Thursday, November 6, 2008


For this month's edition of "Fanficcer's Friend", we're turning to a 1950's publicity photo for inspiration, rather than a still from a movie.

(You remember what "Fanficcer's Friend" is all about, don't you? We take a picture from a source outside of TV, usually a screen capture from a movie, and offer it up to any fanficcers out there who might want to base a story on it.

Geoff Boucher writes a blog connected to the L.A. Times and he offered up the following picture in one of his posts:
The actual subject matter was of 20 year old Leonard Nimoy looking over his new contract, which had to be approved by a judge since Nimoy was still technically a minor.

In the picture with him is an actress named Mona Knox, with whom Nimoy was making a movie called "Kid Monk Baroni". Miss Knox appeared in less than thirty movies, and only a few TV series - 'The Donna Reed Show', 'The Untouchables', and 'Space Patrol'.

Because of the Toobworld timeline, we'd have to eliminate 'The Untouchables' and 'Space Patrol' from consideration. Unless..... her character of Lanya came back in Time from Sirius 4, perhaps via that odd necklace she's wearing. (Could it be a designer Omni?)

I'd go with her playing Jane Lawrence, the small-town girl she played in the episode "The Lucky Girl" from 'The Donna Reed Show'. Might as well keep it simple - after all, the real draw of the story is going to be Nimoy's character.

And let's face it, without the ears, the best option would be that Nimoy is appearing in this picture as the young magician who would one day be known as The Great Paris. We never learn much about the background to his character when Nimoy stepped in to 'Mission: Impossible' to replace Martin Landau's character of Rollin Hand. But like Rollin, Paris was a master of disguise.

But who was he, more than two decades before? I think it's O'Bvious that "Paris" is a stage name, so we could make the claim that this 1952 photograph was of some character he played on TV around the same time. Unfortunately (although it was good for Nimoy's resume and wallet), he played mostly villainous thugs during that period.

The best option would be a character he played twice in the anthology series 'The West Point Story': Tom Kennedy.

Here are the plot synopses for the two episodes of 'The West Point Story' in which Tom Kennedy appeared:

November 16, 1956 CBS Friday
written by
William Bruckner & Don Brinkley
Leonard Nimoy ........ Tom Kennedy
John Beradino ........ Rick Kennedy
Jeff Harris .......... Lon Milliken
Rodney Bell .......... Bud York
Michael Garth ........ Captain Rogers

After winning the national Golden Gloves middleweight championship, Tom Kennedy enters West Point, intent only on a career with the Army. But his brother, a successful boxer, determines Tom should follow in his footsteps, and tells the company commander Tom is a coward and should be expelled.

April 12, 1957 CBS Friday
written by
Don Brinkley
Leonard Nimoy ....... Kennedy
Larry Pennell ....... Marson

A cadet, wanting to visit his girl, takes an unauthorized leave and a dangerous walk across a frozen river.

[My thanks to Classic TV Archive, link to the left, for that information.]

So here's how it could play out: After that bad experience with his own brother, Tom Kennedy decided to give up boxing and turn his hands to a more dextrous pursuit - magic. I'm not certain if his girlfriend in that second episode appeared in the episode, but perhaps he was from Hilldale, and the girl-friend was Jane Lawrence - Mona Knox's character from 'The Donna Reed Show'.

Even after losing himself in his stage persona of The Great Paris, Tom Kennedy was still tracked down by the government (which probably kept tabs on all the cadets who passed through West Point), and asked to serve his country by working with the IMF.

Of course, that's up to the fanficcers to decide how they'd want to use that picture as their inspiration. Maybe Spock and Lanya did go back in Time, and Spock had his ears bobbed for the mission.

For all I know, it's just going to serve as an excuse for Spock slash-fic.....

Toby O'B

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