Wednesday, January 4, 2012

TDVDS-50: THE TIME LORD AND THE PRIME-TIME WRITER


On New Year's Day, the focus of this blog was all 'Doctor Who' - 25 posts, one every hour, midnight to midnight. It was my 3rd annual "Who's On First" marathon and I hope you got the chance to give a look-see-view.


Back in October, I did a similar marathon, this time for 'The Dick Van Dyke Show' in celebration of its fiftieth anniversary. It was a lot of fun to do, but I don't think I could make it an annual affair. First off, it would kill me. Eventually the "Who's On First" marathon will probably kill me as well, but 'Doctor Who' is still going strong (heading to its own fiftieth anniversary next year!), with quite an archive of trivia from which I can spin my wild theories.

But I am going to write about 'The Dick Van Dyke Show' once a month until October, to keep the fiftieth anniversary celebration going throughout the year.

As I worked on setting up the "Who's On First" project, I remembered that I needed to get a topic ready for the January entry about Rob Petrie and Friends. And it made me wonder if I could find a link between 'The Dick Van Dyke Show' and 'Doctor Who'.

'Doctor Who' can almost re-invent itself with each episode because of its premise, and as such I've been able to find connections to many other TV shows for it.

But 'The Dick Van Dyke Show'?

As the super-computer Deep Though would muse: "Tricky......."

It's not like I couldn't find any connection to science fiction for the sitcom. Leaving aside the episodes "Uhny Uftz" and "It May Look Like A Walnut" which both had more rational splainins, I turned to sci-fi during the October marathon to splain away one of the three men who played Rob Petrie's father over the course of the series. (I made the claim that Sam Petrie as played by J. Pat O'Malley was actually "The Fugitive" he played in an episode of 'The Twilight Zone'.)

There haven't been too many 'Doctor Who' episodes about television - the First Doctor and his companions watched the Beatles at one point; the Tenth Doctor battled The Wire to prevent her from taking over the world through the telecast of Queen Elizabeth II's coronation; and the Eleventh Doctor used the broadcast of the 1969 Moon landing to stop the threat of the Silence.

I wanted to find some way to connect Buddy Sorrell (my favorite character from the show, and an "inspiration" in my way of life) to my favorite of the Doctors - Patrick Troughton as the Second Incarnation. Or maybe to the Seventh, who could suggest Buddy with a grimace.

But that would probably have meant fanfic and I skate too closely to that controversial format as it is.

While doing my laundry this morning, I found a bit o' trivia that should serve, that falls into the area of "Six Degrees Of Separation" but without Kevin Bacon. (And considering we're dealing with a Time Lord and a writer, without Sir Francis Bacon as well!)

I'm going to claim "The Masterpiece" as the link to 'Doctor Who'.
While at an auction to get some suggestions for a comedy bit for Alan Brady (perhaps playing a funny auctioneer), Rob and his co-writers Buddy and Sally accidentally - and successfully! - bid on a clown painting by an artist known only as "Artanis". The auctioneer was unfamiliar with the man's work, but he knew the frame was least worth about fifty bucks.

Once he got it home, Rob discovered that there was another painting and he uncovered that by using turpentine on the cover painting until he uncovered a facsimile of Grant Wood's masterpiece "American Gothic" - only this time the couple in the painting were smiling.

An art expert examined the piece and declared it a piece of rubbish painted by Nathaniel Goode, who kidded around too much with what basically were forgeries. The expert, Mr. Holdecker, also informs Rob that by uncovering the not-so-good Goode painting, he had ruined the real piece of art - that clown painting by Artanis was actually painted by Frank Sinatra! And as such, could have fetched Rob a pretty penny.

Here's what the TARDIS wiki has to say about Ol' Blue Eyes:

Frank Sinatra was an American singer and actor in the 20th century. The Doctor was on close personal terms with him, using a cabin owned by Sinatra to hold a party with Albert Einstein and Father Christmas. In 1952, the Eleventh Doctor and Sinatra were both present at a Hollywood party where they performed a duet. (DW: A Christmas Carol)
“Me and Father Christmas, Frank Sinatra’s hunting lodge, 1952.”

So there's the connection - the Doctor personally knew Frank Sinatra and even spent some time in 1952 at Sinatra's hunting lodge with Albert Einstein and Father Christmas. 
Meanwhile Rob Petrie owned - and ruined! - a painting by the crooner. (Over the course of his career, although not seen on screen, I'll bet Rob got to meet Sinatra - maybe he guest-starred once on 'The Alan Brady Show'?)

Yes, it is a tenuous connection. But it's better than what I previously came up with, also from the episode "The Masterpiece".......
Remember that "thing" Laura bought at the auction for thirty dollars? ("Eine Zackh" as the art expert called it.) I was going to claim that it was part of the TARDIS itself, probably from back when it had a different design while under the control of the Eighth Incarnation of the Doctor.....
We saw in the latest Christmas special that the Doctor had taken some parts of the TARDIS out to fix them, and the Third Incarnation took out the console to fix it during "The Inferno". Maybe the Eighth Doctor did the same, but this part failed to make it back in. Like the Doctor said in the episode "Day Of The Moon": "There's always a bit left over!"

But like I said, that's more of a stretch than Stretch Petrie........

BCnU!

A VERY big thanks go out to Tay Mueller for the incredible picture that graces the top of this page.  With my request on such short notice, she came through with a beauty.  And not only this one, but two more as well!  Bless you, Tay!

2 comments:

RobertEWronskiJr said...

I think the difference between what we do and fan fic is that fan fic creates stories meant to be an extension of the canon of a series, but inevitably can't be because that series will travel eventually in a divergent path, while we simply try to 'splain away the contradictions in order to keep some semblance of order in the shared realities we monitor, but we are willing to adjust our theories when those shows go in divergent paths.

Crazy Ivan said...

As I recall, the only thing good about Goode was his wood.

Well, at least you didn't claim that Rob was really Burt the Chimney Sweep, and that his friend Mary Poppins was a time lord.