Saturday, June 20, 2009


In the second episode of 'Royal Pains', Evan Lawson took a ballerina on a picnic at the beach in the Hamptons. He pointed out that Spielberg and Seinfeld both lived in the area. And in the pilot episode, we learned that Billy Joel lived within earshot of Tucker's family spread.

Even though none of them were seen, just the mention of their names (and locations) counts towards their League of Themselves tallies. It serves as proof of their existence in Toobworld, without the need for an actual sighting as verification. The series 'Movies Stars' was good for this type of embellishment on an actor's TV-life. Here are a few examples:

1] The Hardins lived next door to Tom Hanks, who holds anger management classes at his place.

2] The Hardin children were in a school car-pool with the children of Robin Williams and Arnold Schwarzenegger. (This was all pre-Governator.)

3] Apache Hardin lost Joe Pesci's dog while walking it.

4] Todd Hardin backed over Kevin Bacon with Reese's studio golf cart.



The British series 'Foyle's War' came to a conclusion this week on 'Masterpiece Theater', coinciding with the end of World War II in its timeline. As always, it focused on the deaths (not all of them murder) to be solved at the Hastings homefront in early May of 1945, but the backdrop for these mysteries remained the larger events of the War.

"All Clear" stands as a history lesson as well with regards to the tragic events of "Operation Tiger". Here's an account of what happened at Slapton Sands in April of 1944:

Shortly after midnight on 28 April, 1944, nine German torpedo boats moved into Lyme Bay, along the southern coast of England near a place called Slapton Sands. Drawn in by heavier than normal radio traffic, they suddenly found themselves caught up in the midst of Operation TIGER -- one of several amphibious exercises secretly being conducted by the Allies in preparation for the Normandy Landing.

In minutes the German torpedoes hit their mark. One LST (landing ship, tank) was seriously crippled. Another burst into flames trapping many of the victims below deck. And a third sank immediately, sending hundreds of U.S. soldiers and sailors to a watery grave.

It was the costliest training exercise in all of World War II. As the bodies washed ashore in days ahead, the official count rose to 749.

For more, click here.

This just shows to go you that Television can serve as a teaching tool; I don't think I would have ever known about Operation Tiger had it not been for this episode of 'Foyle's War'. (In that, it reminded me of Captain Quint's remembrance of the fate of the Indianapolis, also during WWII, as recounted in the movie "Jaws".....)



"The Gangster Chronicles"

Joe Penny

On the night of June 20, 1947, as Benjamin "Bugsy" Siegel sat with his associate Allen Smiley in Virginia Hill's Beverly Hills home, reading the Los Angeles Times, an unknown assailant fired at him through the window with a .30-caliber military M1 carbine, hitting him many times, including twice in the head. No one was charged with the murder, and the crime remains officially unsolved.

Though descriptions held that Siegel was shot in the eye, an autopsy revealed the bullet entered the back of his skull, and exited through an eye; investigators found the eye across the room. The cause of death was cerebral hemorrhage.
According to Florabel Muir, "Four of the nine shots fired that night destroyed a white marble statue of Bacchus on a grand piano, and then lodged in the far wall".
[from Wikipedia]

In the 1981 NBC mini-series, 'The Gangster Chronicles', Joe Penny played Siegel.

In the 1999 TV movie "Lansky", the adult Siegel was played by Eric Roberts.

In the 'Angel' episode "The House Always Wins," Angel mentioned knowing Siegel.

Friday, June 19, 2009


In 1958, Chuck McCann and Dick Van Dyke teamed up to appear on 'The Garry Moore Show'. They performed a sketch about vacuum cleaner salesmen twice - first time through, they played the salesmen as Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy. For the variation, they then became Ralph Kramden and Ed Norton of 'The Honeymooners'.

As this falls into the alternative TV dimension nicknamed "Skitlandia", there is no Zonk with the mention of another TV show.

If you want to see the full sketch.....


Thursday, June 18, 2009


Speaking of making assumptions based on TV telephone calls.....

Life, Doctor Who & Combom: Doctor Who Of The Day - Jeremy Thorpe

Now that is a deviation from the real world! But since it's now in the past, it can work. Especially since the British government could change that quickly....


(Thanks, Combom!)


On his first official house call as a "concierge doctor" in the Hamptons, Dr. Hank Lawon needed to treat a billionaire's teenage son in an emergency. And complicating matters, young Tucker was a hemophiliac.

Acting quickly, Hank told Tucker's girl-friend to get him the following items:

Bic Pen
Very Sharp Knife
Sandwich Bag
Duct Tape

She processed the list and asked, "Who are you? MacGyver?"

'MacGyver' falls into that category of shows for which I'll need a standard checklist of splainins as to why mentions of them in the TV Universe should not be considered "Zonks". In MacGyver's case, he O'Bviously became world famous at some point after the TV show about him (as seen in our world, that is) went off the air. Since that time, MacGyver has become so famous that a Toobworld TV show may have been made about him (mentioned in 'Chuck' as well as in 'Buffy The Vampire Slayer', which gave away too much info) There's definitely a TV show about him in the Tooniverse ('The Simpsons'); and here in the real world, a theatrical film is in development.

But for the most part, the references in the TV show are simply to the character and not to any TV show about him.

For instance:

"It took us fifteen years to figure out a way to Macgyver the stargate to work." - Samantha, 'Stargate SG-1'

But most of them fall into the same vein as the one from 'Royal Pains'. Basically: "Who are you, McGyver?"

And that's how this reference will stand - with McGyver mentioned - but as a real person, not the TV fiction.



"My Boy Jack"

Daniel Radcliffe

"My Boy Jack" is based on a stage play by David Haig, who also played Rudyard Kipling in the film.

Here's the official summary of "My Boy Jack":

It’s 1915 and World War 1 has been declared. Aged only 17, Kipling’s son John, like most of his generation, is swept up in the enthusiasm to fight the Germans, a mood stoked vigorously by his father. "Jack" is cripplingly short sighted and the army has rejected him twice, rendering him too myopic even for an army suffering thousands of casualties a week and desperate for recruits.

Yet Rudyard is undeterred, determined that his son should go to the front, like countless other sons, and fight for the values that he, Kipling, espouses so publicly.

Using his fame and influence, Kipling persuades Lord Roberts, on his death bed, to get Jack a commission in the Irish guards. This intervention is barely tolerated by his wife Carrie (Kim Cattrall) and daughter Elise (Carey Mulligan), as they disagree that Jack is fit to fight and fear for his safety on the front line.

Jack is instantly popular with his troop – he is a great leader and trains tirelessly to overcome the disability that is his eyesight. Six months later Jack sails to France as a lieutenant.

Jack went missing in action during the Battle of Loos and his mother and father carried out an increasingly desperate search for him, spanning many years and many miles.

His body was never found; neither were those of several of his fellow officers. Twenty-seven soldiers under their command were also killed.

Rudyard Kipling later wrote a haunting elegy to his son, and to the legions of sons lost in the First World War:

That flesh we had nursed from the first in all cleanness was given…
To be blanched or gay-painted by fumes – to be cindered by fires –
To be senselessly tossed and retossed in stale mutilation
From crater to crater. For this we shall take expiation.
But who shall return us our children?




Wednesday, June 17, 2009


The Zodiac sign for June is Gemini - the Twins. (Heh heh. Heh heh. The Twins.....)

Well, they're definitely not twins, but I do have a pair to put up for induction into the TV Crossover Hall of Fame this week to celebrate the Tooniverse:

There were 91 minisodes of their "Improbable History" adventures produced which were first seen on the classic 'Rocky and Friends'. After that, they were repackaged and added to other Jay Ward productions like 'The Bullwinkle Show', 'The Hoppity Hooper Show', and 'Dudley Do-Right'. Mr. Peabody and Sherman also served as spokes"men" for Wheat Hearts cereal by General Mills. Don't remember it? I guess that means they weren't very good as salesmen. But here's a YouTube video in which the second commercial shows them pitching Wheat Hearts:

Of course, you need three different appearances to qualify for membership in the Hall. And thanks to a cross-time/space continuum encounter with Homer Simpson, Mr. Peabody and his boy Sherman make the grade. There are also reports that they're being adapted for a big screen movie; hopefully one that is better than the 'Rocky And Bullwinkle' movies.....

If you do a Google search, you can even find a fan video of Mr. Peabody's adventure with an adult named Kevin in which they meet Galileo. So it's O'Bvious they haven't been forgotten by the general public. I've even got a "pet" theory about the background of Mr. Peabody - In the Tooniverse, Earth-Toon is populated not only by animated humans but also humanoid animals. So why couldn't the same be true about the cartoon versions of other planets?

I'm thinking that Mr. Peabody originally came from the cartoon version of Gallifrey, home of the Time Lords!

And to push the absurdity even further? He's father of Brian Griffin of 'Family Guy'. (Or maybe his grandfather. Or maybe even from somewhere further back in Brian's family tree. After all, Mr. Peabody did have the Wayback (WABAC) Machine at his disposal. And a dog's gotta do what a dog's gotta do....)

Welcome to the club, Mr. Peabody and Sherman!



'Harper's Island' is running down to its last handful of episodes, and before the killer is finally revealed in the finale, I thought I better stake out my theory of who is to blame for all those deaths.

First off, I was on board with the idea that Abby was the daughter of the (presumed) dead killer John Wakefield at first. But as is the case with the present-day killer's identity, I think such a reveal would be coming too soon if that was true.

Based on this past week's episode, "Seep", I think the dialogue was worded in such a way to lead us into believing that Abby is Wakefield's daughter. But the scraps of Wakefield's journal that we saw also was worded in such a way that he never came out and said that the child Wakefield fathered with Abby's mother was actually Abby. He only kept writing about "MY child". As that stands, it may prove to be that their child together is someone else, maybe even male.

As to who the killer is, a lot of people are expecting that it will turn out to be John Wakefield himself, picking up where he left off seven years before. Apparently the pictures we've seen of Wakefield have been of an actor notable for his recent stint on the late 'Battlestar Galactica'. The thinking is that why go to all that trouble to hire such an actor if you're not going to actually have him in the show?

But I think Wakefield will prove to be a red herring. Oh, I think he's alive as well, and that he will be showing up before the end game. But he will turn out to be a diversion like the casting of Harry Hamlin as Uncle Marty had been in the first episode. We're going to finally confront Wakefield, accept him as the killer and then - THWAPT! - he's going to be dispatched just like all the others.

As for the real killer? First off, I think it has to be somebody who knows Harper's Island, and has had plenty of time to prepare before the wedding celebrants arrived on the ferry. Setting all those traps, digging that ditch in which Lucy was burned to death - that all takes time.

So I don't think it's any of the wedding celebrants who arrived on the ferry. I think it's somebody who was already living on Harper's Island.

My suspect? Nikki Bolton, the bartender at the Cannery, and an old friend of Abby's.

As to why it's her? She was introduced into the storyline early enough to establish her presence so that we can't cry foul at a late-game entry when the Big Reveal is made. And after a few key scenes of her interacting with some of the regulars, she was faded back from view. (This was probably done so that we don't focus on her too early as even a suspect, let alone as the actual killer.)

As to why she's doing it? Maybe she's the actual child of John Wakefield and Abby's mother, given up for adoption at birth. And only now she's discovered her true heritage - and having inherited her father's madness has come to accept her heritage and destiny to carry on his killing spree. And it could be that Nikki, although professing to be Abby's friend, is angry that their Mom kept Abby but not Nikki to raise as her own.

And maybe she's jealous about Abby's relationship with Jimmy. Knowing that Abby was coming back and that Jimmy never got over her (probably despite Nikki's best efforts to help him forget), it put her over the edge and ready to kill.

I also think that it may play out that when John Wakefield does finally show up, he'll be all remorseful and try to warn Abby - which is when he'll be dispatched by his own real daughter, Nikki.

Just my ideas. In the end, I'll probably be proven wrong about most of this. When it comes to my Toobworld theories, I usually am....



In case you don't follow the traditional TV news sites, ITV has announced that 'Primeval' has been canceled. Over in the UK, the third season ended on my birthday, and the US is currently getting this now-final season. (We're about five episodes in.) Apparently it has something to do with the slashing of ITV's take of the licensing fee, or a loss in ad revenue.... I'm not exactly sure. I'm not that familiar with how the TV biz works over there and financial matters are part of the reality that makes my head hurt.

For the viewers in the United States, this past week's episode concluded with Jenny Lewis leaving the team and the ARC forever. Having "died" while battling that fungoid creature, and still mourning the loss of Nick Cutter, Jenny felt it was time for a fresh start. She wanted to find herself - no small task when you know that in an alternate timeline you had been somebody else.

At the end of Season One, somehow Nick Cutter and his estranged wife Helen had changed history. There were two major alterations that we saw once Nick returned to "the present" - the major difference was that dealing with the anomalies had been accelerated so that there was now a high-tech state-of-the-art Anomaly Research Center (the ARC). But on a more personal level, Claudia Brown - who was in charge of clamping down on the information dissemination about the anomalies - no longer existed. In fact, she never existed.

Instead, a woman who looked exactly like her, and who did the same kind of public relations damage control, showed up to work for the ARC. And her name was Jenny Lewis. That such a mix of DNA could be re-assembled exactly to create a woman who would then follow the same career path is not nearly so impossible in Toobworld. Exact lookalikes are a building block of the TV Universe. But even so, we could still make the scenario slightly more plausible....

Claudia Brown and Jenny Lewis were not two different people; they were one and the same, with their differences caused by the diverging timelines.

In the original timeline, Claudia Brown was raised by her birth parents and went into public relations, working for Sir James Lester in controlling the information... information... information about the anomalies.

But in the revised timeline, Claudia must have been given up for adoption for some reason. She was now raised as Jennifer Lewis, but even so, she still followed the same career path as Claudia had. (Fans of 'Lost' must recognize this as being some kind of course correction by the Universe.) It could be that we have the scenario reversed. Perhaps in the original timeline it was Claudia who was adopted and Jenny was raised by her birth parents in the alternate timeline. But I think the original theory works better - now that Jenny Lewis has left the series, and especially with the series now ending, that doesn't mean Jenny's life just stops. Anybody who's familiar with the whole Toobworld concept knows better than that: just because we don't see certain characters on TV anymore, that doesn't mean their lives don't continue.

So I think there are more story possibilities in Jenny Lewis exploring her family background - who were Claudia Brown's parents, why was she given up for adoption, what caused the divergence in her personal history? And could it eventually lead back to the anomalies? It's certainly something 'Primeval' fanficcers might consider for exploration.....

Just sayin', is all..... BCnU!


President Harry S. Truman was featured a few weeks ago in the "As Seen On TV" spotlight while I was on vacation. But that was from 'Backstairs At The White House', a mini-series set in Earth Prime-Time. Here we have the President Truman of the Tooniverse, as he was seen at Roswell back in 1947. This is from "Roswell That Ends Well", one of the best episodes ever of 'Futurama' which has been picked up by FOX for 26 new episodes starting next year.


Tuesday, June 16, 2009


Last night, FOX re-broadcast the pilot episode of 'Lie To Me' starring Tim Roth as Dr. Cal Lightman, an expert in displays of the Truth. His institute was called in to aid in the investigation of a young man suspected of murder, and that call came from the Mayor of Washington, DC.

We never saw the Mayor - all we saw was Cal's side of a phone conversation. And he was never identified by name, only as "the Mayor". Therefore, we can assume he was Adrian M. Fenty, who's been Mayor of the Nation's capital since 2006.

Whenever possible, Toobworld needs to have such public figures be the same as those in the real world, because other TV shows are probably going to refer to them as well. (This is especially true of the Presidency.)

There are exceptions, of course - 'Law & Order' is too deeply entrenched in the TV Universe, so we have to ignore the fact that the Manhattan District Attorney has never been Robert Morganthau. Ol' Pruneface has been around since Hammurabi wrote up his Code of Law, whereas 'Law & Order' has gone through four DA's since the series began.

The Mayor of New York City is a true reflection on 'Law & Order' - Rudy Giuliani showed up in an episode, and Mike Bloomberg has been in at least two as Hizzoner. But the New York governor has played a major role this season and although his situation has been reminiscent of Eliot Spitzer's, he's definitely not Spitzer or his successor, David Paterson.

That's gonna be a tough nut to splain....

(On a related note, former Governor Spitzer's face appears on the lobby wall at the Lightman Group, so it is a Zonk needing a splainin.)

But at least 'Lie To Me' played it safe and remains on Earth Prime-Time.



The coda that was tacked on to the last episode of 'Pushing Daisies' may have felt abrupt and off-kilter, but a lot of the show felt that way at times. I liked the mix of CGI and quick flashes of past scenes to create a whirlwind tour of Papen County. As the camera raced through the windmills and past the seacliff-set nunnery and down into the sewer system, it reminded me of one of Emerson Cod's pop-up books, which is appropriate - since it was his own pop-up book, "Li'l Gumshoe" that brought his daughter back into the life of the private eye.

I only wish that pop-up book feeling could have been extended so that we could finally get to see narrator exemplar Jim Dale in person. I would have closed the series with a shot of him as the Storyteller, closing the "Pushing Daisies" pop-up book from which he had been reading all of these stories.

But as that can only be wish-craft, I'll take what we were given, thankful that such a unique vision was given to us for the short time we had together.

All the while cursing both the network suits who monkeyed with its schedule and promotion, and the general audience who refused to see what a gem this show was. Instead they opted to watch the same old stuff they get everyday; and worse - they chose god-awful "reality" shows instead.

It's like Paul Lynde once said in an episode of 'That's Life': "People make me sick. I'm glad I'm not one of them."



I had to be talked into giving the pilot for 'Royal Pains' a second chance, and now I'm glad I made the effort to sit all the way through it. In fact, I also watched the second episode and I think I'm on board for the rest of the summer.

First off, it did get better once Hank and his brother Evan were out in the Hamptons. I bailed the first time while Hank was still wallowing in his Brooklyn apartment.

But the main reason I'm glad I gave it another shot was for the "take me back" head kick I got near the end of the episode. We finally got to see 'round back of the "Hampt-Inn", where the Brothers Lawson were staying - with Divyah, who was to become Dr. Hank's P.A., - they were seated poolside on the dune deck with a great view of the ocean.
And that's when I realized the setting for these scenes were at a place I used to work 29 summers ago!

My friend and former room-mate Bob got me a gig working for a chain of hotels on Dune Road in Westhampton Beach. I learned how to be a night auditor at the smallest property which was on the bay side of the road and had only 30 rooms. (It was a hand transcript and I was usually done with the work in an hour.) By working there, I even got to meet a few minor celebs - like a member of the Amazin's 1969 team.....

The site of the 'Royal Pains' scenes was the "flagship" of the line and its where we went to get our meals. And before the season actually began, we also had to do a lot of manual labor - like painting that deck scene in the pilot. (Got a terrible back-of-the-neck sunburn from that!)

I spent a turning-point birthday working there that summer. In fact, on the night of my birthday, one of the cars in the parking lot burst into flames. Couldn't ask for a more spectacular show to close out the day!

And that's another reason I'll be watching the series this summer - maybe I'll get the chance to see other landmarks that I know.



Andrew & Toby O'Brien
(as 'Simon & Simon'?)
Today is my brother Andrew's birthday. I won't embarrass him by revealing how old he is, but he's more than a decade younger than me - so revealing his age would only embarrass me!

I looked in the, but could find only one fictional character named "Andrew O'Brien", and he was over in the movie universe ("Heartburn", played by Ron McLarty).

There was no "Drew O'Brien" (a variant he uses) in either Toobworld or the Cineverse, nor was there an AJ O'Brien. But there were a few listings for "Andy O'Brien". However, that's a name he doesn't use.

(Our Mom put the kibosh to that. She believed that it would only put people in mind of "Andy Gump", some comic strip character (I think) who had no chin. Forget about Andy Taylor or Andy Hardy or even Andy Panda! To her, it was all about Gump, Bubba.)

But here are those Andy O'Briens, two of them from British prime-time soaps:

From 'Doctors', played by Jack Cooper

From 'EastEnders', played by Ross Davidson

And from the TV movies "All My Darling Daughters" and "All My Darling Daughters' Anniversaries", played by Darrell Larson.

So maybe there's no Andrew O'Brien in Toobworld. Doesn't matter. I'm happy enough to have this one here in the real world.

Happy birthday, Brothermine!



Adding "Sophia Loren" to the "As Seen On TV" roster the other day made me realize that the feature has been a bit skint when it comes to the portrayal of real life women. So I plan to amend that today and with another "Two For Tuesday" to boot!

How about if we get a bit slutty while doing so.....?

'I, Claudius'

Sheila White
"Imperium Nero"

Sonia Aquino

Valeria Messalina, (c. 17/20 – 48) was a Roman Empress as the third wife of Emperor Claudius. A powerful and influential woman with a reputation for promiscuity, she conspired against her husband and was executed when the plot was discovered.

The oft-repeated tale of Messalina’s all-night sex competition with a prostitute comes from Book X of Pliny’s Naturalis Historia. Pliny does not name the prostitute; the Restoration playwright Nathaniel Richards calls her Scylla in The Tragedy of Messalina, Empress of Rome, published in 1640, and Robert Graves in his novel Claudius the God also identified the prostitute as Scylla. According to Pliny, the competition lasted for 24 hours and Messalina won with a score of 25 partners. (In 'I, Claudius', an exhausted Scylla marvelled that Messalina's insides must be made of old army boots..)

Messalina became interested in the attractive Roman Senator Gaius Silius, who was happily married to the aristocratic woman Junia Silana (sister of Caligula’s first wife). Messalina and Silius became lovers and Messalina forced Silius to divorce his wife.

Messalina and Silius plotted to kill the weak emperor and Messalina would make him the new emperor. Silius was childless and wanted to adopt Britannicus. They had committed bigamy: Messalina and Silius married in a full ceremony, in front of witnesses and had signed marriage contracts while Messalina was still legally married to Claudius.

Claudius ordered the deaths of Messalina and Silius in 48. An officer and a former slave arrived together to witness Messalina’s death. The former slave verbally insulted her while the officer stood by in silence. Messalina was offered the choice of killing herself, but was too afraid to do so, so the officer stabbed Messalina with a dagger. Her dead body was left with her mother.

At the time of Messalina's death, Claudius was attending a dinner. When Messalina's death was announced to him, Claudius showed no emotion, but asked for more wine.
(edited from Wikipedia)

Played on TV by:

Sheila White in the 1976 BBC Masterpiece Theater mini-series 'I, Claudius'.

Jennifer O'Neill in the 1985 TV series 'A.D. Anno Domini'.

Sonia Aquino in the 2004 TV movie "Imperium: Nero".

(It is only coincidence that in last week's "Two For Tuesday", Sonia Aquino also played Sophia Loren as seen in "The Life and Times Of Peter Sellers". Don't read anything more into that!)


Monday, June 15, 2009


A picture of my cousin's classmate dressed as a banana put me in mind of the old Bic Banana ad with Charles Nelson Reilly. And that led me to search for the Post Raisin Bran song from the early 1970's.

This was a big hit among the Dar Colbys of Trumbull House at UConn back in the day.....

What the bleep. Here's the Bic Banana blipvert as well:

And while we're on the topic of singing and dancing fruits from the 1970's....



Outpost Gallifrey and their 'Doctor Who' fan forum will be closing on July 31. This was probably the best place on the Web for fans of 'Doctor Who' to gather and express their opinions among like-minded folk.

I was a member, but rarely visited. I can't even remember what my screen name is, but it had to be some variant on "Toby" or "Toobworld". I do know that my icon was of a Menoptera.....

Anyway, here are
Lisa Rullsenberg's musings on the imminent loss of the Outpost.

Lisa's a fellow MINEr. That is, a frequent visitor to Rob Buckley's blog, "The Medium Is Not Enough" (link to the left!)



"Eagle In A Cage"

Kenneth Haigh

"Able was I ere I saw Elba"

(However, the movie takes place on the isle of St. Helena.)



"Mr. B Natural"?
The Daughter Of The Minstrel?

After writing about a couple of
references made to the Batcave, I visited the to check out other TV shows that mentioned the 1960's series 'Batman'. And I found that the majority of those references came from 'Mystery Science Theater 3000'.

Here's a collection of them:

"The Sidehackers (#3.2)" (1990)
- Crow: Let's go, Batman!

"Catalina Caper (#3.4)" (1990)
- Servo: Meanwhile on Bruce Wayne's stately yacht.....

"The Hellcats (#3.9)" (1990)
- Servo: "If only I could get to my utility belt, Batgirl."

"Cave Dwellers (#4.1)" (1991)
- Servo: Stately Wayne Manor.

"Santa Claus Conquers the Martians (#4.21)" (1991)

"Hercules Against the Moon Men (#5.10)" (1992)
- Tom: "Tune in next week: same Herc time, same Herc channel."

"The Magic Sword (#5.11)" (1992)
- Servo: (as two people climb up a wall) Looks like the Batman scene, doesn't it?

"The Beatniks (#5.15)" (1992)
- "Gotham City Bank"

"'Manos' the Hands of Fate (#5.24)" (1993)

"Operation Double 007 (#6.8)" (1993)
- Servo: (as announcer) What's this? The blind leading the blind?

"Mitchell (#6.12)" (1993)
- Joel: He's talking to Commissioner Gordon.

"The Brain That Wouldn't Die (#6.13)" (1993)
- Servo (impersonating William Dozier's narration): "What's this? Our fanatical physician and his fickle fiance speeding to their country cottage?"

"The Atomic Brain (#6.18)" (1993)
- (A question mark appears on the screen) Servo: It's Prince's new name, isn't it? Crow: No, it's Frank Gorshin's new name.

"Santa Claus (#6.21)" (1993)
- Crow imitates the Joker's laugh.

"Zombie Nightmare (#7.4)" (1994)
- "Is the Batmobile in the shop?"

"Samson vs. the Vampire Women (#7.24)" (1995)
- "I'll be back, Alfred"

"The Mole People (#9.3)" (1997)
- "And Alfred the Butler"

"The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed-Up Zombies (#9.12)" (1997)
- As a woman twirls an umbrella, Mike imitates the Penguin's laugh.

"The Horror of Party Beach (#9.17)" (1997)
- Crow: Guest appearance by Commissioner Gordon.

"Girl in Gold Boots (#11.2)" (1999)
- Servo: (Imitating sound effects) Splash, Pow.

"Godzilla vs. the Sea Monster (#3.13)" (1991)
- theme song sung

"Diabolik (#11.13)" (1999)
- Mike sings the theme song.

Those last two may be a problem to splain away, unless there was a TV show within the reality of Toobworld about the Batman, and which just happened to have the same theme song as the TV series from our world. That would also have to serve as the splainin for all the times Crow and Servo imitated William Dozier as the 'Batman' narrator. ("What's this? etc.)

Otherwise we have to assume the robots are also tele-cognizant and thus able to hear the narrators of our TV shows. Tele-cognizance would also be the splainin as to how they know about the visualized sound effects, which only the audience in the Trueniverse should know about.

As for the rest of those MST3K references, either they were about things in Batman's life that were common knowledge to the general public on Earth Prime-Time, or the 'bots had access to secret computer files. Tom and Crow, probably with the help of Gypsy, must have tapped into the files of secret government agency files for information about the working relationship between the Batman and Commissioner Gordon.This could be why the Intersect was created - to cut down on such hacking!

Somehow, they also found out the secret identity of Batman, if they know about Alfred the Butler.

Apparently there's also a 'Batman' reference in the theatrically released "Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Movie" from 1996, but the didn't supply the actual quote.


Sunday, June 14, 2009


'The Listener' is never going to be considered a great show, maybe not even good. But 'twill serve as summer filler, and may have the distinction of being the last NBC show to premiere in the 10 PM weekday slot before Jay Leno arrives in the Fall to commandeer the strip.

But at least it's doing its best to keep me from getting fed up with it. For instance, by the third episode, Toby finally came clean to Oz, his buddy at work, that he had the power to hear others' thoughts. Too often, this plot point drags on forever in shows. The most recent example I can think of is 'Reaper' - Andi was kept out of the loop for way too long.

It's also set in Toronto, and that's a breath of fresh air for a show being broadcast in America. (It's a production out of Canada being imported.) No hiding that fact, what with the mentions of currency, locations, etc.

And finally, the main character is named Toby and he's a good-looking guy.

For a sci-fi show, it's refreshing to see that it's so realistic.....


Note to Lydia: I posted because I can!


"Eagle In A Cage"

Moses Gunn

I think Moses Gunn's performance as the General was a combination of several characters, as he was put to death after an escape attempt by Napoleon and himself. (A British soldier was killed during the attempt, and because of international political considerations they couldn't make the French Emperor suffer for the deed. However, nothing kept them from applying the ultimate punishment to Gourgaud.)

However, in real life, Gourgaud died in the 1850's.

the Wikipedia account of his life.



Amazingly, there is still an ongoing battle about Creationism vs. Evolution. Here in the real world, your old Toobmeister knows the Truth: God caused the Big Bang and then let evolution (which He created) run its course.

In Toobworld, both theories have been used by script-writers when it comes to the beginnings of the planet Earth. In some shows, it's either established or believed by the characters that God created the Earth. In many of the sci-fi (NOT Sify!) series, the Earth was formed by the coalescence of cosmic debris; hardened into a sphere by gravity while trapped in the orbit around the Sun.

Or some such techno-babble. You want just the facts, Ma'am, you'll have to consult an expert. Go see Mr. Whoopee.
In order to have a cohesive TV Universe, one in which as many shows as possible share the same dimension, both points of view have to be represented. If we applied my own personal belief, that would solve everything. But where's the sport in that?

The Creation story and the scientific explanation both exist in Toobworld. That's because there were two Earths in the same TV dimension. That's right - no pussying around with an alternate TV dimension when it comes to this! The Universe of Toobworld had two Earths: Earth Prime-Time... and the other one.

We'll deal with the other one later in this essay. But first, the scientific explanation for the formation of Earth Prime-Time was further tweaked by another TV series which needs a bit of the ol' splainin.
Although the formation of the TV Earth may have followed the same pattern as other planets, it was an artificial construct. Like "Beatlemania" and the Presidency that resulted from the 2000 election, it wasn't the real thing but an incredible simulation.
As depicted in 'The Hitch-Hiker's Guide To The Galaxy' (hereafter referred to as 'HHG2TG'), pan-dimensional beings contracted the planet builders of Magrathea to build a planet, based on the designs supplied by the super-computer known as "Deep Thought". This new computer was to be an even greater computer. Its purpose? To supply the question to the answer "42", which would explain Life, the Universe, and Everything.
As I said, the development of the Earth simulated the normal function of a planet. We saw the cosmic debris coalesce when the Time Lord known as "The Doctor" (10th edition) brought "The Runaway Bride" Donna Noble back in Time to witness the formation of that third rock from the Sun (which is all it would literally be at that point). While there, they saw the Racnossian sleeper ship of alien spider larvae embed itself into the core of the planet. (That was the first glitch in the programming of the Earth super-computer.
Although we couldn't see it, each of those rocks being brought together to form Earth Prime-Time was being guided by nanobot robots developed by the Magratheans. It was a process that saved them from having to do the manual labor.
It was an earlier incarnation of the Doctor, the 4th edition, who would later (as in the linear cosmic timeline, not his personal history) initiate the impetus for the spark of Life to begin in the primordial ooze. In the 'Doctor Who' adventure "The City Of Death", the Doctor and fellow Gallifreyan Romana (technically a Gallifreyenne?) were instrumental in the destruction of Scaroth's spaceship. The resultant atomic explosion provided the energy to mutate the molecules at the beginning of the chain of Life. (Yet another glitch in Deep Thought's original blueprint for Earth.)
In a way, the Doctor (yet another incarnation, his 5th) further interfered with the natural evolution of Earth Prime-Time, as seen in the adventure "EarthShock". The Doctor's young Companion from E-Space, Adric, sacrificed himself to eliminate another threat by the Cybermen (who will figure heavily in the second part of this essay). With the detonation of that space freighter practically in the Earth's atmosphere, Adric brought an end to the Age of the Dinosaurs. (By that point in Time, the dinosaurs had evolved to be intelligent - or, at the very least, they had TV, as seen in 'Dinosaurs!').
So if Deep Thought originally saw those evolved dinosaurs as part of the computer's programming matrix, here was yet another glitch.
So when Arthur Dent and Ford Prefect arrived with the Golgafrinchams during the time of the Neanderthals, Earth Prime-Time as a computer was already well and truly bolluxed.
Basically Earth Prime-Time continued on its evolutionary path along the same lines as the One True Earth from our dimension... with the additional minor details like the occasional alien invasion, the visitation by other dimensional beings who passed themselves off as deities, as well as other deviations brought about by the imaginations of TV script-writers.
So that's Earth Prime-Time, the main Toobworld. As seen by the examples listed here, this Earth came about via scientific (and sci-fi-ific) methods; it was not created out of thin air by God the Almighty.

But that's what happened with that other Earth.....
"Mondas" is the name by which we know the other Earth in the TV Universe. According to the 1st incarnation of the Doctor, "Mondas" is one of the oldest known words for "Earth".

Mondas once shared the exact same orbit as Earth Prime-Time, always equi-distant from each other so that neither one was visible to the other in their night sky. Mondas looked exactly like the Earth, only turned upside down. (Technically, the Earth looks like Mondas, only turned upside down, as Mondas was created first.)

Because Earth and Mondas look exactly alike, it is the belief of Toobworld Central that Deep Thought co-opted the design of Mondas to serve as the model for Earth Prime-Time. Only he had the Magratheans flip it over - probably to avoid a copyright infringement lawsuit brought by God.
"God created the Heavens and the Earth."

You already know how I interpret this in the real world. But for the sake of Toobworld, I will accede that God took a direct hand in the creation of at least the Sol System, with "Earth" being Mondas. Let's face it - the other planets make such pretty neighbors to the big blue marble: a shimmering blue one to one side and a deep red one to the other; rings around one farther off and a big red spot on yet another, with a tiny wannabe flitting about at the farthest reaches of the Sol System - sometimes a planet, but currently out of favor as one. (In Toobworld, Pluto will one day regain its planetary status.) It's nice to think somebody put them all there to keep us company.

So God created the Sol System - "The Heavens" - directly, as the setting for his special project, Mondas aka Earth I. It was on Mondas that many of the events of Genesis took place - the real Adam and Eve, the whole Garden of Eden psych-out. As Mondas was created long before Earth Prime-Time was manufactured, their version of Mankind was already on the fast trick in social, scientific, and physical development.

For the purposes of Toobworld, it will be conjectured that by the time of the Great Flood (which did occur on Earth Prime-Time) the Mondasians had discovered the existence of the super-computer Earth on the far side of their own orbit, and proceeded to develop methods by which to reach it.

I'm thinking dimensional vortex with a direct route via wormhole. It would be cost-effective and it would be less likely to lose your luggage.
Like the other-dimensional humanoids who came to Earth Prime-Time and used their super-powers to pass themselves off as Gods to the humans at various points around the globe, the Mondasians arrived on Earth Prime-Time and presented their history to the Earthlings... who proceeded to interpret it as their religion. Basically a lot of that begattin' was happening back on Mondas.

Because Mondas came into existence first, fully formed and populated with humanoids quickly by the intercession of God, it was far ahead of Earth Prime-Time in its development. Their population may even have reached the scientific advancement Earth has now in its "second millennium" while Earth Prime-Time was still back in its own biblical times.

It's only a theory in progress for now, but certain TV shows that don't exactly work as part of Earth Prime-Time could conceivably be set on Mondas. Just so long as there is no mention of Earth particulars, like locations or historical figures, who's to say they didn't take place on the similar world of Mondas?

TV series set during the "Age of Legend" might be considered as candidates for Mondasian occupancy. "The Legend Of The Seeker", for example, with its unknown lands and a written language unknown to Earth, is a possibility. As would be the TV adaptations of 'Conan The Barbarian' and 'Beastmaster' - that is, so long as there was no mention of actual Terran touchstones.
It would have been nice to throw two recent series over to Mondas - 'Kings', with its kingdoms of Gath and Gilboa and its reliance on the intervention by God; and 'Krod Mandoon And The Flaming Sword Of Fire', since every world should have its own version of 'Get Smart'. But 'Kings' mentioned Liszt and Beethoven, while 'Krod Mandoon' invoked Atlantis. For alls I know, the other sword-and-sorcery shows (which also includes 'Wizards And Warriors') might be negated for similar reasons, but for now, it works, mate!

Eventually, Mondas left its orbit around the Sun and shot off across the universe, as dictated by the story demands of 'Doctor Who'. (This would lead to the creation of the Cybermen.) It will be the Toobworld position that this happened around the same time as the Great Flood on Earth Prime-Time.

Since the intervention by God was so instrumental in the history of Mondas, the Almighty might as well be the cause for Mondas' expulsion from the solar system. As the planet had been his pet project, and one that he had submitted to the tribunal of regents at his master's degree presentation, God must have been quite displeased with the results. And so he banished Mondas from the star system of Sol, and it would not return until the mid-1980's.
Meanwhile, God saw that the absence of Mondas from its geo-synchronous orbit with Earth Prime-Time would play hob with the tidal system of Toobworld. And so God finally stepped in to meddle in the affairs of Mankind - the Terran variety. He warned Noah of the coming floods and instructed him to build the Ark.

So for the purposes of Toobworld, that's a possible way in which religion and science can be reconciled when it comes to the creation of the Earth... at least as far as the TV Universe is concerned.
(May 2009)
'Doctor Who'
'The Hitch-Hiker's Guide To The Galaxy'
"The Big Bang"
"Noah's Ark"
'Hercules: The Legendary Journeys'
'Krod Mandoon And The Flaming Sword Of Fire'
'Conan The Barbarian'
'Wizards & Warriors'
'Legend Of The Seeker'
'Get Smart'
'Tennessee Tuxedo'