Tuesday, February 26, 2013


Ellery Queen and Mr. Lucky both began life in the printed page- cousins Frederic Dannay and Manfred Lee created Ellery Queen, and Milton Holmes wrote the story which introduced Mr. Lucky to the world. So their home-base would be the fictional universe of BookWorld.

They both could next be found in the movie world known as the Cineverse. Ellery Queen had more incarnations, with most of his films starring William Gargan or Ralph Bellamy in the role. There was only one version of Lucky, but he was played by Cary Grant, so there yuh go......

And then we come to my favorite realm - the fictional universe for television which I have dubbed "Toobworld".

Although there have been plenty of incarnations of Ellery Queen in the TV Universe, Toobworld Central has broken its own rule and decreed that the first version is NOT the official portrayal for Earth Prime-Time. That honor goes to the 1975 adaptation which starred Jim Hutton. That show got the character, the time period, and most importantly the quality of the mysteries perfectly.

And of those three fictional universes - BookWorld, the Cineverse, and Toobworld - it's only in Earth Prime-Time where it can be theoretically established that Ellery Queen and Mr. Lucky share the same world. They might even know each other.

Here's what I wrote in Facebook last week:

In the "Gordon Caper" episode of "Mr. Lucky", he called Lt. Rovacs to report a murder. But the Lieutenant wanted to know who was calling. "What did you tell him?" asked his assistant Andamo (grandson of Artemus Gordon.) "I said I was Ellery Queen," replied Lucky. "I don't think he believed me."

Nothing about that disputes the existence of EQ in Lucky's world.....

Too often these days, TV writers feel they have to over-explain their references, and in doing so, they just destroy the effect of that reference. It also ruins the chance to use those references as connections.

But Lucky never mentioned Ellery Queen as a fictional character. It could easily be interpreted as a mention of a "real" person in Toobworld. Perhaps Lucky actually knows Ellery Queen!

And that's the way I'm going to consider it for the Toobworld Dynamic!

Here's the actual episode if you want to see it in full. The reference to Ellery Queen occurs starting at the 8:50 mark....


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