Friday, June 5, 2015


I've a new theory for recastaways which can be more extensive for Toobworld than specific causes like plastic surgery, quantum leaping, or alien/android substitutions.

However, it is alien-based.  I believe Toobworld, which has always been the focus of alien invasions since the Golgafrinchams at the Dawn of Mankind*, had been visited by the sentient natives of Antos IV during the Age of Legend.  And those Antosians not only bred with the Terran humanoids, but they also passed on their ability to alter their appearance through genetic manipulation.

Here's the key description from Memory Alpha, the 'Star Trek' wiki:

Cellular metamorphosis was a technique used by the inhabitants of Antos IV which allowed them to heal injuries at an accelerated pace.

In the 23rd century, the Antos IV natives taught this technique to Captain Garth of Izar, who had sustained life-threatening injuries. Although it was successful in healing Garth, it also caused him to become psychologically unstable, necessitating his placement at the Elba II asylum. While there, he managed to use cellular metamorphosis to alter his physical form and take on the appearances of other individuals. Using this power, he was able to take over the asylum and capture Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock, who had beamed down to the colony to deliver new medicine. Garth alternately used this technique to impersonate both Spock and Kirk in an attempt to take over the USS Enterprise, but Spock was eventually able to determine his true identity and stun him with a phaser. (TOS: "Whom Gods Destroy")

Although we never saw what the Antosians actually looked like in that 'Star Trek' episode, I think it's safe to assume they were basically humanoid in appearance.  Because of the "seeding" of the Galaxy by the Preservers, it's likely they were closely related to humans genetically and so it would have been easier for them to procreate with "close" relatives like the Terran humans.  And I think they may have been equipped with six inch tails which proved to be a dominant trait passed on to their hybrid descendants.  We saw two shape changers who had such tails - Eddie Van Blundt and his father.
We may not have seen what the Antosians looked like in 'Star Trek', but it's my belief that we did see a few of them by crossing over into 'The Twilight Zone'.  In fact, we might have seen the heir to the Antosian throne!  "Old Ben" was anything but - in fact, he was a handsome young king.  But through his use of cellular metamorphosis he was able to change himself into not only an old human but also into a strange insectoid monster.  "Old Ben" is proof that the Antosians could breed with Terrans because he married an Earth girl once she grew up.....


Another shape-changer who may have been cursed with a vestigial tail was Arch Hammer.  He used his shape-shifting talents as a con man to gain money, women, revenge, and a chance to escape.  He impersonated a dead jazz musician named Johnny Foster in order to make time with Johnny's girlfriend.  Then Arch became Virgil Sterig so that he could blackmail crime boss Pennell who had ordered the real Virgil to be bumped off.

That didn't quite work out the way Arch intended, and so he quickly assumed the form of a young boxer named Andy Marshak.... 

Just his luck he ran into Marshak's father who had a seething resentment towards his own son for breaking his mother's heart which led to her early death.  Old Man Marshak caught up with his "son" and shot him.  Arch fell to the ground and shifted through all of his shapes before dying.

So this cellular metamorphosis could be a splainin as to why certain recastaways happen in Toobworld, especially in shows where the concept of alien impersonations might be too implausible.  The addition of Antosian genetics into the human DNA pattern would be so far back in History that it no longer had any bearing on the believability of the setting.  And there wouldn't be that many in the world - unlike the case with the Wesen who seem to nearly outnumber the human population (at least in Portland, Oregon!)

I don't think we have to limit these shape-shifters to just Earth Prime-Time either.  The Antosians could have visited other planets, especially other inhabited ones in the Sol system....  Like Mondas.

Mondas was the twin planet of Earth Prime-Time, sharing a geo-synchronous orbit.  But it was blasted out of its orbit to parts unknown, only to be destroyed when it finally returned in the mid-1980s.

In the early days of Mondas, during an age that was equivalent to the Medieval period of the far younger Toobworld, most of the world was under the sway of the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros.  And at least two Mondasians were recastaways which had nothing to do with being members of the Faceless Men.  One of these characters was the sell-sword Daario Naharis (and personally I preferred his first appearance.)  The other is the barbaric giant of a man known as the Mountain.  HIs real name is Gregor Clegane and he has gone through three transformations since the Trueniverse audience first started following his exploits.

Whether Arch Hammer or Daario Naharis or the Mountain had vestigial tails like the Van Blundts, I have no answer.....


So should a character be recast in some show in which there's no better splainin available, it could be that the character has Antosian genes in his DNA.  And the reactions by the other characters must have occurred off-screen during the season break.  (Spartacus, perhaps?)  And perhaps there are whole communities of these Terran/Antosian hybrids, which would splain away so many recastaways in the soap operas.......

I'd like to tip my cap to Linda Alexander, who inspired this post.  Currently she is doing the research for a book she's writing on the late actor Steve Ihnat, who portrayed Garth of Izar in that 'Star Trek' episode.  She posted a picture of Ihnat in 'The Big Valley' and that got my leetle grey cells to start churning....


  • 'Star Trek' - "Whom The Gods Destroy"
  • 'The Twilight Zone' - "The Four Of Us Are Dying"
  • 'The Twilight Zone' - "The Fugitive"
  • 'The X-Files' - "Small Potatoes"
  • 'Doctor Who' - "The Runaway Bride"
  • 'Doctor Who' - "City Of Death"
  • 'Doctor Who' - "The Tenth Planet"
  • 'Doctor Who' - "Earthshock"
  • 'Torchwood: Miracle Day'
  • 'Game Of Thrones'
  • 'The Hitch-Hiker's Guide To The Galaxy'
  • 'Spartacus'
  • 'The Big Valley'
  • 'Grimm'


* Strike that.  It goes all the way back to when Earth Prime-Time was being assembled by the Magratheans, when the Empress of the Racnoss inserted her eggs into the planet's newly-forming core.  And then when the "Blessing" wormed its way into an antipodal position through the center of Toobworld.  Hell, even the Jagaroth and the Cybermen beat the Golgafrinchams at invading the planet.  And it was a good thing, a really good thing, for Mankind that they did.

1 comment:

Linda J. Alexander said...

Great stuff, Toby & thx for the "shout-out!"