Here we are, on the Fourth of July, Independence Day - the most important holiday for the United States of America as a whole, the day when Americans should be showing their patriotic pride.
So who are we inducting into the TV Crossover Hall of Fame for this month on this day?
Sir Richard Carlisle was an English newspaper magnate in the early decades of the 20th Century. He owned several newspapers and probably magazines as well.
Carlisle came close to marrying Lady Mary Crawley of Downton, but he bitterlystepped aside when it became clear that she was in love with a distant cousin, Matthew Crawley.
Sir Richard Carlisle only appeared in six episodes of 'Downton Abbey' and may not every be seen again on that show, let alone any other TV series.
So why should he be inducted into the Television Crossover Hall Of Fame?
Riddle me this, Bates my man: What's black and white and read all over?*
That's right - those newspapers he owned.
There have been several fictional newspapers in British TV that could be part of Sir Richard's publishing empire. Here are just a few:
- The Canley Evening News ('The Bill')
- The Financial Preview ('The New Statesman')
- The Daily Yell ('Lord Peter Wimsey')
- The Walford Gazette ('EastEnders')
- The Cardiff Gazette ('Doctor Who')
If it turned out that the owners of these newspapers were mentioned, it could be that Carlisle sold off some of his holdings decades earlier. (Or in the case of the Daily Yell, purchased it after that Ian Carmichael series ended.)
The Yorkshire Observer was a real paper, long defunct.
It probably can't be claimed as a Carlisle publication.
The same holds true for the Western Mail in 'Doctor Who'
[Still in publication, however]
In this fifteenth anniversary year of the TVXOHOF, the mantra is "What I say, goes." And that's why Sir Richard Carlisle is being inducted.
On a more metaphysical level, the immortal soul of Richard Carlisle may have shown up in the TV Universe twice before. Previously, he could have been Karl Frederick Wahlstedt, the police commissioner of Stockholm in 1790. (The resemblance isn't exact as in most cases of TV reincarnation, but 'twill serve.)
And many thousands of years before that, across the solar system to the far side of Earth Prime-Time's orbit, he may have been born to rerun as Sir Jorah Marmont of the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros on the planet Mondas. Not only do Ser Jorah and Sir Richard look exactly alike, but Ser Jorah was also an embittered soul who was forced to step aside and leave the woman he loved.
Like I said: what I say, goes
- 'Downton Abbey'
- 'Game Of Thrones'
- 'Anno 1790'
- 'Doctor Who'
- 'The Bill'
- 'The New Statesman'
- 'Lord Peter Wimsey'
* That joke really only works when said aloud, doesn't it....?
Sir Richard Carlisle:
"I doubt we'll meet again."
Violet, Dowager Countess of Grantham:
"Do you promise?"