Saturday, July 5, 2014

Friday, July 4, 2014

O'BSERVATIONS - THE BRITISH INVASION





On July 4, 1776, the American Colonies became the United States and ever since then, the Fourth of July has been celebrated for that time when we kicked the British out.

But for the last ten years in Toobworld, we've been sneaking them back in......

I've never understood why American TV producers hire British actors for their TV series and then force those actors to do American accents.  With some of those characters, it's due to the demands of the characters' backstories - as with Mark Addy's Bill Miller, who had been in high school with his wife Judy (played by Jami Gertz.)  Why couldn't he have been an exchange student; or better yet, why not just hire some fat American comic actor to play the role?  

It never went to series, but why did David Tennant have to be an American in "Rex Is Not Your Lawyer" except for the casting of Jane Curtin as his mother?  He'll be American again with his leading role in 'Gracepoint', Fox's unnecessary remake of 'Broadchurch'.  (I understand that one, in a way - they don't want the two characters to be confused with each other and they probably hope Tennant's 'Doctor Who' fanbase will carry over to the new series.)

Couldn't Lennie James have been a British military operative asssigned to an American unit in the alternate dimension where 'Jericho' can be found?  

Why wasn't Chuck Bass originally from the West End of London instead of the East Side of New York?  He still could have emigrated to America wtih his family and gone to that school. (Perhaps Dad could have been assigned to the UN?)

Kevin McKidd as Dr. Owen Hunt on 'Grey's Anatomy' - wouldn't his natural Scottish brogue have been more interesting in the halls of Seattle Grace Hospital?  (And the same goes for his 'Journeyman' time-traveler Dan Vasser......)

Simon Baker is Australian, not British, but the same holds true for his Patrick Jane, 'The Mentalist'.  Had he been an Australian living in America and obsessed with the serial killer who murdered his wife and daughter, the only differences in the series storyline would have been to his backstory.  And even then his life on the carny circuit could have remained, with just a recasting of family members. 

Another Aussie is Robert Taylor, playing Sheriff Walt 'Longmire'.  But in that case, I think I might give it a pass.  I don't think they could have found a leading man of a certain age in the States who was as rugged as the Wyoming back country and had that deep rumble of a voice......

'Fringe', 'Homeland', 'Revenge', and most ironic of all, 'The Americans', all have British/Australian actors in leading roles.  (And I only deal in Toobworld, so don't get me started on the same situation in the Cineverse!)

I'm not saying any of these British and Australian actors or any of the many others aren't up to snuff, especially with the accents.  (They seem to be popular casting choices when it comes to Southern roles.  Ryan Kwanten and Stephen Moyer of 'True Blood' come to mind.)  Nor am I advocating that they should be rebuffed in favor of American actors.  It's just that you go to the trouble of hiring an actor with a foreign accent, take full advantage of its unique sound!

Why am I on this rant?  I recently saw an episode of 'The Avengers' entitled "From Venus With Love" with Philip Locke guest starring as Dr. Primble.  And as I watched him, the gears in my televisiological mind kept trying to work out a theory of relateeveety between Primble and Greg 'House, M.D.'  


But of course, Hugh Laurie had to play House as an American, which included casting American actors as his parents.  But wouldn't it have been more interesting if he sported his British accent there in the wilds of New Jersey?  (I know - as if it wasn't enough to make him interesting by giving him a limp, a Vicodin addiction, and a misanthropic personality.)

I suppose if I went back enough generations it would be pozz'ble, just pozz'ble, to make the theory of relateeveety work for the Doctors House and Primble.  But you go far enough back and you can probably find a family connection between Don Draper and Ralph Kramden.  (I've already suggested that Draper - aka Dick Whitman - was descended from Cheyenne Bodie!)  Eventually we're all related to each other at some point down the line.

And I would feel compelled to find the missing links in that family tree - where did the House branch veer off from the Primble lineage?  

And that would mean work.  And I'm lazy.

I suppose I could make the case that Primble is related to Dr. Paul Slippery of 'fortysomethng'......

I hope you have a happy Fourth of July, Mother-Bleepers!

BCnU!

TVXOHOF, 07/2014 - SIR RICHARD CARLISLE


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?

A Brit.


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

SHOWS CITED:
  • 'Downton Abbey'
  • 'Game Of Thrones'
  • 'Anno 1790'
  • 'Doctor Who'
  • 'EastEnders'
  • 'The Bill'
  • 'The New Statesman'
  • 'Lord Peter Wimsey'
BCnU!

* 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?"

Thursday, July 3, 2014

LITTLE BIG SCREEN - "AIRPORT" & "COLUMBO"



"Tell me, Mrs. Quonsett, have you ever been a stowaway on any other airline?"

"Oh yes, my dear, but I like Trans Global the best." 


(from "Airport")

TGA (Trans Global Airlines, a fictional airline and the parent company of the film's Golden Argosy jet) doesn't have the "Oomph" enjoyed by Oceanic Airways as far as Toobworld goes.  In fact, I can find only one mention of it in a TV series.

'COLUMBO'
"THE MOST CRUCIAL GAME"


Lt. Columbo is seen striding through the LAX terminal in search of his main suspect, Paul Hanlon.  Overhead, a voice on the public address system requests that Mr. David North should report to the Trans-Global desk.

So Trans-Global does have a counterpart in the main Toobworld, but it's not enough of a reason to pull the entire "Airport" movie franchise out of the Cineverse and into Earth Prime-Time.  There's not even enough reason to suggest this was a Borderland melding of the two fictional universes.  (Three, if you want to count the original home in BookWorld.)  It's just a case in which the airline has a doppelganger in all three universes.

Just one more thing.......*

There is one David North listed officially in the Tele-Folks Directory.  He was one of the bikers who harrassed Jim Norton and his brother when they were kids and ended up killing the brother.  Soon after that, the bikers were killed themselves, but they were eventually sent back to finish what they had started by killing Jim.

I'm not sure of the timeline in the original Stephen King short story "Sometimes They Come Back" (I think King had 50s greasers in mind), but in the Toobworld timeline, this could have occurred in the early 1970s.  And that would be around the same time as this 'Columbo' episode takes place.  (The TV movie takes place around the same time it was broadcast - early 1990s.)

So it's pozz'ble, just pozz'ble, that this biker was the same David North being called to the Trans-Global desk.  Why he was in Los Angeles, away from his home state of Maine is unknown.

Or it could be a TV character in which we never knew the first name.  For example:
  • He could be "Mr. North", an Australian who appeared in two episodes of 'Angels' back in the early 1980s.  
  • "David" could be the proper first name for an old cowboy usually known as Sandy North ('The Adventures Of Champion').
And there are countless other shows with characters with the last name of North who could have had fathers or sons by the name of David and who could have been traveling by Trans-Global Airlines that day when Lt. Columbo was there.

And for alls I know, there might still be more than one David North out there in TV Land.  It's just that the "ever-reliable" IMDb hasn't included them yet.

BCnU!

* See what I did there?

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

LITTLE BIG SCREEN TVXOHOF, 07/2014 - ALTAIR IV


Comtrya!

Throughout the year, Inner Toob is celebrating the concept of "Little Big Screen" or "Toobworld Goes To The Movies".  And since summer is upon us, when the movie theatres are booked with all manner of sc-fi films, I thought I'd take a look at one of the classics and its place in the TV Universe....

"FORBIDDEN PLANET"

This loose interpretation of Shakespeare's play "The Tempest" was released in 1956 in the Trueniverse and it is considered a movie in Toobworld as well.

Aside from the MANY references to Robbie the Robot by various TV characters, from Mr. Conductor in 'Shining Time Station' to Xander in 'Buffy The Vampire Slayer', and the sight of so many Toobworld robots which were O'Bviously constructed to resemble Robbie. there were more overt references to "Forbidden Planet" being a movie in Toobworld:

'THE TWILIGHT ZONE'
"One For The Angels"

Three years after the movie's premiere, sidewalk peddlar Lou Bookman (father of Lt. Bookman from an episode of 'Seinfeld') was selling toy versions of Robbie the Robot from his samples case.

'DOCTOR WHO'
"Silence In The Library"

I'd like to think that same Robbie the Robot toy which Lou Bookman had to sell would become a collectible that lasted well into the 52nd Century and became one of the possessions of young Charlotte Lutz which then occupied her dream-state in the Library's data core......

'THE BIG BANG THEORY'
&
'SIX FEET UNDER'

A poster for the movie could be seen in the apartment shared by Leonard Hochstedter and Sheldon Cooper.  It could also be found in Arthur Martin's bedroom.

'CHEERS'
"Yacht Of Fools"
Since the movie dealt with psychological terms such as the Id and the Super-Ego, of course Dr. Frasier Crane would believe that "Forbidden Planet" was a better movie than "E.T."

'CASTLE'
"Law & Murder"
Over in an alternate dimension, Detective Kate Beckett and author Rick Castle made plans to see "Forbidden Planet".




What really sealed the deal on "Forbidden Planet" being a movie in Toobworld was during the 27th episode of 'MGM Parade' in its first season.  Actor Walter Pidgeon, who played Dr. Morbius in the movie, donned his costume and employed his serlinguist skills to tell the audience in the Trueniverse about the film.  (I apologize for the poor quality of the screencap to the right....)

But although the events and characters of "Forbidden Planet" are fictional by the standards Earth Prime-Time as well as by those of Earth Prime, the setting for the movie - the planet known as Altair IV (on which Dr. Morbius lived with his daughter) does exist in the greater TV Universe, mostly thanks to the 'Star Trek' franchise.

'STAR TREK'
"Wolf In The Fold"
Altair IV was the inhabited fourth planet of the Altair system, which was located in Sector 9.  Its position in the Milky Way Galaxy could be seen in a star chart.

'STAR TREK'
"Amok Time"
The starship Enterprise had been en route to Altair IV when Kirk ordered an emergency course change to Vulcan so that Mr. Spock could deal with the debilitating effects of pon farr.

"STAR TREK: THE WRATH OF KHAN"
Altair IV was featured as part of the simulated computer war game in the Kobayashi Maru program.

'STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION'
"Encounter At Farpoint"
Another planet in the Altair system was Altair III, which was considered too dangerous for an Away Team to visit.

'STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION'
"Conspiracy"

It was Altair VI which was considered the center of the Altair system and it was a planet well-known for the amenities it offered for Starfleet personnel on shore leave.  It was on Altair VI that the Altairian Conference was held and this was where Captain Jean Luc Picard first met Captain Rixx.

'STAR TREK: DEEP SPACE NINE'
"Prophet Motive"
It was mentioned that Dr. Henri Roget of the Central Hospital on Altair IV was a recipient of the Carrington Award in 2371.

'Star Trek' was not the only sci-fi series to avail themselves of Altair references....

'THE HITCH-HIKER'S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY'
The financial institutions of Altair VI must have been so strong that the Altairian dollar was the common currency used through the galaxy.  (This may be just the books, but Toobworld Central does consider most of the information in one medium to be shared with all when it comes to the universe as seen by Douglas Adams.)

'BUCK ROGERS IN THE 25TH CENTURY'
"The Plot To Kill A City"

Raphael Argus was a notorious assassin who began his career on Altair V.  After his capture, Buck Rogers assumed his identity in order to infiltrate a conclave of terrorists.

'STARGATE SG-1'
"Tin Man"

One thing that hasn't been mentioned yet is that by the time the Terrans of Earth were able to visit Altair IV, all of the inhabitants had their minds trnsferred into exact android replicas in order to survive.  (This happened 11,000 years before a team of Stargate explorers first visited the world in the latter part of the 20th Century.)  The designation for Altair IV by Stargate Command was P3X-989.

It could be that the Enterprise was on its way to Altair IV to negotiate with these long-lived replicants.....

It is because of its existence in 'Stargate SG-1', 'Buck Rogers In The 20th Century', 'The Hitch-Hiker's Guide To The Galaxy' and the 'Star Trek' franchise that the planet Altair IV is being inducted today into the Television Crossover Hall of Fame.  (Those other references are due to the movie and so they don't count.)


O'BSERVATION:
"Comtrya" is an Altairian greeting.....

OTHER SHOW CITED:
'Seinfeld'

BCnU!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

TUESDAY NEWS DAY - HARLEY QUINN


In one of the 'Arrow' episodes this year, the Batman villain and Joker sidekick Harley Quinn may have turned up... but in voice only.


Tara Strong gives voice to the character in a different fictional platform (video games), but was listed in the episode's end credits only as "Deranged Squad Female."  That could apply to Harley Quinn, but that could also describe any number of characters in the DC Universe.  It could also be the televersion of a woman I dated back in 1998!

If she is Harley Quinn, it wouldn't be the first time she appeared in the TV Universe.  The Tooniverse has several incarnations of her, O'Bviously, with all the different animated series featuring the Batman, Superman, and even Static Shock.  But there was also her appearance in Evil Toobworld in episodes of 'Birds Of Prey' and in the Claymation/Stop Motion world of 'Robot Chicken'.  


Earth Prime-Time came close to having a Harlequin, if not a Harley Quinn (aka Harleen Quinzel), back in 1990: Zoey Clark tagged along with the psychotic Trickster, calling herself "Prank".  She may have gone on to change her alias to Harlequin in an attempt to distance herself from the Trickster after he kicked her out of his car at high speed.  But she still would have been Zoey and not Harley.

Will Tara Strong eventually show up on 'Arrow' as Harley Quinn?  Executive Producer Marc Guggenheim had this to say about her eventual return:

"I want to manage expectations with respect to Harley Quinn. She was always intended to be an 'Easter egg'. I don’t want people to go in with incorrect expectations and walk away from Episode 16 disappointed."

Since each character's rights have to be negotiated separately with D.C., it may prove unlikely.  They may be saving her for their next comic book-based series, 'Gotham'.

Episodes of 'Arrow' jump back and forth between dimensions (usually depending upon appearances of Barry Allen.)  So overall it may prove inconsequential to the Toobworld Dynamic.

BCnU!

Monday, June 30, 2014

TV-GPS: ANOTHER SAN LORENZO JOB



"THE SIX MILLION DOLLAR MAN'
"VULTURE OF THE ANDES" 

From the Bionic Wiki:
San Lorenzo is a fictional South American nation with a man who attempts to obtain fighter jets from the United States in order to forcibly seize power in San Lorenzo, in "Vulture of the Andes". 

'LEVERAGE' 
"THE HO HO HO JOB" (mentioned)
"THE BIG BANG JOB" (Mentioned)
"THE SAN LORENZO JOB"

From the Leverage Wiki:
San Lorenzo is a small country, formerly a British colony, which became independent in 1969. Since the initial open elections, the country became more of a tyranny under President Rivera. 

We got ourselves a convoy - oops!  I mean a contradiction.....

But this isn't a Zonk; not when we can find a perfectly good splainin to make it work.  

Although it wasn't seen until decades later, the European country of San Lorenzo [in the vicinity of tele-Monaco] was in existence centures before the South American country.


San Lorenzo lies on the Meditteranean and in its heyday the country was a sea power to rival Portugal.  It sent expeditions to the New World, where it eventually established a colony that grew into the country of New San Lorenzo.  This is the country that was targeted for takeover by Byron Falco in late 1976.

By this point in their history, the country had dropped the "New" and was proclaiming itself as "San Lorenzo".  The original country, which once held sway over that region as their last South American holding, took umbrage at the usurpation of their name and took up the matter in the World Court and at the United Nations.


Eventually San Lorenzo of the New World stepped back from the confrontation and changed their name.  For many of those South American countries to be found only in Toobworld, this was par for the course.  It seems like each of them changed their name as often as they changed dictatorships.

And there were so many of them to choose from!  Here are just a few examples:
  • Costa Brava ("Bionic Woman") - capital city Despacho
  • Costa Nueva ("Simon And Simon")
  • Equarico ("Gilligan"s Island")
    [This could be the same country from which General Manuel Cortez hails from ("Gomer Pyle USMC")]
  • Nueva Tierra ("Mission: Impossible")
  • San Carlos ("The Saint") - capital city also San Carlos
  • San Cristobal ("Mission: Impossible")
  • San Cristobel ("Guiding Light")
  • San Lorenzo ("The Six Million Dollar Man")
  • San Nicasio ("Persons Unkknown")
  • San Pablo ("The Saint")
  • San Planas ("The Outer Limits")
  • San Ricas ("The Chinese Typewriter")
  • Santales ("Mission: Impossible")
  • Todos del Santos (‘The Man From U.N.C.L.E.')

I'm leaning towards Todos del Santos as their new name, from 'The Man From U.NC.L.E.'  I could see the country's governing body choosing a name that covered all the saints, Lorenzo among them.  This would be like giving Old San Lorenzo a "Queen Anne's Fan" and/or a Bronx Cheer.....

And we even have precedent in the real world for this situation.

From Wikipedia:
The breakup of Yugoslavia reignited a multi-faceted dispute centered over the use of the name "Macedonia", this time between Greece and the newly independent Republic of Macedonia, formerly a federal unit of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Since 1991, it has been an ongoing issue in bilateral and international relations. Citing historical and territorial concerns resulting from the ambiguity between the Republic of Macedonia, the adjacent Greek region of Macedonia, and the ancient Greek kingdom of Macedon which falls mostly within Greek Macedonia, Greece opposes the use of the name "Macedonia" by the Republic of Macedonia without a geographical qualifier, supporting a compound name such as "Northern Macedonia" for use by all and for all purposes. 

So that's my San Lorenzo story and I'm sticking with it!

BCnU!

Sunday, June 29, 2014

THEORIES OF RELATEEVEETY - LANGDALE PIKE, JASON KING & JOHN CLEVERLY CARTNEY



Earlier today, I wrote about Dr. Watson's attitude toward gossip-monger Langdale Pike, and whether or not that had to do with Pike's possible sexual inclinations.  I gave Watson the benefit of the doubt in that I thought his dislike for the man had more to do with Pike's association with the "gutter press".

However, I do think Langdale Pike of Toobworld was homosexual... not that there's anything wrong with that.  But just because a man might prefer the company of other men, that doesn't mean he didn't at one time have a relationship with a woman.

We have Sean Harrison as the current example of that situation.....

While at University, it's pozz'ble, just pozz'ble, that Langdale Pike had carnal relations with a young woman - not out of love but a need to show his fellow students that he was not a homosexual.  Of course the relationship didn't last and that young woman may have left the area because she was now carrying Pike's child.

From that offspring (I'm thinking it was a girl), several family trees were begun which led to at least two TV characters whose DNA echoed the founder of their lineage.



The first would be Jason King, a potential candidate for the Television Crossover Hall of Fame and a successful novelist who also worked for the Interpol agency known as 'Department S'.  

Because of his facial hair, you might not know it to look at him that Jason King was the identical cousin to the Honorable John Cleverly Cartney, once the leader of a notorious "gentleman's association" known as the Hellfire Club.  


When he was brought down by talented amateur Mrs. Emma Peel, it was assumed that Cartney fell to his death and drowned in the river running below the club.  But instead, he survived and was taken in by the people who ran "The Village", groomed to become their new Number Two with the mission to break 'The Prisoner' known as Number Six.


He wasn't successful, but he was able to thwart an escape by several of the prisoners.  His current whereabouts are unknown; that is, if "Number One" allowed him to survive......

But it looks like there's a good chance he did.....


Or could this be a picture of Jason King today, sitting in Number Two's chair?
 
SHOWS CITED:
  • 'Sherlock Holmes' - "The Adventure Of The Three Gables"
  • 'The Avengers' - "A Touch Of Brimstone"
  • 'The Prisoner' - "Checkmate"
  • 'Department S' 
  • 'Jason King'
  • 'Sean Saves The World'
BCnU!

TELE-FOLKS DIRECTORY - LANGDALE PIKE


'SHERLOCK HOLMES'
"THE ADVENTURE OF THE THREE GABLES"

I don't want to think so, but I have a feeling that Earth Prime-Time's Dr. John Watson may have been bigoted against homosexuals.......


Jeremy Brett as THE Sherlock Holmes and Edward Hardwicke as Watson met with celebrated gossip-monger Langdale Pike, whose columns were published in many of the newspapers and magazines of the day.  (Some of which would be bought up by Sir Richard Carlysle, no doubt.)  

Pike was an old University friend of Holmes and the detective often consulted with him for information that could prove useful to a case.  Pike compared himself to Charles Augustus Milverton, but as the opposite of the professional blackmailer in that he suppressed more information than he exposed.

As Wikipedia points out, "Watson is rather scathing about Pike, Holmes is more sympathetic towards him, suggesting that Pike is isolated, much like Holmes himself."

It's never stated outright that Langdale Pike was a homosexual and I don't take into account that the actor who played him, the great Peter Wyngarde, being gay has any bearing on the character.  That would be an insult to Wyngarde's talents as an actor.

But if we are to accept that Dr. Watson's original published story of "The Three Gables" (edited by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle) are in the TV Universe, then Watson's own writings betray his feelings on the subject.  
In the story, Pike doesn't even appear,  but Watson describes him as "strange" and "languid" which to me would be code words regarding Pike's character and basic nature.  I'm not sure what St. James Street in London was like back in the 1890s, but Watson also claims that Pike spends all day "in the bow window of a St. James's Street club."

What could Watson be inferring with that?  That he was eyeing the young men who were going into the other gentlemen's clubs along the street?


I'm going to give Watson the benefit of the doubt and see his aversion to Pike being due to his association with what Watson calls "the garbage papers" rather than because of his supposed sexual inclinations.

BCnU!