Saturday, July 19, 2008


Act Three of 'Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog' is up. If you haven't checked out this brilliant melange of the Internet, TV, superhero comic books, and Broadway musicals, then let the games begin! You've only got until Sunday night to see it for free at

With the finale, my wish was granted and we got to meet other super-powered meta-humans in this corner of the Whedon-verse. No other heroes - one jackass like Captain Hammer was enough! - but plenty of villains including the members of the Evil League of Evil.
Unfortunately we never got to see Conflict Diamond, Bait 'n' Switch, or Hourglass. But there was the Purple Pimp and the Pink Pummeler, who were lower-level villains - not League membership quality, but definitely above the Henchmen's Union. (When I saw the Pink Pummeler in his bedroom festooned with stuffed animals, I thought maybe the "PP" on his chest stood for Pink Pugilist. To me, considering my understanding of the character, I think that name works better.)

Best of all, we gained access to the Inner Sanctum of the Evil League of Evil! Led by Bad Horse, the roster of members include:

Professor Normal
Dead Bowie
Fake Thomas Jefferson
Fury Leika

The kicker was Bad Horse himself. Although there was quite a bit of online speculation that Penny would turn out to be Bad Horse, the Thoroughbred of Sin was revealed to be an actual horse!

This makes the Toobmeister very happy.


[Still working on my laugh....]

Obviously, Bad Horse ties into 'Gulliver's Travels', which was produced for Television in a mini-series starring Ted Danson as Lemuel Gulliver. During his journeys, Gulliver ended up on the Isle of the Houyhnhm where the horses are intelligent and are able to communicate.

This also ties in to the classic sitcom 'Mr. Ed', as it's always been a Toobworld theory that Ed came from the Houyhnhm homeland himself. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised to find out that Bad Horse was descended from Mr. Ed, perhaps his great-grandson!

Joss Whedon has plenty of plans percolating in his brain for the future of the character of Dr. Horrible. Apparently there's an online comic already (although I haven't yet gone looking for it), but a graphic novel and perhaps more webisodes could be coming our way as well.

In the meantime, you can purchase the entire musical via iTunes right now and a DVD will be forthcoming. I urge you to support this project by buying a copy - and PLEASE! - don't go downloading freebies from bit torrent sources. I know, I've seen plenty of stuff from bit torrent, but I've never felt any of those prgrams were in danger of losing out because of illegal downloads. But this is something special, an experiment that needs to be nurtured so that we can get more of Dr. Horrible in the future!

Toby OB

Friday, July 18, 2008


Over in Alan Sepinwall's blog, "What's Alan Watching?", commenter "Pirate Alice" pointed out that Felicia Day of 'Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog' was also in a Cheetos commercial that also took place in a laundromat (which Melanie confirmed).

However, in the online musical she's known as Penny, while Chester Cheetah addressed her as Felicia in the blipvert.

As Penny in 'Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog'

As Felicia in Cheetos

I keep thinking there must be a way to make them both one and the same person......

Here's one option:

Felicia is not Felicia Day in the Cheetos ad. They just happen to share the same name, like Mary Richards and Mary Tyler Moore.

But within the reality of Toobworld, Felicia hates her first name and refuses to use it. (Not her fault if some Cheetah crossover from the Tooniverse uses it in public.)

In order to avoid anybody else from calling out that detested name in public, she tells everyone that her name is Penny instead.

Simple splainin!

Toby OB


Ed Bernero told Michael Ausiello of that discussions are proceeding between ABC Studios and CBS for a spin-off to 'Criminal Minds'. "It's safe to say there will be something soon," he said. "We had talked about it from the beginning, but something always got in the way of it happening… like Mandy [Patinkin] leaving and the strike. But it's definitely gaining momentum now."

Currently they are "looking at all of the things the FBI does and how we can work that into the 'Criminal Minds' world." Whatever the new aspect turns out to be,
more than likely it will be introduced within 'Criminal Minds' next year, later in the upcoming season.

But it doesn't look as though this spin-off will involve any of the current members of the cast. "We're very happy with the team we have," Bernero said. "On the other hand, it's possible characters could be on both shows… All options are open."

Toby OB


For 28 years, Clive Hornby has played Jack Sugden on the ITV soap opera 'Emmerdale'. He wasn't the first to play the role; that distinction went to Andrew Burt. But Hornby went on to make the part his - even to the point of marrying the actress who was playing his on-screen wife.

Clive Hornby has died at the age of 63. He left 'Emmerdale' in January because of illness.

Among the other shows in which he appeared were 'Minder', 'Get Some In', and 'Space: 1999'. During the sixties he was the drummer for the group the Dennisons, which compared favorably to the Beatles (with whom they shared a bill at the Cavern Club).

Even though his role on 'Emmerdale' had been played by another actor in the past, I'm thinking that Hornby's longevity as Jack Sugden will make it impossible to bring in a recastaway. But that's just my opinion; I've never seen the show, so I have no idea if it would be feasible to seek out a new actor....

Clive Hornby is survived by his son, Thomas.
Toby OB

Thursday, July 17, 2008


Part Two of 'Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog' is up. I kept checking for it during the overnight hours, but it wasn't there. I worried about Part Two as I kept checking throughout the overnight to see if it was up yet.

But it's up now and I caught it earlier today. As always with the middle section in trilogies, I thought it was not as "WOW" as with the first, and the songs not as memorable as "Laundry Day" ("Freeze Ray"?) and "Bad Horse". (Not sure about the actual titles.)

But it's still a pleasurable experience and I can't wait to see how it all wraps up. I think the highlight for me came at the end when Captain Hammer revealed that he knew Billy was Captain Horrible. And then that muscle-bound jerk tormented the poor guy with his plans for Penny. Especially loved his need to come back and explain his innuendo about his hammer. What a schmuck! I'm glad Nathan Filion makes it so easy to hate him even though he's the "hero".
As expected, Neil Patrick Harris is brilliant as Billy/Dr. Horrible. Perhaps the drop in my enthusiasm could be that there was more of Billy than of Dr. Horrible, but even so NPH is still a pleasure to watch. And Simon Helberg as his life of crime buddy Moist nails it with his delivery. He should patent his style! (And so they don't feel slighted - as if they'd visit it here! - Filion and Felicia Day were very good as well.)

More characters, mostly super-villains, were named this week. I hope that with a threat against Dr. Horrible's life from the Evil League of Evil, we might actually get to see Bad Horse, Conflict Diamond, Bait and Switch, and other super villains show up in the finale.

Most of this post I used as a comment over at Joe's blog, "I Am A TV Junkie". But I'm feeling a tad lazy in this 90+ degree heat and didn't see the need to type it all over again.....

Toby OB


Every time I read that another character actor has passed away, Joni Mitchell shows up in my head: "You don't know what you've got til it's gone."

Sometimes their work is just so good, it becomes expected. And even when you don't see them as often anymore, you just expect that sooner or later they'll show up in your new favorite shows.

It was that way with Henry Beckman for me. He first entered my consciousness as Clancey in 'Here Come The Brides', and made enough of an impression that I made a point to remember his name immediately. After that, it always brought a smile to my face to see him turn up in small guest turns in TV shows and even the movies - "Silver Streak" being the best example for me of that.

He was equally at home in sitcoms as well as dramas. I think his forte was playing cops - patrolmen as well as detectives - but he also counted several district attorneys, scientists, military officers, and a herd of cowboys among his characters.

I guess the last time I actually saw him in anything would have been his guest appearances on 'The X-Files' for the Eugene Tooms stories. And I remember thinking that for the role of a long-retired, grizzled old police detective, they couldn't have found anyone better than Henry Beckman. Although had the show not been filming in Vancouver, they might have tried.

Henry Beckman passed away at the age of 86 on June 17th.

Here is the registry of characters from Toobworld whom Henry Beckman brought to life:

"Check It Out" - Alf Scully

"Here Come the Brides" - Captain Roland Francis Clancey

"Peyton Place" - George Anderson

"Flash Gordon" - Commander Paul Richards

"The X Files" - Detective Frank Briggs
Squeeze (24 September 1993)
Tooms (22 April 1994)

"Werewolf" - Doc
Nightwatch (18 July 1987)
King of the Road (7 February 1988)

"Run Buddy Run"
Steam Bath & Chicken Little (12 September 1966) - Jake
Goodbye, Wendell (21 November 1966) - Jake

"My Living Doll"
Boy Meets Girl (27 September 1964) - Dr. Carl Miller
Uninvited Guest (11 October 1964) - Dr. Carl Miller

"The Lieutenant"
The Alien (28 December 1963) - Major Barker
O'Rourke (4 January 1964) - Major Barker
Between Music and Laughter (25 January 1964) - Major Al Barker

"The Chris Isaak Show"
Our Place (25 June 2001) - Old Janitor

"Cold Squad"
The Unsinkable Iwa Gudang (31 March 2001) - Old Man Douglas

"Honey, I Shrunk the Kids: The TV Show"
Honey, I'm Not Just Clowning Around (29 May 1999) - The Judge

"The Sentinel"
The Waiting Room (1 March 1999)

"The Marshal"
Rainbow Comix (11 September 1995)

"The Outer Limits"
Under the Bed (26 May 1995) - Brad Hoffman

"The X Files"
Chinga (8 February 1998) - Old Man

"The Commish"
The Witches of Eastbridge (31 October 1992) - Dr. Kranz

"The Ray Bradbury Theater"
The Handler (27 October 1992) - Mr. Merriwell Blythe

"Street Justice"
The Long Way Home (2 May 1992) - Pine's Father

Rush to Judgement (16 April 1990) - Judge

Booker (24 September 1989) - Judge Alvarez

"The Beachcombers"
Constance (1 January 1989) - Blackie Bowman

"Street Legal"
Equal Partners (9 December 1988) - Saul Gold
Murder (4 January 1991) - Lou Staples

"St. Elsewhere"
Ewe Can't Go Home Again (21 October 1987)

"Simon & Simon"
I Thought the War Was Over (5 March 1987) - Mr. Brennan

His Majesty Donlon (23 November 1985) - William Rosenkrantz

The Lady Killer (25 September 1984)

"Matt Houston"
Criss-Cross (27 January 1984) - Talbot

"Seeing Things"
Someone Is Watching (22 January 1984) - Harper

"Trapper John, M.D."
The Final Cut (6 November 1983)

"The Littlest Hobo"
Guardian Angel (3 April 1980) - Priest

"The Rockford Files"
Deadlock in Parma (10 January 1980) - Sheriff Neal

"Welcome Back, Kotter"
The Breadwinners (8 June 1979) - Samson Malone

"Fantasy Island"
Superstar/Salem (25 March 1978) - Mr. Weaver

"The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams"
A Gentleman Tinker (8 February 1978)

"Happy Days"
Nose for News (13 December 1977) - Professor Garrity

"Quincy M.E."
Let Me Light the Way (27 May 1977) - Leonard 'Bell' Bellwood
Matters of Life and Death (20 January 1978) - Chief of Police Hartman
Money Plague (15 November 1979) - Sheriff Tom Brady
Dead Stop (23 December 1981) - Max
On Dying High (9 February 1983)

"King of Kensington"
The Hero (1 January 1977)
Gladys' Teddy Bear (1 January 1977) - Teddy Bear

"The Lost Saucer"
Androids Come Home (31 October 1975) - Commander Stickler

"The Family Holvak"
The Devil's Chariot (26 October 1975) - Skinner

"The Six Million Dollar Man"
The Price of Liberty (28 September 1975) - Robert Meyer

"Kolchak: The Night Stalker"
Mr. R.I.N.G. (10 January 1975) - Sen. Duncan 'LaBeau' Stephens

The Avenger (30 October 1974) - Billy Burrows

"Marcus Welby, M.D."
Feedback (29 October 1974)

"Barney Miller"
The Life and Times of Barney Miller (22 August 1974)
Hair (17 April 1975) - Lyman Cooper

Man Running (2 January 1974) - Reverend Matthews

"The Starlost"
The Return of Oro (15 December 1973) - William

"Police Story"
Man on a Rack (11 December 1973) - Garbash
To Steal a Million (4 February 1975) - Captain Calvelli

The Killing (30 October 1973) - Stanley Hollister

"Here's Lucy"
Lucy, the Wealthy Widow (1 October 1973) - Truck Driver

"The Sixth Sense"
Whisper of Evil (8 April 1972) - Mr. Bennington

"Owen Marshall: Counselor at Law"
Until Proven Innocent (9 December 1971) - Mr. Harlen

"Funny Face"
Don't Worry, I'll Manage (20 November 1971) - Pat Harwell

The Specialists (28 October 1971)

"Love, American Style"
- (segment "Love and the Guilty Conscience")

"Night Gallery"
They're Tearing Down Tim Riley's Bar (20 January 1971) - Officer McDermott

"The Immortal"
Dead Man, Dead Man (3 December 1970) - Dr. Kinneson

"The Interns"
Some Things Don't Change (2 October 1970) - Miller

The Smallest Diamond in the World (1 October 1970) - Marcus

Log 51: A Jumper, Code 2 (15 February 1969) - Charles Levering

"The Outsider"
The Secret of Mareno Bay (15 January 1969) - Sheriff Damon

"I Dream of Jeannie"
The Used Car Salesman (4 November 1968) - Policeman

Child (22 September 1968) - Charlie Matson
A Time to Die (21 March 1971) - Doctor Phelps

"The Iron Horse"
The Prisoner (30 December 1967) - Dr. Thompson

The Raiders (27 December 1967) - Claude Ostler

"The Virginian"
A Place to Die (8 November 1967) - Corey

"The Andy Griffith Show"
Aunt Bee, the Juror (23 October 1967) - Mr. Gilbert, the Prosecutor

The Cost of a Vacation (21 October 1967)
Harvest of Death (19 November 1972) - Sheriff Simkins
"The Second Hundred Years"
A Simple Son of the Soil (4 October 1967) - Ralph Wilson

The Leaf in the Forest (21 September 1967) - Orator
Achilles' Heel (17 February 1972) - Durand
All Honorable Men (8 March 1973) - Clark Andrews
Fall of an Angel (19 December 1974) - The Angel

"The Monkees"
The Picture Frame (18 September 1967) - D.A.
The Monkee's Paw (29 January 1968) - Manager

"The Flying Nun"
The Flying Nun (7 September 1967) - Major Overland

Locusts Have No King (28 May 1967) - Manny
The Hermit (26 June 1970) - Trappist Superior

"Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre"
To Sleep, Perchance to Scream (10 May 1967) - Lieutenant Schaeffer

How to Fail in Business with All Kinds of Help (6 April 1967) - Mr. Wilkerson
Once in a Vial (4 January 1968) - Bill Walters

It Ain't the Principle, It's the Money (31 March 1967)

To Steal the Rising Sun (24 February 1967) - Michael O'Brien

"Blue Light"
Traitor's Blood (9 February 1966) - Schreiber

"McHale's Navy"
La Dolce 73 (25 January 1966) - Col. Douglas Harrigan

"The Wild Wild West"
The Night of the Torture Chamber (10 December 1965) - Governor Bradford
The Night of the Vicious Valentine (10 February 1967) - Paul J. Lambert

"Honey West"
A Matter of Wife and Death (8 October 1965) - Cody

"Run for Your Life"
Someone Who Makes Me Feel Beautiful (27 September 1965) - American
The Face of the Antagonist (30 January 1967) - Hank Kellogg

"The Munsters"
Hot Rod Herman (27 May 1965) - 'Leadfoot' Baylor
Herman, Coach of the Year (14 October 1965) - Ralph, the Husband

"The Man from U.N.C.L.E."
The Brain-Killer Affair (8 March 1965) - Dr. George Tower

Dateline (23 February 1965) - Major Mueller

"The Jack Benny Program"
Andy Williams Show (9 October 1964) - Joe - Butcher
The Stradivarius Story (12 February 1965) - Commercial Man

"The Greatest Show on Earth"
Of Blood, Sawdust, and a Bucket of Tears (17 March 1964) - Spike Samson

"The Great Adventure"
Rodger Young (24 January 1964)

"Death Valley Days"
Sixty-Seven Miles of Gold (14 January 1964) - Michael Parpey
Along Came Mariana (11 May 1967) - Franklin

"My Favorite Martian"
The Man on the Couch (3 November 1963) - Lt. Harland
Going, Going, Gone (2 February 1964) - Ronald Bradley, Assistant D.A.

"The Fugitive"
Never Wave Goodbye: Part 1 (8 October 1963) - Airplane Passenger
Fatso (19 November 1963) - Brown
World's End (22 September 1964) - Keller

"Arrest and Trial"
Isn't It a Lovely View (22 September 1963) - Trella

"Dr. Kildare"
The Legacy (13 December 1962) - Salesman

"Have Gun - Will Travel"
Beau Geste (13 October 1962) - Hogan

Quint Asper Comes Home (29 September 1962) - Duff
Uncle Sunday (15 December 1962) - Uncle Sunday Meachem
Cowtown Hustler (11 March 1974) - Thaddius McKay
The Guns of Cibola Blanca: Part 1 (23 September 1974) - Dr. Rhodes
The Guns of Cibola Blanca: Part 2 (30 September 1974) - Dr. Rhodes

"Sam Benedict"
A Split Week in San Quentin (22 September 1962) - Gerald Spanglor

"Route 66"
Hell Is Empty, All the Devils Are Here (25 May 1962) - Wasson

"Father of the Bride"
The Duchess (13 April 1962) - Police Sergeant

The Turn of the Wheel (3 April 1962)

Buttons and Bones (26 March 1962) - Manager

"Ben Casey"
All the Clocks Are Ticking (26 March 1962) - Curt Bowers
In Case of Emergency, Cry Havoc (3 January 1966)
"Target: The Corruptors"
Silent Partner (8 December 1961)
License to Steal (4 May 1962) - Gil Dayton

"Cain's Hundred"
Crime and Commitment: Part 2 (26 September 1961) - Sgt. Kaline

"The Asphalt Jungle"
The Friendly Gesture (16 April 1961) - Dunn

"Dennis the Menace"
The Christmas Horse (25 December 1960) - Mr. Flemming
The Lucky Piece (17 December 1961) - Clerk

"The DuPont Show with June Allyson"
Silent Panic (22 December 1960)
A Great Day for a Scoundrel (13 February 1961) - Police Officer

"Two Faces West"
The Man in 204 (5 December 1960)

"The Twilight Zone"
A Thing About Machines (28 October 1960) - Policeman
Valley of the Shadow (17 January 1963) - Man

"Perry Mason"
The Case of the Flighty Father (11 June 1960) - David
The Case of the Captain's Coins (13 January 1962) - Garth
The Case of the Wrongful Writ (6 May 1965) - Albert King
The Case of the Dead Ringer (17 April 1966) - William March

"Mr. Lucky"
His Maiden Voyage (26 March 1960) - Huey

"Black Saddle"
Mr. Simpson (22 January 1960) - Richard Talbott

"The Ann Sothern Show"
The Woman Behind the Throne (4 January 1960) - Chairman

"Peter Gunn"
Death Is a Red Rose (19 October 1959) - Jules Burnett

"Captain Gallant of the Foreign Legion"
Esprit de Corps (20 March 1955) - Pvt. Miller

"Studio One"
Confessions of a Nervous Man (30 November 1953) - Harry

"The Philco Television Playhouse"
Pretend I Am a Stranger (22 July 1951)

"The Great Detective"
Bloodhounds Can't Fly (????) - Pete Stevens

"I Spy"
The Amateur (????)

"The New Breed"
Episode #1.33 (????) - Sergeant Rayless

Dream Fix (????) - Frank Bandiner

"Police Station"
Episode #1.1 (????) - Detective Stan Abramson

I apologize for taking so long with this tip of the hat, but the size of his contributions to Toobworld proved daunting. However, to make up for the delay, I decided to hold off with his Hat Squad tribute until now so that he could be the subject of Inner Toob post #2900.

It's not much of an honor, I suppose, but hopefully 'twill serve.

Toby OB


Lesley Sharp played Skye Silvestri in "Midnight", the latest episode of 'Doctor Who' to air in the United States.

I've already theorized that the episode takes place around the same time as 'Star Trek', in the 23rd Century - Mankind has reached out to the stars,and perhaps over-reached with their aspirations.

There have been other TV characters by the name of Silvestri, mostly from Italian TV shows, and it looks like all of them are set in the current era (from the 20th Century onwards).

There's always the possibility that Skye is descended from one of these other members of Clan Silvestri. And just because she had a British accent doesn't disqualify her from being related to these Italians, nor to the American branch of the Silvestri family tree.

If she is descended from one of the Silvestri women listed below, then more than likely Silvestri is their married name, and it would be one of their sons who is the father of Skye's family lineage. That's not to say a Silvestri daughter couldn't keep her own name and passed it on to her own offspring, but in general the TV Universe can be a pretty conservative place.

Here are the various members of the Silvestri tribe, brought together by the

Victor Bevine (Jay Silvestri)
. . . "Models Inc." (1994)
{Be My, Be My Baby (#1.2)}

Val Bisoglio (Ralph Silvestri)
. . . "All in the Family" (1971)
{Archie Sees a Mugging (#2.18)}

Runar Bystrøm (Luca Silvestri (139 episodes 1998-1999))
. . . "Venner og fiender" (1998)

Michele D'Anca (Gabriele Silvestri (2000))
. . . "Incantesimo 3" (2000)

Niklas Engdahl (Toni Silvestri (-1999))
. . . "Vänner och fiender" (1996)

Ciro Esposito (I) (Ciro Silvestri)
. . . "Don Matteo" (2000)
{Comma 23 (#4.7)}

Stuart Fratkin (Larry Silvestri)
. . . "Murder One" (1995)
{Chapter Ten, Year Two (#2.10)}

Richard Guedj (Silvestri)
. . . "Derniers témoins" (1978)
{L'affaire du 'train d'or' (#1.1)}

Vittorio Mezzogiorno (Dott. Silvestri)
. . . "Diagnosi" (1975)

Jacques Perrin (Professeur Silvestri)
. . . In fondo al cuore (1997)

Richard Sammel (Silvestri)
. . . "Commissario De Luca, Il" (2008)

Mattia Sbragia (Avv. Mattia Silvestri)
. . . "Prete tra noi, Un" (1997)

Óscar O. Sánchez (Franco Silvestri)
. . . "Donna Leon" (2000)
{Vendetta (#1.1)}

Scilla Gabel (Paola Silvestri)
. . . "Dov'è Anna" (1976)

Gianna Paola Scaffidi (Ada De Silvestri)
. . . "Boris" (2007)
{Qualità o morte (#1.4)}
{Una giornata particolare (#1.12)}

Toby OB


In November, long-running British cop show 'The Bill' will team up with a German police series, 'SOKO Leipzig', for a special marking the 25th anniversary of 'The Bill'. It will be filmed both in Britain and in Germany with both production companies involved sharing the footage. The German version will be somewhat different from the British version as ZDF will take the footage to present their own version of the story. (I'm not sure if this means we'll just have a different viewpoint or that it should be relegated to an alternate dimension because of any possible discrepancies between the two.)

Hopefully I'll be able to track down at least the British version of the special crossover. Barring that, there will probably be plenty of pictures to be found on the web as the date of the broadcast draws closer.

Toby OB

(Thanks to Medium Rob for the news link!)


"Medium Rob" over at the blog 'The Medium Is Not Enough' (link to the left!) has issued a meme challenge - to list the three favorite episodes of 'Doctor Who' - but from the updated version (since 2005) only.

I like that it's limited to only three. That makes for quite the challenge! And I'm going to resist the urge to add a postscript along the lines of "Oh, if only it had been five or ten episodes, then I would have added....."

One good thing about this meme is that there are only four seasons of thirteen episodes (plus Christmas specials) to sort through. Even so, I nearly forgot the most important one, what with this failing melon-head of mine! Thankfully, a few other meme respondents picked it as well which brought it back to mind.

So here are my picks:

Last year, this episode won the Toobit Award (this humble blog's annual version of the Emmys) for "Best Episode, Any Show, Any Genre". Probably the scariest thing I have ever watched and it still creeps me out. And best of all, it frightened the living bleep out of my brother who watched it at our lake cottage in the middle of the night all alone. Can't beat that with a stick!

Unlike some, I'm a big fan of the historicals and the way the Doctor gets woven into the established narrative. This episode was the first of several for the new 'Who' and it also serves as a good example for another requirement - for me - in choosing the great episodes - casting. Simon Callow IS the official Toobworld representative for Charles Dickens, which should be no surprise as he has had experience in playing the role in the past.

What can I say? I'm a TV crossover nut and the latest episode delivered in spades. I think it will serve as the definition of "fanwank"! RTD brought all of the show's spin-offs together in the TARDIS and gave them all their moments to shine - even Jackie! Plus there are the marvelous performances by Bernard Cribbins and Catherine Tate in her swan song as Donna Noble. (I originally typed Tate's name as actually being Donna Noble - that's how good she was in the role!)

So let me know what three episodes of "nu-Who" would you pick to be your favorites. Post them here in the comments, or do so on your own blog to keep it going. (And let me know of the link to them!)

Because of the limitation set by the meme, I'm now going to issue my own challenge - List the three best guest stars in the updated version of 'Doctor Who'. Again, post your choices in the comments section or on your own blog and send me the link.

My three choices for best guest stars would be:

Throughout the episode, Professor Yana was an endearing old sort, rather hobbity in a way; and then in five minutes, the world was turned upside down as he was revealed to be the Master! All it took was five minutes to have you longing to see him remain in that role for episodes to come. Knowing that was not to be, I relish those five minutes every time I watch it now.

SIMON CALLOW, "The Unquiet Dead"
Basically I listed my reasons above. He brings life to what could have been a stuffy historical recreation, even surrounded by the other-worldly Gelth.

ZOE WANAMAKER, "The End Of The World"
As Cassandra O'Brien the flesh trampoline, it was all in the eyes, the moue of the mouth, and that silky/smoky voice. That's all that she had to work with and she became one of the best villains ever to cross paths with the Doctor.

Besides, she's family.....

Again, the challenge is in limiting it to three. I have another in mind, but I can showcase that character (not giving away gender) in a later meme idea I have.....

Remember - let me know here of your choices, or provide the link to where you're posting them.

And if you want to read Medium Rob's choices as well as those of his faithful followers, my fellow MINErs,
click here.

Toby OB

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


How can you tell it's my day off lately?

I post more often!

And I have more time to play around online......*

JibJab has a new viral video up of their talking heads cut-outs to the tune of "The Times, They Are A-Changin'". And like other videos they've produced, these can be sent out to your friends with your face added in.

So here's what it looks like with your host, Toby OB as Mr. Average Citizen:
I gotta say, they certainly were complimentary with my figure! Because if they left me to look as I normally do, I might as well have been JibJabba the Hut!

If you want to watch the video,
click here.

Toby OB

*I don't mean it THAT way, but um, yeah, that way too......


Talk show host Les Crane was the first to mount a challenge to Johnny Carson for the late night audience... and was the first to fall before the might of 'Tonight'. This past Sunday he passed away at the age of 74.

He had been working for ABC-owned radio station KGO when the Alphabet network transferred him over to their local affiliate. From there he moved to WABC in New York in 1963, where the show underwent a change from 'Night Line... With Les Crane' to 'The Les Crane Show'.

The New York Times called him "the bad boy of late night television", saying that he was a Calling him "the bad boy of late night television," The New York Times"public relations expert, complaint-department chief, psychiatrist and tough hero to thecallers."

Les Crane conducted the first TV interview with the Rolling Stones in June of 1964. And based on his ratings in the 1 am hour, the network decided to bump him up to the 11:30 slot. In his first week, his guests were Richard Burton, Shelley Winters, Melvin Belli, and the mother of Lee Harvey Oswald.

But then on November 9th, 1964, Crane faced off against Carson on a national stage and a few months later, his show was cancelled.

In 1968, Les Crane tried again with another talk show on WNEW in New York, and also appeared as an actor in several TV series.

These are the TV characters he contributed to Toobworld:

I Love a Mystery (1973) (TV) .... Jack Packard

"Love, American Style"
- Love and the Advice Givers (1969) .... Mel

"It Takes a Thief"
- A Thief Is a Thief (1968)

"Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre"
- Wipeout (1967) .... Commentator

"The Virginian"
- Nightmare at Fort Killman (1967) .... Captain MacDowell

"Burke's Law"
- Who Killed the Card? (1965) .... Holton Rocket

Toby OB


I had a great way to end my work week last night - I was introduced to George Wendt!

If you don't know who George is, I've gotta wonder what you're doing here at Inner Toob!

As Norm Peterson, George is a member of the Five-Timers Club. For those who are not among the TV Crossover Cognoscenti, the Five-Timers are those TV characters who have appeared in five or more TV series. So this was a big thrill for me to meet him.

Luckily for the ol' Toobmeister, my friend Karen told him about my O'Bsession with the TV Universe, so we got to talking about how Norm is a member of the Five-Timers Club. He pointed out 'The Simpsons' and 'Family Guy', the latter toon being one that I didn't know about. (I didn't want to scare him off, so I didn't point out that those two shows would be consigned to the Tooniverse.)

I knew he had five live-action series under his belt, but I couldn't remember the last one. There was no need for me to be embarrassed by that admission, because as we ran through the list, it turned out he couldn't remember the fifth one either!

So it was off to the to find the answer!

'St. Elsewhere'

And the fifth Cylon - er, series which we couldn't remember?

'The Tortellis'

Man, now I'm embarrassed that I've yet to induct him into the TV Crossover Hall of Fame!

It looks like I may be seeing more of him hanging out there this summer, as he's playing Edna Turnblad in 'Hairspray' a few blocks away.....
Toby OB


I was reading Les Crane's obituary in the New York Times while at work this morning. Les Crane was a TV talk show host who was one of the first to challenge Carson for the late night audience... and one of the first to fall before the Johnny Juggernaut.

And a detail in his personal life caught my eye since I live with one foot in the real world and one in Toobworld.

Later, when I was reading the Idiot's Delight Digest, I was pleased to see that I was not alone in the same observations.....

"Mr. Crane married five times. His fourth wife was the actress Tina Louise whom he met and married while she was at the height of her popularity as the glamorous sexpot on the 1960s sitcom "Gilligan's Island." They divorced in 1971 after a five-year marriage. Besides his daughter, a television writer who lives in Los Angeles, he is survived by his wife of 20 years, Ginger Crane."
And as Brother Iddiot RGordon remarked:

"How many Gingers can one man take?"

More than his fair share, I think!

Toby OB

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


On July 4th, Evelyn Keyes passed away from cancer at the age of 91. She was one of the last surviving co-stars of "Gone With The Wind" and she counted John Huston and Artie Shaw among her husbands. According to her memoir, she was romantically involved with Anthony Quinn, David Niven, and Kirk Douglas.

In the links to the left, you'll find Ivan's "Thrilling Days Of Yesteryear" and Mercurie's "A Shroud Of Thoughts"; both of whom have excellent tributes to the actress. As I can't picture her in any of the movies among her credits, I'm not the right person to discuss her career.

However, here is a list of the characters she brought to life in the TV Universe:

"Murder, She Wrote"
- Dead to Rights (1993) TV episode .... Wanda Polaski
- Old Habits Die Hard (1987) TV episode .... Sister Emily
- Sticks and Stones (1985) TV episode .... Edna

"Amazing Stories"
- Boo! (1986) TV episode .... Ghost/Wife

"The Love Boat"
- Bricker's Boy/Lotions of Love/The Hustlers (1983) TV episode

"ITV Playhouse"
- A Matter of Diamonds (1968) TV episode .... Mrs. Panzack

- Wild Stallion (1955) TV episode .... Laura Harris

"Lux Video Theatre"
- Wild Geese (1951) TV episode

As always, that Red Skelton rerun: "May God Bless......"

Toby OB


I'll say no more. Just go to the College Humor Video site and check out the episode.

And then look in on the Cereal Mascot therapy session. That's pretty twisted as well!
Toby OB


I was complaining the other day that I needed a better moniker for my super-powered identity. (Still not sure whether I'm hero or villain.) "The Grand Toobah" just wasn't cutting it.

And then I remembered that I had created a good one at the website for the novel "Soon I Will Be Invincible" by Austin Grossman.

Let the joyous news be spread to those who are the darkest before dawn (or something like that).... For I am.....
Toby OB
The Monitaur!


At last, the day has arrived! "Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog" has launched

I just watched Part One and as I anticipated, it could be a musical sibling to 'The Middleman'. Now that's a crossover I'd love to see!

While I was watching Neil Patrick Harris (Dr. Horrible) and Simon Helberg as the damp sidekick Moist, I was reminded of a book I read last year, "Soon I Will Be Invincible" by Austin Grossman. This was especially true with the mentions of the Evil League of Evil, the villainous Bad Horse, and Johnny Snow - references to other characters in a super-hero world we may never meet.

Click on the link above and check it out. There are three parts (Parts Two and Three come out Thursday and Saturday respectively) which will eventually add up to an hour and fifteen minutes of musical joy!

Toby OB

Monday, July 14, 2008


For a year and a half, Tony Snow had been the Press Secretary for President George W. Bush and the White House. Before that he had been a conservative columnist and a commentator associated with FOX News. (His presence on that cable news network is part of his connection to this blog.)

After his stint at the White House, Snow had been hired to be the conservative voice at CNN, but his battle with colon cancer prevented him from contributing very much.

He finally lost that battle and died over the weekend at the age of 53.

[Tony Snow is shown here on 'Meet The Press' with Tim Russert, who himself passed away about a month ago at the age of 58 from a coronary.]

It's human nature to look at the passing of any individual in terms related to our own experience. In the case of Tony Snow, I couldn't relate to his beliefs and positions; I didn't like his bosses - at least not until he joined CNN. His death really didn't move me in the way that Tim Russert's did.

Except in a self-centered way.

For me, it was disturbing to see this on-air graphic:
And then learn that Snow was only five days older than I am.

I've reached that age where I'm going to see more and more obits beginning with "1955"......

Which is fine, so long as none of them are for me for awhile.

Like I said, self-centered. I admit it and I apologize, but it's something we all do.

My condolences to his family......

Toby OB


Tomorrow the latest creation of Joss Whedon, mastermind behind 'Buffy The Vampire Slayer', 'Angel', and 'Firefly', will be broadcast... online.

'Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog' is a musical about an evil villain (played by the great Neil Patrick Harris), the girl he loves, and the superhero who keeps getting in his way (played by Nathan Filion).

There are three parts to the story, and after Part One goes up on the 15th, Parts Two and Three will follow on July 17th and 19th, respectively.

If you're curious as to what this strangely-named hybrid get of Toobworld and Cyberspace is about, click to
watch the trailer!

Make sure you catch this! The Grand Toobah has spoken!

I've gotta get me a better moniker....

Toby OB


Wild boar in Great Britain was not the only topic of interest for further research in that episode of 'New Tricks'. "The Great Storm" of October, 1987 provided clues as to what happened to the mystery victim in their cold case.

The Great Storm of 1987 occurred on the night of October 15th to October 16th, 1987, when an unusually strong weather system caused winds to hit much of the south of England and some of Northern France. It was the worst storm to hit England since the Great Storm of 1703 (284 years earlier) and was responsible for the deaths of 23 people in England and France combined (19 in England, at least 4 in France).

The great storm of October 1987 was the worst to affect the south east of England since 1703. After the storm had passed the landscape was changed - some 15 million trees were felled and whole forests decimated. Buildings suffered severe damage and ships were driven on to shore. 16 people died as a direct result of the storm damage.

The storm developed rapidly - so much so that weather forecasters were unable to predict the track and ferocity of the storm. As it became apparent that this was an abnormal condition, severe warnings were flashed to emergency services.

However, the suddenly deeper depression veered north to track along the north coast of Cornwall and Devon, across central southern midlands to the Wash, catching the weather forecasters by surprise. The strongest winds were recorded in the south easterly quadrant of the storm, crossing the English side of the Channel and through Hampshire, Sussex, Surrey and Kent.

Fortunately, the stongest winds occurred in the early hours of the morning when few people where about. Had it occurred during a normal working day it is likely that the death toll of 16 would have been substantially higher. As it was, an estimated 15 million trees were uprooted [including one third of the famous Kew Gardens in London]. Roads and railways were blocked and most people found it impossible to travel to work the following day. A Sealink cross channel ferry was blown ashore at Folkestone.

Clearing up took much time and effort. Electricity supplies were gradually restored using crews brought in from the north of England that had escaped the severe damage. Some rural areas were still without mains power several days later. Insurance claims reached an all time record amount - and prompted an increase in premiums in 1988!

Although the storm was declared a rare event, expected only to happen on average every several hundred years, the Burns Day Storm hit the UK in January 1990, less than three years later and with comparable intensity.
(from several sources)

Toby OB

Sunday, July 13, 2008


I hit the magic number in friends on Facebook.....

But if my friends are Life, the Universe, and everything.....

I gotta find me a new Universe!

Toby OB


'Lost' isn't the only TV series that has dealt with wild boar....

Currently, I'm enjoying a detective series from the UK being shown on a local PBS station. It's called 'New Tricks'. Here's how it's described at
Ryan's British TV Show Reviews:

"Amanda Redman (
At Home With The Braithwaites) stars in this light-hearted BBC detective series as an up-and-coming Met officer whose career hits a bump when a kidnapping case goes awry. Her superiors reassign her to form a new unit of former detectives and re-examine open cases. What they really want is for her to whitewash cases so they'll go away. Teaming up with James Bolam they recruit a group of dodgy ex-coppers that, although unorthodox, get the job done, despite the displeasure of the higher-ups at the Metropolitan Police."

It's what I call "Comfy TV"; nothing challenging, just a pleasurable way to pass an hour when I get home from work in the morning.....

In the 'New Tricks' episode shown by Channel 21 this past week (untitled), their case involved an unidentified woman whose dismembered body was found in the woods back in October of 1987. They began looking into the cold case again because the original forensic pathologist was retiring soon and this was his only unsolved mystery.

One of the first clues they uncovered was that the teeth marks on the bones were not caused by foxes but instead by wild boar.
This type of info nugget is why I do the Tiddlywinkydinks; they give me a chance to further explore a particular topic. Even regular TV shows can be a teaching tool, not just the educational stuff for kids on PBS!

By the 13th Century, it was believed that wild boar were extinct in Great Britain. Attempts were made in the 17th Century to re-introduce them to forests of the "Sceptre'd Isle", but that experiment petered out. For the next two centuries, there were only a handful of captive wild boar imported from Europe and kept in zoos on exhibit.

Then in 1980, wild boar farming began in earnest. There were reports of a few of the farm boar escaping into local woods, even some from the 1970s who were kept in zoo enclosures. But it wasn't until October of 1987 when quite a few wild boar escaped to actually breed in the wild and re-introduce the population to the forests of the United Kingdom.
The reason for this is brought up in detail on the show - the Great Storm of 1987. During the devastation caused by the hurricane, two captive populations of boar escaped in Kent. According to a 1998 report, there are now two confirmed populations of wild boar in Britain. The larger one is in Kent and East Sussex, and the other is in Dorset. But there are three other populations on the rise - Herefordshire, Devon, and Gloucestershire in the Forest of Dean. (Some of those have crossed over into Wales.... Maybe they'll be invading 'Torchwood', 'Caerfydd', and 'Gavin & Stacey' plots soon enough!)

In that episode of 'New Tricks', it was mentioned that at least one of the farms breeding wild boar sells its own salami made of the meat. If a resident of Toobworld was interested in getting wild boar salami, perhaps the best bet would be to pick some up in Dorset. it sounds like it would make for a great lunch with some Dorset Blue Vinny!
Toby OB