Saturday, April 23, 2011


Sarah Jane Smith may well be the Companion who has had adventures with the most Doctors. She traveled with the Third and the Fourth Doctor; was reunited with the Tenth Doctor and had a few adventures with him (even in her own series); and also met the First, Second, and Fifth incarnations of the Doctor during "The Five Doctors".......



The return of 'Doctor Who' tonight will be tinged with sadness, with the passing earlier this week of Lis Sladen who played Sarah Jane Smith. The show will be presenting a special tribute in her memory at the beginning of the episode.

Here's the BBC report on her very untimely death......



I'm not sure if King Kong actually exists in Toobworld or not; I'll have to check with Team Toobworld member Robert Wronski, Jr. on that one. But I know he can be found in variations of the Wold Newton Universe.

At any rate, here's the story of King Kong, as told - with some restraint, surprisingly - by one of my idols, Jonathan Winters.



Tonight, 'Doctor Who' returns for an all new season! (It's numbering is up to you.)

Here's a preview for what we can expect in "The Impossible Astronaut".......



On Sunday night, episode two of 'Game Of Thrones' will air, and if this clip is any indication it's going to be hot!


Here's a video of artwork based on George R.R. Martin's fantasy series "A Song Of Ice And Fire".

Some of the images will be familiar to those who have seen the first episode of 'Game Of Thrones'.......

And the music is lovely as well......




"Cinema Verite"

William Carberry (Bill) Loud (born January 22, 1921)
Played by Tim Robbins

Patricia (Pat) Loud (born October 4, 1926)
Played by Diane Lane

Lance Loud (June 26, 1951 – December 22, 2001)
Played by Thomas Dekker

Kevin Robert Loud (born January 28, 1953)
Played by Johnny Simmons

Grant Loud (born May 5, 1954)
Played by Nick Eversman

Delilah Ann Loud (born October 15, 1955)
Played by Caitlin Custer

Michele Loud (born October 15, 1957)
Played by Kaitlyn Dever

From Wikipedia:
'An American Family' is an American television documentary filmed in 1971 and first aired in the United States on PBS in early 1973. The show was 12 episodes long, edited down from about 300 hours of footage, and chronicled the experiences of a nuclear family, the Louds of Santa Barbara, California, during a period of time when parents Bill and Pat Loud separated and Pat filed for divorce.

In 2002, 'An American Family' was listed at #32 on TV Guide's 50 Greatest TV Shows of All Time list. It is one of the earliest examples of the reality television genre, which became very popular in the 2000s.

In 1983, HBO broadcast "An American Family Revisited: The Louds 10 Years Later".

In 2003, PBS broadcast the show "Lance Loud!: A Death in an American Family", shot in 2001, visiting the family again at the invitation of Lance before his death. The same family members participated in the documentary, with the exception of Grant. Lance was 50 years old, had gone through 20 years of addiction to crystal meth, and was HIV positive. He died of liver failure caused by a hepatitis C and HIV co-infection that year. The show was billed by PBS as the final episode of 'An American Family'.

From the press release:
“An American Family” was a total departure from the television shows of the time when it aired in 1973, and brought public scrutiny to a family unprepared for the consequences. CINEMA VERITE shows how the Louds were thrust into the spotlight as parents Pat (Diane Lane) and Bill (Tim Robbins) struggled with their marriage while raising their children. In particular, Pat was criticized for asking for a divorce and for her support of her openly gay son Lance (Thomas Dekker) at a time when homosexuality was rarely represented on television.

CINEMA VERITE tells the behind-the-scenes story of the groundbreaking 12-hour PBS documentary series "An American Family," which chronicled the lives of the Louds in the early 1970s and catapulted the Santa Barbara family to notoriety while creating a new genre: the reality TV series. Oscar, Golden Globe and Emmy nominee Diane Lane, Oscar and Golden Globe winner Tim Robbins and Golden Globe and Emmy winner James Gandolfini star in the HBO Films presentation. CINEMA VERITE debuts SATURDAY, APRIL 23 (9:00-10:45 p.m. ET/PT) only on HBO.

Friday, April 22, 2011


As seen in the mini-series 'Edward The King', Princess Vicky, elder sister of the future King of England, drew up a list of possible princesses whom "Bertie" might choose from to be his queen. But her husband Fritz, the Prince of Prussia, knew how his brother-in-law might feel, given the choices.

One of them must have been exceedingly homely because Fritz remarked:

"Marie Von Altenburg? She would frighten Frankenstein......"

Like many people do today, Fritz was referring to the Monster, whereas the name "Frankenstein" actually refers to the Doctor who created it.
But the way he referred to the Monster, there was no mention of the book by Mary Wollstonescraft Shelley; O'Bviously there could be no mention of the movies. He could easily have been talking about the actual Monster that existed in Toobworld, whose horrible exploits would still be fresh in the minds of the European populace.

(The picture of the Monster is taken from "Frankenstein: The True Story" which starred Michael Sarrazin as the Monster. Sarrazin passed away a few days ago at the age of 70.....)



I've alluded to this several times in the last few weeks - as far as Toobworld Central is concerned, the televersion of 'Game Of Thrones' is located in the main TV Universe, just not on Earth Prime-Time. Its' "our" claim that the realm of the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros was located on the original Earth, Mondas. ("Mondas" means "Earth" in the old languages, according to the Doctor.)

Mondas used to be in 1:1 orbital resonance with Earth Prime-Time. It is not known when it happened, but the Cybermen blasted the planet out of its orbit to roam the galaxy until it was finally destroyed upon its return to the Sol system in 1986.

Mondas is the Earth of the Creation story, made by God and populated with Adam and Eve, the Garden of Eden, the Snake, the whole big blue marble.

Meanwhile, Earth Prime-Time, "mostly harmless" and most similar to our own Earth, was built as a super computer by the Magratheans. Its version of Adam and Eve were astronauts Adam Cooke and Eve Norta, both from other worlds. In fact, it's our contention that Eve Norta escaped from the much older civilizations of Mondas. The "star chart" she drew in the dirt in explanation to Cooke seems to tell the story of Mondas. (As Cooke interpreted it: "That's your planet; that's where you came from. Your planet got out of its orbit and moved away from your sun. That's where you went; that's where your world went. But you got out.......")  This means Mondas had developed interplanetary travel by the time that the Dawn of Mankind was beginning on Earth.
Perhaps Eve Norta brought with her much of the lore of her homeworld, at least in oral tradition which she shared with Adam Cooke... and their children. This would be passed down to the future generations of Mankind and adapted/adopted as their own history and religion.

Being the much older planet, the evolution and civilization of Mondas developed earlier and perhaps even quicker than that on Earth. For one thing, they probably didn't have a Dark Ages which impeded scientific advancement on Earth. That gave Mondas a huge boost in their development.
But they still had a Middle Ages period and its in that era where we at Toobworld Central would situate such shows as 'Wizards And Warriors', 'Legend Of The Seeker', and of course, the show that just premiered on HBO, 'Game Of Thrones'. So that way, the TV Universe can keep the land of Westeros - as well as the realms of D'Hara ('Legend Of The Seeker') and Karteia and Camarand ('Wizards And Warriors') - without disrupting Earth Prime-Time with any geographical inconsistencies like the Narrow Sea and dragon-shaped continent of Asperans.


And yet!

In the week before 'Game Of Thrones' premiered, 'Chuck' Bartowski nearly sabotaged it all with a Zonk......
While reading a volume of George R.R. Martin's "A Song Of Ice And Fire", Chuck notes, "Eddard, you don't let your kids keep a direwolf. That's a terrible idea."

'Tis a Zonk most easily splained away, my Lords and Ladies!
The splainin follows a similar path taken for why 'Star Trek' exists as a series of TV shows sicne the 1960's and yet is the actual future of Toobworld. In that case, someone from the Future - and I'm thinking it has to be a certain Time Lord from Gallifrey - gave the televersion of Gene Roddenberry a complete history of Earth Prime-Time, particularly of Starfleet and specifically of the starship Enterprise in all its incarnations.

(It may have been accidental if it had been done by the Doctor, who normally believes that History must not be re-written, "not one line!" It's pozz'ble, just pozz'ble, that he lost his 500 year diary while visiting early 1960's Los Angeles and Roddenberry's televersion found it.)
This would go against the established story of how Roddenberry came to create 'Star Trek', as recounted in 'Pioneers of Television', but the episode that focused on science fiction did say that Roddenberry's story could have been just that - a story......
As for the televersion of George R.R. Martin (who so far has portrayed himself in behind-the-scenes footage for 'Game Of Thrones' and seen patronizing a restaurant in the "Fever" episode of 'Beauty And The Beast' - unlike Roddenberry, no other actor has portrayed him), it could be that he somehow stumbled upon the ancient lore of Mondas brought to Toobworld by Eve Norta. But that doesn't really seem likely - such materials must have long since been lost to the erosion of Time, and she must have crash-landed on Toobworld far from where Martin lived.

This scenario would be more likely - surely there must have been pockets of resistance on Mondas against the transformation of the planet's humans into the Cybermen, even to the very end of the planet's existence. One of those last humans, like Eve Norta before them, may have escaped the planet by rocket-ship as it approached the Sol system in the mid-1980's, bringing with him (or her) tales of the realms in Westeros long ago. This time, the Mondasian ship crashed in a location accessible to the televersion of George R.R. Martin, or the Mondasian human may have actively sought out someone of Martin's talent to tell the tale of Mondas, to keep its heritage alive.

This could also have all been done automatically, like the Kataanian beacon seen in the "Inner Light" episode of 'Star Trek: The Next Generation'. In fact, a Mondasian beacon (perhaps based on technology stolen from the Kataanians while Mondas traveled the universe) may have made contact with the minds of several likely candidates, so that many aspects of Mondasian culture could be kept alive; Martin only received the information about the realms of Westeros during the Mondasian Middle Ages.
And that would be why Chuck Bartowski would be able to read a book about Eddard Stark from another planet while Stark's storyline is also playing out in the same TV Universe.

So that's good enough for the book series; but what about any future Zonks that might mention the TV series? (And my prediction is that it will be 'The Big Bang Theory' that does it first.) If it happens, then we let Toobworld follow the real world's lead - that somebody decided the books were good enough to develop a TV series about them. And if any scenes from the actual series are shown on Toobworld TV sets, then we'll just say that the actors hired bore incredible likenesses to the "real" people who lived in Westeros on the planet Mondas a very long time ago.......

'Game Of Thrones'
'Chuck' - "Chuck vs. The Family Volkoff"
'Wizards And Warriors'
'Legend Of The Seeker'
'Doctor Who' - "The Power Of The Daleks" & "The Tenth Planet"
'The Hitch-Hiker's Guide To The Galaxy'
'Star Trek: The Next Generation' - "Inner Light"
'Pioneers Of Television' - "Science Fiction"
'Star Trek' (the original series)




"Cinema Verite"

Tim Robbins

From People Magazine
(February 28, 1977)
Bill and Pat Loud and their five children gave TV viewers an intimate, sometimes embarrassing glimpse into their lives in a 12-installment NET documentary on the American family in 1972. In one episode Pat ticked off Bill's shortcomings on camera and announced she wanted him to move out. The Louds, who lived in Santa Barbara, Calif., got a divorce in 1972.

Bill, a manufacturer of mining machinery parts, has remained in Santa Barbara. "I'm still doing the same thing I was doing when the series took place except living in the same home," he says. The $120,000 residence went to Pat in the divorce settlement and, after being rented for three years, was recently sold. Bill and Carol and her two tiny Shihtzu dogs have settled into a small townhouse in the Montecito area.

Bill does not believe the TV exposure that made him and his family instant celebrities had an adverse effect on his life. "It was an enriching experience, and it's fun to be recognized in the supermarkets," says Bill.

CINEMA VERITE tells the behind-the-scenes story of the groundbreaking 12-hour PBS documentary series "An American Family," which chronicled the lives of the Louds in the early 1970s and catapulted the Santa Barbara family to notoriety while creating a new genre: the reality TV series. Oscar, Golden Globe and Emmy nominee Diane Lane, Oscar and Golden Globe winner Tim Robbins and Golden Globe and Emmy winner James Gandolfini star in the HBO Films presentation. CINEMA VERITE debuts SATURDAY, APRIL 23 (9:00-10:45 p.m. ET/PT) only on HBO.


Thursday, April 21, 2011


James "Dick" Lucas was the junior salesman in the menswear department of the Grace Brothers department store in London in the mid-1970's. (By "junior", it must refer to him being the last one hired, as he was only a couple of years younger than Mr. Rumbold [the manager] and a year younger than his co-worker, Wilberforce Humphries.)

He was let go from the sales force during a particularly slow period in the store's business, according to the floor-walker, Captain Stephen Peacock. (What happened to Mr. Lucas after he left employ at Grace Brothers will be the subject of a future blog post by guest contributor Michael Cleary.)
James Lucas may have had an uncle working for the legal department at the Foreign Office named Stephen Lucas. This Mr. Lucas stepped forward to testify in a trial regarding blackmail and the keeping of a "disorderly house".

'Are You Being Served?'
'Rumpole Of The Bailey' - "Rumpole And The Old Boy Net"



I've been thinking about Sarah Jane Smith since hearing the news of Elisabeth Sladen's death the other day. And I've been watching some of the video tributes to this member of the TV Crossover Hall of Fame over at YouTube.

I was reminded of the abrupt way she left 'Doctor Who' - dumped by the side of the road in Croyden. But at least she got the chance to come back in "The Five Doctors," and then again with 'K-9 & Company'. With her appearance in the "New-Who" episode of "School Reunion", she was re-introduced to a new generation of fans, which led her to getting her own show, 'The Sarah Jane Adventures'.

So at least she was properly re-integrated into the series. The same can't be said about another former companion, Dorothea "Dodo" Chaplet.

Here's the basic biography for Dodo, supplied by Wikipedia:

Steven returns at the same time that a young woman wanders into the TARDIS thinking it was a real police box. The Doctor and Steven are taken aback when she introduces herself as Dodo Chaplet and reveals that her grandfather was French. The Doctor speculates that Dodo might be Anne's descendant. As some have pointed out, this would mean Anne lived to have an illegitimate offspring (unless she married a man of the same name).

In her travels with the Doctor, Dodo travels to the far future, unfortunately bringing the common cold with her to infect humanity's descendants; faces the mad games of the Celestial Toymaker; witnesses the gunfight at the O.K. Corral; says good-bye to Steven in "The Savages"; and is hypnotised by the rogue artificial intelligence WOTAN in "The War Machines".

Halfway through that last adventure, she abruptly departs for a rest in the country after being hypnotised, and never reappears. At the story's conclusion Polly (who, with Ben Jackson, took Dodo's place as a companion) explains to the departing Doctor that Dodo has decided to remain in the 20th Century.

I'm thinking that Dodo sought assistance in her recuperation from her aunt, her mother's sister, after whom she was named. In fact, both of them carry the same nickname of "Dodo".

Dodo Mackintosh was an old friend of Hilda Wystan, later known as Hilda Rumpole, the wife of Horace Rumpole as seen in 'Rumpole Of The Bailey'.
We met Dodo Mackintosh in October of 1983 when Hilda asked for her help while planning the party at Chambers for what she thought would be Rumpole's elevation to be Head of Chambers. Hilda wanted Dodo to make her famous little cheesy bits for the hors d'oeuvres.

In mid-July of 1966, when Dodo was left in a hypnotized state, the Doctor sent her off to the country for a rest. She may have gone to the home of her Aunt Dodo just outside of London.

Dodo Mackintosh may have been her maiden aunt, which would mean that the last name of Dodo's mother was originally "Mackintosh" before marrying Dodo's father.

By the way, when the Doctor saved the lives of that family in Pompeii on Volcano Day in "The Fires of Pompeii" at the urging of Donna Noble, he may have relented because he remembered back to how he left Anne Chaplet to her uncertain fate.......




"Cinema Verite"

Diane Lane

Pat (Russell) Loud (1926–), born in Oregon, married Bill Loud in 1950, and the couple had five children over the next seven years. The Louds' marriage was plagued by Bill Loud's infidelities. In 1971 the family agreed to be filmed as part of a documentary series, which aired on public television stations in 1973. In the most memorable segment, Pat Loud told her husband that she was going to seek a divorce. Pat Loud published a memoir in 1974, Pat Loud: A Woman's Story.

"Pat Loud: A Woman's Story." 1970's Lifestyles and Social Trends. Gale Cengage, 2011. 2006. 20 Apr, 2011

From Wikipedia:
One notable moment was when Pat asked Bill for a divorce and to leave the house. Pat's saying to her husband "You know there's a problem", with Bill's responding "What's your problem?" was chosen as one of the Top 100 Television Moments by TV Guide.

Subsequent to the showing of "A Death in an American Family", Pat and Bill Loud moved back in together, granting one of Lance's last wishes. They live very close to three of their surviving children, Grant, Michelle and Delilah, and keep in close contact with an out-of-state Kevin and his family.

CINEMA VERITE tells the behind-the-scenes story of the groundbreaking 12-hour PBS documentary series "An American Family," which chronicled the lives of the Louds in the early 1970s and catapulted the Santa Barbara family to notoriety while creating a new genre: the reality TV series. Oscar, Golden Globe and Emmy nominee Diane Lane, Oscar and Golden Globe winner Tim Robbins and Golden Globe and Emmy winner James Gandolfini star in the HBO Films presentation. CINEMA VERITE debuts SATURDAY, APRIL 23 (9:00-10:45 p.m. ET/PT) only on HBO.


Wednesday, April 20, 2011


With the news of the cancellations of 'All My Children' and 'One Life To Live', I was reminded of a character who was one of the very first inductees into the TV Crossover Hall of Fame.....

Rae Cummings is a soap opera character played by Linda Dano. She first appeared on One Life to Live in 1978 as a minor character. She left the show in 1980 and returned almost two decades later, in 1999, as a practicing psychologist. Rae was involved in many major storylines and in 2000 she was given an extraordinary one of her own. In a search for her long-lost daughter(taken away at birth), the character of Rae crossed over into the other three ABC soaps.

In All My Children, Rae discovered that she was the daughter of Myrtle Fargate. In Port Charles, she found an important clue. Back on One Life to Live, she discovered her daughter was Skye Chandler (who had crossed over from All My Children). Rae ventured on to General Hospital, where she and Skye were involved with the Quartermaine family. Rae then wandered back to One Life to Live, blackmailed and married Asa Buchanan and finally left on a world cruise with her lover, John Sykes, in 2004.




"Cinema Verite"

Thomas Dekkar

From Wikipedia:
Alanson Russell "Lance" Loud (June 26, 1951 – December 22, 2001) was an American magazine columnist and new wave rock-n-roll performer. Loud is best known for his 1973 appearance in 'An American Family', a pioneer reality television series which featured his coming out, which led to his status as an icon in the gay community.

Loud's fame came with 'An American Family', a documentary of his family's life, which was broadcast in the U.S. on PBS in 1973, drawing 10 million viewers and causing considerable controversy. The show was based in Santa Barbara, California. He moved to New York City, driven by his obsession with the Velvet Underground and everything related to Warhol. He became a regular at Max's Kansas City and attended Charles Ludlam productions at La Mama, with luminaries such as Jackie Curtis (who later became a close Loud family friend) and Holly Woodlawn. Shortly after the series ended, Lance appeared on 'The Dick Cavett Show', performing with a working version of what would later become Mumps (which at that point included Delilah Michelle and Kevin in the line-up), under the name "Loud". He stated at the time that he thought the filmmakers had intentionally edited the series to make him seem obnoxious and grating.

Loud became a gay icon by having his homosexuality revealed to a national audience in the documentary series, although he never explicitly came out on the series. His sexual orientation became a thing of national controversy and media scrutiny after several appearances on 'Dick Cavett' and other talk shows. But the overwhelmingly positive and grateful feedback of thousands of gay men led Lance to embrace this role with passion and his usual flamboyant, often self-deprecating wit.

From the press release:

CINEMA VERITE tells the behind-the-scenes story of the groundbreaking 12-hour PBS documentary series "An American Family," which chronicled the lives of the Louds in the early 1970s and catapulted the Santa Barbara family to notoriety while creating a new genre: the reality TV series. Oscar, Golden Globe and Emmy nominee Diane Lane, Oscar and Golden Globe winner Tim Robbins and Golden Globe and Emmy winner James Gandolfini star in the HBO Films presentation. CINEMA VERITE debuts SATURDAY, APRIL 23 (9:00-10:45 p.m. ET/PT) only on HBO.


Tuesday, April 19, 2011


My various contacts in Facebook concerning 'Doctor Who' were all a-buzz with reports that Elisabeth Sladen, best known in Toobworld as Sarah Jane Smith on 'Doctor Who' and 'The Sarah Jane Adventures' has died.  And within the last half hour, the BBC Online has confirmed the news.

Earlier, the Doctor Who News page accepted a "tweet" from Doctor Who Magazine to be official confirmation and they have posted an obituary for her.

I was holding out hope it was nothing more than an internet rumor run rampant until I could find a more established source for confirmation. And then I saw the BBC headline.  I haven't been this resistant to news of a celebrity death since a burned body was found at Jack Cassidy's home back in the 1970's. I refused to believe it could be him until positive identification could be made of the remains.

I always thought Elisabeth Sladen was my "first" Companion, and you never forget your first. However, I can only remember "Robots Of Death" when I first started watching on the old WOR in NYC. And that was a Leela story. (I have claimed in the past that my first 'Doctor Who' story was "Brain of Morbius". That could be true. As I think more 'pon it, I do remember seeing "The Hand Of Fear", a storyline not long after, during that same period in my life.)

Still and all, somehow I finally saw episodes with Sarah Jane Smith and I lost my heart to her. And for someone like me, that's not an easy thing to accomplish when your competition is running around in a jungle bikini......

In May of 2007, Sarah Jane Smith was inducted into the TV Crossover Hall Of Fame, and that was even before 'The Sarah Jane Adventures' came along. I think of all the Doctor's Companions over the years, Sarah Jane truly embodies the very best of this very select group.

It's always sad when a favorite celebrity dies, but at best it was after a very long, full life; that it was "their time". Elisabeth Sladen was far too young for that sort of thinking. I don't think I could have ever prepared for this news, not at this point in her life.

Bleep you, Cancer.

So, if this story proves to be true, then I can only repeat those closing words of Red Skelton:

"Good night, and may God bless."


The universe has to move forward.
Pain and loss, they define us as much as happiness or love.
Whether it’s a world, or a relationship…
Everything has its time. And everything ends.”
Sarah Jane Smith
"School Reunion"


Since posting that clip of Damon Lindelof getting kneed in the groin by Thirteen on 'House', I've learned that it wasn't a 'Lost' Zonk after (despite tweets suggesting otherwise by Lindelof himself.)


Apparently he had screwed Thirteen over, which led to her being incarcerated for the death of her brother.

From the summary:
Thirteen directs House to a suburban home, while House continues to speculate why she ended up in prison. She knocks on the door, and knees a man in the groin when he answers. Thirteen then bends over and talks to him, gets up, and walks back to the car. She doesn't offer an explanation, and says she wants to get something to eat.

At the contest, House and Thirteen are preparing to fire their gun when she mentions that her father used to take "us" to the county fair. House realizes that she has a sibling that Thirteen has never mentioned, and that she's slipped up because the sibling is on her mind. He deduces that she euthanized her brother, who has the same genetic disease, and that the man she attacked was the doctor who wouldn't cover it up. Thirteen says that the man was actually her cellmate's cheating boyfriend, but everything else was true. She congratulates House and walks away.

Oh well.  The tweets were still funny......


Tom Ballard was a retired accountant who spent his final years in the Bayview retirement home where he became lovers with former photo-journalist Diana Trent. Tom had a very active imagination and would often regale other Bayview residents (especially the ladies) with tales about his adventures as an explorer and of his prowess as a Hollywood actor.

Tom's father may have had a brother who also had a son - Samuel Ballard, often referred to disparagingly as "Soapy Sam" by fellow counsel Horace Rumpole. Sam Ballard took advantage of Rumpole's journey to Africa on a case to become the head of Chambers, which kept him in constant conflict with Rumpole.
Sometimes it's best to make these theories of relateeveety about cousins rather than claim they could be siblings. There just might be a line of dialogue in one episode out of so many that could have slipped by, which would negate the premise. ("I'm an only child" - that sort of thing.) But how often do people really mention their cousins?

Besides, there's a better candidate for a brother for Tom Ballard, although I suggested in a previous post that he could be related to a Patrick McGoohan character.

I went with that theory because I was offered a bribe, and I still haven't collected......

'Waiting For God'
'Rumpole Of The Bailey'


On this date in 1903, American lawman Eliot Ness was born.......


'The Untouchables'
"The Return Of Eliot Ness"

Robert Stack

Earth Prime-Time

From Wikipedia:
Eliot Ness (April 19, 1903 – May 16, 1957) was an American Prohibition agent, famousfor his efforts to enforce Prohibition in Chicago, Illinois, and the leader of a legendary team of law enforcement agents nicknamed The Untouchables.

Following the election of President Herbert Hoover, U.S. Treasury Secretary Andrew Mellon was specifically charged with bringing down gangster Al Capone. The federal government approached the problem from two directions: income tax evasion and the Volstead Act. Ness was chosen to head the operations under the Volstead Act, targeting the illegal breweries and supply routes of Capone.

With Chicago's corrupted law-enforcement agents endemic, Ness went through the records of all Prohibition agents to create a reliable team, initially of 50, later reduced to 15 and finally to just eleven men called, "The Untouchables". Raids against illegal stills and breweries began immediately; within six months Ness claimed to have seized breweries worth over one million dollars. The main source of information for the raids was an extensive wire-tapping operation. An attempt by Capone to bribe Ness's agents was seized on by Ness for publicity, leading to the media nickname, "The Untouchables." There were a number of assassination attempts on Ness, and one close friend of his was killed.

The efforts of Ness and his team had a serious impact on Capone's operations, but it was the income tax evasion which was the key weapon. In a number of federal grand jury cases in 1931, Capone was charged with 22 counts of tax evasion and also 5,000 violations of the Volstead Act. On October 17, 1931, Capone was sentenced to 11 years in prison, and following a failed appeal, he began his sentence in 1932.

Collaborating with Oscar Fraley in his last years, he co-wrote the book, The Untouchables, which was published in 1957, a month after his death at age 54, following a heart attack.

'The Untouchables'

Tom Amandes

The World of Remakes

Ness' appearance in 'The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles', like the appearance of all the historical figures on that show, was filtered through the memories of the aged Indiana Jones. All of his other appearances in TV movies and docu-drama recreations could be assigned to other TV dimensions.

Two for Tuesday!


Monday, April 18, 2011


Even though they were all supposed to share the same TV dimension, many TV shows would reference either 'One Life To Live' or 'All My Children', the two ABC soap operas which will be going off the air - as announced at the end of last week.

So Toobworld Central had to accept that TV shows were made about the lives of these "real" people in the towns of Llanview and Pine Valley, Pennsylvania, with actors who bore remarkable resemblances to them.

The IMDb had two such Zonks listed for 'One Life To Live':

"The One with Joey's Award" (#7.18)" (2001)
- The show is mentioned at the Soapie Awards.

"Nanny McDead" (#1.2)" (2009)
- Castle says his first novel was inspired by the daytime soap.

I think mostly because of the influence from Susan Lucci's portrayal of Erica Kane, there were a lot more references to 'All My Children':

'Mystery Science Theater 3000'
1]  "Master Ninja II (#4.24)" (1992)
- Servo: "I'm missing 'All My Children.'"
2]  "Alien from L.A. (#6.16)" (1993)
- Mike: "Guys, it's Ted from 'All My Children'!"
3]  "Angels' Revenge (#7.22)" (1995)
- Crow: "They can get 'All My Children'."
4]  "Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Movie" (1996)
- Crow: "Quiet everyone, 'All My Children' is on."

Sometimes it was just mentioned by name:

'Seinfeld' - "The Stand-In"
'The Nanny' - "A Fine Friendship" & "Once a Secretary, Always a Secretary"
'Mad About You' - "Just My Dog"
(Jamie also mentions Susan Lucci.)
"Ugly Betty' - "Petra-Gate"
(Henry says that he used to watch 'All My Children' with his mom.)

There was no getting around that 'All My Children' was a TV show in Toobworld as well, not when there were references made to its actual production:

1]  "The One Where Eddie Won't Go"
- Gunther says he is a former soap-opera actor: "I used to be Bryce on ll My Children'.
2]  "The One with the Race Car Bed"
- Joey mentions he has an audition for a part in this show.
3]  "The One with Joey's Award"
- The show is mentioned at the Soapie Awards.

'Just Shoot Me!'
"Hostess to Murder"
- Larry mentions that the script for the murder party is written by some of the writers for this show.

'Twice in a Lifetime'
"Healing Touch"
- Two nurses discuss Susan Lucci not winning an Emmy.

'The Knights of Prosperity'
"Operation: Oswald Montecristo"
- Rockefeller mentions Mark Consuelos's character Mateo from 'All My Children'.

And because of Victoria Chase's background as an actress on soap operas, and especially because she had a long-running feud with Susan Lucci (that "conniving little teacup poodle"), 'All My Children' ended up playing an important role in 'Hot In Cleveland':

1]  "Pilot"
- Elka mentions she likes the show with Susan Lucci
2]  "Sisterhood of the Travelling SPANX"
- Melanie Moretti gets offered a role on this show
3]  "I Love Lucci: Part One"
- Victoria appears on a version of this show
4]  "I Love Lucci: Part Two"
- Victoria and Susan film a scene together on the set of this show

We got to see scenes from the televersion of the soap opera in the 'Desperate Housewives' episode "Not While I'm Around" (a clip of Jeff Martin kissing Erica Kane from 'All My Children' was shown on the television during a scene at the prison) and in the 'Modern Family' episode "Chirp".

And it turns out that an entire episode of 'All My Children' as seen in the Trueniverse was really the broadcast of the show from Toobworld, thanks to the participation of Victoria Chase.

Even in the Tooniverse, 'All My Children' had a presence as a soap opera:

'King of the Hill'
"Hanky Panky: Part 1"
- The show is mentioned by name.

I would not be surprised if other TV shows continue to mention at least 'All My Children' long after it's off the air in the Trueniverse. You KNOW that Victoria Chase will be gloating over Lucci's loss of a job!

Finally, 'All My Children' contributed to the expansion of Toobworld with two other soap operas. First there was 'Loving' in 1983 and then 'The City' picked up where 'Loving' ended in 1995 and ran for another two years.



It's that time of year again......

'Saturday Night Live'

Jason Sudeikis

”Are you being audited?
Have you not filed tax returns for years?
Has the IRS come to your home or place of business?
The IRS will relentlessly pursue you for unpaid taxes.
TaxMasters can get between you and the IRS.
We’ll make sure they treat you fairly and treat you with respect.”
From the TaxMasters' website:
Patrick Cox is President, CEO, and Board Director of Tax Masters, Inc. (TAXS), a company dedicated to helping consumers solve their tax problems. Patrick Cox is a tax expert who founded Tax Masters in 2001, which has become one of the most effective IRS tax representation firms in the IRS tax relief industry. Before founding Tax Masters, Patrick Cox served as Vice President of Finance for Kemper Insurance Companies and owned a small CPA firm in Houston, Texas.

Houston based Tax Masters has served tens of thousands of clients and had incredible success with settling federal tax debt, defending clients in audit, setting up monthly IRS payment plans, and filing past-due tax returns. The company is publicly traded under the stock symbol TAXS.

But in Skitlandia, Patrick Cox has a "twin brother" attached to his head, like some mutant seen in "Total Recall".

Here's what they said about the sketch on the TaxMaster's website:

Imagine our surprise when we saw Jason Sudeikis near the end of 'Saturday Night Live' standing in front of the gold background and Tax Masters logo. The folks at 'SNL' even got the music right!

The cast of 'SNL' put together a very interesting take on why Patrick Cox stands just the way he does in the television ads and why that camera angle never seems to change. The way we see it, you might as well have an attached twin brother named Daniel as any other explanation.

I will say this. When we are on set shooting those commercials, the director is nowhere near as good looking as Jane Lynch. Maybe we could talk her into guest directing our next shoot!

Jason Sudeikis did a fantastic job with a subject who can be difficult to imitate. And no matter how much the cast and crew didn’t want to hang with you, Jason, if you happen to show up at the offices down in Houston we’ll be glad to buy you a beer.


Sunday, April 17, 2011


A friend of mine is looking for a few British TV shows on DVD (playable in an American DVD player, that is) or at the very least, a reliable bit torrent site that might have the shows available for download.

He's looking for 'Hotel Rescue' with Susan Watson and 'Hotel Inspector' with Alex Polizzi.

I realize this may be an impossible request; I had a hard time just finding some decent video clips to illustrate what he wanted!

Here are some highlights from 'Hotel Inspector' showing Alex Polizzi in action. I think you'll figure out why a lot of guys tune in....

Trust me. That is NOT why my friend wants the show.....

If you know of any way he can get his hands on these two series, as many seasons as possible for each, feel free to contact me here at Toobworld Central......



How about a little more 'Doctor Who' for this weekend?

The late Michael Gough, who passed away a few weeks ago, appeared in the series not only as the Celestial Toymaker, but also as a renegade Time Lord bent on bringing about the return of Omega, one of the first Time Lords.  (Both the Toymaker and Omega have been rumored to be returning to 'Doctor Who'.)

Here's a fan-made trailer featuring Gough in that other story:



I look at this mash-up between 'Steptoe and Son' and 'Fawlty Towers' to be the video equivalent of a picture book....

As it exists, I don't think it can be considered part of any TV dimension.  But it does suggest what might have happened off-screen at some point more than thirty years ago...


With the announcement of the death of director Sidney Lumet last week, I went searching for something specific from his early TV work - Boris Karloff as Don Quixote. I especially wanted a picture of that for my year-long project for 2012 - the ASOTV showcase featuring only literary characters.

I couldn't find a picture from that; it may be lost to Time, for alls I know. But I did come across this moldy oldie from the early 1960's.

And I use the term "moldy oldie" only because of the graveyard setting. I'm thinking this may have been broadcast around Halloween. (Karloff would certainly have been an apt guest star for that time.....)



This past week marked the 99th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic. Here's the true story of what happened... at least as far as the Skitlandia dimension was concerned.....




'Saturday Night Live'

Zach Galifianakis


From Wikipedia:
Captain Edward John Smith, RD, RNR (27 January 1850 – 15 April 1912) was an English naval reserve officer, and ship's captain. He was the officer in command of the RMS Titanic and died when the ship sank in 1912.

It is not known how Smith died on the night of the sinking. historians and Robert Ballard's book, "The Discovery of the Titanic", claim that Smith went into the bridge at 2:13 AM, 7 minutes before the final sinking and went down with the ship. Some sources state that Smith quietly wandered off to the bridge, while others had Smith actively helping with the radio room, morse lamp and distress rockets.
Working near Collapsible B, Junior Marconi Officer Harold Bride reported seeing Smith dive into the sea from the open bridge minutes before the final plunge began. One story states he carried a child to the overturned collapsible B after the sinking and swam off to freeze in the water, but according to historians featured in the A&E Documentary "Titanic: Death of a Dream", that story is generally considered a romantic fiction.

There is a statue to his legacy in Beacon Park, Lichfield, England.

Skitlandia, however, tells a different story. Apparently, J. Bruce Ismay wasn't the only man to escape the disaster dressed as a woman.....