Saturday, April 24, 2010

TV ON TV: "BITCH HUNTER"

Enjoy it while you can.....

HOLMES & BATMAN

For his "Pic O' The Day", Win Scott Eckert (major domo of the Wold Newton website) recently chose this comic book cover.

I imagine that within the borders of the Wold Newton Universe, such a team-up could be possible. The Batman of WNU would have been operating in the 1940s, and Sherlock Holmes would have been still active, thanks to his use of Royal Queen Bee jelly.

We might be able to employ the same reasoning in Toobworld as well. However, Holmes would have to still be going strong in the 1960's (and there are many Sherlockians who believe him to still be alive), because that's when the TV Batman was operating at his peak in Gotham City.

There were two TV movies about Sherlock Holmes emerging from cryogenic preservation in the 80's and 90's, so those wouldn't count. And they'd have to be delegated to an alternate Toobworld anyway, since Jeremy Brett is recognized as the official Sherlock Holmes for the TV Universe.

We would have to take it on faith that Holmes was able to survive into the 1960's. However, Holmes himself would say taking that on faith would not be logical without empirical evidence. (And Dr. Loveless would say that without doubt mixed in, faith is just flabby sentimentality....)

BCnU!

HAIR ON BROADWAY; THE GREAT TOOB WAY

An interesting blend of Toobworld with the real world this past week on 'Nurse Jackie'. Marion Ross played Renata Ferber, an addled old woman abandoned by her state-paid, full-time caregiver. But Nurse Thor recognized her name, that she did the hair for Broadway musicals like 'Mame', 'Company', and 'Follies'.

A TV character meets a famous historical character - or is even related to them! - and it's accepted, sometimes even expected in the case of the Time Lord known as the Doctor. But that Toobworld should have its own televersions of those Broadway shows... that is cool beans.

BCnU!

AS SEEN ON TV: DAME EDNA

Michael Feinstein and "Dame Edna Everage" collaborated on a Broadway show called "All About Me", which ran from Mar 18, 2010 to Apr 4, 2010. The show never jelled as a whole, and had it been just about Feinstein or Dame Edna, the show might have run longer. (I went the first night of previews, there to see just Dame Edna, and the concept of the show worked for that one night only.)

But to commemorate the occasion, here's the televersion of Dame Edna, who's a character in her own right...

DAME EDNA EVERAGE

AS SEEN ON:
'Saturday Night Live'

AS PLAYED BY:
Phil Hartman

BCnU!

[My thanks to Mark Thompson for getting me in to see the show!]

Friday, April 23, 2010

EDDIE ALBERT: GALLIFREYAN TIME LORD?

Jane Tranter, who is the executive VP of programming and production at BBC Worldwide, allayed the fears of 'Doctor Who' fans that they would never attempt to make an American version of the Gallifreyan Time Lord.

"It may well be confusing to have a British Doctor and an American Doctor at the same time," she said. "There is only one Doctor, so I don't see that happening."

The thing is, there may have been an American Time Lord on TV, and five years before 'Doctor Who' premiered at that!

I wrote about
"The Eddie Albert Show" pilot back in 2005. Here's the basic plot description from IMDb.com: Unsold pilot: In 1958 he made a pilot for an adventure/fantasy series called "The Eddie Albert Show" where he played a reporter searching for amazing stories all over the world, as well as in other times and solar systems.

Nothing's changed since then as to finding out if the pilot was actually made, or only proposed. But wouldn't that have been a cool idea?

BCnU!

PS:
The photo of Eddie Albert is taken from the pilot episode of 'Voyage To the Bottom Of The Sea' - "Eleven Days To Zero".

A LOOK BACK INTO "THE DARK DARK HOURS"

There's a video making the rounds of a long-lost episode of 'General Electric Theater' - "The Dark, Dark Hours" stars Ronald Reagan (who was also the host of the anthology series), Constance Ford, and James Dean as the young punk who terrorizes a doctor and his family. I've seen it posted at the sites for The Huffington Post and The Atlantic.

Here's a compilation video of the scenes between Reagan and Dean, so that you don't have to plow through the whole thing. (I get the feeling that the entire story was very talky and hammy as well.)



James Dean performed in other TV anthology series as well before he hit it big as a movie star. (He certainly couldn't do so afterwards, as he died in a car crash at the age of 24 before two of his three films were released.) So he has a presence in Toobworld as well.

BCnU!


AMERICAN TORCHWOOD TORCHED?

BBC Worldwide Productions has released a statement concerning their attempt to bring an American version of 'Torchwood' to the airwaves here in the States:

BBC Worldwide Productions and the FOX Broadcasting Company have mutually agreed not to progress together with a 13-episode serialized 'Torchwood' format. We are currently in discussion with several interested networks.”

"It's very much ongoing and very much alive," said Jane Tranter, who is the executive VP of programming and production at BBC Worldwide.

I was on the fence about this. On the one hand, I figured as long as they created all new characters to man the Torchwood US hub, fine. Toobworld could handle the new series. John Barrowman said that he wanted to portray his character of Captain Jack Harkness in the new series, rather than have the producers recast the role. And that would be excellent news - I can never get enough of Captain Jack on my TV!

But if the Captain was recast, then it would have been bye-bye 'Torchwood US' - send us a postcard from whichever alternate TV dimension that took you in.

Then again, I've always seen the Torchwood Institute to be a strictly British organization, even if it is outside the government as Captain Jack claimed.

I could have worked around that though, if I was working on the script. This Torchwood hub could have only just recently arrived in America; it could have been the Torchwood that had gone "missing", which Captain Jack hopefully figured would eventually turn up. Some kind of cross-dimensional slide, perhaps, and when it returned, it was now in the United States of America with the original staff dead or still missing and so a new American team would have to be assembled. That would have been my wish-craft, anyhoo.

Tranter sounds hopeful that they can find another home for the American version of 'Torchwood', and maybe they will. It would certainly fit in with the Syfy Channel, and being on Spike or FX would give them greater freedom to keep their edge.....

BCnU!

AS SEEN ON TV: DR. DEATH

On Saturday night, HBO presents a biopic about Dr. Jack Kevorkian, who is a strident champion for doctor-assisted suicide.......
DR. JACK KEVORKIAN

AS SEEN IN:
"You Don't Know Jack"

AS PLAYED BY:
Al Pacino
From Wikipedia:
Jack Kevorkian (born May 26, 1928) is an American-Armenian pathologist, right-to-die activist, painter, composer, and instrumentalist. He is most noted for publicly championing a terminal patient's right to die via physician-assisted suicide; he claims to have assisted at least 130 patients to that end. He famously said that "dying is not a crime."

Between 1999 and 2007, Kevorkian served eight years of a 10-to-25-year prison sentence for second-degree murder. He was released on parole on June 1, 2007, due to good behavior.

BCnU!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

SIX FEET UNDER: T.O.D.

I mentioned in the earlier news story about 'Outcasts', the next TV gig for Eric Mabius, that it couldn't be part of Earth Prime-Time because most of the planet's human population will be wiped out in 2040. And I pointed out that it was 'Six Feet Under' that was going to keep that from happening in the main Toobworld.

I was going to embed a video of the last six minutes of the 'Six Feet Under' finale, but realized that it was a massive spoiler for those people who still haven't seen the series through to its end. But I have no problem in posting these dates from the episode to show why "Life Goes On" after 2040 in Toobworld.
These title cards really don't give anything away, since everybody in Toobworld, like the real world - save for Ben Richards, Captain Jack Harkness, Duncan MacLeod, Richard Alpert, Kevin Sorbo (aka Hercules), Raphael Cain, witches and vampires on a technicality, and maybe Dana Scully, among others - eventually dies.

I'm just not going to give away HOW they died.

BCnU!

[MAYBE] SEEN ON RUSSIAN TV: RICHARD NIXON

Today we're celebrating the birthday of Jack Nicholson in the "As Seen On TV" feature, but it's also the birthday of Richard M. Nixon. And he's had nearly as extensive a presence in Toobworld as have Presidents Washington, Lincoln, and Kennedy.

In 2005, a TV movie was broadcast in Russia entitled "Brezhnev". It covered the last month of his life, with flashbacks to how he came to power in the former Soviet Socialist Republic.

There was one character in the film simply called "The Visitor", played by Sergey Garmash. Now it could be that this was one of those movies in which they went for some symbolism, and The Visitor could have been the embodiment of Death. But it could also be that Garmash might have been playing American President Richard Nixon, whose summit meetings with the Soviet Premier must surely have been an important point in Brezhnev's life, deserving of coverage in the story. I have no clue as to what Sergey Garmash looks like, so I don't even know if this is him. (So many of the character roles in the IMDb.com listing for "Brezhnev" have been left blank.) But this actor does bear some resemblance to Nixon, and I'm going to assume that it is a televersion of our 37th President.

BCnU!

2040: A MABIUS TRIP

According to Nellie Andreeva, Eric Mabius has moved to the UK now that 'Ugly Betty' has ended its run. From there, he'll be working on a new Kudos series called 'Outcasts'.

Here's Andreeva's description:

"Set in 2040 when a biological catastrophe wipes off human species on Earth, the show centers on a settlement of 50,000 emigrants from Earth on a life supporting planet in a neighboring solar system who have to start a new civilization. [Eric] Mabius will play the vice president of the evacuation program."

It's more than likely I won't be around to tend to the Garden of Toobworldly Delights, but I already know this can't take place in the TV dimension of Earth Prime-Time - life on Earth (as we view it) will still be taking place.

One might think that the source for those stories comes from 'Doctor Who' or the "Past" of 'Star Trek' or 'Babylon 5'. Some of it, yes. But another major contributor to Toobworld's future in that era is 'Six Feet Under', thanks to the look at how all of the characters meet their final fates seen in the series' finale.

Toobworld Central has no problem with the idea of the human race abandoning the planet in the Far Future (as seen in a certain show this coming Saturday) because there is so little by way of other TV show timelines to cause a temporal conflict. But even 30 years into the Future is much too close to ever be considered part of the Earth Prime-Time chronology.

BCnU!

THE HAT SQUAD: BILL MULLIKIN

Actor Bill Mulliken has passed away at the age of 83. The Los Angeles Times noted that he performed as Cornelius Hackle in over 2,000 performances of "Hello, Dolly" on Broadway with Dolly Levis ranging from Ginger Rogers to Phyllis Diller.

He made his mark in Toobworld as well, although he doesn't have that many credits to his name. Still, most of the shows he appeared in are considered classics today; and with the following enjoyed by 'The Andy Griffith Show', he'll always be remembered as Franklin Pomeroy, one of Miss Ellie's suitors in "Irresistible Andy".

"Father Murphy" .... Clerk
- Happiness Is... (1982)

"Little House on the Prairie" .... Hotel Clerk
- Times of Change (1977)

"Lassie" .... Jerry
- A Girl and a Boy (Part 2)

"The Mod Squad"
- Survival (1971)

"The Brady Bunch" .... Lance Pierce
- Father of the Year (1970)

"Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C." .... Tuxedo Salesman
- Marriage, Sgt. Carter Style (1969)

Rockabye the Infantry (1963) .... Toothpick

"Stoney Burke" .... Leroy Sutter
- Point of Honor (1962)

"National Velvet" .... Delivery Boy
- The Haunted House (1962)

"Hennesey" .... Sailor
- The Captain's Dilemma (1960)

"The Andy Griffith Show" .... Franklin Pomeroy
- Irresistible Andy (1960)

"The Twilight Zone" .... Parking Attendant
- A Nice Place to Visit (1960) TV episode .... Parking Attendant

Good night and may God bless.

BCnU.....

AS SEEN ON TV: JACK NICHOLSON

Happy birthday, Jack!
JACK NICHOLSON

AS SEEN ON:
'Saturday Night Live'

AS PLAYED BY:
Phil Hartman

From Wikipedia:
John Joseph "Jack" Nicholson (born April 22, 1937) is an American actor, film director and producer. He is renowned for his often dark-themed portrayals of neurotic characters.
Nicholson has been nominated for Academy Awards twelve times. He won the Academy Award for Best Actor twice, for "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" and for "As Good as It Gets". He won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for the 1983 film "Terms of Endearment". He is tied with Walter Brennan for most acting wins by a male actor (three), and second to Katharine Hepburn for most acting wins overall (four). He is also one of only two actors nominated for an Academy Award for acting (either lead or supporting) in every decade since the 1960s (the other one being Michael Caine). He has won seven Golden Globe Awards, and received a Kennedy Center Honor in 2001. In 1994, he became one of the youngest actors to be awarded the American Film Institute's Life Achievement Award. Notable films in which he has starred include, in chronological order: "Easy Rider", "Five Easy Pieces", "Chinatown", "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest", "The Shining", "Reds", "Terms of Endearment", "Batman", "A Few Good Men", "As Good as It Gets", "About Schmidt", "Something's Gotta Give", and "The Departed". (That's the real Dennis Hopper and Bert Parks in the above picture.)

BCnU!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

DUDLIEST WARRIORS?

From Wikipedia:
'Deadliest Warrior' is a television program in which historical warriors are pitted against each other to see who can outlast the other. Each episode showcases two warriors in a hypothetical battle to the death.


Each warrior brings weapons from the particular group they are associated with. Modern fighters and experts on said weapons present the strengths and weaknesses of each arsenal, including real tests of the weapons.

If I could request a pairing on this show, I'd go for a Capital One Viking (perhaps a "Visa-Goth"?) to battle one of the Geico cavemen....... BCnU!

AS SEEN ON TV: LAFAYETTE

THE MARQUIS DE LAFAYETTE

AS SEEN IN:
'The Bastard'

AS PLAYED BY:
Ike Eisenmann

From Wikipedia:
Marie-Joseph Paul Yves Roch Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de La Fayette (or Lafayette) (6 September 1757 – 20 May 1834) was a French aristocrat and military officer born in the province of Auvergne in south central France. Lafayette was a general in the American Revolutionary War and a leader of the Garde Nationale during the French Revolution.


In the American Revolution, Lafayette served in the Continental Army under George Washington. Wounded during the Battle of Brandywine, he still managed to organize a successful retreat. He served with distinction in the Battle of Rhode Island. In the middle of the war, he returned to France to negotiate an increased French commitment. On his return, he blocked troops led by Cornwallis at Yorktown while the armies of Washington and Jean-Baptiste Donatien de Vimeur, comte de Rochambeau, prepared for battle against the British.

BCnU!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

SARAH JANE & JO: TOGETHER AGAIN FOR THE FIRST TIME!

Here's a BBC press release that should bring a smile to fans of TV Crossovers and more specifically, of 'Doctor Who':

Sarah Jane Smith is reunited with another of The Doctor's former companions, Jo Grant (Katy Manning), in a new series of 'The Sarah Jane Adventures', set to air on CBBC this autumn. They'll be joined by The Eleventh Doctor (Matt Smith), in a special edition of the show penned by executive producer Russell T Davies.

The two episodes will see The Doctor and his two former time-travelling partners caught up in an alien-busting adventure that will entertain Doctor Who fans of all ages.

Elisabeth Sladen, who plays Sarah Jane comments: "It's a fantastic script and I can't wait to work with another Doctor and hope Matt has fun with us. I've known Katy for ages and I am delighted to be working with her. I last met her in LA but this time we will be in Cardiff. LA was good but Cardiff is better."

Katy Manning, who recently returned to live in the UK again, adds: "Playing Jo Grant again is something I never really considered. I was gob-smacked when they told me and I am over the moon. What an incredible little treat. I come home and this is one of the first things that happens."

Executive producer Nikki Wilson says: "We are absolutely thrilled to be introducing Sarah Jane and the gang to both The Eleventh Doctor and Jo Grant, and to have a script penned by Russell T Davies is the icing on the cake!

"Viewers are in for a real treat, with an action-packed story full of Russell's usual wit and warmth, which takes the gang inside a secret base beneath Snowdon and introduces brand-new vulture aliens, the mysterious Shansheeth. All this, plus a trip to an alien planet – a first for 'The Sarah Jane Adventures'."

Featuring the usual mixture of thrills, laughs and scares, the fourth series promises fun with enemies old and new, including the terrors of the Nightmare Man and a dangerous journey back into history.

A galaxy of guest stars are lined up to appear in the series and include Laila Rouass (Primeval, Footballers Wives) and Cheryl Campbell (Pennies From Heaven), whilst David Bradley (Argus Filch in Harry Potter) will provide the voice of the Shansheeth.

'The Sarah Jane Adventures' is executive produced by Nikki Wilson and Russell T Davies and produced by Brian Minchin.

Writers on the fourth series include Phil Ford (also co-producer), Joseph Lidster, Rupert Laight, Gareth Roberts and Clayton Hickman. The Sarah Jane Adventures is a BBC Cymru Wales/Children's BBC production.

Who knows? (No pun intended.) This may turn out to be the 2010 Toobits Award winner for Crossover of the Year!

BCnU!

DEEP SIX: MY INNER TV CHARACTERS

Sometimes I describe myself as being the Skipper of 'Gilligan's Island' on the outside, but inside I'm Captain Jack of 'Torchwood'. (That's a paraphrase from an old Wally Cox underwear commercial.) But if I had to choose the TV characters with whom I relate the most?

1] BUDDY SORRELL, 'The Dick Van Dyke Show'
I've always wanted to a) get paid to be funny, b) get to sleep on the job, and c) have a bald guy I could make fun of. Well, two out of three ain't bad - sorry about that Bob Cohen....


2] KING TUT, 'Batman'
My true name is Thomas, which means "twin", and I was born under the sign of the twins, Gemini. King Tut, aka Professor William Omaha McElroy, embodies my dual nature. One is a soft-spoken expert from Connecticut in his chosen field. The other is a flamboyant criminal mastermind.


3] UNCLE FESTER, 'The Addams Family'
I would have to shoot somebody I know in the back; I just couldn't face them. I also like weird things and probably could make a light bulb glow in my mouth.....


4] THE SECOND DOCTOR, 'Doctor Who'
Patrick Troughton's incarnation has always been my favorite. The baggy pants clown, the cosmic hobo, who's not afraid to show his fear, playful and desperate.


5] ANTHONY FREMONT, 'The Twilight Zone'
When people get me angry, I wish them into the cornfield. The only thing is, it doesn't turn out that way as often as I'd like. Still, it feels good to make the effort. I have a great wet purple gaze.

6] MURRAY SLAUGHTER, 'The Mary Tyler Moore Show'
I'm a writer who has far too many Mary Richardses in his life, to love, pure and chaste, from afar.....


And just to show that I can get in touch with my feminine side.....

MELISSA STEADMAN, 'thirtySOMETHING'
"Isn't it amazing how loneliness can wake you up?" And even though someone else might be grieving, I'd want the attention. I'm selfish that way.

BCnU!

"Seven.... It would be a mythic number...."
Melissa Steadman
'thirtySOMETHING'

FLASHBACK CLUSTER

In the last two weeks, one of the best-known of TV tropes, the Flashback, was used in a number of TV shows:

'Bones'


'Brothers & Sisters'

'In Plain Sight'

'Chuck'

'Fringe'

'Human Target'

And that's not even mentioning 'Cold Case', where the flashback is standard with every episode. (And the producers take care in the casting of the actors so that if they play the same role separated by decades, they at least look like each other.)

'In Plain Sight' usually begins with a flashback to show how the witnesses ended up in protection. However, with the episode that dealt with how Mary first met Marshall and then joined WITSEC, the flashback sequences ran throughout.

Most shows deal with flashbacks eventually; it just seemed strange to have a cluster of them being aired so closely together.

BCnU!

AS SEEN ON TV: BLAKE EDWARDS

BLAKE EDWARDS

AS SEEN IN:
"Not Only, But Always"

AS PLAYED BY:
Alistair Browning

From Wikipedia:
Blake Edwards (born William Blake Crump on July 26, 1922) is an American film director, screenwriter and producer. In 2004, he received an Honorary Academy Award in recognition of his writing, directing and producing an extraordinary body of work for the screen.Edwards's distinguished career began in the 1940s as an actor but soon turned to writing radio scripts at Columbia Pictures. He used his writing skills to begin producing and directing, with some of his best films including: "Experiment in Terror", "The Great Race", and the hugely successful "Pink Panther" film series with the British comedian Peter Sellers. Often thought of as primarily a director of comedies, he is also renowned for his dramatic work, "Breakfast at Tiffany's" and "Days of Wine and Roses".
BLAKE EDWARDS

AS SEEN IN:
"The Life And Death Of Peter Sellers"

AS PLAYED BY:
John Lithgow

BCnU!
Two for Tuesday!

Monday, April 19, 2010

THE HAT SQUAD: ALLEN SWIFT

Cartoon voice actor Allen Swift has passed away at the age of 86. With just the first paragraph of their tribute to him, Cartoon Brew amassed an amazing body of work credited to Mr. Swift:

Gene Deitch just informed us of the passing of his long-time personal friend Allen Swift. Swift (born Ira Stadlen) was best known for voicing numerous cartoon characters including Simon Bar Sinister (in 'Underdog'), Odie on 'King Leonardo' and most of the voices for the 1960’s underwater puppet show 'Diver Dan'. Swift was also well-known for hosting the 'Popeye' cartoon show (September 10, 1956 to September 23, 1960) on WPIX in New York City. Swift did the majority of the voices in Rankin/Bass’s 'Mad Monster Party', and supplied character voices for the NBC 'Howdy Doody Show'. He was Tooter Turtle and Clint Clobber. He did voices in Richard Williams’ 'Raggedy Ann and Andy' and John Dilworth’s 'Courage The Cowardly Dog', as well as in Gene Deitch’s 1960-61 group of 'Tom and Jerry' cartoons (especially memorable in "Dickie Moe").

Odie Colognie was always a favorite of mine with that Ronald Colman accent.....

Allen Swift was also the voice of Simon Bar Sinister on 'Underdog'.

You can read more of the Cartoon Brew tribute and check out some video
here.

Good night and may God bless.

BCnU.....

LASSIE THE WONDER DOG

LASSIE THE CAT

THE HEWITT DUO

Here are two roles played by Matthew Marsh, better known here at Toobworld Central as CIA agent Bob Hogan in 'Spooks' ('MI-5'). (His American accent was so good to my ear that when I looked him up in the IMDb, I was surprised to find that he was British.)

"The Street" .... Bob Hewitt
- Episode #2.2 (2007)

"The Thick of It" .... Simon Hewitt
- Episode #1.2 (2005)

I'm not sure how Bob Hewitt figured in a story about a taxi driver named Eddie who found himself in financial straits; but Simon Hewitt was a journalist who cited a member of the government for being out of touch with the real world.

But this much is clear: it's easy enough to make the claim that the two men were twin brothers. Exact same looks, same last name, and best of all, both of them were one-shot roles in their respective series.

So as an uncomfirmed theory of relateeveety, Toobworld Central considers both shows to be linked.

BCnU!

AS SEEN ON TV: QUEEN MARY OF TECK

QUEEN MARY OF TECK

AS SEEN IN:
'Edward & Mrs. Simpson'

AS PLAYED BY:
Dame Peggy Ashcroft

From Wikipedia:
Mary of Teck (Victoria Mary Augusta Louise Olga Pauline Claudine Agnes; 26 May 1867 – 24 March 1953) was Queen consort of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions and Empress of India as the consort of King-Emperor George V. By birth, she was a princess of Teck, in the Kingdom of W├╝rttemberg, with the style Serene Highness. To her family, she was informally known as May, after her birth month.

Her father, who was of German extraction, married into the British Royal Family, and "May" was born and brought up in the United Kingdom. At the age of 24 she was betrothed to Prince Albert Victor, Duke of Clarence and Avondale, the heir to the British throne, but six weeks after the announcement of the engagement he unexpectedly died of pneumonia. The following year she became engaged to the new heir, Albert Victor's brother, George. Before her husband's accession, she was successively Duchess of York, Duchess of Cornwall and Princess of Wales. As his queen consort from 1910, she supported her husband through World War I, his ill health, and major political changes arising from the aftermath of the war and the rise of socialism and nationalism.

After George's death in 1936, her eldest son Edward became King-Emperor, but to her dismay he abdicated the same year in order to marry twice-divorced American socialite Mrs. Wallis Simpson. She supported her second son, Albert, who succeeded to the throne as George VI, until his death in 1952. She died the following year, at the beginning of the reign of her granddaughter, Elizabeth II. Briefly, there were three queens in the country: Mary; her daughter-in-law, Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother; and Elizabeth II.

BCnU!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

THE RULES OF ATRAXI*

And now we turn our attention to the Atraxi, another alien race introduced in the season premiere of 'Doctor Who', "The Eleventh Hour". Unlike the Judoon, the Atraxi were not an inter-galactic police force, but instead inter-galactic prison guards.
These warders must have formed a symbiotic relationship with their spaceships, which could be related to the Crystalline Entity seen in 'Star Trek: The Next Generation'.
The Atraxi may not have actually been giant eyeballs. It could have been that they assumed that shape to impress upon their prisoners that the were always under a watchful eye.

The Atraxi were more than just an eyeball - they could speak, project astral images, and they could reason, which implies a brain and mind.

There's no way of knowing what the Atraxi are like as children, at least not from this 'Doctor Who' episode. But it could be that before they bonded with their own crystalline entities, each Atraxi had legs to get them about. And like other creatures, the Atraxi evolved - losing those limbs once they reached maturity and were bonded with their spaceships. Thanks to Bernard Cribbins' portrayal of Bilbo Baggins in an episode of 'Jackanory', we can claim now that "The Lord Of The Rings" is part of Earth Prime-Time. So it's pozz'ble, just pozz'ble as Mushrat would say, that the Great Eye of Sauron was a rogue Atraxi who turned to the Dark Side in its quest to conquer Middle Earth Prime-Time. BCnU!
*It's just a play on words. This is merely a Toobworld theory and is not meant to be taken as being anything near what Steven Moffat intended. I doubt that the Grand Moff and I would see eye to eye on this.
Sorry about that, Chief......