Saturday, January 12, 2008


I mentioned earlier that there were still seven "Cadfael" novels that were not translated for the small screen; seven opportunities for us to see Sir Derek Jacobi play the role again.

These are the novels by the late Ellis Peters which could be adapted:

Dead Man's Ransom (1984)
An Excellent Mystery (1985)
The Hermit of Eyton Forest (1987)
The Confession of Brother Haluin (1988)
The Heretic's Apprentice (1989)
The Summer of the Danes (1991)
Brother Cadfael's Penance (1994)

Here's hoping someone takes up the call for Jacobi to take up the cowl once more.

Toby OB


An alien of a species identified as the Graske appeared in "Whatever Happened To Sarah Jane?", the penultimate episode of the first season of 'The Sarah Jane Adventures'. Played by Jimmy Vee, the Graske was not encumbered with a name, and so it could be that he was the same Graske as was seen in the interactive adventure "Attack Of The Graske". This aired on the same night as "The Christmas Invasion" back in 2005.

So there's proof that online content - on a limited basis, I hope! - will have to be accepted into Toobworld proper, as is the case with several movies like the 1966 'Batman', 'Maverick', and the 'Star Trek' franchise.

But it wasn't the first time that a character created for an online source later appeared in a TV series. That honor may belong to Lt. Walter Neal, who worked 'Homicide: Second Shift' in Baltimore. We first saw him online in February of 1997, and then a year later he showed up in a January episode of 'Homicide: Life On The Street'. (Both versions of 'Homicide' shared a three part crossover, "" with the bracketing episodes done online.)

Does anybody know of an online character who crossed over into Toobworld proper before Lt. Neal and his team? Let me know!

Toby OB


The first season of 'The Sarah Jane Adventures' was a short one - five two-part stories plus the New Year's day premiere last January - but there's already an unrecorded adventure in the canon. Sarah Jane mentioned near the beginning of "Whatever Happened To Sarah Jane?" that they hellped a Verron soothsayer get home.

I suppose the spelling of "Verron" is official, as it shows up in the CBBC website for the show. But wouldn't it have been more interesting if it was spelled as "Varon"? As in "of the planet Varos". And that way we could have tied it in to that Sixth Doctor story "Vengeance On Varos".

Well, Il liked the idea anyway. Although I will admit that I've seen "Vengeance On Varos" and all I can remember of it is that Colin's Doctor had to crawl through a parched, over-baked tunnel at one point. And that's about it. (The website "Behind The Sofa" had a freeze-frame of that moment and in his agony, the Doctor resembled Julia Child!)

Just sayin' is all.....

Toby OB

Friday, January 11, 2008


About seven or eight generations back, a member of Andy Millman's family emigrated to America from England. Upon arrival at Ellis Island, that Millman found his name changed on his papers to "Melman".

Melman had a great-grandson named Lawrence, known to his friends as "Bud", who found fame and fortune passing out towels to visitors arriving at the Port Authority Bus Terminal.

This is, of course, conjecture.

'Late Night with David Letterman'

Toby OB


One of the numbers from 'Lost' cropped up twice this week in shows from the UK (although they had been broadcast over there a while ago).

#8 was worn by a lad playing soccer in an episode of 'The Sarah Jane Adventures' ("Whatever Happened To Sarah Jane?").

And #8 was the number of the flat where Layla Dylan lived in 1974 in an episode of 'Life On Mars'. "Layla Dylan" was just a name she used because of her love for rock 'n' roll, which is why Sam Tyler didn't realize at first that she would become the mother of his future girl-friend, Maya.

Toby OB


From Wikipedia:

Mount Everest, also called Chomolungma or Qomolangma (in Tibetan) or Sagarmatha (in Nepali) is the highest mountain on Earth, as measured by the height of its summit above sea level.

But in Toobworld, Mt. Kilimanjaro has the biggest tits in the world (at least according to 'Monty Python's Flying Circus').

Toby OB


I went to the and looked up Sir Edmund Hillary upon hearing of his death at the age of 88. But strangely enough, there doesn't appear to be any televersions - or even cinematic versions, for that matter - about the man who was the first to reach the summit of Mt. Everest.

Perhaps with his passing, we may see a television adaptation of his feat....

Toby OB

Thursday, January 10, 2008


Years ago with the old Tubeworld Dynamic website, I ran a list of TV characters I wanted to see come back. They didn't have to come attached with their old shows; I just wanted the chance to visit with them one last time.

That list included:

Doctor Bombay - 'Passions'

The Andorians - 'Enterprise'
Lt. Columbo
Jim Rockford

Emma Peel
Dr. Joel Fleischman
Honey West
Agent Dale Cooper
The Riddler

As you can see, some of the characters did indeed come back. (Not that I had anything to do with it!) When I posted the list, both Lt. Columbo and Jim Rockford had just finished up some TV movies, but I was greedy and wanted more. With Lt. Columbo, I got two more beyond that list, but even now I'm still not satisfied.

As for the others, Anne Francis came close with a character similar to Honey West in the revival of 'Burke's Law', and I don't count Uma Thurman's version of Emma Peel. It's Diana Rigg or nothing!

Sadly, I have to drop The Riddler from the list as we've lost Frank Gorshin since then. But at least he was able to come back as a costumed villain on 'The Black Scorpion'!

Last year I printed another list of new candidates, characters I'd like to see return for one more bow:

The Minbari
Zoe Heriot
Gotham City
James West
Ford Prefect

Of them all, I got quick results with the Minbari, who showed up in the direct-to-DVD 'Babylon 5: The Lost Tales'.

Again, James West and Ford Prefect, as played by Will Smith and Mos Def respectively, do NOT count. It has to be Robert Conrad (who missed a perfect chance for a return engagement in 'The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr.) and David Dixon!

And I don't want the Gotham City of the Tooniverse or of 'Birds of Prey' - neither one of those are from the main Toobworld. (It's my contention that 'Birds Of Prey' would be in the alternate dimension of TV remakes, with ties to the Tim Burton movie of 'Batman', just as the original series had ties to the 1966 'Batman'.) I want the Gotham City of old, filmed on the phony back lots.

So, giving up on my greedy O'Bsessions, the revised list would be:

Zoe Heriot, 'Doctor Who'
Gotham City, 'Batman'
Dr. Joel Fleischman, 'Northern Exposure'
Honey West
Mrs. Emma Peel, 'The Avengers'
Agent Dale Cooper, 'Twin Peaks'
James West, 'The Wild, Wild West'

Ford Prefect, 'The Hitch-Hiker's Guide To The Galaxy'

There were characters whom I never listed and didn't realize how much I missed them until they were brought back anyway, without my "divine intercession" on their behalf:

Rob and Laura Petrie - 'The Dick Van Dyke Show Reunion'
Fox Mulder and Dana Scully - working on a new 'X-Files' movie now!
Number Six - 'The Prisoner' showed up on 'The Simpsons'. Tooniverse, sure, but hey! It was still McGoohan!

So as we get this new year underway, I'd like to add a few new names to the list:

Brother 'Cadfael'
I'm five episodes into the thirteen episode run of 'Cadfael', all based on the novels by Ellis Peters. That left seven novels still to be adapted! Sir Derek Jacobi is still with us, and can bring us a Cadfael that many more years older since we last saw him. And PLEASE! Could we have Sean Pertwee return as Hugh Barengar? The series took an awful hit when his role was recast, twice over.

Best vehicle for his return: 'Mystery!'-styled movie showcase spread throughout the season a la 'Columbo'.

'The Time Tunnel'
We don't need the participation of James Darren, Robert Colbert, or Lee Meriweather, although it would be nice. I just want that original set back - the big cavernous soundstage with only a few computer banks and that big chrono-cornucopia. Sure, the computers can all be updated - I'm sure they would have to be after all these years. But I want the sense that this is the same facility as from the original series, with perhaps a new crew of techies and engineers and military personnel and a couple of new explorers caught in the temporal rift.

Best vehicle for its return: an episode of 'Eureka', where it's been reassembled at Global Dynamics.

Dr. Sam Beckett, 'Quantum Leap'
Speaking of time travelers..... We wouldn't even need the participation of Scott Bakula on this one! Just the opportunity of seeing those blue coruscating lights as Sam leaps into an established character on some series. Then for the next hour that character acts out of character as Sam tries to set right what once went wrong. We just keep seeing it from the other characters' perspectives and all they see is the person they used to know.

Best vehicle for his return: I think 'Supernatural' would be the perfect fit for this; have Sam leap into Sam - that way, you don't have to worry about the name change nailing it down. (And that way, it's more homage than rip-off!)

Ann Marie, 'That Girl'
We've seen Mary Richards and Rhoda Morgenstern come back in a TV movie. So why not the girl who opened the door for them in TV Land? Which girl? That girl!

Marlo Thomas showed up this season in an episode of 'Ugly Betty' and proved that she could revisit her most famous role and update Ann Marie for the 21st Century. (There was a great in-joke as her character was seen in the audience at "Wicked" and they would cut to her reactions as Elphaba sang "I'm Not That Girl".

Best vehicle for her return: a TV movie as Don Hollinger's widow, still trying to make it as an actress in character roles as her daughter tries her hand in the field. Sure, maybe it's a retread of 'Mary and Rhoda', but so what? It could still work if given a fresh angle.

John Drake, 'Danger Man'
This is kind of a cheat, because as far as Toobworld is concerned, John Drake WAS Number Six of 'The Prisoner' and I promised not to keep harping on those characters who've already returned. However, it would be easier to bring him back as former NATO/MI5 agent Drake rather than as his later identity and thus avoid all of that baggage. And with the world in such deep trouble, espionage-wise, as it is, Drake's experience would make him a valued advisor... even if he did harbor ill feelings about the way he was treated after he resigned.

Best vehicle for his return: 'Spooks' ('MI5' in the U.S.), should that series continue.

And finally.....

Dr. Miguelito Loveless, 'The Wild, Wild West'
Yes, I know Michael Dunn is dead. But the character lives on, even into the 21st Century. It's been the contention of Toobworld Central that Dr. Loveless had Gallifreyan DNA in his blood on his father's side - Mr. Rourke of 'Fantasy Island' was his father, a Time Lord, and sired him while he was in Spanish California during the time of 'Zorro'. (Don't get me started on that whole theory.) Of course, on his mother's side, he was descended from Alexander, the character from the 'Star Trek' episode "Plato's Stepchildren" who visited Earth millennia ago.

We saw Dr. Loveless pop up in Toobworld outside of his nine appearances on 'The Wild, Wild West' in such shows as 'Get Smart', 'Amos Burke, Secret Agent', and the TV movie "Goodnight, My Lovely". And each time he was using an alias. He was last seen in the Toobworld timeline in 1974-75 when he tried to take over the Seaview on an episode of 'Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea' as "The Clown". By the end of that episode he appeared to have been killed, but had the show run a few minutes longer, I think we would have seen that he was revived, as so often happened after his near-death experiences versus James West. (The combination of Gallifreyan, Sahndaran (Platonian), and human DNA took away his ability to change bodily appearance upon regeneration.)

As for bringing him back without the original actor, I think a recastaway could be acceptable in this case. For that splainin, it could be that he needed plastic surgery and so now he looks like a whole new person. Still diminutive, true, but it would be more believable than just slapping on a false beard as he once did on 'The Wild, Wild West'.

And the actor I have in mind to assay the role? Warwick Davis, who starred in "Willow" and was featured in "Ray".

Best vehicle for his return: 'Chuck'. Who better to match wits with a seasoned evil genius with an off-beat look as well as outlook, than an offbeat, very unseasoned secret agent?

So that's this year's Wish-craft crop of characters I'd like to see return to the Toob - should the writers' strike ever get settled, of course!

Toby OB


Should 'Odyssey 5' and 'The Hitch-Hiker's Guide To The Galaxy' ever be combined in some kind of fanfic, I've found the perfect tagline for the final product:
Just sayin', is all......

Toby OB


We saw the Earth destroyed...

And in a heartbeat everything and everyone we knew were gone.

There were five of us.
The crew of the space shuttle Odyssey.
And we were the only survivors.

A mysterious being who called himself The Seeker rescued us.
And he sent us back into time.

And now we have five years to live over.
Five years to discover who or what destroyed the Earth.
Five years to stop it from happening... again.
- Chuck Taggart
'Odyssey 5'

Toobworld was destroyed last year on August 7th, 2007.

'Odyssey 5' ran for only one season and it ended on a cliffhanger, so we never saw how the situation was resolved. But as the Toobworld Dynamic is based on the belief that all TV shows share the same universe, and as we have seen that "Life" continues in TV Land since that date, then we have to assume that the crew of the Odyssey were successful in their mission.

The show's creator, Manny Coto, has expressed his desire to return to the series and either continue it or wrap it up in some way. I'd suggest a wrap-up, as the cast has aged since it ended in 2003 and that may be hard to splain away. As for a continuation, I doubt you'd be able to get such actors as Christopher Gorham (former showkiller) and Peter Weller to re-up for that commitment. And if that's the case, I'd have no interest in seeing the show if they had to recast any of the roles.

Besides, unless they started again from scratch, that date of the Earth's destruction means that any resolution to the series would have to be seen as a flashback. A two-hour movie might work fine, but I think it best that it should be integrated into a TV show where they could deal with the situation as being in the past. And I'm thinking 'Eureka' would be the best place to take up the cause. (Of course, 'Doctor Who' would probably be ideal.)

At any rate, this wasn't the first time that the Earth in the TV Universe was destroyed and then "rebuilt" with a new timeline. We saw it happen also in 'The Hitch-Hiker's Guide To The Galaxy', and it occurred on September 3rd, 1981.

I have Alberto Monteiro to thank for that nugget of information.... information.... information....

He writes:

The precise date of the destruction of the Earth by the Vogon Construction Fleet can be calculated this way:

It happened on a Thursday in some year of the 1980s (The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy)

Two days before, the English - Australia match for the Ashes finished rather spectacularly, with three alien ships invading the playing field; but the aliens made England win the match and the ashes - (Life, The Universe, and Everything)

The destruction of the Earth happened in the first days of September (So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish)

So, I searched for all Ashes in the 80s where the last test was close to September and England either won or lost by a small margin (so that an Alien invasion might reverse the outcome). The only possible candidates were the 1981 and the 1985 Ashes. But the 1985 Ashes ended on a Monday (September 2), while the 1981 Ashes fit nicely into the timeline.

There have been other shows, usually Sci-Fi anthologies like 'The Twilight Zone' and 'Tales Of Tomorrow', in which the Earth has been destroyed. But the shows lack the redemptions to be found in 'The Hitch-Hiker's Guide To The Galaxy' and 'Odyssey 5'. So they have to be tossed into the dimensional dustbin and relegated to other versions of Toobworld.

Toby OB


The TV Universe legend that is John Munch continues to grow, as evidenced by this excerpt from a review of 'The Wire' by John Leonard for "New York" magazine:

"Forty or so minutes into the seventh hour of the fifth and final season of The Wire, who should walk into a tavern for a sit-down with a source but an agitated Clark Johnson? And who should be stuck at the end of the bar with nothing to say and less to do but a cadaverous Richard Belzer? This is an inside joke. Johnson has a major role to play in the last ten episodes of The Wire, as Augustus “Gus” Haynes, the city editor of the Baltimore Sun. Belzer, on temporary loan from Law & Order: SVU, is merely a sight gag."

I'm one of the many who doesn't watch 'The Wire'. Based on the ratings for the first episode of its return, neither are you. I guess I was still getting over the end of that particular season of 'The Sopranos' when 'The Wire' debuted; maybe that's why I didn't start watching it.
And it was kind of too late to pick up once I realized I was probably missing out on something phenomenal.

I'm too cheap to order it up on HBO On Demand, and my Netflix queue is crowded as it is. And I knew I didn't want to watch some bowdlerized version of BET. Someday I'll get around to watching this series, described as "Dickensian" and lauded as the greatest TV show ever. But in the meantime, I will be checking out that seventh episode, even if I don't know what's going on.

That's because I want to see the Belz rack up another appearance by his alter-ego John Munch in the TV Universe.

'The Wire' is theoretically linked to Toobworld in general due to Theory of Relateeveety concerning the "Bunks". But this appearance by the Munchkin will make it official.

Toby OB

Thanks for the heads-up from "JohnMunch" at the Tommy Westphall's Mind livejournal.


Toobworld alert!

Jimmy Kimmel and Jay Leno will be appearing on each other's shows tonight in a cross-network show of solidarity since both returned to the airwaves without their writers and without any deal with the WGA.

The 'Tonight' show is taped at the NBC studios in the late afternoon, but Kimmel's is done live on ABC. As David Bianculli recommends, any real fireworks from what they may say will probably happen on Kimmel's show.

I'm reserving judgement until I see what they do/say. However, should they attack the WGA in any way for being picketed or for not getting special waivers, or for whatever, then they'll be moving to the top of the candidates' list for the Toobit Award for Worst Crossover of 2008.
Yeah..... I'm sure that strikes fear in the hearts of both men!

Toby OB


Whenever Hollywood needed to show an authentic scene about itself in Television, two of its biggest supporters usually were recruited to play themselves: reporter/columnist Army Archerd and Johnny Grant, who was the honorary mayor of Hollywood.

Grant died just before 7p.m. yesterday, apparently of natural causes at the age of 84.

Grant was perhaps best known as the host alongside more than 500 celebrities he inducted into the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Among the TV shows he appeared in as himself were:

"Action" - Pilot

"Buddy Faro" - The Curse of the Faro
"China Beach" - Chao Ong
"The Lucy Show" - Lucy Goes to a Hollywood Premiere
"77 Sunset Strip" - Downbeat
You can read his extensive bio, with plenty of pictures, at his
official website.

Toby OB

Wednesday, January 9, 2008


Barack Obama came in second in the New Hampshire primary; only lost by just over 2000 votes or so. I don't understand the pundits who say this has dealt his campaign a major setback - the way I see it, in the five days leading up to the primary, those ornery, cantankerous New Hampshirites decided they weren't going to let the media decide the election for them. But I'm betting Obama is going to bust out big in Nevada, South Carolina, and beyond.

And he wouldn't even have made it this far if it had not been for a member of the Borg Collective......

Read about it
here. Make it so.

Toby OB


Near the end of December, Roger Catlin of the Hartford Courant wrote in his "TV Eye" blog (link to the left) about the decision by Cox Cable to drop TCM from the basic line-up:

Seems Cox in Manchester dropped from its basic cable tier TCM – the excellently curated movie network that’s worthwhile if only because its also commercial-free. In its place was Court TV (which ceases to be Court TV starting tomorrow when its load of evening reality shows make it become TruTV).

Typical was an e-mail from Susan Barlow, who decried its dropping from her nearly $60 a month cable package (TCM was still available, Cox said, but only on a higher tier that would be an additional cost.

And it didn't just happen to Manchester, Ct. - they pulled the same stunt in Meriden.

Catlin suggested, as did one of his readers, that subscribers who were angry about this should contact their town's cable advisory panel and to continue haranguing Cox with demands that TCM be brought back.

I'm lucky - I'm in a Time-Warner Cable area, so I don't think they're about to pull a stunt like that... at least not with something they have an interest in. (Or did - not sure about their relationship with Ted Turner nowadays.)

But really - if you're under the sadistic thumb of Cox Cable, let them know you want TCM back on your basic tier.

Power to the People!

Toby OB

Tuesday, January 8, 2008


A Gala Evening
In Honor of Sumner Redstone
Hosted by Jon Stewart
Thursday, February 7, 2008

The Paley Center for Media will honor Sumner Redstone, executive chairman of Viacom Inc. and CBS Corporation, at its annual gala in New York.

The gala will be held on Thursday, February 7, 2008, at 6:30 pm, at the Waldorf-Astoria Grand Ballroom in New York City. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Paley Center's work to lead the discussion about the creative and social relevance of television, radio, and emerging platforms in today's world.

Some individual tickets, priced at $2,000, are available.

Tables and ads for the Tribute Journal are also available. Please contact the Paley Center's Special Events Department at 212.621.6815 or for more information.

I'm outside the loop, of course, but I can't see how Jon Stewart can justify paying tribute to Redstone when so many of his fellow members in the WGA are out on the picket lines because of Redstone's greed as a member of the AMPTP cabal.

Can somebody out there splain to me what I'm missing.....?

Toby OB


Bill Idelson, who is best remembered here at Toobworld Central for playing Herman Glimscher on 'The Dick Van Dyke Show', has passed away. He was 88 years old and had been hospitalized since June after breaking his hip.

Here is an excerpt from his obituary by Dennis McLellan in the L.A. Times:

Idelson appeared in episodes of dozens of television series, including "Dragnet," "Perry Mason," "The Twilight Zone," "My Favorite Martian," "The Odd Couple," "Happy Days" and "Will & Grace."

But he may be best remembered by TV fans for his role as Herman Glimscher, the mama's-boy boyfriend of Rose Marie's Sally Rogers character on several episodes of "The Dick Van Dyke Show."

At the time Idelson was appearing on "The Dick Van Dyke Show" and other TV programs, he was also carving out a successful career as a television writer.

In addition to writing a couple of episodes of "The Dick Van Dyke Show," he wrote for other TV series, including "The Twilight Zone," "Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.," "The Andy Griffith Show," "Get Smart," "The Odd Couple," "The Bob Newhart Show," "MASH" and "Happy Days." Idelson twice won the Writers Guild Award for best episodic comedy -- for an episode of "Get Smart" and for an episode of "The Andy Griffith Show."

Among his credits as a television producer are "The Bob Newhart Show," "Anna and the King," "The McLean Stevenson Show" and "Love, American Style."

For the latter show, he shared an Emmy nomination in 1971 for outstanding comedy series.

Writing and Producing Credits

Anna and the King - Writer
Anna and the King - Producer
Barefoot In The Park - Writer
Bewitched - Writer
Get Smart - Writer
Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. - Writer
Happy Days - Writer
Love, American Style - Writer
M*A*S*H - Writer
That Girl - Story
The Andy Griffith Show - Writer
The Bob Newhart Show - Writer
The Bob Newhart Show - Producer
The Dick Van Dyke Show - Writer
The Flintstones - Writer
The Hero - Writer
The Mothers-In-Law - Writer
The Odd Couple - Writer

Acting Appearances
Guest Starring Roles
Will & Grace - Ben - Mad Dogs and Average Men (2001)
Happy Days - Doctor - A Mind of His Own (1976)
The Dick Van Dyke Show - Herman Glimsher - Dear Sally Rogers (1966)
Gomer Pyle - Harold Kanobly - A Groom for Carter's Sister (1965)
My Favorite Martian - Mr. Brown - I'd Rather Fight Than Switch (1965)
The Dick Van Dyke Show - Bruce - Never Bathe on Saturday (1965)
The Dick Van Dyke Show - Herman Glimsher - Stacey Petrie (1) (1965)
The Dick Van Dyke Show - Herman Glimsher - Uncle George (1963)
The Jack Benny Program - - Riverboat Sketch (1963)
My Three Sons - Mr. Higgins - Didya Ever Have One of Those Days? '63
My Three Sons - Walter - Chip's World (1963)
The Dick Van Dyke Show - Herman Glimsher - My Husband Is a Check-Grabber (1963)
Checkmate - The Bellhop - A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Game (1962)
My Three Sons - Pete - Unite or Sink (1961)
Thriller - - The Twisted Image (1960)
The Twilight Zone - Stagehand - A World of Difference (1960)
Hennesey - Marine - Hennesey and the Ancient Vehicle (1960)
Hennesey - Mac - Hennesey Joins the Marines (1960)
Leave It to Beaver - Newstand Worker - The Bus Ride (1959)

[Toobworld note: I think his role as Bruce the Bellhop on 'The Dick Van Dyke Show' would be the same as the bellhop he played in the episode from 'Checkmate'. After that 'Checkmate' episode, Bruce moved back East to New York City and found employ at a swank hotel there. This way, he could be closer to his twin brother, Herman... and of course, to Mother.....]

Mr. Idelson is the second death of note this new year for Toobworld. James Costigan also passed away - he wrote "Love Among The Ruins", which starred Laurence Olivier and Katherine Hepburn.

I've always liked to think that Herman and Sally eventually married - but it would have had to happen after his mother finally passed away. He appeared as Herman in the reunion special for 'The Dick Van Dyke Show', but I can't remember if that came up....

Rest in peace, sir.

Toby OB


Just in time to be too late for Christmas!

There have been three Television adaptations of "Miracle On 34th Street" over the years:

1955 - with Thomas Mitchell as Kris Kringle
1959 - with Ed Wynn as Kris Kringle
1973 - with Sebastian Cabot as Kris Kringle

Since it's customary (although not set in stone) that the "first broadcast" rule should determine which televersion gets into Earth Prime-Time, then it's the 1955 version that can be found in the main Toobworld.

The fact that Thomas Mitchell doesn't resemble Charles Durning, the "official" face of Santa Claus in the TV Universe, isn't one of great concern. Santa is a magical being and he appears as people expect him to look. (This splains away the two different Santas during the run of 'Bewitched'.)

The confrontation with the drunken Santa Claus at the Thanksgiving Day Parade has been cut, Doris takes a more active role in the Post Office's role in the proceedings, and the sequence of events at the very end have been flipped. The one major character to be lost entirely in the transition through the dimensional vortex is young Alfred, Santa's Helper at Macy's. Otherwise it's a very faithful adaptation of the original.

Joining Mr. Mitchell are MacDonald Carey as the lawyer Fred, Hans Conreid as the toy department manager, Ray Collins as the judge, and Teresa Wright in the Maureen O'Hara role. (Pictured below are MacDonald Carey and Thomas Mitchell, with Teresa Wright and Hans Conreid in the background.)
Ed Wynn's Kris Kringle would be then located to the dimension of Television Remakes with such shows as 'The New Lassie' and the new 'Battlestar Galactica'. (The televersion of 'Sherlock Holmes' which starred Ronald Howard is also here because the Jeremy Brett version was not only more detailed but stuck totally to the works of Conan Doyle.)

As for that 1973 TV movie, which until recently I thought was the only version on the Toob, it was a fairly classy production. So why not give it a home in the dimension where 'The West Wing' has taken up residence? Why shouldn't Jed Bartlet have a Santa Claus in his life as well?

Toby OB

Monday, January 7, 2008


While putting together that piece about TV's Smiler Grogan, I found a clip at YouTube for a movie made for 'Playhouse 90' called "No Time At All".

Check out this cast! The movie was about a plane that was operating with no systems during a storm and the effect it had on the people down below (based on a novel by Charles Einstein, who also co-wrote the script).

I'll have to check the Paley Center and see if they have it available for viewing.....

If you want to check out the incredible line-up of stars for this production, visit this
YouTube link.

Toby OB


One of the few shows my "MacDivver" is recording now because of the strike (although more will join it once the cable series like 'Psych' and 'Monk' come back) is 'Burke's Law' from the early 1960s. It's a great opportunity to indulge in some old-fashioned detective work and to see a variety of stars not often glimpsed off the Lido Deck.

This past week, the episode shown on American Life TV was "Who Killed Molly?" which starred Hoagy Carmichael, Nanette Fabray, Jayne Mansfield, and Arthur O'Connell. Also featured in the cast was Jay C. Flippen, as a crusty old-timer in the burglary division named Lt. "Smiler" Grogan.

Smiler Grogan is also the name of the character played by Jimmy Durante in "It's A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World". Grogan literally kicks off the action of the movie and casts a big W-shaped shadow over the events to follow.
That Smiler Grogan exists in the "Cineverse" (a term coined by Craig Shaw Gardner) and probably has no connection to the one played by Jay C. Flippen in the TV Universe. But I'd like to think there was a televersion of the events and characters from that movie to be found in Toobworld.

Lt. Grogan's first name is probably Bill and he only recently got a promotion to lieutenant just prior to "Who Killed Molly?" This is only a theory, but he appeared in two earlier episodes - "Who Killed Wade Walker?" and the pilot, "Who Killed Holly Howard?", as Bill, the desk sergeant. As Captain Burke doesn't seem too surprised that there should be two guys wandering around the Metro Division with the same face, I'm assuming Bill and Lt. Grogan are probably the same man.

And his eagerness to crack his Beverly Hills burglary case would indicate that he he still had an enthusiasm for the new venture, if not for the overall job in itself.

Toby OB


Here's a rundown of "season finales" for most of the scripted series, dramas and sitcoms (i.e., the good stuff), as the writers' strike takes its toll:


Boston Legal (ABC) Jan. 29
Breaking Bad (AMC) March 16
Brothers & Sisters (ABC) Jan. 27
Cashmere Mafia (ABC) Feb. 13
CSI (CBS) Jan. 10
CSI Miami (CBS) Jan. 14
ER (NBC) Jan. 17
Family Guy (Fox) Jan. 13
Friday Night Lights (NBC) Feb. 8
Gossip Girl (CW) Jan. 9
Grey’s Anatomy (ABC) Jan. 10
In Treatment (HBO) March 25
Jericho (CBS) March 25
Kyle XY (ABC Family) March 17
L Word (Showtime) March 23
Las Vegas (NBC) Feb. 22
Law & Order: SVU (NBC) Jan. 22
Life Is Wild (CW) Jan. 20
Lost (ABC) March 20
Medium (NBC) March 3
Monk (USA) Feb. 22
Moonlight (CBS) Jan. 18
My Name Is Earl (NBC) Jan. 10
NCIS (CBS) Jan. 15
Nip/Tuck (FX) Feb. 19
Prison Break (Fox) Feb. 18
Psych (USA) Feb. 15
Quarterlife (NBC) March 24
Samantha Who? (ABC) Feb. 18
Scrubs (NBC) Feb. 14
Stargate Atlantis (SciFi) March 7
Terminator (Fox) March 3
30 Rock (NBC) Jan. 10
The Wire (HBO) March 9
Ugly Betty (NBC) Jan. 24
Without A Trace (CBS) Jan. 17

If a show is not listed, it's probably run its course already.

Of course, all of this could be resolved before these shows go dark, if only the AMPTP would do the right thing and accept the demands - and they're HARDLY demands! - of the WGA.A bit much to expect from weasels, though......

Toby OB


Whether or not Brian Perry is still in office as a Senator in "Tele-Texas", we can probably be assured that he hasn't changed his ways, no matter who ended up having more influence over him in the long run - the Cadre at NASA, the Sentients of Earth, the Sentients of Mars, or the crew of the 'Odyssey 5'. He's probably still a womanizing, racist bully and creep.

We only got to see one season of 'Odyssey 5', but I'm sure Senator Perry was involved in more than just the Bright Sky Project. He probably had his corrupt, fat fingers in some pie that was connected to the case revolving around 'The 4400' in Seattle, even if it does seem out of his bailiwick.

And if so, he may have run into an illegitimate daughter while deaing with NTAC!
It's purely hypothetical, but I think NTAC Agent Diana Skouris of Seattle and Astronaut Angela Perry of Houston have a lot in common genetically, even more than just sharing a somewhat similar appearance. (I'm not talking identical cousins, here; just some similarities.) And I think it's all due to them both having Brian Perry as their father.

Of course, Angela is the daughter he's acknowledged and raised. But Diana may not even know who her biological father is and so has no clue that she shares a common DNA link with Angela.

Somewhere out there in the world of fanfic, there could be a story floating about in which the two characters from two different shows interacted. (What would happen if a Synthetic took the promycin shot? What about one of the Odyssey 5?)

And if not, here's a little suggestion as to what Diana and Angela might have to talk about during a coffee break......

Toby OB


The 'Cadfael' mysteries are set at an actual abbey in Shrewsbury, which was founded late in the 11th Century. In 1147, the bones of St. Winifred were brought there from Wales to be housed, and that event served as the inspiration for the very first "Cadfael" book by Ellis Peters, "A Morbid Taste For Bones".

So Brother Cadfael, although a fictional character himself, is working in very real settings - in much the same way as we can say the same for Columbo in Los Angeles or Adrian Monk in San Francisco.

And as such, he has come into contact in the series with historical personages. In fact, right from the very beginning he had the occasion to meet King Stephen (in "One Corpse Too Many").

However, today's nugget of information concerns two regular members of the cast who turn out to be actual characters from the pages of History - Abbot Herribert and Prior Robert, who served in those positions at the Abbey at the time when Cadfael would have been there in 1138.

I'm not sure the actual Prior Robert would have been too pleased with his televersion however. He seems like he could have been the spiritual template for Major Frank Burns of 'M*A*S*H' - a thick-headed, wrong-headed bureaucrat always at odds with Cadfael.

Toby OB

Sunday, January 6, 2008


(from 'Late Night with David Letterman')

With the WGA strike basically bringing an end to the shows I'm currently taping, I've turned to Netflix to bring me up to speed on series I've missed in the past. I've finished the single season of 'Odyssey 5' and am currently in the midst of the 'Cadfael' mysteries.

Others I have lined up:

'The Amazing Mrs. Pritchard' - forgot to record the last two eps.
'QBVII' - I only saw it that first time it aired and want to check it out again.
'The Adventures of Robin Hood' - Richard Greene version

And I'll be adding three HBO series about which I was negligent:
'The Wire'

I still have at least two posts regarding 'Odyssey 5' which I need to write up. One is a theory of "relateeveety" about a supposed half sister for Angela Perry, and the other is an overview of what may have happened in the missing years leading up to the event they were supposed to prevent.

And with only two episodes seen so far of 'Cadfael', already I have several ideas:

Was the Meddling Monk still stranded in England by 1138?
Could a guest character from 'Cadfael' have been reincarnated into 'Torchwood'?
What caused Hugh Barengar to become a recastaway several times over?

Yes. I have 'Doctor Who' on the mind.

Plus I need to write up my 'Extras'-dimensional post regarding the two different versions of the 'Extras' Christmas special.

So those greedy weazels of the AMPTP may be keeping me from seeing my regularly scheduled programming (And I only blame them!), but they won't cause Toobworld Central to close up shop!

Toby OB


General Heywood Kirk, who may have been an ancestor of Captain James T. Kirk, looked through the research into UFOs from the mid-1960s and cited magazine articles that dealt with the topic in the 'Time Tunnel' episode "Visitors From Beyond The Stars".

These turned out to be real magazine articles that can be found here in the real world.

1] Look Magazine (October 1966) - about a couple who had been brought on board a UFO.

This would be Barney and Betty Hill. Their story was even dramatized and made part of the TV Universe in "The UFO Incident" aka "Interrupted Journey".

2] Life Magazine (4/1/1966) - reports of sightings near Perth, Australia.

The cover of that issue of Life is reproduced here. As you can see, one of the cover stories is about the week of flying saucers

3] General Kirk also mentioned 60 people around Kensington, New Hampshire, who saw a UFO in September, 1965. The event led to the publication of a book called "Incident At Exeter".