Saturday, January 5, 2008

BUCKAROO'S ODYSSEY

In order to get through the WGA strike, I've got a backlog of series on "MacDivver", my DVR - 'Torchwood', 'Damages', specials on TV's Funniest Commercials, Jackie Gleason, and Kenneth Branagh's adaptation of "As You Like It".

But I'm also doing full series through Netflix. I started the 'Cadfael' mysteries last night, and finished 'Odyssey 5' on Thursday. So if you suddenly see an influx of televisiological posts based on one particular series, that's why.

So let's start with what could be considered an in-joke by mere viewing mortals from 'Odyssey 5'........

This is what I wrote up for TV columnist David Bianculli, who collects these in-jokes which he calls "Extras":

In the episode "The Trouble With Harry", the Odyssey 5 crew had to deal with an inept "Sentient" who called himself Harry Mudd. As they bothered to explain where he got that name, I don't consider that an in-joke for 'Star Trek'.

But at one point, Harry turned to the team leader, Chuck Taggart, and said "As a rock and roll physicist once said, 'No matter where you go, there you are.'"

That's a quote by Buckaroo Banzai from the movie 'The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai'. And the best part of all is that Dr. Banzai was played by Peter Weller... who also played Chuck Taggart in 'Odyssey 5'.

Buckaroo Banzai is one of those characters whom I always believed would be perfect for Toobworld. Of course, I'd only want Peter Weller to play him, so he'd have to be showing his age by now. (O'Bviously there must be some actor out there who could capture those same qualities as Weller did, and with the piercing baby blues, so I wouldn't be too inflexible on that position.)

There was some talk a few years ago about a proposed pilot which would have starred Dean Cain as Dr. Banzai. Not bad, but not quite there......

However, based on that comment made by Harry Mudd, we know now that within the framework of the TV Universe, Buckaroo Banzai does indeed exist on Earth Prime-Time, even across the Eighth Dimension!

Within the reality of Toobworld, what Harry Mudd said was not an in-joke. It's only an in-joke to the viewing audience.

"As a rock and roll physicist once said, 'No matter where you go, there you are.'"

There's no mention of any movie in that quotation; no observation that Commander Taggart looked amazingly similar to Buckaroo. As a Sentient "bottom-feeder", maybe Harry did download into himself plenty of old TV shows and movies, but I think in this case he was talking about Buckaroo Banzai the actual man - and the quote is one of his most famous and probably showed up in bootleg video from one of his concerts.

Therefore it doesn't matter if a TV show version of "The Adventures Of Buckaroo Banzai" ever comes to fruition or not; he's already on Toobworld.

Again, don't get me started about the Harry Mudd appellation. I've splained in the past that the official Toobworld Central position is that somebody came back through Time - or sent back the information - with all of the details about Starfleet and the United Federation of Planets and passed on the knowledge to the televersion of Gene Roddenberry. Why? Probably to give the human race a kick-start in preparing for what lay ahead in the future.

No Zonk there.

BCnU!
Toby OB

ADULT LEARNING

Kai Owen plays Rhys, the boyfriend of Gwen Cooper on 'Torchwood', and in an interview with icWales, he said that the show's sophomore season should be a vast improvement over the first.

Gods of Kobol, it better be!

"It is bigger, better, classier and slicker," said Owen. "They have cut down on the swearing and the sex but it’s still adult, still violent, and the scripts are better, too."

When it was mentioned that the series has enjoyed record ratings on BBC-America, which broadcasts a truncated, censored version of the show, he observed, "I think they are enjoying the Britishness of it, even the Welshness of it because Cardiff looks fantastic and there is just nothing like it being made in this country."

As far as the sex, violence, swearing - all the adult goody bits - are concerned, there was a show made over here in the States which the writers of 'Torchwood' should watch to see how such "adult" fare should be handled - 'Odyssey 5'.
I just finished watching the full run of the series via DVD and being the Toobworld geek that I am, I noticed how better integrated was the adult nature of the series here than it was in the first season of 'Torchwood'. It was germane to their situations; it was organic in the nature of the characters. Over at 'Torchwood', it just felt seamy whenever someone cursed or - Lord help us! - whenever Owen Harper felt the need to rut. As if it was tacked on just so there could be a cheapie thrill as an interlude between the story's main plot points.

Since most of those scenes could be readily excised, so that it would be more palatable to the Puritans of America's FCC, showed that it was only in there for the titillation factor. With 'Odyssey 5', it would prove to be inherent to the storyline, especially with the swearing - Chuck Taggart just happened to be a character who felt most comfortable with the word "F-bleep" spewing from his mouth. (Oops - I guess I didn't pay my premium cable bill!)

'Torchwood' will be returning to the airwaves soon enough, and this time its American broadcast will be only about a week or so behind its British debut. Because I want to see it in its entirety, I'll do the same as last year - skip the American telecast in favor of the unexpurgated version thanks to Mark & Michael. (I will, however, DVR the series anyway as I did with the first season so that I have something to watch during the strike!)

BCnU!
Toby OB

TIDDLYWINKYDINKS: ROCKIN' THE MOON

In "Fossil", the final episode of 'Odyssey 5', the team stole a moon rock from NASA tagged "ALH3B", only to find out that it wasn't a moon rock at all, but Martian in origin. And it turned out to contain at least one Martian Sentient.

The rock was collected during the Apollo 12 moonwalk of November 20th, 1969, by Commander Charles Conrad and LMP Alan Bean (which lasted three hours and forty-eight minutes).

I wouldn't be surprised if Bean was blamed for its retrieval to wreak havoc on Earth - he pointed the TV camera at the Sun which burned out the camera. (If 'Dark Skies' had dealt with that issue, then it might have been alleged that Bean was under the influence of the Hive; that he burned out the camera so that there would be no record of his activities on the Moon......)

BCnU!
Toby OB

SCABS!

They got some splainin to do!


Friday, January 4, 2008

"BARRY"TOWN PEOPLE

Shaun Williamson played himself in 'Extras', but he was known by everyone as his most famous character, "Barry From 'EastEnders'". He was a hanger-on at the office of Darren Lamb, his agent, hoping for another big role. But even Darren only saw him as Barry from 'EastEnders'.

So now Williamson is talking up the idea that Ricky Gervais may be toying with the idea of a spin-off in which Darren and "Barry" are now the main characters. (Darren was played by Stephen Merchant who co-created the show with Gervais.)

Darren Lamb & "Barry From EastEnders"
Apparently Williamson told Heart FM: “We talked half-jokingly about a show with the pair in a camper van, solving crimes.”

I'm going out on a limb here and say that was a joke. In fact, it sounds like the kind of series that Andy Millman might cook up in 'Extras'. But I'll bet Williamson wouldn't hesitate for the chance to continue playing his "role". However, I think that notion that Gervais is thinking about doing it probably stems from Williamson chatting him up to do it.

This will probably all turn out to be wishful thinking on Williamson's part, in much the same way it happened with Phil Morris claiming that Jerry Seinfeld might create a spin-off for his recurring character of Jackie Chiles.

But if Darren and "Barry" continue? I'd watch.

BCnU!
Toby OB

REALI-TV: A NEW HOPE

Culled from Barack Obama's speech after winning in the Iowa caucuses:

Years from now, you’ll look back and say that this was the moment – this was the place – where America remembered what it means to hope.

For many months, we’ve been teased and even derided for talking about hope.

But we always knew that hope is not blind optimism. It’s not ignoring the enormity of the task ahead or the roadblocks that stand in our path. It’s not sitting on the sidelines or shrinking from a fight. Hope is that thing inside us that insists, despite all evidence to the contrary, that something better awaits us if we have the courage to reach for it, and work for it, and fight for it.

Hope is what I saw in the eyes of the young woman in Cedar rapids who works the night shift after a full day of college and still can’t afford health care for a sister who’s ill; a young woman who still believes that this country will give her the chance to live out her dreams.

Hope is what I heard in the voice of the New Hampshire woman who told me that she hasn’t been able to breathe since her nephew left for Iraq; who still goes to bed each night praying for a safe return.

Hope is what led a band of colonists to rise up against an Empire; what led the greatest of generations to free a continent and heal a nation; what led young men and women to sit at lunch counters and brave fire hoses and march through Selma and Montgomery for freedom’s cause.

Hope is what led me here today – with a father from Kenya; a mother from Kansas; and a story that could only happen in the United States of America. It is the bedrock of this nation; the belief that our destiny will not be written for us, but by us; by all those men and women who are not content to settle for the world as it is; who have the courage to remake the world as it should be.
- Barack Obama
January 3, 2008

While watching the complete series of 'Odyssey 5', I found this quote in the series that can be linked to Obama's speech:

“Hope is a waking dream.”
- Aristotle

And if you were wondering, yeah. I think I found my candidate while watching TV last night......

BCnU!
Toby OB

NEWS: FLASH

George MacDonald Fraser has died at the age of 82. He was the author of the series of books that were supposedly the memoirs of Sir Harry Paget Flashman, the cowardly scoundrel who rogered his way through many of the most historic events of the 19th Century and into the 20th.

Although he did scribe a few things for Television, I bring up this notice of his death because a few years back I chose Flashman as the perfect candidate for a series of TV specials based on the books. Harry Flashman already did appear in Toobworld, as a bully of a lad in 'Tom Brown's School Days', from which Fraser purloined the character.

It's still a good idea, and if it could be said that any good comes out of George MacDonald Fraser's passing, then I hope it might bring attention to this character and how suited Flashman is for Television, a la Horatio Hornblower, but with the irreverence of a Benny Hill.

Maybe it's true I have David Tennant on the brain too much, but I could see him as Flashy (more due to 'Casanova' than to 'Doctor Who'), with Philip Glenister in a supporting role.

BCnU...
Toby OB

TIDDLYWINKYDINK: JANUARY 4, 2008

Kathy Reichs wrote the series of books featuring Dr. Temperance Brennan, which were the basis for the TV series 'Bones'.

On the TV series 'Bones', Dr. Temperance Brennan has written a series of novels in which her heroine is Kathy Reichs.

TVXHOF: A RUSTY BEGINNING FOR 2008

"Bank clerk - must be steady family man.
I'm steady and I come from a family
."
Rusty Williams
(reading the want ads at age 6)
'Make Room For Daddy'

Eighteen years ago this month, actor Rusty Hamer took his own life. There's no way I could ever know what drove him to do it, but it might be that his acting career centered around just one role and it appears he didn't find much work otherwise as an actor; he may have felt trapped.And yet it is that role which we have chosen as the classic TV representative to kick off the 2008 inductions into the TV Crossover Hall of Fame.

RUSTY WILLIAMS
'Make Room For Daddy'
'The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour'

'The Joey Bishop Show'
'The Danny Thomas TV Family Reunion'
'Make More Room For Daddy'

'Make Room For Grand-Daddy'

In much the same way as George Burns is the "Patron Saint" of serlinguism (the act of addressing the home audience) even though it's named for somebody else, Rusy Williams was one of the earliest practitioners of the Bonaduce Syndrome in Toobworld. Bonaduce Syndrome could be considered an affliction by adults, which children - usually the boys - are smart alecks, mouthing off with wisecracks.

We first met Russell "Rusty" Williams when he was about five or six, and he already showed the propensity for a smart remark in any situation. The kid probably couldn't help it; it may even have been genetic since his Dad was nightclub comic Danny Williams.Even though he was a wise-ass, Rusty always proved loveable to those around him. I doubt we ever would see Danny wrap his hands around Rusty's throat to throttle him a la Homer and Bart Simpson.

Here is a "biography" for Rusty, courtesy of a great book entitled "Television Character And Story Facts" by Vincent Terrace. (It's available through MacFarland Publishing and is a great resource!)

Rusty (Russell), Danny's son, was born on February 15, 1947. He first attended P.S. 54, then Claremont Junior High, and finally West Side High School. He is also a member of Scout Troop 44. In a 1956 episode, Rusty, who has a fascination with Elvis Presley and the TV show 'Wyatt Earp', called himself Elvis Earp , ran away from home and began a career as an orphan at Miss Martin's Children's Home. Rusty thought the best parts of school were recess, lunch and holidays, and he had his first crush on a girl named Sylvia Watkins.

Danny took his family on the road at times and once as they drove through the town of Mayberry, North Carolina, they were stopped by the local constabulary, one Sheriff Andy Taylor. Therefore, Rusty was involved with the launch of one of Toobworld's greatest shows, 'The Andy Griffith Show'.

They also went on vacation once up to Connecticut for a real winter wonderland experience. Danny rented the home of Lucy and Ricky Ricardo for the two weeks, but unfortunately the Ricardos came back unexpectedly and wanted their home back. What transpired can be seen in "Lucy Makes Room For Danny", an episode of 'The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour'.

Time marches on for TV characters, even when they're not on screen. And so even though we didn't see it happen, Danny Williams moved his family out West to the Los Angeles area. But Rusty came back to New York City to go to college in the early sixties. Needing a place to stay, he moved in with his "Uncle" Joey Barnes, as seen in several episodes of 'The Joey Bishop Show'.

At first, Joey and his wife Ellie thought that maybe Rusty was one of the pod people, because he was acting far too politely for a boy his age. (At least, as far as they knew how a boy his age should act.) In order to help Rusty out with his schoolwork, Joey sought assistance from a convicted bookie who had a photographic mind. But he went above and beyond the call of duty to help Rusty get into a fraternity by coercing three friends to join him dressed up as women for a frat dance.

By 1967, Rusty had joined the Army and was seriously dating Susan McAdams, whom he would later marry. By 1970, Rusty and Susan were struggling to make ends meet in their marriage and so they ended up living with his parents again, as did nephew Michael, Terri's son, while she was overseas with her husband.

I don't remember much about the sequel, but I've read that Rusty was now studying to be a doctor; he may have served as a medic while in the military.

Many times when a actor passes away, I'd like to think that the character passed away as well, rather than entertain the thought that someone might come along and take over the role for a new incarnation. But Rusty would now be sixty (He would turn 61 next month.), and I think he's still out there in Toobworld. Perhaps he's practicing medicine at Manhattan General Hospital here in NYC, and he and Susan could even be grandparents themselves by now.

I'm sorry Rusty Hamer felt the need to take his own life, and I know this tribute to his Television legacy is hardly the perfect memorial, but I hope it serves as a small tip o' the hat to his character of Rusty Williams.....
BCnU!
Toby OB

"Telling the truth would never cramp your style, son.
Matter of fact, you tell the truth, it makes your life a lot simpler.
A lot happier, too.
"
Danny Williams
'Make Room For Daddy'

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Tiddlywinkydinks

Connecticut radio legend Bob Steele, who was on WTIC for more than 66 years, had a running bit each day called "Tiddlywinks". These were "little known facts of little importance".

Kind of like what we do here at Toobworld Central.

So as it is with most TV, I'm stealing the idea; slightly changing the name to reflect its TV use. Hopefully I'll have enough ideas to run this feature every day. Unless of course I get bored by the idea.

And so here's today's Tiddlywinkydink:

It's 2008!

At least in the Tooniverse, this will be the year in which suicide booths are introduced to the general public.
(From 'Futurama')

BCnU!
Toby OB

DEMANDS OF THE WGA

On his return to the airwaves last night - with a deal in place so that he could have his writers back - David Letterman had ten striking members of the WGA on the show to present the Top Ten List:

Top Ten Demands of the Striking Writers


10] "Complimentary tote bag with next insulting contract offer"
(From "The Daily Show," Tim Carvell)

9] "No rollbacks in health benefits, so I can treat the hypothermia I caught on the picket lines"
(From "The Colbert Report," Laura Krafft)

8] "Full salary and benefits for my imaginary writing partner, Lester"
(Daytime television writer, Melissa Salmons)

7] "Members of the AMPTP must explain what the hell AMPTP stands for"
(From "Law & Order: Criminal Intent," Warren Leight)

6] "No disciplinary action taken against any writer caught having an inappropriate relationship with a copier"
(From "The Colbert Report," Jay Katsir)

5] "I'd like a date with a woman"
(From "The Daily Show," Steve Bodow)

4] "Hazard pay for breaking up fights on 'The View'"
(Writer and Director, Nora Ephron)

3] "I'm no accountant, but instead of us getting 4 cents for a $20 dollar DVD, how about we get $20 for a 4-cent DVD?"
(From "Law & Order," Gina Johnfrido)

2] "I don't have a joke -- I just want to remind everyone that we're on strike, so none of us are responsible for this lame list"
(From "Late Night with Conan O'Brien," Chris Albers)

And the Number One Demand of the Striking Writers:
1] "Producers must immediately remove their heads from their asses"(Thurber Award-winning author, Alan Zweibel)
Welcome back, Dave and everybody at Worldwide Pants!

I hope you're the cause for the AMPTP to finally give up!

BCnU!
Toby OB
(Fully supporting Demand #5!)

RINGING IN THE WRAITHS

My place of employ had a Toobworld encounter on New Year's Eve.

One of our suites was rented out by the Sci-Fi Network to be the base of operations for a cadre of seven Wraiths to promote the return of 'Stargate Atlantis' to the airwaves. These Wraiths carried signs advertising when the show would come back and claiming that they were "Wraiths For Peace".

Here's the casting notice that ran in Backstage - O'Bviously there would never be any name actors......

‘THE WRAITH TAKE TIMES SQUARE’ G Presents (prod.), in association with Warner Bros. and the Sci-Fi Channel, is casting The Wraith Take Times Square, a New Year’s Eve promotion for Stargate: Atlantis. Galen Greenlaw, exec. prod.; Jessica Hilf, prod. Event takes place Dec. 31-Jan. 1 (overnight) in Times Square, NYC. Seeking—Actors: male and female, 18-49, 5’9”-6’5”, will be expected to move through various high-traffic areas. Pays $275. Nonunion.

They looked like they were having a good time and they were popular with the other guests in our lobby.

But the Cybermen could have kicked their albino asses.....

BCnU!

Toby OB

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

HEY, ABBOTT!!!

Ashley Abbott returned to 'The Young and the Restless' from 'The Bold And The Beautiful' this week to give her brother Jack a piece of her mind. Also she visits Jack's wife Sharon and her own ex-husband, Victor Newman.

But didn't bring her daughter Abby with her on the visit home to family. Maybe the kid is being subjected to SORAS (Soap Opera Rapid Aging Syndrome) treatments.......

Hopefully Ashley will find her way over to 'Guiding Light' or 'As The World Turns'....


BCnU!

Toby OB

PRESS RELEASE

Beginning December 31, operations and flights to nine markets will resume, "Taking You Places You Never Imagined." Destinations include: Los Angeles, CA; Tustin, CA; Ames, IA; Miami, FL; New York, NY; Portland, OR; Knoxville, TN; Seoul, South Korea and Sydney, Australia.

"We are very eager to resume flying and apologize for any inconvenience our temporary closure may have caused our loyal customers," said Michael Orteig, President, Oceanic Airlines. "Oceanic Airlines is proud to be a top tier flight provider and looks forward to providing travelers with many more years of unparalleled service."

About Oceanic AirlinesIn business for over 25 years, Oceanic Airlines is a major airline carrier and offers the highest caliber of service for international and domestic flights. Destinations include Los Angeles, London, Sydney and South Korea.

Welcome to Toobworld! And now you can fly throughout it!

BCnU!
Toby OB

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

WHO'S ON FIRST - PART SEVEN

Over the last few years, I've made suggestions as to who should be cast as the Doctor should the time come when David Tennant steps down as the Tenth Incarnation. I've thrown out the names of Bill Nighy (a popular choice), Richard Griffiths (once considerd for the role), Paul Gross from Canada, Philip Glenister (just so long as he could play it like Gene Hunt in 'Life On Mars'!), Roger Rees (my favorite), James McAvoy, and even a few off-the-wall options like Matt Lucas and Nick Frost.

I have another suggestion to add to those being bounced around now (like Rhys Ifans and James Nesbitt, who both seem to be the rumoured leading contenders):

Jonathan Aris

I saw Jonathan Aris in 'The Amazing Mrs. Pritchard' as Sir Richard Leavis, the private secretary for the Prime Minister. I think he could capture the not only the action-adventure aspect that is more prevalent in the new series, but also suggest that his Doctor may look somewhat human, but is still an alien from Gallifrey.

Just sayin' is all......

This will be my last Who-post for the day, launching the first annual "Who's On First" entries.

BCnU!
Toby OB

WHO'S ON FIRST - PART SIX

In trying to find the proper protocol which would give him a chance to find out the secret of the Heavenly Hosts during "Voyage Of The Damned", the Doctor spewed out a series of numbers:

"10, 666, 21, 4, 5, 678. 42, 1"

WHO BY NUMBERS
Why did he choose these numbers? Here are some suggestions:

10 - This is the number of
spacetime dimensions in some superstring theories.

But he may have been thinking of himself, as he is the tenth incarnation of his Gallifreyan mind and soul.

Then again, Capricorn is the tenth symbol in the Zodiac, so maybe the Doctor was already thinking in terms of Max Capricorn as being the villain behind the curtain.

666 - Even if he may not be a believer, the Doctor may have figured the Book of Revelations had some kernel of truth behind its prophecies.

21 - 21 grams is the weight of the soul, according to research by
Duncan MacDougall, generally regarded as meaningless.

4 - Like the numeral "42" coming up, 4 is part of the sequence of Numbers believed to govern the world. As seen on 'Lost', the sequence is "4, 8, 15, 16, 23, 42". "42" also comes up as a guess by the Doctor. As he probably knew from his friend Arthur Dent, 42 is the answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything.

5 - Could it be that it came to mind after mentioning "10"? Perhaps once he thought of himself and his line of succession, the Doctor remembered his encounter with his own Fifth Incarnation just from a few hours before.

678 - I suppose he just lumped these numbers together because they represent three of the Doctors to precede him. Or he was starting to get desperate with the inspiration.

Back to 42 - The "Ultimate Answer" was probably all he needed if the theory was right.....

And finally he used "1", which meant that he might as well try for the basics - he certainly had nothing else to lose by that point......

And for us watching at home, it might have triggered a response from 'The Prisoner': "Who is Number One?", and that could have led us to pondering exactly who it was behind the plot to sabotage the Titanic.... (And how appropriate that this post is Number Six in today's series!)

BCnU!
Toby OB

WHO'S ON FIRST - PART FIVE

The company that built the Heavenly Hosts, who acted as "information kiosks" on board the Titanic in the 'Doctor Who' Christmas Special "Voyage Of The Damned", may have also built the "Robots Of Death" seen over eight centuries later by the Fourth Doctor. (For alls I know, the Sirius Cybernetic Company may be responsible in both cases.)

That idea reminded me of the Absorbaloff from the episode "Love & Monsters". Going by the name of Victor Kennedy in his human form, the Absorbaloff may have been using skin-suit technology like the Slitheen family did in "Aliens Of London"/"World War Three", "Boom Town", and the "Revenge Of The Slitheen" episode of 'The Sarah Jane Adventures'. Since his planet of Klom was the twin planet of Raxacallicofallapatorius (even though their native races were radically different), he probably picked it up on their world to use when he landed on Earth.

Maybe.....

BCnU!
Toby OB

WHO'S ON FIRST - PART FOUR

God Save The Queen!

Because it will be in the best interests of Toobworld Central.....

Near the end of the "Voyage Of The Damned" Christmas special for 'Doctor Who', Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II is seen outside Buckingham Palace waving her thanks to the Doctor for preventing the destruction of Earth with the space cruiser Titanic.

Based on facts pointed out in the episode, as well as in various sites around the web, "Voyage Of The Damned" takes place during the Christmas season of this year, 2008.

We saw it practically a full year before it actually "happens" in the TV Universe.

I don't have Her Majesty in my Dead Pool picks for this year (although I do have Prince Philip), so I don't wish her ill. But should she, Heavens forfend!, pass away before Christmas of this year, that's going to throw a major sonic spanner into the works as to 'Doctor Who's place in Toobworld. We might just have to call on the resources of either 'Journeyman', 'Quantum Leap', or 'Time Tunnel' to leap into the fray and remake the time line so that we saw her alive in 'Doctor Who' but now a new chronology exists in which she doesn't survive to that point.

It's not so much that I'm worried about whether or not news broadcasts should be included into the tele-mosaic. It's just that I'm sure if the Queen did pass away, other shows would have their fictional characters commenting on it. (At least over in the UK; who knows when the American writers' strike will be settled?)

BCnU!
Toby OB

WHO'S ON FIRST - PART THREE

Three days after Christmas, my friends Mark & Michael invited me over to see their copy of the 'Doctor Who' Christmas special, "Voyage Of The Damned". It's just as well because even though it was just before midnight, I'd probably have battered their door until they let me in.

There are plenty of blogs out there where you can read reviews of the special, especially at "Behind The Sofa". A lot of them are negative, some even scathing, which was surprising to me after I saw it because I liked it a lot. Of course, I'm easy to please.

Sure, it had plenty of faults (and I'm a big advocate for RTD to just come up with the stories and let someone else write them - or at least edit them), but I think it worked.

If you stumbled across here looking for a review, that's not what we do here; not really. The Toobworld Dynamic is all about the search for connections between shows. And "Voyage Of The Damned" has a good'un.

It's for a theory like this that I'm glad I came up with the 'Doctor Who'/'Journeyman' connection, so that I can keep this incarnation of the Doctor in the main Toobworld. Otherwise, I'd probably have to ditch this connection into the dustbin:
"Voyage Of The Damned" is theoretically connected to 'Battlestar Galactica'.

This will probably be a disappointment to the fannish many, but I'm not talking about the new and improved version of 'Battlestar Galactica'. That show has no place in the main Toobworld. Not only did the first 'Battlestar Galactica' establish primacy, but it's too enmeshed in the "Great Link" with real and theoretical connections to 'McCloud' and 'Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman', among others.

The ragtag fleet of ships that were shepherded by the Galactica across the galaxy from their home system reached Earth in 1980 (as seen in 'Galactica 1980', duh). Based on the supposed age of Troy, once known as Boxey, approximately thirty plus years had passed since the audience had last seen the Galactica fleet. (But this could change due to the lifespan of his people.) This gave the fleet plenty of time to cross Mutter's Spiral (known to us on Earth as the Milky Way) on its journey to Earth and visit various inhabited planets along the way. All through the first series of 'Battlestar Galactica', Adama's people kept finding outcrops of human settlements. They could have been descended from the castaways of the lost tribe who left in search of Earth, or they could have evolved from the genetic stock seeded by the Preservers ('Star Trek' - "The Paradise Syndrome").

So each of the inhabited planets in Mutter's Spiral (a list of those from 'Doctor Who' alone can be found here)
could have been stopovers for the Galactica fleet on their way to Earth. and with each visit, individuals or entire ship rosters could have chosen to "jump ship" and stay with the populations of those planets, blending in.

And one of those planets could have been Sto, the planet of origin for the passengers and crew of the Titanic in "Voyage Of The Damned".

I don't think the entire population of Sto were refugees from the Galactican fleet; but there was possibly at least one person on board the Titanic who was once part of that armada.

Max Capricorn.
What clued me in to the possibility that Max Capricorn might be part of the 'Battlestar Galactica' population was of course his name. Many of the characters from that show had names similar to that of Max, based on constellations, Greek mythology, Biblical terminology:

Adama, Apollo (Lee Apollo in the new version), Cassiopeia, Sheba, Athena, Cain, Bootes, Rigel, etc.

A name like "Max Capricorn" would fit right into that collection.

Of course, if I follow that line of reasoning, then Robert Scorpio of the WSB (as seen on 'General Hospital') may have been a Galactican integrated into the Terran population of Port Charles, NY. And there would have been no reason to bring it up, even when his brother Mac showed up - if he really was Robert's brother....

(Look at that outfit Scorpio is wearing in this picture with his human wife Holly. It just screams 1980s sci-fi!)

The timing works - Galactica arrives in hidden orbit around Earth in 1980; Robert Xavier Scorpio arrives in Port Charles in 1981. (Could that middle name mean he was related to Dr. Xavier, who kept trying to alter Earth's history?) And it's not like such a storyline would be out of place on 'General Hospital' - in 1990, Shep Casey (aka Casey Rogers) materialized in Port Charles from the planet Lumina (perhaps the twin planet to Luminos from 'The Outer Limits' - "Feasibility Study").

Anyhoo......

Max Capricorn probably "jumped ship" on Sto, seeing in that world the possibilities to not only survive any incursion by the Cylons (should they find Sto), but also to carve out a niche for himself among Sto's population.

And that's what he did during his time on Sto, calling on his knowledge of spaceships to build his cruise line. (By Earth years, he was there on Sto for about half a century, but by the Stovian reckoning it was said he ran Capricorn Cruise Lines for "one hundred years". The picture on the left could be Max Capricorn earlier in his life... when he still had a body.)

I don't think Max Capricorn was the only Galactican refugee on Sto, and I think those others took measures to prepare their new world for a possible attack by Cylons. One of those measures might have been to enact laws to prevent the creation of any new breeds of Cylons on Sto - perhaps new Cylons similar to those seen in the alternate dimension of the new 'Battlestar Galactica'. And that's why Sto had anti-cyborg laws on their books (perhaps pushed through by those Galacticans who worked their ways into positions of power). But after nearly fifty years under those laws, such prejudices were being relaxed. (Not that it happened in time to do Mr. Bannakaffalatta, above, any good.)

However, Max became a "victim" of those laws when he was transformed into a cyborg himself - only his head kept alive with a tractor-like mechanical body. And that was one of the reasons his board of directors drove him out of his position of power.

The majority of the Galactican fleet reached Earth over a quarter century ago and have long since integrated themselves into the general populations. They cannibalized their ships to advance Terran technology so that they could repel any attacks by the Cylons.

And the Doctor probably learned of their presence on his adopted homeworld and may have even helped them in vanquishing the Cylons forever. Of course, this would have been an adventure that we never saw (perhaps with the Seventh or Eighth Doctor), nor are we likely to, but it would go a long way in splaining why we've never seen the Cylons again in Toobworld.

(Taking a slight detour, I'd love to see the Cylons team up with the Cybermen in much the same way as the Cybermen and Daleks didn't.)

I think that if the Doctor knew some of the Galacticans, he may have contacted them after he parted ways with Bayldon Copper on Christmas Day, 2008. He might have asked them to take Mr. Copper under their wing and guide him in the confusing ways of the Earth people so that he could live among them undetected for the alien that he was. (I think Bayldon Copper was more likely a native Stovian rather than a Galactican refugee.)
And so it goes.

BCnU!
Toby OB

WHO'S ON FIRST - PART TWO

"All is flux. Nothing stands still."
Peraclitus
(as quoted by Mr. Bovine)
'St. Elsewhere'

Nothing is ever set in stone when it comes to the laws governing the TV Universe. Like the man said, everything is constantly changing and those rules may have to adapt in order to reflect the latest whims of a show's writers.

Since I first began tinkering with the Toobworld concept, I don't think any show has given me more tele-agita than the revived version of 'Doctor Who'. The old series had its invasions by Autons, Axons, Cybermen, Daleks, Sontarans and the like over the years (millennia!), but these never shook the basic foundation of Toobworld which should reflect our world as much as possible.

So "The Invasion" of Cybermen in 1971, like the invasion of the Canamids as seen in 'The Twilight Zone' episode "To Serve Man", would not only be rebuffed quickly, but even practically forgotten about.

During the original run of the series from 1963 to 1989, 'Doctor Who' never really had the need to involve the highest levels of government directly in these scenarios. Usually the Doctor dealt with intermediaries like the British Army or UNIT. They would get their marching orders from higher up and we could just assume that their Prime Minister was the same as in the Trueniverse, just as it should be in Toobworld.

But not so once Russell T. Davies got involved and brought the series back from viewer hibernation. (Remember, the events of the TV series continued even though we couldn't see it happen. Doctor Number Eight (played by Paul McGann in the TV movie) may have spent hundreds of years traveling about in the TARDIS before sacrificing that incarnation of himself to bring an end to the Time War. He could have teamed up with earlier incarnations of himself, suffered through the death by old age of Dr. Grace Holloway, and experienced those adventures only mentioned in passing by other Doctors - like being in Bethlehem for the birth of Christ, and getting his great-coat from Janis Joplin.)

RTD just HAD to kill off Tony Blair in "Aliens Of London", install Harriet Jones as the PM by the time of "The Christmas Invasion", and give America a black President who will be killed in 2008. (I'd like to think we'll have a black President elected in 2008, but he won't be in any position to parley with Prime Minister "Harold Saxon" in 2008.)

As for the black President as seen in "Rise Of The Cybermen", he existed in a parallel world and so he doesn't affect the correlation between Earth Prime and Earth Prime-Time.

With the return of the series, Christopher Eccleston as Doctor #9, I went through all the literary versions of yoga and limbo as I employed a warped sense of pretzel logic to splain away discrepancies in the show that clashed with the established "reality" of Toobworld. Basically, I had the TARDIS bouncing back and forth between alternate dimensions from episode to episode in order to shoe-horn 'Doctor Who' into the continuity of the main Toobworld.

But finally I had to just throw my hands up in surrender over the whole mess. I conceded that the Doctor we were watching since the show came back was one who existed in an alternate Toobworld from the one that houses most other shows in the TV Universe. Apparently we lost track of the Earth Prime-Time Doctor after the FOX TV movie.

I never conceded that the Doctor wouldn't be the same guy in the main Toobworld, however; only that certain plot points that came up in the new series wouldn't exist in the version experienced by Earth Prime-Time. So the Doctor of the main Toobworld did look like Christopher Eccleston and now like David Tennant; Rose Tyler was lost to an alternate dimension; the destruction of Big Ben was covered up as a mass hysteria hoax even as it was repaired; and the Battle of Canary Wharf actually took place.
However, Tony Blair never died and Harriet Jones never became Prime Minister. Those events would be only found in Earth Prime-Time/RTD - for want of a better designation. (I gave the time spent by "Harold Saxon" as PM a pass since the Doctor was able to go back in Time and erase most of that scenario from ever happening. Instead, Harold Saxon took over from Tony Blair until he was replaced via force by Gordon Brown, thanks to the Doctor.)

But now it looks like I've found a way to keep everything that happened in 'Doctor Who' since RTD brought it back and still make it jibe with Toobworld. And I owe it all to American writer/producer Kevin Falls, who brought us 'Journeyman' this year.

Unfortunately, the stupid general audience failed to recognize a good show when it didn't see one, and now it's canceled. But that doesn't negate what the series was able to do within its allotted thirteen episodes, and so we can build off of that for the splainin that keeps 'Doctor Who' in the main TV Universe.

Just a quick recap of the premise for 'Journeyman' since not enough people actually watched it - Dan Vasser was a San Francisco newspaper reporter who suddenly found himself bounced back in Time to a point within his own lifetime where he now had the power to change the Past in order to correct the Future.

Yeah, much like 'Quantum Leap', but this show had its own unique life.

In the penultimate episode, "The Hanged Man", Dan accidentally left his digital camera behind in 1984. When he returned to the "Present", he found that everything had changed - technology was so advanced, computer screens could materialize as holographic projections; sheets of paper had video and audio capabilities. Worse yet, his home life was changed so that he no longer had a seven year old son named Zach, but instead a daughter named Caroline.

With the help of his former lover, whom he used to believe was dead (Livia Beale, a time traveler into the future from 1948), Dan was able to go back in Time and erase that timeline, even though it meant the "death" of his daughter. Certain smaller changes were initiated however, so that the world he came back to wasn't the same as before he left the first time. (This happened in every episode, just as it would in 'Quantum Leap'.)

We saw the effects from Dan's digital camera being discovered too soon in that new reality up to the point of Dan's return in the Present. But that timeline stretched to Infinity, or at least to one trillion years into the Future, farther than even the Time Lords had ever gone (according to the events seen in the 'Doctor Who' episode "Utopia"). And so it will be my contention that all of the events from the two-part season finale "The Sound Of Drums" & "Last Of The Time Lords" occurred in this altered timeline. Once Dan and Livia were able to re-establish the true sequence of events, that storyline no longer existed - but it DID happen.

In the new version of events established by Dan's correction of History, "Harold Saxon" (who as we know was really The Master) still would become Prime Minister and probably even launch his attack on the world using the "Toclafane". We'd probably have to concede as much since it's more than likely future episodes of 'Doctor Who' might refer back to it. (As such, he would be an interim PM between Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, who is seen here at right with a Toclafane.)

We know the Doctor will take care of the revision of this scenario, but the use of Dan Vasser's re-established timeline would erase the black President of the United States (who probably came into power due to the temporal alteration caused by the advancement in technology). This could also be used as the way to remove Harriet Jones from the established line of succession for the Prime Ministers. The events of "Aliens Of London"/"World War Three" and "The Christmas Invasion" would have happened at this point anyway, but now Tony Blair survived. He may still have been away from Number 10 Downing Street, and MP for Flydale North Harriet Jones would have still carried out her adventures with the Doctor versus the Slitheen Clan; but it would be Tony Blair who spearheaded the Guinevere One space project and who faced the Sycorax in their space ship.

And it would be Tony Blair whose political career would soon unravel just by the mention of four little words by the Doctor.......

Again, it doesn't negate the fact that those episodes happened as far as we the viewers are concerned, but it would negate them as having actually happened as far as the residents of Toobworld were concerned.

Hurts, don't it?

Now it's going to occur, I'm almost sure of it, that the Doctor will make reference to specifics of these various adventures that should have been erased by the new timeline. So long it's just the Doctor who brings these subjects up, I think we may be okay. It could be splained away with some technobabble about how his Gallifreyan mind (only partly with human DNA in that brain) is able to stand outside the time stream and see all the variations that might/did occur.

If it turns out to be some other character, like Martha or Donna or Sarah Jane, then I could be bleeped. I'll just have to deal with that when/if the time comes.

Now, this splainin also works to correct a major Zonk to the Toobworld timeline courtesy of 'Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea'. Although the series was broadcast back in the early sixties, it took place in 1973-74. And on several occasions we saw the President of the United States at that time. It wasn't Nixon or Ford - the writers of 'Voyage' could never have guessed Nixon would re-invent himself and get elected, let alone that he would one day be impeached! - but instead it was Henry Talbot McNeil (played for the most part by Ford Rainey).

A simple matter then to say a time traveler changed the timeline so that now Henry Talbot McNeil still existed, but he was no longer the POTUS - just another politician.

Of course based on comments made in the episode "Hail To The Chief", McNeil had been the Commander-In-Chief since 1969 as he used his position as President to soothe over international concerns back in 1972. So that goes farther back than Dan could travel, since he was born July 6, 1972. Not a problem luckily, as the temporal change to remove McNeil from office and install Nixon as it should have been could have been engineered either by Livia Beale traveling into her own future, or by another time traveler named Evan Patterson, whom Livia and Dan met in the series finale, "Perfidia".

As with the events that would be excised from those various 'Doctor Who' episodes, they still happened, they just no longer exist in the official timeline of Toobworld and only those involved would remember them.

(The revision of the timeline could also splain away why Captain Jack Harkness departed with the TARDIS from within the 'Torchwood' complex in the season-finale "End Of Days", but be seen hopping a lift out in the plaza in the 'Doctor Who' episode "Utopia".)

I've run this theory over a few times since 'Journeyman' ended, and I think it's the best possible splainin which would keep 'Doctor Who' in the main Toobworld. It's too good a show to banish to some alternate dimension!

Let me know what you think. And if you happen to stumble across this blog post thanks to a search engine and the use of relevant terms about 'Doctor Who', feel free to lift it and share it on your own 'Doctor Who'-oriented blog or website; get the word out, eh?

BCnU!
Toby OB

WHO'S ON FIRST - PART ONE

I'm thinking this may become an annual tradition; we'll see.

But to kick things off, here's a blackout sketch frame grab from 'Robot Chicken':

"Get it?"

BCnU!
Toby OB