Saturday, February 8, 2014


Not every movie that will be covered this year will get as expansive a treatment as "Casablanca" did last month.  The February selection is a good example.

"Shaft" rode the "Blacksploitation" wave of the early 70's to be a box office hit which spawned two sequels - "Shaft's Big Score!" and "Shaft In Africa".  And then the TV series came out which kind of fizzled out the sizzle for the franchise.

I don't remember it well enough as to whether or not it watered down from the energy of the movies, or if the audience was tired of the concept after three years, but 'Shaft' only lasted about seven episodes.  At the IMDb, they make a good point about the show alternating with Jimmy Stewart's series 'Hawkins'.....  You couldn't get two more different series sharing the same time slot!

I certanly can't say with any certainty if the two sequels can be absorbed into Earth Prime-Time, but I see no problem with "Shaft" being a part of Toobworld.  The only character to translate over from the Cineverse to the Toobworld Dynamic was John Shaft himself.  His police contact was Lt. Vic Androzzi, as played by Charles Cioffi, but in Toobworld he dealt with Lt. Al Rossi played by Eddie Barth.  (Even the names of the cops seemed to get watered down for the televersion.)

But at least Earth Prime-Time has its own version of John Shaft, that bad mutha-# (Hey, I'm just talking about Shaft!)  And I use "has" because I see no reason to think Shaft is dead in Toobworld, especially since Richard Roundtree is very much alive.

And having the TV series version means I can probably put the John Shaft of the malt liquor ads into some other TV dimension.....


Friday, February 7, 2014


On the long-running classic 'Perry Mason', five actors seemed to have cornered the market on playing the judges who presided over the courtroom battles between Mason and D.A. Hamilton Burger:
  • Willis Bouchey
  • Morris Ankrum
  • Kenneth MacDonald
  • S. John Launer
  • John Gallaudet
Each of them played a judge on the show for more than twenty episodes each, with Launer taking the lead by racking up 33 credits.

  1. The Case of the Curious Bride (18 October 1958) 
  2. The Case of the Fancy Figures (13 December 1958)   
  3. The Case of the Jaded Joker (21 February 1959)  
  4. The Case of the Howling Dog (11 April 1959)  
  5. The Case of the Lame Canary (27 June 1959)  
  6. The Case of the Spurious Sister (3 October 1959) 
  7. The Case of the Golden Fraud (21 November 1959)   
  8. The Case of the Lucky Legs (19 December 1959)
  9. The Case of the Prudent Prosecutor (30 January 1960) 
  10. The Case of the Nimble Nephew (23 April 1960)   
  11. The Case of the Ill-Fated Faker (1 October 1960)   
  12. The Case of the Loquacious Liar (3 December 1960)  
  13. The Case of the Envious Editor (7 January 1961)   
  14. The Case of the Meddling Medium (21 October 1961)   
  15. The Case of the Injured Innocent (18 November 1961)  
  16. The Case of the Tarnished Trademark (20 January 1962) 
  17. The Case of the Melancholy Marksman (24 March 1962)
  18. The Case of the Counterfeit Crank (28 April 1962)   
  19. The Case of the Hateful Hero (25 October 1962) 
  20. The Case of the Stand-In Sister (15 November 1962)   
  21. The Case of the Libelous Locket (7 February 1963)  
  22. The Case of the Elusive Element (11 April 1963)  
  23. The Case of the Nervous Neighbor (13 February 1964)
  24. The Case of the Ugly Duckling (21 May 1964)  
  25. The Case of the Frustrated Folksinger (7 January 1965) 
  26. The Case of the Thermal Thief (14 January 1965)  
  27. The Case of the Telltale Tap (4 February 1965)   
  28. The Case of the Baffling Bug (12 December 1965)   
  29. The Case of the Fanciful Frail (27 March 1966)  
That's only 29 episodes (in case you were counting.)  But there were four episodes in which his justice actually had a name:
  1. The Case of the Glittering Goldfish (17 January 1959) - Judge Thomas J. Hood  
  2. The Case of the Difficult Detour (25 March 1961) - Judge Ryder 
  3. The Case of the Deadly Verdict (17 October 1963) - Judge Ryder  
  4. The Case of the Vanishing Victim (23 January 1966) - Judge Telford  
Even though his first named judge was Thomas J. Hood, I'm going to say all 29 of those other judges were actually Judge Ryder (since he twice appeared on the bench under that name.)

As to how two other men looked just like Judge Ryder and yet seemed to go unnoticed by those who appeared before his bench, my standard splainin always begins with a shrug.  That's followed by a lame excuse that there must always be something about those characters that marks them as looking different from each other to the TV characters who deal with all of the doppelgangers.  (This happens a lot in long-running series, like Westerns or 'Burke's Law' when Paul Lynde is the guest star.)  However, we in the audience of the Trueniverse can't see these differentiations from the other side of the dimensional vortex.

There was another TV character played by Launer whom I think was one of those identical cousins that appear so frequently in Toobworld.  Ed Rutherford was an attorney in New York who specialized in criminal cases, especially murder cases.  When Tod Crawford was charged in a capital case, Rutherford was hired to be his defense lawyer, but he reluctantly allowed Tod's father, lawyer and former actor Miles Crawford, to conduct the cross-examination of witnesses on the stand.

It could also be that Judges Hood and Telford were also related to Judge Ryder.  If so, then the practice of Law was a major pursuit in that extended family......

'The Alfred Hitchcock Hour' - "Starring For The Defense"


Thursday, February 6, 2014


'Pie In The Sky'
"Doggett's Coat And Badge"

The other day I mentioned a burglar turned informant named Joseph James Webb who was given a new identity and a new place to live as part of his witness relocation program.  To Henry Crabbe and his neighbors in Middleton of Westershire, he had been known as Charles Rider for many decades.....

I think he chose that name out of his admiration for the original book "Brideshead Revisited" which in Toobworld could have been written by the narrator, Charles Ryder.  If its Real World author Evelyn Waugh was ever mentioned in connection with the book, he could serve the same position as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in the consideration of "Sherlockologists" (Holmesians?) - that of the editor for the publication.

The TV adaptation of Ryder's story exists in Toobworld - eventually everybody in Earth Prime-Time will get their lives featured on TV.  

Here are the examples listed by the IMDb:

'The Nanny': "Kissing Cousins" (1997)
Fran mentions the show by name.

'Mystery Science Theater 3000': "The Pumaman" (1998)
Mike: "We now revisit 'Brideshead Revisited.'"

'Frasier': "Star Mitzvah" (2002)
After Frasier tells Noel, that 'Star Trek' was just a TV show, Noel says "So was 'Brideshead Revisited'."

'Are You Being Served?': "Calling All Customers" (1983)
When the staff are discussing different plots for the radio commercial, Captain Pecock says "how about a sort of 'Brideshead Revisited'?"

'ALF': "Wanted: Dead or Alive" (1989)
ALF calls Lynn "Miss Brideshead Revisited."

(There were also references in 'The Simpsons' and 'The West Wing', but as they take place in alternate TV dimensions they aren't of concern for this article.)

I don't know what it was about Charles Ryder that would inspire Joe Webb to choose Ryder's name as his "nom de informateur", but when it came time to entering the name into the official records to establish the new identity, somebody in the program's bureaucracy mis-spelled the name as "Rider" instead of "Ryder"......


Wednesday, February 5, 2014


'East West 101'
"Ice In The Veins"

One of the most trivial things which separates the Television Universe from the Trueniverse is the presence of boom mikes visible in shots.  Not even serlinguists and tele-cognizants seem aware of these boom mikes above their heads, but they can be seen by the audience back in the Real World.

(In my Toobworld novel, the Real World visitor to Toobworld knows its there at one point and uses it to his advantage - as a swing to lift him high enough to kick the gun out of his assailant's hand.)

When Detective Superintendant Patricia Wright of Sydney, Australia, went to answer her door, the shadow of a boom mike could be seen against the door.  As she grasped the door knob, it suddenly lifted up and out of the shot, probably to avoid being hit by the door......


Tuesday, February 4, 2014


Even though Peter Capaldi has assumed control of the TARDIS as the new Doctor in 'Doctor Who', the rumor mill has it that Matt Smith will still be taking one last go at being the Eleventh/Thirteenth Doctor, probably in the first episode of the new season.

As seen above, Clara gets a phone call from the Doctor whom she knew.....

Clara: What do you mean.. “It’s the Doctor?”

11th Doctor: I’m phoning you from Trenzalore.

Clara: I don’t understand.

11th Doctor: From the past. From before I changed. It’s all still to happen for me. It’s coming though, not long now, I can feel it.

Clara: But.. why would you do this?

At least, that's what is being claimed to be the dialogue from the phone call.

Apparently Clara gets the phone call from the Past to reassure her that even though he looks and sounds and acts differently, the new version is still the Doctor.  And he reminds her that the new incarnation of himself is just as scared about it as she is.

And supposedly Capaldi himself will get to talk on the phone with his former self.

You might think that, I couldn't possibly comment......


Monday, February 3, 2014


Here's a list of the 2014 Super Bowl blipverts that I liked the best:

1]  Seinfeld - "Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee"

No contest, this is the Master of the Domain.  Life continues for TV characters after cancellation.  And sometimes we get to see it.

And it was believable as a sequel, unlike the Dannon Oikas commercial with the three guys from 'Full House'.  To me, they were appearing as John Stamos, Bob Saget, and Dave Coulter, not as their characters.  Because otherwise, Jesse, what happened to Rebecca?  Where'd you hide the body?

As the actors, I find it easier to believe that their televersions just lead sad, pathetic lives....

2]  Radio Shack - "The Phone Call"

This is not a crossover of the originals.  For Toobworld, all of these "icons" from the 80s are "iMortals", living avatars from the ethernet......

iMortals were big in the Super Bowl blipverts this year.  Morpheus from "The Matrix", Richard Lewis, the mob from the ad for Square Space.....

3]  Audi - "Doberhuahua"

This crazy idea sums up "Life" in Toobworld perfectly.

4]  Cheerios - "Gracie"

I love "slice of life" commercials, even if there is a slight twist to them (like with #3 and #5).  But this was played straight and I hope the closed-minded saw how normal these lives were.  (A close second to this was the Chevy blipvert about World Cancer Day.)

5]  Doritos - "Time Machine"

A goofy version of "slice o' life".....

6]  Chevy Silverado - "Romance"

Why?  It's the song that sells it.

You may have noticed that the Budweiser puppy ad is not up here.  Sorry, it didn't move me like last year's about the bond between a Clydesdale and his former owner.  But it was cute.



Found this just now on Facebook.....




From Wikipedia:
It was in 1829 that Robert Peel established the Metropolitan Police Force for London based at Scotland Yard. The 1,000 constables employed were affectionately nicknamed 'Bobbies' or, somewhat less affectionately, 'Peelers'. Although unpopular at first' they proved very successful in cutting crime in London; and by 1857 all cities in the UK were obliged to form their own police forces.  Known as the father of modern policing, Peel developed the Peelian Principles which defined the ethical requirements police officers must follow to be effective.

Since at least 1961, a former burglar named Joseph James Webb (now known as Charles Rider) had kept a stolen bottle of wine in his safe.  It was supposedly the last surviving bottle of Chateau Ausone 1814 which William the Fourth had given to Sir Robert Peel in celebration of the foundation of the modern police department.  The bottle of wine had gone through a complicated history of different owners (much like the Maltese Falcon or the Karachi Diamond) until it finally came - somewhat suspiciously -  into the hands of a police inspector known in legend as "Stryker of the Yard".  

And then Charles Rider stole it.

As it turned out, the bottle was a fake - it had a modern printed label whereas wine bottles of the time had been individually made.  Apparently, Stryker broke the actual bottle and needed to cover up his costly error.  However, he substituted a bottle of Chateau Montrose 1934 which he didn't know was one of the greatest wines of the 20th Century.  Too late Stryker, Rider, and Henry Crabbe realized this - after Henry already opened the bottle thinking it was just an ordinary bottle of wine.

Robert Peel has been portrayed several times in the TV Universe, mostly in docudramas about the young future queen of England, Victoria......

    Victoria & Albert (2001) Played by Alec McCowen

    "Queen Victoria's Empire"
        - Engines of Change (2001) Played by Martin Wady

    "Number 10"
        - The Iron Duke (1983) Played by Peter Gale

    "Blue Peter Special Assignment"
        - The Duke of Wellington at Stratfield Saye (1979) Played by Paul Beech

    "Disraeli: Portrait of a Romantic"
        - Mary Anne (1978) Played by Antony Brown
        - Dizzy (1978) Played by Antony Brown

    "Edward the King"
        - The Boy (1975) Played by Michael Barrington

    Invincible Mr. Disraeli (1963) Played by Eric Berry 
Of those, two of them could be considered part of Earth Prime-Time - 'Disraeli', and 'Edward The King' since they were mini-series.  (Not having seen it, I would assume the 'Blue Peter' portrayal would be in Skitlandia.  'Queen Victoria's Empire' was more of an historical recreation.  "Victoria & Albert" and the Hallmark presentation of "Invincible Mr. Disraeli" were one shot TV movies and can easily be sent off to some alternate TV dimension.  There was also a "Bobby Peel" in two episodes of 'Lillie'; however I think he was a young and prominent member of society played by Christopher Bramwell.)

I covered Robert Peel when I had the daily feature about historical personages being portrayed on TV.

Having seen the 'Edward The King' mini-series, I lean towards Michael Barrington's portrayal as being the official one for Toobworld.  This is a claim amplified by the fact that it was the first portrayal of Peel seen on TV, and that always adds heft to any argument in support of one particular actor in an historical role.

But it could also be fudged that with the appearance of Antony Brown as Peel, we were seeing Peel filtered through someone else's memories - that of Benjamin Disraeli.


Sunday, February 2, 2014


Last year, the Baltimore Ravens won the 2013 Super Bowl title by fighting off a comeback bid by the San Francisco 49ers for a 34-31 victor in Super Bowl XLVII.  This was the same result as happened in the TV Universe.  After all, there are certain events in Toobworld which are fixed points in Prime-Time (as it were....)


The televersion of the Ravens won thanks to this woman.....


(And as you can see, the "Miracle Stain Jersey" had one of the 'Lost' numbers.....)