Saturday, November 13, 2010


We're into the home-stretch for 'Boardwalk Empire' on HBO. Last week we got a behind the scenes look at the 1920 Republican convention in Chicago where the GOP nominated a man who was probably very thankful to finally see a man like George W. Bush become President.

Here are a few clips from this week's episode airing Sunday night at 9 PM, EST on HBO:



Tomorrow night is the second season finale for 'Bored To Death' on HBO.

For all of its charm and humor in the first season, it was their sophomore year where it finally felt as though they had everything going in the right direction.

Here are some clips from tomorrow night's finale, airing at 10 pm on HBO.....




"The Tuskegee Airmen"

Rosemary Murphy

When Eleanor Roosevelt visited Tuskegee Army Air Field in 1941, she insisted on taking a ride in an airplane with a black pilot at the controls. ER's pilot was Charles Anderson. ER then insisted that her flight with Anderson be photographed and the film developed immediately so that she could take the photographs back to Washington when she left the field. ER used this photograph as part of her campaign to convince FDR to activate the participation of the Tuskegee Airmen in North Africa and in the European Theater.
In the TV movie "The Tuskegee Airmen", it was Hannibal Lee, a fictional character, who took Mrs. Roosevelt on that flight, so that's how it has to play out in Toobworld.


Friday, November 12, 2010


Our last contribution from Ivan regarding "The Church Bell" episode of 'Mayberry RFD' is also the easiest one to splain away......

The woman on the [left] is actress Maudie Prickett, whom rerun watchers will no doubt remember as Rosie, housekeeper Hazel Burke’s gal pal on the sitcom 'Hazel' starring Shirley Booth. This will be Prickett’s only appearance on 'R.F.D.' as Lydia—but she makes four additional appearances on the show as a townsperson named Myrtle in later episodes, beginning with the second season episode “The Mayberry Road.” So, again—you have that whole Siler City/Mayberry doppelganger thing at play. To confuse matters even further, Prickett played another Mayberryite on 'The Andy Griffith Show', Edna Larch. So what would happen if Myrtle and Edna ran into each other, say, in church? I’m not sure I even want to contemplate the cosmic
Toobworld implications.

We can thank the outdated custom of a woman becoming her husband's property by taking his last name in marriage. Lydia, Myrtle, and Edna are sisters. With Lydia and Myrtle, we never even learn what their last names are, so that eases up the conflicts right there. With Edna Larch, it's her married name; most of the episodes list her as "Mrs. Larch". (I like to think Edna was the mother of Emma, who would eventually get engaged to Bobby Gribble.)

So maybe Lydia and Myrtle never married and they share the same last name as Edna's maiden name. (Edna Larch is pictured below in "Goober's Replacement".)If you want to drag other Maudie Prickett characters into it, like Rosie from 'Hazel', then maybe you can make the case that the father of Lydia, Myrtle, and Edna was a philanderer. (And he must have been loaded with girlie sperm.) Most of her other characters are located out in California, so I'd treat all of them as a separate situation - either due to a highly potent ladies' man or some secret lab facility during World War I which dabbled in cloning.....

Of course, this doesn't provide a splainin for Aunt Bea's sister Nora looking just like Mrs. Larch and the triplets...... That'll need some more thinkin'.....



Another Hooterville connection to Mayberry was found by Ivan in "The Church Bell" episode of 'Mayberry RFD' with the casting of Barbara Pepper as Lucius Fremont's housekeeper......
Mrs. Doris Ziffel
(Barbara Pepper)

(She goes by “Emma”—I guess she’s leading some sort of double life and doesn’t want Mr. Z or the folks from Hooterville to know.)

This is one Toobworldly observation by Ivan that has changed the accepted thinking about this 'Green Acres' recastaway, Doris Ziffel. Until he pointed out Barbara Pepper's participation in this episode, Toobworld Central has been operating with a much darker splainin as to why there were two Doris Ziffels on 'Green Acres'.

Unlike the case with Gladys Kravitz and Darrin Stephens on 'Bewitched', no magic was involved in the change of appearance for Mrs. Ziffel.

They are two different women.
But Toobworld Central's theory had been that Fred Ziffel murdered his first wife and buried her somewhere on his farm. Then he brought in his long-time mistress (also named Doris - Fred must have had a thing for women named Doris.) to pose as his new wife. As Hooterville was accustomed to strange happenings, they took it in stride that there was a new Doris Ziffel, without questioning what happened to the old one. See, that last part stretches credulity, even by 'Green Acres' standards... even by Toobworld standards - which also states that Arnold Ziffel is descended from the "demi-god" Hercules! But Ivan has given us anew pozz'bility. The original Doris Ziffel fled Hooterville and her stagnant life with her husband Fred for the hustle and bustle of the Big City.

Yeah, I know it's Mayberry, not Raleigh (or even Mt. Pilot), but have you seen Hooterville?

Once in town, she changed her name to Emma. (It could be that "Emma" is her actual name. If Fred Ziffel did have a "Doris" fixation, he may have insisted that both women use that name instead of their own.) Emma found employ with Lucius Fremont as his housekeeper and that's how we find her in "The Church Bell". And who knows? Maybe as part of her cleaning duties, she also polished his knob.....

That's just my idea. Don't blame Ivan if your sensibilities were offended!

This has not been a Filmways presentation, Dahlink!


In "The Church Bell" episode of 'Mayberry RFD', we got a location shot that was more than an echo. Luckily Ivan was there to catch it: There is then a cut to the exterior of this imposing mansion…and the second I spotted this, I thought: “I have seen this place before.” So I grabbed a disc from The Andy Griffith Show: The Complete Final Season and cued it up to “Barney Hosts a Summit Meeting,” the episode where Barney Fife (Don Knotts) returns to Mayberry and enlists Andy’s help in trying to convince a rich old fart to lend his house to a delegation of visiting U.S. and Russian dignitaries. As you can plainly see, it’s the same damn house. So…what precisely is the deal here? I suppose it’s possible that there could be two houses in the tonier section of town that look the same—when my family and I still lived in Teays Valley, WV our house was an exact copy of our next-door neighbors’, apparently the work of an architect who didn’t have much imagination. (It really creeped me out, too.) My next thought was that the current occupant of the Mayberry manse bought the house from the former owner…though I’d like to think he foreclosed on the guy and kicked him to the curb (the previous guy also had quite a bit of loot, so it was like watching a wrestling match between rich people),

Lucius Fremont? The man who lives in the big white house?

Okay, so I guess he did kick the previous owner out into the street. Dude is cold-blooded, Jack…

It seems to me that Lucius Fremont came to the Mayberry area as a young man, seeking his fortune, and instead found love. But as we found out in "The Church Bell", Mr. Fremont lost out on that one true love. So instead he must have returned to his original goal, with a slight twist - to make a fortune but then use it against anybody who stood in his way.

This might have included Mr. McCabe, the character played by Paul Fix in that summit meeting episode of 'The Andy Griffith Show'. What if he was the man who stole Fremont's one true love away from him? And since McCabe was the guy who owned that house, wouldn't Lucius Fremont then do all that he could to at least take that away from him? Now I said that I believed that Lucius Fremont wasn't native to the area.
I think he may have come from Ohio. And when he moved away from the state, Lucius Fremont left behind the only family he had left - his brother and his brother's wife and their young son...

Anthony Fremont.

And if so, even though we don't see any proof of it in the episode, maybe Lucius Fremont never got over the loss of his family when Peakesville, Ohio, disappeared off the map in Toobworld.....

Yeah, I know. I'm a bad man. I'm a real bad man for thinking that.....


Today we're putting the spotlight on some of the Toobworldly insights provided by Ivan G. Shreve, Jr. in one of his "Mayberry Monday" posts over at "Thrilling Days Of Yesteryear" - for the 'Mayberry RFD' episode "The Church Bell".

I thought we would start off with his comments about a couple of characters played by Willis Bouchey......
Because this gentleman resides in Siler City, I suppose we shouldn’t make too much of the fact that he bears a strong resemblance to Mayberry High’s principal, whom we last saw in the episode
“Driver Education.” (This is because he’s played by the same actor, veteran character great Bill Bouchey.) But I bet when the day comes and these two meet face-to-face, it’s going to be a major freak-out.

I had always been a big fan of Willis Bouchey, but that was solely based on his participation in 'Perry Mason' as one of the four stock judges in the L.A. court system. Only years later, when I became active in the concept of the Toobworld Dynamic, did I come to appreciate his other roles on TV - in 'The Munsters', for example, where he played another school principal. (I was tempted to say both characters were the same, despite the difference in names - Adams and Bradley - but other logistical problems prevented that.)

I think Ivan is right that there would be a major row once Principal Adams and Reverend Bickford met, although I think it would have happened before either episode aired. This is O'Bviously a case similar to that of Floyd Lawson and a fellow named Mitchell over in Pitchville Flats, North Carolina - as seen in 'The Twilight Zone' episode "Hocus Pocus And Frisby': both men are half-brothers, very closely similar in appearance. Not identical twins, but more than the common (for Toobworld) case of identical cousins. When the two doppelgangers are situated so closely to each other, the half-brother option is the way to go. Since Siler City is apparently not that far away from Mayberry, the father of Bickford and Adams must have kept a little somethin'-somethin' on the side in the other town. (No idea if the father was an Adams or a Bickford, but I'm leaning towards him being an Adams. That way, Reverend Bickford, growing up as a bastard, would have the inspiration needed for him to pursue a holier path in life.)

It might seem wrong that there are so many otherwise faithful husbands out there in TV Land who have mistresses. But you can blame the heavy influence of soap operas on that scenario being played out in all sorts of TV shows, even in a wholesome one like 'Mayberry RFD'.....



Over at "Thrilling Days Of Yesteryear", Ivan has been running a weekly feature called "Mayberry Mondays", in which he takes an episode of 'Mayberry RFD' and provides running commentary to its synopsis. (If Ivan had his way, I think Mayberry might be more like "Deliverance"!)

As a spin-off sequel to 'The Andy Griffith Show', 'Mayberry RFD' shifted its focus from Sheriff Andy Taylor to farmer Sam Jones, who was urged to run not only for an open seat on the town council, but to be its president. Sam ended up winning by over 400 votes, with his only opponent being fix-it man Emmett Clark. (I think this just proves how much Mayberrians secretly hated Emmett.) Sam's farm had been in the family for over 100 years, and he had inherited it from his father. And even though he doesn't spend much time working on it (as Ivan loves to point out), it appears to be one of the most productive in the county, with corn being its chief crop. (The Venchenti family, whom Sam brought over from Italy, probably does most of the work on the farm once Sam devotes more of his time to the town council.... and to hanging around the fix-it shop.)

Sam and his son Mike were introduced in four episodes of 'The Andy Griffith Show'. But that wasn't the first time in Toobworld that we learned of their existence. A year earlier, we were introduced to Mike the Idiot Boy (as Ivan has dubbed him) - not in Mayberry, North Carolina, but just outside the town of Hooterville... wherever the heck that is!

Mike was spotted in the cornfield owned by Oliver Wendell Douglas. It happened during all the hoopla in Hooterville when farm-hand Eb allegedly made contact with the occupants of a UFO. Mr. Douglas found himself confronted by what he thought was a little green alien, but it turned out to be just Mike in a costume (which he probably wore the previous Halloween). That's basically it for Mike's participation in that episode, but why was he in Hooterville and not Mayberry? I think Sam had been searching for help on his own farm back in Mayberry for some time before he finally sponsored the Venchenti family to emigrate from Italy. He might have been in Hooterville with the express purpose of luring Eb away from his employment on the Douglas farm. (This probably happened just after the story about the UFO sighting hit the press, which is why Mike brought his Halloween costume along with him - unbeknownst to his father.)

But after seeing the type of hysteria that Eb could cause with his claims about the UFO, Sam must have thought better of the idea. Just from the incident with Mike in the costume, Sam may have decided Eb could be a bad influence on the boy. So he headed back home to Mayberry. If Sam wanted that sort of thing to happen back home, he could always count on Goober Pyle or Ernest T. Bass.....

"You were born with a bleeped out mind."
Oliver Douglas
'Green Acres'

"Dringle Burvis!"
(That means "good-bye" in the alien language.)

That picture at the top of Sam Jones and his son Mike was taken from the cover of TV Guide. I always like to look at it in a darker vein as one of those unseen moments in Toobworld.

In this case, Mike got hold of some of Jubal Foster's 'shine from Otis Campbell. And here we see Sam helping his son to puke his guts out.....


"Martin Luther: Driven To Defiance"

Timothy West

From Wikipedia:
Martin Luther (10 November 1483 – 18 February 1546) was a German priest and professor of theology who initiated the Protestant Reformation. Strongly disputing the claim that freedom from God's punishment of sin could be purchased with money, he confronted indulgence salesman Johann Tetzel with his Ninety-Five Theses in 1517. His refusal to retract all of his writings at the demand of Pope Leo X in 1520 and the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V at the Diet of Worms in 1521 resulted in his excommunication by the pope and condemnation as an outlaw by the emperor.

Luther taught that salvation is not earned by good deeds but received only as a free gift of God's grace through faith in Jesus as redeemer from sin. His theology challenged the authority of the pope of the Roman Catholic Church by teaching that the Bible is the only source of divinely revealed knowledge and opposed sacerdotalism by considering all baptized Christians to be a holy priesthood. Those who identify with Luther's teachings are called Lutherans.

His translation of the Bible into the language of the people (instead of Latin) made it more accessible, causing a tremendous impact on the church and on German culture. It fostered the development of a standard version of the German language, added several principles to the art of translation, and influenced the translation into English of the King James Bible. His hymns influenced the development of singing in churches. His marriage to Katharina von Bora set a model for the practice of clerical marriage, allowing Protestant priests to marry.

In his later years, Luther became strongly anti-semitic, writing that Jewish homes should be destroyed, their synagogues burned, money confiscated and liberty curtailed. These statements have made Luther a controversial figure among many historians and religious scholars.

Gee, I was kind of liking the guy up until that last part......

The 527th anniversary of Luther's birth was marked on Wednesday, which was why Ivan suggested him for the ASOTV spotlight. (I'm noTORIous for never making these O'Bservations on time.) Since Ivan is the unwitting guest televisiologist today, I asked him to give me a couple of ideas for this feature......

If you'd like to see the full program of "Martin Luther: Driven To Defiance" (narrated by Liam Neeson),
click here.

If only he spelled his name as "Luthor".....


Thursday, November 11, 2010


In his latest "Mayberry Mondays" post at his blog "Thrilling Days Of Yesteryear", Ivan G. Shreve, Jr. offered up several juicy examples of Toobworldian thought - i.e., televisiology.

I was of course tempted to steal them and present them as my own - after all, Fred Allen did say that "Television is the sincerest form of imitation." Angelic Toby on my right shoulder talked me out of it, however. (But Li'l Devil Toby on the left is taking me out to the strip club this weekend!)

So instead, I thought it would be a cool idea to take Ivan's notes (plus a passel of pics) and run them in special features throughout the day - make him the guest blogger for Friday (with additional O'Bservations by Yours Viewly).

Zombies last Thursday, Ivan this Friday. Near as I can tell, there's no pattern.....

I hope you enjoy it. More importantly, I hope Ivan enjoys it!



To all the veterans who served our country, those men and women who are still serving, and to those who gave the ultimate sacrifice in its defense.....

Thank you.


From Andy Borowitz: "Seriously, Heather Locklear could save the White House. 'Melrose Place' was in even worse shape when she moved in."
Andrew Scott had a really interesting take on the character of Moriarity in 'Sherlock'. But even so, when I first heard about this production, I had John Malkovich in mind for the Napoleon of Crime......
I saw the subway poster for "Skyline" and thought it was starring Terence Howard and Adrian Brody. Then I learned I was looking at the backs of Donald Faison and Eric Balfour, actors better known for their TV work. I guess the movie was strong enough it didn't need movie star names....
TV .com is hosting a poll to determine the Best of 2010 when it comes to TV. The choices are too few, some of the choices are just plain odd (Best New Show has 'Blue Bloods' but not 'Rubicon'?) but it's a fun way to waste five minutes:
It's been announced that Ron Moore and Naren Shankar are going to create a new version of 'The Wild, Wild West' for CBS, following the network's remake of 'Hawaii Five-O'. Here's what I wrote about that news over at Deadline/Hollywood:

"I wouldn't mind if they take the concept and work within it with an expansion of the original, but with new characters, where it would be acknowledged that Agents West and Gordon are out there somewhere doing the same thing. I never understand why they always have to re-use the character names. There's always going to be resistance to that by fans of the original versions.

I watched the first episode of 'Hawaii Five-O' and liked what they were doing, but didn't bother going back. I would have kept watching the show if it had been a continuation of the original with all-new characters

I would have accepted that movie version if only the characters were all new instead of recastaways. It may sound racist, but it's a fact - James West is NOT black.

But... here's a casting suggestion. If you are going to bring back Dr. Miguelito Loveless, get Warwick Davis for the role. It'd be nice to see him playing a character who's not buried under a ton of latex for once.....
"The Lord Of The Rings" movies aren't TV fodder, but the original book series by Tolkien shaped the course my interests followed, and that includes the Toobworld Dynamic.

Most of the cast has been announced for the first half of 'The Hobbit' movie, and there are a lot of TV names involved: Martin Freeman ('The Office' - UK, 'Sherlock'), Richard Armitage ('North & South', 'Spooks'), James Nesbitt ('Jekyll', 'Cold Feet'), Aidan Turner ('Being Human', 'Desperate Romantics'), Graham McTavish ('24', 'Prison Break', 'Red Dwarf', and a lot of voice-over work), Sylvester McCoy ('Doctor Who'!) and Robert Kazinsky ('EastEnders'). Plus Cate Blanchett, Andy Serkis, and Ian McKellan are all expected to return......

Other names rumored to be involved are Stephen Fry, David Tennant, and coming from some website in Brazil, Leonard Nimoy - despite his announced retirement and recent surgery.

One character still not cast is Balin, probably the second most important dwarf in Thorin's company after Thorin himself. I thought Nesbitt was a big name to get and he's just playing Bofur. So I'm very curious who will finally nab the role as the future "King" of Moria......



In the early days of the FX network, they had a morning show called 'Breakfast Time', whose set looked like an actual apartment. (Tom Bergeron was one of the hosts.)

An "Iddiette" named Listener Mara invited me to that set one night to watch the live broadcast of an S-F auction. (The set where it took place was the big atrium/ballroom which was redressed for the occasion. I would have been in that back corner where the food table was......) One of their guests on that show was James Doohan, best known as Scotty on 'Star Trek'.

When the show was over and it was time to leave, I made my way over to meet him. And that's when I first noticed he was missing his middle finger.

I looked it up on the web and found that it was shot off during the Normandy invasion. Doohan would quip years later that he "gave the finger to Hitler."

Putting together this post, I went looking for details about the loss of the finger and found conflicting reports as to how it happened. According to his autobiography, "Beam Me Up, Scotty", he was part of the Royal Canadian Army Troops and he claims to have lost it to German fire.

But other sites, including Wikipedia had a different story:

His first combat was the invasion of Normandy at Juno Beach on D-Day. Shooting two snipers, Doohan led his men to higher ground through a field of anti-tank mines, where they took defensive positions for the night. Crossing between command posts at 11:30 that night, Doohan was hit by six rounds fired from a Bren gun by a nervous Canadian sentry: four in his leg, one in the chest, and one through his right middle finger. The bullet to his chest was stopped by a silver cigarette case. His right middle finger had to be amputated, something he would conceal during his career as an actor.

That may have been how it actually happened, but I'll go along with Doohan's version. I believe, as did the Trickster on 'The Flash', that everybody has the right to change their own reality.

Remembering James Doohan on this Veterans' Day...... BCnU!



'Generation: Kill'

Stark Sands

From Wikipedia:
Nathaniel Fick (born 1977) is a veteran United States Marine Corps officer who has come to public notice for his writing on military life and the current conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Fick attended Loyola Blakefield high school in Towson, Maryland. In 1998, after his junior year at Dartmouth College, where he captained the cycling team, he attended Officer Candidate School and was commissioned a second lieutenant upon his college graduation the following year. He was assigned as a platoon commander to 1st Battalion, 1st Marines and, as a member of the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, led his platoon into Afghanistan to support the War on Terror. Upon his return, he was recommended for Recon training, and subsequently led 2nd Platoon of Bravo Company of the 1st Reconnaissance Battalion during the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

Fick and his platoon were the subject of a series of articles in Rolling Stone by embedded journalist Evan Wright which were turned into a book entitled "Generation Kill". Upon his return to the United States, he left the Marine Corps, Brent Morel taking his place as platoon commander. He received a master's degree from the Kennedy School of Government. In addition, Fick wrote a book, "One Bullet Away: The Making of a Marine Officer", detailing his experiences in the Marine Corps. He later enrolled in Harvard University's Harvard Business School and writes occasional articles about military matters. He was the Chief Operating Officer (COO) at the Center for New American Security, and was appointed to CEO in June 2009.

Fick spoke briefly at the 2008 Democratic National Convention on August 28, 2008.


Wednesday, November 10, 2010


There are spoilers ahead from "The Death Of The Doctor" episode of 'The Sarah Jane Adventures'. I have no clue when America might get the chance to see it via "conventional means"; but if you can't wait, there are other options out there.....

Just sayin', is all.....

When Sarah Jane Smith was brought to UNIT headquarters for the funeral of the Doctor, she inquired if anyone else from his former Companions was going to be there.

Colone Kasim told her that the Brigadier was in Peru, and Miss Shaw was still at the secret Moon base. (This is a link to not only 'Doctor Who' and 'Space: 1999', but also to 'Get Smart' and several episodes from the 1950's heyday of sci-fi anthology series.)

At this point, I'm going to direct your attention to
MediumRob's post on the subject of Liz Shaw's current standing in the TV Universe. Rob also has the video clip embedded for the scene described above. Just make sure you come back here afterwards!

Welcome back!

Did you read the comments as well? Because I questioned whether RTD was spitting in the face of the tie-in writers. (BTW, that's perfectly okay with me, not that my opinion should have any weight. But I much prefer the idea that Liz Shaw is still alive in the TV Universe. Besides, I don't accept the novels or comic strips/books or audio plays as part of the canonical world of 'Doctor Who'. Live action visuals only for Toobworld (online or on TV). The animated stuff goes off to the Tooniverse and the comedy sketches are to be found in Skitlandia.

Anyhoo, where was I? Oh yes, RTD's intentions......

Like I said, I'm fine with RTD rejecting the novel "Eternity Weeps" and its dispatch of Liz Shaw. But I'm wondering if RTD is playing a long game here.

Instead of declaring Liz Shaw to be alive on the Moon as a repudiation of the novel, what if he's planting the seeds for an eventual adaptation of "Eternity Weeps" for a future episode of 'The Sarah Jane Adventures'?

That novel was set in 2003, but that's certainly no deterrent. "Family of Blood" and "Human Nature" were broadcast during the tenure of the Doctor's Tenth Incarnation; but the novel from which it was adapted was about his Seventh Incarnation.

So it's just an idea but one I hope I haven't planted in RTD's mind if it wasn't already there. (Yeah, like he's ever going to find out about my tele-musings!) Like I said, I want Liz Shaw to still be alive in Toobworld.

It's much better to have the option to bring back characters for more adventures, than to go all in on one big death scene that may be moving but won't satisfy very man. (Unless you're killing off Urkel.)

Besides, somebody will only come along in the future and find a way to cancel out your glorious death scene. So why bother?

Long live Liz!


So what if Halloween was over a week ago?


'Live! With Regis & Kelly'

Katy Perry - Kelly Ripa

Elmo - Regis Philbin

Their inspiration for these costumes came from the stupidest controversy to come out of television this year - the length of Katy Perry's "wedding" dress seen in a music video she shot for 'Sesame Street'. The video will never appear on the show now, but it is still available online.....


Tuesday, November 9, 2010


Yeah, I'm displaying my religious beliefs here, but in the TV Universe there is only the one God for all of the dimensions. And that includes major parallel worlds like the Tooniverse and Skitlandia.

All of those others who have appeared in various TV shows claiming to be gods - Thor ('The Incredible Hulk'), Apollo ('Star Trek'), Aphrodite ('Hercules: The Legendary Journeys'), Krishna ('Xena: Warrior Princess'), and Sun Wukong the Monkey King ('Journey To The West') - were actually pan-dimensional beings with great powers who crossed over from their dimension to Earth Prime-Time. And each of them had counterparts in the other TV dimensions.

We learned that definitely when Hercules' pal Iolaus ended up in the "Evil Mirror Universe" where Ares was the God of Love.

So when the spirit of Isis possessed Lois Lane in that TV dimension that houses 'Smallville', she was not the same Isis who possessed Andrea Thomas (only when called upon) in the main Toobworld back in the 1970's. They were dimensional doppelgangers.



Assistant Commissioner Henry Parkins was a right bastid when he first came to Hastings in March of 1943, as the new man in charge for the police in the district. He was probably a bastid long before he rose to that rank. He was misogynistic, arrogant, prejudiced, and elitist. He was probably a bigot and cruel to small animals as well, but we didn't get to see evidence of that.

Parkins couldn't have been that way all his life; no woman would have married him, what with his views of women. And I think he was married, at least for a time - long enough to have fathered a daughter. (I didn't think to check for a wedding ring while I had the episode in my possession - via Netflix - and this picture just had to have the ring finger in the wrong position to see any wedding band.) In this theory of relateeveety, Parkins' daughter grew up to marry a man named Tedder, with whom she had a son circa 1934. And the Tedders named their son Mark.

Since this is all theoretical and there is no evidence to support their familial connection, there is no way of knowing if Mark Tedder grew up influenced in any way by his maternal grandfather. He could have taken his path in life because of the old man's guidance, or as an act of rebellion against Parkins' beliefs.

At any rate, by the time he was in his early thirties, Mark Tedder was under suspicion by the intelligence agency known as "Section" to be a KGB spy. And when Mark became engaged to a NATO translator, Section took steps to break up their engagement before Mark might gain access to any secrets his fiance came across in her work.

Section was successful in their mission, but it had tragic consequences.....

'Foyle's War' - "Casualties Of War" & "Plan Of Attack"

'Callan' - "God Help Your Friends"



"Marie Curie is, of all celebrated beings,
the one whom fame has not corrupted
Albert Einstein


'Marie Curie'

Jane Lapotaire

From Wikipedia:
Marie Sklodowska Curie (7 November 1867 – 4 July 1934) was a Polish-born French physicist and chemist famous for her work on radioactivity. She was a pioneer in the field of radioactivity and the first person honored with two Nobel Prizes—in physics and chemistry. She was also the first female professor at the University of Paris.

She was born Maria Sklodowska in Warsaw (then in Vistula Land, Russian Empire; now in Poland) and lived there until she was twenty-four. In 1891 she followed her older sister Bronislawa to study in Paris, where she obtained her higher degrees and conducted her subsequent scientific work. She founded the Curie Institutes in Paris and Warsaw. Her husband Pierre Curie shared her Nobel prize in physics. Her daughter Irène Joliot-Curie and son-in-law, Frédéric Joliot-Curie, also shared a Nobel prize. She was the sole winner of the 1911 Nobel Prize for Chemistry. Curie was the first woman to win a Nobel Prize, and she is the only woman to win the award in two different fields.

Her achievements include the creation of a theory of radioactivity (a term she coined), techniques for isolating radioactive isotopes, and the discovery of two new elements, polonium and radium. Under her direction, the world's first studies were conducted into the treatment of neoplasms (cancers) using radioactive isotopes.

While an actively loyal French citizen, she never lost her sense of Polish identity. She named the first new chemical element that she discovered polonium (1898) for her native country, and in 1932 she founded a Radium Institute (now the Maria Sklodowska–Curie Institute of Oncology) in her home town, Warsaw, headed by her physician sister Bronislawa.


'Icons Of Science'

Others who have portrayed Madame Curie in the various dimensions of Toobworld:

"Muchachada nui"
- Episode #2.11 (2008) Played by Joaquín Reyes

"Clone High U.S.A." Played by Nicole Sullivan

"Sabrina, the Teenage Witch"
- Aging, Not So Gracefully (1999) Played by Pamela Dillman

Marie Curie: More Than Meets the Eye (1997) (TV) Played by Kate Trotter

"A.J.'s Time Travelers"
- Marie Curie (1995) Played by Edie McClurg

"Oi" (1993) Played by Alison James

"Marie Curie, une femme honorable" (1991) Played by Marie-Christine Barrault (as Marie Curie née Sklodowska)

"Race for the Bomb" (1987) TV series Played by Huguette Faget

Irène et Fred (1984) (TV) Played by Maria Meriko

"Einstein" Played by Anny Romand

Marie Curie's birthday was on Sunday, but I thought it best to honor her with the "Two For Tuesday" spotlight. (We paid tribute to her husband yesterday, on the 115th anniversary of the discovery of X-Rays.)

This post is dedicated to the two Polish girls in my life, Gosia and Madzia.....


Monday, November 8, 2010


I got a message from my blog buddy Medium Rob of "The Medium Is Not Enough" (link to the left):

Have you seen this week's Cougar Town? If not, watch the final scene and see if you can work out what the last line is. It seems like a Toobworld op to me!

I had seen it and that last line by Travis as he slipped to the floor, "dead" from the slo-mo truth gun battle, was unintelligible. Of course, once Rob verified for me what he said, I could hear it.

Here's the scene:

What Travis is saying is "I love 'Spaced'," because the writers probably wanted to acknowledge that the inspiration for this scene came from the 'Spaced' episode "Gone" in which two fake gun fights were played out.

The scenes are available at YouTube, but all of them have had the "embedding disabled by request". So instead, here's the link to the one video that combines both scenes of
the fake gunfights in 'Spaced'.

Therefore, Travis' final line should be considered a Zonk. 'Cougar Town' and 'Spaced' should exist in the same world.

But.... What if Travis "died" before he was able to finish what he was saying? What if it wasn't a reference to the TV series 'Spaced', but instead to a movie? Even though there are many movies which have been absorbed into the Earth Prime-Time, most of the "Cineverse" is fair game; the Toobfolk watch those movies just like we do in the Truenivese.

There are several options then if we go this route. A couple of movies are entitled "Spaced Out", and then there's "Spaced Invaders" - which sounds like a movie that Travis might have enjoyed. (It was about a handful of dim-bulb aliens who crash-landed in Illinois on the night of Orson Welles' broadcast of "The War Of The Worlds".) Travis' dad, Bobby, may have taken him to see it.

It might seem like a strange remark to serve as your final words, but mystery author Abigail Mitchell ('Columbo' - "Try And Catch Me") could have put a spin on it - just as she did with the final clue left behind by her niece's husband... whom she had murdered.

So even though we - the audience viewing at home - are meant to see Travis' "dying" words as a tip of the hat to the Britcom (most likely to avoid claims that 'Cougar Town' stole the idea), within the "reality" of Toobworld it meant something else completely.

Works for me.

Getting back to the fact that I couldn't understand what Travis said at first, I've found this problem happening every so often. No matter how often I play a scene back in whatever show it may be, I just can't figure out what the character is saying.

Sometimes I think everybody involved in the production is too familiar with the script, so that they never notice - even in post-production - that a line is not spoken clearly enough to be understood by somebody hearing it for the first time.

They really should run them by somebody who's unfamiliar with the finished product, just to see if there are such problems.

Just sayin', is all......

[Thanks, Rob!]



In his review of the 'Community' episode "The Aerodynamics of Gender", Alan Sepinwall pointed out the running gag chock full of trivia:

"There was some "Simpsons"-level obsessive detail for those who bothered to freeze-frame the various Abed heads-up displays. Among my favorite notes from the various ones: Abed watches "Cougar Town," he knows when the women in the study group have their cycles, and the plot synopsis kept changing."

Well, I'm the kind of guy who's going to bother, so......

The interesting stuff is all in the memos:

NUMBER ONETroy's birthday should be a factor in the episode two weeks from now.

As for Abed recording 'Cougar Town'? I don't think any other show has referenced it yet, so for the time being - who knows what 'Cougar Town' is all about as a Toobworld TV show? Maybe it's a nature show on their Animal Planet, in the same vein as 'Meerkat Manor'......


If Abed's memo about getting Rudolph for Xmas was a reference to the classic TV special, there's no problem with that. That exists in the stop-motion TV dimension along with 'Robot Chicken', 'Gumby', and 'Moral Orel'.


A nice preview for the "Troy & Abed Thing" at the end of the episode. And I think it would be natural for Abed to see any follow-up to an event in his life as a "sequel". There was no tele-cognizant self-reference at play here.

I think we're done here, so let's check on the weather with Garrett....