There was another point of televisiological interest to be found in the "Rocket" episode of 'Endeavour', seen two weekends ago on 'Masterpiece Mystery':
Crown Prince Nabil was presented as a representative of the United Hashemite Kingdoms. From what I've read about the Hashemites, they are an Arab dynasty whose power lay in the alliances in the Hejaz region of Arabia. But their main seat of power could be the Hashemite Kingdoms of Jordan, which before 1966 would have included the West Bank.
In the TV Universe, the "United Hashemite Kingdoms" could have been more, a confederation of states in which we might situate a fictional Middle Eastern country or two. Actually it would probably have to be made up entirely of fictional Arab states in the region due to the presence of Crown Prince Nabil.
Had he been just "Prince Nabil", we could have palmed off as a lesser member of the extended royal family of Jordan, serving as leader of the trade delegation to negotiate for a shipment of Standfast rockets. But as the Crown Prince, that meant that he was the heir to the throne, and the dictates concerning the correlation of the United States President in the real world to Toobworld must be applied to the televersions of other real countries as well.
But if the United Hashemite Kingdoms is a fictional alliance of states, then we can fit in several Middle Eastern countries that can be found only in TV shows. And Crown Prince Nabil could be the heir to the throne of just one of them, rather than of the united kingdoms as a whole.
Here is a list of possible candidates, winnowed down from my full list of fictional Middle Eastern countries in Toobworld:
- Acabia (‘The Man From U.N.C.L.E.')
- Agir ("Mission: Impossible")
- Aramy ("McCloud")
- Bahkan ("Mission: Impossible")
- Baraga ("Banacek")
- Baracq ("Capitol")
- Barat ('H.G. Wells' The Invisible Man')
- Beyaquin ("H.G. Wells' The Invisible Man")
- Durani ("McHale"s Navy")
- Elkabar ("Mission: Impossible")
- Karak ("Mission: Impossible")
- Phaedira ("The Saint")
- Qamadan ("Mission: Impossible")
- QaChi ("The Joey Bishop Show")
- Suaria ("Columbo")
- Tahir ("The Beverly Hillbillies")
- Tankir ("Another World")
- Zalamar ("The Girl From U.N.C.L.E.")
I removed countries that played a role in 'The West Wing' and in 'The Agency', because both those series take place in alternate TV dimensions. I also removed Beldad from 'The Adventures of Superman' because it is probably located to the west of Egypt. For similar reasons I have removed Miristan, visited in an episode of 'CHAOS' (NOT KAOS!), as I think it lies farther east of Iraq, along the southern borders of Russia.
Also, in an earlier post this year, I combined the countries of Barat, Baraga, and Baracq into one.
Even so, the list is still far too unwieldy and one might be tempted to drop the countries mentioned in the various sitcoms. But there is one country I'd want to see remain no matter what.
Suaria is the country that served as the homeland for the major players in the 'Columbo' episode "A Case Of Immunity'. What prevented the Lieutenant from making an arrest once he figured out the identity of the killer was his declaration of diplomatic immunity.
So all of those kingdoms and tribal states that have been mentioned over the years on various TV shows are probably no more than "vest pocket kingdoms" (a phrase coined by John Bellairs in "The Face In The Frost"), which don't take up much room on the map of the Middle East. And their borders could be dissolved in favor of the one set of boundaries to delineate the United Hashemite Kingdoms.
That way, they're a lot easier to manage than the glut of fictional Middle Eastern countries to be found in the Romance Novel sub-division of BookWorld:
And that's my geography lesson for the day.
May I have my blue pie slice now?