Monday, April 20, 2009


"All human record is a lie.
You twist it into what you want to believe

I found the pilot and at least the first regular episode of the 2003 British sci-fi series 'Strange' online at YouTube. It's about this defrocked priest named John Strange who is investigating - and battling - demons (oftentimes while at odds with the Church).

As is the case with most TV series pilots, there was some fine-tuning done after the pilot for the series. While the three main stars - Richard Coyle, Samantha Janus, and Ian Richardson - remained, Strange's assistant Toby became a recastaway. In the pilot he was played by Bryan Dick; but in the series he was played by Andrew Lee Potts (who went on to play Connor Temple in 'Primeval').
Usually when it comes to recastaways, the Toobworld standard rule is that the first actor to assay the role is the real character, and then we have to come up with some sort of splainin for the change in appearance - plastic surgery, quantum leaping, alien substitution, magical glamours, etc. But in this case, that wouldn't have been fair to Potts, who did the bulk of the work during the six episode run of the series.

Luckily, a later role played by Bryan Dick gives us the out....

In February of 2008, Dick appeared in a 'Torchwood' episode as "Adam". He was an alien who had infiltrated the Torchwood team and fed on the memories of the others, creating false ones in the process. So we can make the theoretical claim that when we saw the actor in the pilot for 'Strange' as Toby, he was really Adam; he was causing John Strange and the others to see him as Toby. When Strange told him to go out and get a proper job and quit hanging around with him, "Toby" deferred. He was probably right where he needed to be to get what he hungered for. (Whether or not he was working in collusion with the Demon League, I have no clue.)
The series picks up a year later; by that time, Adam had abandoned his guise and the real Toby was back working with Strange. I'm thinking for the sake of wondering where the real Toby was the whole time, Adam had replaced him a short time before the events of the pilot kicked into gear. He probably kidnapped the real Toby who wasn't discovered until after the events of the pilot concluded. And that's why Adam had to flee and take up another identity in other shows, from one guest appearance to another, until finally meeting his fate in that episode of 'Torchwood'.

So both plots overlapped each other, but we in the real world audience only saw the events of the official storyline.

As for the resemblance between the real Toby and Connor Temple of 'Primeval', we fall back on the old standby among the theories of "relateeveety": Papa was a rolling stone.

Actually, we never learn Toby's last name during those six episodes of 'Strange', so it's pozz'ble, just pozz'ble (as Mushrat would say), that Toby and Connor share the same mother as well as father. But of course that's something Toobworld Central can't say with certainty until the 'Primeval' series has run its course. There's always the possibility that the senior Temples might show up in an episode to check in on their son; or Connor might let it slip that he's an only child.

So for the time being, we're going to suggest that they're half-brothers with no idea about each other. But as we sometimes see in real life, their destinies somehow follow the same path - both of them are technological wizards who are still a few years off from being fully functional adults.

I once wrote about 'Strange', suggesting that Richard Coyle's character might make an excellent addition to the 'Torchwood' team. But even though it can't be proven, we can already say both series are connected - and now I can throw 'Primeval' into the mix as well!

Toby O'B

*By this point, you'll have gathered that the subject heading is a wordplay reference on Toby as a strange being, not that it's strange for me to be Toby.

Although it is.......

1 comment:

MediumRob said...

I thought it was a reference to "Being Erica", Erica's surname being Strange, and you. But that's just me.