Saturday, May 5, 2007
First up is Marsha, who responded to a post about the real-life Mayberry Bed & Breakfast:
We are the people you mentioned here in your blog. A couple of corrections: We are in Clear Lake, Wisconsin, which is about 50 miles north and east of the Minnesota/Wisconsin border town of Woodbury (part of the Twin Cities metroplex). We have Wally's Filling Station finished except for the gas pumps (we will have those pretty soon), and the courthouse is framed up and ready to sheetrock. Our '61 Ford is in the body shop being painted to be a black-and-white squad car, and life is good living in Mayberry in the Midwest! --Marsha
And I was graced by a missive from one of the producers of the ''Allo, 'Allo!'' reunion special that recently ran on BBC2:
I'm one of the producers on BBC2's 'Return of 'Allo 'Allo! which was very well recieved here in the UK by most of the press and the public as we beat ITV in the ratings which does not happen very often.
'The Return of ...' series is a series of one off reunions, each one unique and dependant on the original show. With 'Allo 'Allo! It can be confusing on paper but its a combination of reuniting the cast in costume in a copy of the orginal set infront of a studio audience with a five part documentary looking at the phenomenon. Jeremy Lloyd the original writer wrote a new half hour script but really it was all just an excuse to look back fondly at the series that has sold to more countries around the world than any other British sitcom. Yes the actors were older but the hugly warm welcome they got in the studio proved how huge this farcial sitcom was in its day. Here is a link written by the BBC during production if anyone is interested.
I also have started a blog just last night in fact and put a pic from the show on there. I will probably put some more on when I have time.
I suppose they were both engaging in one of the most popular guilty pleasures of the times: googling oneself. I should know - I do it all the time!
Friday, May 4, 2007
I don't think the Doctor bothered to throw in a vasectomy while he was going about saving Laszlo, if he even thought of the consequences of Tallulah giving birth to his children. (And like Brannigan and Valerie inter-breeding in "Gridlock", there'd be a litter of babies in that first pregnancy, no doubt!)
This is why I'm hoping we're back to watching the adventures of 'Doctor Who' set in the main Toobworld, and not the alternate dimension forced on us by the events in "Aliens Of London" and "The Christmas Invasion" (the death of Tony Blair and the installation of Harriet Jones as the Prime Minister, respectively).
Two generations later, Laszlo and Tallulah would have had at least one piglet of a grandchild: Sal the Pig-Boy, who worked as the computer archivist at the Chronicle, a NYC-based tabloid newspaper where all the weird stories about aliens, Bigfoot, and other oddities were actually true.
Perhaps Sal's Dad was the son of Laszlo and Tallulah. It could be that by the late 1990s, he was admitted to a NYC hospital, where he was spotted by Cosmo Kramer. Later, Kramer would change his opinion, and instead opt for the explanation that it wasn't a pig-man but a really ugly guy.
But who knows? Maybe Kramer got it right on the first try.
As to why the reality of a pig-man and his wife and their piggie children leading piggie lives wasn't common knowledge in at least New York City, if not the world, I think the citizens of Hooverville finally took their settlement below ground into the sewer-like caverns beneath the City. There they were free of the hassles from those in authority, and Laszlo and his family would be free of interference by social workers and scientists alike. (This would be the community we would meet decades later in 'Beauty And The Beast'.)
The Doctor exists in the sketch comedy world, as we've seen thanks to Lennie Henry and Rowan Atkinson and Jim Broadbent twice over. So this adventure may have also taken place there as well, but of course with variations due to the dimension.
If so, then the pig-like butchers played by Rick Moranis and Dave Thomas may have also been descendants of Laszlo and Tallulah.
I'm not sure if Clem of 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' could possibly be related to them..... He was an actual demon, although pretty much a kind-hearted pig demon at that. I think it more likely that he was descended from the union between the demi-god Hercules and a pretty young porkette, as seen in "Porkules", an episode of 'Hercules: The Legendary Journeys'.
I should also add at this point that 'The Chronicle' was a fun TV series, and it deserved a better chance than it got. And I would have loved for a crossover between 'The Chronicle' and 'Eureka', or even with 'The Dresden Files'!
The pig-man! I saw a pig-man! He was just lying there and then he woke up. He looked up at me and made this horrible sound!
Kramer, what the hell are you talking about?
I'm talking about the pigman, George. I went into the wrong room and there he was.
Yes, a pigman. Half pig, half man.
Since the TARDIS is alive, I figure its consciousness must somehow be tied into the time-stream. It can detect disturbances in it caused by others and knows that its own master would probably be keen to investigate those.
So it landed in New York City on November 1st, 1930, because it was the focal point for several other time travel trips. 1930 was the year in which Dr. Leonard H. McCoy saved the life of Edith Keeler after he went through the Guardian's portal. Her survival caused the annihilation of the future in which Starfleet came to pass.
Therefore, Captain James T. Kirk and Mr. Spock had to go back in time to prevent McCoy from altering the past. (This happened in one of the most popular episodes of 'Star Trek', "City On The Edge Of Forever".)
Although we only know that the year is 1930, it appears to be chilly enough that people need coats; yet it's not wintery. There's also just this sense of the season fading, rather than the promise of a spring awakening, so it could be in the late fall.
And it would be better for the late fall with regards to the mention of Kirk and Miss Keeler going to see a Clark Gable movie. In the real world, Gable didn't headline a picture until 1934; didn't get a prominent role until 1931. But that's the real world, things are obviously different in Toobworld. So if the movie is situated closer to 1931, it brings some alignment to the discrepancies between both worlds when it comes to Clark Gable.
Such an extreme alteration to the timeline must have been felt by the TARDIS, but by the time it reached New York City they had more important things to investigate.
That brings me to the second reason why the TARDIS always brings the Doctor to where he's most needed. Those same psychic senses displayed by his conveyance might be expansive enough to sense dangers anywhere in the universe, even if it has no connection to timeline disruptions.
In many of the Doctor's adventures, I would say it's a combination of those senses that come into play when the TARDIS locks onto a destination. So although the TARDIS brought them to 1930 Manhattan with the intention of getting the Doctor to prevent the seismic change to the timeline, the threat from the Daleks was far greater.
If I remember correctly, at the end of "Evolution Of The Daleks" there was room between the scene where Laszlo and Tallulah are accepted into Hooverville, and the scene where Martha and the Doctor have returned to the TARDIS at Liberty Island.
So could it be they still had time to squeeze in a visit to the Twenty-First Street Mission, albeit too late to get involved in the fate of Edith Keeler? For all we know, the Doctor and Martha were there on the street as observers, knowing they could not risk getting involved. (Not that it mattered, ultimately - Kirk and Spock were successful in preventing McCoy from saving Miss Keeler's life.)
The harsh cruelty of Edith Keeler's fate for the sake of the future may have disturbed Martha and made her hope all the more fervently for the success in the relationship of Laszlo and Tallulah. This would be a good reason why it was still on her mind as they prepared to leave, even though the events at the Mission might have been more recent in her memories.
Here's what I wrote in the comments for the 'Doctor Who' two-parter in TVSquad.com:
Just got back an hour ago from visiting friends who showed me the two-parter, and while I enjoyed it (as well as tonight's 'Lost' which we watched first), it would be pretty hard for any TV show to come along and knock my socks off in the same week as this past Monday's episode of 'Heroes'.
Still, I enjoyed the story, the setting, the characters. I would have liked to have seen an overhead camera shot of swirling Daleks a la Busby Berkeley - that would have really captured the 30s showbiz feel!
But at the same time, enough with the Daleks. When Rose became god-like and obliterated them, that should have been their grand finale forever. At the very least they should have been retired for good after the fanboy dream battle between the Cybermen and the Daleks.
To keep bringing them back now just cheapens both of those events as well as the sacrifice made by the Gallifreyans.
Besides, wouldn't have been easier to just give them a big bang finish and not have to worry about dealing with the Terry Nation estate any more?
I got it in my head that they were going to reveal at the end that young Frank would turn out to be Frank Lloyd Wright - I guess it was just seeing him poring over the blueprints.
Oh, and enough of Martha pining for the Doctor. That got tired fast!
But just to be clear, I still enjoyed both episodes, although I liked the second one better. Maybe it's true I'm easy to please, but at the same time, I also have a different set of criteria when it comes to what I'm looking for while watching a TV show.
I'm always watching in terms of the Toobworld Dynamic; looking for something that connect the show to some other program in the TV Universe (and especially those with no real connection yet on their own).
So my objections to the return yet again of the "Dulleks" (I've never understood their appeal.) put aside, what really appealed to me in the two-parter was the love story between Laszlo and Tallulah, and the date in which it was taking place. So with the next two posts, I'll look at both of those aspects.
One last note, regarding the human-Dalek hybrid. Based on the halting, wheezing quality of the speech patterns for the combined Sec/Diagornas, I was put in mind of Stevie Kanarban on 'Malcolm In The Middle'. And once I had that image in my head, he lost all sense of menace for me!BCnU!
Thursday, May 3, 2007
"Unlocking The Meaning Of Lost" (An Unauthorized Guide) - Lynette Porter and David Lavery
"Finding Lost" (The Unofficial Guide) - Nikki Stafford
"Bad Twin" - "Gary Troup"
(I didn't pick this up right away when it was published, as I'm a little tired of the ancillary novels tied in to various TV shows. Burned out after all those years of reading 'Star Trek' paperbacks. But I'm glad I waited - Amazon.com had this listed in hardcover at $6.99!)
"Lost - The Game"
And just to show I haven't completely "Lost" my marbles, there was this DVD purchase:
"Return To The Batcave"
I decided to pick this up after posting that piece about Betty Jones as the Catwoman. Reading about it got me thinking about an alternate TV dimension where our TV shows as they actually are would be the same in that alternate Toobworld. And into that dimension I'd put this TV special and the "behind the scenes" TV movies about 'Three's Company', 'Gilligan's Island', and 'Dynasty' among others. And I'd probably toss in 'Hi Honey, I'm Home' for good measure.
I also bought "Trees Of North America" (A Guide To Field Identification) and yes, that is tied into Toobworld. Like the book I have on cheeses, I needed this for research in connection to my Toobworld novel.
I picked up something else Lostian as well, but that's a secret for later in the year.....
Wednesday, May 2, 2007
And for me, that old adage certainly applies when it comes to the Companions of the Doctor during the lengthy history of 'Doctor Who'.
Although I had seen the Peter Cushing movies many years earlier, my first exposure to the Doctor of Toobworld began in the late 1970s, when the series was finally brought over to America. (I was living in New York by then, and 'Doctor Who' was on WOR Channel 9 locally. The series is forever linked in my mind with those "welding, welding, welding" blipverts.)
So far as I knew back then, Tom Baker was the only Doctor there ever was. When it finally came time for him to leave the series, I was shocked to find out about this whole regeneration scheme which helped to get around the recastaway mess.
My first 'Doctor Who' adventure was "The Brain Of Morbius", and the Doctor's Companion in that tale was Miss Sarah Jane Smith.
Sarah Jane, intrepid young reporter for Metropolitan Magazine, was perfect for the times. She represented the "mtmification" of the single working woman, best represented over here in America by Mary Richards of 'The Mary Tyler Moore Show' and a few years earlier, Ann Marie of 'That Girl'.
Sarah Jane traveled through time and space with the Doctor in his Third and Fourth Incarnations before getting dumped back on Earth so that the Time Lord could return to his home planet of Gallifrey. Since then she's been reunited with the most important man in her life three times; those stories can be seen in the special charity crossover with 'EastEnders', "Dimensions In Time", in the anniversary special "The Five Doctors", and in last year's "School Reunion" episode with the Tenth Doctor.
Not that she needed the Doctor to carry on with the more exciting aspects of her life. Her exploits were also recounted in 'K9 And Company', 'The Sarah Jane Adventures', and 'Downtime'. ('Downtime' is in that nebulous zone of what constitutes television nowadays, as it went directly to video.)
'The Sarah Jane Adventures' premiered on New Year's Day this year, and heralded her upcoming series. That means there'll be three series based on 'Doctor Who' before the end of the year.
[There's another link for Sarah Jane that's a bit of a stretch. When she and the Doctor visited that small Italian town in "The Masque Of Mandragora" would be visited by John Drake, 'Secret Agent', hundreds of years later in the 'Danger Man' episode "The View From The Villa".]
So here's to Sarah Jane Smith, the perky little screamer who won over my heart and countless others as well when they were introduced to her as the Doctor's Companion. With that tally of credits, she has been chosen to be the May Honoree for the TV Crossover Hall of Fame in the second entry for this minor theme of the year.
That a woman should expect a man's help
Every time there's trouble?"
Monday, April 30, 2007
Answer: NBC, that's who.
I thought 'Raines' was an interesting show with a quirky premise matched by excellent casting in its leading man. Jeff Goldblum played an LAPD detective who was left mentally unhinged a bit (and that's an understatement!) after the death of his partner, Charlie. After a prolonged medical leave due to the trauma of seeing Charlie shot through the forehead, Michael Raines was back on the force - but now he imagined seeing the murder victims he was investigating, and would actually talk to them.
Really, all he was doing was bouncing his ideas about each case off an imaginary sounding board, a Sherlock Holmes with many phantom Watsons. But it was enough to probably keep him from his job if anybody found out how bad his mental aberration was.
Unfortunately, I'm just one viewer and not even a blip on the Nielsen radar, and "interesting" and "quirky", and, let's face it, Goldblum aren't enough to ratchet up the ratings.
Not that NBC helped the show any. The original order for thirteen episodes was chopped down to seven, and then it was banished to Friday nights, which has become for the most part the television graveyard for the major networks. (At least Saturday night is used by the networks to recycle shows for those who missed them the first time around.) At least some of the cable outlets are taking advantage of the Friday night wasteland by airing their best shows on that night - 'Battlestar Galactica' and 'Doctor Who' on Sci-Fi; 'Monk' and 'Psych' on USA Network.
'Raines' would have made for a great team-mate for those two shows.....
The description used to promote the show's concept didn't help much - Raines was a detective who talked to the dead. I think most people read that and figured - a male version of 'Ghost Whisperer' or 'Medium'. And that's already too many in that category. But Raines' situation was unique - another word that doesn't really bring in the viewers.
Maybe the premise was too odd to carry the show for very long, but I think the writers could have - and would have! - come up with some imaginative variations over time.
At the very least, the truncated run of the series saves us from a major Recastaway. It was reported that Luis Guzman would be stepping in to play Charlie, Raines' dead partner. [There's even a publicity photo with him included which you can see at epguides.com.]
From the pilot onwards, Charlie had been played by Malik Yoba. It's not as if the producers were going to run in the same direction for the character by casting someone similar like Mykelti Williamson. They were going to venture into uncharted territory with the casting of Guzman, who looks nothing like Yoba. Not even the same racial type!
If they were going to acknowledge the casting change within the show, I think the only way to go would be a major mental fart on the part of Raines; that for some reason he was now imagining his former partner as someone totally different.
If not, this would have been one of those series, like 'Alias Smith And Jones', where we followed the cases of Raines in the main Toobworld one season, and then in the next we crossed over to some alternate dimension where he once had a different partner on the force.
The IMDb.com - never the most reliable of sources, - says that Guzman should have been seen in the episode "Inner Child". However, Malik Yoba's name was still in the opening credits, and Charlie never appeared in that episode anyway. It's my thinking that perhaps they knew that the show was a goner weeks before that episode was scheduled to air, so the producers just cut out his scenes altogether. One of those cases where the actor's paid off (hopefully!) but his work will never be seen.....
There are so many series over in the UK where a run of seven episodes would be considered par for the course. The seven episodes of 'Raines' will make an excellent DVD collection hopefully. I know I'd pick it up. And until the other day, epguides.com was listing an eighth episode to be shown at some undetermined future date, but now it's taken off the menu. If it was filmed, and probably had Guzman as Charlie, it might make an interesting addition to that theoretical box set as a companion piece; to show what might have been.
One thing that has given me tele-tranquility since I began the Toobworld concept: at least I know that in the TV Universe, Michael Raines is still working murder cases, and still conversing with the victims to help solve their murders.
Sunday, April 29, 2007
This season of 'Doctor Who', David Tennant's second as the Doctor, the Time Lord has only been to "present day" Earth once and that was in the season premiere ("Smith & Jones") to pick up a new companion. (Well, that and track down a Plasmavore.)
So we don't know yet what the current British government looks like in RTD's corner of the TV Universe. It looks as though this mysterious Mr. Saxon, who appears to be this season's keyword, could be in the running for the position of Prime Minister; but as to Harriet Jones still holding that office, it's up in the air for now.
That could probably all change by the next episode.
It would be nice to think that we were finally back to viewing the adventures of 'Doctor Who' which are set on Earth Prime-Time, the main Toobworld, so that we can bring the Doctor back into the fold.
Haven't you read my thoughts on that before? Since Russell T. Davies took over the franchise and reinvigorated it back in 2005, we've been watching the Doctor of an alternate TV dimension. Everything was going swimmingly until the episode "Aliens of London" when the Clan Slitheen killed off Tony Blair and destroyed Big Ben. Then Harriet Jones was installed as the PM, as seen in "The Christmas Invasion", and those first two years of the new 'Who' had to be shunted off to parts unknown.
(There was also mention of President Schwarzenegger, but that was a reference in the Future and that can always be eliminated by some tweaking of the Past. It doesn't even have to happen on 'Doctor Who'; I'm sure Hiro Nakamura can take care of that with some alteration of the timeline in 'Heroes'.)
It's a shame to lose those first two seasons of the new 'Doctor Who', really, because otherwise there was so much Doctory goodness to be savored - the encounters with Charles Dickens, Queen Victoria, and especially Madame de Pompadour; the Doctor's mano a um, "womano" with Margaret Blaine aka Blon Slitheen in "Boom Town"; and the introduction of Captain Jack Harkness.
That's not to say that for the most part these adventures weren't occurring in Earth Prime-Time. All of the TV dimensions are mirrors to that main Toobworld, with only slight variations to mark them as different. In this case, it was the introduction of Harriet Jones. But it's my belief that the same adventures were played out in Toobworld, but that Tony Blair remained Prime Minister throughout the crisis of "World War Three".
(Big Ben may have still been destroyed, but the government covered that up by declaring it a hoax and fixing it.)
The Sycorax still hovered over the main TV-London as was seen in "The Christmas Invasion", and so any future reference to that event (as seen in "School Reunion" and "The Shakespeare Code") would be acceptable. The original version of Sarah Jane Smith still encountered the Tenth Incarnation of The Doctor as seen in "School Reunion" - I wouldn't want it any other way.
Speaking of the lovely Sarah Jane - and we will do so quite a bit more in a few days! - her spin-off show on New Year's Day, 'The Sarah Jane Adventures', is considered to be part of Earth Prime-Time. There was nothing about it that would merit the show from being tossed into that alternate dimension.
Of course, once the series starts up later in the year, that may change. RTD does seem to lock off these shows in his own private sandbox as if they're his toys only. (Recreating the history of the Cybermen, trying to forge a new version of the Daleks to get around the Terry Nation estate, ridding the Universe of Gallifrey and other Time Lords, and basically throwing up a border between his dimension and all other TV dimensions.)
With the first season of 'Torchwood', I didn't detect anything that would indicate that Captain Jack and his team had to be shipped out of Toobworld to that alternate dimension. So for now the Torchwood Institute of Cardiff is safe.
Changing the perspective of the viewer from one dimension to another is nothing new for Toobworld studies. It usually happens within a series' episode, such as the mirror universe episodes of 'Star Trek', 'Deep Space Nine', 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer', and 'Hercules: The Legendary Journeys'. 'Sliders' was an entire series built on visiting variations of Toobworld. Sometimes a season of a show has to be shunted off to an alternate TV Earth, as was the case of 'Alias Smith And Jones' once Roger Davis began playing the role of Hannibal Heyes after the death of Pete Duel. (I used to hold up 'Amos Burke, Secret Agent' as an example of this, but Michael Dunn's guest-starring turn as Mr. Sin in one episode was too tempting to pass by as a candidate for a Dr. Loveless alias!)
So at some point after the 1996 TV movie starring Paul McGann as the Eighth Doctor, and perhaps after the Time War, the focus of the series shifted to an alternate version of the Doctor. We first saw him newly regenerated into his Ninth incarnation in "Rose" and stuck with that dimension's Time Lord right through "The Runaway Bride". Whether we're still in that dimension will depend on what's to come this season.
And it stands to reason that there would be doppelgangers for the Doctor in other dimensions. We saw the counterparts for Pete and Jackie Tyler and Mickey/Rickey in the Cybermen two-parter last season; and we know the Tooniverse has its own version of the Doctor, thanks to 'The Simpsons' and 'The Infinite Quest'. So why not more than one live-action Doctor floating about in an infinite number of TARDISes? (TARDII?)
Here's more proof that the last two seasons of 'Doctor Who' were not about the same Doctor we knew from the old series: in "Army Of Ghosts", the Doctor watched a scene from the soap opera 'EastEnders'. Yet a majority of the Doctor's previous incarnations were caught up in an adventure that involved the inhabitants of the borough of Walford as seen in 'Dimensions In Time'.
So the first two seasons of RTD's update of 'Doctor Who' share the same dimension as alternate versions of 'Inspector Morse', 'Hot Metal', 'Gimme Gimme Gimme', and of course, 'Extras' with "Barry from EastEnders" as part of the cast of characters.
Not a bad lot to hang with.......
For now, we'll just have to take a wait-and-view approach.
Claire Littleton was over eight months pregnant when her flight, Oceanic 815, crashed. The Island really didn't have time to affect her physically before she gave birth.
This danger would seem to spell doom for Sun Kwon and her fetus, as she became pregnant some thirty plus days after arriving on the Island. (Her husband, Jin Kwon, was infertile before coming to the Island, but that same healing power increases the sperm count five times over!)
But there is a major difference between Sun and those other women, one which the show's creators may resort to in order to insure the character survives on the series (and they don't lose the services of the wonderful, beautiful actress Yunjim Kim!)
The nine women who died since Juliet came to the Island three years earlier spent the entire time of their pregnancy under the constant exposure of the electro-magnetic energies that emanated from the Hatch. Sun's exposure was limited to only the first sixty-eight days after the crash, after which the Hatch imploded due to the actions of Locke and Desmond.
In connection with Sun's situation, her pregnancy may have even benefitted from the implosion, bathing her in a different kind of radiation during the "Purple Sky" event, one that might actually protect the fetus.
Both splainins could be used also to cause Sun to suffer a miscarriage, and that would save Yunjim Kin from having to wear a fat suit maternity outfit on the beach!
Near the end of the episode, Juliet mentioned that she would soon have a sample from Kate Austin as well. Since Kate and Sawyer made the beast with two backs in the bear cages, it's probable that she's preggers as well! (We know Sawyer's not shooting with blanks - he's got a daughter named Clementine by Cassidy.)
Kate would be the first woman to get pregnant on the Island since the hatch explosion. Without that constant thrumming of that electro-magnetic wellspring, could it be Kate might actually have a normal pregnancy and survive to give birth. Or is the Island's healing properties really the culprit still?
If Nikki and Paolo were going at it like bunnies before they drifted apart (and remember, Claire caught them at it in Jack's tent in an untelevised scene), Ms. Fernandez was probably pregnant as well when she died. The same probably holds true for the late Shannon Rutherford and Ana Lucia Cortez. Both of them getting gut-shot probably saved the Island the hassle of killing them itself.
As always with 'Lost', these are just speculations. Like others have said before me, whatever comes I'm in it for the ride.