Saturday, August 9, 2008


In the fourth episode of 'Generation Kill' ("Combat Jack"), Sgt. Brad "Iceman" Colbert was seen reading a book by Noam Chomsky. Chomsky is seen by some as a radical thinker, perhaps even an anarchist, and Brad's choice of reading material might have been frowned upon by his superiors if they knew (probably out of fear that it would "contaminate" his fellow troops). But I think there never would have been a problem that any of the others might be interested, so long as there were no tittie pictures in the tome.

Based on the look of the cover, I think he was reading "What Uncle Sam Really Wants". It's a short work, only about 100 pages, but its focus on U.S. intervention around the world serves as the perfect mirror to what is going on in Iraq. In it, Chomsky states that the corporations drive American domestic and foreign policy, and what better proof do you have than Haliburton and the oil companies?

Here are a few snippets from the chapter "The Threat Of A Good Example", and you can see how it could be applied to the American presence in Iraq:

No country is exempt from U.S. intervention, no matter how unimportant. In fact, it's the weakest, poorest countries that often arouse the greatest hysteria.

There's a reason for that. The weaker and poorer a country is, the more dangerous it is as an example. If a tiny, poor country like Grenada can succeed in bringing about a better life for its people, some other place that has more resources will ask, "why not us?"

[W]hat the US wants is "stability," meaning security for the "upper classes and large foreign enterprises." If that can be achieved with formal democratic devices, OK. If not, the "threat to stability" posed by a good example has to be destroyed before the virus infects others. That's why even the tiniest speck poses such a threat, and may have to be crushed.

Dangerous stuff for the Iceman to be reading....

Toby O'B


Comedian and actor Bernie Mac died today, due to complications from pneumonia. There had been assurances that he was getting better while he had been in the hospital this last week or so, but I guess the illness proved to be stronger than anyone expected. I don't know if his condition of sarcoidosis had any effect - it's a tissue inflammation disease and perhaps this weakened him enough for the pneumonia to gain control.

Bernie Mac made some high-profile movies, especially a remake of "Guess Who's Coming To Dinner", in which the races were reversed, and the "Ocean's Eleven" franchise. But he'll be best known for playing a role that was quite close to being his purest televersion representative in Toobworld - that of Uncle Bernie McCullough in 'The Bernie Mac Show'

In real life, Bernie was helping to raise his nieces and nephews because of his sister's hard times, and that situation proved to be a gold mine for inspiration in his sitcom life. (Without the feel of exploitation that could have easily happened.)

I think the show could have kept going for another year or two, had it not been for meddling by the network. But that's just the opinion of an outsider looking in.He was supposed to begin work on a new sitcom called 'Starting Under', in which he was to play a recently divorced man who moves in with his 20-something son. Ken Davitian from the "Borat" phenom was to be one of the co-stars.

Here are the other roles Bernie Mac contributed to Toobworld:


"The Bernie Mac Show" .... Bernie 'Mac' McCullough
(103 episodes, 2001-2006)

Honor Deferred (2006) (TV) .... Host

Don King: Only in America (1997) (TV) .... Bendini Brown

"King of the Hill" .... Mack
- Racist Dawg (2003)

"Moesha" .... Uncle Bernie

"The Wayans Bros." .... Shank
- I Do... (1997)

It is a scant list, but 'The Bernie Mac Show' makes his contributions all the more important. His role as the TV Universe Bernie Mac was ranked among the top 50 TV Dads of all time. Probably Number One if it came to Tough Love Dads.....

Rest in peace, Bernie Mac.

Toby O'B


Just so's ya know....

There are no plans to do any sort of coverage of the Olympics here at Inner Toob, as I don't plan to watch one single minute of it. In my mind, the Olympics are now lumped in with the so-called reality shows... especially with the way they're packaged for NBC. So weird to go into work Friday night knowing that the opening ceremonies were being televised when a picture from the event was on the front page of the New York Times Friday morning!

But I will allow myself one escape clause - if one of the many dramas or sitcoms that are airing over the summer somehow ties into these specific games, then I will probably address that aspect. I'm thinking 'The Middleman' might be a good choice, but that's on ABC Family. This might be something more along the lines of NBC/Universal shows like 'Monk' or 'Psych'.

But it would have to be specific to the Chinese games. I don't know if it's the politics or the over-hype but I'm so tired of Olympic TV coverage.

Besides, I'm going on vacation for two weeks. I think I can find better ways to occupy my time!

(Don't worry, I'll keep my hand in at least once per day with a TWD news item each day.)

Toby O'B

Friday, August 8, 2008


Senator Robert McCallister - 'Brothers & Sisters'
Edie Britt - 'Desperate Housewives'
The National Inquisitor - many TV shows

ABC really should consider cashing in and running with this crossover. It would be a ratings bonanza! They would own Sunday night.

Hey, it's a business.......

Toby O'B


Within about one week's time, Todd Stashwick appeared in episodes of two different shows - as Gus's boss, Mr. Ogletree in "Ghosts" on 'Psych', and as the evil Mr. White in 'The Middleman' adventure classified as "The Flying Fish Zombification".

Stashwick is probably best known as Dale Malloy, the murderous head of the Travellers' clan on 'The Riches'. But I don't think that role comes into play here at all. However, I think these two roles can be linked to each other; that in fact, Mr. Ogletree and Mr. White are one and the same.

One thing that should be remembered, and which I pointed out in the look at Chris Gauthier's roles on 'Eureka' and 'Psych' ("Earlie Eureka"), this season's episodes of 'Psych' are all taking place earlier this year. And they will continue to do so as long as Cybill Shepherd is hanging around Santa Barbara as "Shawnie" Spencer's mom, Madeline. That's because she showed up on Henry Spencer's doorstep in the season finale back in February, and I don't think that five months have passed since she arrived.

So let's say during that span of time, Ogletree either loses his job at the pharmaceutical sales company or he leaves because of a new venture. What if that venture turned out the marketing of !!!!!, the "pep drink" made from venom of the Peruvian Flying Pike? He would have known that his plans were illegal, so he decided to operate under an alias (and an obvious one at that ): Mr. White. (He might be a fan of "Reservoir Dogs".)

The deciding factor will ultimately be whether or not the role of Ogletree ever shows up on 'Psych' again. Because then this whole theory could turn to bleep. Sooner or later, 'Psych' will do some sort of adjustment to their timeline so that the episodes are being broadcast around the same time as when they're supposed to be happening - with or without Madeline still hanging around town.

Toby O'B


While de-zonking the "Bad To The Drone" episode of 'Eureka', I made these two comments:

"So Jack would have known about the "War Of The Worlds" battle back in the mid-1950s and probably even saw archival footage of their spacecraft. For alls I know, he may have even seen one of their pods on display in Eureka somewhere!"

"Even so, Zoe would have known of their existence and what they looked like. As with the "Martian" spaceships, she might have even seen a de-activated Cylon robot there in Eureka. Probably during a field trip to Global Dynamics."

As it turns out, Eureka does have a museum; or rather, they did. New GD chairman Eva Thorne ordered it shut down to save money. But it turns out she had an ulterior motive - she let herself in to find out the secrets of Eureka for herself, including that a nuclear explosion occurred outside the town limits back in 1938, nearly ten years before the first officially recognized explosions.

And based on how the mushroom cloud turned purple - even in a black and white film! - I'd have to guess it has something to do with that vial of liquid she had in the season premiere....

As I mentioned before, I wouldn't be surprised if Thorne sold off the assets of the Eureka museum to the highest bidder. And that Henry Van Statten would fill that role (as seen in the 'Doctor Who' episode "Dalek", set in 2012).

Toby O'B

Thursday, August 7, 2008


In the town of 'Eureka' (which is probably in Oregon), Vincent is the manager and chef at Cafe Diem which has a walk-in refrigerator with TARDIS-like properties. (It's bigger on the inside.)

But Vincent didn't grow up in Eureka. He was brought there because of his scientific prowess with food, to live among the other geniuses. Originally, he's from Santa Barbara, California, where he went to high school with Shawn Spencer and Burton Guster of the 'Psych' Detective Agency.

In the episode "Murder?... Anyone....? Anyone....? Bueller...?", Vincent was seen hanging out in the hallway with the others who were still considered cast-offs by those former classmates who still thought they were cool. However, he's listed in the credits as "Earlie", which could either be Vincent's last name, or a nickname he was given in high school.

Vincent can afford to give away food at the Cafe Diem, even though Eva Thorne (new chairman at Global Dynamics) wants it stopped. That's because, while on a vacation in New York City, bales of money suddenly fell out of the sky and Vincent - screaming "MONEY!" quickly grabbed one for himself. (This was seen in a very funny blipvert for the New York Lottery. Hey, you never know.....)

Toby O'B

They should hire Dan Byrd of 'Aliens In America' to play Vincent's younger brother!


For the second week in a row, 'Eureka' had blatant product placement for Degree Deoderant within the episode. This time, Zane Donovan had designed work jumpsuits with the Degree logo appearing as holograms across the backs.

There doesn't seem to be an end in sight for these embedded blipverts for Degree; at least not until they have an entire episode dedicated to their product. Don't laugh; it's supposed to happen at some point this season!

Of course, Degree will be cast in a good light in that episode. But I'd like to see the deoderant cause human underarms to transform into breeding grounds for aliens (a la the Adipose of 'Doctor Who')!

Now THAT would be brilliant. FanTASTic! A nightmare for the folks at Sterling-Cooper and McMann & Tate!

Toby O'B


While looking into that 1962 plane crash of American Airlines Flight 1 into Jamaica Bay, I found a list of all the planes crashes for that year. There were a LOT of them!

Maybe I just don't notice all of the plane crashes during any given year; so maybe this is normal. Especially it being on a global basis. Perhaps the standards of operations weren't as top-notch as they might be today, so that there were plenty of mechanical problems back then that just weren't taken care of properly before these planes took off.

Still, even being as conpiratorially-minded as I am, this is a LONG list of plane crashes for one calendar year!

Each listing is of the date, the location, and the airline involved.....

13 Jan 1962

Near Tippi, Ethiopia
Ethiopian Airlines

22 Jan 1962
Caranavi ,Bolivia
Corporacion Boliviano de Fomento

27 Jan 1962
Batataevka, USSR

04 Feb 1962
Near Tino Maria, Peru

25 Feb 1962
Portlamar, Margarita Island, Venezuela

25 Feb 1962
Municipio de Marulanda, Colombia

01 Mar 1962
Jamaica Bay, New York, New York
American Airlines

04 Mar 1962
Douala, Cameroon
Caledonian Airways

06 Mar 1962
Near Seymour, South Africa
South African Airways

08 Mar 1962
Mt. Medetsiz, Turkey
Turkish Airlines (THY)

08 Mar 1962
Rome, Italy
Societa Aerea Mediterranea

08 Mar 1962
Near Alencon, France
Military - U.S. Air Force

15 Mar 1962
Adak, Alaska
Flying Tiger Line

15 Mar 1962
Western Pacific Ocean, Philippine Sea
Flying Tiger Line

20 Mar 1962
Military - French Air Force

27 Mar 1962
Santiago de Cuba, Cuba
Cubana de Aviacion

06 Apr 1962
Near Villavicencio, Colombia
Military - Colombian Air Force

22 Apr 1962
Serrania del Baudo, Colombia0A

06 May 1962
Near Portsmouth, England
East Anglian Flying Services

08 May 1962
Near Mong Pa Liao, Burma
Military - Union of Burma Air Force

09 May 1962
Vitoria, Brazil

12 May 1962
Godthaab, Greenland
East Provincial Airways Consolidated

15 May 1962
Near Cairo, Egypt
United Arab Airlines

17 May 1962
Near Nairobi, Kenya
Military - U.S. Air Force

22 May 1962
Near Markt Schwaben, West Germany
Military - U.S. Navy

22 May 1962
Near Unionville, Missouri
Continental Airlines

03 Jun 1962
Villeneuve-le-Roi, Val-de-Marne, France
Air France

04 Jun 1962
Sofia, Bulgaria

22 Jun 1962
Basse-Terre, Guadaloupe, West Indies
Air France

28 Jun 1962
Near Adler, Russia

30 Jun 1962
Near Krasnoyarsk, USSR

06 Jul 1962
Near Tashkent, Uzbekistan, USSR

07 Jul 1962
Near Junnar, Maharashtra, India

09 Jul 1962
Off Brindisi, Italy
Trans Mediterranean Airways

15 Jul 1962
Near Lahore, Pakistan
Indian Airlines

16 Jul 1962
Loheshyphn, India
Kalinga Airlines

19 Jul 1962
Near Bangkok, Thailand
United Arab Airlines

22 Jul 1962
Honolulu, Hawaii
Canadian Pacific Air Lines

28 Jul 1962
Sochi, Russia

30 Jul 1962
Coulommiers, France
Air France

01 Aug 1962
Near Kathmandu, Nepal
Royal Nepal Airlines

20 Aug 1962
Rio de Janerio, Brazil
Panair do Brazil

23 Aug 1962
Berranca Bermeja, Colombia
Taxader Airlines

24 Aug 1962
Cerro Puena Paz, Peru

02 Sep 1962
Near Khabarovsk, USSR

03 Sep 1962
Yanoyaki, Japan
Military - Japan Maritime Self Defense Force

04 Sep 1962
Near Lake Milton, Ohio
Private - Ashland Oil Company

10 Sep 1962
Brno, Czechoslovakia
Ceskoslovenske Aerolinie

10 Sep 1962
Near Milan, Washington
Military - U.S. Air Force

10 Sep 1962
Near Alcoche, Bolivia
Aerolineas Abaroa

21 Sep 1962
Sela, India
Kalinga Airlines

23 Sep 1962
North Atlantic Ocean
Flying Tiger Line

10 Oct 1962
Spt-Îles, Quebec, Canada
Trans Canada Air Lines

12 Oct 1962
Manila, Philippines
Philippine Air Lines

12 Oct 1962
Near Camona, Spain
Iberia Airlines

19 Oct 1962
Windsor Locks, Connecticut
Allegheny Airlines

25 Oct 1962
Near Mosco w, Russia

10 Nov 1962
Near Tourane, South Vietnam
Air Vietnam (South Vietnam)

19 Nov 1962
Near Nagoya, Japan
All Nippon Airways

23 Nov 1962
Ellicott, Maryland
United Air Lines

23 Nov 1962
Sao Tomé & Principe
Military - Portuguese Air Force

23 Nov 1962
Le Bourget, France
Malev Hungarian Airlines 2

6 Nov 1962
Paraibuna, Brazil
VASP / Private

27 Nov 1962
Lima, Peru

30 Nov 1962
New York, New York
Eastern Air Lines

06 Dec 1962
Barranca Bermeja, Colombia
Taxader Airlines

14 Dec 1962
Near Manaus, Brazil
Panair do Brasil

14 Dec 1962
Burbank, California
Flying Tiger Line

19 Dec 1962
Warsaw, Poland
LOT Polish Airlines

20 Dec 1962
Kadena AB, Okinawa
Military - U.S. Air Force

22 Dec 1962
Near Brasilia, Brazil

28 Dec 1962
Rotterdam, The Netherlands

29 Dec 1962
Monte Renosa, Corsica, France
Air Nautic

An awful lot of Douglas aircraft were involved in those crashes, but there were plenty of different types of aircraft represented. It was a Boeing that went down in Jamaica Bay with Pete Campbell's father on board in 'Mad Men'.

Toby O'B

Wednesday, August 6, 2008


From the BBC Online:

After years working in theatre, actor Hugh Lloyd made his first TV appearance in 1957, becoming a regular on 'Hancock's Half Hour'. He went on to co-star with Terry Scott in 'Hugh and I' and appeared alongside Peggy Mount in 'Lollipop Loves Mr Mole'. He was much in demand as a character actor with roles in a number of stage and TV plays. He also appeared in films as diverse as "Mary Queen of Scots" and "Quadrophenia".

Mr Lloyd, 85, died at his home in Worthing on July 14 after suffering shortness of breath.

Mourners at his memorial service wore blue and white to pay their last respects to the popular actor. (The color co-ordination was to mark the star of stage and screen’s passion for Chester City Football Club.)

Here's how Hugh Lloyd made his mark in Toobworld:

"A Many Splintered Thing" (2000) .... Dad

"And There's More" (1985)

"The Clairvoyant" (1984) .... Burma

"Jury" (1983) .... Gerald Sadler

"Lord Tramp" (1977) .... Hughie Wagstaff

"Till Death Us Do Part" (1965) .... Wally Carey

"Lollipop Loves Mr Mole" (1971 - 1972) .... Reg Robinson (Mr. Mole)

"Birds in the Bush" (1972) .... Hugh

"The Gnomes of Dulwich" (1969) .... Small

"Hugh and I Spy" (1968) .... Hugh

"Hugh and I" .... Hugh (1962 - 1968)

"The Days of Vengeance" (1960) .... Charlie

"Hancock's Half Hour" (1957 - 1960)

"You Rang, M'Lord?" .... Selfridge
- The Truth Revealed (1993)
- Come to the Ball (1993)
- A Day in the Country (1991)

"In Sickness and in Health" .... Mr. Carey
- Episode #5.10 (1990)
- Christmas Special (1985)

"My Family"
- The Art of Being Susan (2006) .... Martin
- Misery (2002) .... Gerald

"Doc Martin" .... Vernon Cooke
- Aromatherapy (2005)

"Foyle's War" .... Frank Watson
- Eagle Day (2002)

"My Hero" .... Santa
- My Hero Christmas

"Randall & Hopkirk (Deceased)" .... Seth
- A Man of Substance (2000)

"Oh, Doctor Beeching!" .... Ernie Bennett
- Action Stations (1997)

"Heartbeat" .... Archie Birley
- Pig in the Middle (1997)

"Blue Heaven" .... Cleaner
- Episode #1.6 (1994)

"Boon" .... George Jenkins
- Trial and Error (1991)

"Woof!" .... Mr. Potts
- The Adoption (1990)

"Ruth Rendell Mysteries" .... Ralph Robson
- The Veiled One (1989)

"Victoria Wood" .... Jim Mottershed
- Over to Pam (1989)

"Doctor Who" .... Goronwy
- Delta and the Bannermen: Part 3 (1987) TV episode .... Gorowny
- Delta and the Bannermen: Part 2 (1987) TV episode .... Goronwy

"Victoria Wood: As Seen on TV" .... Billy
- Episode #2.3 (1986)

"C.A.T.S. Eyes" .... Charlie Hawkins
- Something Nasty Down Below (1985)

"That's My Boy" .... Jim Barnes
- Unfair Dismissal (1984)

"Last of the Summer Wine" .... Alex
- The Waist Land (1983)

"Objects of Affection" .... Dad
- Say Something Happened (1982)

"Can We Get on Now, Please?" .... Sidney Chattle
- Variations in Two Flats (1980)

"BBC2 Play of the Week" .... Mr. Dodsworth
- A Visit from Miss Protheroe (1978)

"Z Cars" .... Charlie Turner
- The Lady and the Gentleman (1973)

"A Slight Case of..."
- Exposure (1965) TV episode

"Benny Hill" .... Harry Smith
- The Constant Viewer (1962)

"Comedy Playhouse" .... First Patient
- Visiting Day (1962)

"Hancock" (1961)
- The Blood Donor (1961)
- The Lift (1961) .... Lift Assistant
- The Bowmans (1961) .... Florist

"Sykes and A..." (1960-1961)
- Sykes and a Fancy Dress (1961)
- Sykes and a Cheque Book (1960)
- Sykes and an Egg (1960)

"Oliver Twist" (1999) .... Elderly Vicar

Looking for Victoria (2003) (TV) .... Randall Davidson, Duke of Windsor

Great Expectations (1999) (TV) .... The Aged P

Alice in Wonderland (1999) (TV) .... Fishface Footman/Waiter

Cider with Rosie (1998) (TV) .... Joseph Brown

She's Been Away (1989) (TV) .... George

Me! I'm Afraid of Virginia Woolf (1978) (TV) .... Mr. Dodds

Toby O'B


Greg Burson was a voice performer who had been a student of the legendary Daws Butler, and upon Butler's passing, he assumed the roles for which Butler was most famous - Yogi Bear, Huckleberry Hound, Quick Draw McGraw, Snagglepuss, among others. But he also could do the voices created by Mel Blanc, such as Bugs Bunny, Pepe LePew, and my personal Looney Toons totem, Foghorn Leghorn. In addition, he was the main source for the voice of Quincy Magoo after the death of Jim Backus.

On July 22nd, Greg Burson passed away at the age of 59.

As writer Mark Evanier recalls, "Back when he was studying with Daws, there came a day when Daws told him, 'Don't bother coming back. There's nothing more I can teach you.' Daws was a man of impeccable standards and total integrity. That he said that to Burson is the ultimate endorsement."

As Red Skelton would close out his show: "May God Bless....."

Toby O'B


This week's episode of 'Mad Men' used an historical tragedy to build tis plot - one of the characters lost a family member on board American Airlines Flight 1.......

Here are the details of the crash, courtesy of Wikipedia:

American Airlines Flight 1, registration N7506A, took off from Idlewild Airport (now John F. Kennedy International Airport) on March 1, 1962. The Boeing 707-123 was headed to Los Angeles International Airport with 87 passengers and 8 flight crew onboard. Improper maintenance technique resulted in internal wiring damage and rudder failure, causing the Boeing 707-123 to nose-dive into Jamaica Bay at 10:07 EST, killing all 95 on board the aircraft.

Among the victims was Louise Linder Eastman, whose daughter Linda Eastman would later marry the Beatle Paul McCartney. The crash, coincidentally, occurred at the same time that U.S. astronaut John H. Glenn, Jr. was being honored with a ticker-tape parade in lower Manhattan for his successful manned space flight aboard the Mercury capsule Friendship 7 on February 20, 1962.

The flight number is still used as of July 26, 2008 on its New York JFK/Los Angeles LAX route; American Airlines Flight 1 is currently operated daily with a Boeing 767-223ER.

At the time it was the worst air accident in U.S. history.

Because of the renewed attention brought by the TV show, the City Room blog of the NY Times posted
a remembrance. And the original coverage by Time magazine can be found online as well.

Toby O'B


"What About Bob?"

That was the title of last night's episode of 'Eureka', and frankly? Who gives a rat's ass about that snake?

My excitement, from a Toobworld perspective, stems from the 3 Ms:

Mission to Mars - It was strongly suggested that space missions to Mars have already been taking place. This means a lot for the Toobworld timeline as well as for the integration of several sci-fi shows from the fifties to the seventies.

Museum - Just last week I suggested the possibility that there might be some sort of archive or museum in Eureka in which the remains of the Daleks could be found. And with Eva Thorne forcing it to close its doors, perhaps all of the exhibits might be sold off to someone like Henry Van Stratten ('Doctor Who' - "Dalek").

Moreau - As in "The Island Of Dr. Moreau". This was mentioned without any referential strings attached. They didn't necessarily have to be talking about the book or the movies. They could have been actually talking about the place and the man as if it had all really happened. (I'd love to see "The Island Of Dr. Moreau" brought into Toobworld; that way I can also bring in something from 'The Addams Family'!)

And then there's the sore point - that blipvert with Zane Donovan for Degree. It reminded me of the TV characters who used to shill for poducts in the past - Clark Kent, Oscar Madison, Felix Unger, Sheriff Andy Taylor and his family, the Monkees, etc. I could still find a use for that.....

Eureka - a great place to visit in Toobworld!

Toby O'B

Tuesday, August 5, 2008


Brett Love of TV Squad went into far better detail about the two recent slaps in the face by product placement - on 'Psych' and on 'Eureka'. You can read his thoughts and inside info here.

Toby O'B


Donna, come on, think, Earth. There must have been some warning.
Was there anything happening back in your day,
like electrical storms, freak weather, patterns in the sky?
Well, how should I know? No, I don't think so, no.
Oh, OK, never mind.
Although… there were the bees disappearing.
The bees disappearing? The bees disappearing....
The bees disappearing!
How is that significant?
On Earth, we had these insects.
Some people said it was pollution or mobile phones
Or they were going back home!
Back home where?
The planet Melissa Majoria.
Are you saying bees are alien?
Don't be so daft. Not all of them.
But, if the migrant bees felt something coming,
some sort of danger and escaped…
The Tandoka Scale!
The Tandoka Scale is a series of wavelengths used as carrier signals by migrant bees.
Infinitely small, no wonder we didn't see it;
It's like looking for a speck of cinnamon in the Sahara but look… there it is!
The Tandoka trail.
The transmat that moved the planets was using the same wavelength.
We can follow the path!
"Doctor Who"

If only the situation here in the Real World could have something of a happy ending for the bees. It would be nice to think they at least found sanctuary somewhere else rather die off in massive numbers here on Earth.

The following information was gathered from several sources:

Do you like apples? How about cucumbers, broccoli or onions? Pumpkins, squash or carrots? Blueberries, avocados, almonds or cherries? These crops and many others can't grow without honey bees, and a mysterious die-off of these hard-working pollinators could put $15 billion worth of U.S. crops at risk -- not to mention put a damper on your diet.

Beekeepers sounded the alarm about disappearing bees in 2006. Seemingly healthy bees were simply abandoning their hives en masse, never to return. Researchers are calling the mass disappearance Colony Collapse Disorder, and they estimate that nearly one-third of all honey bee colonies in the country have vanished.

Why are the bees leaving? Scientists studying the disorder believe a combination of factors could be making bees sick, including pesticide exposure, invasive parasitic mites, an inadequate food supply and a new virus that targets bees' immune systems. More research is essential to determine the exact cause of the bees' distress.

In 2007, Congress recognized Colony Collapse Disorder as a threat and granted the U.S. Department of Agriculture emergency funds to study honey bee disappearances. In addition, the 2008 Farm Bill grants the Department of Agriculture $20 million each year to support bee research and related work.

Colony Collapse Disorder (or CCD) is a poorly understood phenomenon in which worker bees from a beehive or Western honey bee colony abruptly disappear. While such disappearances have occurred throughout the history of apiculture, the term Colony Collapse Disorder was first applied to a drastic rise in the number of disappearances of Western honey bee colonies in North America in late 2006

European beekeepers observed a similar phenomenon in Belgium, France, the Netherlands, Greece, Italy, Portugal, and Spain, and initial reports have also come in from Switzerland and Germany, albeit to a lesser degree. Possible cases of CCD have also been reported in Taiwan since April 2007.

The cause or causes of the syndrome are not yet understood. Some of the proposed causes include environmental change-related stresses, malnutrition, pathogens (i.e., disease), mites, pesticides such as neonicotinoids or imidacloprid, genetically modified (GM) crops with pest control characteristics such as transgenic maize, and migratory beekeeping.

It is a fact of nature: When a honey bee returns to the hive after finding a good source of nectar, it will perform a unique dance for its hive mates, detailing the distance, quality and quantity of the new food supply. Sadly, honey bees are mysteriously vanishing in staggering numbers - a crisis known as Colony Collapse disorder - which is alarming considering honey bees are responsible for pollinating one-third of our natural food supply.

Learn more at

Toby O'Bee


When the TV Crossover Hall of Fame first began back in 1999, July and August were both dedicated to characters from TV Westerns. As it was housed in a website back then (the Tubeworld Dynamic), this gave me some time off from doing the heavy lifting around here so that I could take my vacation up at the Lake.

Now that the Toobworld concept is blogged, I still keep my hand in even on vacation. So I divvied up the summer months so that each of them could hold their own inductions into the TV Crossover Hall of Fame. And I try to keep them both as Western themes (unless there's a special theme in a particular year) - July would be for the Western characters found only in Toobworld, and in August an historical character would be honored.

So the month's already underway and since I want to get this done before I head off on holiday, I figured - why not go with that as my theme?


Last month our inductee was Kwai Chaing Caine of 'Kung Fu', and for August of 2008 we're paying tribute to:


Here's the lowdown from Wikipedia:

John Henry "Doc" Holliday (August 14, 1851 – November 8, 1887) was an American dentist, gambler, and gunfighter of the American Old West frontier who is usually remembered for his friendship with Wyatt Earp and the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral.

Better than me rehashing his life story, here's what others who knew him had to say about the Doc......

In an 1896 article, Wyatt Earp had this to say about Holliday: "Doc was a dentist whom necessity had made a gambler; a gentleman whom disease had made a frontier vagabond; a philosopher whom life had made a caustic wit; a long lean ash-blond fellow nearly dead with consumption, and at the same time the most skillful gambler and the nerviest, speediest, deadliest man with a gun that I ever knew."

In a newspaper interview, Holliday was once asked if his killings had ever gotten on his conscience. He is reported to have said "I coughed that out with my lungs, years ago."

Big Nose Kate, his long-time companion, remembered Holliday's reaction after his role in the O.K. Corral gunfight. She reported that Holliday came back to his room, sat on the bed, wept and said "that was awful — awful".

Virgil Earp, interviewed May 30, 1882, in The Arizona Daily Star (two months after Virgil had fled Tombstone after Morgan Earp's death), summed up Holliday:"There was something very peculiar about Doc. He was gentlemanly, a good dentist, a friendly man and yet, outside of us boys, I don't think he had a friend in the Territory. Tales were told that he had murdered men in different parts of the country; that he had robbed and committed all manner of crimes, and yet, when persons were asked how they knew it, they could only admit it was hearsay, and that nothing of the kind could really be traced to Doc's account. He was a slender, sickly fellow, but whenever a stage was robbed or a row started, and help was needed, Doc was one of the first to saddle his horse and report for duty."

Doc Holliday has appeared in quite a few TV shows and movies, with just as many different actors playing the part. But as the actor chosen to represent Doc in the Hall, I'm going with Douglas Fowley from 'The Life And Legend of Wyatt Earp'. He had more episodes under his gun belt in the role than anybody else would play on TV. Adam West may have had more variety in the part (with appearances in episodes of 'The Lawman' and 'Colt .45'), but with Fowley, quantity counts just as much as quality.
Peter Breck would probably come in second with five episodes of 'Maverick', but there he shares the role with Gerald Mohr. The same holds true for Fowley, as Myron Healey also played the role in 'The Life And Legend Of Wyatt Earp'. But that could either be splained away by the ravages on his appearance by the consumption, or we may even have been witnessing Doc Holliday replaced by someone from the future using "quantum leap" technology.

Who knows? Maybe it was an alien in disguise as the gun-slinging gum surgeon. After all, aliens have impersonated him twice before - the Melkoti (Melkotians?) created a surrogate of Doc Holliday to face off against the crew of the starship Enterprise on an episode of 'Star Trek', and when the TARDIS landed on their home planet, the Melkoti quickly resumed the illusion to drive away the Doctor and his Companions in a 'Doctor Who' serial. (And the Doctor never knew he had been hoodwinked - I covered this earlier in the post "
The Doctor's Holliday Trek".)

Here is a list of some of those actors who have portrayed Doc Holliday in Toobworld:

Douglas Fowley in 'The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp' television series 1955-1961. As with many popular portrayals Fowley played Holliday as considerably older than the historical figure. Taking his cue from the popular Kirk Douglas portrayal, Fowley played Holliday as courtly, temperamental and dangerous. Unlike the Kirk Douglas Holliday, whose anger is often volcanic, Fowley's Holliday maintained a cool, gentlemanly Southern calm.

Gerald Mohr and Peter Breck each played Holliday more than once in the 1957 television series 'Maverick'.

Adam West played Doc Holliday on an episode of the TV series, 'Lawman'. [And 'Colt .45'!]
Anthony Jacobs in the 1966 'Doctor Who' story "The Gunfighters".

Sam Gilman in the 1968 'Star Trek' episode "Spectre of the Gun". Gilman, who plays Holliday as a physician, was 53 years old at the time he played this role. The real Holliday was 30 years old at the time of the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral.

Bill Fletcher in two episodes of the TV series, 'Alias Smith and Jones': "Which Way to the OK Corral?" in 1971 and "The Ten Days That Shook Kid Curry" in 1972.

Dennis Hopper in "Wild Times", a 1980 television mini-series based on Brian Garfield's novel.

Willie Nelson in the 1986 all-singer/actor TV remake of "Stagecoach". In addition to the alcoholic Doc Boone character of the original film, the remake adds a new "Doc Holliday", also a medical doctor, and a consumptive. Since Doc Boone in the original film is loosely based on Holliday, the remake now contains two characters based on Holliday.

Randy Quaid in "Purgatory", a 1999 TV film about dead outlaws in a town between Heaven and Hell.

[from Wikipedia]

Of course, that last entry is relegated to some kind of dimensional limbo state, probably only accessible via 'The Twilight Zone' or 'The Night Gallery'. And the portrayals by Willie Nelson and Dennis Hopper can be assigned to alternate dimensions of Toobworld.

As for all of the other actors who played the role, perhaps they also were "leapers" from the Future. Or maybe we're just seeing them as the main characters from each of those shows remembered them.

At any rate, Doc Holliday today joins the TV Crossover Hall of Fame as the Historical Western Character for 2008.

Toby O'B


I went to a website to have the cuss words checked out for Inner Toob. I wanted to make sure I was keeping it family-friendly here, and if I had to swear, it would be the acceptable ones for TV - boink, frak, and the universal bleep.

So here was my score:

MUCH better than that filthy potty-mouth soiling the Great White North - Brent got a 9.7%! (The link to Brent's "I Am A Child Of Television" is to the left, frakkers!)

If you want to test-drive this analysis for your own site,
click here.

Toby O'B

Monday, August 4, 2008


Just knocking off a quickie for this month's edition of Fanficcer's Friend. In case you haven't been following this new feature at Inner Toob, I offer up a picture from a movie or some other source outside of Television for writers of fan fiction to use as inspiration for their projects.
This month, is a screen capture from a horrible movie with a fantastic cast, "Parting Shots". Felicity Kendal played one of the main roles and Joanna Lumley was a featured guest star. There were plenty of great actors in these featured spotlights - Diana Rigg, John Cleese, Ben Kingsley, Bob Hoskins - and the other main players were Oliver Reed and Peter Davison. But the main actor, Chris Rea, was like a living black hole and his lack of talent drains the movie of its energy. (I understand he was a musician, not an actor.)

At any rate, here's Felicity and Joanna together in a scene. Transferring these great actresses into Toobworld, this could be a picture of Barbara Good from 'Good Neighbors' meeting the 'Absolutely Fabulous' Patsy Stone in a pub, or Rosemary Boxer of 'Rosemary & Thyme' questioning Purdey from 'The New Avengers'. Or the combination could be remixed.

Have fun!

Toby O'B


The BBC website recently published two obituaries for actors who may not have gained notice otherwise. Character actors both, with a few leading and long-running roles, but nothing to make the world at large sit up and take notice of their passing. I'd like to afford them both the same tribute.

Before I began wading through the credits for Elizabeth Spriggs, I thought I had never seen her before, as the name was unfamiliar to me. But I've found several productions in which I can remember her work - 'Jericho', 'The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles', "Victoria & Albert", and "Harry Potter And The Sorceror's Stone". (I've only seen the first episode of "Paradise Towers" from 'Doctor Who', so I haven't yet seen all of her performance as Taffy.

Here is a tally of her TV appearances:

"Swiss Toni" .... Swiss Toni's Mother

"Nice Guy Eddie" (2002) .... Vera McMullen

"Playing the Field" (1998) TV series .... Mrs. Mullen

"Shine on Harvey Moon" .... Nan

"Takin' Over the Asylum" .... Grandma

"Watching" .... Aunty Peggy

"Simon and the Witch" (1987) .... The Witch

"The Haunting of Cassie Palmer" (1982) .... Mrs. Palmer

"Village Hall" (1974) )

"Wives and Daughters" (1999) .... Mrs. Goodenough

"Martin Chuzzlewit" (1994) .... Mrs. Gamp

"Middlemarch" (1994) .... Mrs. Cadwallader

"The Old Devils" (1992)

"Frost in May" (1982) .... Mother Radcliffe

"We, the Accused" (1980) .... Eleanor Presset

"The Glittering Prizes" (1976) .... Lady Frances (unknown episodes)

"Prometheus: The Life of Balzac" (1975) .... Comtesse de Berny

"Love Soup" .... Penny's mother
- Integrated Logistics (2008)

"Agatha Christie: Poirot" .... Mrs. Leadbetter
- Taken at the Flood (2006)

"Midsomer Murders"
- Dead Letters (2006) .... Ursula Gooding
- The Killings at Badger's Drift (1997) .... Iris Rainbird

"Jericho" .... Ellen Jericho
- The Hollow Men (2005)

- The End of the Road (2005) .... Mrs. Andrews
- Rumours (1992) .... Rene Kirby

"Where the Heart Is" .... Maureen
- When All This Is Over (2005)
- Care (2005)

"The Royal" .... Dolly Smith
- For Better, for Worse (2004)
- If Not for You (2003)

"Randall & Hopkirk (Deceased)" .... Mrs. Glauneck
- A Man of Substance (2000)

"Casualty" .... Barbara Thomas
- Eye Spy (1998)

"Tales from the Crypt"
- A Slight Case of Murder (1996)

"Performance" .... Mistress Quickly
- Henry IV (1995)

"The Tomorrow People" .... Milicent Rutherford
- The Rameses Connection: Part 5 (1995)
- The Rameses Connection: Part 2 (1995)
- The Rameses Connection: Part 1 (1995)

"Alleyn Mysteries" .... Lady Lacklander
- Scales of Justice (1994)

"Jeeves and Wooster" .... Aunt Agatha Gregson
- The Ex's Are Nearly Married Off (1993)
- Return to New York (1993)

"Lovejoy" .... Daphne Shotley
- Fly the Flag (1993)

"The Casebook of Sherlock Holmes" .... Mrs. Mason
- The Last Vampyre (1993)

"Ruth Rendell Mysteries" .... Eva Peterlee
- The Mouse in the Corner: Part One (1992)

"The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles" .... Schultz
- Austria, March 1917 (1992)

"Soldier Soldier" .... Mrs. Henwood
- Dirty Work (1991)

"Boon" .... Mrs. Whitfield
- The Tender Trap (1990)

"Young Charlie Chaplin" .... Madge Kendal
- Episode #1.5 (1989)
- Episode #1.4 (1989)

"Doctor Who" .... Tabby
- Paradise Towers: Part 3 (1987)
- Paradise Towers: Part 2 (1987)
- Paradise Towers: Part 1 (1987)

"Bergerac" .... Mary Lou Costain
- Return of the Ice Maiden (1985)

"Objects of Affection" .... Cora
- Our Winnie (1982)

"Play for Today"
- Intensive Care (1982) .... Alice Duckworth
- The Cause (1981) .... Olive James
- Love Letters on Blue Paper (1976) .... Sonia Marsden
- Leeds United (1974) .... Maggie

"Crown Court" .... Janet Godfrey
- Embers (1981)

"Cribb" .... Mrs. Gurney
- The Choir That Wouldn't Sing (1981)

"BBC2 Playhouse"
- The Kindness of Mrs. Radcliffe (1981)
- Fothergill (1981)
- The Enigma (1980)

"Tales of the Unexpected"
- The Way to Do It (1981) .... Aunt May
- The Orderly World of Mr. Appleby (1980) .... Martha

"Fox" .... Connie Fox
- It's All Them Psychia-Whatever-You-Call-It Books He Reads (1980)

"Play of the Month" .... Maud Lowder
- The Wings of the Dove (1979)

"The CBS Festival of Lively Arts for Young People" .... Kate
- The Secret of Charles Dickens (1978)

"Victorian Scandals" .... Hannah
- Hannah (1976)

"Black and Blue" .... Eleanor
- Rust (1973)

Wren: The Man Who Built Britain (2004) (TV) .... Queen Anne

Shackleton (2002) (TV) .... Janet Stancombe Wills

Victoria & Albert (2001) (TV) .... Actress in 'The Rivals'

Nice Guy Eddie (2001) (TV) .... Vera McMullen

The Sleeper (2000) (TV) .... Cath

A Christmas Carol (1999) (TV) .... Mrs. Riggs

Alice in Wonderland (1999) (TV) .... Duchess

A Pinch of Snuff (1994) (TV) .... Annabelle Andover

Anglo Saxon Attitudes (1992) (TV) .... Inge Middleton

Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit (1990) (TV) .... May

The Devil's Disciple (1987) (TV) .... Mrs. Dudgeon

The Thirteenth Day of Christmas (1985) (TV)

Sakharov (1984) (TV) .... Nobel Presenter

The Cold Room (1984) (TV) .... Frau Hoffman

Strangers and Brothers (1984) (TV) .... Lady Muriel Royce

Those Glory Glory Days (1983) (TV) .... Mistress

The Merry Wives of Windsor (1982) (TV) .... Mistress Quickly

The Spider's Web (1982) (TV) .... Mildred Peake

Julius Caesar (1979) (TV) .... Calpurnia

Afternoon Off (1979) (TV) .... Miss. Beckinsale

Here is what the BBC obituary had to say about Elizabeth Spriggs:

"She held an ambition to act from childhood and, after cutting her teeth in rep, achieved her dream by joining the Royal Shakespeare Company in the 1960s. She became well known to TV viewers as Nan, in Shine On Harvey Moon, and was a regular in costume dramas, including the BBC productions of Middlemarch and Our Mutual Friend."

May God Bless.....

Toby O'B


Twenty-seven planets were taken out of their place in space and time to complete the plans of Davros during this season of 'Doctor Who'.

Here's a run-down of the ones we know about:

Adipose 3
Callufrax Minor
Woman Wept
the Lost Moon of Poosh (my favorite of the names!)

Yes, even Clom.
Just about all of these had been mentioned or appeared in the history of 'Doctor Who' (not quite sure about Jahoo or Shalakatop). I found one site online that also mentions a planet called "Flane", but I can't find any other verification of this, and I don't remember hearing the name.

So just using that list above, that's only nine planets mentioned. We have no clue as to who the other planets were.

I suppose that as would be the case with all TV series production teams, RTD would only have been thinking within his own bailiwick; he would only use other planets to be found within past episodes of 'Doctor Who'.

And according to Wikipedia, that's quite a list!

There are some in that list, which, like Callufrax Minor, have interesting qualities that would make them intriguing choices for Davros' celestial engine. Or perhaps, like Clom, they trigger memories of old episodes with past Doctors.

My choices from this list might include:

Vulcan (definitely, if only for the 'Star Trek' theoretical link)

Asgard (again, for the theoretical link to 'Hercules: The Legendary Journeys')


Metebelis 3




But of course, this site celebrates Toobworld, where all TV shows share the same universe. And that means we could call upon planets only found in other TV shows and set them adrift in the Medusa Cascade as part of Davros' master plan.

So here's a few I'd pick:

Minbar (can never get enough of the Minbari in 'Babylon 5' to my liking!)

Bolia (from 'Stargate SG-1', for the implied link to the Bolians of 'Star Trek')

Kobol (from the original 'Battlestar Galactica'; the remake has no place in Earth Prime-Time's dimension)

Ork (from 'Mork And Mindy')

Krypton out of its own past, only to be destroyed once returned to its point of origin. ('The Adventures of Superman')

Magrathea ('The Hitch-Hiker's Guide To The Galaxy')

Quadris ('The Powers Of Matthew Star')

The Forest Moon of Endor (Yes, it was in 'Star Wars', but it was also the setting for the TV movie, "Ewoks: The Battle For Endor"!)

Melmac ('ALF')

The Royal Cemetary Planet ('Farscape')

Ceti Alpha VI (from "Star Trek: The Wrath Of Khan" - perhaps its return to its original place in the Ceti Alpha solar system went wrong; this would be why it was destroyed and caused massive devestation on Ceti Alpha V, where Khan Noonian Singh and his followers had been banished.)

And unless I screwed up in my math, not unlikely, then that would be 27 planets.

I would have liked to have used Remulac, homeworld of the Coneheads on 'Saturday Night Live'. But that would have only been found in the Skitlandian dimension and the Tooniverse, as well as the movie universe. And I considered Marmason, home planet of 'Meego', but I have my limits.....

Leave your suggestions in the comments section for what other planets you think should have been in that cluster collected by Davros. Know of any from 'Red Dwarf'? Perhaps from 'Lost In Space' or 'Blake's 7'.... 'The Twilight Zone', anyone?

I'd love to get some feedback on this.....

Toby O'B

Sunday, August 3, 2008


Hello, my imaginary constructs!

Thanks to my friend Mark, I'm working my way through 'Ashes To Ashes', the sequel to 'Life On Mars'. I've gone through three episodes so far.... I'm not as tuned into Alex Drake's crisis as I was with Sam Tyler's situation, but that's more than likely due to the fact that there's no ambivalence as to what Alex is going through. I'm enjoying Keeley Hawes' performance, and it is as if she was a whole other actress from what I remembered from 'MI-5' ('Spooks'). However, that over-the-top, cavalier attitude from the second episode almost made Mark bail on me ever seeing the rest of the series!

At first Mark thought a particular song making up Alex's personal soundtrack, "Planet Earth" by Duran Duran was from 1983. He was eager to declare it a Zonk for Toobworld, but a little research online showed that it was 1981; Mark probably just didn't know it himself until '83.

But I think 'Ashes To Ashes' is Zonk-proof, even more so than 'Life On Mars' could ever hope to be. 'LoM' had to keep us guessing - was Sam in a coma, back in Time, or mad? - so every little detail had to be perfectly in keeping with 1973 or earlier. The 'LoM' production team didn't have the luxury to be a bit lax.

Not so with 'Ashes To Ashes'. We know that the Gene Genie and his squad are all in DI Alex Drake's head, that it's all a coma dream/illusion. And despite what TV and the movies would have us believe, our dreams are not so perfectly thought out and delineated. They're a mish-mosh of random images jumbled together to form some sort of wild story.

So Alex would be pulling in memories and images from all over her sub-conscious, not just everything specific to only 1981. So eventually if there is a song cue from later than 1981, or an image from an old TV show in similar circumstances, I'm cool with that.

That second episode has something of a good example of this. At one point, Alex and the doctor/real estate developer she was protecting went to the club Blitz. There Alex saw Boy George working the coat check room, just as he apparently was back then in the real world.

On stage was the band Visage, which at the time counted Steve Strange, Midge Ure, Billy Currie, Rusty Egan, Dave Formula, nad John McGeogh as its members. Steve Strange appears in the dream version as his own tele-version (as does a musician from a later incarnation of the band). As Alex and her "date" work their way through the crowd, Steve Strange concludes the song with an announcement that it was their "new" single, "Fade To Gray".

However, the song was released in November of 1980, and the episode takes place more than eight months later. If this had been real life playing out, I'd have to find a way to defuse that Zonk. For instances, I could say that Steve wasn't very savvy about the business side of their record releases. Or the band was still milking that single because they didn't have any others good enough.

I don't know when they released another song after "Shades Of Gray", but maybe he was just working on auto-pilot up onstage and was reciting patter by rote.

But it doesn't matter when this is all in Alex Drake's lovely head (despite the bullet). Her sub-conscious is just mixing up everything she knows about the band Visage and spewing it out together.

Zonk-proof, my imaginary constructs!

Toby O'B


There are geographical differences between Toobworld and the Real World, and not only in America. TV America has Fernwood, Cicely, Mayberry, and Hooterville. There's the Isle of Jantique in the Caribbean, and Emmerdale and Walford in Great Britain.

There's also a small island off the coast of Suriname where 2 tribes have been kicking the shite out of each other since 1907. Not something you'll find in your history books....

Bishop Brennan threatened to send Father Ted Crilly there after 'Father Ted' and his feeble attempt at protest turned a hardly noticed movie into the most popular movie of all time on Craggy Island. ('Father Ted' - "The Passion Of St. Tibulus")

Toby O'B