Tuesday, October 18, 2011



"Edward The King"

Adrienne Posta

Earth Prime-Time (Conditional)

The Toobworld Central rules for inclusion of a character in the main Toobworld are as fluid as some of the scripts themselves which feed the TV Universe.

First rule of thumb - the first depiction of a character should get precedence. This has been the overall case for shows like 'The New Addams Family' and the remake of '87th Precinct', as examples. But sometimes the original must be jettisoned in favor of a remake that has more compelling reasons to be included.

As an example: "The Incredible World Of Horace Ford", an episode of 'The Twilight Zone' starring Pat Hingle. This story was previously done with Art Carney in the title role, written by the legendary Reginald Rose for 'Westinghouse Studio One'. But that version is probably only available at museums like the Paley Centre for Media in New York and Los Angeles., whereas the T-Zone version pops up frequently, mostly when Syfy has a 'Twilight Zone' marathon. So that's the one that is a more permanent part of the consciousness which powers the TV Universe.

When it comes to historical figures, many of whom are recast in different productions, several factors come into play. If the character is the focal point of their own story, that has more weight than if he or she is a supporting player in someone else's drama. It also doesn't hurt if they appear in a regular series and have interactions with the main fictional characters.

In the case of Marie Lloyd, there were three portrayals of her in television. Because "Marie Lloyd - Queen Of The Music Hall" was all about her, then Jessie Wallace's portrayal gets the preferential gig in Toobworld.

As for Georgia Brown playing the popular entertainer in an episode of the anthology series 'The Edwardians', the main thrust of the story centered on a fictional character in a fictional confrontation during a real-life event, the Music Hall War of 1907. Therefore the whole production could be looked upon as a Toobworld dramatization that we happen to see in the Trueniverse.

The last portrayal of Marie Lloyd, in the real world chronology the second one to be broadcast, was by Adrienne Posta in an episode of the mini-series 'Edward The King'. The argument could be made that we're seeing Marie Lloyd as the Prince of Wales envisions her and not as she really appeared. Or we could say that she is the same Marie Lloyd as we would later see played by Jessie Wallace. However, for this one performance with the future King present, she underwent a massive transformation with make-up and a blonde wig to please His Royal Highness.

(It would have been nice if it remained a distant shot from the audience so that we never really got to see what she looked like. But I'm sure Ms. Posta was happy to get the close-up.)
I used to have a strict policy that if I accept one historical adaptation, then I was accepting every portrayal of the historical figures from that one version and all others had to be packed off to alternate TV dimensions unknown. But I've accepted that the Toobworld Dynamic is a sloppy mess, just like real life is. And I've come to accept blended versions of historical reality, usually based on that principle regarding having one's own story told. So it's Timothy West as Bertie from 'Edward The King', but it's Marie Lloyd from "Marie Lloyd - Queen Of The Music Hall". (As for the portrayal of Queen Victoria by Annette Crosbie in 'Edward The King', I'm afraid that as great as she was, her performance is trumped by that of Prunella Scales in three different TV productions.)

(We got a "Two for Tuesday" after all......)

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