Saturday, April 12, 2014


Bob Larbey just passed away.  He is best known for creating 'The Good Life' (known over in the States as 'Good Neighbors') plus 'A Fine Romance', 'Ever Decreasing Circles', and his last big hit, 'As Time Goes By'.

I would have tipped my hat to him anyway, I'm sure, considering he was responsible for introducing me to the talents of Felicity Kendal.  But I found this video in the many online tributes and it brings up an important point for Toobworld.....

It's policy for Toobworld Central to accept the fates of various TV shows and their characters after cancellation, if those fates are detailed by the shows creators.  The leading example of this is what Larry Cohen had in mind for the splainin about Frank Converse' character in 'Coronet Blue'.  I'm sure I could have come up with something more pleasing to me, but that's fanfic and the creator's voice should be heeded.

'Mulberry' should have been given the chance to produce a one-off to allow the ending outlined by Mr. Larbey to become a fact of Life... and Death... in Toobworld.

Good night and may God bless, Mr. Larbey......

Friday, April 11, 2014



I can't be certain, but I think the timeline for 'Ripper Street' has been a bit nebulous so far in its two seasons.  All we know is that it began soon after the Ripper murders ceased.  But now, 'Ripper Street' has locked in the date of April 11, 1890 as the cornerstone for the timeline of this series.  It was on that night Joseph Merrick - cruelly known as "The Elephant Man" died.  And so it was at the end of this episode.


The circumstances of his death can now be seen as a divergence from the timeline of Earth Prime.  That's because he was murdered by Inspector Jedidiah Shine, who perversely removed the pillows from under Merrick's head one by one until he was lying prone... and unable to breathe.

We've seen the circumstances in the lives of real life historical figures be altered before in Earth Prime-Time.  President Kennedy was transported into the far Future while a descendent took his place in the car as it drove through Dealey Plaza.  Lily Langtry was embraced into the vampiric kindred.  Amelia Earhart ended up on an alien planet.  Dennis Rodman IS an alien!

Whether this scenario could work in the real world?  Unlike those other examples, this one is pozz'ble, just pozz'ble.  The only difference is that it would have to be committed by someone just as real in the Trueniverse as Merrick.  There were no witnesses, and it could look as though there was a possibility of suicide.  


Thursday, April 10, 2014


I couldn't think of a good movie to showcase for the monthly "Little Big Screen" feature (formerly "Toobworld Goes To The Movies") in April.  And then, sadly, Mickey Rooney died, which reminded me of the greatest collection of classic Hollywood fools and clowns ever assembled:


So I do have a few posts in mind about this movie and its impact on Toobworld, but I'll start with a simple one.....

There was never a TV remake of this film as there had been with so many other movies.  But then, the cost to gather together so many comedy stars, even low-wattage ones, would have been prohibitive.  But some shows did do homages to the movie and we'll cover those in future posts.  

It's biggest impact, perhaps, may have been its title which has been referenced in so many TV episode titles since then.

Here's just a partial list:

'McHale's Navy': "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad War" 

'That Girl': "It's a Mod, Mod World: Part 1 & Part 2"

'The Wonder Years': "It's a Mad, Mad, Madeline World"

'Cheers': "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad Bar"

'Family Matters': "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad House"

'Evening Shade': "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad Wood" 

'Madman of the People': "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad Christmas" 

'Weird Science': "It's a Mob, Mob, Mob, Mob World"

'Suddenly Susan': "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Maddy World"

'Ellen': "It's a Gay, Gay, Gay, Gay World!" 

'Sabrina, the Teenage Witch': "It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad Season Opener" 

'Jack of All Trades': "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad Opera" 

'Son of the Beach': "It's a Nude, Nude, Nude, Nude World" 

'Charmed': "It's a Bad, Bad, Bad, Bad World: Part 1 Part 2"

'The Suite Life of Zack and Cody':" It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad Hotel" 

'Lost Girl': "It's a Fae, Fae, Fae, Fae World" 

And in the "If Something Works, Steal It" Department:

'Will & Grace': "It's a Dad, Dad, Dad, Dad World" 

'Gossip Girl': "It's a Dad, Dad, Dad, Dad World"


'Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series': "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad Virtual World"

'Beetlejuice': "It's a Big, Big, Big, Big Ape" 

'The Awesomes': "It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad Parallel World"

'Phineas and Ferb': "It's a Mud, Mud, Mud, Mud World"

'The Simpsons': "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad Marge" 


"Milton Berle's Mad Mad Mad World of Comedy"


"It's a Mad World, World, World, World" (1993) 


Wednesday, April 9, 2014


In years past, Harrington Smithfield had been a major movie star in Great Britain.  "The Lovers' Tiff" was one of the movies in which he appeared.   A waitress gushed over his performance in that, but her comments about how young she was when she saw it only served to bleep him off.

However, roles became scarce and he was reduced to acting as a judge in a "Great British Grub" competition.  (I have a feeling that he was one of these vain actors with an inflated ego who would take nothing less than the leading role.  More of them should learn a lesson from Burt Lancaster....)

The actor's life was in his blood - his maternal grandfather was a vaudeville performer in the early part of the 20th Century.  Charlie Griggs appeared in an act called "The Cheerful Charlies" with Charles Carson.  Mr. Carson broke up the act because Charlie couldn't keep his hand out of the till.

When acting work dried up for him as well, Griggs got a job as a door keeper at the Belfast Opera House.

  • 'Pie In The Sky' - "Chinese Whispers"
  • 'Downton Abbey' - S1E2 & S4E2

Nicky Henson played both roles.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014


Usually, the Television Crossover Hall Of Fame has an April induction that is dedicated to the noble calling of "the Fool".  And that's not necessarily a pejorative term.  In Shakespeare, the Fool is often the wisest character.  And it's an umbrella term that could encompass the twits, twerps, idiots, clowns, and yes, the foolish.

But this year, we went a different path and inducted an April for April - the first female U.N.C.L.E. agent to be known as April Dancer.  (It's the 15th anniversary for the Hall, so what I say, goes.)

But Toobworld Central has another policy as well in which worthy candidates for membership are added right away upon news of their passing.  Which is why we're inducting the late, great Mickey Rooney into the Hall's League of Themselves wing.......

"Once In A Wattle"
[See top of page for picture]


"There Must Be a Pony" (TV Movie)

"Senior Trip" (TV Movie)

'The Lucy Show' 
"Lucy Meets Mickey Rooney"

'The Jack Benny Program' 
"Modern Prison Sketch" 

'The Phil Silvers Show'
"Bilko Presents the McGuire Sisters"

'December Bride' 
"The Mickey Rooney Show"

He even showed up as himself in the Tooniverse:

'The Simpsons'
"Radioactive Man"

And although he didn't give voice to his other "Tooniversion", his appearance in 'Family Guy' has to count as well for that dimension......

Good night and may God bless, Mr. Rooney.  You will be missed.

Dingy Bell, it tolls for three.....


'Silk' is a British drama series about two barristers from Shoe Lane Chambers competing for the chance to achieve "silk", when a barrister can become a Queen's Counsel.  The head of their chambers, Billy Lamb, is playing one against the other, probably for his own amusement.

It had the feel of a 21st Century "Rumpole" for me.  And in fact, 'Silk' had an unofficial crossover with 'Rumpole Of The Bailey' when Billy Lamb cited Horace Rumpole's name as someone who had been there in chambers.

Now the series has a counterpart in the Radio Universe.  The show will have three audio dramas on BBC Radio 4 which will focus on the legal clerks of chambers - Bethany, John, and Jake.  

The series began on April 1st.  The following two episodes will be heard on April 8th [tonight!] and the 15th.  All of them are scheduled for those afternoons at 14:15 BST.

Other crossoverlings may see this as an expansion of the 'Silk' franchise.  But for the Toobworld Dynamic, it has no place in the visual world of the Toob.  As with books and comic books, these radio dramas belong in another universe altogether.  (For now I call that world the Audioverse, but if anybody can think of a better name, let me now.)

However, the events from those radio dramas may have happened in the lives of their Toobworld counterparts.  We just won't ever see them play out in Earth Prime-Time....


Monday, April 7, 2014



When a black Porsche pulled up outside Cyril's (the seaside cafe in Weston), Stan Astill was suitably impressed.

"Oooh, who invited Knight Rider?"

By 2011, the existence of the Knight Industries Two Thousand car (otherwise known as KITT) and its partnership with Michael Knight were well known by the citizenry of Toobworld.  

My crossover comrade Brad Mengel has more information... information... information about that:

Knight Industries and The Foundation for Law and Government were both well known, FLAG organised a peace conference in one episode and a legal defence for some ranchers whose water rights were under threat. In 'Knight Rider 2000' the Knight Industries Four Thousand was going to take Knight Industries out of near bankruptcy - I can't say off the top of my head that a supercomputerised car was public knowledge in 'Team Knight Rider' (1997) or in the 2008 'Knight Rider'.

Thanks, Brad!

It could be that what the general public knew about Michael and KITT came from a cover story cloaked in a fictional TV series created by UNReel.  The characters in these following shows definitely watched that series, either during its first run or years later in syndication or on DVD:
  • 'Psych'
  • 'Everybody Hates Chris'
  • 'Punky Brewster'
  • 'Sabrina The Teenage Witch'
  • 'Malcolm In The Middle'
  • 'The Office' (USA)
  • 'Community'
  • 'The Big Bang Theory'
  • 'House of Lies'
But not everybody was fooled.  Some TV characters knew the Truth.  For instance, Larry Sanders may have met Michael Knight and KITT at some Hollywood function or interacted with them on an actual case.  (A foiled kidnapping of the talk show host, perhaps?)  Not that the human/car team made much of an impression - Larry had Michael Knight confused with Angus MacGyver, whom he probably met at a charity fund-raiser under-written by the Phoenix Foundation.  As far as Larry remembered, MacGyver was the guy with the talking car.

Perhaps because he was a vampire, Spike had found ways to gather information for future use.  Although in the case of Knight Industries and its most top-secret project, he was surprised to find out that most people never even heard of it:

"You never heard of Knight Rider? Knight Industries 2000? KITT?"

The aforementioned UNReel is that secret organization I created to help splain away how so many TV characters might know about other TV characters who should have remained secret (The men from UNCLE, James Bond, the Doctor.)  And sometimes UNReel would draft outsiders from the entertainment industry - writers, directors, studio heads, the actors who closely resembled the subjects who needed such a cover story - to help them with these projects.  

One of these industry professionals was NBC executive Jack Donaghy, but he got out of control with his knowledge of the 'Knight Rider' reboot project.  Without authorization, he offered Tyler Brody the chance to be the voice of KITT in a movie version.  And when he was probably reprimanded for that, Jack threatened to remake the show using the Oscar Meyer Weinermobile as the new KITT.

At any rate, whether it shows up on TV ever again or not, 'Knight Rider' will exist as reality in Earth Prime-Time long after I'm gone and the Toobworld concept is just a memory.

We know this because in 2032, Knight Industries will still be in business as an automaker - a poster for a classic car show that year advertised that Knight Industries would be featured.....

'The Larry Sanders Show'
'SeaQuest 2032'
'30 Rock'


Sunday, April 6, 2014


April 3rd marked the 90th birthday for Doris Day, once the biggest box office star in America.  And today - Sunday, April 6th - she'll be celebrated on ME-TV with a four hour block of programming.

Since Sundays are considered by the networks as their showplace night for TV (SO glad I'm off that night!), I waited until today for this look back at the unique property of Ms. Day's eponymous TV series.

'The Doris Day Show' began in 1968 on CBS with that rural flavor the Tiffany network had become known for.  Doris Martin was a widow with two small boys, Billy and Toby (My next oldest brother is a Billy!), and a dog she had stolen from the Nash family back East.

They moved to her father's farm just outside of San Francisco and for that first season is was just a gentle and low-key, sweetness and light, slice of life sitcom; really not much more than the presence of Doris Day and character actors Denver Pyle and James Hampton to keep the audience coming back each week.  The only exciting thing about it is pure invention on my part - a Toobworld theory that the housekeeper, Aggie Thompson, disappeared from the show after ten episodes because she had been touched by the Wild West Weeping Angel and sent back to Dodge City in the 1890s (where she took over the saloon and was now known as Hannah.)

With the next season, Doris Martin got a job in San Francisco, commuting from the ranch to her secretarial position at Today's World magazine.  But at least we know her family was still around, even though we saw her father Buck Webb and his ranch hand Leroy in only a handful of episodes.

By the third season, Doris was tired of the commuting grind, so she and Billy and Toby moved to Frisco.  They got an apartment above an Italian restaurant and the show now focused more on her life with her new neighbors as well as with her association with her co-workers at the magazine.  And ol' Buck and dim-witted Leroy still showd up occasionally.

But it was in the third season that the show had a seismic shift and the focus point for the audience in the Trueniverse was wrenched from Earth Prime-Time to a different TV dimension entirely.

Doris Martin was no longer a widow; she was a single career girl.  And yet her surname remained "Martin" and not "Webb".  Her family was never seen again, not even on those rare occasions as in the past when Buck and Leroy showed up.  

Ms. Martin still worked at Today's World, but all of her previous co-workers were gone, and she was no longer a secretary.  Doris was a full-fledged writer, soon to be elevated to the position of associate editor (getting in that MTM vibe.)

We've seen TV shows shift their P.O.V. to other TV dimensions in the past.  In fact, around the same time this was happening, ABC was doing the same thing with 'Alias Smith And Jones' - the main Toobworld plays host to the story of Kid Curry and Hannibal Heyes as played by Ben Murphy and Pete Duel.  But once Duel died and was replaced by Roger Davis, the series shifted over to another TV dimension.  (A more recent example of this phenomenon would be 'The Dead Zone' and now probably 'Arrow' as well.)

After five years and existing in two TV dimensions, Doris Martin left our TV screens forever.  But as always with the Toobworld Dynamic, that doesn't mean she had ceased to be.  (Can't re-read that line without hearing John Cleese's voice in my head!)

Doris Martin still lives on in Earth Prime-Time; we're just not privileged enough to see her anymore.  Unlike Doris Day, Doris Martin has not yet reached the age of 90, and it's likely she could go on living in Toobworld for many years to come.  And every Christmas she probably practices her serlinguist skills, whether we actually see her do so or not.

In fact, I would add her to the roster of TV series alumni from San Francisco who could be involved in the never-to-be-seen episodes of 'Psych'.  If not as the sweet and feisty old lady I'm sure she's become, then merely mentioned as the mother of grown-up recastaways of Billy and Toby Martin.  (It's just not right that Billy should be older than Toby!)  At the very least, issues of Today's World magazine should be seen in any number of waiting rooms n the City by the Bay.  And Shawn and Gus could have pizza at Pallucci Pizza every so often, no matter who's running it now......

And if you're a fan of 'The Doris Day Show', stop by "The Thrilling Days Of Yesteryear" blog (Link to the Left, you Que-Seranians!)  Ivan offers up his own bit of a twist to his reviews of the show's episodes.  (Leroy doesn't fare well with Ivan, but he's ahead of the game in comparison to the treatment of "Mike The Idiot Boy" during Ivan's reviews of 'Mayberry RFD'!)

Happy birthday, Ms. Day.  And best wishes for many more to come!



In "The Prisoner", an episode of 'The Adventures Of Robin Hood', the song "All Around My Hat" is used as a coded acknowledgement that the singer is an ally to King Richard the Lion-Hearted.  

I've embedded the video here.  You only have to watch the first scene to get a taste of the song, but watch it through for a great guest appearance by Donald Pleasance.....

This episode took place in the 1190's; however, there is no historical record of the song before 1888 in the Trueniverse.  

The same thing happened with another song, "The Sloop John B".  Dr. Miguelito Loveless and his lovely companion Antoinette sang this song to their prisoners James West and Princess Wanakee in "The Night Of The Raven", probably the most science-fiction oriented episodes of 'The Wild Wild West'.  

The episode took place in the 1870's for Toobworld, but it was based on something that happened around 1900.  And the song was officially transcribed until the 1930's.

I'm not going to go into pretzel logic splainins involving wormholes and other wibbly wobby timey wimey stuff with this one.  I'll invoke Occam's Razor and go with the easiest splainin - as far as Toobworld goes, both songs were long in existence before they ever appeared in the Trueniverse.