Tuesday, June 1, 2010


In the Wold Newton Universe, there were three Moriarty brothers and all of them named James. Hewing closer to "home," George Foreman has five children, all named George.

So the concept of several siblings sharing the same name is not without precedent, which is why Toobworld Central is proposing this theory of relateeveety.....


October 5, 1932

British barrister Sir Barnaby Fitzharris, Esq. (who may have been sharing chambers with a Horace Rumpole back then) and his wife Katherine became the parents of triplets - all girls and all identical. Unfortunately, Katherine died during childbirth. and so her husband decided to bestow variations on the name "Katherine" to their baby girls in memory of his late wife.
('New Tricks', 'Rumpole Of The Bailey')

Catherine was the first out of the gate, as it were, and she was given the most traditional spelling of the name (although she preferred the nickname of "Cathy"). When she came of age, Cathy met and fell in love with an African farmer named Gale who was on holidays in London. She moved back to his African farm where she learned various skills that would help her make it on her own in the world, including self-defense. This came in handy when Mr. Gale was killed on the farm.

Cathy Gale remained in Africa a few more years before finally returning to England in order to pursue a PhD in anthropology. It was while she was working as the curator for a London museum that she found a new direction in life - as an unofficial operative for BritishIntelligence, working in tandem with top professional John Steed.

Eventually Dr. Cathy Gale left government employ, presumably to return to her former life as a museum curator. However, she may have still been involved in some kind of skullduggery - Steed would later get a Christmas card from Cathy who was in Fort Knox for some reason.

It has been suggested in the fictional universe based on literature that Cathy became involved with one of Steed's other former associates, Dr. David Keel. This could mean that eventually she remarried; she might even have had children.
Of the three sisters, only Cathy seems likely to have ever had children. And if so, it's pozz'ble, just pozz'ble, that her continuation of the family line culminated with Professor Sarah Lasky, who sadly died in 2986 - a victim of a poison dart from her sentient plant creations, the Vervoids. (Cathy Fitzharris Gale (Keel?)'s family tree may have merged with that of the same Lasky lineage that produced another Professor Lasky centuries earlier - Jeremiah Lasky of California University.)
('The Avengers', 'Doctor Who', 'Saved By The Bell - The College Years')

The next to be born a few minutes later was given a cute variation of "Katharine" as her name, but she apparently wanted nothing to do with it. Even with its unique spelling, she may have found it too plain for her overly-dramatic personality. When she sought a career in the theatre, Kathryn assumed the stage name of Lillian Stanhope. She married a fellow actor a few years older than herself named Nicholas Frame. (Frame, by the way, was a stage name as well. His real name was Nicholas Nelson and he was the twin brother of Admiral Harriman Nelson of the Nelson Oceanographic Institute.)

When their careers hit a lull, Frame and Stanhope used a variation on the "badger game" to hoodwink Sir Roger Haversham into thinking he had a "special relationship" with Lillian. It was all a pretense, however, in order to get him to reopen his theatre and finance their production of the Scottish Play. When he found out that he had been duped, Sir Roger flew into a rage and threatened to expose their scheme. As Sir Roger struggled with Nicholas, Lillian threw a heavy ashtray (It may have been a jar of cold cream) and clobbered the producer, killing him. She and Nicholas took his body out of the theatre in an old trunk and arranged it at his home to look as though he fell down the stairs.

Their scheme might have worked had it not been for that meddling Lt. Columbo, a police detective visiting from Los Angeles. And then they only made matters worse for themselves when Sir Roger's butler discovered the truth and decided to blackmail Nicholas and Lillian.

They played along with Tanner at first, but then Frame murdered him and made it look like suicide. (Had they just come clean before, they might have only faced manslaughter charges.)

When Columbo finally found the "proof" that they had killed Sir Roger, Nicholas Frame went off the deep end; he probably ended up in a prison-like asylum. Although she hadn't meant to kill Sir Roger, Lillian Stanhope was complicit in covering up the crime and was an accessory in the murder of the butler Tanner. She may still be serving time for those crimes, but I think it more likely that she was released at least a decade ago and is now living in seclusion in her later years... perhaps under her original name of Kathryn Fitzharris in order to avoid notoriety.
('Columbo', 'Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea')

The last of the FitzHarris triplets to make her debut into the world got a foreign variation on the name, but it was probably for naught. She also resorted to a nickname - that of Kitty.

Growing up, it looked as though Kitty would likely follow her father Sir Barnaby into law and take up the wig. In fact, she would often give her father a unique perspective on his cases and offer advice on how he should proceed on some legal point. (It all sounds like it couldhave been the making of an early sitcom along the lines of 'My Little Margie'.)

But Kitty had her head and heart turned by an older man, at least ten years her senior, Bertie Campbell. They married and embarked on a lucrative TV career as the hosts of a cooking show on the BBC.

Unfortunately for Kitty, Bertie proved to be a closet homosexual, at a time when it was still considered a punishable offense. Not that Kitty ever had to face humiliation in divorce proceedings - soon after she discovered her husband being serviced by their male assistant, Bertie died of a heart attack that may have been aggravated by asthma.
Kitty Campbell rallied and continued with the show on her own, parlaying her success into a line of successful cookbooks and several restaurants. But when she was under consideration for the Queen's Honors list to become a Dame in 2005, her former assistant (Binky Baxter) claimed that she had murdered her husband Bertie. The Unsolved Crimes and Open Case Squad (known as UCOS) took the charge seriously and investigated. And although the circumstantial evidence was strong, they couldn't definitively prove that Kitty Campbell was a murderer.

But UCOS would not be foiled - they let the information fall into the hands of the tabloid press which ran with the story. Kitty Campbell vowed to fight the charges, and with her knowledge of the Law, I'm fairly certain she was able to "beat the rap." However, it was more than likely her name was quietly withdrawn from consideration to become a Dame of the British Empire.
('New Tricks')

Of course, it's pure conjecture that these three TV characters were sisters, but I hope I presented a solid argument for it being so. And if not solid, at least entertaining. And if not entertaining.. screw it. I got paid almost 70 bucks to write it!

Cathy Gale - Yesterday & Today



Win Scott Eckert said...

Toby, I outlined Cathy Gale's parentage in MYTHS FOR THE MODERN AGE: PHILIP JOSE FARMER'S WOLD NEWTON UNIVERSE (MonkeyBrain Books, 2005).

Cool idea, though! :-)

Toby O'B said...

I'll have to check my copy when I get home. Of course, Wold Newton and Toobworld aren't the same thing - I'm restricted to the boundaries of the TV Universe (with a few cinematic exceptions). But I'm keen to see it and I'll write it up as another post.

Win Scott Eckert said...

Works for me! :-)