Friday, December 11, 2015



'The Librarians' don't make it easy to keep the series in Earth Prime-Time when it is creating so many Zonks in the quest to collect magical artifacts from around the world.  For instance, I had to come up with a splainin as to how the Library could have Excalibur when it was collected by the agents of Warehouse 13.  

Real Excalibur - a win for the Warehouse.  Until it sacrificed its "life", the Excalibur of the Library was an ancient warlock who had transformed himself into a replica of the sword when his powers were on the wane in order to continue being useful.  It's my contention his name was Exeter Caliburn and that he was an old friend of the warlock Maurice. (He was played by Kendrick Huxham in the 'Bewitched' episode "My Grandson The Warlock".)

So the series presented me as the Cathode Caretaker a challenge when they faced off against the legendary Dorian Gray.

From Wikipedia:

Dorian Gray is the subject of a full-length portrait in oil by Basil Hallward, an artist who is impressed and infatuated by Dorian's beauty; he believes that Dorian’s beauty is responsible for the new mode in his art as a painter. Through Basil, Dorian meets Lord Henry Wotton, and he soon is enthralled by the aristocrat's hedonistic worldview: that beauty and sensual fulfilment are the only things worth pursuing in life.

Newly understanding that his beauty will fade, Dorian expresses the desire to sell his soul, to ensure that the picture, rather than he, will age and fade. The wish is granted, and Dorian pursues a libertine life of varied and amoral experiences; all the while his portrait ages and records every soul-corrupting sin.

Based on information supplied in the plot, this has to be the real Dorian Gray of Earth Prime-Time.  Jenkins knew him as the best friend of Oscar Wilde (sometimes more than friend, nudge nudge wink wink.)  And Dorian recognized him as well.  I was hoping to make the claim that he was actually a Fictional who stepped out of BookWorld, but the fact that he and Jenkins knew each other back in 1890 throws that theory out the window.

So I have to accept this portrayal by Luke Cook is the one true Dorian Gray, a fully self-contained role since he dies at the end of the episode.  And that means all the other televersions from Oscar Wilde's only novel have to be relegated to alternate TV dimensions.

For the most part?  Piece of cake.

The world dominated by women as seen in:
  • 'All That Glitters'
  • 'Sliders' - "The Weaker Sex"
For this world, we have:

"The Sins of Dorian Gray" (1983)
In which Dorian is played by Belinda Bauer and the story is updated to the 1980s.

Just because a TV show is produced in Russia and the characters speak in Russian, this does not mean that they must exist in a Russian TV dimension.  Russian Toobworld could house them, of course, but its main claim to fame would be the Russian versions of famous characters from English based literature, like Sherlock Holmes.

For this world we have the TV movie "Portret Doriana Greya" from 1968, in which Valeri Babyatinsky assayed the role of Dorian.  It still took place in England, but in a world where Russia had conquered the planet.

As with Russian Toobworld, this is a TV dimension where Spain had conquered the world.  More than likely, the Spanish Armada beat the English fleet in July of 1588 and expanded its power from that point on.  What fills out this dimension to nearly SRO capacity is that it includes all of the English language TV shows that were dubbed into Spanish.  

In 1969, Mexican television saw Enrique Álvarez Félix as Dorian Gray in "El retrato de Dorian Gray".  Although Mexico was the country in which the TV movie was produced, it would still be absorbed into Spanish Toobworld as it is the language that matters, not the country of origin.

And then we have the one-shot adaptations that crop up every so often.....

"Armchair Theatre" 
    - The Picture of Dorian Gray (1961) 
Played by Jeremy Brett*

"Golden Showcase" 
    - The Picture of Dorian Gray (1961) 
Played by John Fraser

"The Picture of Dorian Gray" (1973) 
Played by Shane Briant

"BBC Play of the Month"
    - The Picture of Dorian Gray
Played by Peter Firth

It doesn't matter that they all came before 'The Librarians' episode in production; the rule of "First Come, First Served" can't apply here.  As they are all stand-alone versions of Wilde's tale, there are so many alternate dimensions in which to scatter them.  

"Gothica" (2013) 

This is an interesting case.  It appears that "Gothica" served as a pilot for an ABC TV series that might have been intended to be the horror version of the network's hit series 'Once Upon A Time'.  The IMDb, never 100% reliable, lists a release date for this pilot movie as 2013, but I'm not sure it was actually broadcast.  It may have never been able to escape the Limbo in which such TV pilots are left to languish.

But the premise is what makes "Gothica" intriguing:

Modern day show that weaves together a mythology that incorporates the legends of Dracula, Jekyll and Hyde, Frankenstein and Dorian Gray among others.

(From the IMDb)

Those "others" included twins Roderick and Madeline Usher, John and Mina Harker, and two members of the Van Helsing family.  Christopher Egan played Dorian Gray.

This premise brings me to the Showtime series 'Penny Dreadful', which has been running since 2014.  (Its third season premieres New Year's Day.)   Reeve Carney is Dorian Gray in the show which also features versions of Dr. Frankenstein, his Creature, Professor Abraham Van Helsing, Mina Murray, and perhaps the first of several members of the Talbot family to be cursed as a Wolfman.

As I don't have Showtime, I have only seen the one free preview of the first episode.  But now that it's on Amazon Prime Video, I can rectify that situation.  So further research needs to be done.  However, I'd like to find some way to keep the show in Earth Prime-Time and to do so, with so many recastaways of previously (or better) established characters, I may have to fall back on borrowing concepts from other TV shows... not uncommon in my branch of televisiology studies.  All of these characters could be Fictionals ('The Librarians') and the bulk of their adventures could be taking place in various "trap streets" of London.  ('Doctor Who')

We shall see what we shall view......

But in the meantime, Dorian Gray, as seen in one episode of 'The Librarians', had been the official televersion for the main Toobworld.  And unless the producers of 'The Librarians' can come up with a way to resurrect him, we shall not see his like, nor his likeness, again.....


* Jeremy Brett would play a supporting role in the next production that same year, for the 'Golden Showcase' anthology series.

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