and Lily Darling. They used to have a synchronized swimming act known as the Darling Mermaid Darlings, until Lily lost an eye in a tragic cat litter accident.

I'm not sure where Couer de Couer - the town in which they live - is located, but I think the Darling sisters would be more closely related to the Darlings from the North Carolina hills.

Isn't that all just Darling?

Toby OB

Wednesday, September 26, 2007


It looks like we're still being paper-trained for Toobworld links with the new fall season of shows.....

Dan Vasser is a reporter for the San Francisco Register, which has its headquarters on Market Street in the televersion of Frisco. The newspaper has been around since at least the 1890s, as Lt. Commander Data found a copy of the newspaper when he was stranded in the year 1893. (One of its headlines mentioned a recent cholera outbreak.)

In 1986, other time-traveling members of Starfleet wanted to retrieve an edition of the Register from a vendor box on the street, but none of them had any currency of the time period.
Even in other TV dimensions, the San Francisco Register exists. For example, when Quinn Mallory and his dimensional sliding friends landed in a San Francisco in which the United States were still a Crown Colony for England, the headline on the Register read:

"King Thomas Missing in French War!
Sheriff of San Francisco named Acting Regent of Western British States
until Prince Harold crowned next week."

I looked through my copy of the 'Murder, She Wrote' episode guide book, and there were about eleven episodes that took place in San Francisco. But only one newspaper was mentioned, that of the Daily Union. A reporter was killed in tele-Frisco in one of the episodes, but I don't know for which publication he was working.

With all of the time travel that seems to be associated with the newspaper, I'm wondering if there's somebody in the Bay area who gets a copy of the San Francisco Register one day early so that he or she is able to alter future events.....

'Star Trek: The Next Generation'
"Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home"
'Murder, She Wrote'
'Early Edition'

Toby OB


Bryce Larkin had been Chuck Bartowski's roommate at Stanford when they were both going there in the early 2000s. Although they lost touch over the years, Chuck thought that maybe Bryce had become an accountant.....

In fact, Bryce Larkin had been a spy who had gone rogue. Before he died, Bryce downloaded all of the government's secrets into Chuck's brain via a powerful email.

To get into Stanford, it probably helped if Bryce had excelled at a prestigious high school back in Connecticut. This is why I think it's pozz'ble, just pozz'ble that Bryce went to school at the Chilton Academy, not far from Hartford.

Therefore, just as a suggestion, mind you, but until proven otherwise by the writers of 'Chuck' in some upcoming episode, I'm declaring the late Bryce Larkin to have been a Chilton Preparatory Academy alumnus.

'Gilmore Girls'

Toby OB

Tuesday, September 25, 2007


The second season premiere of 'Heroes' made a trivial connection to the 1970s fish-out-of-water cop story, 'McCloud' last night.

Kaito Nakamura was sitting in Kirby Plaza with his son's friend Ando. When he opened his copy of the New York Chronicle, a picture floated out that showed Mr. Nakamura with that strange DNA-like glyph painted over him in red. Mr. Nakamura divined that it meant he would be dead in 24 hours.

The New York Chronicle was a newspaper where Chris Coughlin worked as a reporter. And she became very close to Marshal Sam McCloud.

She also had great job security - her father owned the Chronicle.

(The New York Chronicle should not be confused with the World Chronicle, which was also published in NYC. But I'll bet that paper had a handle on the story about the heroes......)

'The Chronicle'

Toby OB


In April of 1959, private investigator Stu Bailey took Kookie Kookson out to dinner with their dates to Danilov's Restaurant, in order to celebrate Kookie's birthday. On their way out the door, they ran into legendary film composer Dmitri Tiomkin as he was entering. Tiomkin suggested that he might one day write a song about Kookie as he really "dug" the young man.

As you can see by Tiomkin's picture, he didn't have much need to borrow Kookie's comb!

Tiomkin won four Oscars for his film scores/songs ('The Old Man And The Sea' score, 'The High And The Mighty' score, and for the 'High Noon' score and original song, "Do Not Forsake Me, O My Darling"), and he was nominated for another fourteen. Among his more famous compositions are "Town Without Pity" and the theme from 'Rawhide'.

His TV appearances are sparse, aside from numerous appearances at the Academy Award broadcasts: 'What's My Line?', an episode of 'The Christophers' that dealt with the spiritual power of music, 'The Colgate Comedy Hour', Johnny Carson's 1955 comedy show, and an episode of 'The Jack Benny Program'.

The 1961 appearance on that show was the closest Tiomkin came to another true foray into the fictional lifestyle of Toobworld. In the episode ("Jack Writes Song"), Jack insisted on nothing but the best - that being Tiomkin - for a collaborator on the song he was working on.

Tiomkin's appearance on '77 Sunset Strip' ("Honey From The Bee") was broadcast last night on the American Life Network. And a quick look through his entry at the shows that they don't even have this listing!

It's not much to go on as a League of Themselves credit to link '77 Sunset Strip' to other shows, but that appearance on Jack Benny's show should do the trick to lock it in nicely!

Toby OB


Now that I've got over 2,000 posts under my already taxed belt, I thought I might take the opportunity to restate what this "Toobworld Dynamic" is all about.

"Toobworld" is my term for Earth Prime-Time, that fictional universe in which everything from TV actually takes place. Part of that is concerned with the practice of TV crossovers, in which TV shows are connected by some character - or even a prop or location - which appears on more than one series. There are several very good websites out there which deal with crossovers specifically - the two best are Thom Holbrook's "Crossovers & Spinoffs" and "Tommy Westphall's Mind: A Multiverse Explored". (You can find the links to these sites, among MANY others of interest, there to the left.)

But my vision of Toobworld covers a lot more ground and is a bit more general in scope. I take it for granted that every show is already connected. Then I set about either finding a reason why they don't fit into Earth Prime-Time (and therefore must be shuttled out to an alternate TV dimension) or coming up with an explanation (I use the term "splainin", of course!) for the many discrepancies caused because obviously the creators of all these shows aren't working in collusion with each other.

Basically, I fill in the cracks of the Great Mosaic of the TV Universe jigsaw puzzle. I provide the caulk. If there isn't an official link between two shows, I can probably come up with a viable theory for one that at least would involve the circuitous route of "six degrees of separation".

Here is a list of the topics I usually cover here at Toobworld blog, "Inner Toob". All of these are useful in supplying the links necessary to join such disparate shows as a crime drama and a Western, a cartoon with a sitcom.

CROSSOVERS & SPIN-OFFS (taking a cue from Thom Holbrook's site)
The following topics all deal with the real and imagined connections between series:

This is about the actual, documented crossovers between shows that are usually sanctioned by the networks.

This now is a merger with another former category, "A Touch Of Sequelitis", dealing with the spin-offs and sequels to established shows.

These aren't official crossovers, but ones that I can rationally argue as being legitimate. (The title is a play on a character's name from 'Route 66'.)

Those connections that definitely don't exist and still need a lot of tweaking to make it at least sound as if it's possible. (The title is a play on a character's name from 'The Mod Squad'.)

Absolutely no connection can be found - yet! - between two shows, but I bring them up in the hopes somebody out there reading this might be able to think of one!

A very specific form of "Linkin' Case" in which I find links for episodes from 'The Twilight Zone'.

"Zonks" are those bugaboos which throw a cosmic spanner in the works of the TV Universe, usually in the form of one TV show making a pop culture reference to another TV show AS a TV show - when in "fact", they both should be sharing the same TV universe. I have to use a lot of pretzel logic at times to talk my way out of this one! (The term comes from those awful prizes to be found on 'Let's Make A Deal'.)

This next batch of topics is my most populous - dealing with various aspects of Toobworld's population:

Usually this is a profile or some kind of salute to a TV character for any number of occasions - marking the birthday or the death of the actor who played them; if they were a veteran, I might salute them on Veteran's Day. That sort of thing.....

These are the celebrities from all walks of Life who appear as fictionalized versions of themselves in TV dramas and sitcoms. They are not appearing at their real selves because they are interacting with fictional characters, and so that makes them just as fictional; they become true TV characters. And thus they are valid reasons to link shows together.

These are the portrayals by actors of real people, either of historical figures or of people who exist today in the Real World. So this could range from Paul Giamatti as John Adams in an upcoming HBO production to Judith Light as Ryan White's Mom in a TV movie. Usually Toobworld takes a pass when it comes to more than one actor playing a particular role - let's say the classic, Abraham Lincoln, - in several different TV series. That comes down to perspective and recollection of what the historical figure looked like. But if it's a portrayal to be found in several different TV movies and mini-series that just keep going over the same ground - this time, let's go with JFK and Jackie O as the example - then we might as well spread the bounty and dole these TV productions out among the many alternate TV dimensions.

Actors don't just take one role on TV and then walk away - they keep showing up playing different characters on a wide variety of TV series... if they're lucky enough to get the work. So splainins have to be found as to why so many characters might be walking around Los Angeles or New York City who look exactly the same, especially in the cases of TV shows which already have some kind of bond between them. (It's a condition I sometimes refer to as "urichosis".) Among the reasons might be aliases, cloning, genetic relations, androids, alien impostors, or good old fashioned plastic surgery.

This goes into more detail with the concept of genetic relations. Usually there are two characters out there who look exactly alike because they are "identical cousins", or one of their parents fooled around. But it also explores multi-generational reasons as to why shows might be linked - for instance, the suggestion that Dr. Gregory 'House' might be descended from Rothbart of Bainsbridge from 'The Dresden Files'.

Reincarnation is a fact in Toobworld. It's all spelled out in the theme song from 'My Mother The Car':

"Everybody knows in a second life, we all come back sooner or later. As anything from a pussycat to a man eating alligator."

This doesn't mean that a reincarnated character has to come back played by the same actor. In Toobworld, I believe the Roman emperor Claudius returned as a Chicago psychologist named Robert Hartley ('I, Claudius' & 'The Bob Newhart Show'). But most of the time, humans come back as talking dogs.....

This doesn't refer just to the creations of Jim Henson, but to all puppets who appear on TV in ways that have them interacting with humans who treat them as alive. I take my cue for the puppetry splainin from a 2nd Century text, "True History" which detailed the Island of the Blessed. In this land, all the people were spirit forms who needed to wear purple-dyed cobwebs in order to give themselves form. Centuries later, they wear puppet shells which give them the attributes of whatever form they've taken. So for all intents and purposes, Kermit IS a frog; Topo Gigio IS a mouse; and the Hamburger Helper is a glove. However, most ventriloquist dummies in TV are just props for an act. (But if a puppet is treated as just that - an inanimate puppet - than that's all it is.)

Once a month, Toobworld Central celebrates a character (or sometimes even a location or artifact) which unites at least three TV shows, TV movies, or commercials together by appearing in the triumvirate. Sometimes we also honor those individuals behind the scenes responsible for such crossovers. For instance, this month the inductee into the Hall of Fame is Russell T. Davies, who brought the 'Doctor Who' franchise back to life and which now has three different series on the air - 'The Sarah Jane Adventures' which just began yesterday, 'Torchwood', and the original, 'Doctor Who'

This is a feature I don't enjoy doing - we salute the TV characters who were played by actors and actresses who are no longer with us. (Just the other day we took a look at the many regular characters portrayed by the late Alice Ghostley.) I used to chronicle all of the TV work done by these performers but that became too much of a strain not only on my time but on my soul - very depressing!

This batch of topics covers the many dimensions of Toobworld, and even goes outside the universe:

Thanks to shows like the 'Star Trek' franchise, 'Hercules: The Legendary Journeys', 'Buffy The Vampire Slayer' and especially 'Sliders', there are alternate TV dimensions. This is a godsend for those times when we just can't logistically link a TV series in the same universe as all the others. For instance, the latest trend is having a different President of the United States (POTUS) than the one in Earth Prime and Earth Prime-Time. Which means that shows like '24', 'The West Wing', 'Mr. President', 'Hail To The Chief', 'Commander In Chief' and even 'That's My Bush!' have to be dumped elsewhere. (The most recent show to be exiled was 'The Minor Accomplishments of Jackie Woodman' because their California governor is Lee Majors instead of Arnold Schwarzenegger who is established as the "governator" in several sitcom references elsewhere. We can fudge the fact that Robert McCallister of 'Brothers & Sisters' is a senator from California instead of Dianne Feinstein - for now - but Governor Majors is too specific a reference to gloss over.)

I used to include TV cartoons in the general Toobworld dimension, but the proliferation of talking animals like Huckleberry Hound and ageless characters like Bart Simpson make that impossible. So they have their own dimension where basically anything goes... and usually does.


The comedy sketches to be found in variety shows are usually at variance with Toobworld, so they get their own dimension to keep them out of trouble. It's a land of wild and crazy guys.....

This category usually deals with the appearance by TV characters in other media, like in movies, theatrical plays, or in books. It's a multi-verse thang.

For the most part, TV commercials are part and parcel of the main Toobworld, but it can get to be a dicey thing sometimes.

And then there are those miscellaneous topics that don't fall neatly into categories:

TWIPPED FROM THE HEADLINES - the latest news about Television
WISH-CRAFT - what I would like to see happen in Toobworld

WORLD TOOB - about TV shows from other countries, which are just as valid in Toobworld as American series
LOST IN THOUGHT - specifically geared towards one of my all-time favorite shows, 'Lost'
WHO'S ON TV - this time geared to another fave, 'Doctor Who'
LA TRIVIATA - the flotsam and jetsam that make up the small details of Life in TV
IDD - usually about my friends in the Digest list group focused on free form DJ legend Vin Scelsa and his radio show "Idiot's Delight"
MAILING TOOB - increasingly rare, but sometimes I do hear from people about my ideas!
MY SO-CALLED LIFE - me, me, me!

So if you're just joining us, already in progress, those are most of the topics you can look forward to reading about here at "Inner Toob". I hope you stick around for the rest of the journey - 2,000 posts and we ain't there yet!

Toby OB


I promised myself after I got the new computer that I wouldn't be purchasing any more boxed sets of TV series until I amortized the cost of "Artemus".

I've broken that vow three times over and the first shipment arrived today.

'THE FALL GUY' - first season boxed set
This is the item that led me to break that vow. It's not like I had to have it - I had only seen maybe two episodes at best when it was on the air. (One about the Lone Ranger and one with Richard Burton) But Amazon sent me an email with a really tempting offer - about 13 bucks for the set. And I figured, well, I may as well get a few more....

'BARNEY MILLER' - first season boxed set
I feel guilty about this one. Apparently sales were so tepid for this set in the beginning that any future plans to release the later seasons were cancelled. That means we'll never get to see Arthur Dietrich in all his sardonic glory. But who knows? Maybe if the cumulative sales finally reach a figure the company is happy with, they'll ship the next season.

'WKRP In Cincinnatti' - first season boxed set
I heard all the reasons why this collection is bad, regarding the lack of the original music used in scenes. But when I weighed that against the chance to see these episodes unedited for length, it mattered more to me that I'd still be able to enjoy the acting and the scripted word.

I still have two other shipments coming: one from Disney and one from Jolly Old. (Can't wait to see my credit card statement on that - it's the first time I ever charged pounds to my card!)

Toby OB

Monday, September 24, 2007


I'm not a number; I'm a free blog!

So here I am, just over three years later since I started this blog (August 24, 2004), and now I've hit that near-mythical 2000th post. The great thing about having a fantasy universe based on Television as your topic is that you never run out of inspiration. And this week the new TV season kicks into gear to bring me even more subject matter for future ruminations.

Hopefully it's been as much fun for you to visit my sandbox here while I play with others' action figure toys. Thanks to all those who keep coming back and have contacted me either in the site's comments section or in private emails to challenge my ideas or to clue me in to something I may have missed - it's a big TV Land out there and it's not like I can keep up with everything!

Best of all are the online friendships I've gained from those other bloggers and web-site runners who share my love for the medium... if not my exact interests in Television as a fantasy world.

I'd like to think that someday down the road, I'll finally gather up a lot of what I scribbled here and collect it into a book about Earth Prime-Time and its many alternate TV dimensions. But until then, I'll just enjoy the trip through the world of the Toob. In that way, you can call me Journeyman.

Oops, sorry. That seems to be taken......

Toby OB

Ever vigilant!


It looks like 'The Minor Accomplishments Of Jackie Woodman' will have to be shuttled off to some alternate TV dimension, one in which the Governor of California is not Arnold Schwarzenegger but instead Lee Majors.

Just as well, considering he Zonked off with the references to his past role as 'The Six Million Dollar Man'.

The funny thing was, in a truly logical world, choosing a home-grown TV action hero to be governor over an Austrian ex-patriate movie star who used to be a body-builder and who still struggles with the English language would have made more sense.

But then again, what do I know about making sense?

So it's off to the hinterlands with 'Jackie Woodman', which in no way diminishes how much fun the show is. Besides, all of those other dimensions were in serious need of TV series to fill out their populations!

Toby OB
"The Truth is as subjective as Reality."
Jose Chung
'The X-Files'


"I feel like a man who swallowed a smile!"
"Mad Dog" Herd
'The Bob Newhart Show'

"I just saw Jenny.
She's smiling like she swallowed a banana sideways
Tim O'Hara
'My Favorite Martian'

Toby OB

Sunday, September 23, 2007


Great comic actress Alice Ghostley passed away a few days ago at the age of 81. And although many times a Toobworld character will outlive their portrayer in the TV Universe, I think it only right that we should consider most of these women who were played by Ms. Ghostley to have passed on as well. At the very least, they should never be seen again in Television - save in archived flashbacks - because that would mean the roles would have to be recast. (Of course, this isn't really a problem as all of these shows, save for 'Passions', have been long gone from the airwaves......)
Matilda Matthews - Matilda technically had passed away long before Ms. Ghostley, predeceasing her by a couple of centuries. And yet every so often she would come back from the dead to visit an old friend, a witch named Tabitha Lenox in the town of Harmony. ('Passions')

(Actually, this is a picture of Ms. Ghostley in "The Addams Family Reunion", in which she played Grandmama. But as I couldn't find a picture of Matilda from her four appearances on the soap opera, I decided to go with something that would at least give the feel of witchery.)
Mrs. Nash - A resident of Big Town, she was the mother of police chemist Carter Nash and the sister of Big Town mayor Fred Finney. She was the only one who knew her son's secret: that he was also the crime-fighting superhero Captain Nice. In fact, she made his costume. ('Captain Nice')
Alice Cooper - Not to be confused with the rock star. When Sgt. Cooper retired from her career in the Army, her cousin Sam Jones asked her to come live with him and his son Mike in Mayberry, NC, and to be their housekeeper after Bee Taylor left. She found civilian life to be a difficult transition, but she decided to take up the harp in order to smooth out her rough edges. ('Mayberry RFD')
Edwina Moffitt - Nurse Moffitt, with her brother Dr. Paul Mercy, ran Capital General Hospital in Washington, DC, during the early 1970s. ('The New Temperature's Rising')

(Many people probably thought she really was Paul Lynde's sister as she and Lynde - who played Dr. Mercy - worked so often together since the early 1950s. Among their common credits in TV are 'Freedom Rings', "Best Of New Faces", 'Hollywood Squares', 'The Jonathan Winters Show', 'Love, American Style' - although they were in different segments - and "Twas The Night Before Christmas" holiday special.)
Bernice Clifton - Bernice was a friend of Perky Sugarbaker who was at a loss once Perky moved to Japan, so Perky's daughters Suzanne and Julia basically adopted her. ('Designing Women')For a full biographical profile on Bernice, visit here.
Esmerelda - It could be that Esmerelda, a witch of little skill who would turn invisible when flustered, was related to Matilda Matthews. Perhaps she was Matilda's daughter? At any rate, Esmerelda worked for Darrin and Samantha Stephens as their housekeeper in Westport, Ct. ('Bewitched')

It's pozz'ble, just pozz'ble, that Esmerelda had more of a secret life than she ever let on when in the employ of the Stevenses. She may have had her own family which would have included a young witch by the name of Sabrina as her great grand-daughter. At the very least, Esmerelda and Sabrina's Great-Granny must have been identical twins. ('Sabrina The Teenage Witch')
Irna Wallingsford - Irna was a resident of Evening Shade, Arkansas, where she ran against Dr. Harlan Elldridge for the position of mayor. However, both of them were more interested in waging mud-slinging campaigns against each other than they were in what they would do as mayor. ('Evening Shade')

(Another disclaimer: this is a picture of Ms. Ghostley as Mrs. Binns in an episode of 'Dharma & Greg', but it's from the same time period in which she was portraying Irna.)

I was a big fan of Alice Ghostley's style, her comic timing and delivery, and will miss seeing her on the Toob. As Red Skelton would say, "May God Bless".....

Toby OB


'The Bob Newhart Show' turned 35 years old during September, and the occasion was marked by TV Land with a one-night marathon of episodes. Here at Toobworld Central, we'd like to celebrate as well by going back even further within the reality of the show.

This is a picture of Bob Hartley and his old college buddy Cliff Murdock, AKA "The Peeper":
Okay, okay. It's a picture of Bob Newhart and Tom Poston from their early days in the business, but I'm sure Bob and Cliff didn't look much different from this back in the day.

Toby OB