Saturday, April 18, 2009


My thumb was ready to either click "Play" or "Erase" on my DVR for the first episode of 'Harper's Island' today. It had been over a week since it aired and I had not yet seen it, and didn't know whether I really wanted to.

Well, I ended up watching it and I have to say, I admire the cujones for that fake-out at the end of the episode. Very Hitchcockian in style, so far as catching me off-guard due to star power.

So now I'm thinking I'm in it for the next eleven weeks, just to see them all go - as the little girl says in the blipvert: "One by one, one by one....."

I checked for the upcoming episodes and, much to my delight, there's a theme to the titles of each episode. I LOVE title themes! "First", "Affair", "Steele", "Brief", "Red", "The So-And-So Story", The Case Of...." and "The Night Of...."

But these had to be the most unusual yet:


It's almost as if they've been lifted from the Don Martin Glossary of Sound Effects!
I'm hoping before the run is over, there'll be a "Thwapt" and an "El Kabong".....

Toby O'B


Six episodes in with 'Castle' and we can see now that Detective Kate Beckett is working out of the 12th Precinct. (It was embossed on the elevator doors in "Always Buy Retail".) Most famously, the 12th was the home of 'Barney Miller' and his squad of detectives, but that original building is now home to the Theodore Roosevelt Police Commissioner Museum. So they had to move to new digs, which is where we now find Rick Castle getting his inspirations. The 12th Precinct has also shown up in the "Monster" episode of 'Law & Order: Criminal Intent'. Robert Goren and Alexandra Eames dropped by there while they were investigating the death of Laura Dietrich. (Hopefully no relation to Detective Arthur Dietrich of 'Barney Miller', but then again - it is a small world.) I don't know which 'CSI: NY' episode it was for, but last November this building in Los Angeles was dressed up to look like the exterior of the 12th Precinct.

With connections to both the 'Law & Order' and 'CSI' franchises, 'Castle' is deeply imbedded into Toobworld. But then, it already was when they used the New York Ledger as their official newspaper.....

Toby O'B


In connection with our tip of the hat to the late Marilyn Chambers a few days ago, today's "As Seen On TV" turns its spotlight on the men responsible for launching her adult film career: Artie and Jim Mitchell. Emilio Estevez directed "Rated X", which he also starred in with his brother Charlie Sheen. As the Mitchell Brothers, they portrayed the world of porn and drugs in the early 70's and the fall from "grace" which eventually led one brother to kill the other.

Biblical, ain't it?

Toby O'B

Friday, April 17, 2009


I went to the Paley Center for Media Thursday in midtown NYC and watched nearly half a dozen oldies.

1] First up was a special request - Woody Allen's "Men Of Crisis". I've been trying to see this for months there, but it kept coming up as being in use. Glitch in the system, I guess, because they were able to manually load it for me.

"Men Of Crisis" is a 1971 mockumentary about Harvey Wallinger, one of Richard Nixon's close advisors, with Woody as Harvey. His co-stars are Diane Keaton, Louise Lasser, Conrad Bain, Dan Frazer (of 'Kojak'), and Richard M. Dixon. (I'm pretty sure I saw Vincent Gardenia sitting to Harvey Wallinger's right on a McCarthyesque panel.)

2] 'Sam Benedict'
I've always wanted to check out at least one episode of this series - hey, I'd like to see at least one episode of all the old shows! But 'Sam Benedict' stars Edmond O'Brien, and ya gotta support family - no matter how distantly related. (O'Briens - the Smiths of Ireland!)
This was standard courtroom drama, apparently based on the career of a real-life lawyer, J.W. Ehrlich. It took place in San Francisco and the guest cast in this episode included Eddie Albert, Brock Peters, and Roger Perry.

'Martin Kane, Private Eye' This private detective drama had to be one of the earliest examples of quantum leaping in Toobworld: four different actors played the role of Martin Kane over the course of its NBC run. William Gargan, Lee Tracy, Lloyd Nolan, and Mark Stephens were the four Kanes, but it was an episode with Nolan which I saw today.

Man, was this creaky! It's a kinescope of a live production, with clumsy camerawork and some flubbed lines. But the most intriguing part - and which seemed to be the main focus of the reviews I read at the - was the supporting role played by Old Briar pipe tobacco and the other products by the US Tobacco company: Dill's Best, Sano cigarettes, and Encore cigarettes. A lot of the scenes took place at Happy McMann/McMahon's tobacco shop - where only US Tobacco products were on display of course - and several of those scenes should have taken place down at the police station. At the very end, a key piece of evidence, and a very fragile one at that, was brought in to the tobacco shop when it should have been under lock and key in the station-house!

At least these scenes served as the actual commercials, with the characters extolling the pleasures of the various tobacco products. But it was weird to see the camera cut away from Kane and the police lieutenant to focus on Happy selling cigarettes to a woman for a couple of minutes.

4] 'Rocky King, Detective'
Another creaker, and even worse than 'Martin Kane'! Roscoe Karns was a New York police inspector in this kinescope from the early fifties. (The city was never identified, only that it was a big metropolitan city, but you could see the Chrysler Building out his office window.) This was taped live and it really showed in the way that Karns flubbed lines left and right, even if they had to be somewhere in the scene where he could check them. But at least he was able to cover up well so that it seemed almost like the real conversational slip-ups we have every day.
The weirdest part of this show seems to be that Rocky King carried on conversations with his wife Mabel, who never appeared on camera. You'd hear her and see him looking at her, but she may as well have been invisible. (Mabel King was the Vera Peterson of her day.)

5] 'Ford Theatre' - "The Ming Lama"
This was pretty decent so far as it goes. It served as an unsold pilot for a series that I imagine would have been called "Johnny Nighthawk". Howard Duff was John Stevens, who owned a struggling airline of one plane and he'd do the odd job to keep the company solvent. The co-stars were Francis L. Sullivan (great literal heavy), Freberg sidekick Dave Willock, Horace McMahon playing a San Francisco version of his 'Naked City' police lieutenant, Willis Bouchey (better known as a judge on 'Perry Mason'), Leo Gordon in his traditional role as Sullivan's muscle (He was always put to much better use on 'Maverick'.), and Angela Lansbury as a very hot femme fatale. (So weird to see her in this just a few weeks after seeing her, now 83, in "Blithe Spirit" on Broadway.)

While in San Francisco, Johnny stayed at the Carlton Plaza Hotel. I think there is an actual Carlton Plaza in Frisco, but I'd like to think this one was somehow connected to the Carlton Hotel of 'Have Gun, Will Travel' fame.....

So that was my Thursday in the Paley Center library, when it was such a beautiful day I should have been outdoors!

Toby O'B


Speaking of 'Ugly Betty'.....

O'Bviously I'm of the wrong demographic, but I've never heard the song "Chasing Pavements" or of its singer Adele before this story:

Adele will join the League of Themselves by making an appearance on an episode of 'Ugly Betty' in May. According to ABC, "Betty, her 'frenemy' Marc, and her boyfriend Matt must complete a YETI assignment in which they oversee a photo shoot. Somehow, everything turns into an impromptu wedding" (but the network won't reveal whose). The news article I read this in says that Adele is a soul singer, and they also mention that there's no indication whether or not she'll be doing any singing in the episode at all.

I'm wondering if the lyrics of "Chasing Pavements" played a role either in the casting of Adele, or in the plotline for that episode?

Should I give up,
Or should I just keep chasing pavements?
Even if it leads nowhere,
Or would it be a waste?
Even if I knew my place should I leave it there?
Should I give up,
Or should I just keep chasing pavements?
Even if it leads nowhere

Toby O'B


Generally, international remakes of American TV shows avoid being banished to the remake TV dimension because the most vital element has been changed - they take place in other countries, duh.

There are international versions of 'Desperate Housewives', 'Married... With Children', and 'Law &Order' and its spin-offs. There were several versions of 'Ugly Betty' before the United States got one. And 'The Office' has clones all over the world, but like them, ours came from Great Britain first - as did 'All In The Family', 'Sanford and Son', and 'Three's Company'.

And they can all share the same Earth Prime-Time.

Turkey is now getting into the game as well. One of their TV satelllite networks (ATV) has licensed the rights to remake 'The Golden Girls' for their audience. A cast has already been lined up to create new versions of the girls: Fatma Girik will play Dorothy's mother, Sophia; Hulya Kocyigit will play Dorothy; Nevra Serezlie will be Blanche; and Turkan Soray will be the addled Rose. (Pictured below, clockwise from top left.)
Look at the picture of the four women. For alls I know, Sophia and Dorothy (top row) are a good match. But don't you think that Turkan Soray (bottom right) would be a better choice for playing Blanche? Not that Nevra Serezlie doesn't look like she could take on the blousy and blouse-open Blanche.......

I'm not sure if the names of the characters will be changed. But even if they are not, four older women living together can't be that uncommon a situation, and besides - they'll be in Istanbul! So this version of the show can stay in the main Toobworld with the original 'Golden Girls' of Miami.

Toby O'B


Maybe it's because Bart Simpson was inducted into the TV Crossover Hall of Fame this week, but I'm in a Springfield frame of mind today. And quite frankly, I'm a little too lazy to really do anything special for today's "As Seen On TV". (Most of the other pictures I have ready to go on my hard drive would all be part of themes.)

So here's Stephen Hawking, who "played" himself on two episodes of 'The Simpsons':
Toby O'B

Thursday, April 16, 2009


When J. Edgar Hoover was inducted last week into the TV Crossover Hall of Fame for April's Fool in the "As Seen On TV" category, we didn't have a full complement of portraits for him. We had the Tooniverse Hoover, camped out in drag in a cameo from 'The Critic', and the FBI director from Skitlandia. As played by Broderick Crawford on an old 'Saturday Night Live', this Hoover was similar in looks to one from the movie universe. And that's why we featured Crawford from the movie, rather than a Hoover from Toobworld.

So to make up for that error, here's Pat Hingle as J. Edgar Hoover in the 1992 TV movie "Citizen Cohn"....... BCnU!
Toby O'B


This screen-shot from "Unleashed", Tuesday's episode of 'Fringe', can be considered a trifecta, chock-full of Toobity goodness. First off, there's the latest sighting of The Observer, the mysterious character on the show played by Michael Cerveris. He's somewhat like Uatu the Watcher from Marvel Comics in that he - and there may be more than one Observer - is always present in areas where the "Pattern" comes into play. And all he does is watch.....

And then the TV channel is "42", one of the numbers from that mystical sequence known from JJ Abrams' other show 'Lost'. (Although I prefer to think of 'Lost' as now the production of Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof.)

Finally, WNKW sure gets around in Toobworld, usually in New York. Over in an alternate TV dimension, it's a TV station to be found in 'Spin City'. For Earth Prime-Time, it can also be found in 'Pushing Daisies', 'Invasion', and 'Jack & Jill'.

I'm going to say that Charlie and his wife were watching a live remote from a NYC-based station on their satellite dish and hope for the best.

Toby O'B


With the announcement and unveiling of the new 'Simpsons' stamps to be issued by the US Postal Service, it seemed like as good a time as any to induct Bart Simpson into the TV Crossover Hall of Fame.

Especially as this is the Tooniverse week, April Fool's edition, for the Hall's 10th anniversary.
Bart joins his father Homer in the Hall, thanks not only to appearances on 'The Tracy Ullman Show', 'South Park', 'Futurama', and of course, 'The Simpsons', but also for a truckload of commercials both here in the States and overseas:


The Simpsons Game



C.C. Lemon

Mister Donut


The Simpsons Ride at Universal Studios Orlando

Vizir Laundry Detergent

And there doesn't seem to be any sign of a let-up, as the show keeps on going.......

Toby O'B


Today is the home opener for the Yankees in their new stadium. So to mark the occasion, today's "As Seen On TV" spotlight is on former right-fielder Paul O'Neill: For a quick recap of his career, here's the thumbnail from Wikipedia:

Paul Andrew O'Neill (born February 25, 1963 in Columbus, Ohio) is a former right fielder Major League Baseball player who won five World Series while playing for the Cincinnati Reds (1985-1992) and New York Yankees (1993-2001). In a 17 year career, O'Neill compiled a lifetime batting average of .288, 281 home runs, 1,269 runs batted in, and 2,105 hits. O'Neill won the American League batting title in 1994 with a .359 average. He was also a five-time All-Star, playing in 1991, 1994, 1995, 1997, and 1998.

For "As Seen On TV", this image was taken from the TV movie "Joe Torre: Curveballs Along The Way".

And today's installment is dedicated to my "Iddiot" friend Jennie who - despite her British origins - is devoted to the Yankees.......

Toby O'B

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


We all know - from 'Hercules: The Legendary Journeys', 'Buffy The Vampire Slayer', but especially from the 'Star Trek' franchise - that one of the alternate TV dimensions is that of the evil mirror universe.

It should be taken for granted that every TV show we know in the real world, and which is "reality" in Earth Prime-Time, must have an evil twin in that mirror universe.

As such, this would be the opening credit sequence for one of those shows:

Toby O'B

[Thanks to Crossover companero Thom Holbrook (the first link to the left!) for letting me know about this.]


'Chuck' has made a connection to 'Lost' in the past - in "Chuck vs. The Helicopter", the Intersect clued him into the reason why Oceanic flight 815 crashed. (Unfortunately, we never heard the reason.)

It happened again this week in "Chuck vs. The First Kill": at the leadership center that served as a front for the spy organization Fulcrum, prisoners were kept on the 8th floor. On the 15th floor, Chuck was taken to meet the head Fulcrum agent at the center. I'd have to say that the mystical sequence of "the Numbers" from 'Lost' have transcended their original show. Even if it turns out their use in other series are unintentional and accidental, maybe there is something to their power after all.....

Toby O'B


Sean, the official Little Buddy for the Skipper of Inner Toob and known to the IDD as "Shoe Hand", sent me this comic: BCnU!
Toby O'B


Marilyn Chambers has died at the age of 56. Back in the mid-70's, she gained national attention for starring in the x-rated movie "Behind The Green Door" while at the same time her image was displayed on Ivory Soap boxes as the portrait of a wholesome young mother.

In 2000, Showtime presented "Rated X", the story of the Mitchell brothers who created a porn empire, only to see it collapse - culminating with one brother killing the other. It starred Charlie Sheen and his brother Emilio Estevez (who also directed) as Artie and Jim Mitchell, with Tracy Hutson as Marilyn Chambers.

Toby O'B

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


By now, everybody should know that in Toobworld reincarnation actually happens. And for most people, they reincarnate as dogs.

Apparently, I'll be no exception......


This is my first attempt at embedding a video.....


Here's a little something for my Toobworld wish-list.......

At some point before the incredible journey of 'Lost' concludes, I'd love to see Michael Cerveris show up in the background of a flashback or a flash-forward in one of the episodes.
As the Observer from 'Fringe', of course......

Toby O'B


I caught an old episode of 'McMillan & Wife' last week, that has a very tenuous link to 'Highlander' and 'Doctor Who'.

In "Death Of A Monster, Birth Of A Legend", Commissioner Stuart McMillan and his wife Sally (along with their maid Mildred and Mac's assistant, Sgt. Charlie Enright) returned to the ancestral homeland of the McMillans near Kinross, Scotland. There they got caught up in solving the murder of Mac's uncle Michael, "The McMillan", which had been arranged to look like a suicide.
During the course of the investigation, they learned of the family history: on the eve of the Battle of Kinross, four McMillan generals discovered that one of their compatriots, a member of Clan MacCready, had remained behind, hidden in the castle. As punishment for his cowardice, the others walled Ian MacCready up behind the wall of the tower, and it is said that his ghost still walks the halls of the castle.

Only afterwards did the McMillans find out that MacCready was also a thief - he had hidden away the McMillan treasure which was eventually discovered during the investigation.

I Googled "The Battle of Kinross", but all that comes up are references to a music festival featuring Rage Against The Machine. So I'm not sure it actually occurred, but acting on it being fictional, I'm going to say that the Battle of Kinross probably took place in 1746. There were a series of battles between the Jacobites and the Hanoverians, culminating with the Battle of Culloden which decisively ended the Scottish uprising against British rule.

The Battle of Culloden is important for Toobworld because two of its best sci-fi characters fought during it: Jamie McCrimmon, a Companion of 'Doctor Who', and Duncan MacLeod of 'Highlander' fame (the successor to his cousin Connor from the movie franchise).

There's nothing to say that any of the McMillans ever knew the MacLeods or Jamie McCrimmon, but then again... who's to say they didn't? Who knows? Maybe Jamie eventually married into Clan McMillan. (I'm sure there must be some record of whom he married in other sources like the various tie-in novels, but I don't count them in the TV canon.)
Toby O'B


We got an interesting addition to the League of Themselves on Sunday night, one that probably won't ever happen again. Or, at the very least, won't happen on any other show (seen on American TV, at any rate).
At the end of the third episode of 'The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency' ("Poison"), the Bishop of Botswana made an appearance at the local school to announce the generous donations of talent and money to help the children. And it was the Right Reverend Musonda Trevor Selwyn Mwamba, the African Anglican Primate of the Botswana Diocese himself, who assayed the role.

Toby O'B


pieced together from Wikipedia:

Mary Whitehouse CBE (13 June 1910 – 23 November 2001) was a British campaigner for what she perceived to be values of morality and decency derived from her Christian beliefs. She began by focusing her efforts on the broadcast media, which she regarded as highly influential, and where she felt these values were particularly lacking. Later, she made notable interventions over publications and theatrical productions of which she disapproved, becoming involved in several cases of litigation. She was the founder and first president of the National Viewers' and Listeners' Association, now known as mediawatch-uk.

Mary Whitehouse began her campaign in 1963. Among her first targets was Sir Hugh Greene, then director-general of the BBC, who she claimed was "more than anybody else [...] responsible for the moral collapse in this country". Greene ignored her concerns and blocked her from participation in BBC programming. Over 2,000 people attended the 'Clean Up TV Campaign's first public meeting in April 1964, which was held in Birmingham's Town Hall. The National Viewers' and Listeners' Association was formed in 1965; she obtained a total of 500,000 signatures on her 'Clean Up TV' petition to be sent to the Queen, then a record for the UK.

Some of Whitehouse's opponents claimed that she had an ability to be offended by almost anything, pointing to her complaints about the use of the word "bloody", her concerns about the TV character Alf Garnett, Doctor Who, and the violence in Tom and Jerry cartoons.

The disagreements between Mrs Whitehouse and the BBC were the basis of a drama in 2008 entitled Filth: The Mary Whitehouse Story, written by Amanda Coe. Julie Walters played the part of Mary Whitehouse, Alun Armstrong her husband Ernest, and Hugh Bonneville played Sir Hugh Greene. The Wall to Wall production was screened on 28 May 2008 on BBC2 and aired in the United States on 16 November 2008 as part of the Masterpiece series on PBS.

The show drew heavily on the Max Caulfield book Mary Whitehouse and featured a degree of dramatic licence. For example, Whitehouse and others supposedly called their nascent group "Clean Up National TV" until her husband pointed out the unfortunate acronym - they then changed it to "Clean Up TV."

Overall, this drama contrasted with the vilification typical in media references to Whitehouse and painted a fairly sympathetic portrait of her.

Toby O'B

Monday, April 13, 2009


Ten years ago, Rob Thomas, the creator of 'Veronica Mars', added his version of 'Cupid' to the Greek mythology of Toobworld. Under the name of Trevor Hale, the godling of Love was banished to Earth and stripped of his powers - with the punishment to be lifted once he united 100 couples. Stuck in Chicago, Trevor was watched over (and reluctantly assisted by) his psychiatrist, Dr. Claire Allen.

I don't think the show made it to a full dozen episodes, although it was met favorably by the critics; it just couldn't find its audience.

Ten years after, and Trevor Hale is back. Rob Thomas has once again been given the green light to give his concept another go. This time Cupid is in New York City and his psychiatrist/guardian is now Dr. Claire McCrae. For most other remakes of earlier TV shows, this version would have normally been tossed over into another dimension. But the Greek gods have the power to change their appearance, as we saw with Zeus in 'Hercules: The Legendary Journeys'. So recasting of the part isn't a problem.

And neither is the premise. We might assume that in the intervening decade, Cupd-Trevor wasn't succeeding at his mission in the Windy City, so he probably decided to cut his losses and begin again in the Big Apple.

Even though both of his psychiatrists are named "Claire", they are different women, so that recastaway is moot. In Chicago, Cupid were often assisted by a guy nicknamed "Champ". This time around, the demi-god has two others to give him a hand now and again - Felix and Lita.

I'd almost think that Rob Thomas wanted to hew close to his original concept, and yet make sure that both could be accepted as being about the same guy.

I wonder if he knows about the concept of Toobworld? Because we're comfortable with the idea that both shows exist in the same universe.

And in between gigs as Trevor Hale, Cupid hung out for awhile with his Mom, Aprhodite, at her company, 'Love, Inc.'......

Toby O'B


TV Guide talked to the producers of 'Life On Mars' (the American version) about the music used on the show; wanted to know if they couldn't get the rights to use any particular song......

Appelbaum: We write every song into the script, not after the fact, because the music is so important. And only one person denied us.

Rosenberg: Because he thought the show sucked. [Laughs]

Appelbaum: It was Episode 6, and Sam describes when he met Maya (played by Lisa Bonet) for the first time. He flashes back to the scene and “Tom Traubert’s Blues” is playing. It was so good. Tom Waits approves all of his licensing, and he sent an email saying he thought the show was [bad]. It was pretty funny.

I love that song; always gets me choked up when I try to sing along - even though in the overall picture, it doesn't make much sense. But I'm kind of glad that it didn't get used on the series. Sam found himself back in 1973 and "Tom Traubert's Blues" is from 1976.

Sure, he's describing something that wouldn't take place for decades anyway, and so the song would then be considered a classic. But I'd rather that the soundtrack stuck to songs from 1973 or before.

Just in case you were interested, here are the lyrics:

Tom Traubert's Blues 1976

Wasted and wounded, it ain't what the moon did
Got what I paid for now
See ya tomorrow, hey Frank can I borrow
A couple of bucks from you?
To go waltzing Matilda, waltzing Matilda
You'll go a waltzing Matilda with me

I'm an innocent victim of a blinded alley
And tired of all these soldiers here
No one speaks English and everything's broken
And my Stacys are soaking wet
To go waltzing Matilda, waltzing Matilda
You'll go a waltzing Matilda with me

Now the dogs are barking and the taxi cab's parking
A lot they can do for me
I begged you to stab me, you tore my shirt open
And I'm down on my knees tonight
Old Bushmill's I staggered, you buried the dagger
Your silhouette window light
To go waltzing Matilda, waltzing Matilda
You'll go a waltzing Matilda with me

Now I lost my Saint Christopher now that I've kissed her
And the one-armed bandit knows
And the maverick Chinaman and the cold-blooded signs
And the girls down by the strip-tease shows
Go, waltzing Matilda, waltzing Matilda
You'll go a waltzing Matilda with me

No, I don't want your sympathy
The fugitives say that the streets aren't for dreaming now
Manslaughter dragnets and the ghosts that sell memories
They want a piece of the action anyhow
Go, waltzing Matilda, waltzing Matilda
You'll go a waltzing Matilda with me

And you can ask any sailor and the keys from the jailor
And the old men in wheelchairs know
That Matilda's the defendant, she killed about a hundred
And she follows wherever you may go
Waltzing Matilda, waltzing Matilda
You'll go a waltzing Matilda with me

And it's a battered old suitcase to a hotel someplace
And a wound that will never heal
No prima donna, the perfume is on
An old shirt that is stained with blood and whiskey
And goodnight to the street sweepers
The night watchman flame keepers and goodnight to Matilda too

There is the mention of the St. Christopher's Medal, which did play a small role in the landscape of Sam's story, so that might have been a factor in Applebaum and Rosenberg's desire to use it.

Oh. And in case you haven't guessed, I wanted to comment on this story just so I could use that subject heading on the post.....

Toby O'B


Here's something that's had me puzzling lately as I've been watching 'Dollhouse' - Where are they getting the personalities and memories that they upload into their computers? Do certain types of people volunteer or get paid to donate the essence of their minds?

When Topher mentioned that Echo's "spy-hunter" persona was an expert in reading body language, I wondered if somebody from "Lie To Me" had their personality uploaded.

And that's when I came up with this idea - what if the mole (who's been feeding information to Agent Ballard) is in the computer itself? Maybe a whole mind is intact in there, and seeking revenge! It would certainly explain why nobody gets caught around the equipment and tampering with the downloads into the Actives - it IS the equipment.

Just sayin', is all.....

Toby O'B


As I was running the 'Jesus Of Nazareth' theme for Holy Week, I couldn't showcase Lord Scarman on April 11, the anniversary of the Brixton Riot. So we're tipping our Toob top hat today...... Cobbled together from Wikipedia:
Leslie George Scarman, Baron Scarman, OBE, PC (29 July 1911 – 8 December 2004) was an English judge and barrister, who served as a Law Lord until his retirement in 1986.

Lord Scarman led a public inquiry into a string of race riots which began in Brixton on April 11, 1981, when racial tensions rose after a police crackdown on street robbery.

During the following three days of disturbances that spread to the Midlands, Merseyside, Bristol and Leeds, nearly 400 people were injured and buildings and vehicles were set alight.

The inquiry famously settled on the so-called "rotten apples" theory, which argued that only a few police officers were racist, saying most were not.

It spawned new law enforcement practices and led to the creation of the Police Complaints Authority.

The Government had to be seen to be doing something, and the Home Secretary, William Whitelaw, commissioned a public inquiry into the riot headed by Lord Scarman. The Scarman report was published by Susana De Freitas 25 November 25 1981. Scarman found unquestionable evidence of the disproportionate and indiscriminate use of 'stop and search' powers by the police against black people. As a consequence, a new code for police behavior was put forward in the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984; and the act also created an independent Police Complaints Authority, established in 1985, to attempt to restore public confidence in the police. Scarman concluded that "complex political, social and economic factors" created a "disposition towards violent protest".

He appeared in the 1981 world of DI Alex Drake in the first season finale of 'Ashes To Ashes'.

Lord Scarman:
"I've talked to several young homosexual men and heard their despair.
Dreadful tales of police harassment-#"
Gene Hunt:
"Put it all in your report, your Lordship, yeah?"
Lord Scarman:
"The police harassment of sexual and racial minorities
is an endemic, ineradicable disease
Threatening the very survival of our society."
Gene Hunt:
"Catchy title there. 'Best-seller' written all over it."

Toby O'B