Friday, May 22, 2015


Here's a classic Zonk for you....

'The Name Of The Game'
"A Different Kind Of Spy"

"People" magazine reporter Jeff Dillon was investigating corporate espionage at the research facility where a friend of his worked.  This first screencap shows him inside the offices.

But when he steps outside the building, he's no longer wearing the turtleneck sweater and black jacket.  Now he's in a suit and tie.

Here's a close-up as he realizes someone is about to run him over with a car.

Having survived that, he heads straight to the home of the guy he was investigating, only to see him shot.  He races inside to use the phone in order to call for help.  And as you can see, he's now back in the clothes he was wearing when he was inside the building.

I think this is a case in which our viewpoint changed from watching Jeff Dillon of Earth Prime-Time to watching his doppelganger in some alternate TV dimension and then back again, only for the time it took him to leave that facility's parking lot and drive over to his quarry's home.  Before he arrived, the point of view had changed back to the main Toobworld.

This would be the work of some sort of powers that be from within the TV Universe, a kind of hive-mind that speaks with one voice.  And we know that voice.  We've heard it before.  We know it as the Control Voice....

The Control Voice, or this Hive Mind which I'm going to call "The View Continuum", could also serve as a splainin for certain recastaways in shows where the usual excuses - like plastic surgery, alien or android impersonation, or quantum leaping - just wouldn't work.  (Mostly because the show has too realistic a setting - for example: Agent Deborah Ciccerone of 'The Sopranos', who was played by Fairuza Balk at the end of one season only to be recast with Lola Glaudini when the show returned.)

Sometimes the View Continuum would change the point of view for the Trueniverse audience several times within the same series.  For example - the 1966 'Batman' series.  We got to see three different TV dimensions in that series where all of the main characters - Batman, Robin, Aunt Harriet, Alfred, and the two stalwarts at Police Headquarters - were all played by the same actors, but Mr. Freeze was played by three different actors, one from each dimension.  George Sanders is the Mr. Freeze from the main Toobworld; Otto Preminger is from the Land O' Remakes; and the Mr. Freeze played by Eli Wallach is from - oh, I don't know.... Let's say from Zombie Toobworld.  Why not?  That Toobworld was "normal" until the last few years. 

At least once, the View Continuum forced our viewpoint to change within a single episode!  This happened in 'Community' when Jeff and Shirley were playing a cut-throat game of Foosball.  Suddenly we saw their counterparts in the Tooniverse instead of in the main Toobworld.

So what other TV dimension was it for this 'Name Of The Game' episode?  I'll keep it simple and say it was the world of the prequels.  This is a TV dimension which consists mostly of pilots for TV shows which are sold but then key roles are recast.  'The Name Of The Game' is already part of this world, thanks to "Fame Is The Name Of The Game" in which Anthony Franciosa still appeared as Jeff Dillon, but Glenn Howard - played on the series by Gene Barry - is here portrayed by George MacReady.


1 comment:

Jim Peyton said...

That Name of the Game episode is also fun to watch because it has Leslie Nielsen in a dramatic role. I watched it not long ago on Cozi and kept waiting for a Police Squad or Airplane moment