Tuesday, May 22, 2012

PAPER TRAIL



Since the mid-1980's, a particular newspaper keeps popping up in Toobworld, in sitcoms as well as dramas (and even in at least one blipvert!)

It doesn't matter what publication it is, or where the show takes place. We never see its masthead, just the same pages with the same layout and stories.

As I said, it's been happening since the mid-1980's. Here are two examples - one of the earliest* and one of the more recent sightings:


I think you can see why I chose those two examples. (If not, may I suggest corrective eyewear?)

Some sharp-eyed viewer has collected plenty of frame grabs of these newspaper pages as they appeared in Toobworld (as well as in a couple of movies.) Here's the link to see the collection.

When other props are purchased from places like Independent Studio Services, there's no need to look for further splainin. A box of Nuts & More cereal shows up in an episode of 'Chuck' or 'Grey's Anatomy' or 'In Plain Sight', we don't go thinking it's the exact same box.

But newspaper layouts change daily all across the country. Since all of these shows take place in plenty of different locations over a long span of time, there's no way that they're copies of the same paper.

I think it has to be just the one copy. And only of those two pages at that. Somehow it keeps reappearing, perhaps as an omen, throughout Time and Space.

I would say magic has to be involved. Not necessarily as an omen of doom, maybe not even as a milder warning. Nothing particularly dire seems to happen after the pages make their appearance. Perhaps some spectral force is using the paper as a cry for help. But so far, nobody seems to have noticed.

I used to run a monthly category called "Fanficcer's Friend" which provided suggestions for those interested in writing fanfic. And to illustrate possible team-ups of TV characters who were not previously connected, I would share frame grabs and other pictures of the proposed actors involved - from any other source except television. I figured those pictures had to be considered set in stone within the realm of Toobworld.


For example, a picture of Peter Falk with Gene Barry had to be from the first 'Columbo' pilot, "Prescription Murder". We couldn't use it again to claim that it was actually a picture of lawyer Daniel J. O'Brien ('The Trials Of O'Brien') with Chief of Detectives Captain Amos Burke ('Burke's Law').

But the rules don't apply to pictures from movies. They come from the Cineverse, not Toobworld. And although there are some overlaps along the "Borderlands" and some movies totally absorbed into the TV Universe (the 'Star Trek' franchise, for example), they are two distinct realms of fictional existence.

So here's a frame grab from the 2003 remake of "A Texas Chainsaw Massacre":


And we can see that the newspaper was used to cover up this poor girl's body. And it's absorbed some of her blood......

The artifacts found in 'Warehouse 13' are imbued with some sort of energy from either their previous owner or from some event with which they were connected. The objects sold out of Vendredi's Antiques, as seen in 'Friday The 13th: The Series', were cursed by the Devil. Either one of these two sources could be the splainin for why this newspaper page keeps maifesting itself all over the country.

Maybe the spirit of that murdered girl has become tied to that newspaper page and as such it has the power to reappear anywhere. And "any-when". (Since we're not taking that frame grab as being literally from that movie, we don't have to be tied down to the murder as having taken place in 2003 when the movie was released.)

AND THIS JUST IN:  Team Toobworld member and Grand Poobah of the TCVU, Robert Wronski, Jr., wrote to me - "If it helps, the 2003 Texas Chainsaw Masssacre remake takes place in the 1970s, not 2003."  So that gives plenty of time for the girl's spirit to begin manifesting as those newspaper pages.......

Property directors on all of these TV shows seem to enjoy making sure those two pages show up in their productions - in much the same way as sound engineers squirrel away the "Wilhelm Scream" into the movies and TV shows they work on. So those newspaper pages will continue to appear in the TV universe, probably long after I'm done as a custodian of the Toobworld Dynamic. And that means we won't see 'Warehouse 13' agents Myka and Pete snag, bag, and tag the phantom newspaper any time soon......


BCnU!

* Although 'Married... With Children' appeared first in 1985, 'Everybody Hates Chris' - which wasn't broadcast until decades later - takes place earlier in the Toobworld timeline. So the appearance of the newspaper in one of its episodes (Click the link above to see it!) may be the earliest sighting within the "reality" of Toobworld.

1 comment:

Robert Wronski said...

If it helps, the 2003 Texas Chainsaw Masssacre remake takes place in the 1970s, not 2003.