Saturday, March 22, 2008


'The Young & The Restless' will be celebrating its 35th anniversary on March 26th. In anticipation of that, Ashley Abbott and Felicia Forrester will be arriving in Genoa City, Wisconsin, on the 25th. (I hope the Alphabet Killer isn't on the loose there!) They'll be helping to launch the "Restless Style" product line.



Estrella Damm became the main sponsor for the Valencia Football Club in Spain near the end of last year. And because the club was in something of a bad situation at that point in time, the beer company wanted to make a declaration that they wouldn't bail out and would see them through the hard times.

So their ad agency came up with a blipvert which shows the soccer fans rising up on their chairs, office desks, rooftops and bus shelters to shout out "Amunt!", which means "Rise up!"

You can see the commercial at
One of the people in the ad is a lonely lifeguard at a desolate beach. And the observation high-chair from which he makes his declaration has the numeral designation of "8", a number in the 'Lost' sequence.

So "The Numbers" not only show up in commercials, as we saw with that classic ad for Clark's Teaberry Gum, but in commercials from around the world.....

Toby OB


The title of that old show "Do Over" would have worked even better......

I had so many topic options to choose from for Blog Post #2600.

1] The alternate TV dimension in which our TV shows - which are "real life" in Earth Prime-Time - are also "real life" (marking the behind-the-scenes look at the actors of 'Steptoe And Son' which stars Jason Isaacs).

2] My theory about 'Lost' Season Five and the Whispers.

3] The use of "The Numbers" from 'Lost' in a Spanish beer commercial.

4] Theories about Kinchloe of 'Hogan's Heroes'.

5] A Zonk about a Baldwin piano in 1840 'Dante's Cove'.

6] Or I could have just held off and waited until today to use it to celebrate the birth date of James Tiberius Kirk.

But noooooooooooo!

I had to waste it on a "Double Vision" theory combining two British sitcoms which I've never seen. Which of course means that I screwed it up.

It was just a couple of posts ago, but let's recap:

I wrote that Sheridan Smith, the actress who plays Janet on 'Two Pints Of Lager (And A Packet Of Crisps', made a cameo appearance in a 'Gavin & Stacey' episode as a take-out window clerk for a fast-food restaurant.

That part's fine, but then I tried to over-analyze the appearance in order to combine the two series in Toobworld:

"According to, her character's name was Rudi. So there goes the chance that she could have been Janet Keogh. Besides, Janet and the rest of the cast from 'Two Pints' were living in Runcorn in Cheshire. Stacey was originally from Barry in the Vale of Glamorgan in South Wales, while Gavin lived in Billericay, Essex, but she eventually moved in with Gavin. There's not much chance they'd ever get up to Cheshire just for fast food.

But in that second episode, Gavin's buddy Smithy went AWOL when he found out he got Nessa pregnant. So maybe that road trip of the guys took them up to Runcorn where they could have met up with Janet.....

Of course, there's still the matter of that name of Rudi.....

Janet was working in a bakery and then moved up to becoming the manager of the Archer bar. After it was closed down by the health inspectors, maybe she needed whatever job she could find to make ends meet for her and her child, Corinthian. (Her husband Jonny got killed off at the beginning of the seventh season.)

But after being the manager of Archer's, maybe Janet felt the fast food job was an embarrassment, so she used an alias there.....

However, that only works if Gavin's road trip to find Smithy took them to Runcorn......It would make for a nice little link between the two shows, not that they really needed one. All shows are one in the TV Universe."

My UK blogging buddy Rob of "The Medium Is Not Enough" (Link to the left, check it out!) wrote back last night. And since I'm not always sure visitors read comments, I wanted to make sure Rob's message was seen by everyone who travels in Toobworld here:

"Ooh, not sure about that. Trouble is, the character Sheridan Smith played was supposed to be Smithy's sister. Everyone at the drive-through called her Smithy, too. Plus she had something approaching an Essex accent. Good try, though, Tobes!"
Fair enough. I'm grateful for the extra info. I did give myself an out, using "maybe" and "could have" and "that only works if".... But still I'd much rather have something that could be viewed as a bit more solid in foundation.

So as I mentioned in my response to Rob, I should have gone with a far simpler splainin which works even better when it comes connecting Sheridan Smith's role in 'Two Pints' with that in 'Gavin & Stacey':

"I'll fall back on the 'Patty Duke Show' "Identical Cousin" theory: Since Janet's maiden name was Smith, then she and Rudi Smith were cousins who looked exactly alike."

And there's nothing unlikely about the idea that Janet Smith was raised in Runcorn, Cheshire, while Rudi "Smithy" Smith was raised in Billericay, Essex.

(Full disclosure: I also suggested that somebody in the previous generation may have been philanderin'. But again, that's too much supposition. We'll keep it simple with the Identical Cousin theory.)

My thanks to Rob for being so observant, and especially for visiting Toobworld!

One other note - all that talk about Cheshire and Essex - and the mention of Killingworth in that post about the 1822 copier - made me homesick for Connecticut!

Toby OB

"Regret is part of being alive."
Kerr Avon
'Blake's 7'


[Riverside, Iowa]

Friday, March 21, 2008


Here's a shout-out of thanks to Scotty at TV Tanline.

TV Tan Line posts screencaps from the shows that he's been watching - 'Lost', classic 'Star Trek', 'It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia', 'The Tudors', 'Wonder Showzen', 'Doctor Who', 'Hotel Babylon', 'Penn & Teller's Bullshit!', etc.

And I'm learning more about a lot of shows I might never have seen otherwise, like 'That Mitchell & Webb Look', 'Human Giant', 'Skins', and the twofer for which I'm grateful: 'Gavin & Stacey' and 'Two Pints Of Lager (And A Packet Of Crisps)'.
While displaying the frame grabs from the second episode of the second season of 'Gavin & Stacey', TV Tan Line added the factoid that Sheridan Smith, the actress who plays Janet on 'Two Pints', was making a cameo appearance in the episode as a take-out window clerk for a fast-food restaurant.

According to, her character's name was Rudi. So there goes the chance that she could have been Janet Keogh. Besides, Janet and the rest of the cast from 'Two Pints' were living in Runcorn in Cheshire. Stacey was originally from Barry in the Vale of Glamorgan in South Wales, while Gavin lived in Billericay, Essex, but she eventually moved in with Gavin. There's not much chance they'd ever get up to Cheshire just for fast food.

But in that second episode, Gavin's buddy Smithy went AWOL when he found out he got Nessa pregnant. So maybe that road trip of the guys took them up to Runcorn where they could have met up with Janet.....

Of course, there's still the matter of that name of Rudi.....

Janet was working in a bakery and then moved up to becoming the manager of the Archer bar. After it was closed down by the health inspectors, maybe she needed whatever job she could find to make ends meet for her and her child, Corinthian. (Her husband Jonny got killed off at the beginning of the seventh season.)

But after being the manager of Archer's, maybe Janet felt the fast food job was an embarrassment, so she used an alias there.....

However, that only works if Gavin's road trip to find Smithy took them to Runcorn......
It would make for a nice little link between the two shows, not that they really needed one. All shows are one in the TV Universe.

Toby OB

And that's Inner Toob Blog Post #2600!




The Island probably wouldn't let him die either......

Toby OB


"Meet Kevin Johnson".

No, not really. That's the title of last night's episode of 'Lost'.

In the eight episodes of this half of the fourth season, a lot of people have said that they noticed that "The Numbers" have been missing from the show.

I think the producers are just not making it too obvious anymore, that's all. Sometimes "The Numbers" are backwards - like Miles' demand that Ben pay him 3.2 million dollars.

Or one of them is hidden in other numbers. The combination to Ben's safe was 36-15-28; the middle number was "15", part of the sequence. (The entire combination was a clue in the online game of "Find 815", according to Lostpedia.)

There was at least one such example of numerical play in last night's episode.....

Just before Michael crashed his car into that dumpster(?), he tuned in the radio to a Mama Cass song. When he adjusted the volume, it was on seventeen. And the channel was listed as one.
But if you look at that picture quickly, it looks as though the digital read-out is "17 - 1", which would be "16", another one of the numbers.....

Toby OB


Here in the Real World, "Xerographic office photocopying was introduced by Xerox in the 1960s, and over the following 20 years it gradually replaced copies made by Verifax, Photostat, carbon paper, mimeograph machines, and other duplicating machines." [from Wikipedia, of course!]

But as far as Toobworld is concerned, the first copiers were introduced in the mid-1800s, probably in England. They were huge ungainly machines, the type that would be appreciated by the likes of George Stephenson and Michael Faraday.
This was verified by a recent TV commercial for Altoids, in which an 1800s serving girl finds out that the copier was broken yet again. However, the taste of an Altoid mint was a slap to her cerebellum, and she realized that the copier was probably only jammed.

Sure enough, it turned out that a goat had found its way into the copier and was eating all of the paper. Thus, the wench was spared Lord Whippington's punishment with the thumbscrews.

Just to keep things tidy in this corner of Toobworld, I'm going to suggest that the village seen in our historical Tiddlywinkydink was that of Killingworth. Killingworth served as the site of an 1822 meeting between the foremost scientists of the day, including the aforementioned Stephenson and Faraday (as seen in the 'Doctor Who' episode "The Mark Of The Rani".)
It was probably a rebellious Luddite who put the goat in the copier in the first place, in order to disrupt that meeting!

Toby OB

Thursday, March 20, 2008


"The Numbers" of 'Lost' have been in existence in that sequential order probably for ages.

And we can find them not only in other TV shows besides 'Lost', but also in commercials as well.

Here's the number "16" as seen in the classic "Teaberry Shuffle" ad for Clark's Gum from back in the late 1960s.
Toby OB


"You have to understand....
I'm from Iowa.
I'm not as free-thinking and adventurous as you are
'Dante's Cove'

My friend Michael, half of Team Markhael, told me I had to check out a show from the here! channel called 'Dante's Cove'. It's a gay, Gothic soap opera that takes that 'Dark Shadows' zeitgeist into the 21st Century with a very liberated sensuality (if not good acting. Oh well, can't have everything!) The backstory - about the use of a type of witchcraft known as Tresum in a Florida Keys-styled tropical resort - is what is most important for Toobworld. So even though the acting and the writing kind of bite, I'll stick with it through this series of disks.

It is nice, though, to see that the character named "Toby" is the best looking of the bunch. Usually we're relegated to being the comic relief! (Or as kids, as pets, or as escaped slaves.....)

With the second season, episode one, the show introduced Michelle, the girlfriend of the artist Van (short for Vanessa). Take a look at this picture of them both....
Doesn't Michelle (on the left) look like she could be related to Kate Austen of 'Lost'?

I'm not saying they could be sisters - even though Michelle does have a sister back in Iowa, we know that Kate doesn't. (Or at least it's never come up in the series so far. And after blowing up her house, killing her step-father, dealing with her ailing, vengeful mother, and having her life dragged out in court, one would think any siblings would be mentioned by now.)
But hey! Michelle could be Kate's cousin, from Iowa just like Kate. Definitely not an identical cousin, like Patty and Cathy Lane of 'The Patty Duke Show', but near as*.

Just another Theory of Relateeveety in Toobworld....

Toby OB

*Looking at the cast list for 'Dante's Cove', I guess the character of Michelle will become a Recastaway. Erin Cummings (pictured above) is only in five episodes of the series and then Jill Bennett takes over the role.

Seems pretty O'Bvious to me - her appearance will be transformed by the use of Tresum magic. (Unless of course an actual splainin is brought up within the show.)


In front of the camera, Ivan Dixon will probably be best known as Sgt. Kinchloe in 'Hogan's Heroes'. But he left the series before it ended and found greater creative freedom behind the camera as a director.

Dixon passed away from a brain hemorrhage caused by kidney disease complications at the age of 76.

"Father Dowling Mysteries"
- The Joyful Noise Mystery (1991) TV episode .... Rev. Johnson

"Amerika" (1987) (mini) TV mini-series .... Dr. Alan Drummond

Perry Mason: The Case of the Shooting Star (1986) (TV) .... Judge

Fer-de-Lance (1974) (TV) .... Joe Voit

"Love, American Style" (1 episode, 1971) - Love and the Baby

"The F.B.I."
- The Deadly Pact (1970) TV episode .... Terry Maynard

"Hogan's Heroes" .... Sgt. James 'Kinch' Kinchloe (145 episodes, 1965-1970)

- The Invincible Weapon (1970) TV episode .... Billy Carter

"The Mod Squad"
- Return to Darkness, Return to Light (1970) TV episode

"The Name of the Game"
- The Incomparable Connie Walker (1969) TV episode .... Mayor Conway 'Connie' Walker
- The Black Answer (1968) TV episode .... John X. Lee

"It Takes a Thief"
- Get Me to the Revolution on Time (1968) TV episode .... Gen. Kristoff

- Let My Brother Go (1967) TV episode .... Charles 'Bat' Masterson

"Felony Squad"
- The Deadly Junkman (1967) TV episode .... Terry Carew

"The Fugitive"
- Dossier on a Diplomat (1967) TV episode .... Ambassador Unawa
- Escape into Black (1964) TV episode .... Dr. Towne

"CBS Playhouse"
- The Final War of Olly Winter (1967) TV episode .... Olly Winter

"I Spy"
- So Long, Patrick Henry (1965) TV episode .... Elroy Brown

"The Outer Limits"
- The Inheritors: Part 2 (1964) TV episode .... Sgt. James Conover
- The Inheritors: Part 1 (1964) TV episode .... Sgt. James Conover
- The Human Factor (1963) TV episode .... Maj. Harold Giles

"Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre"
- Murder in the First (1964) TV episode .... Forest

"The Man from U.N.C.L.E."
- The Vulcan Affair (1964) TV episode .... Soumarin

"The Defenders"
- The Non-Violent (1964) TV episode .... John Bird
- Man Against Himself (1963) TV episode .... Danny Ross

"Dr. Kildare"
- Night of the Beast (1964) TV episode .... Detective
- Something of Importance (1962) TV episode

"The Eleventh Hour"
- The Color of Sunset (1964) TV episode .... Oren Webson

"The Twilight Zone"
- I am the Night - Color Me Black (1964) TV episode .... Reverend Anderson
- The Big Tall Wish (1960) TV episode .... Bolie Jackson

"The Great Adventure"
- The Special Courage of Captain Pratt (1964) TV episode .... Sergeant Willis

"Perry Mason"
- The Case of the Nebulous Nephew (1963) TV episode .... Caleb Stone
- The Case of the Promoter's Pillbox (1962) TV episode .... Parness

"Stoney Burke"
- The Test (1963) TV episode .... Dr. Manning

"Going My Way"
- Run, Robin, Run (1963) TV episode .... Robin Green

"The Lloyd Bridges Show"
- The Skippy Mannox Story (1963) TV episode .... Shpritzen

- Among the Missing (1962) TV episode .... Jamie Davis

"Target: The Corruptors"
- Journey Into Mourning (1962) TV episode .... Bliss

"Cain's Hundred"
- Blues for a Junkman (1962) TV episode .... Joe Sherman
- Markdown on a Man (1961) TV episode .... Willie Williams

"The New Breed"
- Policemen Die Alone Par II (1962) TV episode .... Wick
- Policemen Die Alone: Part 1 (1962) TV episode .... Wick

"Follow the Sun"
- The Hunters (1961) TV episode
"Have Gun - Will Travel"
- Long Way Home (1961) TV episode .... Isham Spruce

"The DuPont Show of the Month"
- Arrowsmith (1960) TV episode

"Armstrong Circle Theatre"
- Night Court (1957) TV episode .... Carroll

Ivan Dixon turned his attentions to directing and found more outlets for his creative talents behind the camera than he probably could have done had he stayed only as an actor.

Percy & Thunder (1993) (TV)
The Sty of the Blind Pig (1974) (TV)

Dixon also directed episodes of the following TV series:

"In the Heat of the Night"
"Quantum Leap"
"Magnum, P.I."
"Hawaiian Heat"
"Trapper John, M.D."
"The A-Team"
"Tales of the Gold Monkey"
"The Greatest American Hero"
"Counterattack: Crime in America"
"Bret Maverick"
"Palmerstown, U.S.A."
"The Righteous Apples"
"Tenspeed and Brown Shoe"
"The Rockford Files"
"Harris and Company"
"Wonder Woman"
"The Eddie Capra Mysteries"
"The Bionic Woman"
"Richie Brockelman, Private Eye"
"The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries"
"Quincy M.E."
"Baa Baa Black Sheep"
"Starsky and Hutch"
"The Waltons"
"The Rookies"
"Apple's Way"
"Get Christie Love!"
"Monty Nash"
"The Bill Cosby Show" (1970 version)

"The Bill Cosby Special, or?" (1971)

The way his exit from 'Hogan's Heroes' after five seasons was handled will be the subject of a future post, once I get my noggin thinking inside the box about it....

Toby OB


Paul Scofield, the actor who portrayed Saint Sir Thomas More in the play and movie "A Man For All Seasons", has passed away at the age of 86. Scofield was far better known for his stage work and made very few movies, even though he could have capitalized on his achievement of the Best Actor Oscar for his role in "A Man For All Seasons".

He did do some significant, or at the very least high quality work in TV as well, however.......

Animal Farm (1999) (voice) .... Boxer

The Little Riders (1996) .... Grandpa Roden

"Martin Chuzzlewit" (1994) .... Old Martin Chuzzlewit/Anthony Chuzzlewit

The Attic: The Hiding of Anne Frank (1988).... Otto Frank

Mister Corbett's Ghost (1987) .... Mr. Corbett

Anna Karenina (1985) .... Karenin

"BBC2 Playhouse"
- A Song at Twilight (1982) .... Hugo Latymer
- Come Into the Garden, Maud (1982) .... Verner Conkin

"Play of the Month"
- The Ambassadors (1977) .... Lewis Lambert Strether

"Shades of Greene"
- When Greek Meets Greek and Dean (1975) .... Fennick

"ITV Saturday Night Theatre"
- Emlyn (1969) .... Sir Emlyn Bowen, Q.C.

Male of the Species (1969) .... The Guest

Genesi: La creazione e il diluvio (1994) (voice) .... Narrator / Noah

There is one movie I wanted to mention in this paltry remembrance - 'Quiz Show'. It was about the 1950s scandal in Television, when it was revealed that contestants on various game shows were being fed the answers. Scofield played poet Mark Van Doren, the father of central figure Charles Van Doren.
The scene here takes place in Van Doren's home in Northwestern Connecticut, not too far from my summer retreat......

Toby OB


In the TV Universe, various parts of our body are independently alive as well. We saw in that Super Bowl ad for a girl's heart leap out of her chest and go in to tell the boss "I Quit!" Over in the Tooniverse, a man's stomach (with the voice of Gene Wilder!) engaged in a point/counterpoint debate with its "owner" in an ad for Alka Seltzer.

Now, in a blipvert for Dentek Nightguard, we learn that each of our teeth has its own individual personality.
When we see people walking down the street talking to themselves, could they be having conversations with their teeth?

Toby OB

Wednesday, March 19, 2008


The comic book universe is gaining a new counterpart for a TV show from the TV Universe. 'Chuck', the series about the nerdly spy who works at the Buy More box store, will be getting its own four-color series in June. It will join the following shows which also exist in that other medium:
'Battlestar Galactica'
'The Night Stalker'
'The Prisoner'
'Buffy The Vampire Slayer'
'Doctor Who'
among many others, even 'Run, Buddy, Run'!

'Chuck' will be produced by Wildstorm which is a subsidiary of DC Comics.

Toby OB


Soon after the 'Perry Mason' episode "The Case Of The Shifty Shoe-Box" begins, young Miles is seen watching TV. The audience back in the Trueniverse can't see what's on the screen, but the voices of James Arness and Milburn Stone can be heard.

The show isn't identified as 'Gunsmoke' during that 'Perry Mason' scene, but attentive voice-over agents should be able to identify the characters as Doctor Galen Adams and Sheriff Matt Dillon.

We could always say that Miles was watching something entirely different; that Stone and Arness were playing other roles. But they're speaking lines of dialogue that should be treated as historical fact from nearly a century before.
So it's easier to splain this away as a TV show - by any name, even 'Gunsmoke' - which was recreating the lives of real-life figures of the Old West, Doc Adams and Marshall Dillon.
(Well... almost any name!)

Toby OB


In the TV Universe, it rained on St. Patrick's Day in New York City. At least it rained during the evening; no idea if the parade was a soaker as that wasn't seen.

At least, that's how it was shown in the first new episode of 'How I Met Your Mother' since the end of the writers' strike ("No Tomorrow"). There were no other new TV series to contradict that weather report, so that's how it is recorded for Toobworld on March 17, 2008. (And there's no getting around which St. Paddy's day it was - Ted announces the date as he tells the story to his kids.)

This is just another example of the differences between Toobworld and the real world. It never rained in New York City this past Monday, not even during the parade (which was broadcast, but doesn't have as much validity for inclusion in the TV Universe).

Toby OB

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


Arthur C. Clarke, one of the most famous - if not the most famous - science fiction authors in modern times, died today in his adopted homeland of Sri Lanka. He was 90.

Clarke is best known for his work on "2001: A Space Odyssey", the movie he co-wrote with Stanley Kubrick, as well as its sequel novels. The film's homicidal computer HAL has been an iconic figure in pop culture for the last forty years.

But Clarke also wrote for Television:

The Colours of Infinity (1995) (TV) (writer)

"The Twilight Zone" (1 episode, 1985)
- Night of the Meek/But Can She Type?/The Star (1985) TV episode (segment "The Star")

"Tales of Tomorrow" (1 episode, 1952)
- All the Time in the World (1952) TV episode (writer)

"Captain Video and His Video Rangers" (1949) TV series (unknown episodes)

But definitely it will be for the creaton of HAL that Clarke will be best remembered.
I can feel it, Dave.....

Toby OB


In league with Virgin Comics, the Sci Fi Channel is going to make a TV series called 'The Stranded'. It's about a group of regular folks who find out that they're really aliens who have extraordinary abilities.

It sounds like 'Heroes' but with a "credible" splainin for their powers.

The project was announced back in July of last year at Comic-Con, but it was only this Monday when the TV series aspect was confirmed.

According to a story in Variety back on July 23, 2007, "'The Stranded' will tell the story of five ordinary people living on Earth who, it turns out, are actually from a world called Standfire. Their past has returned -- not to haunt them, but to kill them."

Unless 'Torchwood' returns to the subject of their episode 'Sleeper', which was about alien sleeper agents on Earth, perhaps we can make a theoretical link between the two shows here at Toobworld Central.......

Toby OB


During that 'Pushing Daisies' panel at Paley Fest '08, Chi McBride admitted that his character of Malcolm was the one who planned the bank robbery in his previous series 'The Nine'.
Said McBride, "He had too many bills.... It's a long story."

It's nice to know what happens to characters on shows that are cancelled before they can wrap up their storylines, even if we can't actually see it play out. As most Toobworld fans know, Life in the TV Universe continues for the characters of shows that no longer are produced, but sometimes we'd like some confirmation of that.

If you search online, you can find out the mystery behind the phrase 'Coronet Blue' and who Michael Alden really was; and you can learn how the murder case of 'Reunion' would have been resolved.

Toby OB


There was a 'Pushing Daisies' panel at the Paley Festival this past Saturday night. (All of the cast save for Swoosie Kurtz was there - she had an ailing aunt to attend.)

Several points came up which perfectly fit the concept of televisiology, "thinking inside the box".

1] The show's creator Bryan Fuller doesn't think Ned and Chuck could ever have a child together. "I think her egg would die when his sperm hit it." (Personally, I think she'd die as well.)

2] Fuller also confirmed that Ned the Piemaker is a vegetarian. That's because any meat he ate would probably come back to life one it made contact with his insides. And then it would "crawl out of him". (I would think the vegetables he ate would come back to life as well, but unless he ate Tybo the Giant Carrot from 'Lost In Space', it's not about to crawl out of him.)

Toby OB

TODAY'S TWD: ee cummings @ McSORLEY'S

It's Tuesday. Another episode of 'New Amsterdam' aired last night and that's always good for the daily Tiddlywinkydink look at History as seen in Toobworld.....
While getting to know Sarah Delane better in the episode of "Honor", detective John Amsterdam discovered that she liked the poetry of ee cummings. He revealed that even though cummings was a great poet, he was also a mean drunk. (It was said in such a way as to make one think that John had studied the life of the poet, but more than likely he probably knew cummings and quite often got drunk with him.)

From Wikipedia:
Edward Estlin Cummings (October 14, 1894 – September 3, 1962), popularly known as ee cummings, was an American poet, painter, essayist, and playwright. His body of work encompasses more than 900 poems, several plays and essays, numerous drawings, sketches, and paintings, as well as two novels. He is remembered as a preeminent voice of 20th century poetry, as well as one of the most popular.

A lot of that drinking with cummings probably took place in McSorley's pub down on East 7th Street here in New York City. (15 East 7th Street New York, NY 10003) It's the type of place where John Amsterdam could feel the sense of community, to watch this microcosm of his home, New York, grow up around him while he remained the same.

Our nation was born in taverns. In colonial America they were places where people would go not only to eat and drink and pass the time but to argue the issues of the day, more and more vehemently as the gulf with Great Britain widened … On the one hand, our traditional Puritan ethic requires us to eschew wasting time in barrooms; on the other hand, tavern-going is in our genes, and a large part of tavern culture was handed down from our God-fearing but beer-loving forebears.

Others, however, find their tentative steps into the world of the American public house to be an encounter with world history, a chance to commune with ghosts: the traditions, legends, and, in some cases, the very locales that have played a vital role in the development of this nation.

- Stephen Beaumont and Janet Forman, "Liberty Inn" (American Heritage Magazine, July 2003)
ee cummings wrote a poem about McSorley's in 1925, ("i was sitting in mcsorley's") and it was probably John Amsterdam's favorite watering hole since it opened back in 1854. (At least until his son Omar York opened his own bar & grill....)

In cummings' poem, he called the "snug and evil" McSorley's "the ale which never lets you grow old". Perhaps he noticed that pub regular John (whatever his name may have been back then) was not aging like the others around him, and ascribed the phenomenon to the drink.

John quoted a line from a poem by ee cummings: "for life's not a paragraph... and death I think is no parenthesis".

This is from the poem "since feeling is first", which could apply to the blooming relationship between John and Sarah, especially if it does turn out that she is "the One" who can make him mortal again.....

"since feeling is first"

since feeling is first
who pays any attention
to the syntax of things
will never wholly kiss you;

wholly to be a fool
while Spring is in the world

my blood approves,
and kisses are a far better fate
than wisdom
lady i swear by all flowers. Don't cry
--the best gesture of my brain is less than
your eyelids' flutter which says

we are for each other: then
laugh, leaning back in my arms
for life's not a paragraph

and death I think is no parenthesis

If you ever get the chance to visit McSorley's, take a close look at the pictures lining the walls. You may spot ee cummings in there. And maybe John Amsterdam with him! (If so, you've just crossed over into the Toobworld Zone!)
You can learn more about "The Old House At Home" at the
McSorley's website.

Toby OB

Monday, March 17, 2008


Recently I've been watching 'Coupling'. Not going out of my way to catch it, or DVR it, or queue it up for Netflix. Just if I happen to notice while looking at the BBC-A sked that it's coming up, I'll record it. It started out because I wanted to see other productions written by Stephen Moffat, who has scripted some of the very best of 'Doctor Who' these last three years. But now I'm just enjoying the company of the six regulars. (I'm assuming the prevalent high concept description for the show is a "British 'Friends'".)
I'm especially enjoying the work by Richard Coyle as Jeff Murdoch, the resident goofball. A lot of his obsessions can match my own O'Bsessions. (Although I've never tried to shag the TV, much as I love it).

It was during his rant about celebrity nudity and the beauty of the word "naked", that it suddenly occurred to me that Richard Coyle might make for a very interesting variation as a future regeneration of the Doctor in 'Doctor Who'. (I know, I'm always coming up with actors to play the Doctor. I've probably got a tally of 20 actors by now if I listed them all!)

So that was originally going to be the thrust of this blog-post: a Wish-craft advocating Richard Coyle to be a candidate for the next Doctor.

I went looking about the web for pictures to support my contention for Coyle's candidacy and found some really good ones. There was an excellent one with Indira Varma from 'Whistleblowers' that really helped the suggestion. After all, it was Varma's portrayal of Suzie Costello that helped kick off the launch of 'Torchwood'. I believe the audience came because of Captain Jack Harkness (pun intended), but it was the story of Suzie Costello that convinced them to come back; that this would be something out of the ordinary each week.

So now I had 'Torchwood' on my mind, and the next picture led to a new Wish-craft suggestion.....
I found a picture that featured Richard Coyle, Samantha Janus and Ian Richardson for a TV series called 'Strange' from 2003. Here's a description of it from Ryan K. Johnson's excellent site of British TV shows, specials, and movies (from an American point of view):

Strange (3/03)
Samantha Janus and Ian Richardson star in this BBC pilot for a horror/fantasy series about a defrocked priest (Richard Coyle, 'Coupling') who hunts demons in this 'X-Files'-like series. Janus plays a former physicist now working as a nurse who encounters Coyleand his team of psychic investigators and comes to suspect her son may be hosting an unholy threat. Richardson is Coyle's nemesis, a church elder who opposes his actions and there are hints of diabolical association.

Take a look at this picture:
If that was to be his costume as the newly regenerated Doctor, it suggests Eccleston's garb as the Ninth Incarnation of the Doctor - simple and a bit street-wise. At least for the sake of my argument, Ms. Janus could be a new Companion, as would be Andrew Lee Potts - who could be seen as an upgrade for Adric without being so annoying. (In 'Strange', Potts played Toby, so I'm O'Bviously partial to him!)

And then there is Ian Richardson in that cowled cape.... What better villain to revive for this new regeneration than a new incarnation of that Time Meddler, the Monk? (Yes, I know Richardson is dead. I'm just saying this picture could be used to make the argument in favor of Coyle as the Doctor, and to bring back the Monk as an adversary - with another actor.)

I went looking for descriptions of this show 'Strange', for I never heard of it before. And after reading just two sites dedicated to it (one at the BBC), coupled with that picture of Coyle with Varda, a new idea came to me.....

Coyle's character of John Strange should be revived and brought on board 'Torchwood'.

In the last week or so, I've read a rumor, - and it's just that so far, a nebulous rumor - that John Barrowman was going to leave 'Torchwood'. The loss of Captain Jack Harkness could very well cripple the series, unless something audacious was done to replace him. (At least we know they can't kill off Jack to get him off the show, even if it would be a ratings-grabbing one-shot. My guess? He'll eventually leave with Grey via the Cardiff Rift.)
I think bringing in this former defrocked priest whose specialty is battling demons would at the very least give the show a publicity boost from the press that would be generated about his previous Toobworld tenure, his revival, and the subsequent crossover.

That same rumor about Barrowman leaving also suggested that Burn Gorman as Owen Harper and Naoki Mori as Toshiko Sato might also be shown the door out of the 'Torchwood' hub. So even if John Strange wasn't being brought in to be the new leader of the Cardiff branch, this expert demon-hunter could at least be a valuable member of the team because of his specialized expertise. After that nearly disasterous battle with Abaddon in the first season finale, Team Torchwood could use somebody who knows his way around demons.

(That rumor about the revamp of 'Torchwood' claims that Freema Agyeman would be brought back as Dr. Martha Jones to be in charge. You can read the full thing here.)

I've tossed around that 'Bewitched'-coined word of "Wish-Craft" in this essay, meaning that this is just a stunt casting dream on my part. But who knows? If I don't get the suggestion out there, some Auntie suit won't be able to learn of it and claim it as its own. If I bring it up, there's always the slim chance it might get fanned into becoming reality!
Toby OB

I wrote to BBC-America about getting 'Strange' onto their schedule here in the States, but of course I got a basic form letter in response. ("Dear Toby, Thank you for taking the time to contact us. BBC America takes the opinions of viewers such as yourself very seriously. Rest assured we will forward your remarks on to the appropriate department(s). We thank you again for your comments." Yada yada yada.....)