Saturday, January 17, 2009


Only three days before Inauguration Day, when Barack Obama becomes our 44th President! And to celebrate, each day here at Inner Toob we're supplying the picture of a former president as he looked in Toobworld.

Today we're featuring William Howard Taft, as seen in the mini-series 'Backstairs At The White House'. Taft is another one of those presidents, like Benjamin Harrison, William Henry Harrison, and Franklin Pierce, who wouldn't have much call to be featured in anything but one of those Ken Burnsish documentaries; the kind where a celebrity would read from the subject's letters. And Millard Fillmore hasn't even had that honor bestowed on him! (The way things are going for that "do-nothing" president, the best I'll ever hope for is showing the Millard Fillmore Soap-On-A-Rope from the Kia commercial!)

Oy! Don't get me started!

But William Howard Taft kicks off the line of presidents to parade through the lives of the servants who worked in the White House from the turn of the century up into the 1950s. And that's why out of all the choices in that mini-series, I decided to go with Taft.

Besides, when it comes to roles played by Victor Buono, who doesn't like a nice Vic pic?

Toby O'B


The late Pat Hingle appeared in a 'Twilight Zone' episode about "The Incredible World Of Horace Ford". It may not be as familiar to TZoners as many other episodes, mainly because it was part of the hour-long batch of episodes. As it turned out, the Reginald Rose script feels awfully padded when the story could have been told in half that time, like most of the stories on 'The Twilight Zone'.

Here's a basic description of what the episode was about:

"Horace Ford is preoccupied with his childhood...he longs to return to a time that passed him by all too quickly. His wife and mother can't stand to watch him go through this and it so interferes with his livelihood that he gets fired from his job as a toy designer. Eventually, he comes full circle and realizes that his childhood is not worth going back to, that it was all a bad nightmare."

Eight years earlier, Reginald Rose's first version of the story was told on 'Studio One'. It was still called "The Incredible World Of Horace Ford", but it was Art Carney who played Horace.

Now usually it's been the Toobworld Central ruling that the show which is first broadcast is the one that holds priority in Toobworld. Any remake that comes along after should be sent packing to another dimension. That's what's happened in the past with 'The 87th Precinct', 'The New Addams Family', 'Dark Shadows', the Tim Daly 'Fugitive', etc. It's why we accept the original version of 'Battlestar Galactica' over the highly praised "re-imagining" that just returned for its final run of episodes. (Well, that and the fact that it has too many good connections to other shows!)

But in this case, Toobworld Central made an exception. It's Pat Hingle as Horace Ford that is a citizen of the main Toobworld, not Art Carney's. Our reasoning is that even though it's not aired as frequently as other 'T-Zone' episodes, "The Incredible World Of Horace Ford" with Pat Hingle at least is shown often enough for people to remember. And one of the things that keeps Toobworld alive is memory. As great a series as 'Studio One' is considered from Television's Golden Age, how many people get to see any of the episodes - unless they go to the Paley Centre, or check out what's available on DVD.

And lo, the last shall be first.

Toby O'B


Here's a report from Michael Ausiello of Entertainment Weekly:

'Reaper''s wickedly funny devil, Ray Wise, is briefly retiring his pitchfork to guest on a February ep of 'Numb3rs'. He'll play a jury consultant for a defendant which Robin, Don and co. are trying to convict of murder.

You know, the Devil doesn't just consort with his minions, like Sam. It was established in 'Reaper' that he even had a relationship with at least one mortal woman.

And since Toobworld is basically inclusive and 'Numb3rs' should exist in the same dimension as 'Reaper', why can't we make the assumption that no matter what he says his name is, and no matter what he may claim his background to be, he's actually the Devil?

Have you seen that movie where Gene Hackman was a jury consultant? They already work for him, so why shouldn't he step in and do the job himself?

Toby O'B

Friday, January 16, 2009


John Mortimer, the creator of Horace Rumpole, the British counterpart to the American Perry Mason, has died. He was 85.

I cobbled this together from Wikipedia:

Sir John Clifford Mortimer, CBE QC (21 April 1923 – 16 January 2009) was an English barrister, dramatist, screenwriter and author.

He developed his career as a playwright by rising early to write before attending court and his work in total includes over fifty books, plays, and scripts.

Mortimer is best remembered for creating a barrister named Horace Rumpole, whose speciality is defending those accused of crime in London's Old Bailey. Mortimer created Rumpole for 'Rumpole of the Bailey', a 1975 contribution to the BBCs 'Play For Today' anthology series.

Played with gusto by Leo McKern, the character proved popular, and was developed into a 'Rumpole of the Bailey' television series for Thames Television and a series of books (all written by Mortimer). In September/October 2003, BBC Radio 4 broadcast four new 45-minute Rumpole dramatizations by Mortimer starring Timothy West in the title role. He also dramatised many of the real-life cases of the barrister Edward Marshall-Hall in a radio series starring ex-'Doctor Who' star Tom Baker.

In 1986, his description of what he saw as Britain's descent into the viciousness of Thatcherism – "Paradise Postponed" – was televised.

Mortimer was credited with the adaptation of Evelyn Waugh's "Brideshead Revisited" for Granada Television in 1981. However, Graham Lord's biography, "John Mortimer: The Devil's Advocate", revealed in 2005 that none of Mortimer's submitted scripts had in fact been used and that the screenplay was actually written by the series producer and director.

Mortimer adapted John Fowles' "The Ebony Tower", starring Laurence Olivier for Granada in 1984. From 2004, Mortimer worked as a consultant for the politico-legal US comedy television show 'Boston Legal'.

As Red Skelton would say, "Good night, and may God bless......"

Toby O'B


As I was working on my Hat Squad tributes to Patrick McGoohan and Ricardo Montalban, I noticed a few similarities - starting with the obvious:

Patrick McGoohan and Ricardo Montalban both died this week, within hours of each other.

Both men were Catholic and sometimes applied their beliefs into their work.

Each actor was best known for two roles on TV - McGoohan for Number 6 of 'The Prisoner' and 'John Drake' of 'Secret Agent'; Montalban for Khan of 'Star Trek' and Mr. Roarke of 'Fantasy Island'.
Both played murderers on 'Columbo', a most sought after acting job in its day.

Both appeared in theatrically released movies as their TV characters. Montalban in "Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan" and McGoohan in "Koroshi" as John Drake (although this was actually two episodes of the series stitched together).

Death has a strange way of dabbling in coincidences. For example, it was announced today that renowned artist Andrew Wyeth passed away. And just a few days ago, Leonard E.B. Andrews also passed away - he made his name in the art world by buying up hundreds of the paintings Wyeth did of the woman known as "Helga".

On last night's 'Smallville', it was said that the universe is made up of coincidence......

Can you think of any more for Montalban and McGoohan?

Toby O'B


FiL is one of my compadres in Iddiocy and he'll be playing some music on his Tuesday afternoon show in dedication to Patrick McGoohan. One of these songs is "I helped Patrick McGoohan Escape" by the Times.

FiL sent along a link to their 1983 video for the song which was filmed on the Portmeirion site in Wales. It's full of 'Prisoner' imagery - the ID buttons, human chess games, particular location shots, KAR120C, a penny-farthing bicycle, and even Rover makes an appearance!

You can see it here.

Toby O'B


I got an IM last night from a friend, asking where is the blog-love for Ricardo Montalban, who passed away on Tuesday at the age of 88. Well, it was just a matter of personal priorities - the death of Patrick McGoohan had more of an impact on me and that needed to be addressed first. Hell, I haven't even finished my tributes to Pat Hingle yet either!

Like Patrick McGoohan, Ricardo Montalban offered up two giants among his varied directory of TV characters - Khan Noonian Singh of 'Star Trek' and Mr. Roarke of 'Fantasy Island'.

Khan may have languished in the roster of Montalban's many other TV roles, elevated slightly above General Sefra, Colonel Vautrain, Nick Grobbo, and Damon West by the fervor of 'Trek' geekdom, had it not been for the show's incursion into the movie universe.

In "Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan", his persona expanded as his hatred of Kirk threatened to consume that universe. It's been said that Montalban out-hammed Shatner when it came to "chewing the scenery" in that movie.

That's a lotta ham.

Both of Montalban's major characters span centuries in the Toobworld timeline. As every good 'Trek' fan knows, Khan was born in the 20th Century (as to where? More later....) but he won't die until the 24th Century.

It was established in the original series of 'Fantasy Island' that Mr. Roarke, the host of 'Fantasy Island', was at least 300 years old... in that incarnation. (And we'll have more on that in a later post as well.)
Like McGoohan, Montalban played a murderer on 'Columbo', but
only the one time. (McGoohan matched wits with Lt. Columbo as four different killers.) Montalban's Luis Montoya may have been a cliche to him - a Mexican bullfighter - but he delivered more nuance to the man than probably needed.

Ricardo Montalban was the Anthony Quinn of the small screen - a master at playing many different nationalities and ethnicities - Greeks, Portugese, Spanish, French, Italians, Eastern Europeans, Japanese, members of several American Indian tribes, the Crown Prince of Montalbania and even a cow in the Tooniverse! If only for concerns about being politically correct, no one could match that variety today. (So it was only appropriate that Anthony Quinn should give that lifetime achievement award to Montalban back at the 1993 SAG Awards.)
And yet there were also quite a few roles that rose above ethnic origins, like Zach Powers of 'Dynasty' and Damon West of 'Dr. Kildare' as well as Teddy Green, Stephen Baird, Adam Steele, Martin Lynch, and TJ Gaynor from many other series.
Then there was the role of Ricardo Montalban himself, which he turned into a pop culture icon as he suavely sang the praise of the soft Corinthian leather in the Chrysler Cordoba. I wouldn't be at all surprised if that car only sold because of Montalban's masterful salesmanship.

So here's to you, Sir. Thank you for all of the great characters you've given us over so many years!

Good night and may God bless....
- Red Skelton

And speaking of Red, I have to go to the movie universe for this fitting exchange of dialogue between Mr. Skelton and Mr. Montalban. (You'll know who's who.....)

José O’Rourke:
"Hasta la vista."
Jack Spratt:
José O’Rourke:
"I’m sorry. In your language that means, ‘Adios, amigo.’"
"Neptune's Daughter"

Adios, amigo......

Toby O'B


For those who regularly visit Inner Toob, for the last week we've been showcasing American presidents as seen on TV. This has all been a lead-up to Tuesday's inauguration of Barack Obama as the 44th POTUS.

Today, the spotlight is on Ronald Reagan, former actor, former governor of California, and the 40th President of the United States.

It's been said that because of his career in Hollywood movies and on television, Reagan is the most photographed president we've ever had. He even appeared as himself in a few TV shows.

But it's how he looked in Toobworld as played by others that we're showcasing today. And as such, I couldn't decide which version I wanted to use. So instead, I'm going to feature both!

First up, here's Richard Crenna as Reagan in "The Day Reagan Was Shot": And here's James Brolin in "The Reagans": BCnU!
Toby O'B


Many fans of 'The Prisoner' have argued that Number 6, as played by Patrick McGoohan, was actually the character of John Drake from McGoohan's earlier series 'Danger Man' and 'Secret Agent'. When asked this (as he must have been hundreds if not thousands of times!), McGoohan would always say no, that they were two different characters.

Of course, legally he would have to say that. Otherwise, he and Lew Grade would have had to pay the creator of Drake royalties for coming up with the secret agent man.

But Toobworld Central is not bound by such stricture. It's our belief that it was John Drake who resigned, only to find himself a prisoner in the Village - where "they" had given him a number, and taken away his name.

Just as the line goes in the 'Secret Agent Man' song.......

But Number 6 wasn't the only character played by McGoohan in 'The Prisoner'. In the episode "Schizoid Man", McGoohan also portrayed Number 12 (real name: Curtis) who was used in a plot to break McGoohan. He presented himself as the real Number 6 in order to get 6 so thoroughly unsure of his own identity that he would spill the beans on why he resigned.

Near the end of the episode, Number 6 gets the better of Number 12 and forces him to give up the password to get by Rover, the "watchdog" of the Village. When they are both confronted by the possibly sentient balloon, the real Number 6 says "Gemini" first; Rover attacks and kills Curtis after he then gives the password.

But just because Curtis died in the Village, that doesn't mean he had to stay dead. As we would learn later in the final episode "Fall Out", Death is transient in a place with their futuristic devices. So if the Village was able to resuscitate Number 2, why couldn't it do the same for Curtis?

And once he was alive again, where did he go?

It's the Toobworld Central theory that he returned to his previous employ as a spy; actually as a double agent, working for both sides. For the CIA he was known as Nelson Brenner, code name: Colorado; he remained Curtis for the Other Side. And it was as Nelson Brenner that we saw him again - this time in the 'Columbo' episode "Identity Crisis". Behind the scenes, this episode was directed by Patrick McGoohan with several allusions to 'The Prisoner'. The number "1" was seen at the amusement park, where Brenner was seen wearing a windbreaker very similar in style to the outfit worn by Number 6 and most of the Villagers. And if I'm not mistaken, he would say "Be seeing you" to the Lieutenant.

This theory that Nelson Brenner and Curtis were the same man was presented here in the past. (Or maybe it was in the old website of The Tubeworld Dynamic.) But with the death of Patrick McGoohan, I thought it would make a nice, typically Toobworldly tribute to bring it up again.

Toby O'B

Thursday, January 15, 2009


In the "Red Rum" episode of 'The Mentalist' this week, a witch named Tamsin Doves placed a spell on CBI agent Cho. She said that he would kneel before the king of beasts.

Later, he helped tackle a suspect and as he knelt on the ground to cuff the kid, a "Kingsley Cleaners" van drove by. Its logo showed a lion wearing a crown.

And so the spell was fulfilled.

But to Hecate with all of that! What really matters in the Toobworld scheme of things is that Kingsley Cleaners just very well may be yet another franchise owned by Hank "Hey Now!" Kingsley, the former sidekick on 'The Larry Sanders Show'!

Toby O'B


"He must no longer be referred to as Number Six,
Or a number of any kind.
He has gloriously vindicated the right of the individual to be individual,
And this assembly rises to you... Sir
President of the Council
'The Prisoner' - "Fall Out"

I used to post all of the TV credits for a particular actor as tribute to their passing. But it was a very depressing and time-consuming job to get them in a certain Toobworldly order, and so now I just find other ways to honor them in the "Hat Squad" posts.

However, Patrick McGoohan was my second favorite actor of all time (surpassed only by Sir Alec Guinness). 'The Prisoner' is my favorite TV show of all time, and I'm not sure that 'Lost' will be able to supplant it once the final episode airs. (But sometimes it feels awfully damn close.) And therefore, I think the exception must be made.

The thing I admired most about McGoohan was that his sense of personal principles translated into the characters he played both in the movies and on TV. If he was the bad guy, oh, he was very very bad. He made it a point, I think, to refrain from showing any redeeming qualities. That's not to say they were thugs, however. Most of his villains were refined and civilized; not people to admire, certainly, but they did have style.

"Do try the marmalade.
The Silver Streak may have its faults,
But they have an excellent cuisine
Roger Deveraux
"Silver Streak"

That's my favorite McGoohan quote, and it displays that civilized manner of his villains.

Conversely, if he was to play the hero, then he couldn't be ambiguous about it; there were no shades of gray for his good guys. He refused to allow his first major character, John Drake of 'Danger Man' and 'Secret Agent', to have a "girl of the week" because it went against his moral bearings. Similarly, Drake never used a gun, at least not unless there was no other recourse.

I saw 'The Prisoner' when it first aired in America, on CBS as a summer replacement series back in the late sixties. And that final episode, "Fall Out", knocked me for a loop. It showed me that TV didn't have to be the mindless chewing gum for the eyes everyone claimed it was. People tuned in to "Fall Out" with the hopes that all of their questions which had been building up over the previous sixteen episodes would finally be answered.

Instead, McGoohan's script gave them even more questions. He wanted the audience to think for itself, to find their own answers.

As a result, he had to leave the country to avoid the brouhaha which erupted when it aired in England. (I understand he even got some death threats over that finale!)

For the next ten years, until PBS brought it back during the summer of 1977, I had to content myself with my memories of the series, and try vainly to tell others what a grand experiment in television they had missed. The best I could do was a simple: "It was made _____ years ago, and it's still twenty years ahead of its time."

Then came the repeats on A&E, the video and DVD releases, and now AMC is streaming the entire 17 episode series online in preparation for their update coming later this year (starring Jim Caviezel and Ian McKellan). There are many books, organizations, a comic book sequel, and several novels dedicated to this everyman (a term which McGoohan used for the name of his production company while making 'The Prisoner').

No matter what the role he played in Toobworld, whether it was Number Six, John Drake, or the four murderers on 'Columbo', it's always the way he had fun with the inflection in his lines.

Take his role as Nelson Brenner in "Identity Crisis", my second favorite 'Columbo' episode ever. (Once again McGoohan loses out in my admiration, this time to "Try And Catch Me". I will concede however, that "Identity Crisis" is better written; it's Ruth Gordon as Abigail Mitchell that puts "Try And Catch Me" in the lead.)

In "Identity Crisis", it's just the way he twists a simple phrase like "I know!" and the exclamation of a name like "Steinmetz!" that burnishes my admiration for the man as an actor.

That quote from "Fall Out" above put me in mind of another quote, one by Shakespeare from "Julius Caesar":

"This was a man, take him for all in all,
We shall not look upon his like again

And when it comes to such an individual as an actor, writer, and director, who adhered to his principles when it came to the creations that would be his legacy, than I think we can say the same for Patrick McGoohan.

"The Simpsons" .... Number Six
- The Computer Wore Menace Shoes (2000)

Columbo: Ashes to Ashes (1998) (TV) .... Eric Prince

The Best of Friends (1991) (TV) .... George Bernard Shaw

Columbo: Agenda for Murder (1990) (TV) .... Oscar Finch

"Murder, She Wrote" .... Attorney Oliver Quayle
- Witness for the Defense (1987)

Of Pure Blood (1986) (TV) .... Dr. Felix Neumann

"American Playhouse" .... Chief Magistrate

- Three Sovereigns for Sarah (1985)

Jamaica Inn (1983) (TV) .... Joss Merlyn

The Hard Way (1979) (TV) .... John Connor

"Rafferty" .... Dr. Sid Rafferty

The Man in the Iron Mask (1977) (TV) .... Fouquet

Columbo: Identity Crisis (1975) (TV) .... Nelson Brenner / Colorado

Columbo: By Dawn's Early Light (1974) (TV) .... Col. Lyle C. Rumford

"The Prisoner" .... Number Six

"Danger Man" .... John Drake

The Three Lives of Thomasina (1964) .... Andrew McDhui

"Disneyland" .... Dr. Christopher Syn
- The Scarecrow of Romney Marsh

The Prisoner (1963) (TV) .... The Interrogator


- The Executioner (1961) TV episode .... Gilbert Stoner
- The Hanging of Alfred Wadham (????) TV episode .... Priest

"ITV Play of the Week"
- Sergeant Musgrave's Dance (1961) TV episode .... Sergeant Musgrave

- Shadow of a Pale Horse (1959) TV episode .... The Prosecutor
- A Dead Secret (1959) TV episode .... Frederick Dyson
- The Big Knife (1958) TV episode .... Charles Castle
- Disturbance (1958) TV episode .... Flint
- All My Sons (1958) .... Chris Keller
- The Iron Harp (1958)

"Danger Man" .... John Drake

"Armchair Theatre"
- The Man Out There (1961) TV episode .... Nicholai Soloviov

- The Greatest Man in the World (1958) TV episode .... Jack 'Pal' Smurch

"Tales of the Vikings"
- The Barbarian (1960) TV episode Brand (1959) (TV) .... Brand

"ITV Television Playhouse" .... Mat Galvin (1 episode, 1958)

- Rest in Violence (1958)

This Day in Fear (1958) (TV) .... James Coogan

"The Vise"
- Blood in the Sky (1958) TV episode .... Vance

- Gift from Heaven (1955) TV episode .... Tony Mason

"The Adventures of Aggie"

- Cock and Bull (1957) TV episode .... Jocko
- Spanish Sauce (1956) TV episode .... Migual

"Assignment Foreign Legion" .... Capt. Valadon
- The Coward (1957)

"The Adventures of Sir Lancelot" .... Sir Glavin

- The Outcast (1956)

"BBC Sunday-Night Theatre" .... Seth Makepeace

- The Makepeace Story #1: The Ruthless Destiny (1955)

Moby Dick Rehearsed (1955) (TV) .... A Serious Actor / Starbuck

"You Are There" .... Charles Stewart Parnell

- The Fall of Parnell (December 6, 1890) (1954)
As Red Skelton said, Good night, and may God bless.....

BCnU... Sir.
Toby O'B


Here at Toobworld Central, we're celebrating the upcoming, historical inauguration of Barack Obama by posting pictures each day of other presidents as they appeared in Toobworld.

As Obama is not yet our 44th President, I thought we should show at least one of our subjects as he looked before holding the highest office in the land (TV Land included). And no President had a more picturesque pre-POTUS past than Teddy Roosevelt. (How was that for alliteration?)
Tom Berenger portrayed Teddy during the Spanish-American War, when he organized "The Rough Riders" to fight in Cuba. This TV movie can serve as one of the "Essentials" of Toobworld, as it would be the focal point for an historical juncture in the Toobworld timeline where several other shows can be connected.

Grandpa Zebulon Walton always claimed that he had been a member of the Rough Riders and that he had been there for the charge up San Juan Hill. But when his grandson John-Boy organized a reunion of the veterans to re-stage the charge up Walton's Mountain, the truth came out - he was never there. ('The Waltons')

Kevin Armagh, one of the sons of Joseph Francis Xavier Armagh, died during the battle, nearly breaking the heart of his father who had been planning to groom his son for greater glory. ("Captains And The Kings")

Another TV character who died during the Battle of San Juan Hill, and a major one at that, was Joseph Cartwright. The son of Ben Cartwright, "Little Joe" used to live in Nevada on the Ponderosa Ranch. Technically, he was assumed missing in action there, which was the production's way of hedging their bets should the TV movie lead to a series and then perhaps they got Michael Landon back to reprise the role. However, since it's a moot point now that Landon is gone, we're going to call it - Little Joe died at San Juan Hill. ('Bonanza', 'Ponderosa', and "Bonanza: The Next Generation")

Toby O'B

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


I hate when my intuitions prove true.

I woke up to find these news items from my brother:

By Robin Stringer
Jan. 14 (Bloomberg)
-- Patrick McGoohan, the Emmy-winning actor who created and starred in the surreal British television drama “The Prisoner” in the 1960s, has died. He was 80.

McGoohan died yesterday in Los Angeles after a short illness, the Associated Press reported, citing his son-in-law, the film producer Cleve Landsberg.

In “The Prisoner,” McGoohan’s character -- known only as No. 6 -- was a former spy trying to escape from a seemingly bucolic village. The show achieved cult status in the U.K. and the U.S. mainly because of its symbolism and the ambiguity in its storylines.

“The Prisoner is considered by some critics to be television’s first masterpiece, the most brilliant television series ever produced,” the Chicago-based Museum of Broadcast Communications says on its Web site. “It is continually rebroadcast, usually presented as a science fiction program, though it is probably best described as a spy series filled with technological gadgetry.”

McGoohan won two Emmy awards for appearances on the “Columbo” NBC-TV detective television series. He directed several episodes, appearing in four of them as different murderers, according to the Web site.

The actor was born in New York in 1928, and his family moved to Ireland when he was a child. His first roles came on stage with an English theater group.

He came to the attention of the wider television audience when he was chosen for the starring role in the British spy series “Danger Man” in 1960. The series also became a hit in the U.S., where it was called “Secret Agent.”

McGoohan was involved in recent years in the preproduction work for a remake of “The Prisoner” by the AMC cable network. Jim Caviezel will play McGoohan’s original role, with Ian McKellen as his foil.McGoohan was married to Joan Drummond and has three children, five grandchildren and a grandson, according to

By ANDREW DALTON Associated Press Writer
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Patrick McGoohan, the Emmy-winning actor who created and starred in the cult classic television show “The Prisoner,” has died. He was 80.

McGoohan died Tuesday in Los Angeles after a short illness, his son-in-law, film producer Cleve Landsberg, said.McGoohan won two Emmys for his work on the Peter Falk detective drama “Columbo,” and more recently appeared as King Edward Longshanks in the 1995 Mel Gibson film “Braveheart.”

But he was most famous as the character known only as Number Six in “The Prisoner,” a sci-fi tinged 1960s British series in which a former spy is held captive in a small enclave known only as The Village, where a mysterious authority named Number One constantly prevents his escape.

McGoohan came up with the concept and wrote and directed several episodes of the show, which has kept a devoted following in the United States and Europe for four decades.

Born in New York on March 19, 1928, McGoohan was raised in England and Ireland, where his family moved shortly after his birth. He had a busy stage career before moving to television, and won a London Drama Critics Award for playing the title role in the Henrik Ibsen play “Brand.”

He married stage actress Joan Drummond in 1951. The oldest of their three daughters, Catherine, is also an actress.

His first foray into TV was in 1964 in the series “Danger Man,” a more straightforward spy show that initially lasted just one season but was later brought back for three more when its popularity — and McGoohan's — exploded in reruns.W

eary of playing the show's lead John Drake, McGoohan pitched to producers the surreal and cerebral “The Prisoner” to give himself a challenge.

The series ran just one season and 17 episodes in 1967, but its cultural impact remains.

He voiced his Number Six character in an episode of “The Simpsons” in 2000. The show is being remade as a series for AMC that premieres later this year.

“His creation of 'The Prisoner' made an indelible mark on the sci-fi, fantasy and political thriller genres, creating one of the most iconic characters of all time,” AMC said in a statement Wednesday. “AMC hopes to honor his legacy in our re-imagining of 'The Prisoner.”'

Later came smaller roles in film and television. McGoohan won Emmys for guest spots on Columbo” 16 years apart, in 1974 and 1990.

He also appeared as a warden in the 1979 Clint Eastwood film “Escape from Alcatraz” and as a judge in the 1996 John Grisham courtroom drama “A Time To Kill.”

His last major role was in “Braveheart,” in what The Associated Press called a “standout” performance as the brutal king who battles Scottish freedom fighter William Wallace, played by Gibson.

In his review of the film for the Los Angeles Times critic Peter Rainer said “McGoohan is in possession of perhaps the most villainous enunciation in the history of acting.”

McGoohan is survived by his wife and three daughters.
———Associated Press writer Solvej Schou contributed to this story.

And as I logged in to Blogger, I see Bill Crider is reporting that Ricardo Montalban has also died. Man.... Khaaaaaaaannnnn!

I'm reporting now from a remote Toobworld Central outpost, but should be home by tomorrow. At that time I'll have more to say about the impact on the TV universe by both of these men.

A sad day for Toobworld......

Toby O'B


Tim O'Hara:
He looks pretty shifty, huh?
Uncle Martin:
A fine thing to say about the man
who's due to become your fifteenth President
Tim O'Hara:
'My Favorite Martian'

As we get closer to the inauguration of Barack Obama as the 44th President of the United States, Toobworld Central is celebrating here at "Inner Toob" by posting pictures of former Presidents as they looked on TV.

Certain presidents I'm trying to avoid, only because they have been over-exposed in mini-series, TV show episodes, and even cartoons and commercials. These would include Abe Lincoln, Jack Kennedy, George Washington, Richard Nixon, and even George W. Bush. (But as he's heading out the door, I'll probably include him as well for this run.)

And then there are those presidents whom you never expect to see show up in a TV movie - James Madison, Franklin Pierce, Millard Fillmore, Martin Van Buren, and Chester A. Arthur (although I hope to have an odd choice for him before this run is over!)

James Buchanan might have been expected to fall into that category had it not been for his close encounter with an extra-terrestrial in 1849. Traveling in Time, reporter Tim O'Hara and his Martian companion "Uncle Martin" (whose real name was Exigius 121/2) were on board the Cotton Blossom riverboat in 1849 when they encountered the future president.

Toby O'B

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


Three more actors have passed away, each of whom contributed to the pantheon of TV characters.

As a character actor, he was best known as the father of Ellen Barnes (Ellen DeGeneres' character) on 'Ellen' and as Mr. Collins the teacher on 'The Wonder Years'. 'The Practice', 'Columbo', 'Get Real', 'Picket Fences', and 'L.A. Law' also saw him play one particular character each for at least four episodes.

After Benedict the Sixteen became the Pontiff, it was my "wish-craft" that hoped Gilborn would be tapped to play the Pope in any show that needed the presence of his Holiness. But the chance never came.... I guess it wasn't as popular an idea to incorporate him into a storyline as it had been for John Paul II.

Harry Endo played forensics specialist Che Fong on 'Hawaii Five-0', and although he was not the first to take on the role, he played it the longest and therefore should be considered the actual Che Fong.

Danny Kamekona played the role for a short while before Endo, and he also played Henry, the chauffeur for Amos Burke when 'Burke's Law' returned in the early 1990's. Leon Lontoc originated the role of Henry in the 1960's, and there never was any splainin as to why a different actor was suddenly playing the same role. So either Captain Burke preferred to only hire Asians named Henry to drive his Rolls Royce, or the second Henry might have been following in his father's footsteps, taking over his job as chauffeur after Henry the First passed away.

Or we could go the outrageous Toobworld route - whoever Danny Kamekona really was on both shows, he was a quantum leaper from the future who stepped in as Henry the chauffeur and then as Che Fong. But anybody who dealt with him would see the glamour of the original person.

Harry Endo was 87 when he died

Don Galloway was 71. In Toobworld he's best known for the role of Sgt. Ed Brown, the right-hand man for Chief Robert T. 'Ironside'. Sgt. Ed Brown serveD as the lynchpin between 'Ironside' and 'The Bold Ones: The New Doctors': in a two-part episode that crossed over from one show to the other, Ed was shot and could have ended up paralyzed if it was not for the medical skills of the doctors at the Craig Institute.

It's always been a supposition by Toobworld Central that Sgt. Ed Brown was the long-estranged son of a mechanic, also named Ed Brown, who ran his own garage in the inner city of Los Angeles ('Chico And The Man'). I don't think the parents of Sgt. Brown ever showed up on 'Ironside'; in fact, I don't think Ed ever mentioned them. But I could be wrong on that.
And Ed Brown the mechanic never mentioned having a son. So it could be that they had a horrible falling out, so bad that they treated each other as not even existing. It's just a theory and still could be proven wrong.

"Good night, and may God bless...."
- Red Skelton

Toby O'B


So here we are, counting down the days to the inauguration of Barack Obama as President by showing various portrayals of past Presidents in Toobworld.

Today we have Thomas Jefferson, as seen in the pilot episode of 'Jack Of All Trades':

Jefferson discovered that government agent Jack Styles was schtupping his niece after rescuing her from the French. Rather than take revenge the old-fashioned way as any wronged uncle might, Jefferson instead decided to take care of Styles diplomatically. He had the spy shipped off to the island province of Palau Palau; there to keep tabs on the doings of the French in that remote region of the South Pacific and to prevent them from using it as a base for world conquest.

In this screen capture we see President Jefferson delivering the news of his assignment to Jack.....

The thing about 'Jack Of All Trades' is that for Toobworld purposes it must be seen as a visualization of Jack Styles' memoirs, which were filled with more lies than the tales told by Baron Munchausen. (They could have been the delirious rantings of a syphilitic; I certainly wouldn't put it past Jack to eventually catch "Cupid's Disease".) So this part of his story may not be factual, even by Toobworld terms, but it's certainly more believable than his account that Napoleon was a midget, or that he dealt with Ben Franklin and Catherine the Great - either many years after they died or were at the very least quite long in the tooth.

Toby O'B

Monday, January 12, 2009


Hugh is one of my long-time correspondents in the Toobworld Patrol, and he wrote in almost immediately about Mark Twain's induction into the TV Crossover Hall of Fame to point out one omission:


"Honest Abe and Popular Steve"
gs: Dee Snider [ Sammy Noah ], Michelle Durham [ Amy ], Susan Giosa [ Cleopatra ], Gary Bullock [ Abraham Lincoln ], Stuart Weiss [ Albert Einstein ], Jordan Bowers [ Mark Twain ], Christian Malmin [ Rudolph Valentino ]

rc: Mr. Nitzke, Twin #1, Twin #2

Marty's doing such a good job drafting historical figures to help Steve improve his life that he's reassigned to Sammy Noah, a hell-raising rock star.

b: 24 Oct 97 pc: T105
w: Bill Freiberger
d: Brian K. Roberts


Thanks, Hugh!

Toby O'B


As 2009 marks the 10th anniversary of the TV Crossover Hall of Fame, we're inducting a new member every week from one of the following categories:

The League of Themselves
Historical Figures
The Tooniverse

For January, the month in which we usually salute the classics, who better for our Historical Figure inductee than Mark Twain?

Many of the portrayals of Samuel Langhorne Clemens can be delegated to other TV dimensions, to help spread the wealth.

My personal favorite would have to be Jerry Hardin's performance in the two-part 'Star Trek: The Next Generation' episode - Mark Twain in outer space! [pictured above] But I also enjoyed "Roughing It" with James Garner, "Mark Twain And Me" with Jason Robards, and of course, Hal Holbrook in his one-man show.

There are a few on this list that were narration only and so they wouldn't interfere with the "official" view of Twain for the main Toobworld. There are also a couple from the Tooniverse which can be accepted as being the same man, and some from foreign language productions. (There may be a couple of alternate Toobworlds that have been dominated by one particular foreign power or another.)

The one true Zonk among all of these would be the three different times Mark Twain visited his old friends the Cartwrights on 'Bonanza', and each time he was portrayed by a different actor. Whether one of them can be considered the true Mark Twain or not, I don't know. But at least two of them could be either alien shape-shifters or quantum leapers from the far future who can go that far back in Time.

I played with the idea that perhaps the Mark Twain who showed up on 'The Rifleman' was an imposter; that instead he was actually Walter Jameson in disguise (from the 'Twilight Zone' episode "Long Live Walter Jameson" which also starred Kevin McCarthy). But then I read the plot description and decided that it had to remain the real Mark Twain......

One last thing..... Here is a list of TV shows in which I wish we could have seen Mark Twain:

'Doctor Who'

'The Adventures Of Brisco County, Jr.'

'The Wild, Wild West'


'Cold Case' (Why not? He could have been in Philadelphia on a speaking tour, and there should be no time limit on murder investigations.)

At any rate, here is a list of most of the actors who portrayed Samuel Clemens aka Mark Twain in the TV dimension:

Charles Aidman
. . . "Disneyland" (1954) {Walt Disney: One Man's Dream (#28.12)}

Christopher Connelly
. . . Incredible Rocky Mountain Race (1977)

Kevin Conway
. . . Mark Twain (2001)

Robert Cornthwaite
. . . "Cavalcade of America" (1952) {Riders of the Pony Express (#2.11)}

Bing Crosby
. . . Swing Out, Sweet Land (1970)

John Cullum
. . . "Touched by an Angel" (1994) {It Came Upon a Midnight Clear (#4.12)}

Royal Dano
. . . Huckleberry Finn (1975)

Melvyn Douglas
. . . "Sunday Showcase" (1959) {Our American Heritage: Shadow of a Soldier (#1.23)}

Howard Duff
. . . "Bonanza" (1959) {Enter Mark Twain (#1.5)}

William Challee
. . . "Bonanza" (1959) {The Emperor Norton (#7.23)}

Ken Howard
. . . "Bonanza" (1959) {The Twenty-Sixth Grave (#14.7)}

Mark Habit
. . . Witch Hunt (1994)

Nicholas Hammond
. . . "Track, The" (2000) {A Rough Start (#1.1)}

Hal Holbrook
. . . Mark Twain Tonight! (1967)

Dwight Marfield
. . . "Bell Telephone Hour, The" (1959) {The Sounds of America (#3.9)}

Kevin McCarthy
. . . "Rifleman, The" (1958) {The Shattered Idol (#4.10)}

Dan O'Herlihy
. . . Mark Twain: Beneath the Laughter (1979)

Ken Richters
. . . Born to Trouble: Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (2000)

Jason Robards
. . . Mark Twain and Me (1991)

Stephen Shortridge
. . . "Fantasy Island" (1978) {The Angel's Triangle/Natchez Bound (#6.4)}

Slavko Simic
. . . "Nikola Tesla" (1977)

James Stewart
. . . General Electric's All-Star Anniversary (1978) (TV)

Franchot Tone
. . . "Playhouse 90" (1956) {The Shape of the River (#4.16)}

Jack Warden
. . . Helen Keller: The Miracle Continues (1984)

Craig Wasson
. . . Innocents Abroad, The (1983)

Jeffrey Weissman
. . . Mark Twain: Adventures in the Holy Land (2008)

Drew Wilson
. . . "Sabrina, the Teenage Witch" (1996) {Jealousy (#4.3)}

Cameron Daddo
. . . Riverworld (2003)

Robin Dunne
. . . Roughing It (2002)

James Garner
. . . Roughing It (2002)

Jerry Hardin
. . . "Star Trek: The Next Generation" (1987) {Time's Arrow, Parts 1 & 2]

Christopher Stone
. . . "Father Murphy" (1981) {Stopover in a One-Horse Town (#2.3)}

Rossie Harris
. . . "Voyagers!" (1982) {Created Equal (#1.2)}

David Knell
. . . Life on the Mississippi (1980)

Tom Skerritt
. . . "Death Valley Days" (1952) {Ten Day Millionaires (#17.12)}

Jonathan Walker
. . . "Secret Adventures of Jules Verne, The" (2000) {The Ballad of Steeley Joe (#1.10)}

Paolo Stoppa
. . . "Questa sera parla Mark Twain" (1965)

Oleg Tabakov
. . . Mark Tven-protiv (1975)

Frank Welker
. . . "Johnny Bravo" (1997) {Karma Krisis/A Star Is Bruised/The Prince and the Pinhead (#2.3)}

Paul Boocock
. . . "Venture Bros., The" (2003) {ORB (#3.11)}

Matthew McConaughey
. . . "Freedom: A History of Us" (2003) {Yearning to Breathe Free (#1.10)}

Edward Herrmann
. . . "Freedom to Speak" (1982)
Toby O'B


In the 'Reaper' episode "Leon", Patton Oswalt portrayed the soul of Leon Czogolsz, the assassin of President William McKinley. For a while, Oswalt's portrayal had the lead for the Toobits Award of Best Historical Character Revision. But he was trumped by Jonathon Young as the vampiric Nicola Tesla in 'Sanctuary'.

The History Channel created a docudrama about the assassination of McKinley which featured Richard Strobel as the President. Mr. Strobel has his own website with an excellent array of pictures from that production and I'd like to thank him for the chance to feature them in this display of the sequence of events on September 6, 1901.
Toby O'B


This weekend saw the series finale for 'Stargate: Atlantis', which saw the annihilation of the Wraith threat to Earth and the city-ship of Atlantis nestled in the ocean just outside the boundaries of San Francisco's waters. What with all of the plot threads they had to wrap up and satisfying conclusions to all of their characters, the finale still found time for a small tribute to the actor Don S. Davis, who played General Hammond on the original 'Stargate SG-1'.

Davis passed away in 2008, and so the same fate befell General Hammond as well, of a sudden heart attack. For all that he had done in service to the Stargate mission, a new starship was outfitted and commissioned in his honor; formerly to be known as the Phoenix, the starship was now the "General Hammond".

No actor could probably ask for a more fitting memorial to one of his characters. After all, nothing will last longer than sci-fi TV shows in syndication heaven.

Toby O'B

Sunday, January 11, 2009


Grover Cleveland has been the only President so far to have served two non-consecutive terms in office. As such, today we're featuring two different portrayals of President Cleveland in Toobworld as we count down to the historic inauguration of Barack Obama. And both portrayals took place in TV Westerns that had their fair share of not only espionage, but also science fiction.

In the 1979 TV movie "The Wild, Wild West Revisited", President Cleveland was one of several world leaders who had been kidnapped by Dr. Miguelito Loveless, Jr. and replaced with clones. (This happened in 1885 on the Toobworld timeline.)

In 1894, President Cleveland recruited bounty hunters Brisco County, Jr. and Lord Bowler to work undercover for him on various missions. (This happened in the final episode of the series in 1994, and would have set up the overall arc for the second season storyline.)

Now, as can be seen by the two pictures, there is something of a difference in physical appearance for Cleveland. This is easy enough to splain away (besides the fact that the quality of the first picture isn't very good): in 1885 Cleveland looked older and more haggard as he was suffering from his detention in an underground cave prison cell. Nearly ten years later, and now President Cleveland was more robust. Perhaps he even had some work done with some kind of experimental plastic surgery. Hey, if they could clone somebody back in those days......!

Toby O'B


When Milburn Stone suffered a heart attack in 1971, Pat Hingle joined the cast of 'Gunsmoke' as Dr. John Chapman. For 6 episodes he served as a place-holder until Stone was well enough to return as Dr. Galen Adams. Hingle wasn't the first to serve in that capacity on a TV series, as others who have taken on the place-holder position include Charles Aidman and William Schallert (among others) for Ross Martin on 'The Wild, Wild West' and John Williams for Sebastian Cabot on 'Family Affair'. Since that time, Anthony John Denison and William Russ took up the load for Ken Wahl on 'Wiseguy'.

I know what you're thinking: well, that's not very Toobworldly enough to make a special post, and you're right. There was another reason why I wanted to write about Dr. John Chapman, and it concerns the Toobworld subject of reincarnation. Toobworld Central is taking the position that Dr. John Chapman was "born to rerun" as another character who had a moment to shine almost 100 years after Chapman's glory days in Dodge City.

Of course, none of this can be verified; it's all just another crackpot theory from yours truly.

For most of the episodes in which Dr. Chapman appeared on 'Gunsmoke', he was blended in with the rest of the cast, merely serving in the stead of Doc Adams; doing what Doc would have done in that script. But for his first episode, the focus was on Dr. Chapman.

Here's a description of that first episode, courtesy of Peter Harris at the

"Kitty finds and reads a letter from Doc Adams, who has disappeared from Dodge. Doc writes that he was so distraught over the death of a young girl under his care, who was suffering from an illness he didn't know how to treat, that he has gone East to re-enter medical school and catch up on something other than surgery for bullet wounds. (This was actually a ploy to give Milburn Stone, who had suffered a heart attack in the off season, time to fully recover.) Soon a new doctor, Dr. John Chapman, arrives. Chapman is a highly cultured, very standoffish New Orleans dandy. The townspeople treat him with disdain and refuse to see him. Chapman pretends not to care, but his feelings are deeply hurt. It takes an explosion at Newly's gun shop -- and a bone fragment pressing on Newly's brain, causing him to have hallucinations and become a dangerous maniac -- to get people to turn to Chapman for help."

Once he won over the respect and trust of the citizens of Dodge, Dr. Chapman was able to keep the people healthy enough until Doc Adams returned.

Now from this point on, it's pure speculation......

Jump ahead nearly 100 years on the Toobworld timeline. The soul of Dr. John Chapman has been reborn and it's following along many of the same destinies as it had already lived through. Once again a doctor, that soul is confronted again by suspicious townsfolk unwilling to trust their medical concerns to a stranger. But this time, there's an added obstacle to overcome - the people just didn't want to be treated by a woman doctor.
That's right - Dr. John Chapman had been reborn as a woman.

Janet Craig - again with the initials JC*! - came to Hooterville to take over the practice of Dr. Barton Stuart, who was retiring. And once again, the local citizens wanted nothing to do with someone new to the area, mostly because she was a woman. (Perhaps there was some sort of resentment against medicine in general, since it proved useless in saving the life of Kate Bradley.) But without consciously realizing it, Dr. Janet Craig called upon those past experiences as Dr. John Chapman to insinuate herself into their lives.

(Dr. Craig, as played by June Lockhart, is pictured here with the three Bradley girls.)

Like I said, it can't be proven. But at the same time, it can't be disproved, either.

Toby O'B

*That her name was Janet Craig, doesn't mean that was the name she was born with. "Craig" might have been a married name from a former marriage... perhaps even to Dr. Mark Craig of St. Eligius Hospital; a union that was short-lived before he finally married Ellen Craig (as seen on 'St. Elsewhere'). Or she could have been related to Dr. David Craig of 'The Bold Ones'. But I'd like to think that all three of them were part of the same family - maybe not all as siblings, but certainly as cousins in a family dedicated to medicine.