Saturday, July 29, 2006


I think generations from now, televisiologists will look back at this period in the history of the medium and declare as the next true evolutionary step. It is the first baby steps of the technology being taken over by the masses to produce their own content for a national audience, without interference by networks or sponsors.

Well, not too much interference so far. It's also a time when the people using it are pretty much able to upload content that already belongs to the networks and the production companies. And they take that content and tweak it in hilarious ways.

Two excellent cases in point:

1) 'Star Trek' Meets "Monty Python And The Holy Grail"

Images from the TV show are wed to the music and lyrics of "The Knights Of The Round Table". Who knew the image of Captain Pike trapped in his wheelchair could be so damned funny?

Well, okay, yeah. When Fry spoofed it on 'Futurama', that was pretty damned funny too.

I first saw this at work, where we can't have speakers on the computer at the desk. So I had to sing along with what I remember from the song (and okay, I admit it - it's pretty much all of it). It was still hilarious.

This is one fine and inspired example of editing. I hope Paramount doesn't threaten the site to take it down, but instead embraces it. Perhaps even buy the rights to it and stick it into some future DVD release.

(Thanks to for pointing me toward this.)

2) The alternative ending for 'Doctor Who' - "Doomsday".

I finally got to see the last two episodes of this season's 'Doctor Who' this past Thursday. Seeing Rose in Norway, on the day she died, was so sweet, so elegiac, so moving.

Leave it to a YouTubist to transform it into Loony Toons!

(My thanks to Mark for showing it to me.)




As it turns out, DCI Gene Hunt isn't the only character from 'Life On Mars' for whom we could posit a theory of relateeveety.

Since the show takes place in Manchester, England, there's a good chance that the main character, Sam Tyler, could be related to Vince Tyler of 'Queer As Folk', which also takes place in Manchester. As for Hazel Tyler, Vince's mum, she could either be related by marriage, or - if she had been an unwed mother - by blood.

Since "Tyler" is something of a common name, it probably would be stretching things a bit to claim that any one of them could also be related to Rose Tyler and her family of the Powell Estates in London ('Doctor Who').

But as they are now all listed as officially dead, it's a moot point....


Friday, July 28, 2006



Ash Morgan is the "fixer" in a gang of con artists on 'Hu$tle'. It's possible that his entry into the life of a grifter was due to something in his personal history. Perhaps there was a family member whom he wished to emulate. But I think it was a family member who drove him away and into the art of the long con.

I think it's possible that Ash is related to DCI Gene Hunt, who was on the police force in Manchester back in the early 1970s. Hunt may have been an uncle to the boy, whose brutish methods to get results may not have been confined to his police work. He may have employed those same methods to enforce the rules in his family, and not just to his own kids.

As his nephew, Ash might have rebelled against his uncle's menacing ways and used his natural talents to talk his way out of trouble with his uncle Gene.

What's especially nice about this Theory of Relateeveety, as seen from "behind the curtain", is that we don't have to employ the same old tired "Identical Cousin" ploy from 'The Patty Duke Show'. That's because these two characters, Gene Hunt and Ash Morgan, are not played by the same actor.

Instead, they are played by sibling actors: Philip Glenister plays DCI Hunt on 'Life On Mars', while Robert Glenister is Ash on 'Hu$tle'. The resemblance is there, as it should be, but not so much that it must be chalked up to that over-used cliche.

Of course, if DCI Hunt was to ever appear on 'Hu$tle', Philip Glenister would have to undergo a few hours of makeup to age him 33 years. And in that way, the resemblance would be even fainter by the point.



Bad news for Court TV: the viral marketing campaign they started to promote 'Parco, P.I.' was discovered way too soon. They had a billboard in the middle of Manhattan which served as a very public "Dear John" letter:

“Hi Steven,
Do I have your attention now? I know all about her, you dirty, sneaky, immoral, unfaithful, poorly endowed slimeball. Everything’s caught on tape. Your (soon-to-be-ex) Wife, Emily.”

'Good Morning, America' sent out notice to "Emily" that they wanted her on the show. The British version of Glamour magazine wanted to write about her.

But then the blogger army started snooping into the subject and found out that it wasn't the only copy of the billboard out there; it was also up in Brooklyn, Chicago, and Los Angeles. And then somebody found the blog run by "Emily". And a Toobworldian scholar realized that one of the blog entries was a lot like the synopsis for a 'Parco, P.I.' episode on Court Tv.

But even though their cover was blown way too early, the fake video that was created to go along with the campaign still got thousands of hits on So maybe people didn't really care if they were being snookered by the billboard; they were still interested in the story, as if they were actually caught up with the TV show itself.

Maybe Toobworld is beginning to bleed over into the "Trueniverse".

Hide the women and children!


Thursday, July 27, 2006


Picked up a couple of boot DVDs my first week back from vacation.

1) "Crusader Rabbit" (Volume 1)

This includes the very first Crusader Rabbit cartoon from 1949 ("Crusader Rabbit vs. The State Of Texas").

I'm not sure if Tom DeLay made one of his first appearances in that one.....

It also has "Roman Ruined" and "No Place Like Rome".

2) "Television Rarities Of The Golden Age"

How could I resist? This includes a pilot by the infamous Ed Wood of "Plan Nine From Outer Space" reknown. It's a western called "Crossroad Avenger". I checked Lee Goldberg's book for it, but don't see it listed. It must have been that far below the radar!

Also on this disc:

'Strange Experiences' (sponsored by Airwick) - This is an anthology in the tradition of 'Thriller', 'One Step Beyond', and 'The Twilight Zone'. Or so it hopes....

'Colgate Comedy Hour' - a segment in which Abbott and Costello meet the Creature from the Black Lagoon.

'Flash Gordon and the Brain Machine' from 1963, starring Steve Holland.

'The Lost Spaceship' - "The Fifth Glacial Era". This was Italy's answer to 'Space: 1999', but I don't remember what the question was.....



For the Toobworld concept, it's a given that life goes on in the TV Universe for all of its characters even when we can't see what's going on. This includes the downtime (if any) during the commercials, and even after a TV show gets cancelled.

Sometimes we get to re-visit with those characters even after a show's cancellation, sometimes even decades later. This usually happens in TV reunion movies (as with 'Gilligan's Island' and 'The Mary Tyler Moore Show'), or when a show gets a renewal (which is what happened with 'Columbo' and 'Doctor Who'). Sometimes it's just an individual character like Alan Brady of 'The Dick Van Dyke Show' returning after 33 years on 'Mad About You'. (A few years after that, he and the other surviving members of the show got back together for a reunion movie.)

But that always picks up the action at that moment, with only some mention of what happened during the time we didn't get to see them since the show went off the air. What exactly did occur during that downtime?

Sometimes there are episodes that were completed but never broadcast. Nowadays it's common for those episodes to finally make it into DVD boxed set collections, as was the case with 'Wonderfalls'. The way that the industry has been evolving, I think we have to accept unaired episodes into the canon, because that's what its creators had intended.

But should we consider the finished scripts for episodes never filmed to be considered canon as well? These scripts may be what the creators intended, but not for the show's canon; they were more than likely dashed off to fulfill some contractual obligation.

Ken Levine has a very funny story about just such an enterprise when he was working on 'Big Wave Dave's, which can be found here:

Just reading that one tidbit from the script is enough to have you crying for mercy. As a reading exercise, it's kind of funny. Stretch it out to half an hour of taped inanity and you'll gladly join the anti-TV crusade.

If you're like me, you might just read the blog entry and never bother with the comments added by other readers. In this case, you'd be missing out this very funny anecdote from overseas to show how the Toobworld experience is global:

Ger Apeldoorn said...
I once had a series (here in Holland) cancelled after the second season was ordered. We were allowed to bill three episodes, which we have to give titles for bookkeeping purposes. The first one was called "They Killed Our Baby".

Now them's good viewing!



From what I gather so far from the two episodes we've seen of 'Eureka', the town was created as a haven for the country's greatest scientific geniuses where they could work on their top-secret projects in secrecy, security, and seclusion. (As I crowed last week, "Triple Sec!")

But so far, Marshal Jack Carter and his daughter have wandered into town after a car accident and the original Susan Perkins showed up there deliberately in order to find answers to her questions about the other Susan Perkins who was murdered at the end of the pilot.

All I can figure is that the government didn't want to draw attention to the town by making it invisible to the naked eye. And this is something we know they can do there because that's what happened with Global Technology.

Outside the parameters, the high-tech research facility and its grounds are invisible. Looking in, all you can see are woodlands beyond an old creaky bridge. But once you pass through the barrier, the gleaming edifice is there in all its architectural glory.

Maybe that's all they really wanted to protect from prying eyes. And with the town surrounding it in much the same way as a moat around a castle, perhaps the authorities figured that this solution would be easier than to seal off than the entire town.

After all, some land rapis- er, developer might see the woodlands and seek to get the rights to raze the territory and build condos. And the scrutiny and ensuing questions as to what's really there and who owns it might draw the attention they're trying to avoid.

Still, shouldn't there be elite Special Forces posted at all roads leading into Eureka, working undercover as park rangers, in order to keep people from wandering into the town itself?

Just askin' is all.



A plaque honouring Inspector Morse has been unveiled at the St. Aldates police station in Oxford where the fictional TV drama character was based.

Also attending the Sunday tribute was Colin Dexter who wrote the Morse novels,.

The Jaguar car used in the TV series by the late actor John Thaw, who played Morse, was also at the event. But unlike KITT (had it been there), the car did not offer any comments on the occasion.

Two Thames Valley Police dogs named after the inspector and his sidekick, Morse and Lewis, were also in attendance.

And what would be an unveiling without a speech?

"Inspector Morse may have been fictional, however the link with St Aldates police station is extremely strong and a part of the fabric of the city drawing many people from across the world.

"I am proud to see that the station we work from is not only commemorated in the books and films, but also by the new plaque which will be there for everyone to see.

"Long may the enthusiasm in the inspector and his investigations continue. I am only too happy that Oxford is in fact a far, far safer place than in his fictional world."
- Police Superintendant Jim Trotman



The thing about Mako in Toobworld for me personally was that every time I saw him in a show (except for his 'Columbo' episode), I had to check the credits to find out who he was. For some reason I just couldn't remember him from role to role.

Many times this was due to make-up alterations, but also because he didn't fall back on just his basic personality to portray what could have been considered as just another Asian role in lesser hands. He always made distinct choices in his acting to distinguish one role from another, even if they were cut from the same stereotypical cloth.

And I think it serves as a testament to his acting that I would always seek out his identity after seeing him in a show; I don't do that for just anybody.

And his career did start out with playing a lot of stereotypes. But with every role, he gave it all that he had so that it helped open the doors for other Asian actors to get more work. And that was a far better option than the continuance of non-Asian actors playing those roles - Richard Hayden on 'Bewitched', for example. Or even worse - Vito Scotti on 'Gilligan's Island'.

When he was nominated for Best Supporting Actor for his role in "The Sand Pebbles", Mako could have just used the cachet from that to further his own career. Instead, he used the impetus from it to create opportunities for other Asian actors. It was his work back then that makes it possible for characters like Dr. George Huang of 'Law & Order: Special Victims Unit' and Lloyd on 'Entourage' today... despite the insults hurled at Lloyd by Ari Gold on the show.

My habit of going back to the credits to find out that the role was indeed played by Mako reached its high point one Sunday last year. After watching my tape from the Friday night broadcast of 'Monk' on the USA Network, I followed that up with the 6 pm airing of an old 'I Spy' episode on the American Life Network.

As I watched the shady but charismatic character of "Jimmy" barter with Kelly and Scott on the espionage show, it never occurred to me that he might be the same actor who played the martial arts mentor Master Zi on 'Monk'.

And his appearance as "Jimmy" only made me wish that somebody could have teamed him up in a private eye show, in what could have been just as big a breakthrough as pairing Bill Cosby with Robert Culp on 'I Spy'. (Kato on 'Green Hornet' doesn't count, because he was still subservient to Britt Reid.)

It never happened. But thanks to the work that Mako did on behalf of other Asian actors, that option was made possible for the Asian actors who followed him.

Despite the progress Asian actors made during his lifetime, Mako remained adamant that many barriers still existed. As he explained in an interview with The Los Angeles Times in 1992:“I go into a young film director’s office these days and he says, ‘Hey man, I know who you are. I grew up watching “McHale’s Navy.” ’ And I think, ‘Oh boy, here we go again.’ ”

"Hawaiian Heat" (1984) TV Series .... Maj. Taro Oshira (1984)

Sokoku (2005) (TV) .... Leo
Riot (1997) (TV) .... Mr. Lee (segment "Gold Mountain")
Hiroshima: Out of the Ashes (1990) (TV) .... Sgt. Moritaki
Murder in Paradise (1990) (TV) .... Capt. Kilalo
Girls of the White Orchid (1983) (TV) .... Mori
The Last Ninja (1983) (TV) .... Maturo Sakura
When Hell Was in Session (1979) (TV) .... Maj. Bai
Farewell to Manzanar (1976) (TV) .... Fukimoto

Kung Fu: The Movie (1986) (TV) .... The Manchu
Hawaiian Heat (1984) (TV) .... Major Oshira
Judge Dee and the Monastery Murders (1974) (TV) .... Tao Gan
If Tomorrow Comes (1971) (TV) .... Tadashi
The Challenge (1970) (TV) .... Yuro

"Black Sash" (4 episodes) as Master Li
- Pilot (30 March 2003)
- Date Night (13 April 2003)
- The Prodigal Son (4 May 2003)
- Prime Suspect (25 May 2003)

"Martial Law" (2 episodes) as Master Reng
- Red Storm (24 April 1999)
- Requiem (1 May 1999)
"Lovejoy" (2 episodes) as Toshiro Tanaka
- Riding in Rollers (1 of 2) (17 May 1991)
- Black Virgin of Vladimir (2 of 2) (24 May 1991)
"The Incredible Hulk" (2 episodes) as Li Sung
- Another Path (27 October 1978)
- The Disciple (16 March 1979)
"I Spy" (3 episodes) as Jimmy
- The Loser (20 October 1965)
- No Exchange on Damaged Merchandise (10 November 1965)

"The West Wing" (1 episode)
- A Good Day (2 March 2005) - Dr. Yosh Takahashi
"Monk" (1 episode)
- Mr. Monk vs. the Cobra (28 January 2005) - Master Zi
"Charmed" (1 episode)
- Love's a Witch (19 October 2003) - Sorcerer
"Lost at Home" (1 episode)
- Good Will Hunting (15 April 2003) - Mr. Li
"Diagnosis Murder" (1 episode)
- The Red's Shoes (20 April 2001) - Lee Moy
"The Secret Adventures of Jules Verne" (1 episode)
- The Inquisitor (18 November 2000) - Kajimori
"7th Heaven" (1 episode)
- Dirty Laundry (22 November 1999) - Henry Muranaka
"JAG" (1 episode)
- Innocence (6 October 1998) - Ichiro Higashimori
"Walker, Texas Ranger" (2 episodes)
- Heart of the Dragon (5 April 1997) - Dr. Henry Lee
- Black Dragons (26 February 2000) - Edward Song
"Platypus Man" (1 episode)
- Dying to Live (15 May 1995) - Mr. Lou
"Frasier" (1 episode)
- Author, Author (5 May 1994) - Sam Tanaka
"Kung Fu: The Legend Continues" (1 episode)
- Tournament (18 April 1994) - Li Sung
"Paradise" (1 episode)
- Dangerous Cargo (20 January 1990) - Actor
"The Equalizer" (1 episode)
- Riding the Elephant (9 November 1988) - Actor
"Tour of Duty" (1 episode)
- Sitting Ducks (29 October 1987) - Tran
"Spenser: For Hire" (1 episode)
- My Brother's Keeper (14 March 1987) - Tommy Nguyen
"The A-Team" (1 episode)
- Recipe for Heavy Bread (23 September 1983) - Lin Duk Coo
"The Greatest American Hero" (1 episode)
- Thirty Seconds Over Little Tokyo (3 February 1983) - Master of Flowers
"Magnum, P.I." (1 episode)
- The Arrow That Is Not Aimed (27 January 1983) - Tozan
"Voyagers!" (1 episode)
- The Travels of Marco...and Friends (3 December 1982) - Actor
"Bring 'Em Back Alive" (1 episode)
- The Pied Piper (19 October 1982) - Actor
"Flamingo Road" (1 episode)
- Double Trouble (23 February 1982) - Actor
"The Facts of Life" (1 episode)
- The Americanization of Miko (20 January 1982) - Mr. Wakamatsu
"Fantasy Island" (1 episode)
- The Heroine/The Warrior (24 January 1981) - Kwong Soo Luke
"A Man Called Sloane" (1 episode)
- Samurai (24 November 1979) - Actor
"Supertrain" (1 episode)
- Pirouette (7 March 1979) - Kirby
"Wonder Woman" (1 episode)
- Going, Going, Gone (12 January 1979) - Mr. Brown
Columbo: Murder Under Glass (1978) (TV) .... Kanji Ousu
"Quincy M.E." (2 episodes)
- Touch of Death (2 December 1977) - Mr. Yamaguchi
- Sword of Honor, Blade of Death (15 December 1982) - John Moroshima
"Visions" (1 episode)
- Gold Watch (11 November 1976) - Masu Murakami
"Hawaii Five-O" (1 episode)
- Legacy of Terror (1 January 1976) - Kazuo Tahashi
"Mannix" (1 episode)
- Enter Tami Okada (17 November 1974) - Tami Okada
"M*A*S*H" (4 episodes)
- Rainbow Bridge (17 September 1974) - Dr. Lin Tam
- Hawkeye Get Your Gun (30 November 1976) - Major Choi
- Guerilla My Dreams (1 October 1979) - Lt. Hung Lee Park
- The Best of Enemies (17 November 1980) - Li Han
"Love, American Style" (1 episode)
-Love and the Fortune Cookie/Love and the Lady Prisoner/Love and the Opera Singer/Love and the Weighty Problem (2 November 1973) - (segment "Love and the Fortune Cookie")
"Kung Fu" (1 episode)
- The Tide (1 February 1973) - Wong Ti Lu
"The Streets of San Francisco" (1 episode)
- Pilot (16 September 1972) - Kenji
"The F.B.I." (1 episode)
- Southwind (3 March 1968) - Yoshimura
"The Big Valley" (1 episode)
- Rimfire (16 February 1968) - Wong Lo
"Vacation Playhouse" (1 episode)
- Alfred of the Amazon (31 July 1967) - Simba
"The Time Tunnel" (1 episode)
- Kill Two by Two (6 January 1967) - Lt. Nakamura
"F Troop" (1 episode)
- From Karate with Love (5 January 1967) - Actor
"The Green Hornet" (1 episode)
- The Preying Mantis (18 November 1966) - Low Sing
"Gidget" (1 episode)
- The War Between Men, Women and Gidget (8 December 1965) - Casey
"I Spy" (3 episodes)
- Court of the Lion (2 February 1966) - Baby Face
"Amos Burke, Secret Agent" (1 episode)
- The Prisoners of Mr. Sin (27 October 1965) - Happy Tuava
"I Dream of Jeannie" (1 episode)
- The Marriage Caper (9 October 1965) - 4. Kato
"Burke's Law" (1 episode)
- Who Killed April? (31 January 1964) - Pete
"77 Sunset Strip" (1 episode)
- Stranger from the Sea (15 March 1963) - Iko Nakayama
"The Gallant Men" (1 episode)
- One Puka Puka (2 March 1963) - Frank Fakuda
"The Lloyd Bridges Show" (1 episode)
- Yankee Stay Here (13 November 1962) - Takahashi
"McHale's Navy" (7 episodes)
- Movies Are Your Best Diversion (8 November 1962) - The Japanese Sentry
- The Captain's Mission (10 January 1963) - First Japanese
- One Enchanted Weekend (28 March 1963) - Captain Uzaki
- McHale and His Schweinhunds (30 September 1963) - Lt. Yamasake
- Have Kimono, Will Travel (21 October 1963) - First Japanese Soldier
- A Letter for Fuji (9 December 1963) - Third Japanese Soldier
- The Balloon Goes Up (13 January 1964) - Sessua

Highlander III: The Sorcerer (1994) .... Nakano
"Samurai Jack" (2001) TV Series (voice) .... Aku
"Dexter's Laboratory" (1996) TV Series (voice) .... Main Title Narrator

"Avatar: The Last Airbender" (9 episodes) as Uncle Iroh
- When There Was You and Me (13 February 2005)
- The Southern Air Temple (25 February 2005)
- The Avatar State (17 March 2006)
- Avatar Day (28 April 2006)
- The Desert (14 July 2006)
- Seventy-Three Wives (15 September 2006)
- Secret of the Fire Nation (30 September 2006)
- The Last Koufus (15 December 2006)
- The Failure (29 December 2006)
"Duck Dodgers" (3 episodes) as Happy Cat
- Hooray for Hollywood Planet (1 November 2003)
- Queen Is Wild, The/Back to the Academy (8 November 2003)
- Surf the Stars/Samurai Quack (4 February 2005) also as Achoo

"Super Robot Monkey Team Hyperforce Go!" (1 episode) Monster Battle Club Now! (19 December 2005) - Master Offay (voice)
"Grim & Evil" (1 episode) Test of Time/A Kick in the Asgard (16 October 2004) - Narrator (voice)
"What's New, Scooby-Doo?" (1 episode) Big Appetite in Little Tokyo (13 September 2003) - The Ancient One (voice)

Rugrats in Paris: The Movie - Rugrats II (2000) (voice) .... Mr. Yamaguchi
Mako could have played the same character of "Li Sung" in episodes of 'The Incredible Hulk' and in one episode of 'Kung Fu: The Legend Continues'

I am unsure as to whether or not "Baby Face" and Jimmy were one and the same character in episodes of 'I Spy'.

Mako played characters named Takahashi in episodes of 'The West Wing' and 'The Lloyd Bridges Show'. These could be the same character, but from different TV dimensions. If so, the dimensional differences would splain away any discrepancies between the two characters.

As he did in the pilot episode of 'The Streets Of San Francisco', Mako played a character named Kenji in "The Ugly Dachshund". But although this was presented as episodes of the 'Disneyland' show, it was actually a movie that belongs in the Cineverse. So they couldn't be the same character.

'Burke's Law' and 'Amos Burke, Secret Agent' take place in two separate TV dimensions.

I don't think the Dr. Henry Lee from the episode of 'Walker, Texas Ranger' would be the same as the real-life forensics expert, but I could be wrong. Dr. Lee does have a televersion.....



At the annual press tour to kick off the new shows for the networks, producer Dick Wolf announced a new spinoff for 'Law & Order'.

Kind of.

'Sesame Street' returns for its new season on August 1st, and will feature a new segment called "Law & Order: Special Letters Unit". This send-up of the 'L&O' franchise will have Muppet cops, voiced by actors from the various 'L&O' series, searching for each of the letters in the alphabet.

One of the Muppet cops even looks sort of like Richard Belzer, who plays Munch on 'Special Victims Unit', albeit green in skin color.

"I feel like a tobacco company executive," said Dick Wolf, "Because hopefully we will hook 4-and-5-and-6-year-olds on the brand now."

If this proves successful, will other TV series lobby to get the same treatment? 'Rescue Me' done with the voices of Denis Leary and the other actors, but instead of fighting fires they add and subtract?

"How I Met Your Muppet"?

Within the realm of Toobworld, how does this figure in? Is it a Zonk?

I don't think so. Puppets are living beings in the main Toobworld. And even though these Muppets will be spoofing the original shows, I don't see them as violating the integrity of those shows. I think they can co-exist within the same dimension.

I use as the precedent for this two other puppet series - 'Spitting Image' and 'D.C. Follies'. They also had puppets which were passing themselves off as real people. (Even though the Muppets of "Special Letters Unit" are based on the 'L&O' characters and not the actors per se, those characters are still "real people" within the framework of Toobworld.)

Puppets are spirit beings who use the puppet shells to give them visible bodily forms. And whatever the shape of that puppet shell, that's the attitude that they assume. For all intents and purposes, they become the object they resemble. So Kermit the Frog is a frog, Globey (of 'PeeWee's Playhouse') is a globe, and the Whoopi puppets of 'Spitting Image' and 'D.C. Follies' are both Whoopi Goldberg as far as they are concerned.

This is why those puppets especially are confined to "puppet reservations", like Sesame Street, Rimba's Island, Eureeka's Castle, and the Living Island. And for the most part, humans avoid contact with these beings; practically ignore their very existence.

It may be prejudice, but at least it provides a good splainin as to why we never saw Andy Sipowicz get a puppet partner on 'NYPD Blue'.

Although come to think of it, Dennis Franz does resemble one of those standard blue, bald-headed Muppets.......


[Thanks to Nora Lee and Diane Werts for the original news item!]



In this week's episode of 'The Closer' ("Head Over Heels"), Deputy Chief Brenda Leigh Johnson and her team investigated the death and dismemberment of a porn star named Chris Mundy. (His screen name was "Buck Schott".)

We met Chris Mundy's wife and kids, but we never learned who his parents were.

Back in the 1960s on the TV show 'It Takes A Thief', a suave and debonnair master-thief named Alexander Mundy romanced many lovely young ladies during the course of his adventures while working for the NSA. The over-riding common sense of today to practice safe sex was unheard of back in those days - AIDS didn't manifest itself in the public consciousness until the early 1980s. So it's highly possible that at least one of those women Al Mundy bedded became pregnant.

If so, she might have put Alexander Mundy's name on the birth certificate as the father and gave the child the name of Christopher Mundy.



The Advertising Standards Authority of Great Britain has ruled that a commercial for a "Cup-a-Soup" type of product called "Pot Noodle" is not "racist" for its depiction of Welsh miners. But for Toobworld, it does create a new reality as to where the noodles come from.

The blipvert shows the miners removing noodles from a noodle mine, providing - as the tagline puts it - "fuel for Britain, isn't it?"

So since it was broadcast, that's the way it is. Noodles are not made, they're mined from the depths of the earth.

Ugh. Personally, it would turn me off from eating them. How do we know they're noodles and not worms?


Wednesday, July 26, 2006


Cowardly Robert Dotson, CEO of T-Mobile, personally ordered his company's ads to be pulled from all of the shows on FX after caving in to pressure from the Right Wacko Reverend Donald Wildmon of the Mississippi-based American Family Association which is small of actual influence and even smaller of mind.

The claim was that 'Rescue Me' and 'It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia' were too graphic.

Dotson said he would immediately withdraw all T-Mobile ads from FX and vowed T-Mobile 'will not support programming or content offerings that are sexually gratuitous and explicit, racist, hateful or excessively violent.'

Never mind that both shows didn't air until after 10 pm on the cable network, which isn't broadcast into just any home, by the way. Wildmon and his rabble of nutjobs want all TV shows to conform to the mild pablum that they want, and to hell with other people might want to see.

Denis Leary, who created, produces, and stars in 'Rescue Me', when on the Opie and Anthony radio show to fire back at the decision made by Yellow Belly Dotson.

But that's not good enough for Toobworld. Toobworld demands vengeance and retribution to these knuckle-draggers from the South.

Leary should work the controversy into the show, in much the same way that David Chase sought revenge against former Daily News TV critic Eric Mink: work your payback into the script!

What Leary should do (and this goes for those guys who created 'It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia') is to have various characters bitch and moan about the poor quality of service they get from T-Mobile. Or they could make fun of the types of commercials that the company throws at its audience "ad nauseum".

And then those on 'Rescue Me' who have T-Mobile should be seen finally dumping T-Mobile altogether. They could even claim that having T-Mobile could have cost one of them his life while battling a fire.

Now, I supposed in this day and age of product placement, going in the opposite direction to slam an actual device may be too dangerous - it could open them to lawsuits.

But think of how all those other cell phone services would be knocking on the office doors for Leary and his partner Peter Tolan to have their services named as the replacements for T-Mobile within the reality of 'Rescue Me'. The money might be too good to ignore.

(I'd like to see them opt for a fictional service. Even though the show is set in NYC, maybe TelCal ('VR.5') could branch out to go national. Or perhaps it could be that mega-corporation for which 'Bob!' McKay toiled, American-Canadian Transcontinental Communications (or AmCanTransCom for short).

They should even toss their old T-Mobile cell phones into a garbage can and spit on them! (a la "The Producers")

And the American Family Association shouldn't be exempt from ridicule and abuse, although it might be better to definitely go the roman a clef route to avoid lawsuits.

But there should be a nutjob based on that jerk Donald Wildmon who comes to the defense of one of his followers who caused a fire which Tommy Gavin and the crew would have to battle. Probably a fire to destroy some TV show set which is on the fictional version of the AFA's hit list.

And genius that I am, I have the perfect choice!

'Miss Sally's Schoolyard', which was seen on 'Oz' as well as in the reunion movie for 'Homicide: Life On The Street'. That way the link would make 'Rescue Me' a definitive part of the Westphallian version of the TV Universe.

Not that I would want 'Miss Sally's Schoolyard' to be obliterated from the TV landscape. Miss Sally has huge..... contributions to the enjoyment of Toobworld.

But somehow the message has to get out to panty-waist Dotson that he should never have given in to the maniacal pressure from a group that is ultimately powerless in its inlfuence.

Just sayin' is all.


Monday, July 24, 2006


And now for something completely different.

With the advent of the computer being so pervasive in people's everyday lives (much to the chagrin of Number Six in 'The Prisoner', more than likely), the borders between the Internet and the world of Television are becoming increasingly blurred.

Not only are the showrunners using the Web to promote their TV shows with ads, but they're also creating content that ties into those programs. We've already seen short scenes that fit into the continuity of TV shows (like 'Rescue Me', 'CSI: Miami') appear on the Internet. And don't get me started with the mobisodes being created for shows like 'Doctor Who', 'Lost', 'Prison Break', and 'The Beverly Hillbillies'.

(Okay, I made that one up, but I really am looking for a way to see the 'Lost' mobisodes which will feature Hurley. Being voluntarily cell-phone deprived - too conspiracy-minded about them! - I hope there will be a way to see them online like the "Tardisodes" of 'Doctor Who'.)

'Lost' is really doing a bang-up job to keep the fan base excited about the show until it comes back in October, and maybe even past that point. They've been building a cyber-world of conspiracies centered around the Hanso Organization which has even bled into their television programming.

As I wrote on May 31st, Jimmy Kimmel addressed this so-called conspiracy against the Hanso Organization on his show the same night as the 'Lost' finale aired.

Here's an excerpt from that blog report:

Hugh McIntyre "truthfully" answered all of Jimmy's questions regarding the Hanso Foundation and there was no hint that it was supposed to be any kind of a spoof.

But they kept talking about 'Lost' as a TV show which was mocking the foundation; with its own fictional variant on the "work" being done by the scientists who were funded by Alvar Hanso.

So this put 'Jimmy Kimmel Live!' into yet another TV dimension, separate from the main Toobworld; one where 'Lost' is just a TV show just like it is for us here in the Real World.

ABC and the 'Lost' showrunners aren't just doing this sort of thing on TV and the Internet either. This past weekend was the big, famous San Diego Comic-Con, and they even "infected" that with their blend of Toobworld, the Real World, and "Cyberia".

During a panel discussion on the show which featured Damon Lindelof, Carlton Cuse, and actors Jorge Garcia and Daniel Dae Kim, suddenly the proceedings were disrupted by a young woman who's been making her presence known as a cyber-terrorist on the various Hanso sites.

Here's how Quadruple Tree described what happened for "Ain't It Cool News":

At one point a "protester" crashed the presentation and confronted the producers asking if they had no shame. She said her name was Rachel Blake and that the Hanso foundation was real and that the producers were using them for entertainment purposes even though they had done terrible things in Africa and Iceland.

She said to go to if we wanted the real truth just before security escorted her away.

So this "event" ties in more with 'Jimmy Kimmel Live!' rather than with 'Lost' itself, as both referred to the TV show as fake (Blasphemy!) and yet the Hanso Organization and the Dharma Initiative which are portrayed within the show are considered to be "real".

You can read the entire report by Quadruple Tree here.

Like I said, this is something completely different for this weekly entry. But in this heat, it was easy enough to summon up; didn't want to work too hard on the crossover this week.

But be thankful.

I could have instead written about CBS' ploy to advertise its shows by imprinting messages on eggshells!


Sunday, July 23, 2006

"MARCO......" "POLO!"

Last night, Sci-Fi presented "Dragon Dynasty", a fantasy about Marco Polo bringing back dragons from China unknowingly. It was a ploy by a Chinese wizard to prevent the West from venturing back into his country, which he considered to be bad for China's future.

As Marco Polo was portrayed by Federico Castelluccio, it's tempting to employ the "Theory of Relateeveety" and say that he was the ancestor to Furio on 'The Sopranos'. However, Castelluccio was not the first actor to play Marco Polo on the small screen, and the basic rule is that the first actor to play a role gets to be that character in Toobworld.

It can and has been a rule broken in the past, but I see no reason why it should be done in this case.

The first Marco Polo on TV was seen in the United Kingdom, back in 1936! He was played by Griffith Jones in an adaptation of Eugene O'Neill's satirical play "Marco Millions". Just because it was from so long ago, and probably hasn't been seen in decades (if a copy exists at all!), that doesn't exclude it from consideration to be THE version of Marco Polo's life in the main Toobworld of Earth Prime-Time.

In 1982, Ken Marshall played Marco Polo (and Alexander Picolo portrayed him as a child) in a mini-series. This version could be shunted off to another TV dimension, such as the "evil mirror universe".

Marco Polo has been visited by time travellers from the main Toobworld, but it's likely these voyagers crossed over to relative dimensions in space as well as go back in Time.

The first incarnation of the Gallifreyan Time Lord known as The Doctor met Marco Polo in 1289. At that time the explorer tried to deliver the TARDIS to Kublai Khan in order to win his passage home to Venice. But after he helped the Doctor in foiling Tegana's attempt to kill the Khan, his double-cross was no longer necessary.

There were two other time travellers named Tony Newman and Doug Phillips, Americans who were unstuck in time due to an accident with the experimental 'Time Tunnel'. They met up with Marco Polo as well and were able to help him defeat the evil Batu, who also hoped to overthrow Kublai Khan.

The control team back home at Operation Tic-Toc did even more serious damage to the timeline by finding a way to transport blasting caps back through the Time Tunnel to Tony and Doug so that they could ignite the black powder which Marco Polo had with him.

Let's say there was no crossing the dimensional veil by these various time travellers, and that they all did meet the original Marco Polo of Earth Prime-Time. The difference in his appearance, which was due to casting here in the Real World, could be attributed to Marco Polo's long incarceration against his will in China; and that the Doctor met with the Venetian at a different point in time than did Doug and Tony.

But because all of them interfered with the normal course of events, (Doug may even have impregnated Sahib, the daughter of the Khan!), they created new timelines and thus new dimensions for Toobworld.

And as the mighty Kublai Khan in his stately pleasure-dome would decree, you ain't seen nothin' yet. There will be another mini-series next year with Ian Somerhalder playing the Italian explorer. It amuses me to stick his version into the same TV dimension in which we would find 'The West Wing'.

I don't know if it will have the same earnest intensity as did the Sorkin drama, nor do I know if they will walk and talk through Xanadu just as quickly as the Oval Office occupants.

I just like the idea that this Marco Polo and Sam Seaborn are from the same world......


"You do have style.
And that's one thing a Venetian can appreciate
Marco Polo
'The Time Tunnel'

Mark Eden (I) (Marco Polo)
. . . "Doctor Who" (1963) {Assassin at Peking (#1.20)} TV Series
. . . "Doctor Who" (1963) {Five Hundred Eyes (#1.16)} TV Series
. . . "Doctor Who" (1963) {Mighty Kublai Khan (#1.19)} TV Series
. . . "Doctor Who" (1963) {Rider from Shang-Tu (#1.18)} TV Series
. . . "Doctor Who" (1963) {The Roof of the World (#1.14)} TV Series
. . . "Doctor Who" (1963) {The Singing Sands (#1.15)} TV Series
. . . "Doctor Who" (1963) {The Wall of Lies (#1.17)} TV Series

Griffith Jones (Marco Polo)
. . . Marco Millions (1939) (TV)

Ken Marshall (I) (Marco Polo)
. . . "Marco Polo" (1982) (mini) TV Series

Alexander Picolo (Marco Polo as Child)
. . . "Marco Polo" (1982) (mini) TV Series

John Saxon (Marco Polo)
. . . "Time Tunnel, The" (1966) {Attack of the Barbarians (#1.26)} TV Series

Ian Somerhalder (Marco Polo)
. . . "Marco Polo" (2006) (mini) TV Series