Saturday, June 14, 2008


"The Unicorn And The Wasp", the 'Doctor Who' episode in which the Doctor met Agatha Christie, will be the source for plenty of televisiological material in the coming days. (I don't want to overwhelm visitors to Toobworld with all of it at once!)

First off, we'll keep it simple. At the time of their meeting in the summer of 1926, it's said that Mrs. Christie had written six books. Checking her bibliography, those books would be:


"The Mysterious Affair at Styles"
[Hercule Poirot, Arthur Hastings, Chief Inspector Japp]

"The Secret Adversary"
[Tommy and Tuppence]

"The Murder on the Links"
[Hercule Poirot, Arthur Hastings]
"The Man in the Brown Suit"
[Anne Beddingfeld, Colonel Race]

"The Secret of Chimneys"
[Superintendent Battle]

"The Murder of Roger Ackroyd"
[Hercule Poirot]

Those names in the brackets are the sleuths from each book.

It was stated in the episode that it was 1926. This means that when we flashed back to the previous Thursday, when Lady Clemency Eddison was re-reading "The Murder Of Roger Ackroyd" (one of Christie's most famous - and infamous - works), it's likely she had a first edition copy. And it would be one that she probably only read for the first time just a few months prior.

It's almost a shame that the Doctor met Agatha Christie even this "late" in her career. It might have been nice to speculate that he and Donna were the inspiration for Tommy and Tuppence, or that the Time Lord served as a sartorial model for "The Man In The Brown Suit".....
Toby OB


Maybe I'm just tired.

I had to finally turn off episode #2 after twenty minutes.

Of which I only saw seven, tops.

I kept nodding off and waking up to find new people or different conversations from where I left off.

But even so, could 'Charlie Jade' be any more dense and plodding than this?

I'm all for mood and atmosphere, but dammit! Give us some adventure!

It's feeling way too nihilistic and distopian for me.

I'll try it again when I'm more awake, but this may be a series in which I'll end up bailing out.

Toby OB

Friday, June 13, 2008


For all of his work on 'Meet The Press', and appearances in news specials, sports programs, and talk shows, Tim Russert also made his presence known in Toobworld. He even had roots there, what with family situated in the TV Baltimore!

In March of 1995, Russert visited Charm City in order to see his cousin Megan who was about to become Captain of the precinct. Not many people from the Trueniverse can claim to have kin who are fictional - Vera from 'Alice', related to Art Carney, comes to mind.

He didn't receive credit for his appearance in the 'Homicide: Life On The Street' episode "The Old And The Dead", but that doesn't matter in Toobworld.

I'm listening to the repeat of Tom Brokaw breaking the news, and from here I can tell he's barely keeping it together vocally.

This was proving to be a great year for Russert, as it was for all TV journalists, with the way the run-up to the November campaign has turned out so far. And he had just come back from a family trip to Italy which was in celebration of his son's graduation from college. It's nice to know that they had that quality time together.

As usual, the best I can offer is a rerun from Red Skelton: "May God Bless....."

Toby OB


With my pseudo-kids Sean & Gosia with their three children (including my god-daughter Rhiannon) over in Taiwan for the foreseeable future, we've found a way to recreate the experience of watching TV together like in the old days. With me using DVDs and Sean accessing - ahem! - other means, we've begun the experiment with 'How I Met Your Mother'.

I recommended the show, using the phrase "the 'Lost' of sitcoms" as my hook. They were a little apprehensive due to the laugh track, but they've now embraced it with enthusiasm. (Maybe because it's fresher in their minds, but they know details better than I do.)

So we finally reached the high point of the second season - "Slap Bet", perhaps the benchmark by which the series should be judged. When it was over, Sean went to MySpace (or was it FaceBook?) so that he and Gosia could watch "Let's Go To The Mall" in its entirety.

Which brings me to Today's TWD....

In the full version of the Robin Sparkles' music video "Let's Go To The Mall", Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney makes an appearance.

It's not really him, of course, just his televersion. Even if it wasn't apparent by comparing pictures of the two, the 'HIMYM' producers would never have cut him from the broadcast version. Maybe he's not a big draw down in the States as he might be north of the border, and I'm not sure if he's been able to recapture the heights of popularity he once enjoyed. But even so, CBS would have preferred using Mulroney's appearance as a marketing tool if it really was him. ('HIMYM' is always on the bubble when it comes time for renewal and it can be argued that the stunt casting of Britney Spears this year gave Les Moonves reason to bring it back one more year.)

At any rate, to make a short story long, since I think TV should be a teaching tool - even the sitcoms - here's a short [edited] bio of Brian Mulroney, courtesy of Wikipedia:

Martin Brian Mulroney PC CC GOQ (predominantly known as Brian Mulroney) (born March 20, 1939), was the eighteenth Prime Minister of Canada from September 17, 1984, to June 25, 1993; and was leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada from 1983 to 1993.

Widespread public resentment of the Goods and Services Tax, an economic slump, the dilapidation of his political coalition, and his lack of results regarding the Quebec situation caused Mulroney's popularity to decline considerably during his second term.

After retiring from politics, Mulroney resumed his earlier career as a lawyer and business consultant.

In 1998, Mulroney was accorded Canada's highest civilian honour when he was made a Companion of the Order of Canada.

In January 2004, Mulroney delivered a keynote speech in Washington, D.C. celebrating the tenth anniversary of the North American Free Trade Agreement. In June 2004, Mulroney presented a eulogy for former U.S. President Ronald Reagan during the latter's state funeral. Mulroney and former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher were the first foreign dignitaries to eulogize at a funeral for an American president.

Thirteen years after leaving office, Mulroney was named the 'greenest' Prime Minister in Canadian history by a 12-member panel at an event organized by Corporate Knights magazine.

Mulroney's legacy is complicated and even emotional. Mulroney makes the case that his once radical policies on the economy and free trade were not reversed by subsequent governments, and regards this as vindication. His Deputy Prime Minister Don Mazankowski said that his greatest accomplishment will be seen as, "Dragging Canada kicking and screaming into the 21st century." Mulroney's legacy in Canada is associated mostly with the 1988 Free Trade Agreement and the Goods and Services Tax (GST).

At the international level, Mulroney was one of Canada's most influential prime ministers. His emphasis on strong personal relationships with other leaders made him a successful advocate in fighting apartheid within the Commonwealth and beginning the process of mobilizing international efforts to combat global warming.

To all of that, we can now add that in Toobworld, Prime Minister Brian Mulroney appeared in Robin Sparkles' "Let's Go The Mall" music video, which supported the album "Make It Sparkle".
Toby OB

Thursday, June 12, 2008


Here's my latest batch of "The Numbers" from 'Lost', but found in other TV shows.
First off, Jimn responded to the last one by suggesting that Liz Lemon's apartment building in '30 Rock' could be considered one of "The Numbers". She lives at 160 Riverside Drive, so - just as 'Lost' would count the use of 16,000 miles off-course as a manifestation of the number, - yeah, I'll include this. ('30 Rock')
Skitlandia's version of 'Deal Or No Deal' still had three cases up on the stage. Numbers 8, 15, and.... 21? So close, but no DHARMA Initiative cigar! ('Saturday Night Live')

Thursday, May 22nd, marked the 16th anniversary of the last 'Tonight' show to be hosted by Johnny Carson.
Rosemary Boxer and Laura Thyme's jeep had the license plate "NHN 986 W". 9+8+6 = 23. ('Rosemary & Thyme')
The street number for the Clerkenwell in the "Achtung Baby" episode of 'Keen Eddie' is 42.
Giuseppe Casanetti's stateroom on the ocean liner was "4B". ('That Girl')
The 'Poirot' episode "The Disappearance of Mr. Davenheim" had several displays of "8" & "15". There was a police skiff dragging a lake that was numbered "8"; race car #15 spun out at the track in Brooklines; and car #8 pulled over behind Captain Hastings and Inspector Japp. Plus there was a racecar numbered "42" seen in the newsreel footage.While trying to determine "Who Killed The Fat Cat" (an episode of 'Burke's Law'), Sgt. Les Hart was poisoned with cyanide. It wasn't a lethal dose and with his stomach pumped, he was soon up and back on the case - against Captain Burke's wishes. But Les shrugged off any concerns - "What's a little cyanide after 23 years eating in our commissary?"

I mentioned the age of the soda crackers from "No Place Like Home" in the last collection, but totally forgot to bring up the most obvious use of "The Numbers" in that week's 'Lost' - found in Hurley's car! So Here's a screencap of it:

And from the last episode of the season, here's a time-travelling bunny, Number 15: BCnU!
Toby OB

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


I got two DVD collections today, but as one is a gift and that person might - just might check in here at Inner Toob, I figure I'll just let you know about one of the deliveries.....

'MY BOYS' - The Complete First Season
The new season begins this coming Thursday. It's not like I'll have the chance to work my way through these 22 episodes before then, but I'll probably check out the special features.

Included are:

  • Life in the Press Box
  • Sports Quiz
  • Favorites in Sports
  • PJ's Rules for Sports and Dating
  • No Crying In Baseball: Bloopers
  • Riding the Pine: Deleted Scenes
  • Minisodes:
    - "Silver Spoons": Me and Mr. T
    - "Diff'rent Strokes": Mr. T and Mr. I

Not sure what those last two are about and being a crossover fanatic, I find them the most intriguing.

A nice final b'day present to myself!

Toby OB


BBQs Galore has unspooled a new blipvert to celebrate their grills, just in time for prime summer outdoor cookin'. At a barbecue, a chicken is chatting up the guy who's running the grill and asks if there's any chance the guy can fix him up on a date with a cute girl at the pool party.


"Doubt it," says the guy. And he daubs the chicken with BBQ sauce.

As with most food in the TV Universe, the chicken accepts its fate and is actually impressed with the type of sauce that's going to be used.


Undead, denuded, headless chickens are nothing new in Toobworld. We saw two of them cutting the rug in Peter Gabriel's music video for "Sledgehammer". And based on the blipvert, most people in the TV Universe accept the reality of it.

Toby OB

Tuesday, June 10, 2008



Richard Gordon is an Iddiot of good standing in the Idiot's Delight Digest, a Yahoo group dedicated to legendary free-form deejay Vin Scelsa (now heard on Sirius radio). In today's group mailing, he provided a link to a recent blipvert for the Washington state lottery.

I wouldn't be surprised to find out that the area seen in the commercial was the live-action version of "Bloom County"......

Toby OB

Monday, June 9, 2008


Just an update on my contention that the TV dimension in which "The Andromeda Strain" takes place was created due to the actions of Dan Vasser, the 'Journeyman'......
Here's the original screen capture I used for "vid-paper", as seen in 'Journeyman'.

And here are two shots of its use in "The Andromeda Strain". (General Mancheck referred to it as "e-paper".)
And here's a picture of that new TV dimension's President in action:

William J. Scott

Toby OB

Sunday, June 8, 2008


In March of 2002, when AOL disabled AOLPress and thus made it harder for me to post to the old Tubeworld Dynamic, Jim McKay was inducted into the TV Crossover Hall of Fame along with Bob Costas. This was in recognition of their upcoming work on the Olympics together, the twelfth that involved McKay. He worked for the three major networks over the years and will be forever remembered for how he stepped into the fray to cover the hard news at the Munich games of 1972.

And we'll always hear his voice in our minds when we hear the phrase "the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat".

Jim McKay passed away Saturday, ironically on the day of the running in the Belmont Stakes. (McKay used to cover the Triple Crown as well.)

As Red Skelton would say, "May God Bless......"

Toby OB

[McKay is pictured working for CBS on 'The Verdict Is Yours'.]


Armin Shimerman has been on 'Boston Legal' for a few years now in a recurring role as Judge Brian Cooper. He's even been at the center of at least one major storyline on the series.

In 2007, he also appeared in an episode of the soap opera 'The Young & The Restless' as Judge Graham Roberts, presiding over a trial in Genoa City, Wisconsin.

They have different surnames and they live in different parts of the country, but it'll be my contention that Judges Cooper and Roberts are twin brothers.

I have no clue as to who their mother might have been, so the field is wide open for contenders. She could have been a dwarf for all that I know. But in my theory, she became pregnant out of wedlock, from an affair with a married man. And rather than raise the children in shame, she gave them up for adoption.

As it turned out, nobody wanted to adopt them both to raise together. Instead, one baby was raised in Massachusetts by the Coopers, and the other was raised in Wisconsin by the Roberts family.

Every so often here in the Trueniverse, you hear about siblings raised apart from each other and yet their lives echo the other's. So the case would be here, with Brian and Graham both entering into Law and eventually sitting on the bench.

And that would be the end of it; it's a theory of relateeveety which I've raised in the past in similar situations (right down to the two participants becoming judges, even). But there's one final twist I want to propose......

I think their father was the late Douglas Brackman, Sr., former senior partner of the MacKenzie-Brackman-Cheney law firm in Los Angeles. He was often mentioned on 'L.A. Law' by his former partner, Leland MacKenzie, and by his son Douglas Brackman, Jr.

And as it turned out, Brackman couldn't keep it in his pants.

Throughout the run of the series, Doug Brackman kept running into half-siblings like Gordon Salt and Erroll Farrell. And at least one of them ended up being a judge as well.

So even though there's no proof to support this theory, there's not going to be much of a chance it'll be contradicted either.

Toby OB

"I'm more like my father than I thought.
I wanted to be the lawyer he was, the man he was.
Turns out we both just like to cheat on our wives
Douglas Brackman, Jr.
'L.A. Law'