Tuesday, August 5, 2008


When the TV Crossover Hall of Fame first began back in 1999, July and August were both dedicated to characters from TV Westerns. As it was housed in a website back then (the Tubeworld Dynamic), this gave me some time off from doing the heavy lifting around here so that I could take my vacation up at the Lake.

Now that the Toobworld concept is blogged, I still keep my hand in even on vacation. So I divvied up the summer months so that each of them could hold their own inductions into the TV Crossover Hall of Fame. And I try to keep them both as Western themes (unless there's a special theme in a particular year) - July would be for the Western characters found only in Toobworld, and in August an historical character would be honored.

So the month's already underway and since I want to get this done before I head off on holiday, I figured - why not go with that as my theme?


Last month our inductee was Kwai Chaing Caine of 'Kung Fu', and for August of 2008 we're paying tribute to:


Here's the lowdown from Wikipedia:

John Henry "Doc" Holliday (August 14, 1851 – November 8, 1887) was an American dentist, gambler, and gunfighter of the American Old West frontier who is usually remembered for his friendship with Wyatt Earp and the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral.

Better than me rehashing his life story, here's what others who knew him had to say about the Doc......

In an 1896 article, Wyatt Earp had this to say about Holliday: "Doc was a dentist whom necessity had made a gambler; a gentleman whom disease had made a frontier vagabond; a philosopher whom life had made a caustic wit; a long lean ash-blond fellow nearly dead with consumption, and at the same time the most skillful gambler and the nerviest, speediest, deadliest man with a gun that I ever knew."

In a newspaper interview, Holliday was once asked if his killings had ever gotten on his conscience. He is reported to have said "I coughed that out with my lungs, years ago."

Big Nose Kate, his long-time companion, remembered Holliday's reaction after his role in the O.K. Corral gunfight. She reported that Holliday came back to his room, sat on the bed, wept and said "that was awful — awful".

Virgil Earp, interviewed May 30, 1882, in The Arizona Daily Star (two months after Virgil had fled Tombstone after Morgan Earp's death), summed up Holliday:"There was something very peculiar about Doc. He was gentlemanly, a good dentist, a friendly man and yet, outside of us boys, I don't think he had a friend in the Territory. Tales were told that he had murdered men in different parts of the country; that he had robbed and committed all manner of crimes, and yet, when persons were asked how they knew it, they could only admit it was hearsay, and that nothing of the kind could really be traced to Doc's account. He was a slender, sickly fellow, but whenever a stage was robbed or a row started, and help was needed, Doc was one of the first to saddle his horse and report for duty."

Doc Holliday has appeared in quite a few TV shows and movies, with just as many different actors playing the part. But as the actor chosen to represent Doc in the Hall, I'm going with Douglas Fowley from 'The Life And Legend of Wyatt Earp'. He had more episodes under his gun belt in the role than anybody else would play on TV. Adam West may have had more variety in the part (with appearances in episodes of 'The Lawman' and 'Colt .45'), but with Fowley, quantity counts just as much as quality.
Peter Breck would probably come in second with five episodes of 'Maverick', but there he shares the role with Gerald Mohr. The same holds true for Fowley, as Myron Healey also played the role in 'The Life And Legend Of Wyatt Earp'. But that could either be splained away by the ravages on his appearance by the consumption, or we may even have been witnessing Doc Holliday replaced by someone from the future using "quantum leap" technology.

Who knows? Maybe it was an alien in disguise as the gun-slinging gum surgeon. After all, aliens have impersonated him twice before - the Melkoti (Melkotians?) created a surrogate of Doc Holliday to face off against the crew of the starship Enterprise on an episode of 'Star Trek', and when the TARDIS landed on their home planet, the Melkoti quickly resumed the illusion to drive away the Doctor and his Companions in a 'Doctor Who' serial. (And the Doctor never knew he had been hoodwinked - I covered this earlier in the post "
The Doctor's Holliday Trek".)

Here is a list of some of those actors who have portrayed Doc Holliday in Toobworld:

Douglas Fowley in 'The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp' television series 1955-1961. As with many popular portrayals Fowley played Holliday as considerably older than the historical figure. Taking his cue from the popular Kirk Douglas portrayal, Fowley played Holliday as courtly, temperamental and dangerous. Unlike the Kirk Douglas Holliday, whose anger is often volcanic, Fowley's Holliday maintained a cool, gentlemanly Southern calm.

Gerald Mohr and Peter Breck each played Holliday more than once in the 1957 television series 'Maverick'.

Adam West played Doc Holliday on an episode of the TV series, 'Lawman'. [And 'Colt .45'!]
Anthony Jacobs in the 1966 'Doctor Who' story "The Gunfighters".

Sam Gilman in the 1968 'Star Trek' episode "Spectre of the Gun". Gilman, who plays Holliday as a physician, was 53 years old at the time he played this role. The real Holliday was 30 years old at the time of the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral.

Bill Fletcher in two episodes of the TV series, 'Alias Smith and Jones': "Which Way to the OK Corral?" in 1971 and "The Ten Days That Shook Kid Curry" in 1972.

Dennis Hopper in "Wild Times", a 1980 television mini-series based on Brian Garfield's novel.

Willie Nelson in the 1986 all-singer/actor TV remake of "Stagecoach". In addition to the alcoholic Doc Boone character of the original film, the remake adds a new "Doc Holliday", also a medical doctor, and a consumptive. Since Doc Boone in the original film is loosely based on Holliday, the remake now contains two characters based on Holliday.

Randy Quaid in "Purgatory", a 1999 TV film about dead outlaws in a town between Heaven and Hell.

[from Wikipedia]

Of course, that last entry is relegated to some kind of dimensional limbo state, probably only accessible via 'The Twilight Zone' or 'The Night Gallery'. And the portrayals by Willie Nelson and Dennis Hopper can be assigned to alternate dimensions of Toobworld.

As for all of the other actors who played the role, perhaps they also were "leapers" from the Future. Or maybe we're just seeing them as the main characters from each of those shows remembered them.

At any rate, Doc Holliday today joins the TV Crossover Hall of Fame as the Historical Western Character for 2008.

Toby O'B

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