"PRESIDENT THEODORE ROOSEVELT"
AS SEEN IN:
"The Gambler IV: Luck Of The Draw"
AS PLAYED BY:
I have no problem with the notion that Teddy Roosevelt could have sneaked into San Francisco under cover of "National Security" to take a seat at a high-stakes poker game. I've looked into his personal timeline and nothing of import is listed after the marriage of his daughter Alice in February of 1906 and his signing of the National Monuments Act in June of that year.
And that "Gambler" movie has to take place in 1906, and it has to end on April 18 by 5:15 AM because in the last few moments of the two-part TV movie, the Great San Francisco Earthquake began at 5:12 AM.
I can't see the President high-tailing it back to Washington after the earthquake hit without making his presence known in the Bay area. He would have been out there touring the sections hardest hit by the tremors; pledging disaster relief; comforting survivors (even if only for a phot op, although that doesn't sound like Teddy's style. he would have even been pitching in to help clean up.
No I think the Teddy Roosevelt at the poker game was an impostor, and since he was played by Claude Akins, then why couldn't he be Lucas McCain's old friend Tom Benton, the Old West Secret Agent?
Why did the subterfuge take place? Well, I once wrote a bit o' fanfic (Shhhh! Don't tell Lee G!) in which Artemus Gordon impersonated Roosevelt after the President left the game and was then murdered by Dr. Miguelito Loveless (who had people thinking he also perished in the quake.)
I'd revise it now, so that Tom Benton impersonates Roosevelt from the get-go because of "chatter" regarding a threat against TR. Teddy would have wanted to play but the risk was too great. So Tom Benton sat in on the game disguised as the President in hopes to draw out Dr. Loveless. But the earthquake would bring about a major change in plans.
Who knows? Maybe Dr. Loveless even engineered that earthquake, using a new and improved model of Dr. Orkney Cadwallader's earthquake machine.
When the others in the security detail came in, they may have been bringing the "President" the tragic news that Secret Service Agent Artemus Gordon had been killed.
(I still would have killed off Artemus Gordon in the new story, despite the fact he's one of my favorite TV characters, because I'd want to bring closure to such a great character. (And it seemed only right that he would die with his boots on, as it were.) Since there was no representation for 'The Wild, Wild West' otherwise in "Gambler IV: Luck Of The Draw", I saw the TV movie as the perfect showcase for Artemus Gordon's "Last Bow".....)
By the way - disguised as President Roosevelt, Tom Benton must have had an eerie resemblance to him, because Claude Akins actually is Teddy Roosevelt in an alternate TV dimension in which Sherlock Holmes looks like Christopher Lee.
*It's not the first time an impostor was featured in the ASOTV showcase and passed off as the real thing. The Gugliamo Marconi as seen in "Sherlock Holmes And The Incident At Victoria Falls" was an impostor... which shouldn't have been surprising since his appearance happened on the First of April.....
But fear not, Team Toobworld! The "real" Teddy Roosevelt out West will be running in the coming weeks....