Saturday, June 28, 2014


From the IMDb:
In March 2001 viewers watching reruns of the series on Nick at Nite reported that in episode 8.11 "The Charming Stranger", John Ritter's genitals could be briefly seen slipping out of his blue boxers when his character throws himself on [the] bed. Nickelodeon confirmed this goof and announced that the scene would be edited out of all future airings of that episode.

From Sitcoms Online:
Ritter told The New York Observer: "I've requested that they air both versions, edited and unedited, because sometimes you feel like a nut, and sometimes you don't."


Friday, June 27, 2014


I would say that the biggest source of Zonks (the 'Let's Make A Deal' term I use for TV discrepancies) would be the mention of actual TV shows in other TV shows when both of them share the same TV dimension.  Overall, I've just thrown up my hands in defeat and paraphrased Andy Warhol's dictum: In Toobworld, every TV character will eventually have a TV show about them.
The second most common source of Zonks at least is more interesting in that I can come up with a plethora* of splainins - Recastaways.  There are a variety of reasons why an actor is replaced in a specific role - death, contract disputes, better job offer, bad acting.  But we're not concerned with that at Toobworld Central.  We're more interested in why the character's facial features have changed.
The easiest splainin is plastic surgery.  Simple, and from a real world perspective, highly believable... unless we're talking abut George Schumway of Fernwood, Ohio.  (As played by Phil Bruns, Tab Hunter, and then Phil Bruns again.)

And then there is Magic, which caused the recastaways of Darrin Stephens, Gladys Kravitz, and Major Anthony Nelson.  Under this category would also be the changes in appearance for the pan-dimensional beings who would pass themselves off as gods and god-like immortals to the gullible humans of an earlier age in Earth Prime-Time - like Zeus, Thor, and Queen Hyppolita.
There are also quantum leaping time travelers (Dr. Sam Beckett but also the umbrella splainin for all the recasting on soap operas), alien and android replacements (Paul Forrester and the Ted Buchanan-bot respectively), and a total displacement to another TV dimension to be rid of the Zonk.  (Sadly, this was the case with Hannibal Heyes.)
And of course there's regeneration, usually reserved for the Time Lords of Gallifrey.
There's one recastaway that I've been avoiding for years, that happened in the TV show 'Batman'.  In other examples from that series, it was just a matter of different characters assuming the code name of the criminal.  For example, when Gomez Addams temporarily adopted the guise of the Riddler.  Or when Catwoman was the name taken by the cat burglar Tina Marie and then by Betty Jones.
But in the case of Mr. Freeze, the history of the villain was so specific that it should have only occurred to one version of the character, the first one.  And yet each succeeding actor also shared that same backstory.

George Sanders originated the role, but in the villain's next appearance Mr. Freeze was played by Otto Preminger (who was roundly despised by everybody who worked on the production.)  And then finally, Eli Wallach took on the role.
(It's because of Eli Wallach that I'm posting this today.  He just passed away the other day at the age of 98.  It was a good, full life and he was working to the very end, but as producer/screenwriter Ken Levine posted the other day on Facebook, it was far too soon.)
Here's the character description for each of the Mr. Freezes from the TV show, found at the Batman Wiki:

Dr. Shivel (first name unknown) was a criminal scientist who during a fight with Batman was exposed to a solution of instant freeze, which turned him in to the diabolical Mr. Freeze. Now unable to live in an environment warmer then fifty-degrees below zero without the aid of a refrigerated suit, he sought revenge on Batman for his condition. In keeping with his new theme, Mr. Freeze began stealing finest diamonds, "ice" to him, in the city. After two clashes with Batman and Robin he successfully used his Freeze Gun to freeze them solid. It was only quick emergency care that saved the pair.

After this attempt failed, he had baseball pitcher Paul Diamante kidnapped so he would have a valuable "diamond" to trade for Batman. While Batman cooperated, he didn't count on Robin following him to Freeze's hideout. After a quiet dinner, Freeze decided to slowly freeze them, starting with Batman. Batman quickly stopped him however, thank to a special thermal layering under his suit. After a quick battle with Freeze's henchmen, Batman sent them and Freeze to prison so they could cool off.


Dr. Schivel was a criminal mastermind residing in Gotham City until he met his match in Batman. During an attempted arrest, Batman accidentally spilled some 'instant freeze' solution on Schivel, freezing his molecular structure making him a being of pure cold. Thus, the criminal 'Mr. Freeze' was born.

In this appearance, Mr. Freeze sought revenge on the Caped Crusader once again for condeming him to live in sub-zero temperatures. He captured Miss Iceland from a beauty pageant as part of a plot to discredit Batman and make her a being of pure cold like himself. He later decided to ice Gotham City and hold it for ransom, but was thwarted by the Dynamic Duo and once again sent to prison.


During a fight in his secret laboratory some years ago, a Doctor Schimmel was covered in an experimental chemical he had been working with. Batman tried to save him, but the damage had already been done. The freezing chemical had somehow bonded with his body, and he could no longer survive in any temperature higher than fifty degrees below zero. From then on, he referred to himself only as Mister Freeze. His condition requires him to wear a cooling suit whenever he leaves his icy lair. Freeze's warped mind blamed Batman for all that had happened to him, and immediately vowed revenge.

Ever since he escaped from prison, Freeze has been trying to destroy Batman. He also often tries to freeze other people, or sometimes all of Gotham City. Though whether this is because he wants others to suffer as he suffers, or if he is only looking for companionship, is unknown. The mental damage has also caused him to go through extreme changes in his temperament.
If each of the actors who played Mr. Freeze were similar in appearance, we could claim that it was the permanent exposure to sub-zero temperatures that caused the slight modification to their physical features.  But for Mr. Freeze, the changes were drastic when it came to the recastaways.
I'm toying with the idea that Otto Preminger's villain was an alien who came to Earth from his own sub-zero planet and absorbed the memories of the original Mr. Freeze after tracking down his hidden laboratory.

As for Eli Wallach's version?  I think he looks like a member of the Harkonnen family from Frank Herbert's "Dune" franchise in BookWorld (and there is a version adapted for Toobworld.)  Perhaps he was a future visitor from the era of "Dune" who "quantum leaped" his way back and took up residence in Mr. Freeze's aura, living out his life.

There is also the fact that the real name of Mr. Freeze changes between the three versions.  (The identity of "Victor Fries" is now the official version but not in the main Toobworld.  Only in the Tooniverse and the Comic Book World.)

But all of that is rather complicated and demands that there were many further adventures between recastaways so that the other characters were aware of the physical changes.  And that's why they don't act surprised to see a totally different person with each reappearance.

As a televisiologist, I do want to be able to invoke Occam's Razor.

From Wikipedia:

Occam's razor (also written as Ockham's razor and in Latin lex parsimoniae) is a principle of parsimony, economy, or succinctness used in problem-solving devised by William of Ockham (c. 1287–1347). It states that among competing hypotheses, the one with the fewest assumptions should be selected. Other, more complicated solutions may ultimately prove correct, but—in the absence of certainty—the fewer assumptions that are made, the better.

So here is what I'm going with......

We know there are at least five TV dimensions which have a Miss Jane Marple, all of them looking different from the other.

Gracie Fields' portrayal was a one-shot which I now believe belongs in the TV dimension of Prequel Toobworld.  And I will stick with Helen Hayes being the Miss Marple of the MOTW Toobworld.

But the other three - Dame Joan Hickson, Geraldine McEwan, and Julia McKenzie - have had long runs as Miss Marple.  And each of them have had their own versions of several of the original stories, especially "The Body In The Library".

So the same story played out by three different recastaways of the same character.  The same situation we found with Mr. Freeze.

Therefore, what we witnessed with each of the 'Batman' stories about the ice-cold villain was a shift in viewpoint to alternate dimensions.  Although they were broadcast at different times, they probably occupy the same space as each other on their respective Toobworld timelines.  They just played out with certain alterations, perhaps due to the physical differences.

As such, the Mr. Freeze portrayed by George Sanders remains the official version for Toobworld.  Otto Preminger's version is relegated to the Land O' Remakes.  And last but definitely not least (because Wallach imprinted the role with such eccentricities), the last Mr. Freeze is probably the one from Evil Toobworld.

That should simplify matters.  And I owe it all to Eli Wallach.

Good night and may God bless.....

  • 'Batman' (and the animated versions)
  • 'Marple' (all televersions)
  • 'Doctor Who'
  • 'Bewitched'
  • 'I Dream Of Jeannie'
  • 'Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman'
  • 'Forever Fernwood'
  • 'Wonder Woman'
  • 'The Incredible Hulk'
  • 'Hercules: The Legendary Journeys'
  • 'Starman'
  • 'Buffy The Vampire Slayer'
  • 'Quantum Leap'
  • 'Mission Impossible'
  • 'Barnaby Jones'
  • 'The Addams Family'
  • 'Alias Smith And Jones'
  • 'Kojak'
  • "Dune"

A fourth televersion of Mr. Freeze is a member of the Television Crossover Hall of Fame as of last December: the Mr. Freeze of the Tooniverse, as voiced by Michael Ansara across several animated 'Batman' series.
* Detective Crocker: What's a plethora?
  Lt. Kojak: Get in the car; we'll swing by the library.

Thursday, June 26, 2014


Ralph and Seamus Coltrane were twin brothers who may have followed different paths in Life, but who still found their lives touched by the bizarre.  

Ralph was a corporal in the Army who worked at the San Pedro Overflow Camp in 2011.  This was one of many such concentration camps set up around the world after "the Miracle" to eliminate the excess population caused by the elimination of Death. 

Against his will, Ralph was dragged into the mad, murderous schemes by the camp's manager to cover up its true purpose.  When the manager was attempting to strangle a member of the Torchwood team, Ralph finally showed backbone and shot the manager to stop him. 

Seamus on the other hand became a scientist and worked for the Widmore Corporation.  He was a member of the team who traveled to the Island with Charles Widmore where he worked on the generator in the solenoid coils room. 

After the Man in Black declared war on Charles Widmore, Seamus was in charge of the "Candidates".  But he was no soldier like his brother Ralph - Sawyer was able to easily disarm him. 

However, Widmore threatened Kate and so Sawyer capitulated.  Charles Widmore didn't hold the upper hand for long, however: the Man in Black soon attacked and killed Seamus by smashing him into the cages. 

It didn't come up while we saw the Coltrane Brothers in action, but they might have been destined to encounter such phenomena as miracle days and The Island.  And that could be due to them being Wesen.  (Wesen are creatures with two simultaneous natures - human and the beasts they resemble.)

The Coltranes were Mauzhertz, usually a shy people with mouse-like traits and appearance.  Ralph and Seamus, identical brothers themselves, had an identical cousin named Martin Burgess.  Martin lived in Portland, Oregon, where he killed those who bullied him because he had a psychological need to lash out against his own father.

As the audience from the Trueniverse, we never saw Ralph and Seamus in their Wesen state, probably because there was no Grimm to serve as our P.O.V. guide.

'Torchwood: Miracle Day'

[Fred Koehler played all three roles.]


Wednesday, June 25, 2014


I don't think I've seen this particular type of crossover before - a character from a TV show not yet on the air makes an under the radar guest appearance on another show. 

I'm not talking about back door pilots, or characters created to run for awhile before being spun off.  In this case, Will Freeman of 'About A Boy' was just one of the poker players in the 'Parenthood' episode "Jump Ball".  It wasn't integral to the plot, and any one-shot TV character could have been that seat-warmer. 

And if turnabout is fair play, Crosby Braverman of 'Parenthood' made a cameo appearance on 'About A Boy'. 

Jesse Katims is the executive producer for both shows, and he said:

When Dax comes on to 'About a Boy' it will be very different. It’s going to be a cameo. It won’t be what the episode is going to be about. We’re doing it in ways that feel real and organic to the shows.”


Tuesday, June 24, 2014


Lyricist Gerry Goffin, whose songwriting partnership in the early 1960s with then-wife Carole King yielded some of the most indelible hits of the era, died Thursday at home in Los Angeles, said his wife, Michelle Goffin. He was 75.

Mr. Goffin never played himself on TV; he was never portrayed by an actor in a TV series*.  But the words he put to music have infused so many TV series in Earth Prime-Time over the years.  Sometimes those classic songs were part of the soundtrack. In other shows, such as the first one on our list, the TV characters sang them.
  • 'Murphy Brown'
  • 'Lost'
  • 'Fringe'
  • 'Gilmore Girls'
  • 'Glee'
  • 'Who's The Boss?'
  • 'Happy Days'
  • 'Freaks & Geeks'
  • 'Moonlighting' 
  • 'The Wonder Years'
  • 'Get A Life'
  • 'Doogie Howser, MD'
  • 'Mad Men'
  • 'The Playboy Club'
  • 'All My Children'
  • 'Rock And Chips'
  • 'The Newsroom'
  • 'The Indian Doctor'
  • 'The Lone Gunmen'
  • 'Miami Vice'
  • 'Fame'
  • 'Rags To Riches'
  • 'Early Edition'
  • 'Doctors'
  • 'Waking The Dead'
  • 'Parenthood'
  • 'Cashmere Mafia'
  • 'The IT Crowd'
  • 'Cold Case'
  • 'Joan Of Arcadia'
  • 'Crossing Jordan'
And of course, 'The Monkees' and 'The Partridge Family'

That doesn't even take into consideration TV shows from alternate dimensions and from the Tooniverse.....

This doesn't mean his songs link all of these shows together.  Just that they are as much a part of Life in Toobworld as they are in the Trueniverse.

Good night and may God bless....

* He lives on in the dimension of WorldStage, however - about eight shows a week in "Beautiful".....

Monday, June 23, 2014


"Jim, it's happening right under our noses and we can't see it.
We take machines and stuff 'em with information until they're smarter than we are. 
Take a car. Most guys spread more love and time and money on their car in a week 
than they do on their wife and kids in a year. 
Pretty soon, you know what? 
The machine starts to think it IS somebody."
Tennessee Steinmetz

Since this is the year in which Toobworld Goes To The Movies, the Television Crossover Hall of Fame is once again showcasing two characters better known for their movie appearances.  (Just as Nick Fury and Doc Brown were when they were inducted back in February and March.)


Their story together began in the Cineverse, but ended up in Toobworld (although Herbie went on to have one more adventure without Jim in the theatrical release "Herbie: Fully Loaded".  However, that may be an alternate dimension in the Cineverse.)  Herbie also had two adventures without Jim in the Cineverse: "Herbie Rides Again" and "Herbie Goes Bananas".  

From Wikipedia:
"The Love Bug" (1968), sometimes referred to as "Herbie the Love Bug" is the first in a series of comedy films made by Walt Disney Productions that starred an anthropomorphic pearl-white, fabric-sunroofed 1963 Volkswagen racing Beetle named Herbie. It was based on the 1961 book "Car, Boy, Girl" by Gordon Buford and it was the third highest-grossing movie of 1968.

They also appeared in a comic book, which makes Jim Douglas and Herbie true multiversals, by the way....

In the movie, Jim was a race car driver who had fallen on hard times - competing in demolition derby exhibitions.  He lived with his friend Tennessee Steinmetz (who was something of a Zen Buddhist car mechanic) in a reconverted firehouse.

Through a series of comic situations, Jim ended up in possession of Herbie and they found themselves at odds against Herbie's previous owner.  But in the end, the pair won the day, won the race, and Jim won the heart of a young woman named Carole.

"Herbie Rides Again"
Six years later, the first sequel was released but without Jim, Carole, or Tennessee involved.  I'm assuming Jim and Carole were in Europe (enjoying a second honeymoon) while Tennessee had returned to Tibet to study with the monks.  In the meantime, Herbie was left in the care of Tennessee's grandmother, Mrs. Steinmetz, and they both lived in that reconverted firehouse.

"Herbie Goes To Monte Carlo"

Three years later, Jim and Herbie were reunited, but Carole was no longer in the picture.  I'm going to assume that she passed away, as it is a Disney franchise....  As for Tennessee, he was still in Tibet, so Jim's new mechanic was a twitchy fellow named Wheely Applegate.  Together, the three of them compete in the Trans-France Race from France to Monte Carlo.

"Herbie Goes Bananas"
Another three years passed in the Cineverse, and Jim Douglas left Herbie in the care of a guy named Pete and his buddy D.J.  Again this is just presumption on my part, but I think Jim was once again off on a honeymoon; this time with his new wife, Diane, whom he met during the Trans-France Race.

At this point, Jim Douglas and Herbie the Love Bug crossed over into the TV Universe, bringing those other movies with them.....

'Herbie The Love Bug'
It was 1982, and Jim Douglas regained possession of his old friend Herbie in this five-episode sequel.  In this new decade, the Walt Disney Company seemed to be loosening its moral stance to be more modern, as Jim started dating a divorcee named Susan (much to the consternation of her former boyfriend Randy and his mother.)

I think it's pozz'ble, just pozz'ble, that Jim Douglas was also divorced.  I think Diane and her Lancia (who once was in love with Herbie) had gone their separate ways....

The short-lived series came to a natural conclusion with Jim marrying Susan by the fifth episode.

Because Dean Jones returned to the role of Jim Douglas rather than recasting with some other actor, this five-episode series is a legitimate crossover with the previous movies.  And that brings these movies into the Toobworld Dynamic.

"The Love Bug"

A 1997 TV movie that brings it all around the track to begin again: The movie was narrated by Jim Douglas as he told how Herbie came into the possession of a guy named Hank Cooper.  Jim reappeared in their lives to guide Hank in rebuilding the sentient Bug after Herbie's creator (Dr. Gustav Stumpfel) and his new creation - the evil "Hate Bug" known as Horace - destroyed Herbie.  Scenes from the original movie nearly thirty years earlier were incorporated into the storyline as flashbacks, making such a universal crossover official.

The original movie could also be considered linked to two other movies because of the demolition derby footage from the beginning of "The Love Bug".  It came from the movie "Fireball 500" and it's my contention that footage should be considered to be of the same event in both films.  (According to Wikipedia: "Parts of this scene can also be found in a 1966-model year dealer promotional film by Chevrolet, titled Impact '66.")

Also, the villain in "Herbie Rides Again" was Alonzo Hawk played by Keenan Wynn.  Wynn played this blackheart in two other Disney movies - "The Absent-Minded Professor" and "Son Of Flubber".  If there was a Hall of Fame for movie character crossovers, Alonzo Hawk should be considered for membership.

So welcome aboard, Jim Douglas and Herbie!  The Television Crossover Hall Of Fame welcomes you both as its Gemini inductees.


There's no real connection between the two, but today is also my nephew Neil's birthday, so I'm dedicating this post to him.......

Sunday, June 22, 2014


STILL suffering from withdrawals now that 'Game Of Thrones' is done for the year?

Maybe you should take something for that.....


For those who need a 'Game Of Thrones' fix one week after the fourth season ended.....