Saturday, March 13, 2010

SATURDAY MATINEE: TRUE GRIT FOR PENGUINS

Just a little bit o' fun before I turn in for my nap......



BCnU!

THEORY OF RELATEEVETY: SKOWRIN TO SKOWRON

Jack Skowron is a best-selling author who wrote "Freefall To Ecstasy", which was bought by many but which hardly anyone ever finished reading. He was an old friend of Jim Rockford, whom he asked for help on his second novel (as seen in an episode of 'The Rockford Files'.) It could be that Jack can trace his ancestry back to Henry Skowron, Esq., (played by Royal Dano), a ne'er-do-well roaming the wild, wild west with his three sons - George, Herman, and Perlee. At some point in the 1870's, the Skowrins encountered Kwai Chiang Caine and an Irishman named Sean Mulhare, with the intent of robbing them.
The Skowrins are like the dark side of the Cartwright clan, with Perlee (played by Merlin Olson) as their version of Hoss - perhaps with more brawn, but less brain. If Jack can trace his ancestry to any of Henry Skowrin's sons, it would be most likely to George. Tele-genetic echoes are strong in Toobworld and it could be that all of the men in the Skowrin line from George to Jack were of a smaller build but of a higher intelligence (at least higher than others in the Skowrin family tree.) As for the slight difference in the family name, some Skowrin up the line decided to change it; perhaps even Jack himself, thinking it looked better on paper as his nom de plume.

SHOWS CITED:
'The Rockford Files' - "The Gang at Don's Drive In"
'Kung Fu' - "Nine Lives"

BCnU!

HOW MANY BEVANS IN A BEVY?

In March of 2003, the UCOS team was first assembled in the 'New Tricks' pilot. A year later, 'New Tricks' premiered as a series. As is usual with the launch of a TV show, there was some tinkering with the cast, but at least the core team of Amanda Redman, Alun Armstrong, James Bolam, and Dennis Waterman remained intact. It was the role of Deputy Assistant Commissioner Donald Bevan that was recast. In the pilot, DAC Bevan was played by Tim Woodward. For the first series (season to the Yanks), Nicholas Day had the role. After that, he was phased out, to be replaced by DAC Robert Strickland.

Here's how DAC Bevan is described in Wikipedia:
Deputy Assistant Commissioner Donald Bevan is the team's boss during the first series. He knows both Jack Halford and Gerry Standing, and strongly opposed Standing's inclusion in the team, mainly due to the history between them. (It is later revealed that Gerry punched Bevan in the face and broke his jaw).

I always wonder why the creators of a show are so married to a character's name at this juncture in a show's development. The audience has no attachment to the character yet, so if you're going to recast the role, why not just create a new name, a new character to fill the same purpose?

In the long view it just throws the audience out of the show's believability if they're watching the series on DVD. One episode you've got Tim Woodward in the role of Bevan, and the next it's Nicholas Day. And it's not like you can claim a quantum leap or some other sci-fi splainin for Bevan being a recastaway; the show is too realistic (considering). Woodward and Day aren't even the same height or build, so a more grounded splainin of plastic surgery won't fly.

There's only one way to go with this splainin: they were both Donald Bevan.

It's just one of those quirks in the world, either real or Toob, that there will always be people sharing the same name. I was born a Thomas O'Brien, and that's very common. In my hometown there were about six of them, one of them in my high school class. In fact, I'm Thomas O'Brien III, which is why they were calling me Toby (my initials sounded out) even before I was born - it would be less confusing than calling for Tom O'Brien and having more than one answer. Of course, if my grandfather replied, you better run screaming, as he passed away before my parents even met......

But enough about me.......

In the real world, Donald Bevan is a writer who co-wrote the 1951 play "Stalag 17" and he wrote an episode of 'Producer's Showcase' in 1955. He was also a caricaturist for Sardi's Restaurant in New York City's theatre district. It seems a pretty thin resume to become somebody who inspires the naming of a baby, but as he exists in Toobworld (thanks to several shows in which he was interviewed), it's a pozz'bility. But not one we're committed to......

So let's just say it was one of those flukes in which both were given the name Donald Bevan at birth. And in one of those "Believe It Or Not" twists of Fate, both of them joined the Metropolitan Police in London and eventually rose to the rank of Deputy Assistant Commissioner.

Another thing they both had in common - at some point in their careers, they pissed off Gerry Standing to the extent where the detective punched them in the jaw and broke it.

At some point between March of 2003 and April of 2004, DAC Bevan (as played by Tim Woodward), no longer was in charge of overseeing UCOS. Instead that duty fell to a fellow DAC, the other Donald Bevan.

From that point on, we know Donald Bevan II's history in Toobworld until he was phased out after six episodes. But as for Donald Bevan I, it's time for this televisiologist to go out on a limb.....

It's pozz'ble, just pozz'ble, that DAC Bevan got himself in some sort of trouble on the job which demanded disciplinary action. As a result he lost the position of Deputy Assistant Commissioner and was reduced to Detective Chief Inspector. For alls I know, he was happy with that, as being a DAC meant he was mostly chained to a desk with a sea of paperwork and public relations problems. As a DCI, Bevan could keep his hand in when it came to the reason why he became a copper in the first place - to solve crimes.

At the same time, Donald Bevan I may have wanted to sever all ties to whatever got him into trouble in the first place. And as he was probably fed up with being confused with the other DAC Donald Bevan for so long, he may have petitioned the courts to legally change his name.

And so by March of 2004, one year after creating the UCOS squad, former DAC Donald Bevan became DCI Sebastian Turner, who oversaw the operations of a homicide detective squad, as seen in 'Murder City'..........* This not only splains away the recastaway problem, but it also combines two Tim Woodward characters into one.

Tidy.

BCnU!

*This picture is actually from the movie "Stiletto", but that's basically how he looked in 'Murder City'.....

AS SEEN ON TV: THE PRINCE REGENT

"Alvenley, who's your fat friend?"

THE PRINCE REGENT
[FUTURE GEORGE IV]

AS SEEN IN:
"Beau Brummell: This Charming Man"

AS PLAYED BY:
Hugh Bonnevile

From Wikipedia:
George IV (George Augustus Frederick; 12 August 1762 – 26 June 1830) was the king of Hanover and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from the death of his father, George III, on 29 January 1820 until his own death ten years later. From 1811 until his accession, he served as Prince Regent during his father's relapse into insanity from an illness that is now suspected to have been porphyria.


George IV is remembered largely for his extravagant lifestyle that contributed to the fashions of the British Regency. By 1797 his weight had reached 17 stone 7 pounds (111 kg or 245 lb), and by 1824 his corset was made for a waist of 50 inches (127 cm).


He was a patron of new forms of leisure, style and taste. He commissioned John Nash to build the Royal Pavilion in Brighton and remodel Buckingham Palace, and Sir Jeffry Wyatville to rebuild Windsor Castle. He was largely instrumental in the foundation of the National Gallery, London and King's College London.


[after his sartorial transformation, courtesy of Beau Brummell]

BCnU!

Friday, March 12, 2010

TRACKING REDJAC

Now that Toobworld Central has presented the theory that the use of the Wilhelm Scream on television is a signal that the evil entity known as Redjac is leaving a dying body, we can track its progress through Toobworld.

The last time we knew where it was, Redjac was fleeing the body of a criminal as he fell out of a cable car in Canada. We picked it up next in South America:



O'Bviously there's a pattern here: Christopher Chance just happened to be near by when a Redjac-possessed man met his maker. It could be that Redjac is using Chance as a carrier, like Typhoid Mary, without 'The Human Target' even knowing about it.

Otherwise we'd have to find some other reason. And since the Wilhelm Scream has been used in every episode of 'Human Target' so far, we can't chalk it up to Coincidence.

Eventually Redjac has to make its way to Kiev, but until then we can track it - but only after it abandons its last victim.....

BCnU!

BAYNES & BAINES: PART TWO

Last month I wrote about the family relationship of Inspector Baynes ('Sherlock Holmes') and Jeremy Baines ('Doctor Who'). I'd now like to bring another member of the family into the fold.

DOCTOR BAINES
of
"THE NINE TAILORS"

As with the other two men, Dr. Baines lived in the Norfolk area; he was the general practitioner serving the community of Fenchurch St. Paul.

As he was seen in Toobworld around 1938, (Lord Peter Wimsey mentioned that a jewel robbery at the heart of the mystery occurred twenty years before, in 1918.), and being in his later years, I propose that he could be the son of Inspector Baynes. And like young Master Jeremy, he decided to change his name upon getting his license to practice medicine.

As for his relationship to Jeremy, I think he's better suited to being his uncle rather than this father.

BCnU!

THE BREAKFAST PSYCH

This really doesn't fall into the purview of Toobworld Central, but I still wanted to share this O'Bservation.....

As Shawn Spencer of 'Psych', James Roday has now appeared with three actors from "The Breakfast Club":


Judd Nelson ("Death Is In The Air", with Burton Guster),

Ally Sheedy ("An Evening With Mr. Yang" & "Mr. Yin Presents"),

as well as with Anthony Michael Hall as John Smith of 'The Dead Zone' in a USA Network promo. (They're both seen here with Adrian 'Monk'.)

So that means Emilio Estevez and Molly Ringwald have to make appearances on 'Psych' in order to complete this trivia nugget. (And if Anthony Michael Hall could get an actual episode, that would be cool.....) It reminds me of 'St. Elsewhere' when the old gang from Steve Allen's version of the 'Tonight' show appeared as the parents of various doctors at St. Eligius: Louis Nye (as Dr. Axelrod's dad), Bill Dana (as Dr. Fiscus' dad), Tom Poston (as Dr. Morrison's dad), and Steve Allen himself, with his wife Jane Meadows (as Dr. Ehrlich's parents).

BCnU!

TELE-GENETICS: JUST FOLLOW THE NOSE

I'm often critical of tele-genetics employed in TV shows - the casting of parents or siblings or children of a main TV character. I don't know if the actors were involved were cast for their celebrity status in hopes of luring in viewers, but a lot times it certainly wasn't for any similarity in appearance.
(I suppose the argument could be made that Brendan Fehr and David Boreanaz look like brothers in this still from 'Bones'; but during an actual episode of the show, I just don't see it.)

But there's no arguing the case of Conway Jefferson and his son Frank, seen together only in the opening scene for the second TV adaptation of "The Body In The Library", a Miss Marple mystery:

CONWAY JEFFERSON

FRANK JEFFERSON

It's always the structure of the nose for me - whether in looking for tele-genetic similarities or in the depiction of historical figures (a major reason why I never fully bought Paul Giamatti as 'John Adams'.) And in the case of the Jefferson pere et fils, they both have that striking Galllic proboscis.

Of course, there's a good reason why - Conway Jefferson was played by Ian Richardson, and in an uncredited turn, his son Miles appeared as Jefferson's doomed son Frank.

BCnU!

AS SEEN ON TV: BEAU BRUMMELL

BEAU BRUMMELL

AS SEEN IN:
"Beau Brummell: This Charming Man"

AS PLAYED BY:
James Purefoy

From Wikipedia:
Beau Brummell, born as George Bryan Brummell (7 June 1778 – 30 March 1840 (aged 61)), was the arbiter of men's fashion in Regency England and a friend of the Prince Regent, the future King George IV. He established the mode of men wearing understated, but fitted, tailored clothes including dark suits and full-length trousers, adorned with an elaborately-knotted cravat. Beau Brummell is credited with introducing and establishing as fashion the modern man's suit, worn with a tie. He claimed to take five hours to dress, and recommended that boots be polished with champagne. His style of dress was known as dandyism.

BCnU!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

THE HAT SQUAD: MERLIN OLSEN

Merlin Olsen, former pro-football player and NBC football color commentator, has passed away at the age of 69. On 'CHiPs' and 'The Brian Keith Show', Olsen provided a televersion of himself in one episode each.

He also created several characters for Toobworld, both in the present timeline and back in the Old West days circa the 1870s. The most famous of these would be 'Father Murphy' (aka frontiersman John Michael Murphy) and Jonathan Garvey of 'Little House On The Prairie'. Along with Perlee Skowrin, the character he played on 'Kung Fu', these men passed away about a century ago at least.

As for his present day characters, they include:

Aaron Miller, 'Aaron's Way'
Buddy Landau, 'Fathers And Sons'
Merlin Fergus, 'Petticoat Junction'
Todd Simms, "The Golden Moment: An Olympic Love Story"

All of whom could have easily survived to this point in Time, and conceivably will survive the passing of the actor who played them. (It's not like any of them were ever going to be recast in new productions.)

As for Webb McClain, the old friend of Buford Pusser in the TV version of 'Walking Tall', he died in the one episode in which he appeared. McClain had become a paid assassin and was hired to kill his old friend. But Shefiff Pusser was able to outgun him during a hunting trip; to preserve the memory of his old friend, Pusser made it look like McClain died in a hunting accident.

The only character I'm not sure about is Stan Webster, from the TV movie "A Fire In The Sky". There was a cryptic comment at the IMDb.com about how Merlin Olsen saved the day by hiding out in his sleeping bag. I have no idea what that means, but it sounded sarcastic and I have a feeling that Webster died in that sleeping bag.

Not that it matters in the grand scheme of Toobworld, as "A Fire In The Sky" belongs in that alternate TV dimension of prime-time disasters (and I don't mean 'The Jay Leno Show').

So with his work for NBC football and his appearances on 'CHiPs' and 'The Brian Keith Show', Merlin Olsen will one day be inducted as an honorary member of the TV Crossover Hall of Fame.

Good night and may God bless, gentle giant.

BCnU......

TVXOHOF, 03/2010: HOWDY DOODY & BUFFALO BOB

Toobworld Central is about the only place where puppets are not treated as second-class citizens, unlike the rest of the TV Universe. Sure, TV characters and other human beings interact with them - within boundaries - but not on a regular basis.

If they did, we would have seen them as regular characters in other TV shows that weren't puppet shows. Eva Longoria appeared on 'Sesame Street'; so why aren't there Muppets living on Wisteria Lane in 'Desperate Housewives'?

Toobworld Central wants to treat all TV characters as equals, whether they be human, extra-terrestrial, robot, talking animals, reincarnated automobiles, or puppets. And that's why we try to induct a TV puppet into the TV Crossover Hall of Fame once a year.

This year we redress a major oversight with the induction of the Grandmaster of all TV Puppetry, Mr. Howdy Doody!

And it doesn't seem right that we would do so without his buddy, Buffalo Bob Smith! Here's a list of the credits that serve as their qualifications for entry:

Andy's Funhouse (1979)

"The New Howdy Doody Show" (1976)

"Happy Days"
- The Howdy Doody Show (1975)

"Puppet Playhouse"

"Howdy Doody"

Howdy Doody and His Magic Hat (1954)

Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade (1987)

"The New Hollywood Squares"
- Episode dated 9 March 1987

It's Howdy Doody Time (1987)

NBC 60th Anniversary Celebration (1986)


The Solid Gold Show (1977)

"Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In"
- Episode #5.1 (1971)

"What's My Line?"
- Episode dated 15 August 1954


"Quantum Leap"
- Genesis: Part 1 - September 13, 1956 (1989)

I'm sorry this situation has finally been addressed and that Howdy Doody and Buffalo Bob are at last members of the TV Crossover Hall of Fame.

We never meant to string them along.....

Sorry about that, Chief.

BCnU!

NEW 2 VIEW @ TOOB HQ

Some new additions to the Toobworld Central Library stacks this week:

'POLDARK' (SERIES 1)
One of my first immersions into the world of British costume dramas (right after 'I, Claudius'). It'll be interesting to go back now and see it again, now that I'm more familiar with so many of the UK's great character actors in TV work.

Some of my more "out-there" theories of televisiology are the "Born To Rerun" essays, in which I speculate that a certain character is the reincarnation of another. 'Poldark' provided a two-fer in this regard: it's the contention of Toobworld Central that aristocratic Ross Poldark and his gypsy wife Demelza were reincarnated as well-to-do Greg Montgomery and his free-spirited wife Dharma Liberty Finkelstein ('Dharma & Greg').

'SOAP' (THE COMPLETE SERIES)
Always loved this show and I knew the videotapes from its first run on Comedy Central were not going to last forever. Someday I hope they can do a special reunion episode, if only to let us know how those final cliff-hangers were resolved from nearly thirty years ago. (Even if several of the cast members are no longer with us.)

'NEWSRADIO' (THE COMPLETE SERIES)
One of those great shows that was hated by its own network. Dave Foley made for the perfect male version of Mary Richards, and the character of Bill O'Neil was Phil Hartman's last hurrah.

Just ordered today:
The complete collection of 'Futurama' - and that includes the four movies that have come out since the series ended.

I got this through the Amazon Gold Box Deal of the Day and that was thanks to an alert from TVShowsOnDVD.com. As a minor thank you for the notice, I ordered my copy via their Amazon link so that they could get some coinage in return. It may not be much remuneration, but every little bit helps for the great service they provide.

If you order from Amazon, please consider doing so via TVShowsOnDVD.com. Thank you.

BCnU!

MATRICULATIN' WITH 'EM

ABC detective series 'Castle' seems to have this desire to link itself to the world of 'Law & Order'. The New York Ledger newspaper has cropped up several times and Beckett and Castle even visited the Ledger's offices on one occasion.

With this week's episode delving into the world of S&M and domination, they made a trip to Hudson University where the victim had been working on her thesis.

Hudson University is the go-to college in Dick Wolf's corner of the TV Universe. But it's also been mentioned in other shows like 'Without A Trace', 'Tru Calling', 'The Cosby Show', and even 'Degrassi: The Next Generation'. Even though that takes place in Canada, Degrassi student Jimmy Brooks was accepted there. And nothing says he couldn't go to a NYC college just because he's from Canada.....

According to a map once seen in an episode of 'Law & Order', Hudson University in the same general area as Yeshiva University is in the real world. Not too far from Toobworld Central, as a matter of fact.

Hudson University also shows up in DC Comics; but as we know from 'Smallville', there's no real connection between the TV Universe and the Comic Book Universe save for its inspiration.....

'Castle' takes place at the 12th Precinct; 'Law & Order' at the 27th. Maybe someday they'll have to confer with a detective from Lennie Briscoe's old stomping grounds.....

BCnU!

AS SEEN ON TV: MARY SHELLEY

MARY WOLLSTONECRAFT SHELLEY

AS SEEN IN:
'Highlander' - "Modern Prometheus"

AS PLAYED BY:
Tracy Keating

In this televersion of her life, Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley was inspired to write the story of Frankenstein's Monster after a visit from Duncan MacLeod. Perhaps it was more from knowing that he could rise from the dead, because it couldn't be due to the loneliness brought about by immortality. While "Frankenstein" didn't concern that issue, it was addressed in her story "The Mortal Immortal"......

Back in 2008, I wrote a more detailed look at the life of Mary Shelley in Toobworld, which can be found
here.

BCnU!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

ZONKS IN SHADES OF "GREY'S"

Speaking of 'Grey's Anatomy' as a source of Zonks, here's a list of the shows which have referred to it. (Removing all talk shows (Oprah, Letterman), game shows ('Jeopardy'), cartoons ('Simpsons', 'Family Guy', 'Tripping The Rift') and variety shows ('Jay Leno Show', 'Saturday Night Live').

CROSSOVER
'The O.C.' actually links to the show with Dr. Roberts transferring to Seattle Grace Hospital.

MENTIONS OF THE TITLE:
'Scrubs'
'The Office'
'Ugly Betty'
'Entourage'
'Notes From The Underbelly'
'Nip/Tuck'
'Greek'
'10 Things I Hate About You'
"True Confessions Of A Hollywood Starlet"

MENTION OF ACTORS ON THE SHOW
'Psych' - Shawn mentions Patrick Dempsey. In Toobworld, he could be the host of a medical reality show by the name of 'Grey's Anatomy'.

'Nip/Tuck' - Christian referred to the Isaiah Washington situation that led to his departure from the show.

SPOOF
When the Winchester brothers found themselves in a TV universe of their own, they were stuck on the set of 'Dr. Sexy, M.D.'. It was like 'Grey's Anatomy', but no other connection was made.

REFERENCES TO 'GREY'S ANATOMY' NICKNAMES
(Mostly "McDreamy" & "McSteamy")
'ER'
'The Sarah Silverman Program'
'Degrassi: The Next Generation'
'Nip/Tuck'
'Greek'
'Two And A Half Men'

AN ACTUAL ZONK?
In the "Operation: Oswald Montecristo" episode of 'The Knights Of Prosperity', a poster for the show is seen on the set for 'Live with Regis And Kelly'. I don't know how closely it resembles 'Grey's Anatomy' the series as we know it in the real world.

BCnU!

AS SEEN ON TV: PERCY BYSSHE SHELLEY

PERCY BYSSHE SHELLEY

AS SEEN IN:
'The Highlander'

AS PLAYED BY:
Christopher Staines

From Wikipedia:
Percy Bysshe Shelley (4 August 1792 – 8 July 1822) was one of the major English Romantic poets and is critically regarded among the finest lyric poets in the English language. He is most famous for such classic anthology verse works as "Ozymandias", "Ode to the West Wind", "To a Skylark", and "The Masque of Anarchy", which are among the most popular and critically acclaimed poems in the English language. His major works, however, are long visionary poems which included "Prometheus Unbound", "Alastor", "Adona├»s", "The Revolt of Islam", and the unfinished work "The Triumph of Life". "The Cenci" (1819) and "Prometheus Unbound" (1820) were dramatic plays in five and four acts respectively. He wrote the Gothic novels "Zastrozzi" (1810) and "St. Irvyne" (1811) and the short works "The Assassins" (1814) and "The Coliseum" (1817).

Shelley was famous for his association with John Keats and Lord Byron. The novelist Mary Shelley was his second wife.

In Duncan MacLeod's faulty memory, Shelley was married to Mary Wollstonecraft when he met them at the Villa Diodati in 1816. But they weren't married yet.

Being immortal doesn't guarantee a perfect memory.

BCnU!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

THE HAT SQUAD: JOHN TIFFIN

This obituary was posted at TVNewser:

John Tiffin (1930-2010), the award-winning "60 Minutes" producer who worked out of the program's London office from 1970-2002, passed away last Thursday.


Tiffin was best known for his off-beat work with Morley Safer and was the recipient of three Emmy awards. He joined CBS News in 1954 as a cameraman.

He was the producer for the 1977 segment in which Morley Safer rode the Orient Express, ("Last Train To Istanbul"), for which Mr. Tiffin has my undying admiration.





Good night and may God bless, Sir.

BCnU......

LOST IN THE FULL HOUSE

In the beginning, fans of 'Lost' used to wonder if it was all taking place in the afterlife.

For this TV dimension, 'Lost' is Hell......




BCnU!

ANATOMY OF A ZONK

On 'Cougar Town', Bobby riffed on Grayson's name by calling him "Grey's Anatomy". Which in itself is fine. It's the title of the most famous medical book in history. But the two of them just HAD to go further and plug a small shout-out into the conversation by saying how much they enjoy the ABC medical drama.

Some people don't know when to leave well enough alone.

Okay.

Even though it's enough info to tip the reference into Zonk territory, we should still be able to splain it away. 'Grey's Anatomy' may be a TV show on ABC in the TV Universe, but based just on this reference, it doesn't necessarily have to be a show about Seattle Grace Hospital. It could be some kind of medical reality programming that has become popular over there.

And when Patrick Dempsey is mentioned (as 'Psych' once did), perhaps it's because he hosts the reality show. TV characters in other shows who are called McDreamy or McSteamy (like Dr. Christian Troy was on 'nip/tuck', or in the case of Alan Harper of 'Two And A Half Men', wasn't), could be getting tagged with a popular slang term.

But in the great expanse of Earth Prime-Time, it should be anything but the actual show on ABC since they should all share the same TV dimension. Bleeps! A character on 'The O.C.', from a different network, even, went to work at Seattle Grace!

That Zonk is a flatliner........

BCnU!

A LEVERAGED PSYCH-OUT

When Shawn and Gus of the 'Psych' detective agency were about to go out shark-hunting with their own version of Captain Quint, Shawn asked if the boat was equipped with TiVo, because Gus didn't want to miss the season finale of 'Leverage'.

For the purposes of the TV show, this is probably an in-joke - Jeri Ryan was the guest star in the episode, and she was a cast member for this year on 'Leverage'. But within the "reality" of Toobworld, 'Leverage' has to be some other program since it shares the same TV universe as 'Psych'.

Shawn never said anything else about 'Leverage'. So it could be that in the realm of Toobworld, 'Leverage' is a show to be found on CNBC or FNC, or some other financial channel. It does seem like the more staid Gus might watch such a show...

So if we can splain our way out of it, there is no Zonk.

BCnU!

AS SEEN ON TV: LORD BYRON

LORD BYRON


AS SEEN IN:
"Beau Brummell: This Charming Man"

AS PLAYED BY:
Matthew Rhys

From Wikipedia:
George Gordon Byron, 6th Baron Byron, later George Gordon Noel, 6th Baron Byron, FRS (22 January 1788 – 19 April 1824), commonly known simply as Lord Byron, was a British poet and a leading figure in Romanticism. Amongst Byron's best-known works are the brief poems "She Walks in Beauty", "When We Two Parted", and "So, we'll go no more a roving", in addition to the narrative poems "Childe Harold's Pilgrimage" and "Don Juan". He is regarded as one of the greatest British poets and remains widely read and influential, both in the English-speaking world and beyond.

Byron's notability rests not only on his writings but also on his life, which featured aristocratic excesses, huge debts, numerous love affairs, and self-imposed exile. He was famously described by Lady Caroline Lamb as "mad, bad and dangerous to know." (It is odd, however, that generations of scholars have taken her at her word. As Francis Henry Gribble makes clear in his "The Love Affairs of Lord Byron", chapter 11, she was herself not far from insane, morally highly equivocal, and capable of creating more than enough danger to convince any prudent man to stay well clear of her.)

Byron served as a regional leader of Italy's revolutionary organization, the Carbonari, in its struggle against Austria. He later traveled to fight against the Ottoman Empire in the Greek War of Independence, for which Greeks revere him as a national hero.

He died from a fever contracted while in Missolonghi in Greece.

At least... that is what he wanted the world to think.

LORD BYRON

AS SEEN IN:
'The Highlander' - "Modern Prometheus"

AS PLAYED BY:
Jonathan Firth

Upon his death, he was reborn as an Immortal and continued for centuries in his wanton ways. By the 1990's, Byron had refashioned himself as a modern day rocker.

Here's the epguides.com description of his final days in that life.....

Lord Byron, the brilliant Romantic poet, is alive and well and living the decadent life of a rock star. He lives life way over the edge and has taken some promising young musicians over the edge with him. When following in Byron's footsteps tragically ends the life of Dawson's protege, MacLeod is faced with a decision -- is the beauty and genius that is Byron worth the cost?

Usually when it comes to the portrayal of an historical figure, we can afford to send off most of them to other TV dimensions; share the wealth as it were. This is especially true with the historical bio-films, like with Kennedy or Lincoln; instead we keep their appearances within TV series episodes and just assume the true history as a given to fill in the blanks.

But in this case, we can keep an extra portrayal of Lord Byron in Earth Prime-Time and not have to worry about the discrepancy in appearance due to there being a recastaway. So - as there were many TV portrayals of Lord Byron - Toobworld Central decided to keep his appearance in the TV movie about Beau Brummell. That way we get to keep James Purefoy's performance as Brummell. (It would have been nice to also claim a "Born To Rerun" theory, that Lord Byron was reincarnated as Kevin Walker on 'Brothers & Sisters' since they were both played by Matthew Rhys. Unfortunately, Kevin's timeline overlaps Byron's in that 'Highlander' episode.)

How can we claim this? Because Lord Byron as seen in the past flashbacks during "Modern Prometheus" are the memories of Duncan MacLeod, influenced by how he sees Lord Byron today. And those memories can be tampered with - not only does he see Byron as he looks in the present of that episode, but he doesn't always remember that Byron had a limp due to a club foot. (This can splain away the Zonk that Firth didn't always remember to play his scenes with the handicap.)

As for Byron's change in appearance in the 1990's from how he looked back in the early 19th Century, there was plenty of time after his rebirth as an Immortal for the poet to get a facelift. A lemon-squeezy splainin. You know, easy-peasey. (Like Byron, I'm a poet and I don't even realize it!)

LORD BYRON


AS SEEN IN:
'Star Trek: Voyager' - "The Darkling"

AS PLAYED BY:

Christopher Clarke

As it turns out, we can even keep a third portrayal of Lord Byron without fear of recurring the wrath of a Zonk. When the holographic program of The Doctor on board the starship Voyager decided to expand his personality subroutines, the simulation of Lord Byron was among those that he studied. (Thank you, Memory Alpha!) As this was a simulation programmed into the ship's computer, the image was interpreted by the program's designer.

Byronmania: it's not the real thing, but an incredible simulation!

How about that? It's a Three for Tuesday!

BCnU!

Monday, March 8, 2010

NUMBERS RUNNING: SANTA BARBARA TV

"The Numbers" from 'Lost' showed up twice during the "Jaws"-influenced episode of 'Psych' this past week. (I'd type out the episode title, but those are usually so bleepin' long and I'm too lazy to look it up today).

Both times, they were used for TV channels in the Santa Barbara area:

For those of you who were looking for the pineapple in this episode, I'm told it's on the bottle of suntan lotion near the end of the episode. But I have my doubts:

BCnU!

SPECIOUS SPACEY

Some of you may have noticed Kevin Spacey in the background of the picture of Jim Conley during this week's "As Seen On TV" theme. And maybe you then noticed that he never had his own ASOTV showcase during that run.

(More likely, I'm just talking to myself....)

Spacey played a reporter named Wes Brent in the 1988 production of "The Murder Of Mary Phagan". But Brent was fictional, meant to represent all of the reporters who inflamed the public against Leo Frank and twisted the facts so that he would be seen as guilty before the trial was even held.

BCnU!

AS SEEN ON TV: TOM WATSON

No, not the golfer, nor the California Republican candidate courting the tea-baggers.....

The final chapter in our look at the people involved in "The Murder Of Mary Phagan":

TOM WATSON

AS SEEN IN:
"The Murder Of Mary Phagan"

AS PLAYED BY:
Robert Prosky

From Wikipedia:
Thomas Edward Watson (September 5, 1856 – September 26, 1922), generally known as Tom Watson, was a United States politician from Georgia. In early years, Watson championed poor farmers and the working class; later he became a controversial publisher and a controversial Populist politician who supported the Ku Klux Klan. Two years prior to his death, he was elected to the United States Senate.

Through his publications Watson's Magazine and The Jeffersonian, Watson continued to have great influence on public opinion, especially in his native Georgia.

In 1913 he played a prominent role in inflaming public opinion in the case of Leo Frank, a Jewish American factory manager who was accused of the murder of Mary Phagan, a 13 year-old factory worker. Frank was convicted and sentenced to death by hanging.

On June 20, 1915, departing Governor of Georgia John M. Slaton commuted the sentence of Frank to life in prison. The decision followed a lengthy appeals process. Some viewed the action as a conflict of interest, as Slaton was a law partner of Frank's lead defense counsel, a fact which Watson made sure to emphasize.

On August 17, 1915, Frank was dragged from his prison cell by a group of men and lynched, an act which Watson had both called for and later celebrated on the pages of the Jeffersonian. Watson is honored with a twelve foot high bronze statue on the lawn of the Georgia State Capitol in Atlanta over the legend "A champion of right who never faltered in the cause."

He's probably roasting in Hell right now.....

BCnU!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

McGOOHAN AND THE OSCARS

In a salute to the Oscars tonight, "Life" magazine has a number of photo galleries dedicated to past decades of the awards night.

In the 1970's gallery, there was this picture of a pile of biographical information on various performers, directors, and writers: The picture was from 1972.

One name jumped out at me just as I was about to click onward to the next picture: (You'll find it near the center, four rows from the left, towards the lower center of the pile.)

McGoohan never got an Oscar nomination. If he had, maybe then they might have seen fit to include him in the memorial tribute last year after he died. (Ah, who am I kidding?) He should have been nominated - and he should have won! - for playing King Edward "Longshanks" in "Braveheart" back in 1995.

I think these biographies are for those people who might have been possible nominees for the movies released in 1971. And therefore, McGoohan was in the pile because of his turn as James Stuart in "Mary, Queen Of Scots", the next name in the billing after Vanessa Redgrave and Glenda Jackson. (The spine of his bio has a big "SA" on it. Probably for "supporting actor".)

Well, at least he was a pozz'bility. And he was paid his due for where he was truly appreciated: Toobworld!

BCnU!

A COMMUNITY OF MAD MEN

My tele-blogging buddy, MediumRob, contacted me about a scene in this week's episode of 'Community':

Quite an easy one for Toobworld to cope with, I'm sure, but 'Community' did a shout out to 'Mad Men' this week, with Abed doing an impression of Don Draper to Annie - who is of course played by Alison Brie who also plays Trudy Campbell on 'Mad Men'.

Here's the scene that Rob was talking about:




Okayyyy......

Let's start off with the easiest Zonk and work up to the hardest.

CALVIN & HOBBES: This is not a Zonk. "Calvin & Hobbes" was a comic strip, one of the greatest ever created, and that's what it is in Toobworld as well. The only TV universe in which it does exist as actually happening would be that claymation/stop-motion world of 'Robot Chicken' and 'Moral Orel', etc.
THE BRADY BUNCH: This could have been a Zonk, but we're saved by the movie versions. The blended Brady family actually exists on Earth Prime-Time and somebody thought the story of the two families becoming one was worthy of a big screen treatment. When these characters are talking about Mike Brady, they could either be talking about the "real" Mike Brady (who only looked like Robert Reed), or about the movie version played by Gary Cole. Robert Reed as Mike Brady does not enter into that equation.

MAD MEN: Whenever somebody on TV has mentioned a TV character from a TV Western, the standard response from Toobworld Central is to disable any possible Zonk by saying that they're referring to a TV show based on an historical figure. There were TV shows about Bat Masterson, Wyatt Earp, and Wild Bill Hickcock, so why not "historical" dramas about James West, Bret Maverick, and Victoria Barkley?

The same would then hold true for Don Draper. He's a part of history now in Toobworld, just not as far back as the Cartwrights. So there must have been some network suit who thought the story of the Sterling-Cooper advertising firm would make for riveting toob. It could be that at some point in our past, but in the future of 'Mad Men', Don Draper - or the company as a whole - could be doing something that would merit the TV treatment.

On Toobworld, it's very easy for TV characters to get TV shows about themselves.

Which brings us to -

THE FACTS OF LIFE: That show is long gone and there doesn't appear to be any reason why someone in Toobworld would make a TV series about Mrs. Garrett and the girls. And yet we know there was a show called 'The Facts Of Life' and that there was a character on it named Jo who may have been a bit butch (if I'm reading Britta's subtext correctly).

But all that was mentioned was the show's title and a character's name. But how do we know, based only on those references, that they are the same as our world's Jo on 'The Facts Of Life'. It could have been a whole nuthah plotline. And who knows? Maybe Jo was really Joe in that version.

Then again, it's been referenced in plenty of TV shows - 'Psych', 'Supernatural', 'Married... With Children', 'The Nanny', 'Newhart', 'Step By Step', 'Gilmore Girls', and 'Fresh Prince Of Bel Aire'. So I think it has to be about the same subject matter. Something those girls did at the Eastland school, perhaps not found out for years, made them famous enough to warrant their own TV show.

I'm getting this "Scream"-like vibe from the pozz'bilities.....

After all of that, it's no wonder I try to ignore the Zonks in 'Community', especially with a character like Abed around as a pop cultural geyser.

But it is a damn funny show!

And when it comes to Annie looking like Trudy, there's no connection - or at least there doesn't have to be one. So many people in Toobworld have similar features to each other. And besides, they were from different time periods and lived in different parts of the country. By the time their paths may have crossed, there would have been too much about them that kept them from looking like each other.

So you take the good, you take the bad, you take them both and there you have:
the Zonks of Life...

By the way, you can check out MediumRob's blog using the link to the left for "The Medium Is Not Enough".....

BCnU!