Saturday, October 22, 2005


Woo Hoo for 'Doctor Who'!

It's spin-off time for the Time Lord of Gallifrey. BBC Television announced that 'Doctor Who' will spawn 'Torchwood' (which is an anagram; work it out!).

As described in the press release, its creator Russell T. Davies said that "'Torchwood' is a British sci-fi paranoid thriller, a cop show with a sense of humour. It's dark, wild, and sexy. It's 'The X-Files' meets 'This Life'. It's a stand-alone series for adult audiences which will have its own identity."

('This Life' was a series back in the early nineties about young lawyers in Bristol.)

The series will star John Barrowman as Captain Jack Harkness, who appeared as one of the ninth Doctor's companions in the last five episodes of 'Doctor Who'. It will take place in modern day Cardiff, Wales, and revolve around a group of renegade investigators who call themselves 'Torchwood'.

It's not going to just spring forth with no prep work upon an unsuspecting audience. As great - no, as "fanTAStic" as Captain Jack is, I don't think he could have sold the concept cold. So with events established in the Christmas special and throughout the coming series of episodes for 'Doctor Who', we'll be introduced to the elements of the new show.

What won't be splained away is how Captain Jack has returned from the future of 200,100 AD., where he had been left behind on the Gamestation in the season finale. But I hope they will address eventually what happened to the two years of Jack's memories which were purloined by a mindswipe by his fellow Time Agents from the 51st Century.

I think Marcus Greel is somehow involved.......

Operating out of Cardiff as their base, the 'Torchwood' team has been charged by the British government with investigating human and alien crime (and the techno doodads that fall to Earth) before the FBI or the UN can get wind of it.

Yeah.... God forbid they should ever team up with 'The X-Files' or even UNIT - which was an integral part of the parental series!

'Torchwood' is being trumpeted as being sinister and psychological and "really keen to play with your head". But Davies promises that it will be very British and modern and real.

And Stuart Murphy, the Controller for BBC3 which will air the series, says that at the center of the drama are "warm human relationships and the overcoming of diversity".

Says Murphy, "The people have affairs with one another. There will be sex and swearing, I assume. I'm quite relaxed about that."

Yeah, especially with Mary Whitehouse conveniently dead of old age.....

Although it is spinning off from 'Doctor Who', no stories will directly cross over between the two projects. That's a bummer for me, of course of course, but if they're going to deal with alien technology that's fallen to Earth, perhaps we'll something along the lines of a Sontaran disruptor, that previously seen Cyberman helmet.... an Androgum dinner menu, for Chronotis' sake!

Speaking of that Cyberman helmet, the 'Doctor Who' episode "Dalek" took place in 2012. So they could also be competing with agents working for Henry Van Statten in procuring these alien artifacts. That wouldn't be a "direct" crossover......

All I want is for them to keep the inner history of 'Doctor Who' in mind when coming up with the alien stuff. One problem I had with 'Enterprise' was that they invented far too many alien races that were never seen before in the 'Star Trek' canon and it just made me wonder as a viewer why we never saw them again in the shows that took place after 'Enterprise'.

So... you folks know me. (I think......) That means there are some crossovers that I'd like to see for this new series.
First off, bring in Amanda Pays as Phoebe Green, the character she played in "Fire", an early episode of 'The X-Files'. (She's now a Scotland Yard inspector who once broke Mulder's heart while they were at Oxford.)

Secondly, every so often the Torchwood investigators should consult the files left behind by the late 'Colonel March of Scotland Yard'. As played by Boris Karloff in a syndicated series from 1954, this eye-patch wearing inspector also investigated crimes that were sometimes not of this world.

Since they obviously want to keep the flavor of the show British, and since Barrowman is playing a member of the Harkness family, and since Russell T. Davies scripted the bloody damned thing, Team Torchwood should revisit 'Century Falls'.

But if they did want to bring in somebody to help make a sale to American TV, work with Chris Carter and David Duchovny to bring Fox Mulder out of the shadows and back into the limelight. He'd definitely fit right in with this group.

('The Lone Gunmen' would have as well, except for being, well, you know... dead.)

There is one perfect crossover with a series currently on the air here in America. The 'Torchwood' team should ally themselves at some point with the 'Threshold' project.

And even if that never happens, it will surely be a Missing Link here at Inner Toob.... and more than likely the source of fanfic for both shows.

So that's my idea....

Although the above story will be quite exciting for fans of 'Doctor Who' and science fiction in general, and BIG news in the realm of TV crossovers, (and probably known by all those factions already), it's probably somewhat puzzling to the American viewing public at large.

That's because the new series of 'Doctor Who' was not picked up by the Sci-Fi Channel, which should have been its natural home. And BBC-America won't be showing it because its parent organization is still hoping to find an American TV network to shell out the big bucks for the series.

Let me tell ya, having seen the thirteen episodes myself (Never mind how!), all those concerned are ultra-maroons for not broadcasting it!

But what are ya gonna do? They are network suits after all, and you know what should happen to them.....

Cue the ducks.


"I've been doing this since 1785."
Oprah Winfrey

Friday, October 21, 2005


With the November 8th, episode of 'Commander In Chief', the titles change from "First....." to "Saving the Century".

I hope they get back on track with the "First" titles. ("First Dance", "First Strike", etc. Maybe the "Pilot" should have been called "First Episode"!) I don't know if they could have made it through the full season with such titles, but it would have been worth the gamble. (And next season they could run with "Second" titles.)

It's a time-honored tradition in TV production going back to at least the 1960s. 'The Wild, Wild West' episodes were always "The Night Of....", 'The Man From U.N.C.L.E.' always had episodic "Affairs", and each show of the little-remembered 'Dundee And The Culhane' was a "Brief". (And so was its time on the air.)

'Commander In Chief' isn't the only one using the gimmick this season. 'Everybody Hates Chris' continues that theme of "Everybody Hates" - 'The Pilot', 'Keisha', and 'Sausage' among the first batch.

And 'Joey' works that dolt's name into every title.... as if we haven't suffered enough. 'Remington Steele' played the game of the name as well, working "Steele" into the titles and usually as a pun - "Steele Trap", "Steele Of Approval", "Beg, Borrow, or Steele".

Each 'Nip/Tuck' episode is the name of the client of the week, so unless you can remember that info ("Mama Boone" sticks in my mind!), or if it's otherwise noteworthy ("Joan Rivers", "Sean McNamara", or "Derek, Alex, And Gary" - two guys with their face cheeks glued to the butt cheeks of the third), it might be tough to find a particular episode to watch again.

Some of the series choose a theme, such as musical titles, but there can be drawbacks. For example, each episode of 'Desperate Housewives' uses the name of a Stephen Sondheim song. But if it remains as inexplicably (to me) popular as it is, Marc Cherry might run out of Sondheim's songs - no matter how prolific the composer might be.

'NewsRadio' was using Led Zeppelin titles for awhile even if they had nothing to do with the episode's content. But that apparently didn't last too long. 'Grounded For Life' used rock song titles, but every so often they had to be reworked to reflect the storyline. ("Mrs. Finnerty, You've Got A Lovely Daughter", and "I Fought The In-Laws", for example.)

The worst theme ever used, in my opinion, would be that from 'Boston Public'. Each episode was a chapter, and they ran numerically with nothing else to differentiate them or describe their contents.

The best use of a theme was in 'Blackadder The Third'; each of which played off the title of Jane Austen's "Sense And Sensibility". Among those titles from the limited series are "Sense And Senility", "Amy And Amiability", and "Nob And Nobility".

So if 'Commander In Chief' returns to the "First" theme, then more power to them, I say. In fact, here are a few suggestions, free of charge:

"First Monday In October"
"First Off"
"First Pitch"
"First And Ten"
"First Mistake"
"First In Line"
"First Down"
"First And Last"
"First In The Hearts"

I must sound like a real First F*%&er.....


Thursday, October 20, 2005


This will have to rise to the top of the charts for TV bloopers, news division.

NBC reporter Michelle Kosinski was covering the story about the New Jersey floods for 'Today', so to make it a great visual, she went out into the "deeps" of Wayne Street in a canoe.

And it must have been quite difficult to maneuver in the currents because she complained, "It's really tough to control a canoe or a boat when you're out in it."

Well, as it turned out, she was really out of it, because as soon as she said that, two guys walked right in front of her - proving that the water was only ankle deep.

As Randy Hickey would say on 'My Name Is Earl': "Oh, no, you di'ent!"

Matt Lauer and Katie Couric broke up in hysterics back in the studio because her ruse was found out. Matt sniped, "Are these holy men perhaps, walking on top of the water?"

For all the effects you can accomplish in Toobworld with computer wizardry, sometimes you just can't beat Real Life with a stick.



"Wish-Craft" is a term coined for a TV show which I have purloined for my own uses, as I did with "The Hat Squad" and "Zonk!". In this case, it was toddler Tabitha's attempt to say the word "witchcraft".

For my purposes, it's the perfect word to describe those crossovers which I would love to see.

'Entourage' finished up its sophomore season over the summer on HBO, with Vince Chase signed to star in James Cameron's production of 'Aquaman'.

I suppose Cameron, as "King of the World", would prefer to control all facets of the production himself. And that would mean being the movie's executive producer as well. But in my dream storyline, uber-producer Peter Dragon would be brought in to oversee the movie to completion.

As seen in 'Action', which unfortunately had only a brief life on FOX, Dragon is the master at injecting high-octane life into overblown epics. So "Aquaman" might be just up his alley. Or right under his hull. Whatever floats his boat.

Up to now, Vince's manager, old high school buddy Eric, has been able to hold his own in staving off the aggressive verbal onslaught from Vince's agent Ari. But how long could "E" last if he was getting trash talk tag-teamed by both Ari and Peter? The "Gold-Dragon" team (and what a great name for them if they incorporated!) would reduce the former pizza boy to a puddle of warm goo, the consistency of melted mozzarella.

The crossover need not be extended over anything longer than just a one-shot; just one scene. And despite the fact that there were other actors in the main cast of 'Action', you would only need Jay Mohr as Peter Dragon. (Not that Buddy Hackett as Peter's Uncle would have been available, sad to say.)

Think of it: Jay Mohr and Jeremy Piven as Peter and Ari; together again for the first time.

Like Gibby Fisk once said on 'Dream On', you could cut glass with my nipples I'm so excited by the idea!

Yeah.... more than you needed to know........



The two spin-offs of the original 'CSI' will cross over during sweeps, with 'CSI: NY' team leader Mac Taylor feeling the warmth on 'CSI: Miami' Monday, Nov. 7. Two days later, 'CSI: Miami' head honcho Horatio Caine flies north to appear on the third series in the franchise. The episodes will entangle both F-Troops ("F" as in Forensics, that is) in the search for an escaped serial killer who's out to commit more murders.

According to a news item found at, the storyline will focus on the hunt for serial killer Henry Darius, who has confessed to a murder in Miami and is being flown from New York to lead police to the body. When the plane transporting him to Florida crashes, however, he escapes and sets off a manhunt.

Speaking of and crossovers, their weekly columnist "TV Gal" shows why she's such fun to read each Tuesday with her musings this week on what TV crossovers she'd like to see.

In her best crossover idea, TV Gal suggests 'Veronica Mars' could help Bree Van DeCamp prove that she isn't one of those 'Desperate Housewives' who kill their husbands. Fairview, California might not be all that far of a drive from Neptune; in fact, aside from them being on competing networks, the only thing that might just drop this into becoming a cold case would be the price of gasoline nowadays for the commute!

Many of TV Gal's crossover wish-crafts would be hampered by that old bugaboo about border crossings (jumping from network to network like 'Ghost Whisperer'/'Gimore Girls'), but the tougher sell would be the locations within the shows' inner realities.

For example, her top suggestion is for a 'Lost'/'Numb3rs' link in which math genius Charlie solves the riddle of Hurley's numbers. Forget about one show being on ABC and the other on CBS - once Charlie's FBI brother and the members of his team helped find the island, it's game over, man!

(Although for the sake of their show 'Criminal Minds', I'm sure CBS wouldn't mind if 'Lost' really did get lost.)

But a crossover between 'Supernatural' and 'ER' (TV Gal's reasoning is a larf; I'd buy that for a dollar!) could work, despite the fact that the medical drama is firmly rooted in Chicago. 'Supernatural' is not tied down to any one location, as the "Brothers Kolchak" drive around the country's heartland seeking to drive stakes through the hearts of their quarry.

For them, it's more Route 666 than 'Route 66'. And since Chicago is my kind of town when it comes to the things that go bump in the night - as we saw in the original, GOOD!, version of 'The Night Stalker' and in 'Special Unit 2', it would make sense for Sam and Dean to show up and work with yet another Sam.

So check out her column this week. You can find "TV Gal" listed at the Zap2It site:


Wednesday, October 19, 2005


Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble have accrued quite a lot of commercial credits over the decades:

Winston Cigarettes
Cocoa and Fruity Pebbles
Flintstones Chewable Vitamins

And now while I was in Connecticut, I saw them singing the praises of Midas Mufflers.

Maybe Inner Toober Hugh D. is right: there should be another 'Sliders' universe in which to stow away all the TV characters who practice serlinguism; who step outside of their surroundings to pitch products to the viewers at home.

Fred and Barney would certainly qualify to have doppelgangers in that brave new TV world which Hugh has dubbed "the ad-verse". None of the products they hawked would have been found back in the Stone Age. They would have had the prehistoric equivalent, like Winstone Cigarettes or Midasrock Mufflers.

(That type of adjustment for products happened in the opposite direction of the Tooniverse timeline. In the year 3000, Philip Fry will enjoy breakfast with Admiral Crunch and Arch-Duke Chocula.)

Someday both Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble will join Pebbles Flintstone Rubble in the TV Crossover Hall of Fame. But it could be argued that they could enter twice - as their versions in the Tooniverse and as their pitchmen in the "Ad-verse".

And not that it seems likely right now, but even their live-action versions in TV movies might one day meet the rules for qualifying. Maybe the Mark Addy/Steve Baldwin version of Fred & Barney will fulfill the three appearance requirement.

And maybe I'll win an Emmy Award......



Here's a quickie....

"I wasn't soddin' off to the Black Rock on the bloody A-Team mission,
But I could have!"
Charlie Pace

When Charlie mentioned the A-Team in his tirade to Locke, he wasn't talking about the TV show. The A-Team by 2005 were widely known, legends even, righting wrongs across the country while they were being pursued by the government for a crime they didn't commit.

Whether or not they're still wanted, or if they're being forced to work for the government to avoid execution, I don't know. Only a TV-movie could resolve that, I suppose; but that's not about to happen with George Peppard dead. (And a big screen version doesn't count!)

But in the meantime, they were known to the general public of Toobworld, so there was no Zonk! by Charlie.


Tuesday, October 18, 2005


So far in the 2005 TV season, we've had great success with the Crossover of the Week in that they've all been legitimate links to other TV shows. In those first two weeks, these official crossovers have veen on NBC - 'Law & Order' with 'Law & Order: Special Victims Unit', and 'Crossing Jordan' with 'Las Vegas'. The Peacock network even had a runner-up in the return of Chris Noth as 'Law & Order' detective Mike Logan on 'Law & Order: Criminal Intent' for half the season. (Logan may be a runner-up, but don't call him "Miss Congeniality"!)

So this week we head over to CBS for another official crossover, although this time it's more of a case of sequelitis. Martial arts action star Chuck Norris returned to his role of Texas Ranger Cordell Walker in a TV movie "Walker, Texas Ranger: Trial By Fire". (Personally I would have used the sub-title of "Trial By Fury" just to tweak the 'Law & Order' franchise's one failure, but then I can be cruel.)

I was never a fan of the series (I only saw three episodes!), but I was glad to see that this TV flick upheld one ofthe main principles of the Toobworld philosophy: that Life goes on for TV characters even after their TV series have left the Sked.

In the series finale, Walker married his D.A. sweetheart Alex Cahill; and with this movie we saw they now had a small daughter. (It made me wonder how old is Cordell Walker supposed to be? I think Norris is playing him much younger than his own 65 years of age; but it works because Norris is a very youthful senior citizen.)

And it looks like Alex was no longer an assistant D.A., but the chief District Attorney now - although I may be wrong about that. Ranger James Trivette was only back long enough for a send-off as he was heading to the FBI facility at Quantico to become an instructor. (And true to the mantra of "Life Goes On", we learned that in the intervening years, Trivette had gone to work in New York as well. I wonder if he ever ran into Conrad McMaster of Atlanta during his travels......)

I may have missed any mention of him, but I get the feeling that Noble Willingham's character of C.D. Parker may have passed away. Again, this would be another Toobworld example where Life - or the lack thereof, - goes on after a show goes off.

There was a new flavor added to the 'Walker' mix of kung fu and good ol' boys - the introduction of Janine Turner playing a forensics specialist for the Texas Rangers. Dusting for prints carried as much weight in this movie as did kicking some butt.

It's easy enough to see why they covered this facet of law enforcement - in the same season that saw Cordell Walker ride off into the sunset, CBS debuted the little procedural that could - 'CSI: Crime Scene Investigation'. 'CSI' took on the Goliath of NBC's 'ER' and won, which begat a franchise of two spin-offs and several similar shows like 'Without A Trace', 'Cold Case', 'Numb3rs' (God, I hate typing that!), and now 'Criminal Minds'.

So it's pozz'ble, it's pozz'ble (as Mushrat would say) that 'Walker, Texas Ranger: Trial By Fire' was also serving as a pilot for Walker's return to the airwaves, but with a new focus. With Janine Turner "leading the away team" - which could include the guys from the 'Sons of Thunder' spin-off, it would be sort of a 'CSI: Texas Rangers' kind of show.
That way, Chuck Norris could lighten his load by supervising the new team rather than always being in the eye of the storm as the Hai Karate Hombre.

Hey, he may look youthful, but a few too many of those high kicks and Walker will be needing a walker! They'd have to revive 'Cutter To Houston' so he could get a new hip before he could start shooting from the hip again.

(As a personal side-note to Mr. Norris: please don't hurt me.)

And such a new spin on this spin-off would make the show easily accessible for crossovers with the various 'CSI' shows as well as other crime dramas coming out of the Jerry Bruckheimer empire. (The Bruckhempire?)

Just sayin', is all......


Monday, October 17, 2005


After two successful crossovers with NBC's "Crossing Jordan," the creator of 'Las Vegas' is not averse to trying it again.

"We've talked about it with a few shows," said Gary Scott Thompson. "I can't discuss which shows, because there's no deal really in place. ... But we have talked about crossovers or just characters [from other shows] coming to 'Las Vegas'."

Regular visitors to my blog know which shows I would pick. Have the family from 'Medium' take their vacation in Vegas. A medical convention could be held at the Montecito and that way we could see a few doctors from the Cook County 'ER'. With Danny's military bacground, why not make a connection with the Pentagon brass of 'The E-Ring'?

Even resurrect a few characters from cancelled NBC shows, like some lawyers from 'L.A. Law' to take a few depositions. Or just characters who've since moved on from current shows - why can't former NYC D.A. Adam Schiff spend some of his retirement pension playing the slots?

And I mentioned this following idea but never thought I'd see it come this close to fruition:

"One possibility is the character of Detective John Munch, played by Richard Belzer on NBC's "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit."

Originally created for NBC's "Homicide: Life on the Street," Munch has appeared in several shows, including NBC's "Law & Order," UPN's "The Beat," FOX's "The X-Files" and NBC's "Law & Order: Trial by Jury."

"We're trying to figure that out," Thompson said. "It's been approved by everybody, so I just think it's a matter of figuring out a good storyline and figuring out his schedule. They shoot in New York, we shoot here, that's all it is."

Can I get a "Woo -#" I say, a "Woo Hoo!"?


[Thanks to and my Iddiot friend Nora Lee for bringing this story to my attention.]


When Don Adams passed away a few weeks ago, his immortality within the concept of Toobworld was already assured with his portrayal of Agent 86. Maxwell Smart and his partner/wife Agent 99 had been inducted into the TV Crossover Hall of Fame back in April of 2002, the last month of this blog's predecessor, The Tubeworld Dynamic - one page of which yet remains on the web. (See the link at left.)

And so to pay tribute to this force for niceness, I'm going to reprint those old entries about the Toobworld links which can be traced back to Max and 'Get Smart'.....

from April, 2002:
Through the continuing adventures of Maxwell Smart, the viewers at home were introduced to such products as Mobilink Communications and Diet Pepsi. Uh-huh.

(The Miller Lite ad has to be disqualified, even though he uses a standard Maxwell Smart catch-phrase, because he's addressed in the commercial as Don Adams. So that would link to 'Don Adams' Screen Test', but not to 'Get Smart'.)

And it looks like Max used the occupation of game salesman as a cover identity during his career as a spy. Among the products that he shilled were Skittle and Pursuit.

The Diet Pepsi blipvert appears to have occurred during the supposed separation between Max and 99, for it appears [in the commercial] that Max may have been celebrating love, American-style: truer than the Red, White, and Blue.

Like the first of this year's [2002] "Dynamic Duos" (Felix Unger and Oscar Madison), Maxwell Smart also appeared in a public service announcement about diabetes in which he tangled with future Hall of Famer Konrad Ludwig von Siegfried.

And it appears that CONTROL utilized its propaganda unit for an international campaign against smoking. [This was via a print ad.]

Characters from 'Get Smart' have encountered characters from other TV series, providing unofficial but legitimate links to those shows.

The Wild, Wild West
In the pilot episode, Max and 99 met "Mr. Big", the head of KAOS. As has been established several times before in the TwD, Mr. Big was an alias for Dr. Miguelito Loveless. Due to alien genetics on both sides of his family tree, Loveless was an immortal and about 130 years of age by the time he met the CONTROL agents.

I Spy
Kelly Robinson was working undercover as a waiter in a Turkish nightclub when Max and Agent Samuels showed up in their ping-pong champion guises.

Dr. Shrinker
The mad scientist's assistant Hugo used to be the top half of the KAOS team known as Agent Gemini. When the team was broken by the treachery of Gemini Bottom (who had been replaced by CONTROL agent Munchkin), Gemini Top escaped and found employ with Dr. Shrinker.

The Dick Van Dyke Show
Although she lived in Twin Falls, Idaho, and would visit her daughter in Washington, D.C., Agent 99's mother must have been in the New York City area at least once. She tried on shoes with the assistance of comedy writer Rob Petrie.

The Love Boat
Konrad Siegfried lied to his own daughter about what he did for a living: he claimed to be a doctor on a cruise ship.

It was an old spy trick in which someone else's identity is assumed (providing that other person wouldn't be around to ruin the deception). And since Siegfried resembled Dr. Adam Bricker (who was often at sea aboard the Pacific Princess), that cover story proved to be reliable and plausible.

The same ploy was used by the CIA agent known as Geronimo when on the West Coast. He would pose as an advertising executive from Connecticut named AJ Henderson. In fact, his boss - the CIA Director who went by the code name of X-9, - may have also pulled the same stunt in tandem: posing as look-alike ad executive Larry Tate. ('Columbo', 'Bewitched')

In 1995, Toobworld revisited Maxwell Smart and Agent 99 (as well as many of the others from the old CONTROL team) when they had to put down a threat by the latest KAOS mastermind, Nikolai Dimante.

Because of his service to his country, Max was promoted to the position of "Chief" at CONTROL, while his wife 99 thought she could better serve her country as a United Stated Representative. One of their twins, the boy named Zack, grew up to follow in his father's clumsy footsteps and become a CONTROL agent. Zack was teamed up with Agent 66 and became romantically involved with the daughter of Siegfried.
('Get Smart', "Get Smart Again", 'Get Smart II')

When the exploits of Maxwell Smart crossed over into the Cineverse with "The Nude Bomb", a lot of changes had occurred in the life of the inept agent. No longer working for CONTROL, Max was now Agent 86 for the Provisional Intelligence Tactical Service {PITS}. Several of Max's old cronies were seen again in the film, chiefly Larrabee and Agent 13.

But there was a glaring omission......

No 99.

In fact, Max seemed to be romantically enticed by several women during this case, especially by his partners, 34, 22, 35.

It's the Toobworld belief that during this time, Max and 99 were going through a rough patch in their marriage. Perhaps they even had a legal separation.

It's likely that Max may have found out about 99's yearly dalliance with former Red Sox pitcher Sam Malone every Valentine's Day weekend.
('Get Smart', "The Nude Bomb", 'Cheers')
There was more to the whole tribute, linking 'Get Smart' to such shows as 'Batman', 'The Man From U.N.C.L.E.', and even 'Highway To Heaven', but these were the segments that centered around Max himself.

But I'd also like to add that since then, I've decided that there was a connection to 'The Bill Dana Show' as a "theory of relateeveety", in which Maxwell Smart and hotel detective Byron Glick were identical cousins.

And also, as I may have mentioned in an earlier post, Max might have lost favor after his stint with PITS and left government service altogether, taking a job as a Sheriff out West. This happened around the same time 99 was having her yearly affair with Sam Malone. ('The Fall Guy' & 'Cheers')

Obviously many of these links can't be proven (But as I always like to point out, they can't be disproved either!) but even with the legitimate connections, Maxwell Smart showed himself to be a towering figure in the pantheon of Toobworld.

A towering figure who sometimes stumbled over his own feet trying to answer his shoe phone.......

Be seeing you, Agent 86. We miss you by this much........


Sunday, October 16, 2005


Short-term memory audiences may only know Louie Nye from several episodes of 'Curb Your Enthusiasm' in which he portrayed Jeff's Dad. But his connection to Toobworld goes back to the classic Golden Age and Steve Allen's variety show. There he created Gordon Hathaway, the slightly fey spoof of the Madison Avenue advertising executive which had become sort of an Everyman (in a more white-collar Willie Loman way) thanks to "The Man In The Grey Flannel Suit".

It was Gordon who immortalized the phrase "Heigh-ho, Steve-arino!" and the character links to something called 'Laugh-Back' which aired in 1975.

He also had a memorable turn in the recurring role of Sonny Drysdale, the step-son of Milburn Drysdale the banker on 'The Beverly Hillbillies'. (Never did figure out how that worked, what with their names being the same and all.) For a while, Sonny was the main suitor for the attentions of Ellie Mae, but a retro look at Nye's sly performance and you wonder if she wasn't acting as a "beard" for Sonny.

There might be an interesting tele-genetics theory in the possibility of Gordon Hathaway being related to Jane Hathaway, Mr. Drysdale's secretary. From there it would lead to speculation if there were then blood ties between Gordon and Sonny that links the two shows together.

Louie Nye might be remembered mostly for his comedy roles, but his dramatic turns were no less interesting. But then, everybody knows comedy is harder than drama. For me, I'll remember him best as Elliot Axelrod's dad in several episodes of 'St. Elsewhere' near the end of its run. Dr. Axelrod was a veterinarian who cared more about his dying collie than he did about his son.

(One interesting note - one of the episodes in which he appeared featured several veterans of the old 'Tonight' show gang, all of them playing the parents of the regulars. Bill Dana was the father of Fiscus, Tom Poston was Boomer's dad Jim Morrison, - I think there was an in-joke there concerning fire doors - and Steve Allen and Jayne Meadows were the birth parents for Ehrlich.)

A sad and ironic twist - Louie Nye passed away just a few weeks after Don Adams. They worked together doing voice-work for 'Inspector Gadget'.

Because of his involvement with both 'The Beverly Hillbillies' and 'St. Elsewhere', Louie Nye is firmly entrenched in the TV Universe.

Heigh-ho and farewell, sir.

"Laugh Back" (1975) TV Series .... Gordon Hathaway
"Needles and Pins" (1973) TV Series .... Harry Kemp
"Happy Days" (1970) TV Series
"The Steve Allen Comedy Hour" (1967) TV Series
"The New Steve Allen Show" (1961) TV Series .... Regular
"The Ann Sothern Show" (1958) TV Series .... Dr. Delbert Gray (1960-1961)
"The Steve Allen Show" (1956) TV Series .... Gordon Hathaway

Alice in Wonderland (1985) (TV) .... Carpenter
I've Had It Up to Here (1982) (TV)
Yes Virginia, There Is a Santa Claus (1974) (TV)
The City That Forgot About Christmas (1974) (TV)

The Legend of the Beverly Hillbillies (1993) (TV) .... Sonny Drysdale
Steve Martin: All Commercials (1980) (TV)
Steve Martin: Comedy Is Not Pretty (1980) (TV) .... Laundry Customer
Bob Hope for President (1980) (TV)

The Magic of David Copperfield III: Levitating Ferrari (1980) (TV)
"The $1.98 Beauty Show" (1978) TV Series .... Himself/judge
"That Was the Week That Was" (1964) TV Series .... Himself
"The Jack Benny Program" playing "Himself" in episode: "Wayne Newton Show" (episode # 15.11) 4 December 1964

inspector Gadget: Gadget's Greatest Gadgets (1999) (V) .... M.A.D Agents (segments "The Capeman Cometh" & "Gadget's Gadgets")
"Inspector Gadget" (1983) TV Series .... Additional Voices (1985-1986)
"Inspector Gadget" playing "The Great Wambini"

in episode: "The Great Wambini's Seance" (episode # 2.66) 1984
in episode: "Magic Gadget" (episode # 2.65) 1984

10 from Your Show of Shows (1973)

"Curb Your Enthusiasm" playing "Jeff's Dad"
in episode: "The Grand Opening" (episode # 3.10) 17 November 2002
in episode: "Thor" (episode # 2.2) 30 September 2001
in episode: "Beloved Aunt" (episode # 1.8) 3 December 2000
in episode: "Porno Gil" (episode # 1.3) 29 October 2000
in episode: "The Pants Tent" (episode # 1.1) 15 October 2000
"St. Elsewhere" playing "Dr. Axelrod" in episode: "The Abby Singer Show" (episode # 6.21) 18 May 1988
in episode: "Schwarzwald" (episode # 5.17) 11 February 1987
"The Cosby Show" playing "Norman Kirby" in episode: "Where's Rudy" (episode # 4.10) 19 November 1987
"Trapper John, M.D." playing "Marty Slaughter" in episode: "A Wheel in a Wheel" (episode # 7.7) 1 December 1985
"The Love Boat" in episode: "Prisoner of Love/Youth Takes a Holiday/Don't Leave Home Without It" (episode # 7.4) 15 October 1983
"The Love Boat" playing "Glenn Dobson" in episode: "Isaac and the Mermaids/Humpty, Dumpty/Aquaphobic" (episode # 4.18) 7 February 1981
"The Love Boat" in episode: "Never Say Goodbye/New Woman, A/Trial Romance" (episode # 3.9) 3 November 1979
"Fantasy Island" playing "Comedian" in episode: "Treasure Hunt/Beauty Contest" (episode # 1.8) 11 March 1978
"Police Woman" playing "Drew" in episode: "Ambition" (episode # 4.9) 28 December 1977
"Starsky and Hutch" playing "Jerry" in episode: "Starsky and Hutch on Playboy Island" (episode # 3.1) 17 September 1977
"Laverne & Shirley" playing "Store Manager" in episode: "Guilty Until Proven Not Innocent" (episode # 2.11) 4 January 1977
"Love, American Style" playing "Mr. Stevens" in episode: "Love and the Happy Unhappy Couple" (episode # 3.16d) 14 January 1972
"The Jackie Gleason Show" playing "Gaylord Farquhar" in episode: "The Honeymooners: The Honeymooners in England" (episode # 1.8) 12 November 1966
"The Munsters" playing "Zombo" in episode: "Zombo" (episode # 2.22) 17 February 1966
"The Beverly Hillbillies" playing "Sonny Drysdale" in episode: "Sonny Drysdale Returns" (episode # 4.21) 9 February 1966
in episode: "Elly Races Jethrine" (episode # 1.11) 5 December 1962
in episode: "Pygmalion and Elly" (episode # 1.10) 28 November 1962
in episode: "Elly's First Date" (episode # 1.9) 21 November 1962
"Burke's Law" playing "James Stock" in episode: "Who Killed the Toy Soldier?" (episode # 2.18) 20 January 1965
"Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre" playing "Mickey Marshall" in episode: "Think Pretty" (episode # 2.1) 2 October 1964
"Burke's Law" playing "Hooper" in episode: "Who Killed Cassandra Cass?" (episode # 2.3) 30 September 1964
"Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre" playing "Jack Roberts" in episode: "Her School for Bachelors" (episode # 1.21) 20 March 1964
"The Lieutenant" playing "Lt. Cdr. Kevin Green" in episode: "Tour of Duty" (episode # 1.23) 7 March 1964
"Alcoa Premiere" playing "Larry" in episode: "This Will Kill You" (episode # 2.28) 11 April 1963
"The Jack Benny Program" playing "The Crying Cab Driver" in episode: "Jack and the Crying Cab Driver" (episode # 13.12) 18 December 1962
"Make Room for Daddy" playing "Herman" in episode: "Bunny Cooks a Meal" (episode # 9.24) 19 March 1962
"Guestward Ho!" playing "King Cool" in episode: "The Beatniks" (episode # 1.37) 15 June 1961
"Naked City" in episode: "The Bloodhounds" (episode # 1.35) 26 May 1959



The pantheon of TV characters took another hit with the loss of Hamilton Camp, a folk-singer as well as character actor who had been around since the 1940s when he was a child actor in the movies. He was involved in one of the first episodes of 'The Mary Tyler Moore Show' to win an Emmy ("Toulouse-Lautrec Is One Of My Favorite Artists", which took a "Maryish" view of prejudice by using what the Goonies would call "apart-height".) It won for Jay Sandrich's direction of the episode.

And his portrayal of Alpha, the anthropomorphized canine astronaut in an episode of 'Bewitched' (along with Steve Franken as Orvis) was key to making the link between the sitcom about the witches of Westport and 'Star Trek: The Next Generation' and 'The Hitch-Hiker's Guide To The Galaxy' and perhaps even 'Super Pup'.

(Someday I hope to track down a copy of 'The McGurks', one of the most famous failed pilots in TV history and see how I can work that show about humanoid dogs into the concept. I may have to toss it over into an alternate dimension with those water commercials with the humanoid bear, hamster, and dog.)

Mr. Camp was working in Toobworld right to the end, having appeared in 'Desperate Housewives' last December and with still a few movies in production. For some who may have been first exposed to him in his role as Andrew Hummell, the building super in 'He & She', it might be a surprise that he wasn't as old as expected. That's because he played Andrew as an old man while in his thirties.

When it comes to the character actors of Toobworld, Hamilton Camp is sadly another example of that Joni Mitchell line - "You don't know what you've got till it's gone."

But he will be missed.

"Just Our Luck" (1983) TV Series .... Professor Bob
"Too Close for Comfort" (1980) TV Series .... Arthur Wainwright (1981)
"McGurk" (1979) (TV pilot) .... Spike
"Co-ed Fever" (1979) TV Series .... Mr. Peabody
"Story Theatre" (1971) TV Series
"Turn-On" (1969) TV Series
"He & She" (1967) TV Series .... Andrew Hummell

How to Marry a Billionaire: A Christmas Tale (2000) (TV) .... Santa
Attack of the 50 Ft. Woman (1993) (TV) .... Prospector Eddie
Bridesmaids (1989) (TV) .... Ridgefield
Copacabana (1985) (TV) .... Nicky Richards
Lots of Luck (1985) (TV) .... Joe
It Came Upon the Midnight Clear (1984) (TV) .... Meek Angel
The Hoboken Chicken Emergency (1984) (TV)
I Take These Men (1983) (TV) .... Harry Green
Portrait of a Showgirl (1982) (TV) .... Stevie

"Out of Order" (2003) (mini) TV Series .... Hamster and Plant
"House of Mouse" (2001) TV Series (voice) .... Merlin
"The Zeta Project" playing "Dr. Rashad" (voice) in episode: "Shadows" (episode # 1.8) 7 April 2001
"Extreme Ghostbusters" (voice) in episode: "Moby Ghost" (episode # 1.26) 10 November 1997
"The Tick" playing "Johann Gutenberg" (voice) in episode: "Leonardo da Vinci and his Fightin' Genius Time Commandoes" (episode # 2.5) 30 September 1995
"Mighty Max" (voice) in episode: "Fly By Night" (episode # 2.18) 19 October 1994
"Duckman" (voice) in episode: "Gland of Opportunity" (episode # 1.5) 9 April 1994
"Aladdin" (1994) TV Series (voice) .... Ayam Aghoul
"Bonkers" (1993) TV Series (voice) .... Crooked TV-Commercial Director/Toon Pit Bull Pitts
"James Bond Jr." (1991) TV Series (voice)
"Spacecats" (1991) TV Series .... Sniff, Narrator
"Darkwing Duck" (1991) TV Series (voice) .... Gizmoduck/Fenton Crackshell
"Pirates of Darkwater" (1991) TV Series (voice) .... Additional Voices
"Tiny Toon Adventures" playing "Scottish Flea" (voice) in episode: "Starting from Scratch" 28 September 1990
"Gravedale High" (1990) TV Series (voice)
"The Wizard of Oz" (1990) TV Series (voice)
"Tale Spin" (1990) TV Series (voice) .... Seymore/Babyface Half-Nelson/Additional Voices
"Potsworth & Co." (1990) TV Series (voice) .... The Grand Dozer
Super Ducktales (1989) (TV) (voice) .... Gizmo-Duck/Fenton Crackshell
The Flintstone Kids' Just Say No Special (1988) (TV) (voice) .... Barney Rubble
"A Pup Named Scooby-Doo" (1988) TV Series (voice) .... Additional Voices
Rockin with Judy Jetson (1988) (TV) (voice) .... Mr. Microchips/Manny
Scooby-Doo and the Ghoul School (1988) (TV) (voice) .... Phantom Father
Scooby-Doo and the Reluctant Werewolf (1988) (TV) (voice) .... Dracula
"Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" (1987/II) TV Series (voice) .... Additional VoicesThe Jetsons Meet the Flintstones (1987) (TV) (voice) .... Turk Tarpit
"DuckTales" (1987) TV Series (voice) .... Fenton Crackshell a.k.a. Gizmoduck
Scooby-Doo Meets the Boo Brothers (1987) (TV) (voice) (uncredited) .... Ghostly Laugh
"The 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo" (1985) TV Series (voice)
"Meitantei Holmes" (1984) TV Series .... Prof. Moriarty (English)... aka Sherlock Hound, the Detective
The Secret World of Og (1983) (TV) (voice) .... Flub/Blib/Little Green Man#2/Sheriff/Little Green Man #1/Butcher/Villager/Mushroom Harvester
"The Incredible Hulk" (1982) TV Series (voice) .... Additional Voices
"The Kwicky Koala Show" (1981) TV Series (voice)
"The Smurfs" (1981) TV Series (voice) .... Greedy Smurf/Harmony Smurf

"Desperate Housewives" playing "Brian Linder" in episode: "Suspicious Minds" (episode # 1.9) 12 December 2004
"That Was Then" playing "The Captain" in episode: "Mayor or Not" (episode # 1.2) 4 October 2002
"Grounded for Life" playing "Newstand Guy" in episode: "Don't Let Me Download" (episode # 2.3) 21 November 2001
"Titus" playing "Merrit"
in episode: "The Wedding" (episode # 2.24) 22 May 2001
in episode: "Deprogramming Erin" (episode # 2.14) 13 February 2001
in episode: "The Reconciliation" (episode # 2.8) 12 December 2000
in episode: "The Perfect Thanksgiving" (episode # 2.6) 21 November 2000
"Star Trek: Voyager" playing "Malon Controller Vrelk" in episode: "Extreme Risk" (episode # 5.3) 28 October 1998
"Star Trek: Deep Space Nine" playing "Leck"
in episode: "The Magnificent Ferengi" (episode # 6.10) 1 January 1998
in episode: "Ferengi Love Songs" (episode # 5.20) 21 April 1997
"Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman" playing "H.G. Wells"
in episode: "Lois and Clarks" (episode # 4.15) 9 March 1997
in episode: "Tempus, Anyone?" (episode # 3.14) 21 January 1996
"ER" playing "Drunk" in episode: "Dead of Winter" (episode # 2.11) 5 January 1996
"The Jeff Foxworthy Show" in episode: "Womb with a View" (episode # 1.5) 14 October 1995
"Morton & Hayes" playing "Smitty" in episode: "Oafs Overboard" (episode # 1.4) 14 August 1991
"Morton & Hayes" playing "Hunchback/Steve" in episode: "The Bride of Mummula" (episode # 1.2) 31 July 1991
"Murphy Brown" playing "Mr. X" in episode: "The Strike" (episode # 2.12) 11 December 1989
"Saved by the Bell" playing "Mr. Margolies" in episode: "Dancing to the Max" (episode # 1.1) 20 August 1989
"Mama's Family" playing "Dr. Bishop/Purvis" (voice) in episode: "Mama Bell" (episode # 5.12) 6 January 1989
"Hill Street Blues" playing "Morton Keyes" in episode: "Fathers and Guns" (episode # 7.9) 9 December 1986
"All Is Forgiven" playing "Jerry Campbell" in episode: "On Air Commitment" (episode # 1.1) 20 March 1986
"Cheers" playing "Martin Gallagher" in episode: "Suspicion" (episode # 4.14) 16 January 1986
"The Twilight Zone" playing "Liam O'Shaughnessy" in episode: "The Little People of Killany Woods" (episode # 1.34) 3 January 1986
"Hill Street Blues" playing "One Man Band Muzel" in episode: "Passage to Libya" (episode # 5.17) 14 February 1985
"Alice" playing "Customer" in episode: "Don't Play It Again, Elliot" (episode # 8.21) 8 April 1984
"M*A*S*H" playing "Maj. Frankenheimer" in episode: "The Moon Is Not Blue" (episode # 11.8) 13 December 1982
"Hill Street Blues" playing "Buck Mullins" in episode: "Zen and the Art of Law Enforcement" (episode # 2.13) 18 February 1982
"Mork & Mindy" playing "Exterminator" in episode: "Present Tense" (episode # 4.12) 14 January 1982
"Alice" playing "Willie Harmon" in episode: "Bet a Million Mel" (episode # 6.2) 11 October 1981
"Trapper John, M.D." playing "Louie" in episode: "Second Sight" (episode # 2.15) 5 April 1981
"WKRP in Cincinnati" playing "Buddy Gravers" in episode: "Til Debt Do Us Part" (episode # 3.21) 5 April 1981
"Soap" playing "Elmore Tibbs" (episode # 3.22) 27 March 1980 and (episode # 4.12) 9 March 1981
"Three's Company" playing "Bart Furley" in episode: "Furley vs. Furley" (episode # 5.14) 17 February 1981
"Alice" playing "Clem" in episode: "Flo Finds Her Father" (episode # 3.24) 1 April 1979
"Laverne & Shirley" playing "Mr. Burns" in episode: "O Come All Ye Bums" (episode # 4.14) 19 December 1978
"WKRP in Cincinnati" playing "Del Murdoch" in episode: "Hold Up" (episode # 1.5) 16 October 1978
"M*A*S*H" playing "Corporal 'Boots' Miller" in episode: "Major Topper" (episode # 6.24) 27 March 1978
"Alice" playing "Fred" in episode: "The Accident" (episode # 1.16) 22 January 1977
"Starsky and Hutch" playing "Lou Malinda" in episode: "Kill Huggy Bear" (episode # 1.8) 29 October 1975
"Love, American Style" in episode: "Love and the Super Lover" (episode # 4.12c) 1 December 1972
"Mary Tyler Moore" playing "Eric Mathews" (as Hamid Hamilton Camp) in episode: "Toulouse-Lautrec Is One of My Favorite Artists" (episode # 1.7) 31 October 1970
"Bonanza" playing "Calvin" in episode: "What Are Pardners For?" (episode # 11.27) 12 April 1970
"Love, American Style" in episode: "Love and the Positive Man" (episode # 1.12c) 22 December 1969
"The Good Guys" playing "Baitman" in episode: "Total Honesty" (episode # 2.6) 31 October 1969
"Bonanza" playing "Henry Dobbs" in episode: "The Clarion" (episode # 10.20) 9 February 1969
"Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C." playing "Assistant Director" in episode: "A Star Is Not Born" (episode # 5.8) 22 November 1968
"Bewitched" playing "Alpha" in episode: "Samantha's Secret Saucer" (episode # 4.30) 18 April 1968
"The Monkees" playing "Philo" in episode: "Monkees at the Movies" (episode # 1.31) 17 April 1967
"Hey, Landlord" playing "Riker the Wrecker" in episode: "When You Need a Hidden Room, You Can Never Find One" (episode # 1.10) 20 November 1966
"The Rat Patrol" playing "Lt. Winters" in episode: "The Blow Sky High Raid" (episode # 1.9) 7 November 1966
"The Andy Griffith Show" playing "Jeff Nelson" in episode: "The Barbershop Quartet" (episode # 7.3) 26 September 1966

Funny, You Don't Look 200: A Constitutional Vaudeville (1987) (TV) .... Himself
A World of Love (1970) (TV) .... Himself



We tip our hat to Jerry Juhl, who used to give voice to the Muppets but then found his calling in giving those Muppets something to say.

I can still remember searching out his name at the end of one of my first exposures to 'The Muppet Show', stoned-# er, "dazed and confused" - yeah, that's the ticket! - in my dorm room at UConn, and seeking out his name in the end credits; marvelling: "Who wrote this funny shit?"

That sense of anarchy at play for the Muppets may be copied, but it will never be equalled.

Muppets From Space (1999) (written by)
Muppet Treasure Island (1996) (screenplay)
The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992) (screenplay)
The Muppets at Walt Disney World (1990) (TV)
"The Jim Henson Hour" (1989) TV Series (writer)
A Muppet Family Christmas (1987) (TV)
The Muppets: A Celebration of 30 Years (1986) (TV)
Fozzie's Muppet Scrapbook (1985) (V)
Muppet Video: Gonzo Presents Muppet Weird Stuff (1985) (V)
"Fraggle Rock" (1983) TV Series (writer)
The Great Muppet Caper (1981)
The Muppet Movie (1979) (written by)
The Muppets Go Hollywood (1979) (TV)
"The Muppet Show" (1976) TV Series (head writer) (1977-1981) (writer) (1976)
Emmet Otter's Jug-Band Christmas (1977) (TV)
The Muppets Valentine Show (1974) (TV)
The Muppet Musicians of Bremen (1972)
The Great Santa Claus Switch (1970) (TV)
"Sesame Street" (1969) TV Series (writer) (1969-)
The Cube (1969) (TV)
"The Jim Henson Hour" (1989) TV Series (co-producer)
Living with Dinosaurs (1989) (TV) (co-producer)
Tales from Muppetland: The Frog Prince (1972) (voice) .... Taminella
"Sam and Friends" (1955) Series
The World of Jim Henson (1994) (TV) (also archive footage) .... Himself
Henson's Place (1984) (TV) (also archive footage) .... Himself
Of Muppets and Men: The Making of 'The Muppet Show' (1981) (TV) .... Himself



Recently, I saw a couple of complaints - in TV Guide and, among them - about the use of musical montages at the end of TV show episodes. Once in a while it was quite effective, but that episode of 'The West Wing' after Mark Harmon's character was gunned down? That seems to be when the dam burst and suddenly everybody was doing it. ('Rescue Me' is one of the heavy hitters in this trend; every episode ends that way.)

And to make it more grating, that song "Hallelujah" seems to be the popular choices, used in three different programs so far.

When it comes to musical montages that end an episode, 'Lost' can be like that as well. But for only a few episodes did they use prerecorded songs, and it was a natural part of the scene - playing on the CD player that Hurley had.

But suddenly it ended; abruptly in the middle of a song because Hurley's batteries finally died. Now THAT was effective.

Since then, they've relied on using the original music from the show's composer, Michael Giacchino, and it has been what sets 'Lost' apart from the other shows with their musical montages at the end. We come into that music hearing it for the first time, with no preconceived memories attached to it. And the image and music blend together to form the complete emotional experience for the viewers.

Watch that scene from near the end of last season as the raft was launched and everybody said good-bye; doesn't it sweep you up like the raft is swept out to sea on the waves? I'm not the most emotional fellow in the ward, but after all the times I've watched it, I still find myself tearing up with a lump in my throat.

It happened again this past week as Hurley played Santa and passed out the food among the 40 or so "lostaways".
I know it's not just the music; the acting by all concerned (but special mentions for Emilie de Ravin and L. Scott Caldwell for their contributions during the scene) plays a major role in creating that emotion.

But the power comes from the music, which is as spare and piercing and beautiful as that composed by George Winter: sparse piano notes and some strings. That's all that was needed to make it work for me.
I'm just sayin' is all.