Thursday, November 20, 2008


"Do you seriously think I would let a man who looks like a gerbil drive my car?"
Gene Hunt
"Children In Need" 2008

Every year the BBC hosts the "Children In Need" telethon to raise money for the kids. And there are always great sketches that play hob with Toobworld. Some of them must be relegated to the world of TV sketch comedy (Skitlandia), like when Sybil Fawlty took over at 'Hotel Babylon' and brought in hoteliers from other Britcoms. Others are part of the main Toobworld officially, like last year's "Time Crash", the meeting between the Fifth and Tenth Doctors of 'Doctor Who'.

This year's entry for 'Doctor Who' was just a toss-off, the first two minutes of the Christmas special to serve as a preview teaser. But there was one segment that combined two series and which could be seen as being part of the main Toobworld, totally Zonk-free!

The quartet from 'Ashes To Ashes' - Gene Hunt, Ray Carling, Chris Skelton, and Alex Drake - catch Richard Hammond of 'Top Gear' feeling up Gene's car. And despite Gene's contempt for this "miniature scrotum", he begrudgingly allows the "Hamster" to drive it (thanks to the persuasion by Alex).
Taking her along for the ride, the host of 'Top Gear' drives away with the car, leaving a very pissed off Gene Genie. And in the back window, we see Pudsey Bear peering out for a look-see.

In the scene, Alex explains to Gene and the boys that 'Top Gear' is a show about boys and their toys, and that one of the hosts wants to destroy the planet. (I think that's what she said; the accent was pretty thick!)

It's okay for her to talk about this, because 'Top Gear' is one of those shows, like news programs, sporting events, variety specials, and game shows, which exist in our world as well as in Toobworld. And since 'Top Gear' has been around since 1978, Alex would obviously have known about. Hell, she grew up with it more'n likely! (Hammond hasn't been with it these past thirty years, only since 2002.)

And since 'Ashes To Ashes' takes place in Alex's mind after she's struck down by a bullet, that Richard Hammond should show up back in her vision of 1981 makes sense. After being haunted by a pierrot clown and driving pink tanks, basically anything goes in her dream-world. (She would even have known about Pudsey Bear by that point and so it makes sense he would show up
Within that un-reality, Gene, Ray and Chris would have figured that Hammond was talking about being part of 'Top Gear', since the show had been on the air for about four years at that point in "time". But since the Hamster wasn't part of the cast at that point, they didn't make the connection.

So even though it serves more as a sketch, I think this mash-up of 'Ashes To Ashes' and 'Top Gear' can be considered a part of the TV Universe - so long as it remains rooted within Alex's sub-conscious while she's in the coma.

Toby O'B

No comments: