Saturday, May 3, 2008


And now for something completely different for this month's "Fanficcer's Friend" - a picture from the news, rather than from old movies......

This is a picture of a greater dwarf cloud rat which was believed to live in the Philippines, high up in the canopies of their tall trees which may be their only natural habitat. It's probably what kept them safe from predators. I find it fascinating that they may never have touched the earth below!

However, the greater dwarf cloud rat had not been seen for the last 112 years.

According to Lawrence Heaney, who is the mammals curator at the Field Museum (and who lead the team that rediscovered the beastie):

"This beautiful little animal was seen by biologists only once previously — by a British researcher in 1896 who was given several specimens by local people, so he knew almost nothing about the ecology of the species Since then, the species has been a mystery, in part because there is virtually no forest left on Mt. Data, where it was first found."

Heaney's associate William Stanley (collections manager of mammals) said, "Finding this animal again gives us hope for the conservation of one of the most diverse and threatened mammal faunas of the world."

So why am I including this picture when "Fanficcer's Friend" is supposed to be supplying inspiration for stories about favorite TV characters? (Yeah, yeah, I know - big no-no! Big whoop.)

Here's the idea: What if the greater dwarf cloud rat had become extinct? If so, where did this one come from?

Taking a page from "Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home", maybe somebody went back in Time to bring them back into our time period.

Although the team featured in the series 'Prehistoric Park' did this sort of thing with dinosaurs and extinct mammals, maybe that same technology was employed for other animals. Maybe they were working in conjunction with the Time Agents of 'Voyagers!'. (It's the Toobworld contention that until otherwise contradicted, Jack Harkness and John Hart of 'Torchwood' were members of this organization.)
However, the Gallifreyan Time Lord known as the Doctor may have opposed this plan, as the extinction of the greater dwarf cloud rat could have been fixed in the timeline. And it wouldn't have to be the current Doctor, the tenth incarnation. The first Doctor was adamant that "One can not change History, not one line!"
So there you go, Fanficcers! Plenty of characters from TV shows to cross over and some at cross-purposes with each other. And something different for the plotline. (It looks like 'Doctor Who' will be actually dealing with a similar situation this season, what with all these mentions about the real-life disappearance of the honeybees.....)

And speaking of bees,

Toby OB


"Everybody knows in a second life,
We all come back sooner or later.
As anything from a pussycat
To a man-eating alligator."

Yes, that's right! As those lyrics to 'My Mother The Car' would indicate, this is yet another "Born To Rerun" post about reincarnation in Toobworld.

In the TV dimension, it's possible for the karma of two souls to be so intertwined, that they are reincarnated together over and over again throughout History. We know this was true for the souls of Rick and AJ Simon ('Simon And Simon'), and it's our belief that it happened to 'Dharma & Greg' as well.

But now I'm thinking that it could happen when even more souls are involved......

During the "Fires Of Pompeii" episode of 'Doctor Who', we were introduced to the family of marble merchant Caecillius - his wife Metella, their daughter Evelina and son Quintus. If we were dealing with the fictional universe of literature, then this would have constituted a crossover! Not only are there hundreds of tie-in novels about the Doctor, but Caecillius and his family are the featured "stars" of the Cambridge Latin Course books! (However, in the Cambridge Latin Course books, there is no daughter in the family and only Quintus survives the explosion of Vesuvius.

Of course, the books are supposedly narrated by Caecillius after his death, so we have to allow for artistic license in his accounts!)

I watched the episode hoping to see some allusions to the classic Britcom 'Up Pompeii' which starred Frankie Howerd. But instead, there were routines from "Mary Poppins" ("Positions!"), and an in-joke reference to 'Only Fools And Horses' with the Stallholder who sold off the TARDIS, ten minutes after the Doctor and Donna landed.

And that could mean that the Stallholder would one day be reincarnated as Del Boy Trotter, and even his phrasing of "lovely, jubly" carried over with him into the new life!

However, as I watched it a second time, it occurred to me that the souls of Caecillius and his family could have been reincarnated together into a well-established family in British sitcoms - the Harpers of 'My Family'.

Caecillius = Ben Harper
Metella = Susan Harper
Evelina = Janey Harper
Quintus = Michael Harper

[This may be a bit of a stretch, but Caecillius sculpted marble; Ben is a dentist who could be said to sculpt/chisel away at teeth instead of stone. If you don't like the idea, perhaps you're an anti-dentite!]

The only one missing from that equation is Nick, the oldest of the Harper children and who's a bit thick-headed. (I think the character of Quintus better matches up with Michael, who was even smarter than his dad.) It could be that the Caecillian family had an elder son, but that he, like Nick in 'My Family', had already moved away. Nothing says that they would have had to mention him at all during the 'Doctor Who' episode, what with all the chaos about them. And for all we know, they may have done so, especially while huddled together near the end, but we weren't allowed to hear him mentioned.

There could be Fate involved in all of this; that the Doctor was destined to meet this family of Pompeii because he was traveling with Donna. Donna Noble is from Chiswick, and so is the Harper family.

Here's one more possibility for reincarnation, an intermediary link between both shows......

The name "Quincy" indicates "an estate belonging to Quintus". The last time we saw 'Quincy, M.D.' was in 1983. The actor who played Michael Harper (Gabriel Thompson) was born in 1986.....

Even though Jack Klugman is still alive, could it be possible that his character of Dr. Quincy died sometime after his last appearance on TV and was then reincarnated as Michael Harper? (Thus bringing together the Caecillian family once again in new forms.) And Dr. Quincy could have been the reincarnated link between Quintus, who was studying to be a doctor, and Michael, who was smart enough to grow up to be a doctor (and whose father was a dentist.)

Maybe.... nothing is set in stone!

'My Mother The Car'
'Doctor Who'
'My Family'
'Quincy, M.D.'
'Only Fools And Horses'
'Up Pompeii'
'Studio One' - "Mary Poppins"
'Dharma & Greg'
'Simon & Simon'

Toby OB


For those in the United States who watched last night's 'Doctor Who' episode, here are the two major scenes you missed because the Sci-Fi channel snipped away at "The Fires Of Pompeii" to make more room for commercial drivel:

Between the time Donna and the Doctor tried to outrace the cloud of volcanic ash hurtling towards the city and when they got back to the TARDIS in Caecillus' home, Donna tried to save people she encountered in the streets of Pompeii. She had a chance with a little boy, but his mother scooped him up and got away from her.
(And if I'm not mistaken, we saw the merchant who sold off the TARDIS at the beginning of the show during this scene.)

We also lost the coda, picking up the family's story six months later. The father is about to embark on his new marble venture in Rome; the mother scolds their daughter for trying to go out with a skirt much too short; and their son Quintus is on his way to becoming a doctor himself.
Before he leaves home to pursue his studies, Quintus pays tribute to the household gods. And we see carved in marble the figures of Doctor and Donna and the TARDIS.

Those scenes do appear in the original broadcast in Great Britain about three weeks ago, so they're already established in Toobworld and no amount of snippage can change history. Once broadcast, forever in Toobworld.

Some scenes edited before broadcast have to be included as well, however. I've learned that during the filming of "The Shape Of Things To Come", the recent "Ben-centric" episode of 'Lost', Claire started having visions after she was rescued by Sawyer from her blowed-up-real-good home. The experience was referred to a week later in "Nice Things Back Home", so it had to have happened.

And as the producers of 'Lost' have said that Claire's storyline will have a major impact (My guess? We'll learn about the Whisperers through her.), I'm making the call that the deleted scene is canon.

Toby OB

Friday, May 2, 2008


Here's an obituary headline from the New York Times:

"Will Robinson, Top Scout, Dies At 96"

The obituary is by Bruce Weber and begins as such:

"Mr. Robinson broke racial barriers as a college basketball coach and discovered talented players as a scout for both professional basketball and football teams."

I would hope we all know what MY headline would have been.......

"Danger, Will Robinson!"

Just sayin', is all.....

Toby OB


Barbara Walters will appear on 'The Oprah Winfrey Show' Tuesday and she will reveal that she had an affair with former Massachusetts Senator Edward Brooke. It happened back in the 1970s for several years and she found him to be exciting and brilliant. She reveals to the Big O that maybe she wasn't in love, but she was certainly infatuated with him.

To me, it sounds like a great premise to launch an episode of 'Law & Order'. And I think it would be a nice way to reunite Robert Guillaume and Katherine Helmond on the TV screen!

Just sayin', is all.....

Toby OB


In a promotional blipvert for ESPN, the truth behind Bobby Thomson's "shot heard round the world" is revealed. At least, the "truth" for the televersion of that historical event.

Apparently a reporter was talking about food and a particular meal which "brings the heat". He had to shout to be heard over the crowds, and that particular phrase came at a point when the surrounding crowd of fans was quiet. So Thomson allegedly overheard the remark and thought it was a challenge to him.

Here's how it came about in the real world, courtesy of Wikipedia:

In baseball, the "Shot Heard 'Round the World" is the term given to the walk-off home run hit by New York Giants outfielder Bobby Thomson off Brooklyn Dodgers pitcher Ralph Branca at the Polo Grounds to win the National League pennant at 3:58 p.m. EST on October 3, 1951. As a result of the "shot" (baseball slang for "home run" or any hard-hit ball), the Giants won the game 5-4, defeating the Dodgers in their pennant playoff series, two games to one.

The phrase shot heard 'round the world is from a classic poem by Ralph Waldo Emerson, originally used to refer to the first clash of the American Revolutionary War and since used to apply to other dramatic moments, military and otherwise. In the case of Thomson's home run, it was particularly apt as U.S. servicemen fighting in the Korean War listened to the radio broadcast of the game.

Thomson's homer, and the Giants' victory after overcoming a double-digit lead by the Dodgers in the weeks preceding the playoff, are also sometimes known as the Miracle of Coogan's Bluff.

The play has been worked into the history of Toobworld, thanks to the TV series 'Sports Night' and 'M*A*S*H'.

Again, courtesy of Wikipedia:
The ABC television show 'Sports Night' used the "Shot Heard 'Round the World" in its episode "The Giants Win the Pennant, the Giants Win the Pennant", written by series creator Aaron Sorkin and former 'Roseanne' writer Matt Tarses. When Sports Night anchor Dan Rydell (played by Josh Charles) finds out that his boss Isaac Jaffe (played by Robert Guillaume) had been at the Giants game, he wants to use him in a feature story, despite Isaac's protests. Dan eventually learns that, as a cub reporter Jaffe did cover the game, but missed the crucial ball - he was in the bathroom washing his hands because Branca was said to be notorious for taking his time warming up before pitching.

In the 'M*A*S*H' episode "A War for all Seasons", the previously baseball-apathetic Major Charles Winchester is encouraged by Corporal Klinger to invest heavily in wagers that the Dodgers will win the pennant, and is subsequently heartbroken by the loss. He initially listens to the game on the radio, which is a recreation of Hodges' call.

(At the very end of the episode the 'M*A*S*H' people
watch a Fox Movietone News replay of the game. When Thomson's home-run scene appears, along with Hodges' recorded commentary, Winchester growls insanely, slashes the screen, and, still angry with Klinger, bellows, "Where is that Lebanese mongoose?" Fade out.)

Fade out, indeed.....

Toby OB


About half an hour ago, Senator Barack Obama appeared, via satellite, on 'The Late Show With David Letterman' to deliver the Top Ten List.....

"Surprising Facts About Barack Obama"

10. My first act as President will be to stop the fighting
between Lauren and Heidi on “The Hills.”

9. In the Illinois primary, I accidentally voted for Kucinich.

8. When I tell my kids to clean their room, I finish with,
“I’m Barack Obama and I approved this message.”

7. Throughout high school, I was consistently voted “Barackiest.”

6. Earlier today I bowled a 39.
5. I have canceled all my appearances the day the “Sex and the City” movie opens.

4. It’s the birthplace of Fred Astaire.
(Sorry, that’s a surprising fact about Omaha)

3. We are tirelessly working to get the endorsement of Kentucky Derby favorite Colonel John.

2. This has nothing to do with the Top Ten,
but what the heck is up with Paula Abdul?

1. I have not slept since October.

Dagnabbit! If Obama's bowling was just a smidgen sharper, he could have bowled a 42!

Toby OB

Thursday, May 1, 2008


Actress Joy Page has passed away at the age of 83. She is best known for her first role, as Annina Brandel, the teenaged war bride in 'Casablanca' who almost did anything she had to in order to obtain exit visas for herself and her bridegroom.

- The Swamp Fox: Brother Against Brother (1959) TV episode .... Mary Videau
- The Swamp Fox: The Birth of the Swamp Fox (1959) TV episode .... Mary Videau
- Standoff (1958) TV episode .... Maria Vargas
- Border Affair (1957) TV episode .... Empress Carlotta
"Wagon Train"
- The Bill Tawnee Story (1958) TV episode .... Leeana
"Schlitz Playhouse of Stars"
- Rich Man, Poor Man (1957) TV episode (as Joy Paige) .... Maria
"Studio 57"
- This Land Is Mine (1956) TV episode
"Jane Wyman Presents The Fireside Theatre"
- This Land Is Mine (1956) TV episode .... Ellem Harlan
"Letter to Loretta"
- The Wise One (1956) TV episode .... Ellen
"Warner Brothers Presents"
- Explosion (1956) TV episode .... Florence Parker
"The Ford Television Theatre"
- Journey by Moonlight (1956) TV episode .... Marie
"Kings Row"
- Ellie (1955) TV episode .... Ellie "Racket Squad"
- The Case of the Matchmaker (1952) TV episode .... May Norton
"Your Show Time"
- Mademoiselle Fifi (1949) TV episode

Of those, the most interesting was her performance as the historical figure of Empress Carlotta in 'Cheyenne'. Many historic Old West figures passed through the Westerns of the fifties, mostly Doc Holliday or Billy the Kid or Jesse James, I would imagine. So having the fictional lead interact with the Empress of Mexico made for a nice change of pace.

Here's a plot description from the Classic TV Archive (as always, the link's to the left):

Cheyenne is in Mexico during the French occupation of the country in the 1860s. He meets and falls in love with the beautiful Princess Maria Felitzia. Her royal highness has just arrived from Europe to marry a man she has never met, General Dubeauchois, an officer in the French Army.

The wedding has been arranged as an affair of state and the princess has been led to believe that the General is a young, handsome and virile soldier.

She is horrified to discover that her future bridegroom is fat, middle-aged,and egotistical. In fact she'd much rather marry Cheyenne. But it is not to be. At the end of the episode Princess Maria sails back to the old world leaving Cheyenne broken-hearted standing on the dockside watching her ship sail away.
[Thanks, DWMcG!)

One of the necklaces worn by the Empress Carlotta would one day be reproduced and sold to the general public. (Unfortunately it appeared to be a monstrosity that only women could recognize.) Nearly a century after Empress Carlotta wore the jewelry, Mel Cooley's cousin sold a replica to Robert Petrie to be a gift for his wife Laura.
She hated it. Hilarity ensued.

So Joy Page's performance as the Empress Carlotta, and perhaps even the jewelry she wore in the "Border Affair" episode, links 'Cheyenne' to "Empress Carlotta's Necklace", an episode of 'The Dick Van Dyke Show'.

Toby OB


Nearly twenty years since they were last seen in the Movie Universe, "Gremlins" have struck again in Toobworld!

This time they appear in a BT Business blipvert which debuts May 5th to illustrate the need for great IT services in your business.
The hapless businessman in the ad is portrayed by Peter Jones, who founded the telecommunications firm Phone International Group. But because he's seen working as a drone in a British office instead of in his own company office suite, he's obviously playing a character.

BT has licensed the Gremlins from Warner Brothers and they will be featured in a massive campaign that will range across several different media universes.

But it's nice to know that the world of Billy Peltzer now has an official televersion. The two movies have been mentioned in other shows before, from 'Law & Order' to 'Lost'. But for the most part, the references have been easily splainable. In fact, with 'How I Met Your Mother', Marshall acknowledged their existence with his splainin on the proper way to feed them.

Toby OB


One week ago, James Day passed away at the age of 89. He was an instrumental part of public broadcasting in its infancy as an executive as well as an on-air host for two interview series with real heft to them, 'Kaleidoscope' and 'Day At Night'.

Here's an excerpt from his New York Times obituary, written by Dennis Hevesi:

To the public, Mr. Day was probably best known as the host of a weekly interview program in the late 1950s and early ’60s called “Kaleidoscope,” and then, in the 1970s, of a nightly show, “Day at Night.” Both were broadcast by many public stations around the country.

The notables Mr. Day interviewed for “Kaleidoscope” included Eleanor Roosevelt, Buster Keaton, Robert F. Kennedy, Bing Crosby, Aldous Huxley, and Alexander Kerensky, one of the leaders along with Lenin of the 1917 Russian Revolution. Mr. Day presided over the program while also serving as president and general manager of KQED.

His guests on “Day at Night” also took in quite a range and included Irving Wallace, Noam Chomsky, B. F. Skinner, Art Buchwald, Agnes de Mille, Edgar Bergen, Ozzie Nelson, Gloria De Haven, Ann Landers, Ayn Rand, Ray Bradbury, Aaron Copland, Alger Hiss and Muhammad Ali.

A 1974 article in The New York Times about “Day at Night” said that Mr. Day’s objective was “to create a record of the person.”

Toby OB

Wednesday, April 30, 2008


I'm off to join the rebel alliance in the bit torrent underground movement!

I've got three episodes of 'Doctor Who' to catch up on - "The Fires Of Pompeii", "The Planet Of The Ood", and "The Sontaran Strategem'". Plus we have the videos of two Liz Shaw solo adventures to finally watch - I hope!

Beyond that, maybe I'll get at least Mark caught up through the finale of the first season of 'Life On Mars'; I think we had two episodes left to go on that.

After that, who can say? One never knows what we'll end up watching, thanks to the bit torrent rebellion. Last time I was there in the Fortress, we watched not only "Partners In Crime", but also the very first episode of 'The French Chef' and Bette Midler's turn in "Gypsy".

So it's a mixed bag.

Wish me luck.....

Code Name: See/View Out!

Toby OB

(Pictured: Me, Team Markhael, and She Who Must Be Obeyed aka The Wire)


Sky One, a satellite channel over in Great Britain, has apparently dropped their plans to do a remake of 'The Prisoner' in partnership with Granada TV in favor of a remake of 'Blake's 7', the sci-fi cult series from the late 1970s.

This would probably be a "re-imagining" (a currently popular phrase in TV production) similar to 'Battlestar Galactica' and 'Bionic Woman'. However, this may be one of those rare instances when the remake is housed in the main Toobworld while the original is shunted off to an alternate dimension.

It all depends on who their "Big Bad" will be.....

The original series was about a group of freedom fighters on the run from the evil Federation. Now if Toobworld is supposed to be a fictional universe shared by as many TV shows as possible, then 'Blake's 7' had to go off to the evil mirror universe. That's because the Federation should be an alliance of niceness, as an intergalactic Maxwell Smart might say. Since their Federation is evil - EVILLLLL! - then the mirror universe has to be its home. (Ironically, the evil mirror universe was made most popular in the various 'Star Trek' series.)

If the crew of this new series is being hunted down by any other name for the "Big Bad", then it can come fly the friendly skies of Toobworld. Otherwise, it may have to join the same dimension shared by 'Battlestar Galactica' and 'The New Monkees'......

Toby OB

Tuesday, April 29, 2008


If it weren't for a last-minute head's-up from François O. Beaulieu, I would have missed recording last night's episode of 'The Big Bang Theory'. "The Nerdvana Annihilation" was about the guys chipping in to buy a replica of the time machine used in the 1960 movie version by George Pal. (The film starred Rod Taylor, Yvette Mimieux, Alan Young, and Sebastian Cabot.)

According to Francois, the sitcom used Fred Barton's Time Machine prop, which was made by John Rigg.

The characters thought they won an online auction to get a miniature version of the Time Machine, but instead got the full-sized model. There was a miniature version seen in the movie, but the original was lost in a 1961 fire at George Pal's home in Bel-Air.

The story of the nameless Time Traveler can be found in Toobworld as well. Sadly, it was a live BBC production from January 25, 1949, and no copy was preserved. One month later, with a partially re-written script, the production was again mounted, but still no copy was made.

There was a version broadcast in 1978 which starred John Beck, but it modernized and Americanized the story. Perhaps the only character to survive this translation was Weena, the beautiful Eloi from 802, 701 AD.

More interesting for Toobworld is how often the author of the story appears in Toobworld, in much the same way as other authors have done who share the same dimension as their fictional creations (like Mark Twain, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and coming soon via 'Doctor Who', Dame Agatha Christie).

Those who have played Wells on Television include:

Robert Burnier (H.G. Wells) . . . "Énigmes de l'histoire" (1956) {Le mystère de la Mary Celeste (#1.3)} TV Series

Hamilton Camp (H.G. Wells 2) . . . "Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman" (1993)

Terry Kiser (H.G. Wells 1) . . . "Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman" (1993)

Michael Sheen (H.G. Wells) . . . HG Wells: War with the World (2006) (TV)

Jeremy Sinden (H G Wells) . . . "BBC2 Playhouse" (1974) {Fothergill (#7.9)} TV Series

Tom Ward (II) (H. G. Wells) . . . "Infinite Worlds of H.G. Wells, The" (2001) (mini) TV Series

'Timecop' Logan met the young HG Wells while hunting Ian Pascoe in 1888 London after he took the place of Jack the Ripper. And this 'Timecop' episode ("A Rip In Time") can help splain away why Wells went through so many recastaways, even within the same series as was the case with 'Lois & Clark'. During the episode, we learned that Catherine Eddowes was murdered on November 7th, 1888. However, in the real world history, as well as in other televersions, Eddowes was killed on September 30th, 1888.
Therefore Logan traveled back in Time to an alternate TV dimension.

And this can be used for all of the other versions of HG Wells as seen on TV. 'Lois & Clark' already takes place in another dimension since the Superman of the main Toobworld was - and always will be - the one played by George Reeves in 'The Adventures of Superman'. (Even if he has passed away on Earth Prime-Time.)

If any of the HG Wells portrayers can be accepted as the official televersion of the author, I'd suggest it be Tom Ward as seen in the 2001 mini-series about Wells.

If you'd like to read more about the 1960 movie version of 'The Time Machine', then visit "
The Time Machine Project".

You can also read more about the movie prop

Toby OB

"It's seven years ago.... My time machine worked!"
Chandler Bing

Monday, April 28, 2008


'Torchwood' will soon exist in yet another fictional universe of Mankind's creative spark. Born in the TV Universe, it has a mirrored existence in the world of literature with tie-in novels and now will be part of the radio world as well.

Radio 4's "Afternoon Play" will broadcast during a day of programming dedicated to the CERN project. The 'Torchwood' story has Martha - still a member of UNIT, I would assume - calling on the team to check out the weird stuff happening at the CERN nuclear facility in Switzerland*. (This will take place either during June or July.)

(Outpost Gallifrey calls it Team Torchwood's first international adventure, but that's not true. Even though we didn't get to see them do it, the team went to Tibet at the request of Prime Minister Harold Saxon, which kept them out of the way when he took over the world in the 'Doctor Who' two-part finale for last season. The fact that the Doctor hit the magic reset button and negated most of everything that happened during the year Saxon reigned over Earth doesn't mean it never happened.)

The radio play features the vocal work of John Barrowman, Eve Myles, Freema Agyeman, and Gareth David-Lloyd. But because Burn Gorman and Naoko Mori are no longer in the cast and were not listed for this production, it is assumed this adventure will take place after the events in the 'Torchwood' second season finale. However, the scriptwriter Joseph Lidster says that Owen and Tosh will still play a role in the story. So they may be involved but unheard from during the play, and that would place this story line in the Torchwood timeline before the deaths of their characters.

There's always a chance that this adventure will be mentioned at some point in the future of the TV series. (At least, I'm hoping that there will be another season of 'Torchwood'!) But if so, then it will be an unseen adventure in Toobworld. The radio version will be a mirror universe depiction of the same event (in much the same way as we treat the 'Star Trek' movies when it comes to their place in the TV Universe).

Toby OB

*Here's an extra Tiddlywinkydink for you, since I missed out twice last week while on a mini-vacation at the Lake:

The European Organization for Nuclear Research known as CERN is the world's largest particle physics laboratory, situated in the northwest suburbs of Geneva on the border between France and Switzerland. The convention establishing CERN was signed on 29 September 1954. From the original 12 signatories of the CERN convention, membership has grown to the present 20 member states. Its main function is to provide the particle accelerators and other infrastructure needed for high-energy physics research. Numerous experiments have been constructed at CERN by international collaborations to make use of them.
- from Wikipedia


I once wrote about how the Doctor of the 'Doctor Who' TV series and that of the many novels - no matter which incarnation - are from different universes. The proof of that was in the last season, in connection to the stories 'Human Nature'/'Family of Blood' and 'Blink'. The original novel for 'Human Nature' was written for the Seventh Doctor; Sally Sparrow in the original short story from which 'Blink' was adapted was about 12 years old.

That same argument can be made for Hercule Poirot as well, because of the novel "Cards On The Table" and its adaptation starring David Suchet as the Belgian detective.

In the novel, Poirot was assisted by three other - "for want of a better term" as Ariadne Oliver said - sleuths in solving the murder of Mr. Shaitana. Ms. Oliver, the mystery novelist, Superintendent Battle of Scotland Yard, and Colonel Race of the Foreign Office. (That's probably code for "MI6 Spy".)

Colonel Race had appeared in a 'Poirot' production before "Cards On The Table"; he was played by James Fox in "Death On The Nile". However, Fox was not available for this continuation of the role, so the producers - bless their pea-picking hearts! - chose not to turn Race into a recastaway (and thus spared Toobworld Central the headache of splainin it away). Instead, the character's name was simply changed to Hughes and Robert Pugh - recently seen as the adult Jonah Bevan in the 'Torchwood' episode "Adrift") played the part.

(By not recasting the role, 'Poirot' is more "realistic" than shows like 'Seinfeld', 'Sherlock Holmes' and 'The Sopranos'.)

There was another alteration as well. Superintendent Battle of Scotland Yard became Superintendent Wheeler instead. And therefore, the worlds of literary Poirot and televised Poirot were sundered.

By the way, Poirot was portrayed on radio by John Moffatt (with Donald Sinden as Colonel Race) and that would be an entirely different universe as well - not just another dimension.

Toby OB

"Never trust the Welsh."
Ariadne Oliver
'Poirot: Cards On The Table'

That quote just seemed to jump out at me for some reason.... Bwahahaha!

Sunday, April 27, 2008


Recently the producers of a Welsh soap opera called 'Caerydydd' got in trouble for filming a sex scene in the men's room at the assembly building which houses their Senedd. (I guess similar to our Senate?)

The politicians were assured that the scene to be filmed for the series was to be one of conversation, but as it turned out it wasn't social intercourse that was going on in the scene.

'Caerdydd' takes place in Cardiff, Wales, and is broadcast in Welsh. (I believe it does have English sub-titles.) Here's a description of recent plotlines:
Love and lust at the cutting edge of capital city life – welcome back to 'Caerdydd'. There are new faces in town looking for a fresh start, and some familiar ones getting up to old tricks. Peter's realising his ambitions in the business world, but as ever it's his personal life that's causing him problems, while Osian is back and taking a gamble in the casino. New girl Natasha is desperate to climb the ladder in the media, but she'll have to knock Elen off her perch first. It won't be a surprise that Emyr’s love life is still as complicated as ever, but there will be surprises in store for Lea, Kate and just about everyone else!

There's lots to come in 'Caerdydd', and it's not just weddings, warnings and wake-up calls.

Someone’s found a body in the Bay…

So I'm wondering.... Could it be that the body in the Bay had something to do with 'Torchwood'?

I think it would be cool, speaking as a Toobworld cheerleader, if the writers of 'Caerdydd' snuck in a few references to 'Torchwood' - not as a show, but as actually sharing the same city! Nothing major - perhaps just references to weather disruptions caused by Rift activity, or acknowledgement that about ten explosions recently occurred around the city. Maybe being so bold as to actually show a Weevil skulking about in the background!
Beth ddeudi, producers chan 'Caerdydd'? Fel am yn ergydio asgwrn at hon 'n hen Deledu cariad? Gwna chyfundeb cyd-rhwng 'Torchwood' a 'ch arddangos.

If that's wrong, I'm sure I'll hear about it.....

Toby OB

"It's weevil season, but we were prepared."
Dwight Schrute
'The Office'


A lot of of "The Numbers" have been popping up recently in my viewings and none of them have been from 'Lost'.....

Going back to 1917, Lieutenant Arthur Styles arrived in Styles St. Mary by train in "The Mysterious Affair At Styles", a 'Poirot' two-parter. The number of the train's engine was "488".

ESPN is running their own version of what really happened when Bobby Thomson hit "the shot heard round the world" in a promotional blipvert. As baseball fans should know, Thomson's number was "23".
In a classic episode of 'Burke's Law' which was written by the team of Richard Levinson & William Link (who would go on to create 'Columbo'), Captain Burke had to figure out "Who Killed Merlin The Great". The magician Jack Merlin had been staying in room "416" at the hotel which was hosting the magicians' convention.

There were "16" classrooms in Luke Smith's new school, as Luke discovered in 'The Sarah Jane Adventures' episode "Revenge Of The Slitheen".

By taking care of items on Earl's list, Randy Hickey was able to stop Earl's slide into his coma just as the monitor ticked off to "15". He was then able to bring it back up immediately to "16".

One of the bikes that competed during a motocross rally in "The Man In The Mud" (an episode of 'Bones') was numbered "42".
Well, that's the latest crop of "The Numbers" that I've been able to find outside of 'Lost'......

I should have waited until I watched the repeat of Christopher Walken's recent stint as host on 'Saturday Night Live' before I posted. In a sketch about replacing the "dirty words" to be found in the musical 'Grease' for a high school production, Andy Samberg's character Lucas wore "23" on his jersey.....
Toby OB


Just a little tip for the day.....

I was a big fan of Agatha Christie mysteries when I was a teenager. Loved the Albert Finney portrayal of Poirot (at the time), and still love that movie on the whole. And I would go see the Ustinov films as well. But I was remiss in watching the adaptations starring David Suchet, until late last year. And now, either through the auspices of my friends M&M, or via Netflix, I'm catching up on them all.

If you're thinking of working your way through those mysteries that have so far been filmed (and here's hoping that Suchet can complete them all, including "Curtain"!), I have a suggestion for you......

Even though it was a bit later in the series, start off with "The Mysterious Affair At Styles". It tells how Poirot and Captain (then Lieutenant) Hastings first came to work together back in 1917.
After that, you could always follow the episode guide at, for I believe they are in proper order after that.....

Toby OB