Thursday, February 4, 2010


Every year I chose one or two characters from other media, usually novels or comic books, whom I think should be translated into the universe of television. Some of my past choices have been Harry Flashman from the George McDonald Frasier historical novels (although originally from "Tom Brown's School Days", so Flashie has actually been made a TV character) and Silver John the Balladeer created by Manly Wade Wellman. John was a Korean War vet who wandered the Ozarks and Appalachia with his silver-stringed guitar, fighting the dark folk magics of the area.

So here are my choices for this year, with a decidedly pulp fiction slant to them.....

There was talk a few years back about bringing "Buckaroo Banzai" to the world of the Toob and there might even have been some footage shot of Dean Cain assaying the role. (Personally, I can't picture anyone but Peter Weller in the role. But Time marches on, and I'm sure there are plenty of young actors out there who could fit the bill.)
The movie's over twenty years old, but I think he's still a viable candidate for his own show. The comedic overtones and the combination of aliens, pulp villains, spies, cowboys, and rock 'n' roll could provide a wide range of stories. In that, Buckaroo Banzai could have been a sort of American 'Doctor Who', which is also never tied down to any one kind of story.

I bring up Dr. Moreau a lot here at Inner Toob, mostly as a way to find splainins for the many human/animal hybrid characters we come across in TV shows. The H.G. Wells story was adapted at least three times for the movies, but we've yet to see a TV version. (It would have been perfect for those early anthology sci-fi shows especially, but nowadays it should get one of those Halmi treatments.)
As it stands now, we just have to assume that Dr. Moreau existed in Toobworld and hopefully one day we'll be able to back up the claim. Even if they modernized the story, Toobworld Central could always cite a Theory of Relateeveety that he was following up on his grandfather's research.

I've always been a fan of the Wold Newton Family and Universe, which finds ways in which many of fiction's greatest heroes and villains can be connected. It was first advocated by Philip Jose Farmer and now has my blog buddy Win Scott Eckert as its most ardent supporter. (Links to the left, Action Figures!) Toobworld is but a pale shadow of what they're achieving in that line of study.

Here's a quick Wikipedia sketch of the "Man of Bronze", who may be the greatest of all pulp fiction heroes:

Doc Savage's real name was Clark Savage, Jr.. He was a physician, surgeon, scientist, adventurer, inventor, explorer, researcher, and, as revealed in "The Devil Genghis", a musician. A team of scientists assembled by his father deliberately trained his mind and body to near-superhuman abilities almost from birth, giving him great strength and endurance, a photographic memory, a mastery of the martial arts, and vast knowledge of the sciences. Doc is also a master of disguise and an excellent imitator of voices. "He rights wrongs and punishes evildoers." [Author Lester] Dent described the hero as a mix of Sherlock Holmes' deductive abilities, Tarzan's outstanding physical abilities, Craig Kennedy's scientific education, and Abraham Lincoln's goodness.

Sounds a lot like Buckaroo Banzai, doesn't it? I'm fairly certain that Doc Savage was the inspiration for Banzai.

A movie was made about Doc Savage with Ron Ely, but funding ran out and the final product was not well-received. And there had been talk back in the late sixties of an adaptation with Chuck Connors. (At the time, he would have been a perfect candidate to play Doc Savage in Toobworld.) This could be a great vehicle for a syndicated series or on Sci-Fi, and could cover a wide range of genres considering Doc's background.

To play any of these characters? That's not my call......

So those are my three choices this year for characters from other media who should find a home in Toobworld....


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