Saturday, March 21, 2009


We've finished using the "As Seen On TV" feature to salute the memory of actor Ron Silver, but sadly, we have one more tribute to publish.....
Among her select roles for television, the late Natasha Richardson portrayed the equally tragic "Zelda" Fitzgerald in a TV movie with Timothy Hutton playing her husband, F. Scott Fitzgerald.

Toby O'B


In May, FOX will have a very off-beat crossover event - Agent Booth will suffer a head injury on 'Bones' which will cause him to hallucinate several conversations with Stewie Griffin of 'Family Guy'.

This isn't the Zonk it sounds like. Stewie lives in the Tooniverse and most people in Earth Prime-Time consider such characters to be just "toons". However, these pen-and-ink figures are just as alive as flesh-and-blood characters.

And sometimes they cross over to the actual Toobworld.

The few who know the truth about Toons include Regis Philbin, Kathie Lee Gifford, Jerry Seinfeld, David Letterman, Ryan Seacrest, Drew Carey, Giselle McKenzie, Mimi Bobeck, Lois Lane, and Jimmy Olsen.

(This story was reported by Ausiello of Entertainment Weekly, and his online graphic for his story was so good, I decided to hijack it.)

Toby O'B


Tim Stack is reporting in Entertainment Weekly that the May 11th episode of 'Gossip Girl' serves as a back-door pilot for a prequel series for the younger version of the Lily van der Woodsen character. She'll be depicted as a wild, fun-loving teen in 1980s Los Angeles, and the creators of the show (Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage) are mulling over the idea of having Lily meet the younger versions of characters from Schwartz' earlier series, 'The O.C.' Specifically he's thinking of Kirsten Nichol and Jimmy Cooper.

While they're at it, why not bring in a teen-aged version of Big Mike from his other series, 'Chuck'?

Toby O'B

Friday, March 20, 2009


An episode of 'The Simpsons' aired in the United Kingdom and in Ireland this past Tuesday - St. Patrick's Day - before it aired in the United States. So even though its home audience has yet to see it, it's already taken place in the Tooniverse.

Perhaps because the story had the Simpson family going to Ireland was the reason for its premiere on SKY1 (and whatever network showed it in Ireland). (The episode's title was "In The Name Of The Grandfather".)

Toby O'B


Thank goodness for blogmates like Ivan at "Thrilling Days Of Yesteryear" (link to the left, dear reader)! Without him to point it out for me, I never would have known that today marks the birthday of Carl Reiner, the man responsible for bringing 'The Dick Van Dyke Show' to Toobworld and into my personal top five of shows. Mr. Reiner is 87 today, and I'd like to think that the same could be said for Alan Brady, his most enduring TV character (from 'The DVD Show') and a member of the TV Crossover Hall of Fame.

Ivan also passed on word that today would have been Ozzie Nelson's 103rd birthday. (Which he learned from another blogmate, Bill Crider - also linked to the left.) The former bandleader spent fourteen years as his own tele-version in Toobworld (with years doing the same in the radio universe), one of the longest runs in the history of Earth Prime-Time. And that was just from the original series, 'Ozzie and Harriet'; he returned years later with 'Ozzie's Girls' in syndication.

Luckily for my waistline I'm too lazy to run out to the store; otherwise, I might have picked up some Rocky Road ice cream to salute his memory.....

Toby O'B


I doubt anybody even noticed, but I completely forgot to post this week's inductee into the TV Crossover Hall of Fame.

This year we're celebrating the tenth anniversary for the site and so to celebrate, there's a new member brought in each week - with a theme for each week. For the third week in each month, we're inducting somebody from the Tooniverse. And with the passing of writer Millard Kaufman this week, who died in his 90's, we're going to make a last minute replacement and induct Mr. Quincy Magoo. (Mr. Kaufman helped create the nearly blind "adventurer".) Mr. Magoo had his own series:

'The Famous Adventures Of Mr. Magoo'

'Mister Magoo'

'What's New, Mr. Magoo?' His best contribution though has to be the wonderful holiday musical, "Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol", in which Mr. Magoo performs as Ebenezer Scrooge on Broadway. Quincy Magoo also schilled for products ranging from GE products to Stag Beer. And he appeared with other citizens of the Tooniverse like Fred Flintstone, Yogi Bear, and Olive Oyl in a 1999 blipvert for Mastercard. (Basically, it lifted its footage of Mr. Magoo from the theatrical short "When Magoo Flew".

Congrats on entering the Hall of Fame.....

But not through that door!

Ah, Magoo, ye've done it again!

Toby O'B


Friday marks the final tribute to Ron Silver's gallery of real world figures "As Seen On TV", and for this last one we have something a little bit different.....

"Master Spy: The Robert Hanssen Story" detailed how FBI agent Hanssen sold out his country and put the lives of many working undercover in danger. Silver played Hanssen's boss in the Bureau, Mike Fine, and he's seen here telling Hanssen that he has to play down his intelligence if he wants to get ahead in the organization. The thing is... Mike Fine didn't really exist. Instead, he's an amalgam of several real life people, but mainly he is David Majors, who actually was Hanssen's boss.

In order to prepare for the role, Ron Silver met with Majors as seen in this publicity photo: BCnU!
Toby O'B

Thursday, March 19, 2009


Natasha Richardson has passed away at the age of 45, after her family made the decision to take her off life support. She suffered brain injuries after a fall while skiing in Canada, but it wasn't apparent for hours. She leaves behind her husband Liam Neeson, their two boys, and other members of an acting royalty family - her mother Vanessa Redgrave, sister Joely, their brother Carlo, her aunt Lynn and her uncle Corin.

She also left behind a body of work in theatre and movies that have been mentioned extensively since the news about her condition first surfaced. But as always, I'd like to point out the contributions she made to Toobworld over the years:

The Mastersons of Manhattan (2007) .... Victoria Masterson

Haven (2001) .... Ruth Gruber

The Man Who Came to Dinner (2000) .... Host

Zelda (1993) .... Zelda Fitzgerald

Hostages (1993) .... Jill Morrell

Suddenly, Last Summer (1993) .... Catharine Holly

Ghosts (1987) .... Regina

In the Secret State (1985) .... Jilly

"Tales from the Crypt" .... Fiona Havisham

- Fatal Caper

"Worlds Beyond"
- The Barrington Case (1987)

"The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes" .... Violet Hunter
- The Copper Beeches (1985)

"Oxbridge Blues" .... Gabriella
- The Muse (1984)

"Ellis Island" (1984) .... Young whore

Good night, and may God bless....

Toby O'B


For a look at Ron Silver as Ron Kershaw in "Almost Golden: The Jessica Savitch Story", this was the best photo I could find, that of the video box cover. But it's fine because unlike his portrayals of Bobby Riggs, Robert Shapiro, and Dr. Kissinger, Silver's Kershaw looks just like the Ron Silver I'm most familiar with.

From Wikipedia:
Prior to his move to Baltimore, Kershaw had been dating Jessica Savitch, a news reporter who had worked for a rival television station in Texas. Kershaw helped develop her skills as a reporter during their stormy 10-year on-again and off-again relationship. The relationship was depicted in the made for television movie: Almost Golden, about the life of Jessica Savitch. In 1987, Kershaw met Giselle Fernandez, whom he had hired as a reporter at WBBM-TV. They found they had a lot in common and soon they were engaged to be married. It was never to be. Kershaw died in July 1989 of pancreatic and liver cancer.

Tomorrow, one last look at a real world figure played by Ron Silver in Toobworld. And we then, sadly, continue with another tribute on Saturday....

Toby O'B

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


Okay, that didn't take long.......
A minute ago in the comments section for "Kings World Production", I said I'd add a picture of the drugstore from the 'Land of the Giants' episode if I found one. Went to, and there it was!

Toby O'B


That monster Josef Fritzl, the Austrian accused of imprisoning his own daughter in the basement for decades and raping her, fathering her seven children, and allowing some of them to die from neglect, is back in the news - after three days of trial, he changed his plea to guilty.

If they should ever make a TV movie about this guy, and I can't see how they could resist, I'd say cast Dean Stockwell in the role.

It's not an exact match, but you'd also want a really good actor in the role....

Just sayin', is all.......

Toby O'B


I've admitted in the past that I could lose interest in a show, or not even begin watching it in the first place, if it can't be planted firmly into Toobworld, or at least into one of the most common alternate dimensions. The biggest exception for me has been 'The West Wing' - there was no way that world was ever going to be integrated into Toobworld, but it didn't matter; that was some must-see viewing!

So I could have given NBC's latest alternate reality series, 'Kings', a pass since I knew the Kingdom of Gilboa could never be found on Earth Prime-Time. The main Toobworld can squeeze in a lot of kingdoms and republics you'll never find on an Earth Prime map, but everything pointed to Gilboa being that world's stand-in for the United States of America. That's a much bigger difference than just placing a new occupant into the White House!

But then, I've always loved urban fantasy and this sounded like it fit the bill. (Hopefully that won't raise the ire of any religious fanatics who might think I'm saying the original story is fantasy as well.)

Actually I was hoping that I might be able to keep 'Kings' in the world of Earth Prime-Time, and as I read more pre-publicity about it, a pozz'ble theory started forming - why does it have to be taking place on Earth at all? So long as no one mentioned "Earth", I'd be safe on that score, but even then I could get around it. For example: I could claim that the series was taking place on Earth's former synchronous twin planet of Mondas, to be found in 'Doctor Who'. The First Doctor once pointed out that in some ancient language, "Mondas" translated as "Earth". I've always figured that with Mondas having been more advanced than Earth was in its parallel evolution before it bolted the solar system, then 'Kings' could look contemporary to us, but would be set in the distant past. (I'm throwing a lot of otherworldly fantasy series, like 'Wizards and Warriors' and the current 'Legend Of The Seeker', over to Mondas, what with all of their fictional lands.)

Or I could at least place 'Kings' in the same alternate dimension as the revamped version of 'Battlestar Galactica', to keep it company. Why couldn't we say it was taking place on Caprica or one of the other twelve colony planets? The people in 'Battlestar Galactica' had similar clothing styles - not far removed from our own - and their names were always basically the same as well. The use of English on printed signs, banners, paperwork, etc, (best example - the Goliath tanks) wouldn't be a detriment. We've always seen the use of English on alien worlds - like one for "Drugstore" which I saw recently in an old episode of 'The Land Of The Giants'. So anyhoo, I had this idea all worked out, hoping to place 'Kings' on Mondas, with Caprica as a backup plan, when 'Kings' itself dashed that idea with the mention of a musical composition by Liszt which he wrote in 1848. (That was the year the composer began writing under the patronage of the Duke of Weimar.)

Okay, so it has to be Earth, some alternate version of Toobworld which shared a common history... up to a point. In that, it shares something in common with 'The West Wing' in which their American history (at least, if not the entire world's) diverged from established real world history at some point after Lyndon Johnson, but no sooner than Nixon's administration.

And I think this world of 'Kings' evolved geographically different from our own world which serves as the template for most of the Toobworlds. Here's why: the Kingdom of Gilboa looks to be a substitute for America - landscape, weather, language, architecture, etc. (Shiloh could be the New York region, while the Royal Family's island retreat of Vineyard could be Martha's Vineyard or even all of Long Island!) But to the north is their enemy, the country of Gath. So one might assume that should be Canada, except that the front lines in their war is a desert region better suited for the Middle East.

I'm hoping someday we see a world map in one of the episodes, to see if their continental set-up is the same.....

Also - if their world had a Liszt who still became a composer despite the radical changes to their version of the world, are there still counterparts to famous people - even regular people - who may one day show up on the series? For example: Was baseball developed on this world? And if so, might we someday meet their world's version of Derek Jeter, playing himself? Did Bill Gates spearhead a computer revolution in the world of 'Kings'. Do they hand out the Oscars every year for film-making achievement and does Meryl Streep get nominated every year?

This is the type of thing that's going to keep me watching 'Kings'.....

Toby O'B


On 'Castle' Monday night, Martha Rodgers mentioned that she once played a homeless woman (a "crazy homeless woman" as her son Rick Castle pointed out) on 'NYPD Blue'. There shouldn't be any problem in de-Zonking this so that the 'NYPD Blue' that we know can still share the same universe as 'Castle'. The title 'NYPD Blue' is pretty generic; and as there were no other details provided - at least in this reference - as to what the show was about, 'NYPD Blue' could have been any kind of show about the New York Police Department, even a sitcom! (An extra "s" on the name, and it could have been a musical - the Toobworld version of 'Cop Rock'!)

In the same episode, Rick Castle revealed that he got the plot for his first novel from watching 'One Life To Live' with one of his so-called nannies.

Referring to the soap operas of the real world on other TV shows is pretty common; Joey Tribbiani even acted on 'Days Of Our Lives' as a continuing plot line of 'Friends'. As with the reference to 'NYPD Blue', there were no other details available. So the Toobworld version of 'One Life To Live' - again, at least in this reference - doesn't have to be connected in any way to the show which my friend Mayr watches religiously.....

Toby O'B


'CSI: Miami' not only used "the Numbers" from 'Lost' this week, but in an airline setting - which is how we first got to know the sequence, via Oceanic flight 815.
Here, the Numbers "4" and "8" (twice over on that one) were used for the carousel designation and flight number, respectively.

Toby O'B


Robert Shapiro may be better known today for schilling on TV. In the mid 1990s, however, he was in the news every day as part of OJ Simpson's legal defense "dream team".

In the TV movie "American Tragedy", Ron Silver portrayed the lawyer. And as part of our continuing tribute to the late actor, here are some photos of Silver as Shapiro for today's "As Seen On TV" showcase:

Toby O'B

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


CBS missed a fantastic opportunity for a crossover between two of their series last Thursday night. And yet even so, they still got the basic - and assumed - crossover in.

On 'Eleventh Hour', "Olfactus" took place in Manhattan during Fashion Week. After a model was killed on the runway at one showing and two men killed themselves in a fight over another runway model at a different show, Dr. Jacob Hood was called in to investigate if there was some scientific reasoning behind it.

And in the scene that brought him and his two FBI associates into the case, the New York Police Department's forensic investigators were all over the crime scene, their 'CSI' jackets boldly proclaiming their identities. And yet... no sign of Mac Taylor or any of his co-workers from 'CSI:NY'.

You know, if Wm. T. Orr had been in charge of the productions, we would have at least seen one of the lesser lights of that cast make a special guest appearance for one quick scene to update Dr. Hood, and to establish that crossover.

But like I said, the assumption has to be made that the crossover took place anyway. They were in Manhattan, a CSI team was on the case. For all we know, Stella Bonasera and Danny Messer were backstage conducting analyses of their own while our attention was focused out front with the arrival of Hood and Agents Young and Lee.

But, these are hard times, financially. They got the desired effect without having to pay a star from a different series to make a cameo, even if both shows are produced by Jerry Bruckheimer.

Toby O'B


This is a friend of mine, by the name of John O'Creagh.

On Wednesday night, he'll be playing Drunk Petey on 'Life On Mars'. The show airs immediately following 'Lost' on the ABC network. And I'd like everybody to check out the show so that you can see John in action.

After I've seen the episode, maybe I'll have more to say about his character and his place in Toobworld. Or maybe not, considering I have no idea how this version of 'Life On Mars' is going to play out by the end. But as for Drunk Petey, I haven't pestered John with details - I want to be surprised....

Toby O'B


This week we're paying tribute to the late actor Ron Silver, who passed away early Sunday morning at the age of 62. Among his many TV credits are quite a few real-life characters "As Seen On TV", and hopefully we should make it through the week with examples of most of them.
Today, we have Silver has Dr. Henry Kissinger, the Secretary of State under President Nixon. This was from a TV movie entitled "Kissinger and Nixon", which co-starred Beau Bridges as Nixon.

Toby O'B


Ron Silver has passed away from cancer at the age of 62. Apparently he had been battling it for two years, and its toll coud be seen in these two interviews he did over in the UK (the second picture is from David Frost's show):
Both interviews dealt with the state of the world and the 2008 presidential election more than they did with his acting credits.

Probably his most famous role would be that of Alan Dershowitz in the movie "Reversal of Fortune", but in Toobworld it would have to be as political consultant Bruno Gianelli on 'The West Wing'. His other memorable TV characters (for me at any rate) would be Gary Levy on 'Rhoda' and David Sternberg on 'Wiseguy'.

(For some reason, the lists his 'Rhoda' character as "Sonny Michaels".)


"The West Wing" .... Bruno Gianelli (2001-2006)

"Skin" .... Larry Goldman (2003-2004)

"Veronica's Closet" .... Alec Bilson (1998-1999)

"Chicago Hope" .... Tommy Wilmette (1996-1997)

"A Woman of Independent Means" (1995) TV mini-series .... Arthur

"Wiseguy" .... David Sternberg (1988-1989)

"Baker's Dozen" (1982) TV series .... Mike Locasale

"The Stockard Channing Show" .... Brad Gabriel

"Dear Detective" (1979) .... Det. Schwartz

"Rhoda" .... Gary Levy (1975-1978)

"The Mac Davis Show" (1974)

"Crossing Jordan" .... Shelly Levine
- Night of the Living Dead (2007)

"Law & Order" .... Bernie Adler
- Talking Points (2007)
- Paradigm (2004)

"Law & Order: Trial by Jury" .... Bernie Adler
- Eros in the Upper Eighties (2006)
[It's too bad Silver couldn't have played Bernie Adler in one more series in the 'Law & Order' franchise, in order to qualify for the TV Crossover Hall of Fame......]

"The Practice" .... Atty. John Mockler
- Killing Time (2001)

"Trying Times" .... Driving Instructor
- Drive, She Said (1987)

"Hill Street Blues" .... Sam Weiser
- Eugene's Comedy Empire Strikes Back (1983)
- Life in the Minors (1983)

"The Rockford Files" .... Ted Haller
- The Italian Bird Fiasco (1976) TV episode .... Ted Haller

"McMillan & Wife" .... Art
- Secrets for Sale (1975) TV episode .... Art

"Big Eddie" .... Enzo
- Hello Poppa (1975) TV episode .... Enzo

"A Woman Of Independent Means" (1995) TV mini-series.... Arthur

"Kane & Abel" (1985) TV mini-series ..... Thaddeus Cohen

Xenophobia (2008) (TV) .... President

Jack (2004) (TV) .... Paul

Master Spy: The Robert Hanssen Story (2002) .... Mike Fine

When Billie Beat Bobby (2001) .... Bobby Riggs

American Tragedy (2000) (TV) .... Robert Shapiro

Cutaway (2000) (TV) .... Lieutenant Brian Margate

Ratz (2000) (TV) .... Herb Soric

In the Company of Spies (1999) (TV) .... Tom Lenahan

Love Is Strange (1999) (TV) .... Tom Ainsworth

Rhapsody in Bloom (1998) (TV) .... Mitch Bloom

Skeletons (1997) (TV) .... Peter Crane

The Beneficiary (1997) (TV) .... Guy Girard

Shadow Zone: The Undead Express (1996) (TV) .... Valentine

Kissinger and Nixon (1995) (TV) .... Henry A. Kissinger / Narrator

Almost Golden: The Jessica Savitch Story (1995) (TV) ..... Ron Kershaw

Lifepod (1993) (TV) .... Terman

Blind Side (1993) (TV) .... Doug Kaines

Forgotten Prisoners: The Amnesty Files (1990)

Fellow Traveller (1989) (TV) .... Asa Kaufman

Das Rattennest (1988) (TV) .... Max Greenwald

Billionaire Boys Club (1987) (TV) .... Ron Levin

Trapped in Silence (1986) (TV) .... Doctor Jeff Tomlinson

Word of Honor (1981) (TV) .... David Lerner

Dear Detective (1979) (TV) .... Det. Schwartz
[Pilot for the TV series]

Betrayal (1978) (TV) .... Bob Cohen

Murder at the Mardi Gras (1978) (TV) .... Larry Cook

The Return of the World's Greatest Detective (1976) (TV) .... Dr. Collins

Hopefully, for the rest of the week, I'll be able to pay tribute to Ron Silver in the "As Seen On TV" feature.

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

Toby O'B

Monday, March 16, 2009


Today's "As Seen On TV" feature is dedicated to the memory of actor Ron Silver, who passed away early Sunday of cancer at the age of 62.
Here he is seen as Bobby Riggs in the TV movie "When Billie Beat Bobby". It was a TV movie about the famous tennis match during the 1970s which came to symbolize the era's battle of the sexes.

Toby O'B


Among the projects coming up on NBC are two disaster mini-series that may or may not belong in the same alternate TV dimension. Definitely they can't take place on Earth Prime-Time!

Here are excerpts from both press releases:

In "Meteor," two massive rocks, tumbling debris older than the solar system itself, collide in space. The course has been altered. The target is Earth. In a remote observatory, Dr. Lehman discovers a meteor approximately three times the size of Mount Everest barreling its way towards Earth. His devoted young assistant Imogene O'Neill feverishly types in the coordinates only to find the previously identified meteor named Kassandra is headed their way. It's only the beginning of their troubles as showers of smaller meteorites begin to lay waste to major cities around the globe.

In "The Storm," also from RHI Entertainment, billionaire Robert Terrell has fulfilled a lifelong obsession and made history with "weather creation" technology through his Atmospheric Research Institute. But during a test run, a blast of energy is sent into the ionosphere with unexpected results. The experiments hurtle the planet towards destruction—hurricanes change course, winds go instantly from hot to cold, torrential rains bring regions to a standstill, and buildings crumble into ruins under explosive lightening storms. It's only the beginning.

Either one or both of them can be placed in that same alt-Toobworld in which those mini-series about those super-powerful tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, and ice storms took place.

That dimension is just asking for it.....

Toby O'B

Sunday, March 15, 2009


One of the Numbers of 'Lost' came up in an old episode of 'The Time Tunnel' which was about the "Ghost Of Nero"; two of the Numbers, in a way.

Doug and Tony landed in the Villa di Galba on October 23, 1915 - the day it would be completely destroyed by artillery shells.......

Toby O'B


I was watching an episode of 'Cheyenne' called "The Argonauts", with Rod Taylor and Edward Andrews as the guest stars. Cheyenne teamed up with two guys named Clancy (Taylor) and Duncan (Andrews) to mine for gold. In the end, Duncan went mad with gold fever and stole all of their shares after Cheyenne was called away to help a local Indian tribe. Dunc shot Clancy and left him for dead but was later killed himself by renegades who scattered the gold dust to the winds.

As I watched it I kept thinking this was a pretty close copy of the 1948 movie, "The Treasure of Sierra Madre", with Duncan the Bogart character, Taylor as Tim Holt, and Clint Walker - Cheyenne Bodie - as Walter Huston. And then by that ending, I was thinking it was a blatant rip-off.

But then I saw the end credits:
B. Traven wrote the original novel both the movie and the 'Cheyenne' episode were based on. And it stood to reason, since Jack Warner didn't like to pay for original material when they had an extensive library of material owned by Warner Brothers to choose from. (Roy Huggins had that difficulty when trying to get 'Maverick' launched. He couldn't use his original choice of episode for the pilot or Warner would have had to pay him more. So Huggins dug around in the library and found a non-fiction book called "The War Of The Copper Kings" and built a 'Maverick' plot on that.

Toby O'B


Friday Night's telethon for Comic Relief, and indeed, the entire Red Nose Day effort, seems to have been a great success. And thanks to my blog buddy Scotty at TV Tan Line (link to the left, ye lager-heads!), here's a picture from that three-way crossover between 'Grown Ups', 'Coming Of Age', and 'Two Pints Of Lager And A Packet Of Crisps':

This was part of the pub quiz at the Archer which bartender Tim dubbed "Timothy Claypole's Comic Relief Night Of Fun".

I'm guessing this was the "Bitch Off" segment of the three-part contest.

And best of all, that one guy is wearing a Number 23 jersey, pulling him and the special segment into the mystical world of the 'Lost' Numbers!

This just may turn out to be the Crossover of the Year; it's hard to beat a three-way!

My thanks again to Scotty for grabbing that pic in the first place......

Toby O'B


Since it's a Lenten Sunday, I thought I might delve a bit into my faith for the "As Seen On TV" feature........

Blessed Pope John XXIII, born Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli (25 November 1881 – 3 June 1963), known as Blessed John XXIII since his beatification, was elected as the 261st Pope of the Roman Catholic Church and Sovereign of Vatican City on 28 October 1958. He called the Second Vatican Council (1962–1965) but did not live to see it to completion, dying on 3 June 1963, two months after the completion of his final encyclical, Pacem in Terris. He was beatified on 3 September 2000, along with Pope Pius IX, the first popes since Pope Pius X to receive this honor. His feast day is the 11th of October in the Roman Catholic Church, the day that Vatican II’s first session opened.

Following the death of Pope Pius XII in 1958, Roncalli was elected Pope, to his great surprise. He had even arrived in the Vatican with a return train ticket to Venice. After the long pontificate of Pope Pius XII, the cardinals chose a man who, it was presumed because of his advanced age, would be a short-term or "stop-gap" pope. John XXIII's personal warmth, good humor and kindness captured the world's affections in a way his predecessor, for all his great learning and personal holiness, had failed to do.

Far from being a mere "stop gap" Pope, to great excitement John called an ecumenical council fewer than ninety years after the Vatican Council. From the Second Vatican Council came changes that reshaped the face of Catholicism: a comprehensively revised liturgy, a stronger emphasis on ecumenism, and a new approach to the world.
[from Wikipedia]

Raymond Burr played Pope John XXIII in a 1973 TV movie, "Portrait: A Man Whose Name Was John".....

Toby O'B