Wednesday, January 20, 2010


It's surely one of the most basic tenets of Toobworld: when a show is cancelled, those characters - at least the ones still alive at the end of the series - continue to live on in the TV Universe. We've seen some of them come back long after their show has ended - Alan Brady, Bones McCoy, Bret Maverick, and Amos Burke, for example.

But eventually we have to admit that mortality must take its toll on these characters; they're only immortal within the boundaries of the reruns. Certainly some characters outlive the actors who played them, but when the actor passes away sometimes it's better to think that the character left the stage as well (rather than risk seeing somebody else assay the role.)

And due to circumstances concerning those characters within their
show, we have to assume the character died before the actor. The Toobworld Timeline plays a big role in this, of course. David Carradine died last year, but even had he lived, Kwai Chang Caine must have died about eighty years ago or so. (I think he was last seen in 1906 in "The Gambler: Luck of the Draw", but could have been around for another twenty years or more.)

Because of his affliction with MS, we have to assume that former President Josiah Bartlet will die before Martin Sheen. (And probably by his own hand before the disease takes its full toll.)

So what of all those other TV characters? Eventually we have to assume they reached the end of their lives, one way or the other, in Toobworld. And sometimes we could make assumptions about their deaths in order to clear out the Tele-Folks Directory. I postulated something along these lines when the TV version of "The Poseidon Adventure" aired a few years ago - finding a number of TV characters who might have been aboard that ocean liner when it capsized. And I did the same with the collapse of the Twin Towers in the real world because so many shows incorporated it into their storylines, from 'Becker' to 'Without A Trace'.

This is all a long-winded way of saying that I may have found another possibility regarding an off-screen death for an established TV character, with this past week's episode of 'Fringe'.....
You think killing those Federal officers is the best way to put a stop to this?
Sheriff Velchik:
It did the last time.
That Federal Marshal a few years ago....
No one came looking for him, did they?

And that was all that was said about this character; we never learned the name of this Federal Marshal. So why can't we attribute his fate to one of the established Federal Marshals of Toobworld?

I'm thinking Winston MacBride, played by Jeff Fahey in 'The Marshal'....
We've seen Fahey since then, most notably as Frank Lapidus in 'Lost'. But it's unlikely we'll ever see him as Marhal Winston MacBride again, unless he makes a special appearance in some future episode of 'Justified'. Sure, it would be nice to think his character lives on, but at the same time his occupation is a highly hazardous one.

Here's a description of 'The Marshal' from the IMDb: "MacBride is a U.S. Marshal and his job is to guard criminals, protect witnesses, and pursue escaped convicts. His job takes him all across the country where he meets all kinds of people."

That would certainly apply once he reached the city limits of Edina, New York! But it could be that he was caught off-guard by the sight of these mutations outside the reach of the "hum", and that's all that was needed for the Sheriff to get the better of MacBride and dispatch him.

Don't get me wrong - I liked 'The Marshal'; I thought it was brilliant casting to bring in Robert Mitchum as MacBride's dad. But if MacBride's death in the line of duty can make a theoretical link to 'Fringe', then Toobworld Central would have to put personal preferences aside for the greater good.

The greater good....


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Well, I used Babel Fish on that comment, folks, and this is what I got:

The human must cherish hoped that only then the live joy, the day only will then cross substantially, meaningful, will have the vitality, will have the confidence

I guess.....