Saturday, December 3, 2011

SKED ALERT! "BOARDWALK EMPIRE" - SUNDAY, DECEMBER 3RD

There are only two more episodes to go for 'Boardwalk Empire'.....

Episode #23: “Under God's Power She Flourishes”
Debut: SUNDAY, DEC. 4 (9:00-10:00 p.m.)
Written by Howard Korder; Directed by Allen Coulter

With Margaret pondering the consequences of sin, Nucky prepares her for a worst-case scenario as Esther Randolph plays out her trump cards. Jimmy revisits his college days with Angela and Gillian; Mickey Doyle chafes at sharing his liquor profits; Eli refuses to cop a plea. Nelson’s past comes back to haunt him, tipping the scale in Nucky’s favor.




BCnU!

A BIT O' STEPTOE

Here's a segment from one of the 'Steptoe and Son' episodes, which was probably featured on its own at YouTube because the guest star was a young Joanna Lumley. (I was tempted to make the claim that this was Patsy Stone of 'AbFab' fame under her original name, but over the years we learned too much about Patsy's family and there is no way one can forget Eleanor Bron in the role of Patsy's mother to even make the claim that this woman could be her with plastic surgery.)


But that excerpt does give a good showcase for the talents of today's "ASOTV" showcase - Wilfred Brambell as Albert Steptoe.

BCnU!

"THE CURSE OF STEPTOE"


"The Curse of Steptoe", a BBC TV play about Wilfred Brambell and his co-star Harry H. Corbett, was broadcast on 19 March 2008 on digital BBC channel BBC Four, featuring Phil Davis as Brambell and Jason Isaacs as Corbett. The first broadcast gained the channel its highest audience figures to date, based on overnight returns. (Wikipedia)

The first part of this TV special is missing, but it doesn't feel like anything of great importance was in that segment. It was probably the opening credits and perhaps more about Wilfred Brambell.......







BCnU!

AS SEEN ON TV: WILFRED BRAMBELL

WILFRED BRAMBELL


AS SEEN IN:
"The Curse Of Steptoe"

AS PLAYED BY:
Phil Davis

From Wikipedia:
Henry Wilfrid Brambell (22 March 1912 – 18 January 1985) was an Irish film and television actor best known for his role in the British television series 'Steptoe and Son'. He also performed alongside The Beatles in their film "A Hard Day's Night", playing Paul McCartney's fictional grandfather.

It was this ability to play old men that led to his casting in his most famous role, as Albert Steptoe, the irascible father in 'Steptoe and Son' (his son Harold being played by Harry H. Corbett). Initially this was a pilot on the BBC's 'Comedy Playhouse' anthology strand: but its success led to a full series being commissioned, which lasted throughout the 1960s and into the 1970s. A constant thread throughout the series was Albert being referred to by Harold as a "dirty old man", particularly, for example, when he was eating pickled onions whilst taking a bath, and retrieving dropped ones from the bathwater. There were also two feature film spin-offs, a stage show and an American re-make entitled 'Sanford and Son', based on the original British scripts.

The success of 'Steptoe and Son' made Brambell a high profile figure on British television, and earned him the major role of Paul McCartney's grandfather in the Beatles' first film, "A Hard Day's Night" in 1964. A running joke is made throughout the film of his character being "a very clean old man", in contrast to his being referred to as a "dirty old man" in 'Steptoe and Son'. In real life however, he was nothing like his Steptoe persona, being dapper and well-spoken. In 1965 Brambell told the BBC that he did not want to do another 'Steptoe and Son' series, and in September of that year he went to New York to appear in the Broadway musical "Kelly" at the Broadhurst Theatre; however, it closed after just one performance.

After the final season of 'Steptoe and Son' was made in 1974, Brambell had some guest roles in films and on television, but both he and Corbett found themselves heavily typecast as their famous characters. In an attempt to take advantage of this situation, they undertook a tour of Australia in 1977 with a 'Steptoe and Son' stage show. On one occasion, Brambell used bad language and was openly derogatory about New Zealand cathedrals in an interview. Despite this, Brambell did appear on the BBC's television news paying tribute to Corbett after the latter's death from a heart attack in 1982. The following year Brambell appeared in Terence Davies's film "Death and Transfiguration", playing a dying elderly man who finally comes to terms with his homosexuality.

In 2002, Channel 4 broadcast a documentary film, entitled "When Steptoe Met Son", about the off-screen life of Brambell and his relationship with Harry H. Corbett. The film claimed that the two men detested each other and were barely on speaking terms after the Australia tour, caused in part by Brambell's alcoholism, which led to the pair leaving the country on separate aeroplanes. This claim is disputed by the writers of 'Steptoe and Son', Ray Galton and Alan Simpson, who were unaware of any hatred or conflict. Harry H. Corbett's nephew from his second marriage also released a statement which claimed that the actors did not hate each other. "We can categorically say they did not fall out. They were together for nearly a year in Australia, went on several sightseeing trips together, and left the tour at the end on different planes because Harry was going on holiday with his family, not because he refused to get on the same plane. They continued to work together after the Australia tour on radio and adverts."

Brambell was also a closet homosexual at a time when it was almost impossible for public figures to be openly gay, not least because homosexual acts were illegal in the UK until 1967. In 1962 he was arrested in a toilet in Shepherd's Bush for persistently importuning and given a conditional discharge. Earlier in his life he had been married, from 1948 to 1955, to Mary "Molly" Josephine but the relationship ended after she gave birth to the child of their lodger in 1953.

Brambell died of cancer in Westminster, London, aged 72. He was cremated on 25 January 1985 at Streatham Park Cemetery, where his ashes were scattered.

BCnU........

(It was after watching the season - series? - finale of 'Whitechapel' that I realized how much I've come to enjoy the acting of Phil Davis, now one of my favorite current British actors. This showcase on his role as one of the more famous TV actors from Great Britain is my way of tipping my hat to Davis' work........)

THE HAT SQUAD: REMEMBERING ALAN SUES

In memory of Alan Sues, who has passed away at the age of 85, here are a couple of videos to celebrate his career on television.

First up, his appearance on 'The Twilight Zone':





But his career took a new turn once he joined the cast of 'Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In' where he created two indelible characters in "Skitlandia": Sportscaster Big Al and Uncle Al, the Kiddie's Pal.

Here's Uncle Al:


And here's a blooper clip from the show featuring Orson Welles:

Finally, here's his interpretation of Peter Pan:


I gotta say, I'd rather have seen him in the role than Cathy Rigby.....

Good night and may God bless.

BCnU......

Friday, December 2, 2011

THE JACK THE RIPPER INNER TOOB LINKS HUB

"There are many who believe that Jack the Ripper still walks the Earth,
still continues his diabolical activities.
That's a chilling thought.
Especially when it's accompanied by highly convincing proof that it may be true...."
Boris Karloff
'Thriller'

The Inner Toob look at the legend of Jack the Ripper - as seen on TV - is basically complete. As with any bloody crime scene, there will still be some mopping up......


Here, for your convenience, is a hub for all of the articles and videos that made up this project - one even dating back at least a year. That way you don't have to hunt all over the blog for the posts - if you're so inclined, that is. (But do feel free to look around - we cover a lot more about Toobworld than "Red Jack"!)

I'm still running a few posts, mostly for the "ASOTV" showcase, but as each one is published, I'll post the link here at the hub. (I also need to address that TV movie about the "ghost" of Jack the Ripper in Arizona and the latest twist on a side-story about the legend of "Spring-Heeled Jack".)

Just a note on "The Redjac Chronicles":

You probably didn't notice (Why should you? You're not as TV-obsessed as I am!), but each chapter, each episode if you will or even won't, was the title of an episode from different TV series - only one of which actually came from a show dealing with Jack the Ripper. (And that would be the one from 'Star Trek', "Wolf In The Fold".)

I hope you had a chance to check each of them out while the series was being run. And if this is your first time finding out about the "Tele-Ripper" project, I hope you'll take the time to read - or view - all of the posts.

If it's possible with such a bloody, vicious, horrific topic.... Enjoy!

THE REDJAC CHRONICLES
http://toobworld.blogspot.com/2011/11/redjac-chronicles-my-moment-of-un-truth.html
http://toobworld.blogspot.com/2011/11/redjac-chronicles-wolf-in-fold.html
[with link to video]
http://toobworld.blogspot.com/2011/11/redjac-chronicles-it-came-from-outer.html
http://toobworld.blogspot.com/2011/11/redjac-chronicles-sebastian-against.html
http://toobworld.blogspot.com/2011/11/redjac-chronicles-star-whores.html
http://toobworld.blogspot.com/2011/11/redjac-chronicles-meet-whodunit.html
http://toobworld.blogspot.com/2011/11/redjac-chronicles-doctor-danger.html
http://toobworld.blogspot.com/2011/11/redjac-chronicles-novel-way-to-die.html
http://toobworld.blogspot.com/2011/11/redjac-chronicles-dream-sentinel.html
http://toobworld.blogspot.com/2011/11/redjac-chronicles-20th-century-here-we.html
http://toobworld.blogspot.com/2010/02/redjac-and-wilhelm-scream.html
http://toobworld.blogspot.com/2011/11/redjac-chronicles-johnny-red.html

THE "AS SEEN ON TV" GALLERIES

http://toobworld.blogspot.com/2011/11/as-seen-on-tv-inspector-abberline.html
http://toobworld.blogspot.com/2011/11/as-seen-on-tv-abberlines-addendum.html
http://toobworld.blogspot.com/2011/11/as-seen-on-tv-mary-ann-nichols.html
http://toobworld.blogspot.com/2011/11/as-seen-on-tv-annie-chapman.html
http://toobworld.blogspot.com/2011/11/as-seen-on-tv-long-liz.html
http://toobworld.blogspot.com/2011/11/as-seen-on-tv-mary-jane-kelly.html
http://toobworld.blogspot.com/2011/11/as-seen-on-tv-dr-theodore-dyke-acland.html
http://toobworld.blogspot.com/2011/12/as-seen-on-tv-dame-susan-gull.html
http://toobworld.blogspot.com/2011/11/as-seen-on-tv-lord-salisbury.html

OF GENERAL INTEREST
http://toobworld.blogspot.com/2011/11/chandlers-of-scotland-yard.html
http://toobworld.blogspot.com/2011/11/redjac-clean-up-in-aisle-six.html

THE VIDEOS
http://toobworld.blogspot.com/2011/11/softly-softly-looks-at-ripper.html
http://toobworld.blogspot.com/2011/11/jack-ripper-whodunnit.html
http://toobworld.blogspot.com/2011/11/secret-identity-of-jack-ripper.html
http://toobworld.blogspot.com/2011/11/veil-jack-ripper.html
http://toobworld.blogspot.com/2011/11/alfred-hitchcock-presents-creeper.html
http://toobworld.blogspot.com/2011/11/special-unit-2-beast.html

BCnU!

AS SEEN ON TV: SIR CHARLES WARREN

SIR CHARLES WARREN

AS SEEN IN:
"Jack The Ripper"

AS PLAYED BY:
Hugh Fraser

From Wikipedia:
General Sir Charles Warren, GCMG, KCB, FRS (7 February 1840 – 21 January 1927) was an officer in the British Royal Engineers. He was one of the earliest European archaeologists of Biblical Holy Land, and particularly of Temple Mount. Much of his military service was spent in the British South Africa, but in earlier life he was Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis, the head of the London Metropolitan Police, from 1886 to 1888, during the period of the Jack the Ripper murders. His command in combat during the Second Boer War was criticised, but he achieved considerable success during his long life in his military and civil posts.
Warren's biggest difficulty was the Jack the Ripper case. He was probably unfairly blamed for the failure to track down the killer and faced press accusations that were frequently baseless. He was accused of failing to offer a reward for information, although in fact he supported the idea and it was blocked by the Home Office. He was accused of not putting enough police officers on the ground, whereas in fact Whitechapel was swamped with them. He was accused of being more interested in uniformed policing than detective work, which was true, but failed to take into consideration the fact that he allowed his experienced detective officers to conduct their own affairs and rarely interfered in their operations. He was accused of not using bloodhounds, and when he did eventually bring them in he was accused of being obsessed with them.

He responded to these criticisms by attacking his detractors in the pages of Murray's Magazine, supporting vigilante activity, which the police on the streets knew was a bad idea, and publicly complaining about his lack of control of CID, which brought an official Home Office reprimand for discussing his office publicly without permission. Warren had had enough and resigned...coincidentally right before the murder of Mary Jane Kelly on 9 November 1888. Every superintendent on the force visited him at home to express their regret.
Warren's resignation hindered the investigation. He had given an order that if another murder occurred, nobody was to enter the scene - a strange turn of phrase as the four previous victims had all been found in the open street - until he arrived to direct the investigation. Consequently, when the murder of Kelly was discovered by a rent collector who looked in through the window of her room in a Spitalfields lodging house, the police did not enter the room for some three hours because, unaware of his resignation, they were waiting for Warren to arrive. He returned to military duties.

He was appointed Knight Commander of the Bath (KCB) on 7 January 1888.

It's pozz'ble, just pozz'ble, that the televersion of Sir Charles Warren could be the biological father Captain Arthur Hastings, friend and investigative companion to Hercule Poirot......
BCnU!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

HARRISON BERGERON - TWICE UPON A TIME

In the multiverse of Toobworld, many of the characters from TV shows set in Earth Prime-Time have duplicates in the other TV dimensions. You can find their counterparts of course in the Land of Remakes, but also in the Tooniverse (Fonzie and Jeannie the Genie, for example), Skitlandia (like Lenny and Squiggy and Eddie Munster - all from 'SNL'), Doofusland (low IQ versions of George W. Bush and Abe Lincoln being the most prominent), even the movie of the week dimension - where the presidential line of succession has been different from our own since at least the 1930s ("Of Thee I Sing").

Precedent was established in 'Journeyman' that timing is everything (at least when it comes to "conceptual sex", for want of a better term) in keeping the characters exactly the same from one dimension to another. But there are times when a character was conceived in which the wrong sperm reached the egg first, but still the parents gave the same name to that character as he or she would have had in the main Toobworld. They may not only have different careers in the alternate dimension, but different looks as well.

That's why the Josiah Bartlet of Earth Prime-Time was a doctor once seen at St. Eligius Hospital and looked like the gentleman on the left, while the Josiah Bartlet of Earth Prime-Time/West Wing became the President of the United States and looked like the fellow on the right......
It's the kind of thing we've come to expect in the Land of Remakes, and especially in Earth Prime-Time/BET (a name in progress) where all the previously established characters are now black. ('The Odd Couple', 'Barefoot in the Park', even the "Honeymooners" feature film......)

Back in the early 1970's, Stony Stephenson was a jingle writer who got blasted into the Chrono-Synclastic Infundibulum, in which he experienced a multitude of parallel dimensions all at the same time. In one of these alternate TV Landscapes, it was mandatory for everyone to be no better than anybody else - this meant everyone had to be saddled with handicaps to keep them on an equal footing with the majority.

But one man rebelled against that dictum - genius and superior athlete Harrison Bergeron, who commandeered air time on TV to show how beautiful it was to be yourself at your very best. At least until Handicapper General Diana Moon Glampers put a stop to his rebellion....


In that parallel TV dimension, it was also the 1970's as it was in Stony's original world, evident by the type of broadcasting equipment used in the studio.

Back here in the main Toobworld, Earth Prime-Time, Harrison Bergeron led a far different life because there were no equality laws like those found in that alternate dimension. Maybe it was a more dissolute life on the seamy side, but at least he got the chance to continue living.

And as we can see by these comparison pictures, there wasn't too much of a radical difference when it got down to the chromosomal level....


Of course, it could be that "Harrison Bergeron" was just another alias; we already know he went by the name of Donald Stark when he was running the sperm bank. And if so, this is no more than a guy who liked to read Vonnegut......


But I'll stick with my original idea.

SHOWS CITED:
'Bored To Death'
"Between Time And Timbuktu"
'Journeyman'
'St. Elsewhere'
'The West Wing'
'The Odd Couple'
'Barefoot In The Park'
"The Honeymooners"
'Happy Days'
'Fonzie And The Happy Days Gang'
'I Dream Of Jeannie'
'Jeannie'
'Laverne & Shirley'
'The Munsters'
'Saturday Night Live'
'That's My Bush!'
'The Secret Files Of Desmond Pfeiffer'
"Of Thee I Sing"

 
BCnU!

AS SEEN ON TV: DAME SUSAN GULL

DAME SUSAN GULL

AS SEEN IN:
"Jack The Ripper"

AS PLAYED BY:
Ann Castle

From Wikipedia:
On 18 May 1848, Dr. Gull married Susan Ann Lacy, daughter of Colonel J. Dacre Lacy, of Carlisle. Shortly afterwards he left his rooms at Guy’s and moved to 8 Finsbury Square.

They had three children. Caroline Cameron Gull was born in 1851 at Guy’s Hospital and died in 1929; she married Theodore Dyke Acland MD (Oxon.) FRCP, the son of Sir Henry Acland, 1st Baronet MD FRS. They had two children, a daughter (Aimee Sarah Agnes Dyke Acland) who died in infancy in 1889, and a son, Theodore Acland (1890–1960), who became headmaster of Norwich School.

Cameron Gull was born about 1858 in Buckhold, Pangbourne, Berkshire and died in infancy.

William Cameron Gull was born on 6 Jan 1860 in Finsbury, Middlesex and died in 1922. He was educated at Eton College, inherited his father’s title as 2nd Baronet of Brook Street, and later served as the Liberal Unionist Member of Parliament for Barnstaple from July 1895 to September 1900.

Sir William Gull's will, with a codicil, was dated 27 November 1888. The value of the estate was £344,022 19s. 7d - an enormous sum at that time.

The following persons were appointed as executors: his wife, Dame Susan Anne Gull, his son, Sir William Cameron Gull, of Gloucester Street, Portman Square (the new baronet), Mr. Edmund Hobhouse, and Mr. Walter Barry Lindley.

Under the terms of the will, £500 was bequeathed to each of the acting executors. A jewelled snuffbox presented to Sir William Gull by the Empress EugĂ©nie, widow of Emperor Napoleon III of France became an entailed heirloom, along with his presentation plate.

Lady Gull was bequeathed the remainder of his plate, his pictures, furniture, and household effects and the sum of £3,000, along with the use for the remainder of her life of the house at 74 Brook Street. She also received a life annuity of £3,000, commencing 12 months after Sir William's death.

From Comic Vine:
Susan Ann Lacy was born c. 1820, the daughter of Colonel J. Dacre Lacy. She married Dr William Gull on May 18th, 1848. Together they moved to 8 Finsbury Square. They had three children together, two of whom survived to adulthood. Their first child, Caroline Cameron Gull, was born in 1851. The second, Cameron Gull, was born in 1858, and died in infancy. The third, William Cameron Gull, was born in 1860. When her husband was given the title of 1st Baronet of Brook Street in 1872, she was given the title of Dame.

When her husband died in 1890 she was bequeathed a great deal of money, as well as the house that they had shared. She died four years later in 1894. She was 74 years of age.

BCnU!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

AS SEEN ON TV: DR. THEODORE DYKE ACLAND


"Izzy wizzy, let's get busy!"
'The Sooty Show'

Thanksgiving week vacation is over; time to get back to business.....


On November 9th, actor Richard Morant passed away unexpectedly due to an aneurysm. He is perhaps best known for playing Dr. Dwight Enys in 'Poldark' and for playing Harry Flashman in 'Tom Brown's School Days'. (We wrote about his version of Flashman here.)

Morant also is involved in my continuing series of essays about Jack the Ripper, which is currently running here at "Inner Toob". He played Dr. Gull's son-in-law, Dr. Acland, in the 1988 TV movie "Jack The Ripper". He is the second actor from that production to die this year. (The first being TP McKenna who played O'Connor.)

Here is a look at Morant's televersion of Acland.....


DR. THEODORE DYKE ACLAND

AS SEEN IN:
"Jack The Ripper"

AS PLAYED BY:
Richard Morant

From Wikipedia:
Theodore Dyke Acland MD, FRCP, FRCS was a British physician, surgeon and author and was the son-in-law of Sir William Gull, a leading London medical practitioner and one of the Physicians-in-Ordinary to HM Queen Victoria. For many years Acland was the Medical Adviser to the government of the Sudan.

Theodore Dyke Acland was born on 14 November 1851 in Killerton, Devon, England. He was the third son of Sir Henry Wentworth Acland, 1st Baronet, and Sarah Cotton, and the grandson of Sir Thomas Dyke Acland, 10th Baronet. Acland was educated at Winchester College and Christ Church, the University of Oxford, as well as the University of Leipzig, the University of Berlin and St. Thomas' Hospital. He graduated from Oxford University with the degree of Master of Arts (MA).

Acland married Caroline Cameron Gull (1855–1929), the daughter of Sir William Withey Gull and Susan Anne Lacy, on 12 April 1888. They had two children: Aimee Sarah Agnes Dyke Acland was born on 14 May 1889 and died in infancy later that year; and Theodore William Gull Acland was born on 7 Nov 1890. The family resided in Bryanston Square, London W1, England.

Acland became posthumously involved in the Jack the Ripper Royal conspiracy theory when Dr. Thomas E. A. Stowell suggested in a 1970 article in The Criminologist that Sir William Gull, the Royal physician, attempted to certify Prince Albert Victor, Duke of Clarence and Avondale, who was the Ripper. Stowell claimed that his main source was Gull's daughter Caroline, Acland's wife. Having studied under Acland Stowell referred to him as "one time my beloved Chief". Stowell was an executor of Acland's will.

Stephen Knight, in his 1976 book "Jack the Ripper: The Final Solution" went even further, claiming that Jack the Ripper was actually a three-man team, with Gull as the actual killer. All three, Knight alleged, were Freemasons and the killings were carried out according to Masonic ritual. Knight claims that Gull afterwards became insane and was certified in an asylum under the name "Thomas Mason" and a sham funeral service carried out in the pretence that he had died. Cited as evidence in support of the theory is the fact that Acland signed his father-in-law's death certificate in an attempted cover-up. In fact, while Acland's actions were unusual and were not encouraged, they were not illegal.

In the 1988 mini-series "Jack the Ripper" Acland was played by Richard Morant.
Acland died on 16 April 1931 aged 79.

Good night, Mr. Morant, and may God bless....

THE REDJAC CHRONICLES: "JOHNNY RED"

"Look at me, I'm just a regular guy.
But you thought I'd have horns, didn't you? Right?
I'm not a monster, I'm not the devil.
I'm just another human being,
with flaws and vices and problems just like anybody else."
Timothy Carter
'The Mentalist'

And so here we are - at the end of November and the end of our study of Jack the Ripper as seen on TV. We've seen the alien Redjac in its many hosts in the past, beginning in the Victorian Age, and we've tracked it through the 20th Century. We know where it will be in the future as it will leave earth by the 22nd Century to strike terror in the Martian colonies and beyond. Eventually it will be destroyed by the crew of the Enterprise in 2267. (And unless it does make a return to TV, it's really most sincerely dead at that point. The graphic novel format and tie-in literature do not count in the Toobworld Dynamic.)


So the only question left to ponder is - Where is Redjac today?

The concept of Jack The Ripper being alive in the present day in Toobworld was last addressed in the early years of this new millennium. But Redjac will be on Earth until 2105 when it will begin a new reign of terror in the Martian colonies. So for the next century, Redjac is in TV Land, committing murders in major cities around the world in a variety of guises.

And I think we've been seeing Redjac at work for the last couple of seasons on TV.....

I'm adding 'The Mentalist' to the roster of TV shows in which Redjac has been involved.

Redjac is Red John, that's what I'm sayin'.......
'The Mentalist' debuted in 2008, and Red John had been active for over five years before that. So it's pozz'ble, just pozz'ble, that Redjac created this new persona for his hosts after 'Special Unit 2' drove it out of the body of that shape-changing ogre in Chicago.

In 2003, Red John slaughtered Angela and Charlotte Jane, the wife and daughter of Patrick Jane, a fake psychic who dissed Red John on television by bragging about the profile he made about the killer for the authorities. Since then, Jane has been working as a consultant for the CBI (California Bureau of Investigation - apparently it's real.) in the hopes that eventually his path will cross that of Red John again someday.

And Redjac as Red John has engaged Patrick Jane several times since that first deadly attack - killing former allies, rivals, copycats, potential threats to its present identity, others who have insulted its "artistry". It even contacted Patrick Jane in person twice.
The first time, Jane was powerless to do anything about it as he was bound to a chair. Red John wore a mask and concealing robe on that occasion, probably because it was too early in Red John's game plan to reveal its host to its most dogged pursuer since Carl Kolchak, Sir Guy, and Dr. John York. Besides, it's my belief that Redjac was at that moment possessing Jane's fellow "psychic" Kristina Frye. If you listen to Red John as "he" recites the William Blake poem "Tyger, Tyger", "his" voice sounds decidedly female with a false depth. (Although it could be forensics investigator Brett Partridge who has a higher-pitched speaking voice.)

For months Kristina Frye was missing, even believed murdered by Red John, even though "he" likes to stage his victims in a theatrical fashion to be discovered. But eventually she turned up, but too far gone mentally to be of any use in tracking down Red John. I think Redjac used her as its nesting host, as it once did with Dr. Sir William Gull, and the experience, being exposed to all those visions of its hellish existence in its memories, drove Kristina deep into a catatonic fugue state. When Jane was able to make contact with her, Kristina actually believed she was already dead - why should she be any different from past hosts of Redjac?


The next time Patrick Jane faced Red John, the serial killer wasn't ready for the encounter. Jane discovered him in a shopping mall food court, observing Jane's every move. Although he at first denied being the serial killer, he eventually admitted it, taking pleasure in teasing Jane with intimate details on how his wife and daughter died (like the way they smelled of lavender and soap and sweat and kids' shampoo).

That was at the end of Season Three and by the first episode of Season Four, Patrick Jane was convinced that the man he killed wasn't actually Red John, but an acolyte. And this man, Timothy Carter, was still deserving of death - which Jane luckily was able to prove in time to save a young girl's life.

But if we apply my Redjac theory, we can still claim that it was the real Red John, that is to say, the alien Redjac, who was using Carter as its vessel. And so it's likely that Redjac was deliberately taunting Jane, perhaps knowing that he was carrying a concealed gun. And at the fatal moment, Redjac was able to flee Carter (albeit without the telltale Wilhelm Scream) to a nearby host - perhaps the coffee wagon girl, who ran off after the shots. (Perhaps Redjac only used her to get it to a more suitable host in the mall.)
No matter who they ultimately reveal to be Red John, it will be my contention that that person is merely the vessel for Redjac. And it could be that it's not the same human host who killed Jane's family, or who killed CBI secretary Rebecca (who also served as Redjac's host only an hour or so before when CBI agents were gunned down), or who burned the serial cop killer to death... or even the lover of the blind woman.
I'm not the only one who thinks Red John could be more than one person. Keith McDuffee of CliqueClack TV had the same idea:

"I have to say that I'm leaning more toward Red John ultimately being more than one person — more of an association of people — and, in the end, Jane will find that there’s just no end to it all."
He's also spreading the word on another theory about whom Red John really is:

"One unpopular theory I particularly like is that Patrick Jane is Red John, and — due to having a dual personality — he doesn't know it. Something he said in this episode (Season 4, Episode 1 "Scarlet Ribbons") made me raise an eyebrow at that: 'Typical psychopath behavior, inserting himself into the investigation.' Say, maybe that’s what Jane’s doing now in his hunt for Red John?"

Even if it turns out that Patrick Jane is Red John, this theory will hold up. It could be that Redjac didn't possess him until the last possible moment, in order to frame its most ardent hunter for its crimes. We might see someone walk away in that scene who had been the previous host for the alien monster and we'll never know.....

To see a great recap of the Red John arc on 'The Mentalist', click here.


Once 'The Mentalist' has run its course, where does Redjac go from there? If I'm still around, I'd look for the next instance of a truly horrific serial killer (as if there were any other kind!), hopefully fictional, in some future TV series. It could be that between its latest killings as Red John, Redjac has been traveling the country infesting new hosts to facilitate its feeding. These could be some of the killers we've met in episodes of 'Criminal Minds' and perhaps in 'Fringe' as well.....


Beyond that, it's not for me to say, but for the televisiologists who come along after me.

After all, we've got nine decades in which it will need to feed on fear before it reaches Mars in 2105.

And besides, if I look too deeply into the subject, Redjac might just come after me like it did Sir Guy!

I hope you enjoyed the series.....

For more about Red John on 'The Mentalist', check out these articles by the aforementioned Keith McDuffee. The writer for CliqueClack TV is pretty obsessed with the character's true identity, although I don't think he's ever entertained the notion that Red John is Redjac......

http://cliqueclack.com/tv/2009/05/19/the-mentalists-slow-burn-to-a-decent-reveal/

http://cliqueclack.com/tv/2011/02/16/mentalist-red-john-brett-partridge/

http://cliqueclack.com/tv/2009/11/21/did-we-see-red-john-on-the-mentalist/

http://cliqueclack.com/tv/2010/12/13/a-clever-clue-for-red-johns-identity-or-just-something-really-cool/

http://cliqueclack.com/tv/2010/11/18/the-mentalist-tiger-tiger-burning-bright/

http://cliqueclack.com/tv/2011/05/19/mentalist-bradley-whitford-red-john/

http://cliqueclack.com/tv/2011/02/24/mentalist-red-john-gale-bertram/

http://cliqueclack.com/tv/2011/09/22/mentalist-season-4-premiere-review/

And here are some theories on the identity of Red John from the wiki for 'The Mentalist'.....

http://thementalist.wikia.com/wiki/Red_John_Theories

BCnU!
 


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

THE REDJAC CHRONICLES: "A NOVEL WAY TO DIE"


"I love humans.
They always see patterns in things that aren't there."
The Doctor
"Doctor Who" (TV movie)

And here's part two of our "Two for Tuesday" entry into the Redjac Chronicles
....


In an earlier post about Inspector Abberline, I mentioned an episode of 'The Veil' about "Jack The Ripper". I said that it was a fabrication on the part of that master serlinguist, Boris Karloff. (Karloff was not only a serlinguist for 'The Veil', but also for 'Thriller'.)
But then I thought I had been too harsh in that assessment, that since I had found room for all of the other Ripper wannabe's, even "The Beast" put down by 'Special Unit 2', then couldn't a place be found in the Redjac Chronicles for clairvoyant Walter Durst and insane medical man Dr. G. R. Willowden?
My first inclination was to make Dr. Willowden responsible for the death of Frances Coles. Since Willowden was never seen in that episode of 'The Veil', we could then claim Nicholas Day's portrayal of the Ripper in 'Goodnight, Sweetheart' was that of the doctor. But the fates of both characters are too different to be reconciled.

Ultimately, I decided I made the right choice. Too much of the "Jack The Ripper" story in 'The Veil' was repeated elsewhere in the Chronicles, so I thought it best to leave it as a roman a clef tale of Toobworld.

There are several TV series that fall in the category of "Tales Of Toobworld". (I'm not talking about the hundreds of adaptations of real world books.) These are the visualized versions of books that only exist within the TV Universe.

Here are three examples of the Tales of Toobworld:
"PUSHING DAISIES" - This example is of a novel come to life with occasional narration by the author (an unknown character who sounds rather suspiciously like the actor Jim Dale.) The story of Ned the Pieman and his living dead girlfriend could thus be fictional or based on "real life". And as such, the characters we saw onscreen may not have really looked as they did in "real life".

(The precedence for this is the character Dorothy in the "Will You Two Be My Wife?" episode of 'The Dick Van Dyke Show' - one of several chapters from Rob Petrie's novel-in-progress as seen on the show. As played by Barbara Bain, she is of course, gorgeous! But in Rob's reality, her real name was Daphne and she was short and dumpy and spoke with a lisp.)

In fact, I like the idea that Chi McBride's private eye character Emerson Cod (a rather fishy nom de plume - sorry about that, Chief!) was actually a "nom de toob" version of bounty hunter Salathiel Harms, played by Rosey Grier in two episodes of 'Kojak'.

"BURN NOTICE" - What we see each week on screen in this second example is the next chapter in the autobiography of Michael Westen, former spy. Since he was narrating, the characters on screen were extremely close approximations of his family, friends, enemies, and clients.


"JACK OF ALL TRADES" - This last example has no narration, but because of the events depicted in the series, it had to be a fictional story! The South Seas adventures of colonial spy Jack Styles in 1801 may have had a kernel of toobish truth to it, but that was smothered by the Jack-pack of lies. Allegedly, Jack Styles met Ben Franklin and Catherine the Great - years after they died; Lewis and Clark showed up looking like escapees from Rob Zombie's version of "Deliverance"; and Napoleon Bonaparte was a midget.


Why all this balderdash? I think Jack Styles was such a womanizer that he contracted syphilis and was insane by the time he wrote his memoirs.

So... getting back to the "Jack The Ripper" episode of 'The Veil'.....

It will be the contention of Toobworld Central that the characters in this story were the roman a clef versions of people who actually were involved in the Ripper case - Walter Durst the clairvoyant is based on psychic Robert Lees; Chief Inspector McWilliam is the stand-in for Frederick Abberline; and although never seen, Dr. Willowden would be Dr. Sir William Withey Gull.
As they would say on 'Dragnet', only the names have been changed.

Just the facts, Ma'am!
 
Jack is resting. Be reborn.
To finish up on Wednesday morn.”
"Jack the Ripper"
'Kolchak: The Night Stalker'


THE REDJAC CHRONICLES: "THE DREAM SENTINEL"

I thought we might do a "Two for Tuesday" with the posts about Jack the Ripper as seen on TV. Here's part one.......

'The Others'
"Don't Dream It's Over"

Summary:
A restless Mark is disturbed by his continuing dreams where he falls in love with Mary Jane, a mysterious beautiful woman from 19th-century London who also sees Mark only in her dreams.


When Redjac/Ian Pascoe murdered Mary Jane Kelly, it was unaware its actions were being observed from the future (March of 2000) via the dreams of Dr. Mark Gabriel. As for how the Ripper looked to Mark, the differences between the physical appearance of the "true" Ripper and the one in Mark's dream-state can be attributed to the influence of his sub-conscious mind. In trying to perceive such a horrific individual, his mind summoned someone from Mark's past who scared the bejabbers out of him - an abusive gym coach, perhaps, a predatory priest, or a "funny uncle". No matter who among 'The Others' could have been the inspiration for Mark's versions of the Ripper and Mary Jane, Redjac/Pascoe still played out the scenario as History records it.

BCnU!

AS SEEN ON TV: STORMIN' NORMAN

GENERAL NORMAN SCHWARZKOPF

AS SEEN ON:
'Saturday Night Live'

AS PLAYED BY:
Chris Farley

BCnU!

Monday, November 28, 2011

LIFE AFTER PRIME-TIME - "THE SHIELD" THREE YEARS LATER

One of my favorite TV columnists, Alan Sepinwall, has made note that it's been three years since 'The Shield' went off the air. Within the show's reality, Vic Mackey got immunity for all of his crimes (even the murder of a cop!), but according to the terms of his contract with ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement), he was going to be stuck at a desk doing paperwork for the next three years.

So, those three years are now up. And Sepinwall wondered what might be happening in the life of Vic Mackey now. I wondered the same thing when the year in prison for the 'Seinfeld' Four was completed in 1999.......

Click here to read Sepinwall's post about life after 'The Shield'.

And to read more by Alan Sepinwall, check out his HitFix blog "What's Alan Watching?" at the link to be found there to the left....

BCnU!

THE REDJAC CHRONICLES: "20TH CENTURY, HERE WE COME!"

Madam Li Yu:
"Jack! You're back!"
Dr. John "Jack" York:
"I always come back."
'The Outer Limits'

Not long after returning to the early months of 1891 from the future of 1999, Redjac left England for America to ply its trade in the land of opportunity. And by April of that year it struck again, killing a sixty year old prostitute named Carrie Brown. Often called "Old Shakespeare" because she liked to recite the works of the Bard, Carrie Brown was found strangled and disemboweled in a seedy Bowery hotel.
It is unknown who was possessed by Redjac to be its host for the killing, but it most likely was the same host it inhabited for the ocean voyage to America. (I couldn't find a fictional ocean liner from any TV productions to serve as the vessel, so I'm leaning toward the Majestic of the White Star line, which was launched just the year before.) Since the crossing of the Atlantic took about twelve days, Redjac must have left England around April 10th or so.

If Redjac needed to feed during that voyage, it probably disposed of the body overboard and let the victim be chalked up as "lost at sea", rather than risk exposure in so confined a space.

The actual murderer was never caught and Ripper talk did find its way into the media. But the police framed an Algerian resident of the East River Hotel based only on dubious circumstantial evidence. It would be eleven years before he would be exonerated and by that time, Redjac had already moved on to several other cities.

I don't know if Redjac killed again in New York City at that time, but according to statistics compiled by a "Ripperologist" named Sir Guy, "Jack the Ripper" focused his attentions on Jersey City from 1891 to 1892. (A known Ripper suspect in the real world, George Chapman, was living in Jersey City at that time, which was why Carrie Brown's death was believed to be the work of Jack - she knew Chapman. So for Toobworld purposes, the televersion of George Chapman was Redjac's next host.)

Redjac/Chapman may have thought that city in New Jersey would not be as well-guarded as would be New York City, which could boast not only a strong police force, but also heroic individuals like private eye Nick Carter.
By 1961, Sir Guy had spent thirty years in the studies of Jack the Ripper and not only tracked him across the 20th Century, but he also believed that the Ripper was immortal. The only thing was, Sir Guy believed the Ripper to be one individual, rather than a series of hosts for an alien life force.

Sir Guy's theory was that Jack the Ripper only struck every three years and eight months. And that each series of murders was designed to extend the killer's life span. Also, Sir Guy believed that each series of murders was plotted out to form some kind of religious symbol when viewed on a map.
Here's what I think was actually going on - at some point in Sir Guy's thirty years of research, , Redjac became aware that it had a "hunter". Those religious symbol patterns noticed by Sir Guy were just Redjac's way of toying with him, as a cat would with a mouse. As for length of time between each series of murders as pointed out by Sir Guy - three years and eight months? Perhaps it just happened that way in the beginning by coincidence, but then Redjac was O'Bviously toying with Sir Guy again by continuing that pattern.

However, in the Toobworld Dynamic, Sir Guy's timetable was flawed from the beginning because we saw Jack The Ripper continue to kill after the "Canonical Five", starting with Lady Ellen and continuing with those other women from the real world. And Redjac would have needed to feed again long before that three year, eight month "down-time' had passed.

So it's likely that Redjac simply switched the style of how it dispatched its victims in order to avoid notice by Sir Guy during each hiatus.

Here is a list of those cities in which Sir Guy believed Jack the Ripper to have operated after leaving London:

First up would be Jersey City, New Jersey,
then Shanghai,
Vladivostock,
Dusseldorf,
Cleveland,
Bordeaux,
Calcutta,
and Milan.

By my rather poor calculations, that probably brought Jack's trail of victims up to 1921-1922. According to the shipboard computer on the starship Enterprise, by there would also have been eight more women murdered by Redjac in Shanghai in 1932, so it returned to the scene of the 1896 crime. Therefore, there are plenty of other cities plagued by the presence of Jack the Ripper until April of 1961, when Sir Guy postulated his theories to the police in the current city of Ripper-like murders.
(I'm not sure where the original short story by Robert Bloch places "Yours Truly, Jack The Ripper", but I'm thinking it was San Francisco and not New York for the TV version. There was a reference to a newspaper from New York which covered their town's spate of mutilation killings and there seemed to be plenty of more open spaces for city streets - as well as for a cemetary scene that felt like California just in the way it looked - but there was also mention of a subway from which Jack followed one of his victims. And in the night scenes there was a foggy atmosphere which could be found down by the docks in Frisco.)
In between those Ripper-styled killings which Redjac used to taunt Sir Guy, the alien may have simply strangled the women to get the fear produced upon which it fed.
Why there was one woman in New York City during the sweltering summer of 1956, Ellen Grant, who was so frightened of this "new" serial killer dubbed "the Creeper", that her fear must have been palpable to Redjac from blocks away. She drew him to her like a moth to a flame. (Her attack was depicted in the 'Alfred Hitchcock Presents' episode entitled "The Creeper".)

But by April of 1961, as Redjac was dispatching women in San Francisco, once again in the Ripper style, it had grown tired of the decades-long game it had been playing with Sir Guy. The British criminologist, despite the flaws in his theories, had been the only one to have come closest to the truth since Dr. John York in 1888. And so Sir Guy became the latest victim of the Ripper, just outside a strip club (which featured the televersion of real world stripper Beverly Hills.)
No longer needing to play any games with how it killed its victims, Redjac's next recorded sprees in Toobworld both took place in 1974.......

"If by chance you happened to be in the Windy City
between May 28th and June 2nd of this year,
you would have had very good reason to be terrified.
During this period, Chicago was being stalked by a horror
so frightening, so fascinating,
that it ranks with the great mysteries of all times.
It’s been the fictional subject of novels, plays, films, even an opera.
Now, here, are the true facts….."
Carl Kolchak
'The Night Stalker'
In a nutshell: The INS reporter was able to electrocute this new host for Jack The Ripper.

But that was only the human body. Redjac easily escaped death by electrocution, and would later turn up in Kiev, USSR. There it killed five more women.
Apparently it was believed that Jack the Ripper again returned to Chicago during the 1990's, where 'Special Unit 2" engaged 'The Beast' in combat. The team erroneously believed that it was an ogre which was a missing link between mankind and the apes.

However, keeping this all in line with an overall Toobworld cohesiveness, I'm going to suggest that particular ogre was a child of rape between some poor unfortunate Victorian woman and Dr. Henry Jekyll (even though it was claimed to be over 300 years old). Iit was conceived during that phase when Jekyll was the brutish monster Edward Hyde and that altered DNA of his created this new horror.
And so Redjac must have possessed the ogre to carry out more murders in the Ripper style, but it was not the original Jack the Ripper host. And taking a cue from a previous host, Dr. Sir William Gull, Redjac/Ogre was hiding in plain sight of the 'Special Unit 2' team.

Combining Jack the Ripper with Dr, Jekyll and Mr. Hyde...... Apparently even Redjac enjoyed the idea of a Wold Newton-like crossover.....

BCnU!