Wednesday, April 15, 2015


In the TV dimension that houses 'Madam Secretary', Ezra Lyle Helsinger worked for sixty years in the State Department.  Secretary of State McCord honored his service by presenting Helsinger with a framed photograph of him with John Foster Dulles, the 52nd Secretary of State who served under President Eisenhower from 1953 to 1959.  

Modern day politicians, like celebrities, have portrayed themselves in TV shows over the last few years.  For instance, during its run 'Parks And Recreation' has given showcases to politicians from both sides of the aisle - Senators Boxer, McCain, Snowe, Gillibrand, and Hatch, Mayor Booker, Secretary Albright, Speaker Gingrich, and Vice President Biden.

But when it comes to historical figures, like Lincoln and Kennedy who are no longer with us, we usually get a wide range of actors portraying them.  (The usual splainin for the difference in their appearances is that we're seeing the point of view of someone else in the show.  This way we don't have to keep tossing out shows into other TV dimensions.)

But here we get another option - an image of the actual historical figure photoshopped with a younger image of Philip Baker Hall, the actor who played Helsinger.

What is also interesting is that we know that the timeline for the dimension of 'Madam Secretary' mirrors that of the real world and Toobworld at least up until the Eisenhower administration.  There have been mentions of real world events like Bengazi and 9/11, but those events could have happened anyway in a world in which the President could have been some fictional character. 

Dulles was portrayed three times in the greater TV universe:

Suez 1956 (1979)
Played by Alexander Knox

Eleanor, First Lady of the World (1982) 
Played by E.G. Marshall 

"American Playhouse"
    - Concealed Enemies, Part I: Suspicion (1984) 

Played by Henderson Forsythe

Each of those portrayals were one-shots and so could each be situated in different TV dimensions.  But none of them have to be in the world of 'Madam Secretary'.  And since none of those other versions of Dulles interacted with established fictional characters, they don't have to have any impact on Earth Prime-Time should Dulles ever show up in another TV series.

Today marks the anniversary of Dulles' departure as the Secretary of State, due to colon cancer.  He would be dead within a month...... 


No comments: