Thursday, November 3, 2011


In the latest episode of 'Castle' ("Cops And Robbers"), the classic TV trope of the main character trapped in a bank heist found Richard Castle and his mother Martha Rodgers among the hostages. The four bank robbers, all mercenaries, were disguised in hospital scrubs and wearing surgical masks.

And their code names for each other were TV doctor names.

The black bank robber was "Dr. Huxtable". ('The Cosby Show')

The young guy was "Dr. Howser" ('Doogie Howser, M.D.')

The woman was "Dr. Quinn" ('Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman')

And their "ringleader" was "Trapper John" - a double whammy with that one! ('M*A*S*H' & 'Trapper John, M.D.')

Even though it's a Zonk, I have to admit it was a clever and humorous idea.

However, it's still a Zonk, yet not one I really had any concern over splainin away. That's because 'Castle' takes place in an alternate TV dimension, and will remain so until either the man holding the position of Mayor becomes the same man who holds the position in the real world and the main Toobworld, or the show is cancelled.

At that point, we can claim that the show was part of the universal reboot caused by Nick Cutter and his estranged wife in 'Primeval', bringing it back into line by removing all the Zonks which kept it out. (We did the same thing with 'Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea' which had a President McNeill during the time of Nixon and Ford. But now - even though we can't see the new and improved version, McNeill's presidency never existed and it would be the true presidents who would interact with the crew of the Seaview.)

Once 'Castle' can be considered part of the Earth Prime-Time dimension*, the code names of those bank robbers would have to be addressed.

One option would be that they gave themselves new code names in that new timeline - TV doctors from the fictional TV shows within the TV Universe.

A few examples:

Dr. Drake Ramoray - the character played by Joey Tribbiani on the Toobworld version of 'Days Of Our Lives' ('Friends')

Dr. Brad Fairmont - the character played by Dick Preston in the fake soap opera 'Those Who Care' ('The New Dick Van Dyke Show')

You could even throw in Dr. John A. Zoidberg from the animated series 'Futurama', since most citizens of Toobworld erroneously think that the Tooniverse is not real. Even Dr. Bob, seen in the running sketch "Veterinarian's Hospital" at the Muppet theater, could be a candidate......

As for the woman, a femme fatale would make an excellent 'Dr. Danger', from some "Trash TV" seen in 'Diagnosis Murder'.

But if the timeline does hold fast to the names they chose in that alternate dimension, most of them could be splained away:

"Dr. Quinn" - Michaela Quinn was an historical figure of the Wild, Wild West and it would be logical to assume that there were books, movies and even a TV show about her.

"Dr. Howser" - There doesn't have to be a TV show about Doogie! As a 12 year old wunderkind who was a licensed, practicing doctor, he would have made headlines back in his day. And he'd definitely be a candidate for the biographical TV-movie.

"Trapper John" - Dr. McIntyre's career during the Korean War could have become the basis for a best-selling memoir by Trap after his second series ended.

"Dr. Huxtable" - This might be more difficult to explain; nothing about Cliff really was that remarkable - just a decent family man with a simple practice in one of the NYC boroughs. However, after the series ended for us as the viewers, maybe he starred in his own public access TV show about family medicine which led to a broader national spotlight as is currently given to those real-life medicos seen in 'The Doctors'. Or he could have ended up as an on-air commentator at a TV show like 'F.Y.I.' (from 'Murphy Brown') in much the same way Dr. Sanjay Gupta is at CNN.

Even though it would also have been a Zonk, you know what I would have liked to see? One of the characters referred to as "Dr. Bombay"......

As I mentioned earlier, 'Castle' is still in an alternate dimension, so that was more effort expended on those Zonks than was currently needed.


* I like to think that 'Castle' is part of the 'West Wing' dimension. But I'm not sure if Obama was ever mentioned as being the POTUS during one of the episodes......

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