Saturday, October 28, 2017


From Wikipedia:

'My Favorite Martian' is an American television sitcom that aired on CBS from September 29, 1963, to May 1, 1966,[1] for 107 episodes (75 in black and white: 1963–65, 32 color: 1965–66). The show starred Ray Walston as Uncle Martin (the Martian) and Bill Bixby as Tim O'Hara.

John L. Green created the central characters and developed the core format of this series, which was produced by Jack Chertok.

A human-looking extraterrestrial in a one-man spaceship crash-lands near Los Angeles. The ship's pilot is, in fact, an anthropologist from Mars and is now stranded on Earth. Tim O'Hara, a young newspaper reporter for The Los Angeles Sun, is on his way home from Edwards Air Force Base (where he had gone to report on the flight of the X-15) back to Los Angeles when he spots the spaceship coming down. The rocket-powered aircraft had nearly hit the spaceship and caused it to crash.

Tim takes the Martian in as his roommate and passes him off as his "Uncle Martin." Uncle Martin refuses to reveal any of his Martian traits to people other than Tim, to avoid publicity (or panic), and Tim agrees to keep Martin's identity a secret while the Martian attempts to repair his ship. Uncle Martin has various unusual powers: he can raise two retractable antennae from his head and become invisible; he is telepathic and can read and influence minds; he can levitate objects with the motion of his finger; he can communicate with animals; he can freeze people or objects; and he can speed himself (and other people) up to do work.

Exigius 12½ (the Martian name of Martin O'Hara) was inducted into the TV Crossover Hall of Fame in October of 2001.  


Nanoo nanoo!

Oops.  Wrong Earth-based alien!

Friday, October 27, 2017


From Steve Skayman, writing in the "Columbo TV" Facebook page:
Alex lives in a nice house with a very rich wife, but when his mistress threatens to tell all then murder is not too far away and pretty soon unwanted callers will be knocking at the door...

Alex Benedict in "Etude in Black"? Yep but it's also Bill Bixby as Alex Chandler in the 'Barnaby Jones' season one episode "To Denise, With Love & Murder"

And here's some of the evidence he provided:

An excellent catch by Steve there, who's working his way through the first season of 'Barnaby Jones'.  (Click here to see his previous contribution to the Toobworld Dynamic.)

Episode aired 17 September 1972

The mistress of a conductor becomes a target for murder after threatening to tell all to her lover's wife.

Episode aired 22 April 1973

Alex Chandler kills his mistress Denise during a quarrel, because she talked to his rich wife Hazel hoping to encourage a divorce. A disappointed Hazel leaves home and as she does not return her brother hires Barnaby to find out whether Alex murdered Hazel.

As most of you in Team Toobworld know about my particular fixation with the realm of Earth Prime-Time, I don't consider this to be a case of the same location being used again for different TV show episodes.  I have to find the "splainin" within the reality of the TV Universe.

This one seems relatively simple to solve.  Once Janice Benedict turned against her husband.  ("I could have stood for anything, Alex.  Anything in the world, but not murder."), and Alex was arrested, she and her mother decided that the best thing to do in order to put that part of her life behind her would be to sell the house.  She didn't need yet another reminder of Alex Benedict, especially since she was pregnant with his child.*

Her mother, Lizzie Fielding, took charge of the transaction and sold it as quickly as possible.  By coincidence, she arranged for it to be sold to another man named Alex - Alex Chandler.  And in less than a year, Alex Chandler had followed in Alex Benedict's footsteps and murdered his mistress as well.

The most basic premise of Toobworld is that we try to absorb as many TV shows into one universe.  So the claim that this mansion is the same one is an easy one to accept.  Where it gets tricky, however, is the fact that the Pasadena mansion used in these two examples showed up again in Toobworld.  (Luckily for me I don't get involved with the Cineverse because it showed up in quite a few movies as well!)

But as far as Toobworld goes....

'Starsky & Hutch'
“Targets Without A Badge, Part 2”
The Bay City mansion was owned by a man named Gunther.

‘Murder, She Wrote’
“A Death In Hong Kong”
It could also be found outside of the United States in Hong Kong.

But perhaps its most famous appearance is in the sitcom ‘Benson’ as the residence of the Governor. 

I don’t have anything else to base this on, but I believe ‘Benson’ took place in my home state of Connecticut because the Governor at that time was the cousin of Jessica Tate.  She lived in Dunn’s River, Connecticut, as depicted in the sitcom ‘Soap’.

That the same mansion should be found from one end of the country to the other and beyond to Hong Kong can be attributed to the same reason as other similar copies of buildings in other TV series.  It’s all because they were built by the same architect who simply used the same design over and over again.

I was hoping to find another TV character by the name of “Alex” in a TV show from the 1940s to the 1960s, someone who didn’t have much of a backstory. I could then have claimed that this Alex had committed a murder in that mansion and his spirit still haunted the place, causing others bearing his name to do the same.  Unfortunately I never did find one to fit the bill.

No matter.  Just the fact that, with Steve’s incredible research, I’m able to make a credible connection between ‘Columbo’ and ‘Barnaby Jones’ is good enough.  It’s a link that didn’t exist before.


Thursday, October 26, 2017


'The Doctor Blake Mysteries'
"A Night to Remember" 
It is mentioned that Jacqueline Maddern had recently had a role in an American film about the end of the world based on a book by Nevil Shute.

What sort of mood was Miss Maddern in? 

Excited. She was preparing for her trip. 


To the United States.
She, er, just had a role in that big American picture they were shooting here. 

Oh, yes. The one about the end of the world, the Nevil Shute book? 


From Wikipedia:
"On the Beach" is a 1959 American post-apocalyptic science fiction drama film from United Artists, produced and directed by Stanley Kramer, that stars Gregory Peck, Ava Gardner, Fred Astaire and Anthony Perkins.
This black-and-white film is based on Nevil Shute's 1957 novel of the same name depicting the aftermath of a nuclear war. Unlike the novel, no blame is placed on whoever started the war; it is hinted in the film that the threat of annihilation may have arisen from an accident or misjudgment.
"On The Beach" was mentioned in another TV series set in the main Toobworld, but one which also could be found in the Audioverse originally.

'Hancock's Half Hour'
"Sid in Love" (1960)
Tony and Sid have been to see the film. Tony finds it a thought-provoking experience, but Sid is less sure. "Not my fault Fred Astaire didn't do any dancing," mutters Hancock.
And "On The Beach" also can found in an alternate TV dimension which had a different line of succession for the President of the United States.  (First there was the POTUS played by William H. Macy, and then his successor, President Benjamin Castillo who was in three episodes played by Benito Martinez.)  Even with that major difference, the alteration to their dimension didn't prevent "On The Beach" from being made.

'The Unit' 
"Sub-Conscious" (2007)
Kim refers to an old black-and-white movie "about the end of the world" with Gregory Peck and Ava Gardner.  (She had fallen asleep while watching "On The Beach" on the late show and it influenced her dream.)

There was a TV movie based on the book, which would make the characters multiversal, but they wouldn't be found in the main Toobworld, not with that plotline.  I suppose that version of Shute's novel would be in one of the many TV movie dimensions.
I'm actually surprised there were that many references to the movie.  I mean, it's a real downer.  But at least there were reasons for each.  Patricia Maddern appeared in the Toobworld version of the movie, and Tony and Sid went to see it in April of 1960, just over four months after it had opened.  By the time Kim had seen it, "On The Beach" was already playing on TV... and I would not be surprised if it was showing on the televersion of TCM.


Wednesday, October 25, 2017



I wrote about this episode this past weekend when COZI-TV replayed it as part of their Saturday night double-header:

I've always believed that this was the most over-loaded episode when it came to guest stars: Robert Culp, Dean Stockwell, Dean Jagger, James Gregory, Susan Howard, Valerie Harper, Val Avery, and even the LA Lakers. But I'm watching it now and - Say.... where's my remote? I'm always losing that thing. You'd think I'd always have it at hand; in fact, my family says that when I get buried, there'll be a remote control in my hands instead of a rosary. Oh, there it is! Now where was I? Oh yeah. Just one more thing - I'm watching it now and I just realized there is another guest star in this episode. Theoretical, of course, just another of my Toobworld theories.

Being the sadistic bastid that I am, I made them work for the answer.  I even gave them clues.  One of them was that the phantom guest star had appeared in ‘Columbo’ in an earlier episode from that same season.  And there were even some picture clues:
But for you, dear members of Team Toobworld, here is the answer:
John Cassavetes as Alex Benedict from the episode “Ètude In Black”. Playing on that radio was Mozart’s “Eine kleine Nachtmusik".  And that’s what the symphony orchestra was playing in Cassavetes’ episode. The IMDb backs me up on this and everybody knows that the IMDb is NEVER wrong…. Columbo Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (writer: "Eine kleine Nachtmusik" - uncredited) - Étude in Black (1972) - The Most Crucial Game (1972) So we know it was playing on that radio in “The Most Crucial Game”.  In ““Ètude In Black”, Alex Benedict was conducting the symphony orchestra in rehearsal at the bandshell, urging them to play the piece quasi una fantasia (“Like a fantasy.”) But of course, Lt. Columbo had other plans for the rest of that afternoon.
The concert that was broadcast on the night of Jenifer Welles’ murder was later re-broadcast on the educational channel (known today as Public Broadcasting) on Saturday morning.  So a recording was made – which solved the murder case of Lt. Columbo - and I think it’s pozz’ble, just pozz’ble, that the audio recording of that concert was also played by National Public Radio as well.
Not only that, but I think they may have even re-broadcast it several times over, perhaps even during fund-raising marathons.  After all, the concert had gained some notoriety as being the last conducted by Alex Benedict who had just committed murder a little over an hour before the performance.
We never heard "Eine kleine Nachtmusik" performed during the actual televised concert, as the PTB for that episode’s production instead focused on a different piece of music which was more dramatic as the scene switched back and forth from the concert to the police investigating Miss Welles’ house.  But it couldn’t be the ONLY piece of music played during the evening.  So I think they did perform "Eine kleine Nachtmusik" and Alex must have felt there was something wrong with that night’s rendition which warranted a rehearsal to get it back into the shape he wanted.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017


Here there be spoilers.  Fair warning.....

Every so often 'Murder, She Wrote' had some clever in-jokes.  At the time of this writing I'm seeing an episode for the first time - "Death 'n' Denial" - which takes place in Cairo.  And this one had a touch of Agatha Christie which circled back to Angela Lansbury.

There is a character named Sally Otterburn, played by Finn Carter.  And in the movie "Death On The Nile", Angela Lansbury portrayed Mrs. Salome Otterbourne.  Sally Otterburn, meet Salome Otterbourne.

Luckily for the dynamics of Toobworld, this in-joke was delivered with a feather touch without fanfare.  There is no connection between the two as they each take place in separate fictional universes.  “Death ‘n’ Denial” happened in Earth Prime-Time, the main Toobworld, while “Death On The Nile” occurred in an alternate world, one of the Borderlands in which movies and TV shows share the same dimensional plane.  

This is because Peter Ustinov as Hercule Poirot appeared in TV movies as well as theatrical films based on the books of Dame Agatha Christie.

We couldn’t very well allow Ustinov’s version of the Belgian detective with the “leetle grey cells” into the main Toobworld.  Hercule Poirot is firmly entrenched with the portrayal by David Suchet over twenty years. And his Poirot solved the televersion of that case as seen in 2004.  (In that version, the wonderful Frances de la Tour assayed Mrs. Otterbourne.)

And so we can only accept that in-joke as it was meant to be – a little bit o’ fun for the audience of the Trueniverse as it was meant to be, if they were eagle-eyed enough to spot it.

One last thought - I found it interesting that Sally Otterburn and Salome Otterbourne played opposite ends of the spectrum.......


Monday, October 23, 2017


"We contacted the stewardess
And she explained what happened
Lt. Frank Columbo
"Prescription Murder"

If you read the cast credits for "Prescription Murder", you'll see that Sherry Boucher is listed as "Airline Hostess". If you want to expand that, she was a TWA airline hostess. 

But I can tell you that her name was Wendy. And the Los Angeles to Acapulco route was not her only flight path. Several years later she was also working the Los Angeles to St. Louis route as well. 

(Sherry Boucher played Wendy the airline hostess on the flight back to Los Angeles from St. Louis in the 'Sanford and Son' episode "Superflyer", S03E08)


Sunday, October 22, 2017


From BBC:

Irish stand-up star and BBC quiz show panellist Sean Hughes has died aged 51.

Richard Bucknall, his former agent and promoter, said the "formidable" comic died in hospital on Monday and would be remembered for his "superb wit".

Hughes was a team captain on 'Never Mind the Buzzcocks' on BBC Two and had his own Channel 4 sitcom, 'Sean's Show'.

From The Guardian:

Sean Hughes, who has died aged 51, was one of the most important figures in the evolution of modern long-form stand-up comedy. Until his 1990 Edinburgh festival fringe show, A One Night Stand With Sean Hughes, won the Perrier award for best show, most alternative comedy shows at the fringe were little more than extended comedy club sets, gags shamelessly stitched together. Hughes did something different, weaving a narrative into his performance, which was set in an imaginary bedsit.

Today we think nothing of comedy shows having an emotional arc regarding some personal grief or loss. There is even a joke about it. Comics talk about doing a “dead dad” show. We might not have had these shows without Hughes. His former promoter Richard Bucknall has rightly called him “a pioneering, groundbreaking comedian who changed comedy with that live show”.

Click here to read tributes from his friends and fellow comics.

The Guardian shared some video to show him in action  Click here.

Here is a stand-up special Hughes did. 

On my Holy Grail list of TV shows I want to see is his sitcom "Sean's Show" which sounded a lot like 'It's Garry Shandling's Show'.  Thanks to YouTube, I've found a few of them:

If you enjoyed those, go to YouTube and you'll find several more.

Good night and may God bless, Sean.  LOL - right off in that comedy special it looks like you weren't a believer, but if there's eternal peace, I hope you've found it.