Saturday, May 8, 2010


When Liz Lemon found out that her Mom had given up on her true love, Buzz Aldrin, she was compelled to go talk to the former astronaut and hear his version of what happened.

Appearing as himself, the former astronaut and second man on the Moon provided the League of Themselves link between '30 Rock' and the following shows and TV movies:

'The Fall Guy'

'The Boy In The Plastic Bubble'

'Da Ali G Show'


'Space Ghost: Coast To Coast'

'Head Of The Class'

'Punky Brewster'


'Sesame Street'

His appearance on 'The Simpsons' took place in the Tooniverse, of course, and there is no connection - unlike the 'Space Ghost: Coast To Coast' episode where he was getting beamed into the Tooniverse from back on Earth Prime-Time.

I'm such a geek......



On '30 Rock' this week, 'TGS with Tracy Jordan' celebrated Mother's Day with all of "The Moms" of the cast and staff during the big finale. That provided the perfect opportunity to bring back Anita Gillette as Liz's Mom, Patti Lupone as Frank's Mom (suspiciously under-used), Jan Hooks as Jenna's Mom, and of course, Elaine Stritch as Jack's Mom Colleen.

During the episode, Liz found out that her mom Maggie had "settled" for her husband Dick Lemon, instead of following her heart with her true love - Buzz Aldrin!

Maggie also let it drop that she had no choice - she had just finished secretarial school and had landed a job at Sterling-Cooper!

Fans of 'Mad Men' know that Sterling-Cooper is the name of the advertising agency at whic most of the characters worked - at least until the last episode of this past season.

For once, there was no over-splainin (suddenly the phrase "obergrupensplainin" popped into my head) about that being a TV reference to spoil it all. So for all intents and purposes, '30 Rock' and 'Mad Men' share the same TV dimension with no strings attached. (They did show that Matt Weiner, creator of 'Mad Men', was one of the writers on an episode of 'Bitch Hunter', but that had no further ramifications in connection to 'Mad Men'.)

I don't know how long Maggie Lemon worked there before the family moved out of state to Pennsylvania, but if Liz was still in NYC as a little girl and she visited her Mom at work, maybe she got to go up the block to visit Rockefeller Center where she would someday work. (Based on this picture from 'Mad Men', Sterling Cooper can be found around the back side of St. Patrick's Cathedral on the opposite side of Madison Avenue.)


A Facebook friend of mine, J.r. Klink, posted a sequence from an episode of 'Ellen' the other day. Not the talk show hosted by Ellen DeGeneres, but her sitcom from back in the 1990s. (In"One For The Roadshow", Ellen found out that her unopened box of the Monopoly game was worth quite a lot of money when 'The Antique Roadshow' was coming to film in Clark.)

And it occurred to me that 'The Antiques Roadshow', like game shows such as 'Jeopardy!', 'Wheel Of Fortune' and 'The Price Is Right', and reality shows like 'Big Brother' and 'American Gladiators', would have its own televersion that could link other shows together. Martin Crain, the father of 'Frasier', appeared on an episode of 'The Antiques Roadshow' when it came to Seattle in 1999. And it's pozz'ble, just pozz'ble, that Kirk, the mailman of Stars Hollow, Ct., (as seen in the 'Gilmore Girls' episode "Go, Bulldogs!") saw Martin Crane on the show. (Kirk mentioned that he and his girl-friend Lulu watched the show.)

So in its own small way, 'The Antiques Roadshow' links 'Frasier', 'Ellen', and 'Gilmore Girls' together....

[Thanks, J.r.!]


We're closing out our mini-salute to Winston Churchill with a bit of a trifle.....


'WWII: Behind Closed Doors'

Paul Humpoletz


Friday, May 7, 2010


While posting a link to Facebook today, these were the words I was offered for verification:
Which seems appropriate for an aficionado of the following TV characters:
(Plus Martha, Donna, and now Amy.....)



While looking over the various TV roles played by Dorothy Provine over the years, I noticed that she played two characters named Nora - twice on '77 Sunset Strip' (separated by three years) and once on 'Hawaiian Eye', which had several crossovers with '77 Sunset Strip'. (As a matter of fact, the second appearance by Ms. Provine as Nora Shirley on '77 Sunset Strip' was a crossover with 'Bourbon Street Beat' as it was set in New Orleans and featured Andrew Duggan as Cal Calhoun.)

I was hoping that her appearance as a Nora Stewart could be suggested as also being Nora Shirley, but sporting a new last name due to a failed marriage or something. But it turned out that Nora Stewart was a fading movie star on vacation in Hawaii and in need of the private eyes' help. She was constantly surrounded by her entourage, who were never seen with her in New Orleans or Hollywood if she was also Nora Shirley. And then there's the state of her mental well-being - I would think it would take longer than five months to wear her down to the state she was in when she arrived in Hawaii. But what do I know?

1.30 [--] DOWNBEAT

John Van Dreelen .............. Hendrick van Horn
Dorothy Provine ............... Nora Shirley
Donald Barry .................. Rock

cameo appearances by
James Garner .................. himself
James Bacon ................... himself
Johnny Grant .................. himself
Stuart Bailey is acquitted of trumped-up charges of treason and conspiracy, but the doubts raised by his trial result in the loss of an old friend with the OSS. But Stu's problems were all a ruse developed to flush out the OSS agent who has been selling government secrets.

4.39 [147] UPBEAT

Dorothy Provine ............... Nora Shirley
John Van Dreelen .............. Van Horn
Norman Alden .................. Rene
Eddie Fontaine ................ Prelle
Robert Logan .................. J.R. Hale
Eugene Borden ................. Laurent
and from 'Bourbon Street Beat'
Andrew Duggan ................. Cal Calhoun
Set in New Orleans Stuart Bailey meets an old flame played by Dorothy Provine. Van Horn, a spy Bailey once sent to prison, has been freed and is seeking vengeance.


Dorothy Provine ............... Nora Stewart
Jerry Paris ................... Martin Short
Dan Tobin ..................... Sy Neider
Connie Gilchrist .............. Vera
Robert Clarke ................. Les Frazer
Alicia Li ..................... receptionist
Brad Thomas ................... reporter
Edwin Chandler ................ reporter
A prowler disturbs the sleep of fading movie queen Nora Stewart, who is vacationing in Honolulu prior to attempting a comeback in Hollywood. A routine check by MacKenzie reveals that every member of Nora's entourage has reason to prevent her comeback. He then sets out to discover which one is disturbing the actress.
[Information courtesy of the CTVA - Classic Television Archives]

As I said, all three of those private eye shows are connected already, but it would have been nice to slim down the Tele-Folks Directory by having Nora Shirley and Nora Stewart be one and the same.

Oh well. Can't win 'em all....




'Edward & Mrs. Simpson'

Wensley Pithey

Sometimes I think I should just chuck the whole notion of the "Many Earths" theory of Toobworld and instead look at it as a blended universe - at least when it comes to the historical figures.

Take for instance the mini-series 'Edward & Mrs. Simpson'. As far as I'm concerned, Edward Fox is Edward VIII for Earth Prime-Time; Cynthia Harris is the official Wallis Simpson. David Waller has the edge in being Toobworld's Stanley Baldwin as he played it in another production as well. And because I'm such a fan of Patrick Troughton, I'd want him to be the televersion for Clement Atlee.

But I can't say the entire mini-series of 'Edward & Mrs. Simpson' must be accepted for every role. Wensley Pithey nearly doesn't register in the role of Churchill and besides, Richard Burton and Robert Hardy have the weight of more appearances in the part to supplant him in the role of the official Winston Churchill as seen on TV. But that's my opinion; yours may vary.....


Thursday, May 6, 2010


I had to "go overseas" to find out about this new promo from USA Network! (But then, when it comes to Rob Buckley's site "The Medium Is Not Enough", I'm visiting it several times a day. You'll find the link to the left, Team Toobworld.)

USA Network has built up a nice little TV dimension of its own with all of its promotional crossovers. It would have been nice to keep them all in the main Toobworld, but the addition of 'The Dead Zone', with its alternate President and Vice President in the later seasons, threw that idea out of whack.

So here's their latest addition, combining 'Burn Notice' with 'Royal Pains', in probably the most logical way possible due to the locations for both shows - by phone.

Michael Ausiello of Entertainment Weekly has
three of the other videos in the series. The first combines 'Burn Notice' with 'White Collar'; the second has 'White Collar' bellying up to the bar with 'Psych', and the third has 'White Collar' sharing a table with 'WWE Raw'.

Ecce Promo!

[Thanks, Rob!]




Not even the Tooniverse is safe from that new law in Arizona....

Dora the Explorer Arrested in Arizona with Boots, Backpack and Cousin Diego

[Thanks to my sister Leah for the tip!]



Speaking of Winston....

TV columnist Alan Sepinwall (whose new link for "What's Alan Watching?" is to the left) has discovered a definite link for Toobworld:

[T]he mention of Winston University (home of the med school affiliated with Sacred Heart on "Scrubs") [may be] the first sign that "Cougar Town" and "Scrubs" are part of the same fictional universe.

Great news for this Toobworld caretaker!

Could a crossover be far behind?



We're continuing our look at Winston Churchill, "As Seen On TV", with the runner-up in the most appearances as played by one actor.....


Robert Hardy


"Agatha Christie Marple: The Sittaford Mystery" (2006)

"Bomber Harris" (1989)

"The Woman He Loved" (1988)

'War and Remembrance'
Part I (13 November 1988)
Part 2 (15 November 1988)
Part 3 (16 November 1988)
Part 4 (17 November 1988)
Part 5 (20 November 1988)
Part 6 (22 November 1988)
Part 7 (23 November 1988)
Part 8 (7 May 1989)
Part 9 (8 May 1989)
Part 10 (9 May 1989)
Part 11 (10 May 1989)
Part 12 (14 May 1989)

"Winston Churchill: The Wilderness Years" (1981)

Even though Churchill historian Richard M. Langworth has declared Robert Hardy's televersion of Churchill to be the most convincing, it can't be considered for the main Toobworld because Geraldine McEwan's portrayal of Miss Marple is located in an alternate TV dimension. But then, he was "doomed" for such banishment long before that with his involvement in 'War And Remembrance' (always thought that to be a horrid title). There were too many major recastaways in that sequel to 'The Winds of War': Hart Bochner for Jan-Michael Vincent as Byron Henry, Sir John Gielgud for John Houseman as Aaron Jastrow, Michael Woods for Ben Murphy as Warren Henry, and Jane Seymour for Ali McGraw as Natalie Jastrow, just for starters.

So even though 'The Winds Of War' and 'War And Remembrance' both follow the same storyline, our point of view as the audience in the "Trueniverse" switches over between them to a different TV dimension. The same thing happened with another story involving Churchill which we mentioned earlier this week - "The Gathering Storm" and "Into The Storm". (And the same could be said for Ben Murphy's best-known series, 'Alias Smith And Jones'.) Add to this yet another variation on the story of Edward VIII's abdication for the love of Wallis Simpson ("The Woman He Loved"), and what other choice is there but to relocate Robert Hardy's Churchill to an alternate Earth Prime-Time?

But being a big fan of Hardy's, at least his portrayal of Henry V from 'The Age Of Kings' remains in the main Toobworld.

I'm sure he'll sleep better at night, knowing that..... BCnU!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010


As Vincent would say: "Woof!"

What? You thought I'd have more to say? I'm just strapping myself in for the ride to the very end. It makes no sense to theorize at this point. Or even to criticize. Team Darlton are going where the story leads them, and it's always been their story to tell.

But of course, Toobworld Central does have some things to say - especially in tying the series to 'Doctor Who' with two separate incidents. And there may be other things to say, other theories, once we see how it all plays out.



Faithful followers of Inner Toob may have noticed that every so often I write about my friend and "twin" Shirley Jordan. She's an actress whom I've used to connect several shows in Toobworld.

Well, to hell with her. No offense, but today we're tooting the horn of her sister, Jeanetta Gonzalez!

Rather than have me blather on about her talent, her website can do it just as well:

Jeanetta Gonzales is a freelance designer based in Los Angeles and works under the name, Nettdesigns Inc. With degrees in fine art and graphic design as well as extensive course study in surface design, Jeanetta has worked as a graphic designer for 10 years.

Jeanetta has worked for companies big and small, designingfor industries such as healthcare (WebMD), television advertising (Johnson and Murphy Advertising) and toys (Mattel). It was during her time working at MaCher when she developed a love of surface design and branding. There she designed gift packaging and branding for "gift with purchase" items for companies such as Juicy Couture, Macy's, Sexy Hair, Brooks Running Shoes, and Hanae Mori perfume.

She describes her design style as playful and textural. Her background in fine art and graphic design allow herto create work by hand and transform it digitally. Check outher Blog to see her latest work, news and design inspiration.

Her studio, Nettdesigns Inc. provides services in:
Graphic Design
Surface Design
Textile Design
Art Direction
Announcements, Invitations & Greeting Cards
Identity Design
Marketing Materials
Product Illustrations
Web Design Concepting (front end)

Here are some examples of her work:

(As expected, I chose those that were TV-oriented.)

Looking through her samples of product design, I'm hoping Jeanetta gets the chance to design fictional products that would one day show up in various TV shows. I'm sure there are plenty of prop houses out there in La La Land (The only one I know about is
Studio Graphics.) who could use her talents.

Anyway, every so often I step away from analyzing life within the television reality and treat this blog as a personal venue. And this is one of those times. Who knows? There may be an "Inner Toob" reader out there who might be in the position to offer Jeanetta the chance to strut her stuff.

She may yet bring us the next great Toobworld prop - something to rival the Morley's cigarette pack.......

I hope you can check out her site for Nettdesigns, Inc.....



Lynn Redgrave, a member of the distinguished British acting family who became an overnight sensation playing the title character in the 1966 film "Georgy Girl" and later achieved acclaim on stage as both an actress and a writer, has died. She was 67.

Redgrave died Sunday with her children at her side at her home in Kent, Conn., said her publicist, Rick Miramontez.

"Our beloved mother Lynn Rachel passed away peacefully after a seven-year journey with breast cancer," her children, Ben, Pema and Annabel, said in a statement Monday. "She lived, loved and worked harder than ever before."

Redgrave's death closely follows that of her actor brother, Corin, who died after a short illness last month. Her niece Natasha Richardson died of head injuries caused by a fall on a ski slope last year.

Her work in television included "House Calls," a 1980-82 CBS sitcom in which she played a hospital administrator opposite Wayne Rogers as a surgeon. She earned an Emmy nomination for outstanding lead actress in a comedy series but left the show in 1981.

In a $10.5-million lawsuit against MCA Inc. and Universal Television, Redgrave alleged that Universal fired her from the series because she planned to breast-feed her then-infant daughter Annabel during production hours. In 1987, a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge ruled that the dispute had been settled in an oral agreement reached by both parties.

Redgrave said the incident had a negative impact on her career."It wasn't exactly that I was blacklisted, but Hollywood is the smallest town in the world, and Universal is the most powerful studio in the world, and it just became more convenient not to hire me," she said in a 1994 Washington Post interview.

"It all stopped cold," she said. "What I did have was the theater, thank God, because the theater goes by its own rules."

She also served as spokeswoman for Weight Watchers from 1983 to 1991 and took what jobs she could get.
(By Dennis McLellan, Los Angeles Times)

Here are the characters she brought to Toobworld:

"Rude Awakening" (1998-2001) .... Trudy Frank "Chicken Soup" (1989) .... Maddie Peerce
[Seen here with co-star Jackie Mason]

"The Fainthearted Feminist" (1984) .... Martha

"Teachers Only" (1982-1983) .... Diana Swanson

"House Calls" (1979-1981) .... Ann Anderson

Beggarman, Thief (1979) .... Kate Jordache

"Centennial" (1978-1979) .... Charlotte Buckland Seccombe

"A Touch of Venus" (1968)

"Ugly Betty" .... Olivia Guillemette - The Butterfly Effect: Part 1 (2009)

"Law & Order: Criminal Intent" .... Aunt Emily
- Folie a Deux (2009)

"Desperate Housewives" .... Dahlia Hainsworth
- Dress Big (2007)

"Screen Two" .... Pauline Williams - Death of a Son (1989)

- Restless Nights (1986) .... Audrey Beck
- Relative Loss (1983) .... Cathy Knight

"Murder, She Wrote" .... Abby Benton Freestone
- It's a Dog's Life (1984)

"Fantasy Island"
- To Fly with Eagles/The High Cost of Living (1984)
- Everybody Goes to Gilley's/Face of Fire (1982)

"The Love Boat"
- Bewigged, Bothered and Bewildered/The Anniversary Gift/Honey Bee Mine (1982)
"CBS Afternoon Playhouse" .... Sarah Cotter

- The Shooting (1982)
[Seen here with co-star Lance Kerwin]

"Kojak" .... Claire
- A Hair-Trigger Away (1976)

"Vienna 1900" .... Berta Garlan
- The Spring Sonata (1974)

"Love Story" .... Mary Downey
- The Egg on the Face of the Tiger (1968)

"Armchair Theatre"
- I Am Osango (1967) .... Ivy Toft
- What's Wrong with Humpty Dumpty? (1967) .... Caroline
- Pretty Polly (1966) .... Polly Barlow

- Power and Glory (1963)

"Comedy Playhouse" .... Sheila
- The End of the Tunnel (1966)

Nurses (2007) .... Peggy Rice

My Sister's Keeper (2002) .... Helen Margaret Chapman

Varian's War (2001) .... Alma Werfel-Mahler

Different (1999) .... Amanda Talmadge

White Lies (1998) .... Inga Kolneder

Indefensible: The Truth About Edward Brannigan (1997) .... Monica Brannigan

Toothless (1997) .... Rogers

Calling the Shots (1993) .... Maggie Donnelly

What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1991) .... Jane Hudson
[Seen here with her sister and co-star, Vanessa Redgrave]

Jury Duty: The Comedy (1990) .... Abby Greyhouwsky

A Woman Alone (1988) .... The Woman

Tales from the Hollywood Hills: The Old Reliable (1988) .... 'Bill' Shannon

My Two Loves (1986) .... Marjorie Lloyd

Walking on Air (1986) .... Mrs. Hepp

The Bad Seed (1985) .... Monica Breedlove
Rehearsal for Murder (1982) .... Monica Welles
[Seen here with co-star Lawrence Pressman]

The Seduction of Miss Leona (1980) .... Miss Leona de Vose

Gauguin the Savage (1980) .... Mette Gad

Sooner or Later (1979) .... The teacher

Daft As a Brush (1975)

The Turn of the Screw (1974) .... Miss Jane Cubberly

Sunday Out of Season (1965) (TV) .... Elaine

TV SPECIALS"Hallmark Hall of Fame" .... Hon. Judge Nancy Jakes
- A Season for Miracles (1999)

Antony and Cleopatra (1983) .... Cleopatra

Steve Martin's Best Show Ever (1981) .... Mrs. Kendal

Musical Comedy Tonight II (1981)

Linda in Wonderland (1980) (TV)

Disco Beaver from Outer Space (1978) .... Dr. Van Helsing

"BBC Play of the Month"
- Pygmalion (1973).... Eliza Doolittle
- A Midsummer Night's Dream (1971) .... Helena

The Shape of Things (1973)

"ABC Afterschool Specials" .... Various Characters
- William: The Life, Works and Times of William Shakespeare (1973)

"Me, Eloise" .... Nanny (2006-2007)

Silent Mouse (1990) (TV) .... Narrator

Good night and may God bless.



Lynn Redgrave passed away Sunday at the age of 67 due to breast cancer. Today's "As Seen On TV" historical figure is presented in her memory and honor....


"Gauguin The Savage"

Lynn Redgrave

From Time magazine:
Mette Gad was a Danish civil servant's daughter, a handsome, white-skinned Juno (Gauguin favored husky women) who met her fate on a jaunt to Paris in 1873. Paul Gauguin was a strapping fellow with a bull neck, a great beak of a nose, and hooded, blue-green eyes. His stockbroker's black business suit sat strangely on him because he looked like a pirate chief and walked with the rolling sway of a seaman. He had spent part of his childhood in Peru (where his mother took him to visit relatives after his journalist father died). In his teens, Paul ran away to sea and put in six years before the mast. "Oh, I was a great rascal!" he would later say, "a remarkable liar."

In the early years of marriage, painting was one of several Gauguin hobbies; he also fenced and played billiards. Mette thought Paul's pictures were very pretty and perfectly respectable (at first, they were).

The clash came when Paul began buying paintings by a group of eccentrics who were called Impressionists—Manet, Monet, Pissarro, Renoir. They were then looked upon by the French art world as something like a bunch of nudists at a bishop's tea. By the time Mette had borne her third child, father Gauguin had joined the Impressionist club.

NOBLE SAVAGE: THE LIFE OF PAUL GAUGUIN (299 pp.)—Lawrence & Elisabeth Hanson—Random House (1955)

(Lynn Redgrave as Mette is pictured here with Gauguin, played by David Carradine.)


Tuesday, May 4, 2010


If you're a regular reader of Alan Sepinwall's blog "What's Alan Watching?" - and you bleepin' well better be! - then you'll notice he's moved to a new location if you use "Inner Toob" as the launching site to reach him.

Starting this week, Sepinwall can now be found at the web site, having left the Star-Ledger. (Considering the state of TV criticism in today's newspaper market, it was a smart move to do so before it became necessary.)

So the look to his blog will be slightly different, but still the same great content to look forward to.

As always, the link - in this case, "What's Alan Watching?" is to the left........



From the New York Daily News:
Sleuths [have not] been able to identify a man who was caught on tape moments after the SUV - packed with enough fuel, fertilizer and explosives to ignite a massive fireball - was abandoned in Times Square.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg warned the person on the tape may not be a suspect.
"It was a hot day," he said. "Maybe he was just changing his shirt. And this is Times Square, where you have the Naked Cowboy."

Security cameras captured a white man who appears to be in his 40s leaving the scene on W. 45th St. while the Pathfinder sat with its engine running, hazard lights flashing - and smoke curling from its vents.

On the video, the man takes off a dark shirt to reveal a red one underneath as he hurries along Shubert Alley.

"He looks around, takes off that shirt, puts it in a bag and continues to walk south, looking a couple of times in a furtive manner," Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said.

If this proves to be the man responsible for the foiled car bomb, then by all that is right and holy in Toobworld, he should have stepped behind a rock while wearing that red shirt and died.....

Just sayin', is all.....



I don't think it's ever come up in 'Modern Family', but I believe Claire and Phil Dunphy were both idealists when they were young newlyweds, ready to lend their voices to causes they supported. And in the beginning, they probably did what they could to show the world that they cared.

As time went on, I think Phil remained the cockeyed optimist, but Claire has become a bit more jaundiced due to the demands of a family which would splash reality all over her idealism.

Why do I have that idea about Phil and Claire when they were first starting out? Because of their daughters, Haley and Alex. I think the Dunphys gave the girls those names in tribute to the author Alex Haley and the powerful message in his novel "Roots" - even if they aren't black themselves.

And like "Roots", 'Modern Family' is a strong advocate for a strong family center covering several generations.

Or I'm just full of crap. That's probably more like it. After all, if I really believed that, I never would have cut their younger brother Luke out of the picture.....



As "Winston Churchill" was the primary guest character (well, asides from the Daleks) in the 'Doctor Who' episode "Victory Of The Daleks", it seemed only right to continue looking at the portrayal of the British Prime Minister in the various dimensions of Toobworld......


"The Gathering Storm"

Albert Finney

"Into The Storm"

Brendan Gleeson

"Into The Storm" was HBO's sequel to "The Gathering Storm" but many of the key players in the story of Churchill during the war years were recast, including his wife Clemmie. (Vanessa Redgrave portrayed her in the first production, and Janet McTeer took over the role for the sequel.)
As such, Toobworld Central feels more comfortable with sending "Into The Storm" to a different TV dimension to stand as their avatars for these real-life figures of British history. And because we've accepted Richard Burton to be the official televersion for Winnie, then "The Gathering Storm" would occupy yet another TV dimension as well.

Two parts of the same story, but told from different Toobworlds.

Because Mark Gatiss originally wrote "Victory Of The Daleks" for the RTD reign over 'Doctor Who' (and possibly as a two-parter), rumors began flying about the casting several years ago. Apparently it was being considered to be one of the specials during David Tennant's last year in the role of the Doctor, and Albert Finney's name was trotted out as being asked to reprise his portrayal of Churchill.

It didn't come to pass, O'Bviously, but at least the rumor supplied us with a great graphic to illustrate the pozz'bility!
Two for Tuesday!


Back when I wrote about the cancellation of 'As The World Turns' (coming this September), I was actually looking forward to Helen Wagner cementing her hold on TV history by playing the role of Nancy Hughes from the very first episode to its last - a run of about 57 years.

Apparently God had other plans for her, as she passed away at the age of 91. Although I didn't watch the show, I do feel the loss and my sympathies go out to her family, friends, and fans.....

While searching "Inner Toob" for the link to my earlier story about 'As The World Turns', I found
my tribute to her from back in 2006, of which I had no recollection (not surprising, considering my "Swiss cheese memory".) I'm glad I didn't have to wait until she passed away before giving her the proper Toobworld recognition......

Good night and may God bless.


Monday, May 3, 2010


The 'Doctor Who' episode "Victory Of The Daleks" had the Eleventh Incarnation of the Doctor revisiting his old friend Winston Churchill.
Played by Ian McNeice (a favorite character actor of mine, by the way), Churchill comes across as playful and everybody's favorite chubby defender of the realm. But as far as Toobworld Central is concerned, he wasn't the real Churchill. And the Doctor knew this - there's not much you can put past him! - but he accepted the situation and probably played a hand in its set-up.

Toobworld Central has dealt with this sort of situation before, with Prime Minister Green in "Torchwood: Children Of Earth" from last year.
So apparently, those protocols, which were activated whenever there was an alien threat, had been in place for at least the last fifty years. (Of course, another inspiration for this idea comes from both the creative universes for literature and the movies - "The Eagle Has Landed".)

In this case, the real Churchill had to be protected in case these Ironsides "created" by Professor Bracewell did prove to be sinister. Since the Doctor was late in answering the Prime Minister's call for help (by at least a month), it was decided that for the sake of the government's continuity and the bolstering of public morale, the real Winston Churchill would have to be safely kept in hiding. And while he was hidden away, an impostor would take his place in order to reassure the public and to fool the enemies of the United Kingdom.
He was still running things, of course; Churchill would never willingly step aside - he would want to keep his hand in, gripping the throttle of government tightly. Since Toobworld technology is far more advanced than in the Trueniverse (there are secret installations on the Moon, Cyborgs walk among us.), the Faux Churchill was probably wearing a small ear-bud through which the True Churchill was feeding him the information as to what he should say when dealing with the Doctor - the background of the situation, the history of the "Ironsides", who various people might be in the War Room.

As I said earlier, the Doctor had to be in on this deception. And I think we got to see a pre-planned ritual acted out when these two great men met again. The Doctor couldn't be sure he was actually meeting with a Churchill substitute when he arrived and "Churchill" was probably expecting somebody who looked markedly different from the Time Lord's Eleventh incarnation. So a series of passwords and hand signals had been decided upon in the past which could assure both of them that they were dealing with the real thing.

When the Doctor first stepped out of the TARDIS, he wasn't exactly sure of the situation - which is why he left the door slightly closed so that Amy would be protected. She could always slam it shut if need be. But when he saw "Churchill", he must have felt that the situation was sincere and told his new Companion to come out and join him.
To begin the verification process, the Doctor held out his hand in greeting but Churchill turned his expected hand-shake into a gesture of supplication - palm upwards and the fingers crooked in a "give it over" movement. Laughing with relief, the Doctor proceeded to lock the TARDIS even as "Churchill" continued the ruse about his demand for the TARDIS key.

This may have begun as a cover story for what they were actually doing, but "Churchill" was probably just parroting the words of the Prime Minister, who really wanted that key for his own use in the war. But as the Doctor reminded him, "it doesn't work like that."
The Doctor may have been satisfied that he was meeting with a Churchill doppelganger, but the second part of the ritual was meant to satisfy the acting Prime Minister. This time, instead of hand gestures and secret hand-shakes, code phrases were used.

"Must I take it from you by force?"

"I'd like to see you try."

After a moment in which "Churchill" was probably listening to Churchill through the ear-bud and waiting for the Prime Minister's confirmation that this was indeed the Doctor, the pseudo-Winston told his guards to stand down from their protective stance since he had given the correct response.

Watch that scene now again with that interpretation in mind:

I realize there's no way that producer Steven Moffat or the episode's writer, Mark Gatiss, ever had this interpretation in mind. As is the case with almost every TV show I stick my grubby fingers into, they're working on a show which they consider to be within its own version of the world, with no concern about how it jibes with other TV programs. As far as they were concerned, this was supposed to be the real Churchill. That re-introduction at the TARDIS had no other deeper meaning than two men getting re-acquainted and once again sparking what must have been an old debate between the two of them.

Let's face it - as good as McNeice is, he just doesn't come across as a very convincing Winston Churchill. But he does make for a very good Churchill impersonation.
Ooops. Sorry, Winnie.

And besides, there was no way I could let 'Doctor Who' be whisked off to an alternate TV dimension. I had to twist myself with pretzel logic far too often during the RTD reign in order to splain away the discrepancies.

However, it looks as though Moffat has plans to realign everything with his Pandorica storyline this season. So fingers crossed, we'll see by the last episode whether or not all of these splainins are really necessary.......