Monday, July 21, 2008


Unlike others who dabble in the idea of a TV Universe, I don't limit myself exclusively to only those shows with definitive links between them. For the Toobworld concept, all of the TV shows (and commercials) are accepted as being part of the TV Universe - until proven otherwise. Then they get tossed out to some alternate dimension, thanks to the 'Sliders' situation.

It's nice to always find an actual or even theoretical link, but it's not necessary here. All are welcome. Even 'Meego'.

Sometimes we have to go with something as vague as location to know that two TV shows should be linked. You know, like 'Kojak' and 'The Cosby Show' are connected because they both take place in New York City. It feels like a rather big cheat, so we don't often bring it up here; but it is a basic foundation upon which to build.

That aspect came to mind over the weekend while watching the 'New Tricks' episode "Dockers". The old hands on the Unsolved Crime and Open Case (UCOS) team were investigating the 1975 death by drowning of Joe Walsh. Walsh led the crane workers union and who threatened to shut down the docks for better pay. After being accused of accepting money from the Soviet Union and of pocketing union funds for his own use, Walsh's body was found down river in the Thames. For decades it was assumed that he took his own life because of the allegations.

But because of the thirty years ruling, classified papers related to the case were finally made public and it appeared that a Cabnet minister (or an MP, not sure) demanded that MI5 do something about Joe Walsh, even if it meant taking drastic measures.

As they watched old newsreel footage of the era, Joe Walsh was seen exhorting the crowds with dire warnings that their livelihoods would be lost once developers got hold of the docks and destroyed them for high-rises. Gerry Standing then shouted out that Walsh was right, because the area in which he was making that speech thirty years before was now Canary Wharf. (The episode was broadcast, and therefore took place in April of 2006.)

Little did Gerry know that in just over a year, Canary Wharf would be the site of an epic battle between the Daleks and the Cybermen; resolved only by the intervention of the Doctor and the sacrifice of his Companion Rose Tyler. In fact, as they looked out their windows on the buildings in Canary Wharf, Inspector Pullman's team probably had no idea that the London branch of 'Torchwood' was housed in one of them.
So nothing specifically links these all together save for the Canary Wharf location. Joe Walsh would drown there in 1975; the cold case squad would investigate his death in 2006; and a year later, the deadly Battle of Canary Wharf would take place (as seen in the 'Doctor Who' episodes "Army of Ghosts" and "Doomsday".)

Now, it may seem like Sandra and her "boys" [Jack, Gerry, and Brian] are just regular cops and don't belong in the world of the Doctor. But remember, those people we saw in the area during the Battle of Canary Wharf were leading ordinary lives too before they were caught in the crossfire between the Daleks and the Cybermen. And if it seems strange that a police procedural would share the same world as a sci-fi show, Toobworld is all about mashing genres together. And that's not just a fan thing - 'Lou Grant' was a spin-off of 'The Mary Tyler Moore Show', after all!

There's another missing link for that episode in which the cops might feel more at home. Detective Jack Halford sought cooperation from MI-5, in hopes of gaining access to their files on Joe Walsh. But the representative of the intelligence organization told Jack that after so much time had passed, all of their files on the union leader were long since destroyed.

Whether they were or not, it can be assumed that the MI-5 spokeswoman was getting her marching orders about dealing with Detective Halford from higher up - specifically, from Harry Pearce as seen in the TV series 'Spooks' (known over here in the States as 'MI-5').
Just because we didn't see the section chief get involved personally, that doesn't mean he didn't. It's just the sort of hands-on leadership Harry would take upon himself.

So like I said, these aren't actual links for two very different kinds of shows with a police procedural. But just because an actual connection hasn't been established, that doesn't mean one doesn't exist in some way.....

Toby OB

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