Wednesday, June 15, 2011


The Toobworld concept is basically a fantasy universe with mythological overtones and many of the trappings of Fantasy. Wizards, dragons, quests, enchanted/enchanting maidens, and objects imbued with great power all have their counterparts in the TV Universe.

This post, while a theory of relateeveety, will take a look at one such fairy tale aspect - the evil stepmother and the absence of the princess' real mother.....

'Flying Blind' was a FOX sitcom that ran for only one season (1992-93) and will be chiefly remembered for bringing Tea Leoni to national prominence. (She certainly caught my attention!)
Leoni played a mysterious free spirit named Alicia caught up in an affair with a tightly-wound recent college graduate named Neil Barash, whose mannerisms suggested that he worshipped
at the altar of Woody Allen. (Not sure the Catholic imagery works in a Woody Allen analogy though....)

And by "mysterious", I mean we never learned very much about Alicia, not even her last name. We got to meet her father, a spy and adventurer who may have fathered children in the South Seas, but we never even learned his name at all; he was just "Daddy" to Alicia (and "Sir" to Neil).
Alicia would talk about her mother, but the woman sounded like a horrid witch, as bad as - if not worse than! - the mother of the 'Absolutely Fabulous' Patsy Stone.

Here's a good example - when Alicia finally came downstairs ready for her high school prom, she found that her mother had already seduced Alicia's prom date, and she was rolling a cocktail onion across his stomach with her tongue.

By the time 'Flying Blind' took place, Alicia's Dad must have divorced that harridan because he mentioned that he had a girl-friend when he showed up and Alicia didn't treat the news as though he was cheating on her mother.

For Toobworld's purposes, I don't think that woman was actually Alicia's mother; rather, she was Alicia's evil step-mother, who had been in Alicia's life for so long that it just made things simpler for Alicia to refer to her as "Mother" whenever she mentioned her.

She may not even have remembered her true mother, whom I believe passed away when Alicia was only a few years old. And I have a candidate for Alicia's birth mother, as well as a theory about her family tree that would bring in not only 'Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea' but also 'The Adventures Of Sherlock Holmes' as well.

Here are two online descriptions of the episode from 'Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea' entitled "Escape From Venice":

A smiling, happy and relaxed Lee Crane, looking oh so dashing in a white tux, steps into a Venetian gondola with a very pretty girl. But romance is the last thing on the couple's mind. Crane has gone undercover in Venice to pick up a secret code from another agent -- the seemingly innocent girl in the white veil. However, unbeknownst to Crane and Alicia, the enemy is on to them. The girl is viciously murdered, Crane is severely wounded, framed for the murder, and is now a hunted man. Now the only person on earth who knows the code, Crane must stay alive long enough for Nelson to effect a rescue.

Crane and Alicia, a female agent, are in a gondola in Venice, Italy. She sings Crane a song with lots of LaLas. Then he sings it--it is a message which will decode Dr. Leonetti's tapes which explain a defense against the ultimate weapon. Leonetti, Crane calls Seaview and tells them, is dead. His body was fished out from under a canal--and they are calling it suicide. A young sandy haired man is in the radio shack aboard Seaview, not Sparks. If the song is put through the computer, sonically, it will decode the tapes. As Alicia begins to sing it over the radio to Seaview--the gondolier, an enemy agent, stabs her in the back through the curtain. She gives Crane the key and address to the safe house and dies. Crane fights the killer but falls overboard in the fight. The killer calls for help in Italian.
It will be my contention that the late and lovely spy named Alicia was the mother of Alicia from 'Flying Blind'.

'Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea' took place in the early 1970's, even though it was broadcast a decade earlier. If we do a bit of wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey juggling, Alicia would have been about five years old when her mother was murdered on that gondola.

Alicia's Dad in the late 1960's

I think Alicia's Dad met that agent named Alicia during the course of an undercover operation and they fell in love. Whether or not they got married, I don't know; but I'd like to think that their relationship resulted in the birth of a daughter which "Dad" insisted on naming after his wife (although it may have been that he was following a tradition from the maternal side of his wife's family).

After Alicia was murdered in Venice, a distraught "Dad" may have unwisely married a woman simply to give his baby daughter a maternal influence. He had no clue at the time that she would turn out to be the stereotypical evil stepmother.

Regarding the naming of Alicia after her mother, it's possible that this was a family tradition handed down through the generations along the maternal branch of her family tree. I don't know if they would all prove to be free spirits and adventuresses, but it just might be that one of them was singular enough back in the late 1800's to have a ship named after her:

"The cutter Alicia, which sailed one spring morning into a small patch of mist from where she never again emerged, nor was anything further ever heard of herself and her crew."
Dr. Watson mentioned this case of Sherlock Holmes in the "Thor Bridge" story, which had to have occurred before October 1899. (Although "The Problem Of Thor Bridge" was adapted for the series starring Jeremy Brett and Edward Hardwicke, we hear no mention of this case which never received a full report from Holmes' Boswell. Then again, it may still lay unread in a safe deposit box near Charing Cross.....)

As usual with my theories of relateeveety, I can't prove any of this. But as it's unlikely 'Flying Blind' will ever be revived (Forget about Brett's Holmes and 'Voyage'!), then it can't really be disproved either.

Since 'Flying Blind' was canceled after only one season, I have no idea if Neil and Alicia are still together twenty years later. But as with most fairy tales, I'd like to think they lived happily ever after........

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