Friday, November 2, 2012


"Clown, hobo, ballet dancer, bagpiper, and an Army major -
a collection of question marks.
Five improbable entities stuck together into a pit of darkness.
No logic, no reason, no explanation;
just a prolonged nightmare in which fear, loneliness,
and the unexplainable walk hand in hand through the shadows.
In a moment, we'll start collecting clues as to the whys, the whats, and the wheres.
We will not end the nightmare, we'll only explain it - because this is the Twilight Zone."

The Clown

Dr. Strang

Murray Matheson

Victor Gervais, agent of THRUSH

Accidentally left behind, part of a larger order

The Clown was the last of a set of twelve, perhaps even more. Each doll in the order was dressed as a clown, but each was modeled after different real people from New York.

Twelve of those dolls were based on the people who served on a jury which convicted THRUSH operative Victor Gervais and sent him to prison. Gervais intended for each of those dolls to be sent to each corresponding juror who condemned him.  The dolls would serve as a warning, a threat, that he would have his revenge on them.

Apparently the clown has a long history of being a symbol of death. (I don't know why, but that's what it says in Wikipedia and they're always trustworthy......)

His plan was to get revenge on the people responsible for his incarceration once he got out, which is why I think there was more than just the twelve juror dolls. He probably ordered clown dolls who resembled the judge, the prosecutor, the detective who arrested him, and perhaps even his own defense attorney.

However, when the dolls were picked up, the clown doll that resembled Dr. Strang was accidentally left behind. And Gervais didn't notice the omission until it was too late. By then he had already been arrested again for his attack on U.N.C.L.E. agents Napoleon Solo and Mandy Stephenson (who would go on to work for CONTROL as Agent 99.)

Sending such warnings happens every now and then in Toobworld, going back to at least the 1870s. Then an artist named Jeremiah Skull sent puppets in the likeness of his intended targets, the people responsible for his incarceration and eventual disfigurement. Jervis Tetch, the Mad Hatter, abducted the jurors in his case and put their hats on display.

The difference between the puppet people made by Skull and these clown dolls commissioned by Gervais was that Skull's creations were all dressed as their inspirations, while Gervais turned each of his potential victims into clowns.

Why did I choose Victor Gervais as the likely culprit for this client? Clowns may have been an obsession for Gervais, as previously pointed out by Toobworld Central. Eventually he came to embody the moniker of "Clown Prince Of Crime".

I don't know if he was able to kill any of his intended targets or if he ever got to deliver any of the dolls. I know some of my choices for other clown dolls survived long after the dolls were picked up by Gervais (as will be seen in the next post on this topic, a Super Six List!) But when it comes to this doll that was left behind and which ended up in the donation bin, it may have proven difficult for him to track down the intended target.

Dr. Strang had spent most of his career in New York City as a doctor, but he felt as if there was something more he could have been doing to help the human race. And so he finally uprooted his life and moved to the West Indies to help the poor and downtrodden there. He also became an outspoken critic of the belief in voodoo, which ironically killed a man he came to call a friend.

Dr. Strang would have been both amused and disgusted had he learned that a doll was meant to be instrumental in his death as well......

You don't know how much I really wanted the clown without pity to have been based on Felix Mulholland from 'Banacek'. But Felix's bookstore of rare prints was a part of the Boston arts scene for many decades and it would have been harder to make the case for his relocation from Manhattan to Boston than it was for Dr. Strang's move to the West Indies.

However, I think Dr. Strang could still be an identical cousin to Felix Mulholland, perhaps to every contemporary character played by Murray Matheson.

  • 'Night Gallery' - "The Doll of Death"
  • 'The Man From U.N.C.L.E.' - "The Never-Never Affair"
  • 'Get Smart' - "The Reluctant Redhead"
  • 'Batman'
  • 'The Wild Wild West' - "The Night Of The Puppeteer"
  • 'Banacek'


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