Sunday, December 25, 2016


Just as the Queen of England has her Christmas Honors List, the Television Crossover Hall of Fame also honors someone at Christmas time who has united several shows by their presence.  We do this every month, of course, but on Christmas Day it's usually someone who has a connection to the holiday.  In the past we have honored several Santa Clauses of different TV dimensions as well as the Spirit of Christmas, Ebenezer Scrooge and his author Charles Dickens, Mrs. Claus, Frosty the Snowman, the North Pole, the Misfit Toys, and entertainers like Bob Hope, Andy Williams, and Red Skelton with Freddie the Freeloader.  (Of course there were the occasional oddities like Mr. Spock, Mr. Freeze, ADA Jack McCoy, John Steed, and The Penguin!)

This year we inducted Dean Martin at the beginning of December; he was good for at least three Christmas specials and sadly he even died on Christmas Day.  But for the Christmas Honors List of the TVXOHOF, we are inducting someone who has a TV "Christmas Special" every year since 1957 when they were first televised:

Queen Elizabeth and her annual Christmas Message.

In a post later today I will share a hefty selection of them, beginning with that first one from 1957 and ending with last year's (which the Queen - and Pope Francis! - called the Final Christmas.  Hrmmmm.... Bleep you, 2016!)

But there's more than just 59 Christmas messages to count towards the Queen's qualifications for membership.  Since this is the year in which we celebrated the League of Themselves, then I'm not including any televersions in which Elizabeth II was portrayed by another actress.  Mostly thanks to archival footage and conversational references, the real Queen is a part of Earth Prime-Time.  And in 2012, her Royal Televersion actually interacted with one of the greatest of Multiversal characters - Bond.  James Bond.....

So here are a few other times in which the "actual" Queen played out her life in Toobworld:

'All Creatures Great and Small'
- The Course of True Love (1989) 

It's February 1952 and everyone is saddened by the sudden death of King George VI.  The main characters toast the health of the new Queen.  Elizabeth II is seen in news footage while the credits roll.

- Out with the New (1990) 
Everyone in Darrowby is preparing for the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. Tristan has taken himself off to London to take in the event live. Siegfried Farnon was hoping to see the Queen actually crowned on his TV but at the key moment he was called away to tend a sick sheep,

O'BSERVATION: With both episodes, her appearances on the show were relegated to news footage of the times.

'Doctor Who'
- The Idiot's Lantern (2006) 

In 1950s London, the police are hunting down strange, mute creatures. The people of Britain gather around their new-fangled "tele-vision" sets to celebrate the new Queen's coronation - but is something affecting the signal?

O'BSERVATION: Again we see the soon-to-be-crowned Queen on various TV sets, but there are quite a few different moments depicted in the news footage.

'The Jackie Gleason Show'
- Manager of the Baseball Team (1953)

I'm not exactly sure why the Queen is listed in this episode.  For alls I know, it's a prank by somebody who wanted to plant a fake item in an IMDb entry.  (Anybody can edit the bloody thing.)  But the show was a variety program which probably covered a lot of bases like 'The Ed Sullivan Show'.  There was even a ten minute sketch of 'The Honeymooners' included.  I think that if the Queen was seen during the program, it was in newsreel footage of her life as the Queen as she approached her first anniversary as the Monarch.  (The episode aired in May of 1953.)

"Till Death Us Do Part" (1966)
In the movie version of the classic Britcom, the Garnett Family are watching the finals for the 1966 World Cup match between England and West Germany.  That England was facing off against their enemies from both World Wars sent Alf into a series of flashbacks about the family's life during the war.  The Queen is seen in footage awarding the Rimet Trophy to the English team.

1]  This is The film version of '"Till Death Do Us Part" (1965). iT tells the story of Alf Garnett and his family living through the London Blitz.  The story played out in flashbacks which were triggered by the 1966 World Cup, which was between England and West Germany.  The flashbacs began with Neville Chamberlain announding that England was at war. 

2]   Toobworld Central has absorbed this movie out of the Cineverse and made it part of Earth Prime-Time.

'Hot Metal'
- The Twilight Zone (1988)

Bright young hope Maggie Troon may yet achieve some real investigative journalism for the Daily Crucible, increasing Richard Lipton's hopes of cleaning up the paper. But Twiggy and Russell Spam decide that his war on Page Three calls for devious counter-measures.

"XXX Summer Olympics Opening Ceremony" (2012)

This is probably the most interesting involvement by the Queen's televersion in Toobworld - rather than being seen in archive footage, she actively participated.  Accompanied by the secret agent currently assuming the code name "James Bond", the Queen takes a helicopter to the opening ceremonies for the 2012 summer Olympics in London.  Bond then had to jump out of the helicopter and parachute down.

'Antiques Roadshow'
- Hillsborough Castle 1 (2015) 

The show returns for a 35th year with a visit to the Queen's official residence in Northern Ireland. Fiona Bruce introduces members of the team to Her Majesty and Prince Philip.

'Antiques Roadshow' has a fictional counterpart in Toobworld and has been mentioned by several TV characters in other shows.  The Crane Family of 'Frasier' even appeared on an episode of the American version.  So this episode at Hillsborough Castle is eligible for consideration in her tally.

Aside from her many portrayals by other actresses in comedy sketches around the world (I'm particularly thinking of a recurring sketch on 'Saturday Night Live' in which Fred Armisen played a coarse and vulgar Elizabeth II.), footage of the Queen was used in several British comedy shows.  So Her Majesty has a presence in Skitlandia as well:

'The Benny Hill Show'
- Knicker's World (1968)

'Monty Python's Fliegender Zirkus'

This was the version of 'Monty Python's Flying Circus' which was produced specifically for the German market.  But there was at least one episode of the original series in which the cast was anticipating the moment when the Queen would be tuning into the program.  When she did, everyone rose to their feet, including the studio audience.  "The Royal Episode" serves as a crossover, since they show the news presenter of ITV's 'News At Ten' doing the same thing when she switches over to the news.

'The Benny Hill Show'
- News at Ten with Reginald Boozenquet (1971) 

That's a play on the name of news presenter Reginald Bosenquet, who played himself on 'Monty Python's Flying Circus'

And so there you have it - Queen Elizabeth II has finally found a home where she can rub elbows with the likes of Lucy Ricardo, Bugs Bunny, and Frankenstein's Creatures.  I hope she enjoys her stay.

Merry Christmas!

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