Saturday, August 16, 2008


After the second season premiere of 'Mad Men', Stephen J. Dubner did a bit of investigation into what type of effect the show might have on what passes for product placement in the show. (Let's face it, not many of the products shown in the program probably exist anymore.)

There was quite some focus on a book of poems by Frank O'Hara, "Meditations In An Emergency": great close-ups and Don's voice-over as he read one of the poems

Right after the program, Dubner checked its listing on Amazon. "Meditations In An Emergency" was listed at No. 15,565. Pretty dreary, but probably not unexpected being a fifty year old collection of poems.

But when he checked it again the next morning around 8:30, it was ranked 161! (I just took a look and now it's ranked #2!)

Here's the poem that Don Draper read:
Now I am quietly waiting

for the catastrophe of my personality
to seem beautiful again,
and interesting, and modern.

The country is grey and
brown and white in trees,
snows and skies of laughter
always diminishing, less funny
not just darker, not just grey.

It may be the coldest day of
the year, what does he think of
that? I mean, what do I? And if I do,
perhaps I am myself again.

Toby O'B

Friday, August 15, 2008


A minor citizen in the Toobworld registrar will be getting one step closer to TV Crossover Hall of Fame immortality this fall. Mary Ann Marie Beetle, who had been in the "Muffin Buffalo" episode of 'Wonderfalls', will reappear in an episode of 'Pushing Daisies' during its sophomore season.

Bryan Fuller is the brains behind both shows, which explains why such a crossover is possible. It could be that someday we might even see a character - like George, perhaps - show up on 'Pushing Daisies' from 'Dead Like Me'.

Fuller also said that someday he hopes he can work Jaye, the main character of 'Wonderfalls', into 'Pushing Daisies' as well.

Toby O'B

Thursday, August 14, 2008


The movie universe, known to Craig Shaw Gardner fans as "the Cineverse", could be providing two new televersions on ABC. The network has ordered pilots based on the Jennifer Lopez film "Maid In Manhattan" and on "The Witches of Eastwick", which itself was based on the novel by John Updike.

'Maid in Manhattan' is supposed to be a dramedy, and it sounds like it could eventually inspire a crossover with 'Ugly Betty'. 'The Witches of Eastwick' will probably feature three novice witches younger than portrayed in the book or movie, and probably be far less misogynistic than the original book.

It's too bad Christian Slater is already locked into 'My Own Worst Enemy'; he could have gone full-court press with his Inner Jack to play the role of the Devil!

Toby O'B

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


Now here's a TV classic remake that better fits the Toobworld concept: Ed Bernero, who is the executive producer of 'Criminal Minds', will be bringing back a new version of 'Hawaii Five-O'.

The plan is to show the inner workings of the Five-O unit. But there won't be new versions of Steve McGarrett and Dann-O and Wo Fat. Instead, Five-O will be headed by McGarrett's son Chris. So that makes this a true sequel and will be welcomed into Earth Prime-Time.

Bernero promises that he's not trying to reinvent the show. However, the characters, storytelling and pacing will be brought up to date. That thundering theme music will be back as well, but it will probably also go through some revision.

Not sure how old Chris McGarrett will be portrayed, but since the show ended in 1980, it could be that he wasn't born until after the series ended.

But if anybody in the loop is interested in my casting suggestions, I'd go for Casper Van Diem to play Chris McGarrett. He seems to have the same square-jawed, determined poise that his possible "Dad" used to have.

Based on his age, he was obviously born while Steve McGarrett was still on the air. If so, McGarrett had a relationship going that just wasn't shown during the course of the series.

Kind of reminds me of the situation with Amos and Peter Burke of 'Burke's Law'.....

Toby O'B

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


I'm on vacation, and so there won't be many posts for Inner Toob. And that's mostly because it's been a year since I had to use a dial-up laptop and I'm definitely spoiled by the big system I now have in Toobworld Central. THIS IS DRIVING ME CRAZY!

So the daily Tiddlywinkydink will be a news item with a Toobworld viewpoint. And if I can fit in other short items of interest, I'll give it a shot. But just so's ya know, I'll be saving up the Hat Squad tributes for when I get back to Toobworld Central so that I can give them the attention they deserve. (So far, that would be for Isaac Hayes and George Furth.)

So here's the first of the TWD news items:

CBS is prepping a remake of the 1970s ABC cop show 'The Streets Of San Francisco'. Unfortunately, it's going to be a full remake, instead of a sequel, which would have been better for Toobworld's purposes. (And of course, there's not a suit out there at the networks who are concerned with that!)

A sequel would have meant that the series would have been working the same milieu as the original series, but with actors playing new characters at the same precinct as Detectives Stone and Keller once did thirty years before.

Michael Douglas' role of Steve Keller was killed off, but Mike Stone is still around - so long as Karl Malden is drawing breath. But of course, like Malden himself, Stone would be over 80 years old and probably retired for as long as twenty years at least.

But if this new version of 'Streets' were to be a sequel, Karl Malden could have been brought back in to help launch the new series. Perhaps he could have been consulted in the debut episode because one of his past cases has some bearing on the current one being investigated.

But instead, Sheldon Turner and Robert Port are writing the series up to be about modern-day versions of Mike Stone and Steve Keller. And therefore, that means the show will have to be relegated to the dimension of TV remakes when it debuts.

Turner thinks the times in which both versions of the show are set are similar. "It was the Vietnam War in the 1970s and the Iraq War now," he said. "There is the same sort of tension between generations, and we wanted to carry that to the new series."

Had this been a sequel, they could have turned the relationship between the older cop and the younger on its head. Have the older cop be the liberal, a veteran out of the 70s; while the younger cop would be the more conservative, perhaps even a veteran of the Iraq war. I'm currently watching 'Generation Kill' on HBO, and if the guys in Bravo company were the norm, then that conservative streak would have carried on through their lives post-war.

But these are going to be new versions of Stone and Keller, so the older cop will be the conservative and the younger cop the liberal.

My blogging buddy Joe Bua had a great suggestion - make the younger cop gay. It's a new century and would certainly give the show a twist that would make it stand out from others. Otherwise, what really sets this show apart from any other cop show out there on the air today. The way it sounds to me, this will be a retro show. And as such, we might even hear the creaks of the show's age hidden underneath.

Toby O'B


At one point during their investigation in tonight's episode ("The Obsolescent Cryogenic Meltdown"), 'The Middleman' and Wendy used the names Alexander Scott and Kelly Robinson respectively as their covers.

True believers recognize those names as belonging to the super-spy characters played by Bill Cosby and Robert Culp (again respectively) in the 1960s classic, 'I Spy'.

But it's not a Zonk.

After more than forty years, Kelly and Scott are legends among the espionage cognoscenti. In making up their pre-packaged identity cards for Bossman and Dub-Dub, I think it would be natural for Ida - who has access to the records of all the government agencies - to have a little fun and use Kelly and Scott's real identities.

Glad to be of service....

Toby O'B

Monday, August 11, 2008


It's a shame that the episode order for 'The Middleman' has been cut down; to me, that means the show is doomed. Which is a shame since it's been such a fun summer treat.

Besides the plots and the characters, it's been a fun run for in-joke references, mostly in the aliases used by the Middleman and his sidekick, Wendy.

But with tonight's episode ("The Obsolescent Cryogenic Meltdown"), one of those in-joke references can make a "Theory of Relateeveety" link to one of my five favorite TV Westerns - 'The Wild, Wild West'.

Wendy was temporarily teamed up with the unthawed 1969 Middleman, working undercover at an illegal, underground card game with rare artifacts as the stakes. ("69" anted up the missing 18 minutes of the Nixon tapes, which he snared during a quickie time travel trip to 1972 back in 1966.)

One of the other players was identified as Count Manzeppi. This is the same name of the villain played by Victor Buono in the 'WWW' episodes "The Night Of The Feathered Fury" and "The Night Of The Eccentrics".

With a name and title so specific, I would have to say that within the Toobworld reality it's a title that was passed down through the Manzeppi family, with probably six generations at most separating the two characters.

For Toobworld Central, that's a great link!

Toby O'B


First vacation posting here for Inner Toob, and it's one helluva Zonk!

So, did you see last night's episode of 'Mad Men'? It was entitled "The Benefactor", which came from an episode of 'The Defenders' which also played a part in the show.

Harry Crane sought to get one of the Sterling-Cooper clients to pick up sponsorship of this controversial episode (The word "abortion" was used over 30 times in the hour.) for pennies on the dollar. His plan was not successful, but his determination in chasing down the opportunity brought him to the notice of the agency's boss, Roger Sterling.

Scenes from the episode were seen; EG Marshall as Lawrence Preston was visible and addressed as such by the judge. And of course, the name of the series and the episode were stated. So there's not much we can do to side-step the issue that this could have been some other show. This was, as I said, one helluva Zonk.

This issue and court case within the episode of 'The Defenders' should have been occurring in Toobworld at the same time as this episode of 'Mad Men', in the spring of 1962. They should be sharing the same TV dimension.

I'm willing to entertain any ideas you may have in disabling this Zonk. Because otherwise I think 'Mad Men' might have to be dispatched to some other dimension. This won't be the last time such a Zonk will crop up on the series, and for the most part, I think the classic series invoked on the ad men show should have preeminence in the main Toobworld.

So how can we resolve this?


Toby O'B

Sunday, August 10, 2008


In the 'Doctor Who' episode "Stolen Earth", Harriet Jones, the former Prime Minister of Great Britain in Toobworld (See? I know who she was.), believed that the Doctor was wrong. The world did need to protect itself against the threats of alien invasion. They couldn't always count on the Doctor being there to save the day.

When you think about it, the Doctor - as shepherded by RTD - is rather full of himself. And all of these Christ analogies that have been shoved at us have been pretty insulting.

But as Harriet Jones pointed out, Toobworld has been a target for aliens for decades, and the Doctor has not been around to save the planet most of those times.

Okay, granted - this is because these alien attacks happened on other shows. But if you think that way, you're just not playing the Toobworld game.

Somehow most of these invasions were beaten back, because they have no visible effect on the shows we see today. Some of them may have been defeated thanks to the Doctor, but for the most part it was due to the human race doin' it for themselves.

There's no way I could go through ALL of the alien invasions that have occurred since the 1950s in Toobworld. It's not that there were too many; it's just that I'm lazy. So instead, I'm posting another "Deep Six" - six of the alien invasions which didn't depend on the Doctor to resolve them.
("V" & 'V: THE SERIES')
The human race was on its own back in the 1980s when the Visitors arrived. They offered to solve the world's problems, but they were only interested in harvesting humans as a food source.

It was a rebel alliance of humans that finally vanquished the Visitors, with a poison in the atmosphere that was deadly to them but not to the native life of the planet. Ironically, the poison was developed from the blood of a human/Visitor hybrid.

"The Invaders, alien beings from a dying planet. Their destination: the Earth. Their purpose: to make it their world. David Vincent has seen them. For him, it began one lost night on a lonely country road, looking for a shortcut that he never found. It began with a closed deserted diner, and a man too long without sleep to continue his journey. It began with the landing of a craft from another galaxy. Now David Vincent knows that the Invaders are here, that they have taken human form. Somehow he must convince a disbelieving world that the nightmare has already begun."
- opening narration for each episode

Despite David Vincent's attempts to warn the world of their presence, I think those bent-pinkie aliens are still among us. Well, the televersions of us. They may not have replaced the entire human population of Toobworld, but they're possibly in key positions where they manipulate the world's events.

And the Doctor has yet to take care of them. (More than likely the Invaders have figured out, after forty years, the solution to their bent pinkie problem.)

Non-human threats don't just come from outer space. Thank God for the Slayers and the Council of Watchers for protecting Toobworld from the demonic forces that seep from the various hellmouths across the world, because the Doctor hasn't really addressed the issue - aside from Bok. Not all demons are a threat of course; and I think it would be cool if the Doctor got to meet Lorne. He'd certainly make for an interesting Companion.

The Doctor wasn't much help back in the early sixties when the Canamids made beef jerky out of Lloyd Bochner, was he? They haven't been back, so maybe the Doctor did find a way to eventually stop them from making a deli run to New Delhi or wherever. But in keeping with his reputation as the "Oncoming Storm", a lot of humans did have to end up in the stew first.


In this case, the alien invasion was - like Earth itself - mostly harmless. The Tenctonese were escaped slaves who overcame their masters and landed on Earth during the 1990s. Many of them settled in the Los Angeles area and tried to fit in with their human neighbors.
So why didn't we see any Tenctonese in L.A.-based shows like 'Standoff', 'The Shield', or 'The Bold & The Beautiful'?

There's always the possibility that another 'Alien Nation' TV movie may be produced. But I think the space-ship has sailed on that idea.

So for Toobworld today, I don't think there could be more than 100 or so Tenctonese still living on Earth. (And just to keep the franchise alive, that would include the Francisco family, Cathy Frankel, and Albert Einstein.)

But what happened to the thousands of others who arrived on that slaver ship? I think this is where the Doctor DID get involved - either he was able to repair their ship with his handy-dandy sonic screwdriver, or he got them all into the bigger-on-the-inside TARDIS for a trip to a new planet which they could call their own, without having to share it with any other race. (The Doctor couldn't bring them back to Tencton - the slavers would only find them again.)

And the Doctor might have felt a kinship with them. After all, they share one particular aspect of biology - two hearts.

Finally, this is a particular favorite of mine and a great example how the Doctor isn't the only one who could stop an alien invasion all by their lonesome.

In 1953, strange little aliens, with antennae and no mouths, arrived on Toobworld, just outside of Kenasha, Idaho. There they started releasing a gas which would render humans incapable of speech. The government had no clue what was happening and tried to snow the general populace with a tale of a temporary after-effect from H-bomb testing.

But an illiterate backwoods man whom we would only know as "Paw" knew that these aliens were to blame. But unfortunately he couldn't even get his own wife to believe him, let alone the local authorities. So armed with dynamite, Paw snuck up on the flying saucer and blew it to Kingdom Come, thus ending the menace.

Let me know of your favorite alien invasions from TV over the last fifty years!

Toby O'B


With Friday's episode of 'Psych', we can adjust its timeline so that it's now taking place at the same time it's being broadcast. That's because Cybill Shepherd was not around for the first time since the new season began (and technically, since the old season ended). As she was only visiting, all of the previous episodes had to take place soon after her arrival as the cliff-hanger of last season - back in February.

So the treasure hunt with Uncle Jack can be considered as taking place in August of 2008.

Unless there's some inner chronological detail that I'm missing.....?

Toby O'B