Sunday, April 13, 2008


Paul Hamilton:
If we can prove that God exists, who knows what else is out there?
Ghosts! Angels! Krishna
Mike French:
Paul Hamilton:
"Well, that is a stretch, but why not?"

'Supernova' made its debut on American television last week (at least as far as the local home for Britcoms, WLIW-21, is concerned). It first aired in 2005 in Australia and the United Kingdom. It's the story about a Welsh astronomer doing the fish-out-of-water routine, a la 'Northern Exposure', at an observatory in the Australian Outback.

The second episode, which aired this past Friday, presented a couple of Zonks to be dealt with. The first one can be found in that quote above; the second one was about 'Doctor Who' and is a bit thornier to deal with. (I'll need a little more time with that one!)

For the audience viewing at home, the joke in the Superman reference is that Superman is a fictional character from the comic books, movies, and TV. But within the "reality" of Toobworld, Superman was a living being.

There are a number of Supermen... Supermans... mild-mannered reporters named Clark Kent who are in fact Superman in the TV Universe. Alternate TV dimensions are homes to the Superman of 'Lois & Clark', 'Smallville', even the musical adaptation "It's A Bird! It's A Plane! It's Superman!". And of course the Tooniverse houses all of the animated versions of the Man of Steel.

But for Earth Prime-Time, the main Toobworld, Superman/Kal-El/Clark Kent has only been found in 'The Adventures Of Superman' from the 1950s. That Superman was played by George Reeves.

I've dealt with this topic before, so here are the basics - the Superman of the main Toobworld is dead. My theory is that he died saving Ray Luca and Paulie Taglia from that A-bomb blast at the end of one season of 'Crime Story'. (Kryptonite was in the sand and the atomized particles were thrust into Superman's body by the explosion as he shielded the two gangsters.)

This would splain why Superman wasn't around in Toobworld to prevent so many catastrophes, like the weather machine attacks on Port Charles, New York, in 'General Hospital', the fuel dump explosions on the Moon in 'Space:1999', and because the real life tragedy has become part of Toobworld lore in various shows, the attacks on the World Trade Center.

After his death, the secrets of Superman became widely known to the general public, which is why you can have characters in other TV shows talking about Lois Lane, the planet Krypton, Kal-El's parents Jor-El and Lara, and the Fortress of Solitude.

So in this case from "God, Are You Out There?", the second episode of 'Supernova', Mike's reference to Superman was to the "real" man. He probably meant that we might learn the truth about the destruction of Krypton. Paul must have misinterpreted his interjected comment as meaning that Mike thought Superman was still alive.

Feels a bit flimsy, but it'll work, mate!

Now I've got to de-Zonk that running sub-plot about 'Doctor Who'!

Toby OB

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