Friday, July 7, 2006


A few nights after the broadcast of the episode "Army Of Ghosts", the BBC announced who would replace Billie Piper as a companion on 'Doctor Who'.

Her name is Freema Agyeman, and she will be the second "companion of color", following Noel Clarke as Mickey Smith. Mickey joined his ex-girlfriend and the Doctor for a few trips through Time and Space, before choosing to remain behind in an alternate dimension to battle the Cybermen.

There have been a few tut-tuts uttered online in the fan base about her casting.......

From the blog "Behind The Sofa":
I think it’s ludicrous to cast someone we’ve seen so recently as another character; I hope that there’s an explanation, but alas, I doubt that there will be…
Posted by: Will

Thankfully, so far as I can tell, nobody is complaining about her skin color. (Things would be different if they choose a new hue for 'Who' with the next regeneration. Then you would see the jerks come out of the woodwork. They have in the past....)

No, the problem some of these fans have is that Freema Agyeman was just seen in the episode "Army Of Ghosts", and now she's coming back as a new character within the space of about three episodes. (Granted, there's almost a year's wait before Season Three starts up, and she won't be in the next Christmas special, but still. None of that matters once it all goes to DVD.)

And apparently, she has to return as a new character. I have yet to see "Army Of Ghosts", but I understand her character Adeola Oshodi doesn't fare at all well. (I'll wait to see it as a "double feature" with the season finale "Doomsday".)

So by at least the first episode of Season Three, Freema Agyeman will be joining the Doctor as Martha Jones.

I don't know why those fans should be so upset by her return as a new character to become a regular; this sort of thing happens in Toobworld all the time.

Usually if the Powers That Be liked an actor's performance in a one-shot performance in a role, they will be asked to bring that character back to join the cast. Such was the case with Georgia Engel as Georgette Franklin on 'The Mary Tyler Moore Show', and Christopher Lloyd as Reverend Jim Ignatowski on 'Taxi'.

But there are plenty of examples of an actor playing a guest role on a TV series and then coming back as a completely new character on a regular basis.

HARRY MORGAN - This great, enduring character actor was seen as certifiable Major General Bartford Hamilton Steele in "The General Flippped At Dawn". When Henry Blake perished in the Sea of Japan, Morgan returned as the new commanding officer for the 'M*A*S*H' unit 4077, Colonel Sherman T. Potter.

JERRY ORBACH - The song-and-dance man with the hangdog expression left an indelible mark on the long-running 'Law & Order' with twelve years of service as Detective Lennie Briscoe. He even helped to launch a sequel, 'Law & Order: Trial By Jury' by joining that cast for a few episodes before his death.

But a lot of people probably don't even remember far enough back to when Orbach showed up as defense lawyer Frank Lehman in "The Wages Of Love".

VINCENT GARDENIA - He first showed up on 'All In The Family' as wife-swappin' swinger Curtis Rempley in "The Bunkers And The Swingers"; and then as the Bunkers' former neighbor Jim Bowman, who sold his house to the Jeffersons in "Lionel Moves Into The Neighborhood".

Surprisingly, Archie didn't mention the resemblance when he moved back into the neighborhood as Frank Lorenzo!

JOHN MAHONEY - This one is a little different. Mahoney showed up in the bar 'Cheers' as a piano tuner named Sy Flembeck in the episode "Do Not Forsake Me, O' My Postman". I would think bar patron Dr. 'Frasier' Crane might have remarked upon Sy's resemblance to his own father, as Mahoney was later cast as Martin Crane beginning with the first episode of the sequel.

MAJEL BARRETT - In the pilot episode of 'Star Trek' ("The Cage"), Ms. Barrett was given the plum assignment of the second-in-command, known only as "Number One". But at some point between that originally unaired pilot and the actual series, most of those original members of the crew were gone; replaced by the Enterprise officers we know today.

This time around, Majel Barrett was seen on a regular basis as Nurse Christine Chapel who had an urequited crush on Mr. Spock. Even though we never knew Number One's name, she definitely was not Christine Chapel; and the job of nurse was definitely a step down from being the First Officer.

But at least she still had a job. So there are some benefits to being involved with the show's Creator.....

And it's not even like this sort of thing hasn't happened before within the 'Doctor Who' series itself, as some of those fans have pointed out.....

Come on, it's not like they've cast Peter Davidson as the new companion without explanation. Freema was in AoG for all of five minutes, and her character was strictly redshirt material. Anyway, B5 got away with worse than this - anyone remember when Ed Wasser went from dome tech to Mr. Morden in the space of a few episodes?
Posted by:Matthew

PETER PURVES - Within the same story of 'Doctor Who' ("Flight Through Eternity"), Purves went from playing a hillbilly on the observation deck of the Empire State Building to joining the Doctor as companion Steven Taylor!

As for me? I'm thrilled. What makes any drama interesting is the growth and change of its characters and Rose's arc had pretty much ground to a standstill. I wonder how they're going to explain either (a) the character's return or (b) the character looking like someone we've already seen? (*kof* Romana *kof*)
Posted by: ?

LALLA WARD - As the mysterious poster pointed out, the show provided a splainin as to Ms. Ward's resemblance between her two characters. After appearing as Princess Astra in "The Armegeddon Factor", she then took over the role of Gallifreyan Time Lady Romana from Mary Tamm. For her regeneration, Romana chose the form of Princess Astra as the template.

How has everyone forgotten a certain Baker being called on to play the Doctor after already having been in the series? And he was the Bloomin' Lead!
Posted by Coleberg

COLIN BAKER - Finally, there's the case of the Doctor himself, Sixth Incarnation. In the episode "Arc Of Infiinity", Baker guest-starred as Commander Maxil who was in charge of the Chancellory Guard on Gallifrey.

In later interviews, Colin Baker has chuckled over the fact that before he assumed the role of the Doctor, he got to shoot his predecessor in the back. (He stunned the Fifth Doctor before delivering him to the Gallifreyan High Council.)

As an ambassador without portfolio to Toobworld, I'd congratulate Freema Agyeman for landing the role of the Doctor's new traveling companion. And the fact that another one of her characters has already appeared in the Doctor's corner of the vast TV Universe is nothing more than a time-honored tradition in Toobworld.

So welcome aboard the TARDIS, Martha Jones!

It's just a shame about that name. Martha Jones? BOOOOOORING! Couldn't RTD spring for something more interesting?

At least her previous incarnation was blessed with the musical "Adeola Oshodi". Couldn't she at least have been an identical cousin of Adeola's? How about Uhura Oshodi?

Oh well. It could have been worse. It has been worse in the past.

Remember the lumpen moniker of "Mel Bush"?


Thursday, July 6, 2006


From Wikipedia:

The Oregon Trail was one of the key overland migration routes on which pioneers traveled across the North American continent in wagons in order to settle new parts of the United States of America during the 19th century.

The Oregon Trail spanned over half the continent as the wagon trail proceeded 2,170 miles (3,500 kilometers) west through territories and land later to become six U.S. states (Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Wyoming, Idaho, and Oregon).

Between 1841 and 1869, the Oregon Trail was used by settlers to the Northwest and West Coast areas of what is now the United States.

Once the first transcontinental railroad was completed in 1869, this trail was no longer used by long-distance travelers.

The trail is marked by numerous cutoffs and shortcuts and is a hodge podge from Missouri to Oregon. The basic route follows river valleys. Starting initially in Independence/Kansas City, the trail followed the Santa Fe Trail just south of the Kansas River. At about Topeka, Kansas it crossed the Kansas River and angled to Nebraska paralleling the Little Blue River until reaching the south side of the Platte River. It followed the Platte and North Platte to the South Pass hole in the Rocky Mountains in Wyoming.

From South Pass the trail parallels the Snake River to the Columbia River before arriving at Oregon City or taking the Barlow Road to the Willamette Valley and other destinations in what are now the states of Washington and Oregon.

The Oregon Trail's designated termination point was Oregon City, at the time the proposed capital of the Oregon Territory. However, many settlers branched off or grew exhausted short of this goal and settled at convenient or promising locations along the trail.

A number of other trails followed the Oregon Trail for part of its length. These include the Mormon Trail from Illinois to Utah, and the California Trail to the gold fields of California.

The California Trail was a major overland emigrant route across the American West from Missouri to California in the middle 19th century. It was used by 250,000 farmers and gold-seekers to reach the California gold fields and farm homesteads in California from the late 1840s until the introduction of the railroads in the late 1860s.

The original route had many branches and encompassed over 5,000 miles (8000 km) of trails. Over 1,000 miles (1600 km) of the rutted traces of the trail remain througout the Great Basin as historical evidence of the great mass migration westward.

The exact route of the trail depended on the starting point of the voyage, the final destination in California, as well as the condition of livestock and vehicles. The main branch of the trail across the Great Plains was identical to the Oregon and Mormon trails, going up the Missouri River then crossing Nebraska along the Platte and North Platte to present-day Wyoming.


So why should all of this matter to Toobworld? Because the future faction, which absconded with 'The 4400' and then returned them all to Mt. Rainier two years ago, took Maia Rutledge Skouris a second time and then placed her in 1832. Fifteen years later, Maia died of smallpox while going cross-country on the Oregon Trail.

Also in 1847, Christian Horn was leading a wagon train through New Mexico. When his son was stricken with illness, Horn went in search of medical help just "A Hundred Yards Over The Rim" ('The Twilight Zone'). There he found himself transported forward in Time to September, 1961, where he got hold of some penicillin to cure his son. And a good thing too, because his son had a destiny to fulfill in which he would become a world-renowned physician.

It's tempting to think that those future manipulators were involved in Horn's trip through Time to insure his son's survival, but too much was left to chance. So I'll stick with my original theory as posited in the old Tubeworld Dynamic website - that Christian Horn had stumbled upon a rogue temporal wormhole which brought him forward to the year 1961 and then back again to 1847.

And where did this temporal wormhole come from? Horn was in the New Mexico territory. About one hundred and fifty years later, Dr. Sam Beckett would build his 'Quantum Leap' accelerator in the New Mexico mountains.

There was plenty of things wrong with that project, just as there had been with the Time Tunnel project underneath the Arizone desert thirty years earlier. Obviously the Quantum Leap accelerator wasn't properly shielded and temporal energy was leaking whenever Sam went leaping. It's possible that the 1961 wormhole was left over from when Sam leapt into the life of Galveston Mustangs pitcher Lester "Doc" Fuller on August 6th, 1961. ("Play Ball")

Unbeknownst to Chris Horn, that might not have been his first encounter with time travel. It will be my contention that until his wagon train veered south onto one of the cut-off shortcuts on the trail, he had been traveling with the same wagon train that was carrying Maia Rutledge.

In Toobworld, not much is ever left to coincidence.



Just a few thoughts looking over the list of Emmy nominations which were announced this morning.....

I don't feel qualified to delve too deeply into the technical categories behind the scenes, but these two categories caught my notice:

Outstanding Main Title Theme Music
Rome • HBO • HBO Entertainment in association with the BBC
Jeff Beal, Composer

It's always nice to see somebody vindicated after I think they've been done wrong.

Jeff Beal wrote the theme music of 'Monk', which was used only in the first season. Then they dumped it in favor of a dopey (albeit catchy) song by Randy Newman.

Occasionally it shows up in episodes of the show, and they even made reference to it in an episode as in-joke. (Sarah Silverman's character was talking about a fictional TV show's theme song which suffered the same fate.)

It's nice to know that the incident didn't make the entire industry view Beal's talent as tainted and not up to snuff.

Outstanding Commercial
Clydesdale American Dream - Budweiser • •
PYTKA, Production Company
DDB Chicago, Ad Agency

Concert - AmeriQuest • •
MJZ, Production Company
DDB Los Angeles, Ad Agency

Required Reading - Hallmark • •
The Institue for the Development of Enhanced PerceptualAwareness, Production Company
Leo Burnett Chicago, Ad Agency

Stick - FedEx • •
Partizan, Production Company
BBDO New York, Ad Agency

I'm not familiar with the two middle choices, but I think the battle will be between FedEx and Budweiser. Budweiser may win for the awwww warmth factor, but the Caveman trying to ship a stick via pterodactyl never gets tiresome to view.

And it's good for Toobworld to boot!

Now, as for the acting categories:

How can they choose Kevin James for 'King Of Queens', and yet ignore the work of Jason Lee in 'My Name Is Earl'? Perhaps it's because Jason Lee is a lot like Henry Fonda - he makes it look so easy, that the voters forgot he was acting!

Having such a crush on Blythe Danner while I was in college, I'm so happy to see her recognized for two different roles this season.

How can they think Alfre Woodard's performance in 'Desperate Housewives' was comedy????

Lisa Kudrow? Really?

And no love for Jason Lee? Randy Supplee? Hugh Laurie? Edie Falco? Jorge Garcia?

Outstanding Lead Actor In A Comedy Series
Curb Your Enthusiasm • HBO

Larry David as Himself
The King Of Queens • CBS

Kevin James as Doug Heffernan
Monk • USA

Tony Shalhoub as Adrian Monk
The Office • NBC

Steve Carell as Michael Scott
Two And A Half Men • CBS

Charlie Sheen as Charlie Harper

Except for Kevin James, this is a strong category, but I think this is Steve Carell's year.

Outstanding Lead Actor In A Drama Series
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit • NBC
Christopher Meloni as Detective Elliot Stabler
Rescue Me • FX Network
Denis Leary as Tommy Gavin
Six Feet Under • HBO
Peter Krause as Nate Fisher
24 • FOX
Kiefer Sutherland as Jack Bauer
The West Wing • NBC
Martin Sheen as President Josiah Bartlet

Right now, it looks like it's Kiefer Sutherland's to lose, but I think Denis Leary deserves the nod. Next year, I hope they recognize the work of John Scurti on this program.

Outstanding Lead Actor In A Miniseries Or A Movie
Bleak House (Masterpiece Theatre) • PBS
Charles Dance as Mr. Tulkinghorn
Human Trafficking • Lifetime
Donald Sutherland as Bill Meehan
Mrs. Harris • HBO
Ben Kingsley as Herman Tarnower
Pope John Paul II • CBS
Jon Voight as Pope John Paul II
Thief • FX Network
Andre Braugher as Nick Atwater

I'm not familiar with most of these nominations, but I think 'Bleak House' overall is going to be strong, so it could be Charles Dance. Of course, nobody wants to insult God, so maybe Voight will win for playing the late John Paul II.

And wasn't 'Thief' supposed to be a series, not just a mini-series?

Outstanding Lead Actress In A Comedy Series
The Comeback • HBO
Lisa Kudrow as Valerie Cherish
Malcolm In The Middle • FOX
Jane Kaczmarek as Lois
The New Adventures Of Old Christine • CBS
Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Christine Campbell
Out Of Practice • CBS
Stockard Channing as Lydia Barnes
Will & Grace • NBC
Debra Messing as Grace

Thank God we won't be seeing that tired Grace Adler in the category next year!

Outstanding Lead Actress In A Drama Series
The Closer • TNT
Kyra Sedgwick as Deputy Chief Brenda Leigh Johnson
Commander In Chief • ABC
Geena Davis as Mackenzie Allen
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit • NBC
Mariska Hargitay as Detective Olivia Benson
Six Feet Under • HBO
Frances Conroy as Ruth Fisher
The West Wing • NBC
Allison Janney as C.J. Cregg

I think 'Six Feet Under' has been off too long for anybody to remember Ms. Conroy's work. TV Guide's Michael Ausiello will be happy about Ms. Hargitay, but I know he'll be bleeped off that Lauren Graham got passed over yet again.

I'm going with Ms. Sedgwick, a great blend of drama and comedy in Brenda Leigh Johnson. And because I want to hear her say "Thank yew. Thank yew so much." when she wins!

Outstanding Lead Actress In A Miniseries Or A Movie
Ambulance Girl • Lifetime
Kathy Bates as Jane Stern
Bleak House (Masterpiece Theatre) • PBS
Gillian Anderson as Lady Dedlock
Elizabeth I • HBO
Helen Mirren as Elizabeth I
A Little Thing Called Murder • Lifetime
Judy Davis as Sante Kimes
Mrs. Harris • HBO
Annette Bening as Jean Harris

As with Charles Dance's nomination, I think 'Bleak House' will drive in the win for Ms. Anderson. But at the same time, she was incredible in the role and made me forget all about a little thing called 'The X-Files'.

Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Comedy Series
Arrested Development • FOX
Will Arnett as Gob Bluth
Entourage • HBO
Jeremy Piven as Ari Gold
Malcolm In The Middle • FOX
Bryan Cranston as Hal
Two And A Half Men • CBS
Jon Cryer as Alan Harper
Will & Grace • NBC
Sean Hayes as Jack

I HATE JACK! Sorry, felt the need to say that. Otherwise, Ari's storyline from last season in which he almost lost everything should carry him to the win.

Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Drama Series
Boston Legal • ABC
William Shatner as Denny Crane
Huff • Showtime
Oliver Platt as Russell Tupper
The Sopranos • HBO
Michael Imperioli as Christopher Moltisanti
24 • FOX
Gregory Itzin as President Charles Logan
The West Wing • NBC
Alan Alda as Arnold Vinick

Had there been any lesser actor in the role of Arnold Vinick on 'The West Wing', I'd say that Gregory Itzin should win for playing the Nixonian President on '24'. Even though I'm a dyed-in-the-wool Democrat in the Real World, I SO wanted Vinick to win the election on 'The West Wing'!

Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Miniseries Or A Movie
Bleak House (Masterpiece Theatre) • PBS
Denis Lawson as John Jarndyce
Elizabeth I • HBO
Hugh Dancy as Earl of Essex
Elizabeth I • HBO
Jeremy Irons as Earl of Leicester
Human Trafficking • Lifetime
Robert Carlyle as Sergei Karpovich
Thief • FX Network
Clifton Collins, Jr. as Jack “Bump” Hill

The strenght of 'Bleak House' would have had nothing to do with this. I've been a big fan of Denis Lawson since 'Local Hero' and the first 'Star Wars' trilogy.

Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Comedy Series
Curb Your Enthusiasm • HBO
Cheryl Hines as Cheryl David
Desperate Housewives • ABC
Alfre Woodard as Betty Applewhite
My Name Is Earl • NBC
Jaime Pressly as Joy
Weeds • Showtime
Elizabeth Perkins as Celia Hodes
Will & Grace • NBC
Megan Mullally as Karen

Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Drama Series
Boston Legal • ABC
Candice Bergen as Shirley Schmidt
Grey’s Anatomy • ABC
Sandra Oh as Cristina Yang
Grey’s Anatomy • ABC
Chandra Wilson as Dr. Bailey
Huff • Showtime
Blythe Danner as Izzy Huffstodt
24 • FOX
Jean Smart as First Lady Martha Logan

I don't watch '24', but I kept up on the details through various websites. Someday I'll watch it all, I swear! But I do know that Jean Smart really made this season spectacular with her portrayal of the First Lady.

Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Miniseries Or A Movie
The Girl In The CafĂ© • HBO
Kelly Macdonald as Gina
Hidden Places • Hallmark
Shirley Jones as Aunt Batty
Mrs. Harris • HBO
Ellen Burstyn as Former Tarnower “Steady”
Mrs. Harris • HBO
Cloris Leachman as Tarnower’s Sister
The Water Is Wide (Hallmark Hall Of Fame Presentation)• CBS
Alfre Woodard as Mrs. Brown

I never saw any of these productions, and I never even heard of two of them, so I can't honestly voice an opinion on who might win.

Outstanding Guest Actor In A Comedy Series
Extras • HBO • BBC
Patrick Stewart as Himself
Extras • HBO • BBC
Ben Stiller as Himself
Two And A Half Men • CBS
Martin Sheen as Harvey
Will & Grace • NBC
Alec Baldwin as Malcolm
Will & Grace • NBC
Leslie Jordan as Beverley Leslie

It's nice to see Leslie Jordan recognized for his talents, even though I thought his character was ultra-creepy; even more so than the role he played on 'Boston Legal'. But nothing was funnier than seeing Patrick Stewart describing his idea for a TV Show for himself, about a man who could undress women with his mind.

And that would also be a big boost for Toobworld's League of Themselves.

Outstanding Guest Actor In A Drama Series
Boston Legal • ABC
Michael J. Fox as Daniel Post
Boston Legal • ABC
Christian Clemenson as Jerry “Hands” Espenson
James Woods as Dr. Nate Lennox
Grey’s Anatomy
Kyle Chandler as Dylan Young
Lost • ABC
Henry Ian Cusick as Desmond

Yeah, being as big a 'Lost' fan as I am, sure I'd love to see Desmond get the win. Especially if it would mean that the producers might then consider making sure the character survived the finale and then make him a regular.

But great work among character actors should always be recognized and this may be the best chance Christian Clemenson might ever get. His portrayal of Jerry Espinson was heart-breaking, edgy, and memorable.

Outstanding Guest Actress In A Comedy Series
Desperate Housewives • ABC
Shirley Knight as Phyllis Van de Kamp
Extras • HBO • BBC
Kate Winslet as Herself
Malcolm In The Middle • FOX
Cloris Leachman as Ida
Monk • USA
Laurie Metcalf as Cora
Will & Grace • NBC
Blythe Danner as Marilyn Truman

Watch Kate Winslet or just listen to her potty mouth and tell me she doesn't deserve the award.

Outstanding Guest Actress In A Drama Series
Grey’s Anatomy • ABC
Kate Burton as Ellis Grey
Grey’s Anatomy • ABC
Christina Ricci as Hannah
Huff • Showtime
Swoosie Kurtz as Madeline Sullivan
Six Feet Under • HBO
Patricia Clarkson as Aunt Sarah
Six Feet Under • HBO
Joanna Cassidy as Margaret Chenowith

Seeing as how one's work is never judged only on its own merit, I think Kate Burton might win for more than just the fact she does an excellent job portraying an Alzheimer's patient. But she also plays a very loving and sympathetic recurring character on 'Rescue Me' and hey, she is Richard Burton's daughter!

So we'll see how it goes at the end of August......

Stay tuned!



"As the World Turns" star Benjamin Hendrickson died suddenly over the weekend at his home in Huntington, L.I. He was 55. No cause of death was released.

Hendrickson joined "ATWT" as Detective Hal Munson in 1985.

He won the Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actor in 2003, after having also been nominated for the award in 2001 and 2002. He took a leave of absence after winning the Emmy and was replaced by Randolph Mantooth ("Emergency") in 2004. He returned to the soap last year.

He also appeared in the PBS Theater in America production of "Time of Your Life."

"The quality we will miss is Benjamin's joyful sense of humor. His humor was one of his most endearing qualities."
- Ellen Dolan
(Detective Margo Hughes, 'ATWT')

"The entire daytime community has lost a dear friend and a talented actor who brought to life the character of Hal Munson.

"Benjamin always joked that he was hired for one day, then, before he knew it, he had impregnated the leading lady and had to sign a contract. He intended to stay with the show for one year. How lucky for us and the fans that we had him for 21 years."
- Christopher Goutman
(Executive Producer, 'As The World Turns')

"As the World Turns" (1956) TV Series .... Harold "Hal" Todd Munson, Jr. (1985-2004, 2005 - present)
"Another World" (1964) TV Series .... Sgt. Bartlett (1983)
"Texas" (1980) TV Series .... Chris Shaw (1981)

American Eyes (1991) (TV)
Adam's Apple (1986) (TV)
The Demon Murder Case (1983) (TV) .... Father Carelli
Dreams Don't Die (1982) (TV) .... Attorney

"Law & Order"
- Denial (1997) TV Episode .... Warren Talbert
- The Wages of Love (1991) TV Episode .... Attorney for Douglas Phillips
"Mann & Machine"
- Cold, Cold Heart (1992) TV Episode .... Gabriel van der Zalm"The Guiding Light" .... Silas Crocker (1981-1983)
- Episode dated 22 December 1982 (1982) TV Episode .... Silas Crocker

As the World Turns: 30th Anniversary (1986) (TV) .... Hal Munson

The Time of Your Life (1976) (TV) .... Nick


[Thanks to the for the credits.]


'Kyle XY' has picked up an important lesson from 'Lost', by airing a pseudo-commercial for a fictional company named Mada Corporation. Earlier in the show itself, Kyle clicked on the radio and a commercial was being broadcast about the company.

There's a lot about the Mada Corporation revealed during the fake TV ad that makes it sound almost as if it could be a subsidiary of the Hanso Foundation which is found in 'Lost'.

At the very least, it must be a rival on the NASDAQ Big Board......

"Mada" is "Adam" spelled backwards, and Kyle has no belly button, meaning that he was not born like the rest of us, so there was no need for an umbilical cord.......

As I mentioned above, once viewers have seen this fake blipvert, they will more than likely think of the Hanso Foundation ads during the last series of 'Lost' episodes which tied into the online "game". But there's another series which utilized this type of plotline content disguised as a commercial - 'South Park'. During the episode which introduced us to Mr. Hankey, there was a live-action commercial for a board game about the Christmas Poo that was reminiscent of the old "game of Life" ads.

By the way, the Mada Corporation blipvert gives the URL for a website to visit, "", which may expand on the show's storyline or at the very least just be a marketing ploy to increase awareness of the series.



Comic Jan Murray has died at his Beverly Hills home. He was 89.

Murray successfully made the transition from night club work to the then-new medium of television.

Murray's quick wit entertained a generation of Americans through a long string of television game shows, including "Songs For Sale," "Dollar a Second" and "Treasure Hunt." He also guest-hosted 'The Tonight Show' about ten times.

Jan Murray was part of a comic rat-pack that included Sid Caesar, Milton Berle, Buddy Hackett, Shecky Greene, and Jerry Lewis. His son said he'd been in deteriorating health for several months, suffering from emphysema, heart problems and pneumonia.

Jan Murray was the creator and producer of his most popular show, "Treasure Hunt," which ran from 1956 to 1959. The game show was canceled in the wake of the scandals that centered on "Twenty One" and "The $64,000 Question." Afterwards, Mr. Murray began a new show, "Charge Account," of which he was host from 1960 to 1962.

"The New Treasure Hunt" (1973) TV Series (creator)
"The Tonight Show" (1962).... Guest Host
"Chain Letter" (1966) TV Series .... Host
"Charge Account" (1960) TV Series .... Host (1960-1962)
... aka The Jan Murray Show
"Treasure Hunt" (1956) TV Series .... Host (1956-1959)"Jan Murray Time" (1955) TV Series .... Host
"Dollar a Second" (1953) TV Series .... Host
"Meet Your Match" (1952) TV Series .... Host
"Go Lucky" (1951) TV Series .... Host
"Songs for Sale" (1950) TV Series .... Host (July 1950-February 1951)
"Sing It Again" (1950) TV Series .... Host
"Blind Date" (1949) TV Series .... Host (1953)
"This Is Your Life"
- Don Rickles (1972) TV Episode .... Himself
"This Is Your Life"
- Milton Berle (1956) TV Episode .... Himself
"It Takes Two"
- Episode dated 23 February 1970 (1970) TV Episode .... Himself

He also made appearances on several variety shows, such as Jackie Gleason's, Dean Martin's, Ed Sullivan's, and 'The Hollywood Palace'.

"My Two Dads"
- You Love Me, Right (1989) TV Episode .... Uncle Raymond
"It's a Living"
- The Dickie Doodle Show (1987) TV Episode .... Dickie Doodle
- Killer in the Halloween Mask (1985) TV Episode .... Bay Fetner
"Hardcastle and McCormick"
- What's So Funny? (1985) TV Episode .... Leo Dikeman
- Episode #1.6 (1984) TV Episode .... Johnny Booth
"Fantasy Island"
- Forget Me Not/The Quiz Masters (1982) TV Episode .... Ron
"Ellery Queen"
- The Adventure of Caesar's Last Sleep (1976) TV Episode .... Ralph Caesar
"Kolchak: The Night Stalker"
- The Vampire (1974) TV Episode .... Ichabod Grace
- Shadow Play (1971) TV Episode .... Tony Sargent
"Love, American Style"
- Love and the Happy Couple/Love and the Understanding (1970) TV Episode .... (segment "Love and the Happy Couple")
"The Name of the Game"
- Battle at Gannon's Bridge (1970) TV Episode .... Doc Haller
"Cowboy in Africa"
- African Rodeo: Part 2 (1968) TV Episode .... Trevor Wellington
- African Rodeo: Part 1 (1968) TV Episode .... Trevor Wellington
"The Man from U.N.C.L.E."
- The Hula Doll Affair (1967) TV Episode .... Simon Sweet
"The Lucy Show"
- Lucy and the Soap Opera (1966) TV Episode .... Soap Opera Head Writer
"Burke's Law"
- Who Killed Mother Goose? (1965) TV Episode .... Dr. Abernathy
"Dr. Kildare"
- A Million Dollar Property (1961) TV Episode .... Kenny Hallerton
"Zane Grey Theater"
- The Empty Shell (1961) TV Episode .... Cletis Madden
"On Trial"
- The Jameson Case (1956) TV Episode .... Lindsey

Because he appeared as himself in fictional settings in the following four shows, both sitcoms and dramas (as well as for all of his game show work), Jan Murray will become a member of the TV Crossover Hall of Fame in the League of Themselves division:

"The Fall Guy"
- Scavenger Hunt (1982) TV Episode .... Himself
"The Joey Bishop Show"
- In This Corner, Jan Murray (1964) TV Episode .... Himself
"The Defenders"
- Die Laughing (1964) TV Episode .... Himself
"Car 54, Where Are You?"
- Boom, Boom, Boom (1962) TV Episode .... Himself

The Dream Merchants (1980) (TV) .... Murray Tucker
Banjo Hackett: Roamin' Free (1976) (TV) .... Jethro Swain
Roll, Freddy, Roll! (1974) (TV) .... Big Sid Kane

But Seriously, Folks (1986) (TV)
Joys (1976) (TV) .... Jan Murray
... aka Bob Hope Special: Bob Hope in 'Joys'
This special is located in the alternate TV dimension of Earth Not Ready For Prime Time aka Skitlandia, which is just as well since all of the major comedians on the special were "killed off" during the course of it, leaving only the mysterious (but ultimately obvious) murderer to regain control of his own show....

But for the main Toobworld and most of its other alternate versions, we now have lost a very funny man forever......


Wednesday, July 5, 2006


'The 4400' probably takes place in more than one of the alternate TV dimensions, but with variations, as was the case for the 'Star Trek' corner of Toobworld. As such, one of those alternate timelines would house the Bradbury Mars stories as told in episodes of 'Ray Bradbury Theater'.

In one ("The Long Years"), we see a Mars tombstone with the date "2007" inscribed on it. As the main character John Hathaway had been abandoned on the Red Planet for many years, and one of the crew members knew Hathaway's son in college twenty years before, it seems likely that in this variant of Maia's reformed timeline Mars was colonized even earlier than in 'The Martian Chronicles'.

And how could that have happened without interference by the faction from the future and the 4400?

Of course, as with 'The Martian Chronicles', it's a timeline that was wiped out in its own dimension once the 4400 children were removed from the past and returned to the present.

But at least we in the Real World know it did take place.

It once was and never will be. It's "neverwas".



Ken Lay passed away today in Colorado, robbing his victims from the Enron scandal once again. Now they won't have the satisfaction of seeing him sentenced and spending a considerable amount of time behind bars.

In Toobworld, Lay was portrayed by Mike Farrell of 'M*A*S*H' fame in "The Crooked E: The Unshredded Truth About Enron" back in 2003.

I would imagine he was also portrayed several times over in Skitlandia, aka Earth Not Ready For Prime Time, which is the alternate TV dimension based upon comedy sketches from variety shows.

Come the Fall, 'Saturday Night Live' should have Chris Parnell play Ken Lay in a sketch set in Hell, with a cameo guest appearance by Jon Lovitz as the Devil.

It'll be small comfort to those who lost their life savings due to his piggish greed, but every little bit helps.

Don't drop the soap in the Ninth Circle of Hell, Ken!


"We're the bad guy. We're the criminals.
And don't think it's just this company.
There's hundreds of Enrons out there, a thousand!
Cooking the books, inflating the earnings,
Hiding the debt, buying off the watchdogs."
Mr. Blue
"The Crooked E: The Unshredded Truth About Enron"

Tuesday, July 4, 2006


Since it's been on the air, I've always maintained that 'The 4400' was one of Toobworld's necessities; one of those shows that is integral to the overall concept of the Television Universe. This "honor" was due to the basic premise that these 4400 people were taken and not seen again until they were returned together at Mt. Rainier.

There's no way, no matter how long the show runs, that they'd be able to introduce us to all 4400 returnees. So that means we can use this group as an umbrella splainin to cover the mysterious disappearances of TV characters in the past: Chuck Cunningham of 'Happy Days', Henry Finnerty of 'Grounded For Life', Seven Bundy of 'Married... With Children', and Charlene 'Matlock', as examples.

But with the second half of the two-part episode "Gone", 'The 4400' gave the Toobworld concept so much to work with, and with no more than a few throwaway lines of dialogue.

Let's take a look at the episode's storyline first. A dedicated "good" faction from the future were dismayed to realize that the "catastrophe" that would affect that future was still on track to occur, even though the 4400 had been genetically altered and returned to the present time in order to prevent that catastrophe from happening.

But since the project was panning out to be unsuccessful, the "good" future faction chose to abduct several of the 4400 children again and re-seed them even farther back in the timeline. They sent Maia back to 1832, where she lived to the age of 25, dying of smallpox on the Oregon Trail in 1847.

With the rest of the other children, however, the project yielded better results. Tyler Downing invented a synthetic fuel which must have significantly altered the history and political structure/influence of the Middle East. And Lindsay Hammond created the composite materials that were so instrumental in establishing the lunar colonies.

Who knows what the other relocated children accomplished? That must have been an incredible timeline!

But it didn't last long, at least within the perspective of the present day. The children were taken back out of their new timelines and returned to their previous lives in the present. This wiped out all the advancements of that alternate history; so to have agreed to do it, the future faction had to have been offered a better deal. And they got it by demanding that NTAC agent Tom Baldwin should kill the 4400 "baby", Isabell.

Even though that Toobworld timeline has been wiped out, it still existed for a while. And as such, it offers Toobworld the perfect place to store all those TV shows (including individual episodes of anthology series) which envisioned the 1990s and the early years of the 21st Century as some kind of outer space utopia.

"Given the chance, what young girl wouldn't happily exchange a plain face for a lovely one? What girl could refuse the opportunity to be beautiful? For want of a better estimate, let's call it the year 2000. At any rate, imagine a time in the future when science has developed a means of giving everyone the face and body he dreams of. It may not happen tomorrow--but it happens now in the Twilight Zone."
- Rod Serling
'The Twilight Zone'

"Number Twelve Looks Just Like You", an episode of 'The Twilight Zone', is a perfect example. By choosing the date of 2000, Rod Serling was proposing that this was the future for Earth Prime Time. Once the year 2000 passed, the episode had to be relegated to an alternate dimension.

But now we can assign the Age of the Transformation to the main Toobworld, in a timeline created and then wiped us by the future faction's manipulation of the 4400 children.

Here are some other examples:

'The Martian Chronicles'
Earth sends its first manned probe to Mars in 1999, and a jealous Martian murders the two astronauts when his wife has erotic dreams of meeting them. Members of a subsequent expedition are hypnotized into believing that they have landed in the childhood community of their leader and have been reunited with deceased family and friends, and they are poisoned by the Martians. Col. John Wilder leads a third expedition and learns that a chicken pox virus brought to Mars by the first two expeditions has almost eradicated the Martian population. A member of Wilder's team becomes obsessed with protecting Mars from Earthman and murders some of the others in Wilder's party, before Wilder kills him. Colonists arrive on Mars to settle, among them priests seeking God, and a lone Martian masquerades as the most desired persons of various settlers. Global war on Earth reduces man's natal planet to radioactive waste, and most of the settlers returned there prior to the holocaust. Wilder struggles to assemble the remaining humans on Mars, who cope with their loneliness in different ways and will not leave their piece of Mars, before Wilder meets a Martian of past or future who tells him the secret of simple Martian life and convinces him to abandon the Earth lifestyle.

[Summary by Kevin McCorry for the]

'Science Fiction Theater'
"PROJECT 44" A Space physician selects eight young scientists for training which proves man can survive in outer space.

"THE OTHER SIDE OF THE MOON" Astronomer Larry Kerston, with his revolutionary telescope-camera, takes a strange picture of the moon -- and finds men from other worlds at work on its dark side establishing a nuclear waste dump.

This can tie in to 'Space: 1999' in that the Earth's governments were able to take control of that nuclear waste dump and then established their own lunar colonies.

But even with the lunar colonies, 'Space: 1999' couldn't exist as is in this new timeline for 'The 4400'. The Moon should have been ripped out of its orbit seven years previously, which would have caused untold devastation back on Earth. But we saw no evidence of that, and besides, Marco spoke of the lunar colonies in "Gone, Part Two" as if they were still around.

I'll stick with my original theory about 'Space: 1999' (posited in a Tubeworld Dynamic essay called "Moon Boom") - after the waste dump explosion caused by Orlando Jones when he used a laser to carve the 7-Up logo into the Moon's surface back in 1999, Commander John Koenig survived, but in a coma. And in that coma, he created a dream world for himself in which he kept his friends alive by fantasizing that the Moon broke free of its orbit. (The same situation, a variation of it, occurred to the astronauts on board the "Death-Ship" in an episode of 'The Twilight Zone'.)

But again, the whole thing becomes moot once the original Toobworld timeline was reestablished with the return of the children.

I would still keep the CONTROL Moonbase of 'Get Smart' as is in the main Toobworld, because that was a very small, "low-key" top-secret Government installment.

Similarly, the Jupiter 2, with the Space Family Robinson on board, still blasted off for Alpha Centauri in 1997. Again, it was a top-secret project whose details the general public didn't need to know about. ('Lost In Space')

We met about five of the children re-abducted by the future faction but only learned the fates of three of them when they were re-seeded farther back into the past.

But 'Tales Of Tomorrow' may have introduced us to one of these characters as far back as April 4, 1952, over fifty years before 'The 4400' was first broadcast.....

"And a Little Child" The little daughter of plain mountain people can read minds. Her powers are called upon when a famous scientist suffers a paralytic stroke.

She may have been adopted by those mountain folk, once she was sent back by the future faction.

'Seaquest DSV' is set in the year 2019, and 'Rocky Jones, Space Ranger' is set later for this century. Both may seem unlikely to happen now to the reasoning mind, but for the time being I would leave them in place as having taken place in the main Toobworld to come. When 2019 comes and we still don't have underwater colonies (aside from those of lost Atlanteans), we can always explore our options then. ('Sealab 2020' and 'Sealab 2021' take place around the same time. But they're over in the Tooniverse and they can look out for themselves.)

As for 'Rocky Jones', the only downside is that the style of clothing is so 1950s, but we can chalk that up to a fashion revival. Otherwise, it can be set so far ahead in the 21st Century that none of us are going to be around to worry about .......

I've got plenty more topics to mine from this two-part episode of 'The 4400', so bear with me.

Or go surf elsewhere for the next few days.....


"My generation never got the future it was promised....
Thirty-five years later, cars, air travel's exactly the same.
We don't even have the Concorde anymore.
Technology stopped."
"The personal computer...."
"Where's my jet pack, my colonies on the Moon?"
'The West Wing'

Monday, July 3, 2006


Just stumbled on the last half hour of the original 'Poseidon Adventure' on AMC. There's just this primal power to it, mostly in the acting, that keeps me watching even though I missed most of it, and even though I've got it pretty much memorized.

About an hour earlier, I watched my tape of last night's episode of 'Entourage'.....

Anyway, I had this bit of inspiration that I'll toss out there in hopes somehow it'll find its way to Wahlberg & Co.....

Get Red Buttons to appear as Eric's grandfather; maybe even as his great-grandfather. I think there is a strong tele-genetic resemblance between the two of them....

Just sayin' is all......



The second entry for the Crossover of the Week is based on one of the most durable props in Toobworld (even though I'm sure it always takes a beating from its owners.... ahem!): Playpen Magazine.

In the pilot episode of 'Kyle XY', the young son of the mysterious title character's new foster family sneaks into the house and heads straight to the bathroom where he locks himself in. Putting down the cover of the toiler, he drops his pants and then pulls out... a treasured copy of Playpen Magazine.

But before he could pull anything else out to make his introductions to Charlotte (aka Miss October), Kyle pokes his head out from behind the shower curtain. (He had been hiding out in the bathtub after a traumatic experience.)

The kid had no choice but to pay attention to the man behind the curtain. With a scream, he stumbled out of the bathroom. But because he was hobbled by his pants down around his ankles, he lost his balance and the magazine went flying over the railing... to land right in front of his Mom as she came up the stairs.

Welcome to the Family Viewing Hour on ABC Family!

Playpen is a member of the TV Crossover Hall Of Fame, inducted with other publications like the National Inquisitor, the NY Ledger, the LA Sun and the LA Tribune. But Playpen has the most appearances in other TV shows.

Homicide: Life On The Street
That Girl
Grosse Pointe
3rd Rock from the Sun
Married with Children
Pacific Blue
That 70s Show

Here's how Playpen figures in some of those shows:

'Medium' - Back in the 1980s, copies of the magazine could be found in the rooms of a sperm bank in the Southwest.

'Ally McBeal' - Like on 'Medium', it was a source of inspiration. Ally smuggled a copy into prison so that a client could smuggle out a deposit to impregnate his wife.

'Renegade' - Reno had to protect the grande dame who owned the company.

'That Girl' - Ann Marie found her head superimposed on a nude centerfold's body.

'The X-Files' - Fox Mulder had a big collection of the magazine.

'Millennium' - A murder victim had an even bigger collection; he had a copy of every issue published up to the point of his death.

'CSI' - An issue was found during the execution of a search warrant following the death of a baby.

'Homicide: Life On The Street' - Meldrick claimed that he only read it for the articles. Uh-huh....

'Grosse Pointe' - Topless photos of one actress are sold to the magazine

'3rd Rock From The Sun' - Sally is excited when learning photographers from the mag are coming to town

'Married with Children' - Al reads it, of course!

And it even surfaced in the Tooniverse, on an episode of 'Family Guy'.

As for 'That 70s Show', I wouldn't be surprised if issues of the mag made the rounds of the Inner Circle who met in the Foreman basement. But I don't know how it played into an episode of 'Pacific Blue'. I would have thought that reading Playpen would have made it difficult to be a bike cop....

When I saw Playpen "pop up" on 'Kyle XY', I was tempted to crown it the solo Crossover of the Week and let the USA Networks promo series slide until next week. After all, commercials are always being re-run and could have made had the solo spot all to themselves next Monday.

But that wouldn't have been fair to 'Psych', as the promos were geared to trumpet its debut this coming Friday night. So instead there's plenty of room for both in the winner's circle.



I take it as a sign of how much good TV is out there (even for the summer) that we have a tie for the Crossover Of The Week.

First up are the promo interstitials currently running for the three detective series on USA Network which feature the stars of 'The Dead Zone', 'Monk', and the new offering, 'Psych'.

USA Network had done this sort of thing in the past for 'Monk' and 'The Dead Zone', in which Johnny wanted to show Adrian how his powers worked, but Monk didn't want to be touched by the clairvoyant. But now they've added the main character of 'Psych' into the mix of encounters.

In one of the new ones, Adrian Monk and Johnny Smith of 'The Dead Zone' meet up once again; this time at some kind of convention function. Monk makes sure he gets the first cup of punch out of the bowl, but Johnny is able to prevent him from drinking it once he has a vision of one of the waiters drinking straight out of the punchbowl.

In another, Monk meets Shawn Spencer, the new guy from 'Psych', and they're arguing over which is better, "9" or "10". For Monk, ten would be better for him as it's an even number; it's two fives. Spencer counters with the fact that nine is the sum of three threes, and Monk grimaces over being matched in such stupid logic.

The whole point of that particular promo was to advertise the timeslots for each of their shows, but I'm not really sure which Monk would rather have. However, since they don't mention the behind the scenes technicalities of "Who's On First" and instead keep it limited to an abstract discussion of numbers, the illusion that they are appearing as their characters is not lost.

At any rate, 'Monk' is going to be on first at nine pm Friday nights starting this week to give 'Psych' a strong lead-in on a graveyard night.

But the best of these new interstitials has all three main characters appearing in it. The promo takes place in a diner, where Johnny and Shawn are arguing over who has it tougher when it comes to their respective powers. It would appear that Johnny finally accedes when Shawn pulls out the distant father card.

However, when they both notice Monk in another booth, giving the waitress grief over four extra kernels of corn, they both realize they've got it easier in life with their deductive styles when compared to him.

I don't know yet where 'Psych' is supposed to take place, but I get the feeling it could be somewhere near Los Angeles. And Johnny Smith calls Maine home, but he does travel around the country. So I'm thinking that this promo must occur in a San Francisco diner, and that for whatever reason (maybe a detective convention to tie in that other promo), Shawn and Johnny have come to the City by the Bay.

Because getting Adrian Monk to travel any distance from home is like pulling teeth... and after his encounter with a murderous dentist last season, that's not about to happen again soon!

So that's the first of the two top Crossovers of the Week....


Sunday, July 2, 2006


Going back to the 'Hustle' well one last time............

At one point during this past week's episode, Danny Blue was seen in the bathtub, playing with his rubber duckie and singing the theme song to 'Rawhide':

Movin', movin', movin',
Though they're disapprovin',
Keep them doggies movin'
Don't try to understand 'em,
Just rope and throw and grab 'em,
Soon we'll be living high and wide!

There's not much of a chance that Danny Blue was ever going to cross paths with Rowdy Yates. (Just because he looks exactly like Elton Pope of the infamous "Love & Monsters" episode, that doesn't guarantee him a lift from the Time Lord on 'Doctor Who'.) Yet Danny and Rowdy inhabited the same TV Universe.

So how come Danny could sing the theme song from a TV show that should have been real life history to him?

Here's my splainin:
In Toobworld, the 'Rawhide' theme song is an actual folk song, of the prairie-"tumblin' tumbleweeds" variety; one that probably originated in honor of the trail drives on which Rowdy Yates participated.

That should keep the Zonks at bay.



This past week's episode of 'Hustle' roped in a few celebrities appearing as themselves to be unwitting accomplices.

Sarah Cox is a DJ for Radio 1 over in England. And for radio personalities to make the crossover into the TV Universe as themselves, she has to be a major player on the air.

Linford Christie is a multiple Olympic medalist who ran the 100 yard dash in under 10 seconds. He retired from athletic competition back in the late 1990s.

Both of them unknowingly took part in a long con which dealt with the world of rap and music promotion.



'Hustle' returned to the American airwaves for its third season this week, and the fact that it's been shifted to Wednesdays on AMC rather than the graveyard of Saturday nights speaks highly for it.

It's always great to see Mel Smith in anything and he was the perfect choice for playing the mark, Benny "The Boozer" Frazier. Bad enough that he was a thuggish lout (or if you prefer, a loutish thug) with a miserable family to match him, but he was a human trafficker to boot, so he deserved getting taken.

But even better for Toobworld was how 'Hustle' filled in the blanks between the seasons. With a flashback that splained why this gang of con artistes needed to rebuild their capital, they showed that even when we can't see them on the TV, the lives of Toobworld characters continue.

During the hiatus, Mickey and the gang weren't taking a break; they were simply over here in America and working new turf, specifically Las Vegas. And that's where Danny Blue screwed up and grabbed the wrong case during the switch.

The con went down in a hotel, o'bvious by the fact that Danny was wearing a bellboy uniform. So why can't we assume the hotel was the Montecito of 'Las Vegas'? If it's a question of any major differences in the style of uniform, that's an easy out: we just changed the bellboy uniforms at my place of employ. They've gone from looking like lawn jockeys to a Foreign Legion bowling team. (I liked it better when they looked like the Flying Monkeys of Oz.)

'Hustle' is usually free of heavy violence - they all did get beat up this past week, and Danny was shot in the first episode I ever saw. But it's unlikely we are going to be subjected to seeing them involved in any murder case.

But who knows what might have happened in Vegas? It stayed in Vegas, remember? So if there was a murder investigation connected to the con they pulled, it's possible Albert et al. might have had to deal with the characters we know from 'C.S.I.', at the very least with an investigation by Lt. Brass.

And even though the actor who played him has sadly passed away, I'd like to think that private investigator Dan Tanna is still working cases in Sin City. And maybe his snooping about gave the team reason to pack up and head back to Merrie Old England.

But I think the connection to 'Las Vegas' with the use of a Montecito hotel room would make the best bet for a connection.

So why did I suggest Robert Urich's show instead of James Caan's in the heading?

I would think the answer was o'bviou$.......

Hrmmmmm..... Maybe they attended a prize fight title bout while in Las Vegas where they could have bumped into 'Arli$$'......