Saturday, May 7, 2005


For the last six years, 'Third Watch' never caught a break from its network, NBC. It was bounced all over the schedule - seven time slots in all! - and with very little promotion when compared to the Peacock's other drama series like 'ER', 'The West Wing', and the 'Law & Order' franchise.

And now it's too late. Last night, 'Third Watch' went out with a literal bang; a couple of them, in fact.

Actually it bowed out with "Crap", the final line of dialogue which was uttered by Sully. And I'm sure that summed up the feeling everybody on the show had in regard to their treatment by NBC.

Even for me, someone who didn't watch this show on a regular basis (Sorry, but I only have so much time in life for actual viewing. But at least did follow it in episode guides for Toobworld purposes), the finale was very moving and involving.

Many of the departed regulars came back for a quick appearance in that last hour; they even worked in Doc, who's in prison. Obviously Amy Carlson and Bobby Canavale couldn't show up as their characters Alex Taylor and Bobby Caffey, having died in the line of duty. Or they could have.... Not as ghosts, but as their current NBC incarnations - Amy as her 'Law & Order: Trial By Jury' ADA and Canavale as his gay patrolman from 'Will & Grace'.)

But who am I kidding? That never would have happened. It would have meant that NBC was making an attempt to drum up publicity for the show.

The network might claim that it did give 'Third Watch' several boosts through crossovers with other shows on their schedule. However, each of them presented problems of their own which still hobbled 'Third Watch'.

The first one was a crossover with 'ER'. A show about paramedics and a show about a hospital emergency room might seem like a perfect fit... except for the bugaboo mantra of "Location, location, location". 'Third Watch' took place in New York City while that wheezing, lumbering warhorse 'ER' is situated in Chicago.

It was almost painful to watch them do a backbreaking limbo to get a storyline which could allow them to work together. And even then, it wasn't a very compelling one and didn't involve enough members of the cast from either show to make it a truly powerful crossover.

As for the other two-parter, at least it was a better fit but as to why it happened, I can't say for certain. I don't think either party was served by the crossover.

This time, it remained in New York City and involved the viral forensic detective series 'Medical Investigations'. At least with that show, their main characters are free to move about the country and can interact with the casts of any other show on NBC's schedule, from 'Las Vegas' to 'Crossing Jordan' which is set in Boston.

But the crossover didn't really help either one in the long run. Being a new show, 'Medical Investigations' (one of the most boring titles on TV today) needed to be linked with a more powerful presence in the ratings, like 'Law & Order'. As dependable as 'Third Watch' always was, it wasn't going to provide that "oomph".

And of course, 'Third Watch' was too far along in both viewership averages and possible resentment from the network to expect any noticeable spike from being linked with a newbie like 'MI'.

I have never understood why, in the six years 'Third Watch' was on the air, it never had a crossover with any of the 'Law & Order' series. It seems like it would have been such a natural. Especially in this final season - Why didn't we ever see Faith Yokas working with Detective Stabler and Benson? Why wasn't it paramedics Carlos Nieto and Holly Levine who treated Detective Ed Green on the scene when he got shot a few weeks ago? Whenever there was a crime scene that was destroyed by fire, how come it wasn't the guys from the firehouse who responded to the call?

Surely one of those crime scenes on 'Law & Order' could have been located near the intersection of King and Arthur?

And the biggest head-scratcher of them all - why didn't Detective John Munch, the king of all crossovers in Toobworld - never make an appearance in that precinct?

Well, it's too late now; the 55 is gone - at least in the form everybody once knew it. If Dick Wolf had any real concept of a true TV Universe, he'd find some way to work mention of the events of this final episode into one of his 'Law & Order' shows. Especially as it was so cataclysmic, you'd think there'd be some talk about charges being filed, the loss of life in department ranks, perhaps someone was invited to the wedding.

At least they should tip their hat to a fallen comrade with a quick shot of a New York Ledger newspaper covering the story. After all, what happened at this inner-city Camelot was worth a week of front page headlines.

But I won't be holding my breath for that to happen!

At any rate, 'Third Watch' was the right show at the right time for helping a TV audience come to grips with the personal stories of First Responders on 9/11. It would have been a mortal blow to the show's credibility back in 2001, early 2002, had they not addressed what happened during the attack on the Twin Towers. (I think that was a major reason why '100 Centre Street' failed on A&E - it carried on as though the disaster never happened. How realistic could that be?)

Many shows have done stories about people whose lives were lost or touched in some way by 9/11, but most of those were fictional. 'Third Watch' brought us the actual firefighters, cops, and paramedics who risked their lives in insurmountable odds just to do their everyday job.

I think there's only one thing I might have added to the finale, as a grace note. At the end, I would have shown the inside of Sully's little cabin by the lake. And there on the wall would be hanging the begrimed coat of arms for the 55th Precinct, the Camelot located at the intersection of King and Arthur.

There's no way a dinky little blog about the TV Universe can ever hope to give the show the respect and honors it deserves, but there will one day be a small attempt - Someday, Detective Faith Yokas, as played by Molly Price) will be inducted into the TV Crossover Hall of Fame. It was her character that was most involved in both of those crossovers, with 'ER' and with 'Medical Investigations'.

It's not much, but it's all that I can offer to memorialize 'Third Watch'.

Oh... and this is a shout-out to Dick Wolf:

Get Detective Faith Yokas working as a regular in the 2-7! You brought John Munch all the way up from Baltimore to work in the 'Special Victims Unit'; why not bring in Yokas? She's just across town, for Crossover's sake!



I wanted so much to pronounce CNN's 'Larry King Live' as part of the Crossover of the Week for May 1st - 7th. I wanted it so badly I could taste it.

And it tasted good. It tasted of cream-filled doughnuts and spiced gumdrops.

That's because on Cinco de Mayo, the guest host was roly-poly Jiminy Glick, star of his own show on Comedy Central, 'Prime Time Glick'.

It would have been so perfect. Jiminy turned the tables and probed Larry King on his home turf. (That sounds so wrong.... I'm leaving it in!) Plus he did the Q&A with other CNN personalities like Anderson Cooper and Nancy Grace which would offer up links to their own CNN series as well.

Other guests were Shaun King, Larry's lovely (and latest) wife, James Van Praagh the medium and Denise Austin the fitness guru; both of whom have made their presences known in the TV Universe. Van Praagh even had his life story depicted in a TV movie starring Ted Danson. [And Van Praagh came off the better for the re-enactment.]

Like I said, it would have been perfect. It didn't matter that they showed clips of the new movie about Jiminy Glick. Kept within the "reality" of Toobworld, it just looked like a documentary on his life and "work" in show business.

But that grape juice swilling, garlic-breathing senior citizen Larry bleeped it all up right off the bat by saying that Glick was just a character played by Martin Short. And to make it worse, (Toobworld being such a visual medium) they actually showed Short getting made up with loads of latex to transform into Glick.

So the illusion was ruined.

Within the body of the show, the crossover still works. Martin Short never broke character and neither did his guests.

When he's appeared on other venues in the past - 'Hollywood Squares' and the Labor Day Telethon, for example, - he was always Jiminy Glick, never Martin Short.

But I suppose CNN had to protect its news cred.

You know, it's too bad Jiminy Glick didn't do this schtick on FOX News.

I'd much rather see the human beanbag Glick stick it to those gas-bags!


Thursday, May 5, 2005


I haven't forgotten that I was looking around the network skeds for other shows which could feature Detective John Munch and thus raise his totals for the most crossovers in history. It's just that I found a few other things to write about each day.

But let's take a look at UPN. Again, since we're outside the playground of NBC, we should stick with just the dramas and not mess around with any of the UPN sitcoms.

And quite frankly, I don't think there are any of those in which he could make a logical appearance.

Unfortunately, it's too late for 'Enterprise', but maybe some day in the far future, we might come across a crew member with the last name of Munch.

Wouldn't it be nice to know the bloodline continued?

Anyway, I think there are two series in which Munch could show up without being too much of a stretch for plausibility.

I don't know why I like the idea of Munch in Philadelphia so much. I've never been there myself, but for some reason I think it would work; that it would make a nice fit. A conspiracy nut like Munch in the City of Brotherly Love.....

'Kevin Hill' is set there, and Munch could be called down to testify in a case, perhaps in regards to an extradition matter. But of course, this would also depend on whether or not 'Kevin Hill' gets re-upped for a sophomore season.

And the signs are not favorable......

Still, I'd just like to see Munch being forced to hold the baby for a few excruciating minutes!

A better option would be 'Veronica Mars', if only because it's been renewed for second season. Perhaps Munch and Veronica's father worked together on a case years before and it's a bit of a reunion when Munch has to fly out to Neptune for yet another extradition.

I think the by-play between Munch and Veronica might be interesting. They both have a jaundiced view of the world around them, and meeting somebody like Munch might clue Ms. Mars into seeing what she might one day become.

It could only help in getting her to lighten up!




It appears as though nothing is left to chance in the world of 'Lost'. Clothing, books, numbers, names... everything seems to have relevance, hidden meanings, and/or connections to the other characters.

So with this week's episode of the show, Charlie Pace started calling Claire's baby "Turnip Head". Claire wasn't too thrilled by that idea, which is understandable - it's not exactly a term of endearment. In fact, in British slang, a "turnip" is just another way of saying "idiot". Although I couldn't find it listed in any online Aussie slang dictionaries, I'm sure Claire shared the same idea about the name.

Being from the United Kingdom, Charlie probably knows the term "Turnip Head" best from childhood memories of Halloween, also known as Samhain.

Here's what I found on the web about a certain tradition:

"The carved turnip head is essential for the creation of a proper Celtic atmosphere for Samhain-Halloween - October 31. The turnip is not a turnip at all (well, that is, for Americans!) We call them rutabagas (Swedes after the proper name: Swedish Turnip for those of the British Isles!).

Once they are carved and lit up with a candle they glow with an eerie yellow-ivory -you might say skull like quality! When they are suspended they look just like skulls floating in the night! Their shape is much more scull like than any pumpkin could ever be! (The ancient Celts had no Pumpkins!)"

Children's fantasy novels have made their presence known on the island. Boone had a copy of "Watership Down" in his luggage and Sawyer was seen reading that as well as "A Wrinkle In Time".

A popular author of such works is Philip Pullman who has penned the trilogy of "His Dark Materials" books. He has also written a book called "The Scarecrow and His Servant:", in which a scarecrow is constructed by an old man who hides a letter inside it. The old man dies, and the scarecrow is stolen repeatedly by farmers.

One day, struck by lightning, the Scarecrow comes to life. He has a turnip for a head and a kindly, serious, profoundly stupid nature. Luckily for him, he acquires Jack, a poor orphan boy, as his servant and adviser.

It could be that Claire was familiar with that book and so was not pleased by that name at all.

I'd hate to think that Charlie and Claire could also have been familiar with a fantasy TV show from the United Kingdom called 'Worzel Gummidge'. It had a similar theme to Pullman's book, as it was about a living scarecrow who had several heads made of turnips. The series starred Jon Pertwee (the third Doctor of 'Doctor Who').

Later in its run the show was produced in New Zealand and was known as 'Worzel Gummidge Down Under'. This might have been the version Claire might have been familiar with, but I'd rather discount the whole idea. After all, this being Toobworld, the TV Universe, 'Lost' and 'Worzel Gummidge' should be existing within the same dimension.

I'd much rather support the idea that at some point after 1987, Claire actually MET Worzel Gummidge Down Under!

However, they could be familiar with the series of books about the character which were written back in the 1930s and which might have been inspiration for Pullman's book. I'd have no problem with that as there should be a clear division between the creative universes for Literature, Cinema, and Television. (Of course, it doesn't always happen......)

There's another source for Charlie's inspiration for the nickname of "Turnip Head". There is a Japanese animation movie called "Howl's Moving Castle", which was directed by Miyazaki who also created the new classic "Spirited Away".

But that won't be released in Britain until September of this year, a year after the crash of Oceanic 815. And even the Japanese version didn't premiere until after the plane crash.

However, the movie is based on a book by famed fantasy author Diana Wynne Jones, which was first published in 1986. And why would this be of interest? Because there's a character named Prince Turnip who just happens to show up just when he's needed most.

Could it be a harbinger for a role the baby may one day play?

Finally, there are two sources for the nickname which most likely are totally unknown to both Claire and Charlie.
During World War I, Kaiser Wilhelm was portrayed in propaganda cartoons as a turnip head. And it's also a derisive Cantonese nickname for Japanese at the time was loh baak tau — literally, turnip head. The Chinese believed that Japanese heads were shaped like turnips. Not many use that phrase these days; it’s considered rude.

So the idea of being a turnip head has international significance as a symbol for a simpleton.

Of course, all of this might be over-analysis. The origin for the name might not go any further than it being a pet name used by Leonard Dick (who wrote this 'Lost' episode "The Greater Good") for a baby he knew.

At any rate, I'm sure Charlie has figured out by now that Claire is not going to accept her baby being called "Turnip Head". So until she actually names the baby, perhaps he'd be better off using the nickname that Sawyer had for it: "Baby Huey".

Then again, maybe not......


Wednesday, May 4, 2005


Last week's major crossover was a foray into the 'Star Trek' mirror universe on two episodes of 'Enterprise'. That evil version of the main TV universe had originally been explored in an episode of classic 'Star Trek' and in at least five episodes of 'Deep Space Nine'.

But it has been visited in other television series as well. An episode of 'Hercules: The Legendary Journeys' sojourned there, where Ares the God of War was instead the God of Love, Vegas Elvis style.

And the evil Federation chasing down the rebels of 'Blake's 7'? We might as well lump this series over into that dimension as well. Perhaps the Federation finally came into being over there once the Empire was demolished due to machinations by Spock after that classic 'Trek' episode.

But of course, it was still evil.....

I've always been leery about including variety show sketches into the main TV Universe. I'll accept the Coneheads from 'Saturday Night Live', Eunice and Mama from 'The Carol Burnett Show', and I'd love to see Miss Swan of 'Mad TV' show up in an episode of some sitcom.

But "Celebrity Jeopardy" of 'SNL' and other celebrity impersonation sketches should be tossed aside.

Still, I can't help but like the idea that 'Saturday Night Live' gave us a vision of sitcom hell with a 1985 sketch featuring host George Wendt as the evil universe Ralph Kramden.....

Ralph Kramden: This is too much! This time you've pushed me too far!
Alice Kramden: Oh, Ralph.. the only way I can push you is if I had a bulldozer.
Ralph Kramden: You're a riot, Alice.. you're a regular riot. One of these days, Alice, I'm telling you.. one of these days!
Alice Kramden: One of these days, what, Ralph? Your gut's gonna hang over the top of your shoes?
Ralph Kramden: [ grumbles ] Bang, zoom - to the moon, Alice! to the moon!
Alice Kramden: Ha ha, hardy ha ha! You know, you've been saying that for years, Ralph. You're all talk and no action! You're just a big windbag!
[Peeved once and for all, Ralph finally smacks Alice right in the jaw, knocking her to the floor ]
Ed Norton: Hey, Ralph? I never actually saw you connect before, Ralph!
Ralph Kramden: Get out!
Ed Norton: She went down like a sack of potatoes, huh?
Ralph Kramden: Get outta here, you!
Ed Norton: [ opens the door to leave ] Hey, Ralph, let me ask you one more question - was it uppercut, or a cross?
Ralph Kramden: Would you get out of here?! [ throws Norton out ]

After that blog essay earlier this season in which I tried to prove an episode of 'Law & Order' ("Guv Love") was set in the evil mirror universe, and knowing that the "In A Mirror, Darkly" two-parter of 'Enterprise' was coming up, I began to consider what it might be like if we saw more of our previously established TV shows as they might have looked in the evil mirror universe.

And as those bad celebrity impersonators might say, I think it might have been something like this......

For example, since the movie version is coming out soon, let's consider what might have happened to 'Bewitched'. Once he found out the truth about his wife, Darrin might have led the charge to get his wife burned at the stake for being a witch.

'I Love Lucy' claimed Ricky Ricardo. But that wouldn't stop him from having an affair with the sexually frustrated Ethel Mertz; giving her a chance to sample his big "Cuban cigar". But when Lucy found out, it would have been Ricky who had some splainin to do - just before the cuckolded Fred Mertz shot them all dead!

And speaking of 'Law & Order', what about one of the franchise spin-offs? There would be no 'Trial by Jury'; all prisoners would be judged by a secret tribunal and then taken out to be summarily executed.

As for 'Will & Grace', there would be no noticeable change. Let's face it, all four characters are inherently evil already.

And now that they've received raises for another season - even after losing 1/3 of their audience this year, - so are the actors.

Agent Mulder would use his position with the FBI's 'X-Files' to help the aliens invade the Earth. In fact, Uncle Martin would lead that invasion by first killing a reporter named Tim O'Hara.

So much for 'My Favorite Martian'.

On the spiritual side, 'Touched by an Angel' would become 'Touched By A Fallen Angel'.

Here's a few snippets of what the dialogue might have been like in some of those shows.....

Timmy Martin: "Hey, girl! What's that foam around your mouth? Aiiieeee! No, Lassie! Not my face! Arrrrrgh!"

'The Dick Van Dyke Show'
Rob Petrie: "Don't you see, Laura? I had to kill Richie! He was coming at me with no thumbs! And he had those eyes in the back of his head! He was tossing walnuts at me, Laura; I HAD to kill our son!"
Laura Petrie: "You've been using your Meerschatz as a crack pipe again!"
Rob Petrie: "Look, we'll say those stab wounds in his head are from a woodpecker, okay?"
Laura Petrie: "Ohhhhhhh, Rooooooobbbbb!"

'Knight Rider'
Michael Knight: "We're in the garage, KITT. You can turn off the engine now. KITT? The motor's running and the garage is closed up. KITT? Open these doors, KITT. Let me out!"
KITT: "I'm sorry, Michael. But I think I can work better by myself......"

'The Adventures Of Superman'
Clark Kent: "Ack! Jimmy! This lemonade you gave me..... kaff kaff!"
Jimmy Olsen: "It's laced with kryptonite, yeah. Sorry, Mr. Kent. Or should I say.... Superman? Now nothing will stop me from having Miss Lane all to myself!"

Chandler Bing: "Monica? How come our baby looks like your brother Ross?"

Joey Tribbiani: "Whew! I thought I was so busted! Oops......."

'The Brady Bunch'
Bobby Brady: "Mom always said no balling your step-sister in the house!"

'Mr. Ed'
Ed: "Ohhhh, Carol! I bet Wilbur never gave you this much to make you feel like a queen - even if it is Catherine the Great!"

'Family Affair'
Social Services Psychologist: "Okay, Buffy, show us on your Mrs. Beazley doll where Mr. French touched you......"

'Lost In Space'
Dr. Smith: "Ohhhh, Will, dear boy! You know what I need....."
Robot: "Danger, Will Robinson!"
Dr. Smith: "Oh, the pain! The pain!"

Okayyyyy... I think this essay has crossed way too deeply into the evil universe now.

Dreezil Drazzil Drozzil Drome,
Time for this one to come home!


*Giving credit where credit is due, "Para-Terra" was a term coined by the late fantasy writer Lin Carter.


There are three 'CSI' shows out there on CBS.

'C.S.I.: Crime Scene Investigators', the original
'CSI: Miami'
'CSI: New York'

And there's 'Crossing Jordan' on NBC, about the medical examiners in Boston.

FOX has 'House, MD', which is about a diagnostician, but he did do an autopsy during one episode this year.

So I gotta wonder.....

In all those shows over the past several seasons, did any one of those medical examiners ever sing out:

"As Coroner,
I must aver,
I thoroughly examined her,
And she's not only MERELY dead,
She's really most SINCERELY dead."

If not, they should have!

Hey, it's late in the day on my version of "Friday". I'm a little loopy around this time....


Tuesday, May 3, 2005


I only just began reading the LiveJournal forum "Tommy Westphall's Mind". (You'll find the links over there to the left of the screen.) For crossover fans, it's a lotta fun.

And I'm now indebted to one of the readers, a crossover specialist himself known as "JohnMunch", apt appellation. In one of the bbs, he wrote:

I´m still trying to establish a Mission:Impossible connection to The Jeffersons (3-parter with Greg Morris as an unnamed electronics expert conning two crooks) and The Lucy Show (Lucy gets mis-instructions from the IMF tape voice). The 'Here's Lucy' episode was a tip of the hat to former Desilu co-production 'Mission: Impossible', and until I see otherwise, it sounds as if it could be a legitimate connection.

But it was the reference to the episodes of 'The Jeffersons' which really excited me, and which also meant I had to rewrite some of the information for the TV Crossover Hall of Fame.

Back in February, we inducted electronics expert Barney Collier, based on the two series for 'Mission: Impossible' and a supposed appearance with an alias of "Mr. Peters" on 'The Dick Van Dyke Show'.

But now we have an even better addition to insure that Barney Collier belongs in the Hall of Fame for more than just the fact that this year we are following my 50th birthday mantra of "What I say, goes."

'The Jeffersons'
208. Mission: Incredible (1)
gs: Garrett Morris (Jimmy) Jason Bernard (Lloyd Tyndall) Stefan Gierasch (Allan West) Peter Iacangelo (Police Officer) Greg Morris (Jimmy's Cousin)
George has a reunion with some old navy buddies and the fact that Tom has become so gullible becomes a topic of discussion. This leads his old pals to talk him into playing a little con game on Tom to teach him a lesson. However, the con becomes a little to real when George's old pals, Lloyd and Allan make off with $15,000 of Tom's money. Tom fears that Helen will divorce him if she finds out since this was money which was to be used for a down payment on a house that has come up on the market.
b: 02-Oct-1983 pc: 1003 w: Michael Moye d: Oz Scott

209. Mission: Incredible (2)
gs: Garrett Morris (Jimmy) Jason Bernard (Lloyd Tyndall) Stefan Gierasch (Allan West) Greg Morris (Jimmy's Cousin)

A furious Tom almost kills George when he learns he's been hustled out of $15,000, money that he had planned to use to make a down payment on a house. George calls in Jimmy to help him get Tom's money back. Jimmy talks George and Tom into flying out to Los Angeles, where Lloyd and Allan have fled. Once there, they meet Jimmy's cousin, a crafty man who has a well planned out way of getting Tom's money back. Meanwhile, Florence, who knows what George and Tom are up too, tells Louise and Helen and they rush to Los Angeles.
b: 03-Oct-1983 pc: 1004 w: Michael Moye d: Oz Scott

210. Mission: Incredible (3)
gs: Garrett Morris (Jimmy) Jason Bernard (Lloyd Tyndall) Stefan Gierasch (Allan West) Greg Morris (Jimmy's Cousin) Jimmy's cousin puts his plan into effect which includes getting Lloyd and Allan to believe that Los Angeles is going to be hit by a military attack from a neighboring country. However, the plan could be ruined when Louise, Helen and Florence arrive in Los Angeles.
b: 09-Oct-1983 pc: 1005 w: Michael Moye d: Oz Scott

Why don't we ever learn what Jimmy's cousin's name is? As a possible reason from behind the scenes and outside the inner reality of Toobworld, the creators of this show wanted us to think that he was indeed Barney Collier as played by Greg Morris. But because of legal restrictions, obviously they couldn't come right out and say so.

But so far as I'm concerned, Jimmy's cousin was indeed Barney Collier and thus we have not only an extra addition to Barney's credits for the Hall of Fame, but also a fantastic link to the main body of Toobworld for 'Mission: Impossible'. We already had 'Diagnosis Murder' as well, but this is gravy on the cake.

Um.... something like that.....


Monday, May 2, 2005


'Homicide: Life On The Street'
('Law & Order')
'Homicide: The Movie'

You do know the deal with our TV Crossover Hall of Fame by now, don't you?

To qualify, a character must have appeared in at least three separate showcases. These could be any combination of series, TV movies, specials, even commercials and cartoons. A good example is Dr. Frasier Crane - supporting actor on 'Cheers', star of 'Frasier', and guest appearances on 'Wings' and 'The John Larroquette Show'.

Occasionally, there will come along a character who doesn't exactly fulfill these minimum requirements, but whom we think is deserving of merit. For example, Susie MacNamara - as played by Ann Sothern - was the main character of 'Private Secretary' and she was a life-long friend of Lucy MacGillicuddy (later known as Lucy Ricardo). Susie appeared in the flashback story of the first episode of 'The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour'.

But that's it. There were no other outlets where Susie MacNamara showed up.

However, it's generally regarded that her appearance with Lucy in that flashback in Cuba was the first crossover in TV History. As such, she deserves to be memorialized for that.

For these characters, we have honorary inductions on my birthday in June. Sort of like the Queen's Birthday Honors List.... But without the queen connotations, thanks.

This year, I hit the half century mark, and to celebrate (?), I've turned the monthly induction ceremony into the TV Crossover Hall of Fame into a year long honors roll. All of these new members are only eligible due to some kind of technicality, but since I'm celebrating the big "5-O", my mantra is "Whatever I say, goes".

This being May, traditionally we honor the ladies - the May Queen and all that. And so for this special edition, the accolades have been accorded to former Baltimore detective Kay Howard on 'Homicide: Life On The Street'.

As played by Melissa Leo, one might think that her eventual inclusion would be assured. After all, there were several crossovers with 'Law & Order' and of course there was the reunion of 'Homicide: The Movie'.

But Kay Howard was only a regular character through the fifth season of 'H:LOTS' and there was only one crossover with 'Law & Order' by then in season 4. It began on 'L&O' episode "Charm City" and ended back in Baltimore with "For God And Country".

Only Munch (of course!), Bayliss, and Pemberton showed up in the NYC segment. But at least she did get to interact with Briscoe, Curtis, and ADA Kinkaid when they came down to "Bal'mer".

So that's a technicality. There's an even dicier one that's purely theoretical......

Many years before she moved to Baltimore, while still a little girl, Kay Howard was known as Katie. She was with her older brother, a famous tennis player who was under pressure to lose an upcoming match at the Desert Inn in 'Vega$'. In order to insure that he did, Katie was kidnapped and it was up to Dan Tanna to rescue her.

11. Serve, Volley and Kill
gs: Randolph Mantooth (Bobby Howard) Pamelyn Ferdin (Katie Howard) Dawn Wells (Millie Farmer) Red Buttons (Tommy Cirko) Don DeFore (Sid Green) Philip Abbott (Harry Snyder) Christopher George (Nicky Trent) Lynda Day George (Sandra Wells)

An obnoxious and tempremental tennis player is about to have a grudge match with a rival at the Desert Inn. Now he has been receiving phone calls threatening him unless he throws the match. His manager hires Dan to protect him but he feels that his manager is overreacting. And Dan doesn't want to work for someone as obnoxious and inconsiderate as him and was about to quit when some men beat him up.

Dan decides to look into it further and discovers that his girlfriend is involved with the man behind everything. When they try to get her he lets her go away. Later, his sister is kidnapped and he agrees to throw the match.

Dan deduces that either the manager or the promoter is connected to the man, so when he goes to his office to find the sister, he subdues the man and his henchmen and discovers that it's the promoter. He finds the sister and arrives just in time to let her brother come from behind.


It's traditional in Toobworld that different actresses can play the same character at different ages, so there's no problem in my mind because she would have been played by Pamelyn Ferdin back then, and not Melissa Leo.

And if you think about it, it' s not much of a stretch to see a Pamelyn Ferdin character growing up to become one portrayed by Ms. Leo.

As for the fact that there was never any mention of her famous brother during her run on 'H:LOTS', it could be that they had a falling out after that incident. Perhaps she moved back home to Maryland, or moved there once she came of age to make a new life for herself. And changing her first name slightly from Katie to Kay marked her personal growth.

And it could be that, based on that trauma, she was influenced to become a cop herself.

So welcome back, Katie, er, Kay. You took off for the Fugitive Squad, but now you can be reunited eventually with others from your old precinct - beginning with Crossover King John Munch!


Sunday, May 1, 2005



Somebody's probably out there who's thinking that Tele-Toby has finally run out of options for the Crossover of the Week and has turned to this cosmic combo out of desperation. After all, it's a given that 'Enterprise' is already part of the 'Star Trek' universe, so there's nothing so special in that to merit attention.

But as with many episodes for this final season, 'Enterprise' has taken advantage of the franchise's history. It has drawn on events that took place in past series; it has illustrated those moments that had only been mentioned previously. And it has filled in some of the blanks in the 'Trek' timeline. And as was the case in which augmented human DNA was used on Klingons, it has even been able to correct some of the mythology's contradictions.

This should have been the case from the beginning of the series. Had they done so, as David Bianculli of the New York Daily News pointed out, we wouldn't be marking the end of the series three years earlier than expected.

But after flying in the face of established canon for most of the first two years, and then just flying off on its own path last year (which was the major failing of 'Voyager' in my opinion), 'Enterprise' got back to its roots with deep, rich writing that explored its own history.

Unfortunately it was too late.

With "In A Mirror, Darkly", once again we were visiting the evil alternate dimension first depicted in "Mirror, Mirror" from the original 'Star Trek'. This evil mirror universe was further explored in a series of episodes from 'Deep Space Nine', the franchise spin-off that really understood and utilized 'Trek' lore.

What set this two-parter apart was that there was no real connection made to the "true" universe; none of the regulars crossed over to discover its existence. Except for the ghostly presence of of Archer's inner thoughts which were embodied as the "good" Archer, we didn't see any of the regular cast in their normal versions of their roles. And we got to see the mirror universions of Admiral Forrest and Ambassador Sorak to boot.

The USS Defiant, NCC-1764, which had disappeared in a spatial interphase near Tholian territory, did cross over and go back in time from 2268. But its crew had gone insane from the interphase and were all dead, so no one lived to tell the tale back home.

These episodes could stand alone, outside the established storyline of the series. This way there was no violation of Kirk & Crew's "discovery" of this evil alternate dimension in "Mirror, Mirror".

But there wasn't just the link to that one episode of 'Star Trek'. As mentioned above, the Defiant and the Tholians of the episode "The Tholian Web" were a major conflict for the Empire's version of the Enterprise. And we got to see the full body of a Tholian, not just the projection of their heads onscreen.

The first part of "In A Mirror, Darkly" began with a recreation of the final moments in the eighth 'Star Trek' theatrical film, complete with James Cromwell as Zephraim Cochrane and Cully Fredricksen as the first Vulcan ever to meet Earthlings.

The only thing was, that "First Contact" didn't turn out quite the same way.

And as an added bonus, one of the adversaries faced by the evil crew of the Enterprise was a Gorn, but not as seen in the episode "Arena". This Gorn was not the cheesy, zipper-up-the-back lizard man of yore as would have been more at home on one of the old Irwin Allen shows of the Sixties. This Gorn would have held his own against a Scarren from 'Farscape'!

There was one other tip of the hat to an old 'Trek' episode. The radiation scars on Commander Tucker were reminiscent of the Delta ray damage suffered by Captain Christopher Pike several months before the events of "The Menagerie" part one.

All in all, this whole season has been a great celebration of 'Trek' history, going boldly where they should have gone long before.

Too bad the lesson wasn't learned in time.