Saturday, October 4, 2008


While watching the last five episodes of 'Ashes To Ashes' in an overnight marathon with Mark & Michael Thursday night (after the debate, of course!), I was struck by the guest star in episode #7. (I hate when shows have no episode titles!)

I don't pay attention to the listings of guest stars at the beginning usually - I like to keep the character separate from the actor. But something about the guy playing Gil Hollis was infuriatingly familiar. Michael, who googles most every show he likes, couldn't remember his name, but he did say that he was married to Keeley Hawes who plays Alex Drake.

That didn't help me - again, I don't go much into the real lives of actors. I'm more keen on their characters.
But I felt as if I had seen him recently, and as I just finished watching the four episodes of 'Lost In Austen', I decided it must be that under that make-up it had to be Eliot Cowan. (Cowan played FitzWilliam Darcy in 'Lost In Austen'.)

As it turned out, it was Matthew Macfadyen, who starred with Keeley in 'MI5' and later married her.

But he also played Mr. Darcy in the recent movie version of "Pride And Prejudice". So maybe my subconscious mind was making the right connection but to the wrong production.......

Toby O'B


For the penultimate Tiddlywinkydink in the memory of Paul Newman, we're turning our attentions to President Woodrow Wilson. As I mentioned yesterday, Newman supplied the voice of President Wilson for an episode of that documentary series, "Freedom, A History Of Us'.

Here is a short biographical sketch of Wilson, edited down from
his Wikipedia page:

Thomas Woodrow Wilson (December 28, 1856—February 3, 1924), was the twenty-eighth President of the United States. A leading intellectual of the Progressive Era, he served as President of Princeton University and then became the Governor of New Jersey in 1910. With Theodore Roosevelt and William Howard Taft dividing the Republican Party vote, Wilson was elected President as a Democrat in 1912.

Narrowly re-elected in 1916, his second term centered on World War I. He tried to maintain U.S. neutrality, but when the German Empire began unrestricted submarine warfare, he wrote several admonishing notes to Germany, and in April 1917 asked Congress to declare war on the Central Powers. He was the first President to leave the United States while still in office, going to Paris in 1919 to create the League of Nations and shape the Treaty of Versailles, with special attention on creating new nations out of defunct empires. Largely for his efforts to form the League, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1919.

Wilson collapsed with a debilitating stroke in 1919, as the home front saw massive strikes and race riots, and wartime prosperity turn into postwar depression. Wilson's idealistic internationalism, calling for the United States to enter the world arena to fight for democracy, progressiveness, and liberalism, has been a highly controversial position in American foreign policy, serving as a model for "idealists" to emulate or "realists" to reject for the following century.

The online site for the White House also provides a biography for Woodrow Wilson.

Among his many accomplishments as President:

The Federal Trade Commission
The Clayton Antitrust Act
The Underwood Tariff
The Federal Farm Loan Act
The Federal Reserve System
The Military Service Draft
Liberty Bonds
The Income Tax
Federal Drug Prohibition
The War Industries Board
The Lever Act (dealing with agriculture and food production)
The Treaty of Versailles
The League of Nations

For his efforts in creating the League, Wilson was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1919.

Wilson had a vision of a post-war world free of international conflict, and toward that end he issued his "Fourteen Points".

The points were:

Abolition of secret treaties

Freedom of the seas

Free Trade


Adjustment of colonial claims (decolonization and national self-determination)

Russia to be assured independent development and international withdrawal from occupied Russian territory

Restoration of Belgium to antebellum national status

Alsace-Lorraine returned to France from Germany

Italian borders redrawn on lines of nationality

Autonomous development of Austria-Hungary as a nation, as the Austro-Hungarian Empire dissolved

Romania, Serbia, Montenegro, and other Balkan states to be granted integrity, have their territories de-occupied, and Serbia to be given access to the Adriatic Sea

Sovereignty for the Turkish people of the Ottoman Empire as the Empire dissolved, autonomous development for other nationalities within the former Empire

Establishment of an independent Poland with access to the sea

General association of the nations – a multilateral international association of nations to enforce the peace (League of Nations)

In Toobworld, Wilson has been portrayed several times, mostly via voice-overs like Newman's, but at least once in the Tooniverse as well.
Whit Bissell. . . "Profiles in Courage" (1964)
- {Woodrow Wilson (#1.14)}

Reynolds Evans . . . "Frontiers of Faith" (1951)
- {A Dream of Faith}

Bob Gunton. . . Iron Jawed Angels (2004)

Michael Kane. . . First Ladies Diaries: Edith Wilson (1976)

Josef Sommer. . . "Young Indiana Jones Chronicles, The" (1992)
- {Paris, May 1919 (#2.18)}

Harry Townes. . . "Omnibus" (1952)
- {He Shall Have Power (#8.1)}

Robert Vaughn. . . "Backstairs at the White House" (1979)

Mason Adams. . . "Freedom to Speak" (1982)

Rene Auberjonois. . . Woodrow Wilson and the Birth of the American Century (2002)

Martin Landau . . . "Great War and the Shaping of the 20th Century, The" (1996)
- {Collapse (#1.6)}
- {Hatred and Hunger (#1.7)}

- {War Without End (#1.8)}

George Mitchell. . . "American President, The" (2000)
- {The World Stage (#1.6)} TV Series

Paul Newman. . . "Freedom: A History of Us" (2003)
- {Safe for Democracy (#1.11)}

Rob Paulsen. . . "Time Squad" (2001)
- {White House Weirdness}

Toby O'B


Thanks to the angelic powers of Castiel, Dean Winchester found himself back in Lawrence, Kansas, on April 30th, 1973, in this week's episode of 'Supernatural'. He was back "In The Beginning" of his parents' relationship, where he found out his future mother, Mary Campbell, was a "Hunter" and so were her parents, Samuel and Deanna.

Having no other choice, Dean confided in his grandfather, letting Samuel Campbell know who he was and why he had been sent back. Samuel sized him up and said, "Future Boy, huh?"

It's the contention of Toobworld Central that Samuel was making a reference to a 1950s TV series about Captain Galaxy and Future Boy. In Toobworld, Captain Galaxy was played by Moe Stein and the young actor who played Future Boy was named Kenny.
The audience viewing in the Trueniverse met these two men on an episode of 'Quantum Leap' when Sam Beckett leaped into Kenny on October 6th, 1957. It appears that he was there to convince Moe's daughter to keep the old actor out of a home for the aged.

The show was on the air less than twenty years before, so Samuel Campbell was probably already a young man with a family; he probably watched the show himself while cradling his infant daughter, Mary.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it. In fact, in keeping with the Allman Brothers song we heard in this episode, I can declare:

Lord, I was born a splainin' man!

Toby O'B

Friday, October 3, 2008


In 2003, Paul Newman lent his voice to two episodes of a documentary series, 'Freedom: A History Of Us', in which he spoke as President Woodrow Wilson and as Chief Justice Earl Warren.Today, here's a thumbnail biography of Warren.....


Thursday, March 19, 1891 - Tuesday, July 9, 1974
Earl Warren was an immensely popular Republican governor when President Dwight Eisenhower appointed him to the Supreme Court. Ike later regretted his choice; he had hoped toappoint a moderate conservative; Warren proved to be an unabashed liberal.

Warren joined the Court in the midst of one of its most important issues: racial segregation in public schools. The new Chief proved an effective leader (unlike his predecessor) by bringing the Brethren from division to unanimity on the issue of racial equality. At the end of his service, Warren concluded that his greatest contribution to government was his opinion in the reapportionment cases. However, his contribution to racial equality still stands as a testament to his role as a leader extraordinaire.

In November 1963, President Lyndon B. Johnson called on a reluctant Warren to serve as a member of the special committee to investigate the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. When first approached by the Attorney General Robert Kennedy (brother to the slain president), Warren declined. He was concerned that such service would tarnish the Court's legitimacy. But in [a] secretly recorded telephone call, Johnson explained to Sen. Richard Russell how he persuaded Warren to serve.

In a public address following his retirement for the Court, Warren articulated his strong commitment to the principle of equality and admonished Americans that they face continued strife and upheaval by failing to heed the rightful demands for equality.

From Wikipedia:

[H]is tenure as Chief Justice was as divisive as his governorship was unifying. Liberals generally hailed the landmark rulings issued by the Warren Court, rulings affecting, among other things, the legal status of racial segregation, civil rights, separation of church and state, and police arrest procedure in the United States. But conservatives decried the Court's rulings, particularly in areas affecting criminal proceedings.

In the years that followed, the Warren Court became recognized as a high point in the use of the judicial power in the effort to effect social progress in the U.S. and Warren himself became widely regarded as one of the most influential Supreme Court justices in the history of the United States and perhaps the single most important in the 20th century (and certainly its most controversial).

For more from Wikipedia.....

And the
Warren College has a biography as well......

Toby O'B

Thursday, October 2, 2008


The villain of this week's episode of 'Fringe' took Peter Bishop out to the cemetary where his grandfather was buried. Dr. Walter Bishop, Peter's father, buried the metallic cylinder there, the object which had burst up through the ground in Brooklyn. As they made their way through the darkness, the camera lingered on one particular gravestone, that of Casey Peretti.

Being the TV trivia geek that I am, I went searching for info on Casey Peretti and came up with two options.

1] Casey Peretti is a stuntman who is also an amputee. He worked with JJ Abrams on an episode of 'Alias' called "Page 47". So this could be an in-joke shout-out to a former associate.

2] Casey Peretti was a doctor who died of encephalitis in June of 1990 in Oakdale on 'As The World Turns'. According to a TV Guide commenter named "Lost30Rock", Casey Peretti came from Boston, but I couldn't verify that from
his biographical data page at Soap Central.

Still, I'll side with that splainin as it's more conducive for keeping the integrity of the TV Universe intact. It would seem that at some point in the last 18 years Peretti's family must have disinterred his remains and shipped them back to the Boston area to be reburied.

Sounds plausible.....

Toby O'B


Originally, 'Pushing Daisies' was envisioned as an episode of 'Dead Like Me', in which George would have kept taking souls from people about to die only to have somebody else come along and bring them back to life.

But the episode was never made and instead, Bryan Fuller developed the idea into the story of Ned the Pie-Maker in 'Pushing Daisies'.

Last night, however, he finally gave us a link between the shows as Ned got a job at Betty's Bees by intercepting a call to the Happy Time Temp Agency.

Happy Time Temporary Services was the company where "Millie" (George's post-death identity) worked in Seattle. The city in which 'Pushing Daisies' takes place has never been identified, but it's not too far from Coeur d'Coeurs (Ned's hometown).

Wherever it is, I don't think it's Seattle, so the Happy Time Temporary Services must be a national franchise.

And now we can claim that both TV series are linked!

Toby O'B


After the first two episodes of 'Lost In Austen' were removed from YouTube, I was afraid I'd never see the concluding two episodes of the story about a 21st Century girl trapped in the fictitious world of Jane Austen's "Pride And Prejudice". (I've no idea if BBC America will ever run the series over here, since it's an ITV production. But they did bring us 'Primeval', so there's always hope....) So when episodes three and four did show up on YouTube, all other plans for the day were scuttled.

(Not a hard choice to make, considering my original plan was to scrub the living room floor.....)

Just in case the series does make it to America by more conventional means, I won't give the ending away, save to say that Amanda Price (played by the delightful Jemima Rooper) does alter the original events of the novel. In most other productions like this, everything would be sorted out by the end as the hero would "make right what once went wrong". Some situations caused by Amanda are corrected by alternate means, but two major divergences remain - one involving the fate of Charlotte Lucas and the other dealing with the relationship between Elizabeth Bennett and Mr. Darcy, the very heart of the novel.

Since "Pride And Prejudice" was adapted for television, its characters actually exist in Toobworld. Jane Austen thus becomes a chronicler, an historian; her book is a work of factual literature within the "reality" of the TV Universe. As I've mentioned before, Austen joins a club that includes Arthur Conan Doyle, Mark Twain, Shakespeare, Agatha Christie, and Stephen King - they exist in the same world as do the characters they created in their books.

So Amanda's meddling in the story's plotline doesn't affect the actual "historical" facts of "Pride And Prejudice". It shouldn't even change any previous editions of the book. But it's likely any future printings of the novel (by Pendant? by Whitestone?) will reflect those revisions.

Or it could be that it was contingent on just this one copy of the book; that it was a magical tome under enchantment. All it needed was someone of Amanda's temperament, with such an ardor for the novel, to trigger the spell.
These characters were never the official versions of Mr. Darcy, Elizabeth Bennett, and the rest; they resembled how Amanda envisioned them with her imagination. So it's possible that the havoc she caused by her presence within the novel might not ever be noticed by anybody else reading the story. And considering that she tore up her own volume of the book while inside the
book, no one's likely (besides Darcy) to ever see the new version. (Of course, once the book was destroyed, shouldn't Amanda have been trapped in there forever or perhaps expelled from it, never able to return?)

This type of magic has been seen before in Toobworld, in which characters from books appeared in Toobworld and vice versa. On 'Bewitched', Jack the Giant-Killer showed up in the Stephens' household while Samantha zapped herself into the giant's castle. And on one Halloween, goblins popped out of Tabitha Stephen's storybook to go trick-or-treating in Wesport, Connecticut.

Currently there's a commercial running for Emerald Nuts in which the Swiss Family Robinson escape their book and build things on some guy when his energy level sags at 3 pm each day.......
Toby O'B

"As a child I used to zap myself into literature at the drop of a hat!"


We're taking a break from our Tiddlywinkydink salute to Paul Newman's TV legacy today in order to mark a special occasion. So get yourself all set and turn on your TV set......
If it weren't for Mark Evanier's blog "News From ME" (links to the left, hound dawgs!), I might not have known that today, October 2nd, 2008, is the
fiftieth anniversary of Huckleberry Hound's introduction on television. He was the star of Hanna-Barbera's second animated TV series (after 'Ruff 'n' Reddy'), and the first cartoon series to win the Emmy.

I think for a lot of folks in my age group, Huckleberry Hound was the first big cartoon superstar, a comfortable presence our Moms could leave us with to be our TV babysitter. Of course, it wasn't until decades later we learned
the dark truth to ol' Huck.....
When 'The Huckleberry Hound Show' premiered, you would have thought the Kellog's Corn Flakes Rooster was the actual star of the show, based on the introductory credits. I suppose that was an example of the heavy influence which advertisers had on the show's content back in those days. (And which we're seeing crop up again, especially in shows on NBC networks like 'Heroes', 'Psych', 'Monk', and worst offender of all this season, 'Eureka'.) But eventually they got it right as far as showcasing the true star of the show.
Next year will be the tenth anniversary for the TV Crossover Hall of Fame and we're planning something special - four inductions a month, every week a rotating theme of these four categories - the League of Themselves, the Tooniverse, historical portrayals, and maybe locations. You can bet that oh so merry chuckleberry will be in that number!

Happy birthday, Huckleberry!
Toby O'B

Wednesday, October 1, 2008


At the nascent wiki for the new FOX series 'Fringe', questions are already being asked about the character played by Michael Cerveris, known by Homeland Security only as "The Observer".

What are the Observer's responsibilities besides monitoring
the Beacon?
Is the Observer human?

They also note:

The Observer is a man, or appears to be a man, who is bald and has no eyebrows. He eats very spicy foods as seen in "
The Arrival".
He was seen walking past the
Massive Dynamic building in "Pilot".
He was seen at the hospital with the aging man in "
The Same Old Story".
He was seen at
South Station bus terminal in "The Ghost Network".
He was seen several times in "
The Arrival".

And as Dr. Walter Bishop says to his son Peter:

"It was as if he knew my thoughts before I did. He made it clear that he would need me one day to return the favor, and this was it."

Eventually, I'm sure JJ Abrams and his 'Fringe' Folk will reveal the answer to us. But for now, here's a possibility: what if he's a member of Uatu's race of Watchers from Marvel Comics?

Just throwing that idea out there. Like Mushrat says, it's pozz'ble, it's pozz'ble.....

Toby O'B


Paul Newman's only appearance in Toobworld proper (which excludes talk show appearances and the like) actually is situated in the Tooniverse. In the 'Simpsons' episode "The Blunder Years", he appeared as himself. But he definitely existed in the TV Universe and his movies are held in high regard. Well, for the most part....

"Fastlane" (2002)
Van Ray:
It's not even a Steve McQueen movie. It's a Paul Newman movie, man. And the building does more acting.

"The Mary Tyler Moore Show" (1970)
{Mary Richards and the Incredible Plant Lady (#3.24)}
Rhoda Morgenstern:
If I felt that way I'd never go to a Paul Newman movie.

"Muppet Show, The" (1976)
{Juliet Prowse (#1.1)}
Juliet Prowse:
You mean to tell me that Paul Newman is here?

"Police Squad!" (1982)
{A Substantial Gift (The Broken Promise) (#1.1)}
Ted Olson:
As you can see, it completely destroys the Burt Reynolds interview, and everything from Bo Derek to Paul Newman - but only up to the point where Barbara asks him "is it difficult to love?" Now let me show you what happens when the gun is fired from three feet, which is the distance Sally claimed the shots were fired from.

What that actually meant I have no idea without seeing the episode again......
Toby O'B


From my Facebook page, I became a fan of Jack Handey's Deep Thoughts, and signed up for the application to get a daily one.

Here was my very first Deep Thought:

"When I was a child, there were times when we had to entertain ourselves. And usually the best way to do that was to turn on the TV."

Serendipiteevee, baby!
Toby O'B


I'm nearly done with my Netflix run of the 'Rosemary & Thyme' episodes starring Pam Ferris and one of my favorites, Felicity Kendal. Last night during my break, I watched the Christmas episode from 2005, "The Cup Of Silence" and was kept busy scribbling down the names of all of these movies that look to be found only in the Netflix of Toobworld.

The episode took place at a countryside hotel named Woodleigh Court owned by one brother, while the other inherited the neighboring vineyards where he bottled Crickle Valley wines. Back in the fifties and sixties, when the hotel estate was in disrepair, it had been leased out to moviemakers who created some low-budget "classics" on the site. Since then, movie lovers from all over Great Britain had flocked to the hotel grounds in order to see where some of their favorite movies had been filmed.

Even though I had the option to replay those key scenes in which these fictional movies were named, but even that didn't help me at times to catch the names of some of the actors and directors who were supposedly involved in these cinematic ventures. But those I did hear were the names of real celebrities. So even though the movies were creations of Toobworld, the actors involved were the televersions of actors from the Trueniverse.

Each of the rooms in the hotel were named after characters from these movies - the honeymoon suite was the "Lorna Doone" and the cramped quarters near the attic in which Rosemary and Laura were billeted was called the "Ebenezer Scrooge". (From their window, Scrooge called out to the passing boy on Christmas morning.)

So here's a Deep Six list of the movies that were mentioned during the episode:

"Dance Of The Viper Woman" - As with "Lorna Doone", no other information was given about it that I can remember....

"Ebenezer Scrooge" - This starred Wilfred Brambell, best known for playing Paul McCartney's grandfather in "A Hard Day's Night" and for being Albert Steptoe in 'Steptoe And Son'. Luckily for Toobworld, this credit was not mentioned, so there was no Zonk to be splained away.

"Pride & Prejudice" - One of many adaptations of the Jane Austen novel, this one featured Peter Cushing getting his teeth kicked out. (Of all these titles, this one actually exists! It was a television adaptation back in the 1950s. Luckily it wasn't mentioned as such, so we don't have to consider it a Zonk.)

"The Many Loves Of Genghis Khan" - Dennis Lotis and Kay Kendall starred in this film, which had its scene of the slaughter of the virgins staged at the Woodleigh Court summer house.

"The Body In The Boot" - Released in 1962 (perhaps by the legendary movie studio of Toobworld, Mammoth Studios?), this movie starred the late Hazel Court, one of the cinema's great "scream queens". An actor was also mentioned, but try as I might, the best I could make out was a name similar to "Douglas Watson". But I don't think that was correct.

Finally - and this is my favorite of the batch - Denis Price portrayed Sherlock Holmes in a movie made at Woodleigh Court, in which Cecil Parker was murdered by Professor Moriarty. I''m not sure who Parker played, but he would have made for a marvelous Dr. Watson in the Nigel Bruce vein.

As for who played Moriarty, that actor wasn't mentioned either, so it led me to do a bit of Wish-Craft. With Price of "Kind Hearts And Coronets" and Parker of "The LadyKillers" and "The Man In The White Suit" already involved, who better to play the Napoleon of Crime than the star of those aforementioned films, Sir Alec Guinness?

Even with Cecil Parker being killed in the movie, I could see this being a production of Ealing Studios because of those involved. After all, a little murder - or five - didn't keep "The Lady Killers" from being one of the greatest comedies ever filmed!

Toby O'B


Here's a press release from the Sundance Channel via Verne Gay's Newsday TV Zone blog (link to the left):

"Sundance Channel will pay tribute to Paul Newman tomorrow with the airing of “Iconoclasts: Redford and Newman” as well as “The Making of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” beginning at 6pm ET/PT. These two programs will be airing throughout the week...

Robert Redford also had a quote to go with this: "I have lost a real friend. My life — and this country — is better for his being in it."

Redford just lost his friend and less than two months ago he lost his cousin, actor Jeff MacKay, who played Mac on 'Magnum P.I.' and Corky in 'Tales Of The Gold Monkey'........

Toby O'B

Tuesday, September 30, 2008


After seeing Captain Awesome's "junk" in the shower, a traumatized 'Chuck' Bartowski was eating "Nuts & More" cereal.
But there's more to the joke than that......

The commenters at Alan Sepinwall's blog "What's Alan Watching?" (see the link to the left, Super Troopers!) are some of the most knowledgeable televisiologists I've ever "hung out" with (no "junk" involved). And Pamela Jaye added this tidbit o' trivia:

"Apparently it's a cross-network cereal, as Cristina has also eaten it, on 'Grey's Anatomy' - twice."

I'm taking her word for it. As a fictional product that enriches the TV Universe, "Nuts & More" can now link 'Chuck' to 'Grey's Anatomy'.

Someday I'm going to get the necessary pics that shows the breakfast cereal which links 'My Favorite Martian' to 'The Courtship Of Eddie's Father'!

Toby O'B


When Sheldon had to splain how he was able to pack so quickly on the season premiere of 'The Big Bang Theory', he told Leonard, "It's my pre-packed disaster evacuation bag. It’s recommended by the Department of Homeland Security and Sarah Connor." ("The Bad Fish Paradigm")

I love this kind of Zonk! The writer of the episode knew he didn't have to beat the audience over the head with who Sarah Connor was or what TV show/movie she's in, etc. This gives us plenty of leeway in disabling the Zonk.

Because the "Terminator" movies and the TV series 'Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles" were not mentioned by Sheldon, we can make the assumption he was talking about the actual woman.

Sheldon probably spends a lot of time on the internet, and he's probably come across websites that deal in revolutionary themes - survivalist manifestos, the Anarchist's Cookbook, that sort of thing. I don't think Sarah Connor herself would have posted about the do's and don'ts of survivalist preparedness, but her advice to others while she was hiding out with those South American rebels might have been passed on via the web.

And that's how Sheldon would have stumbled across the information... information... information.....

Zonk terminated!

Toby O'B


On the trip to the train station last week so that I could get back to Toobworld Central, my brother and I were talking about old TV mini-series. I mentioned my favorite, 'Centennial' and how I now owned the DVD boxed-set; the two-part TV movie 'Vanished', based on a novel by Fletcher Knebel and starring Richard Widmark with an all-star cast; and 'Captains And The Kings', based on the novel by Taylor Caldwell.

'Captains And The Kings' came up because of a blackmail sequence near the end of the original movie version of "All The King's Men", which we saw on TCM that Wednesday night. It reminded me of a scene between Richard Jordan and Henry Fonda in the mini-series.

When I got home, this e-mail was waiting for me from TV Shows On DVD:

We've added a news item for "Captains and the Kings (mini-series)" to the site. Here it is:

The Classic 1976 Drama Miniseries is Coming to DVD in January - 1:05 PM 9/29/2008 "Captains and the Kings" is on the way to DVD, and we've got the release date and cover art for you in the TVShowsOnDVD News!

the cover art for 'Captains And The Kings'.

Suze Orman says that I should lay off using the plastic and bring down my debt in these perilous financial times and I'm going to take her advice. But right after I order this, a Toobworld holy grail!

Toby O'B


The Greek philosopher Plato is the last in the triumvirate of historical figures whom Paul Newman portrayed on 'You Are There'.......

Plato (428/427 BC – 348/347 BC), was a Classical Greek philosopher, who, together with his mentor, Socrates, and his student, Aristotle, helped to lay the foundations of Western philosophy. Plato was also a mathematician, writer of philosophical dialogues, and founder of the Academy in Athens, the first institution of higher learning in the western world. Plato was originally a student of Socrates, and was as much influenced by his thinking as by what he saw as his teacher's unjust death.

Plato's sophistication as a writer can be witnessed by reading his Socratic dialogues. Some of the dialogues, letters, and other works that are ascribed to him are considered spurious. Although there is little question that Plato lectured at the Academy that he founded, the pedagogical function of his dialogues, if any, is not known with certainty. The dialogues since Plato's time have been used to teach a range of subjects, mostly including philosophy, logic, rhetoric, mathematics, and other subjects about which he wrote.

The trial of Socrates is the central, unifying event of the great Platonic dialogues. Because of this, Plato's
Apology is perhaps the most often read of the dialogues. In the Apology, Socrates tries to dismiss rumors that he is a sophist and defends himself against charges of disbelief in the gods and corruption of the young. Socrates insists that long-standing slander will be the real cause of his demise, and says the legal charges are essentially false. Socrates famously denies being wise, and explains how his life as a philosopher was launched by the oracle at Delphi. He says that his quest to resolve the riddle of the oracle put him at odds with his fellow man, and that this is the reason he has been mistaken for a menace to the city-state of Athens.

Here's an interesting look at the Cult of Plato.....

Aliens from another world came to Earth and were caught up by the teachings of Plato, which they took with them when they departed the planet. However, by the time the crew of the starship Enterprise met those same beings thousands of years later (in the 'Star Trek' episode "Plato's Stepchildren"), those values had been corrupted by their long-lived petty cruelties.

Others who have played Plato in Toobworld are Peter Needham in "The Apple", an episode of 'Hercules: The Legendary Journeys', and J.G. Hertzler in the "Double Time" episode of 'Sabrina The Teenage Witch'.

Toby O'B

Monday, September 29, 2008


I'm not sure it will work out, but I'm going to try for a Paul Newman-related Tiddlywinkydink every day this week. We'll see how it goes.

Paul Newman played three different historical figures on 'You Are There' - Brutus, Plato, and Nathan Hale.

There have been several portrayals of Nathan Hale on television over the years:

Kevin Anderson (I) (Nathan Hale)
. . . Hale the Hero (1992) (TV)

Brandon De Wilde (Young Nathan Hale)
. . . "Young Rebels, The" (1970) {To Hang a Hero (#1.4)} TV Series

Paul Newman (I) (Nathan Hale)
. . . "You Are There" (1953) {The Fate of Nathan Hale (September 22, 1776) (#2.1)} TV Series

Jeremy Slate (I) (Captain Nathan Hale)
. . . "Great Adventure, The" (1963) {The Story of Nathan Hale (#1.5)} TV Series

The TV movie starring Kevin Anderson should probably be considered the official standard bearer for Hale's life in the TV Universe, as it may be more detailed. But I always have a soft spot for those portrayals of historical figures in scripted TV series, when they interact with fictional characters. So I'm also leaning towards De Wilde's Nathan Hale in 'The Young Rebels', especially as the episode doesn't really interfere with established facts. The three main characters, members of the Yankee Doodle Society of spies and saboteurs, act on the periphery of the historical account.

Here is a biographical thumbnail sketch of Nathan Hale, courtesy of Wikipedia:

Nathan Hale (June 6, 1755 – September 22, 1776) was an officer for the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War. Widely considered America's first spy, he volunteered for an intelligence-gathering mission, but was captured by the British. He is best remembered for his speech before being hanged following the Battle of Long Island, in which he reportedly said, "I only regret that I have but one life to give my country."
Hale has long been considered an American hero and, in 1985, he was officially designated the state hero of Connecticut (my home state).

You can read more about him at his Wikipedia page.

That episode of 'The Young Rebels', "To Hang A Hero", shows Nathan Hale giving the full quote as "I am well satisfied with the cause in which I have engaged. I only regret that I have but one life to give for my country!"

In Toobworld, his sacrifice inspired the parents of Nathan Bridger ('Seaquest DSV') to name him after Hale. (However, this show probably takes place in an alternate dimension, perhaps the one that is home to Jeremy Slate's portrayal of the Revolutionary War hero on 'The Great Adventure'.

Coincidentally, Newman and De Wilde appeared together in the movie "Hud".........
I've always been honored that I share the same birthday as Nathan Hale, separated by 200 years......

Toby O'B


Whoopi Goldberg, Sherri Shepherd, and Elizabeth Hasselbeck all appeared as their televersions in the Toobworld version of 'The View' on this week's "Fire Sale" episode of 'Entourage'. For Whoopi, it's another notch in her League of Themselves tally as she brings more shows together in the TV Universe.

"30 Rock" .... Herself
- The Rural Juror (2007)

Jiminy Glick in Lalawood (2004)
[A movie, but spun off from a TV character]

"Cursed" .... Herself
- ...And Then the Sex Freaked Jack Out (2001)

"Movie Stars" .... Herself
- Oscar Wild (2000)

"The Nanny" .... Herself
- Making Whoopi (1998)

"L.A. Doctors" .... Herself
- A Prayer for the Lying (1998)

"Muppets Tonight" .... Herself
- Episode #1.9 (1996)

For alls I know, there may be others.....

And as the reflection in this funhouse mirror, here's a picture of the cast from 'Entourage' on the real version of 'The View' in Las Vegas:
Toby O'B

Sunday, September 28, 2008


The Netflix of Toobworld gained seven more movies with "The Mousetrap", the latest episode of 'Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles'. We got to see a clip from "Beast Wizard 7", a movie that starred George Lazlo and which was a direct to video cheapie that didn't make any money... until the Terminator that looked like Lazlo killed 20 FBI agents.

According to Elisa, who posted a comment on Alan Sepinwall's blog (link to the left, T-1000s!): "The B-Movie within the show was a direct scene steal (lines and everything) from Beastmaster, a cheesy B-movie from the 80s starring Marc Singer (of V fame) and Tanya Roberts (Sheena lives!) that spawned some sequels including cheesy syndicated TV-show."
If so, we don't have to worry about any Zonks here. The Beastmaster actually lived in Toobworld back in the Time of Legend, and instead of having movies titled "The Beast Master" - as we do in the real world - Toobworld had at least seven movies in the "Beast Wizard" franchise, which would have been based on the life of the Beastmaster. The Marc Singer movie has no place in Toobworld.

(When Crow T. Robot queries "Beastmaster?" while watching "Pod People" on 'Mystery Science Theatre 3000', he was riffing on Dar, the actual Beastmaster, not the movie character. And "Andrew Lloyd Webber's 'Beastmaster' on 'Robot Chicken' belongs in a different TV dimension.)

Toby O'B


Paul Newman would have been quite a coup in casting as Mark Valley's father in just about any project. But especially in an episode of 'Keen Eddie', back when he was healthier.

Just sayin', is all.....

Toby O'B


As I mentioned in my tribute to Paul Newman, I mentioned the rumor that Brutus was the bastard son of Julius Caesar. (Paul Newman played Brutus on an episode of 'You Are There'.)

Here's some more about Brutus from Wikipedia:

Marcus Junius Brutus (85–42 BC) or Quintus Servilius Caepio Brutus was a Roman senator of the late Roma
n Republic. He is best known in modern times for taking a leading role in the assassination conspiracy against Julius Caesar.

Brutus was the son of Marcus Junius Brutus the Elder and Servilia Caepionis. His father was a legatus to Pompey the Great; his mother was the half-sister of Cato the Younger, and later became Julius Caesar's mistress. Some sources refer to the possibility of Caesar being his real father, but this is unlikely since Caesar was 15 at the time of Brutus' birth.

Brutus' uncle, Quintus Servilius Caepio, adopted him when he was a young man and Brutus was known as Quintus Servilius Caepio Brutus for an unknown period of time.Brutus held his uncle in high regard and his political career started when he became an assistant to Cato, during his governorship of Cyprus. During this time, he enriched himself by lending money at high rates of interest. He returned to Rome a rich man, where he married Claudia Pulchra. From his first appearance in the Senate, Brutus aligned with the Optimates (the conservative faction) against the First Triumvirate of Marcus Licinius Crassus, Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus and Gaius Julius Caesar.

Around this time, many senators began to fear Caesar's growing power following his appointment as dictator for life. Brutus was pressured into joining the conspiracy against Caesar by the other senators and he also discovered messages written on the busts of his ancestors. Brutus, influenced by his loyalty to Cato and Porcia, finally decided to move against Caesar in 44 BC. His wife was the only woman privy to the plot.

The conspirators planned to carry out their plot on the Ides of March that same year. On that day, Caesar was delayed going to the Senate because his wife, Calpurnia Pisonis, tried to convince him not to go. The conspirators feared the plot had been found out. Brutus persisted, however, waiting for Caesar at the Senate, and allegedly still chose to remain even when a messenger brought him news that would otherwise have caused him to leave.

When Caesar finally did come to the Senate, they attacked him. Publius Servilius Casca was allegedly the first to attack Caesar with a blow to the shoulder, which Caesar blocked. However, upon seeing Brutus was with the conspirators, he covered his face with his toga and resigned himself to his fate.

The conspirators attacked in such numbers that they even wounded one another. Brutus is said to have been wounded in the hand.

Toby O'B