Saturday, May 16, 2009



"Backstairs At The White House"

Olivia Cole

From Wikipedia:

Margaret 'Maggie' Rogers was a maid at the White House who served for 30 years (1909–1939), during the administrations of Taft, Wilson, Harding, Coolidge, Hoover, and part of Franklin D. Roosevelt's, eventually rising to head housemaid.

Her years of service were memorialized in the book "My Thirty Years Backstairs at the White House" by her daughter, Lillian Rogers Parks, who worked as a seamstress, also in the White House. The story was later produced as a miniseries by Ed Friendly Productions.

Toby O'B

Friday, May 15, 2009


Yes. That is a picture of a cream of mushroom soup can.

According to Mark Evanier in his "News From ME" blog (link to the left):

This, as anyone with an I.Q. higher than that of a cocker spaniel can tell you, is an ancient Internet tradition that few besides me carry on. The pic means that the proprietor of the website is too busy to post much of anything for a little while.

He says that Tradition holds that it should be a picture of a Campbell's Cream of Mushroom soup can. However, I thought I'd give props to Heinz, if only because I'm still going to be posting over the next two weeks while I'm on vacation. But the difference is that all of my posts - each one as part of the "As Seen On TV" feature - have been automatically set up to publish daily.

I've made a vow to really cut down on the time I spend on the Internet this vacation up at "the Lake". Although it may be harder right now since I'm not sure the weather will be all that cooperative for being outside. And after getting sliced and snipped and having bits of me frozen at the dermatologist Monday because of all the time I spent in the sun up at the Lake in my errant youth, I'm not all that keen now to continue that tradition. (At least I didn't end up with "elf ears" like my Dad did when he got snipped!)

So hopefully you won't even notice I'm gone - if you ever noticed my presence here in the first place. (Groveling for pity here, folks! LOL) I have a feeling some of these pre-programmed "As Seen On TV" posts may end up looking a bit off, but I'll fix them when I get back.

By the way, the theme will be Presidents and their First Ladies (as welll as a few others) from the mini-series "Backstairs At The White House"......



Since I collected the pictures anyway......

Brian Cox

Thursday, May 14, 2009


Add ImageDevil:
Here's the vessel for your next soul, Tracy Reed.
Thought she was a vampire when she was alive

"Seriously, she was a vampire?"

"Well, you do know that vampires don't really exist, don't you, Sam?"

I'm way behind on 'Reaper'; had I been up to date, I could have included mention of "I Want My Baby Back" in
the article about Dr. Bishop's denial of vampires in 'Fringe'.

So there's no need to get into too much detail about this. As Tony the Demon later pointed out in the same episode, the Devil always lies.

Which means that vampires do exist in Toobworld.



The British mystery series 'Wallander' has come to America as part of 'Masterpiece Theatre'. The first episode introduced Swedish police detective Kurt Wallander and his fellow investigators, as well as Wallander's daughter and his father - a painter stricken with Alzheimer's. Kenneth Branagh plays Wallander and David Warner guest-starred as his father.

P.T. Barnum once said that everything outside New York was Bridgeport. Similary, Toobworld Central says that in Toobworld, almost all foreigners will have British accents. (Especially if you go back in Time - like to the age of the Caesars in 'I, Claudius'.) No one in 'Wallander' even made the attempt to pull off a Swedish accent, but the names, locations, even the print on the newspaper were all Swedish.

Not any sort of a hurdle for Toobworld, but even so, 'Wallander' must be relegated to 'The West Wing' dimension rather than being allowed to stay in Earth Prime-Time. That's because there was a Swedish TV series adapted from the novels in 2005. Krister Henriksson starred as Detective Wallander and since it was broadcast first, it belongs in Earth Prime-Time.
And that only seems appropriate, doesn't it? A Swedish show about a Swedish character should have preeminence in Toobworld....




'Saturday Night Live'

Justin Timberlake and Jimmy Fallon

This was from this past weekend, when Timberlake hosted for the third time. (It's taking far too long to get him into the Five-Timers' Club!) Fallon returned to the show from another floor, where he's now hosting 'Late Night' every week night.


Wednesday, May 13, 2009


"So what do we do?
Hop in the car,
Drive down to the Bada Bing
Detective Kate Beckett

For Toobworld, this is a clear link to 'The Sopranos'. There was no mention of the TV show or that the Bada Bing strip club was fictional. Taken at face value, the 12th Precinct detective and the author of 26 best-sellers live in the same TV dimension as Tony Soprano and Big Pussy.

However, just a week ago or so, it was decided that 'Castle' had to be banished to the TV dimension of 'The West Wing', since the NYC Mayor in the series is a black man named Bobby. Mike Bloomberg is currently the mayor of New York in Toobworld, thanks to appearances on '30 Rock', 'Law & Order' and in a Muppets Christmas special.

I have no problem with 'The Sopranos' being relocated to that dimension as well, especially considering how many Zonks there were over the run of the series between mentions of 'The Rockford Files' and actual shows seen on Tony's big-screen high-def TV down in his entertainment room.

On the whole, I'd rather keep both 'The Sopranos' and 'Castle' in Earth Prime-Time, but sometimes tough decisions have to be made.



From the New York Times:

Henry T. King Jr., Prosecutor at Nuremberg, Dies at 89


[Henry T.] King was one of the last Nuremberg war crimes prosecutors and an influential voice since World War II in international efforts to bring war criminals to justice.

Mr. King was “one of a handful of uniquely credible veterans in his field, one of the last voices of Nuremberg,” John Q. Barrett, a law professor at St. John’s University and an expert on the trials, said Monday. “He influenced students and lecture audiences, international diplomats and even heads of state.”

“Nuremberg left a lifelong imprint on Henry King,” Professor Barrett continued, “and through the next 60 years of his life, he spoke and wrote constantly about the value that came out of Nuremberg.”

Assigned in 1946 and 1947 to the second phase of the trials, Mr. King investigated medical experiments performed on concentration camp inmates and gathered evidence against Walther von Brauchitsch, the commander of German armed forces. But his primary work was as assistant trial counsel in the case against Erhard Milch, a high-ranking German officer who was convicted in connection with the abuse and executions of slave laborers. His life sentence was later commuted to 15 years.

To gather evidence for the Milch case, Mr. King interviewed some of those already convicted, including [Albert] Speer. It was the start of a long relationship, one in which Mr. King could never quite comprehend the contradictions in the seemingly contrite Speer. For more than 30 years, Mr. King corresponded with Speer and visited him. He kept a photograph of Speer by his bedside. Still, he said, he was not taken in by the war criminal.

"Speer closed his eyes to the world of humanity, and thus, a concern for human ethics never intruded on his relentless drive as armaments minister,” Mr. King wrote in a 1997 memoir, “The Two Worlds of Albert Speer.” “In a technological world, the magic concoction for evil consists of blind technocrats such as Speer led by an evil and aggressive leader such as Hitler.”

In that first picture above, King is the second from the right at the prosecution table. This was taken at the Milch trial as the verdict was announced.

Seeing this obituary, my first instinct was maybe to feature the main Nazi on trial at Nuremberg, as seen in the 2000 TV movie "Nuremberg": Hermann Goering (played by Brian Cox).

However, the obituary for Mr. King revealed that he was born in my Connecticut hometown, and pride in the "Silver Capital of the world" prompted me to try to honor Mr. King instead.

It wasn't easy. "Nuremberg" focused mostly on Robert Jackson, as did some foreign TV productions about the Trials. A few others prosecutors, like fellow Connecticut lawyer (and future governor) Thomas Dodd, were depicted. But none of their cast lists specifically identify any of the prosecutors as Henry T. King. Any one of those lawyers seen seated behind Alec Baldwin (as Jackson) in this picture could have been King. I'd go with the guy two back from Jackson's right (seen to our left). The fellow seated on the left in this picture could also be considered to be Henry T. King.

There was a German TV mini-series called 'Speer un er', which chronicled the life of the Third Reich's armaments minister. For alls I know, this picture from the series could be showing Speer with King. (Although I don't know why Mr. King would be depicted as wearing sunglasses; they would have interfered with his need for his regular eyeglasses.) At any rate, Henry T. King serves as an example of those thousands - millions? - in History who have been relegated to the nameless crowds in Toobworld representation. This was my small attempt to rectify that for a fellow Meridenite..........


Tuesday, May 12, 2009


The new 'Star Trek' movie looks to be on track to top the 200 million dollar mark, the first 'Trek' movie to do so. (But inflation should be taken into account, right?)

In advance of the official opening, David Letterman had Leonard Nimoy appear on 'The Late Show' Thursday night to present the Top Ten list:

Top Ten Lines Never Before Said in a Star Trek film:

10. Warp factor 8! Arby's closes in 10 minutes.

9. We're entering a breach in the space-time continuum or a wormhole or some crazy crap like that.

8. Set phasers to fabulous!

7. Welcome aboard the Starship Enterprise – today's in-flight movie is "Big Momma's House 2."

6. We've been hijacked by Somali pirates.

5. Sir, I'm going to need Saturday off to attend my nephew's Bar Mitzvah.

4. My baby-daddy is a Vulcan – on the next "Maury."

3. The Enterprise just hit a goose – we're gonna have to land in the Hudson.

2. Live long, prosper, and keep on hangin' and bangin'.

1. I find your choice of hairpiece highly illogical.

Over the weekend, Nimoy also appeared in the Weekend Update segment on 'Saturday Night Live' with co-stars Zachary Quinto and Chris Pine.



Federal Marshal Mary Shannon's boyfriend Raphael came to the rescue of Tripp Sullivan in a recent episode of 'In Plain Sight'. But he broke his hand subduing the abusive boyfriend of Tripp's mom and needed treatment at the scene.

Here we see him standing behind one of the Albuquerque squad cars that answered the 911 calls. And the I.D. number for that vehicle? C-08. "8" is one of "The Numbers" from 'Lost'. The sequence has some sort of mystical power in the TV Universe.



From BBC News:

Prolific screen and TV writer John Furia Jr, who penned shows including Bonanza, The Waltons and Hawaii Five-O has died aged 79.

Furia - a long time advocate for Hollywood writers - was once president of the Writers Guild of America West.

The organisation's current president, Patric M Verrone said confirmed his death in a statement.

"John's character and dignity touched and influenced generations of writers," he said.

"For those of us who relied on his knowledge and his counsel, John was more than an eminence grise, he was pure eminence."

Furia was also a founding chairman of University of Southern California's School of Cinema-Television Writing Division.

He also worked as a professor there teaching screen and TV writing.

Born in 1929, Furia started his career singing with dance bands in New York City.

He then moved to California where he worked for major studios and networks, earning himself a reputation as one of Hollywood's most productive dramatists.

My Mother's Secret Life (1984)

Hotel (1983)

"Hotel" (1983)

The Death of Ocean View Park (1979)

- The Apology (1979)

The Healers (1974)

"Kung Fu"
- An Eye for an Eye (1973)

"The Waltons"
- The Minstrel (1972)
- The Sinner (1972)

"Hawaii Five-O"
- Follow the White Brick Road (1972)

- There Was a Crooked Man (1971)

"Felony Squad"
- Debt of Fear (1967)

"The Monroes"
- Race for the Rainbow (1967)

"Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre"
- The Turncoat (1964)

- The Liberators (1964)
- A Camel to Ride (1963)

"The Twilight Zone"
- I Dream of Genie (1963)

- The Mountain Girl (1962)
- Springtime (1961)
- Silent Thunder (1960)
- Feet of Clay (1960)

"Dr. Kildare"
- Solomon's Choice (1962)
- Winter Harvest (1961)

"Zane Grey Theater"
- Honor Bright (1961)

"National Velvet" (1960)



Something a little different for today's "As Seen On Today" feature.....

From Wikipedia:

Incitatus was the favored horse of Roman emperor Caligula. Its name is a Latin adjective meaning "swift" or "at full gallop".

According to Suetonius's Lives of the Twelve Caesars, Incitatus had a stable of marble, with an ivory manger, purple blankets, and a collar of precious stones. Others have indicated that the horse was attended to by eighteen servants, and was fed oats mixed with gold flake. Suetonius also wrote that Caligula planned to make Incitatus a consul. Caligula even procured him a wife, a mare named Penelope.

The horse would "invite" dignitaries to dine with him in a house outfitted with servants there to entertain such events.

IncItatus is seen here with Emperor Caligula in 'I, Claudius'.


Monday, May 11, 2009


In a June, 2005, episode of 'New Tricks', Brian Lane of UCOS referred to his boss Sandra Pullman as "She Who Must Be Obeyed".

The phrase comes from the novel "She" by H. Rider Haggard, the full "honorific"/name for the title character. And that could be where Brian knows it from. I could see "Memory" Lane having read it as an impressionable youth; remembering that title and recognizing it as the perfect definition of his "guv'nor".

But of course, this is Toobworld.....

I'd like to think that Brian picked up on the derogatory aspects of the name from another Toobworld character, one of the true classics - Horace Rumpole. Over the years, 'Rumpole Of The Bailey' used "She Who Must Be Obeyed" when talking about his wife Hilda. It could be that at some point over the years when Rumpole's career as a barrister overlapped the police service of Brian Lane, the two men met and perhaps even shared a glass of "Chateau Thames Embankment"... despite being on opposite sides of a case (one that probably concerned the Timson family). Brian may have shown - with his incredible memory - that he had a similar talent to Rumpole's in quoting Wordsworth and others.

And if so, Rumpole's ruminations would invariably lead him to mention Hilda... and as always, as "She Who Must Be Obeyed". Brian, probably incapable of ever forgetting anything he heard, would have stored away the sobriquet for future use... when Sandra Pullman fit the bill.


Мои мальчики: Воспроизведение в СССР

There's a TV dimension which is made up mostly of TV movies that showed the behind the scenes action at TV shows like 'Diff'rent Strokes', 'Steptoe & Son', 'Three's Company', 'Charlie's Angels', 'Gilligan's Island', and Frankie Howerd's 'Up Pompeii'. It's a TV dimension in which our TV shows are seen as TV shows, and where the original actors are replaced by recastaways.

Into this mix we can add this extended play commercial about 'My Boys' on TBS and how it was ripped off from a 1994 Kaliningrad program called "A Woman And Her Wolves":



Once again Playpen magazine, already a member of the TV Crossover Hall of Fame, has made an appearance in Toobworld, and in a natural setting - that of a private room in a sperm clinic! (It's where we found it in an episode of 'The Medium'. And although it wasn't in a sperm bank, but rather a prison cell, that's the reason why we saw it in an episode of 'Ally McBeal'.)

FBI Agent Seeley Booth was making a deposit in order to provide the Lovin' Spoonful. of Pearl Jam which his "partner" Dr. Temperence 'Bones' Brennan needed for articial semination. And as an inspiration aid, Playpen magazine was offered - with Sherrill Watts was on the cover.

No idea if Sherrill Watts was supposed to be a real person or not. Plenty of candidates listed in Google, but this one jumped out and made me smile:

A number of taxi firms specialising in carrying animals and their two-legged companions around Wales have opened around the country, including Animal Taxi in Llanelli.

Set up by Sherrill Watts, who adapted her van for animal use after bus drivers were reluctant to accept her large dog, the company expects to find most demand in taking pets and their owners to the vet.

"I found some bus drivers would accept my large Alsatian cross on the bus, while others would not," Ms Watts told BBC News.

The animal taxi driver emphasised that her company could also help pet owners who are currently unable to take their pet on holiday with them due to transportation problems.

"Many people would also love to take their pets with them on holiday, but cannot due to transportation problems," Ms Watts stated.

"Animal Taxi can take your pet to your holiday destination and pick it up again when it's time to go home."

Oh yeah, I can see her tele-version being a worthy candidate for the cover of Playpen!
A new magazine was introduced in that same episode of 'Bones', and it could be from the same publishing company: Playpal. (There may have been a poltergeist in the room - as you can see, the pile of magazines got reshuffled pretty quickly!)

Either one looks like it could have helped to get the job done - if Booth hadn't been interrupted by Stewie Griffin...... BCnU!


Since I mentioned Cyrano de Bergerac in a post yesterday, why not see what he looked like... over in the Tooniverse?

"Mr. Magoo's Literary Classics"

Mr. Magoo (voiced by Jim Backus)


Sunday, May 10, 2009


Is it just me, or does Blackbeard - from the 'Doctor Who' episode of "The Mind Robber" - look like Clint Howard?



On Mother's Day we celebrate the mothers who really matter.

Our own.

May God bless, Mom........


"There is more than one of everything."
The Observer
Just because a character comes from the Literary Universe*, that doesn't mean his or her presence in Toobworld means that they crossed over from one universe to the other. As with most characters from the movie universe, they probably have a doppelganger in the other realm.

A good example of this is Johnny Smith of Stephen King's "The Dead Zone". Johnny also exists in the movie universe, portrayed by Christopher Walken; as well as in Toobworld, played by Anthony Michael Hall.

Toobworld actually has two Johnny Smiths; maybe even more in the TV Multiverse a la 'Sliders'. But the two primary ones are from Earth Prime-Time and from an alternate TV dimension created by Johnny himself.

Up until Season 4, 'The Dead Zone' resided in Earth Prime-Time. But in "Broken Circle", the episode that kicked off that fourth season, "Current Johnny" threw away his walking stick so that "Future Johnny" could no longer contact him through it. And from that point on, Johnny Smith was living in a parallel time-line of his own creation.

Daniel Faraday of 'Lost' said that "Whatever Happened, Happened", but that's true only so far as preventing the course of History by those in the Future who have already lived it. (And even then - I'm not convinced that Faraday's statement is an absolute.) But someone in the "Now" can make life-altering decisions that will affect the Future. And those "Roads Not Taken" would be alternate realities, as Dr. Walter Bishop pointed out this past week in the penultimate episode of this first season of 'Fringe'.

So when "Current Johnny Smith" tossed his walking stick into the river, he created a time-line in which he no longer had the walking stick in the Future. But the "Future Johnny" who had the walking stick still existed, just not in a plane of existence still accessible to the Johnny Smith whom Toobworld chose to follow.

See, one handicap to Toobworld is that we only have access to the TV worlds which are presented to us; everything else becomes supposition. (And actionable if you get carried away with it as published fanfic.....)
So - as was the case with 'Alias Smith And Jones' which presented us with two different dimensions: one with Hannibal Heyes looking like Pete Duel and another in which he looked like Roger Davis - 'The Dead Zone' was a show which featured two different TV dimensions, with Season 4 being the demarcation point. BCnU!

* There's got to be a catchier name for the Literary Universe, like Toobworld or Craig Shaw Gardner's Cineverse. Land of Fiction from 'Doctor Who' is okay, but a bit wordy. (Maybe that's appropriate.) Literatia? WordWorld? I googled "Fictionalia" and that pops up a lot. But should it be limited to fiction?


The Land of Fiction in the 'Doctor Who' story "The Mind Robber" is not an alternate TV dimension like the worlds of 'The West Wing', '24', 'Prison Break', the Tooniverse, or the evil mirror universe. It is the Literary Universe, another universe born of the creative spark of Mankind's collective imagination; like the universes based on TV, movies, theatre, opera, poetry, song lyrics... even graffiti!

And as with the movie universe, characters from the TV Universe can cross over into the Literary Universe, and vice versa.

Many of the characters met by the Second Doctor in the Land of Fiction actually exist in Toobworld - Rapunzel, Gulliver, and D'Artagnan, definitely the historical characters like Cyrano and Blackbeard. Characters we may consider merely legendary or mythological in the real world - the Minotaur, Medusa, and Sir Lancelot - are also real people in Toobworld.

(Karkus was pulled from Zoe's memories of a comic book in her Time, so he'd be from the comic book world we know from 'Once A Hero'.) About the only characters in the Land of Fiction that came fully from the Master's imagination would be the White Robots. (More on them in a separate post.)

But all of them were considered fictional because they were based on the "writing" of the Land's Master (not "The Master"). So this would be the world from which George Washington and Jack of the Beanstalk came from in episodes of 'Bewitched'. In fact, it could be surmised that rather than summoning actual historical figures, the magic of the "witches of Westport" was in fact bringing these fictional versions through the vortex which separates the TV Universe from the Literary Universe. When the Second Doctor freed the Master from the control of the Master Brain computer, it was believed that the lack of a human brain's imagination from which to feed caused the destruction of the Land of Fiction. This is another case where people accept whatever the Doctor tells them at face value. But in fact, since the Land of Fiction is an entirely separate universe, maintained by the gestalt of Mankind's imagination as applied in books, it still exists. At best, it was that particular vortex that was destroyed - so that it looked to the Doctor as though the whole place had been destroyed. Or he could have been lying to the others, as he had in the past and would do as well in the future. (Like in saying how old he was, or that he had a human mother just so he could get laid by a human! Unless of course this rumor that Claire Bloom is appearing in one of the upcoming 'Doctor Who' specials as the Doctor's mother is true, and she does turn out to be a human!)



It's been a while since I featured a 'Doctor Who' "As Seen On TV" showcase..... AS SEEN IN:
'Doctor Who' - "The Mind Robber"

Emrys Jones

On 'Doctor Who', the title of "The Master" wasn't used only for the arch-nemesis of the Doctor. In the Second Doctor adventure of "The Mind Robber", the Master was a human enslaved by the Master Brain computer to serve as its avatar ruler over the dimension known as the Land of Fiction.

In any other sci-fi series, the Master would have been a purely fictional construct. But he revealed to the Doctor, Zoe, and Jamie that he used to write stories back in the "real world" (Toobworld to us) about the exploits of Captain Jack Harkaway.

As there were pulp fiction stories about Captain Jack Harkaway published in the real world, that means the Master was in fact Frank Richards - which was the nom de plume for Charles Hamilton.

From Wikipedia:

Charles Harold St. John Hamilton (8 August 1876 – 24 December 1961), was an English writer, specializing in writing long-running series of stories for weekly magazines about recurrent casts of characters, his most frequent and famous genre being boys public school stories. He used a variety of pen-names, generally using a different name for each set of characters he wrote about, the most famous being Frank Richards for Greyfriars School stories (featuring Billy Bunter). Other important pen-names included Martin Clifford (for St Jim's), Owen Conquest (for Rookwood) and Ralph Redway (for The Rio Kid). He also wrote some stories under his real name such as the Ken King stories for the Modern Boy.

He is estimated to have written about 100 million words in his lifetime (Lofts & Adley 1970:170) and has featured in the Guinness Book of Records as the world’s most prolific author.

The Doctor freed the Master from the control of the Master Brain computer. It's assumed that Mr. Hamilton was returned to Earth not long after his departure and lived out his life along the lines dictated by real world history.....