Saturday, October 11, 2008


You'll see in my blogroll a listing for Win Scott Eckert's excellent site about "The Wold Newton Universe", which is filled with articles about the connections between hundreds of characters in the multiverse - from pulp novels, movies, TV shows, comic books. It was a concept first proposed by author Philip Jose Farmer in books like "Tarzan Alive!" and Win has provided an excellent showcase for such speculation.

There's a new entry in this type of crossover fiction and at its center is probably the most unlikely of heroines to bring together the classic characters of Conan Doyle, Burroughs, Melville, Haggard, Washington Irving, and the Cthulhu Mythos of Lovecraft - Becky Sharp, originally of "Vanity Fair" by William Makepeace Thackeray.

"The Eldritch New Adventures of Becky Sharp" by Micah S. Harris is a fun adventure story in which we also meet Sherlock Holmes, Tarzan, Ishmael, Professor Lidenbrock, She Who Must Be Obeyed, the Scarecrow of Romney Marsh, the dwarves from the story about Rip Van Winkle, and even King Kong! And overshadowing it all are the Great Old Ones.

I think I can safely state that "The Eldritch New Adventures Of Becky Sharp" will win the Toobit Award for novel most deserving of a TV adaptation. (A television mini-series would be best - there's just too much going on than could ever be fit into one movie!)

But if it was developed for Television, I'm afraid you'd never see it in the main Toobworld. It would have to be relegated to some alternate TV dimension, perhaps even rewarded with its own world. That's because even though many of those same characters exist in Toobworld, their TV productions are not mirror adaptations of the source material from which Micah has woven his tale.

For instance, Holmes, Ishmael, and Captain Clegg (Dr. Syn) existed in the correct time periods in their respective productions, but Tarzan was updated to the 1960s, rather than the Victorian/Edwardian period in the original Burroughs novel.

But if I could have that dream TV cast for a production of "The Eldritch New Adventures Of Becky Sharp", I'd stick with as many of the original actors as possible. (At least one of them is dead, yes, but like I said, it's a DREAM cast!)

BECKY SHARP: Susan Hampshire from her Emmy-winning performance in 1972's version of "Vanity Fair". (There have been at least three TV productions so far.)
"LORD EUGENIDES" (TARZAN): Ron Ely from that 1960s TV series.
CAPTAIN CLEGG/PADRE PERDITIO (DR. SYN): Patrick McGoohan in the Disney three-part mini-series.
SHERLOCK HOLMES: Ronald Howard may have been on the air first, but Jeremy Brett is the definitive Holmes!
PROFESSOR LIDENBROCK: Pierre Richard played the underworld explorer in a French mini-series a few years back. He's meant to be younger in the book, but you go with what you've got. Other TV adaptations of the novel abandoned the Verne plot entirely and came up with new characters.
UNCLE REMUS: Garrett Morris, as seen in a sick sketch with "Mr. Mike" O'Donaghue on 'Saturday Night Live'. (And weren't all the sketches involving Michael O'Donaghue sick and twisted?)

The Dark Ones from Lovecraft's stories about the Cthulhu Mythos were invoked in a 'Night Gallery' vignette starring Carl Reiner. I'm not certain if Tulu was specifically mentioned, but if so it would be by its true name, Cthulhu. And Cthulhu has shown up over in the Tooniverse in an episode of 'The Grim Adventures of Billy And Mandy'
Two characters from "Moby Dick" figure in the story, with only of them actually appearing. Considering the age of Ishmael in this novel, I'd go with Richard Basehart from the movie, but as he looked as an old salt in an episode of 'Gunsmoke'. As played by Henry Thomas in the production from a few years back, we'd have to wait awhile for Ishmael to look the right age.

Queequeg of "Moby Dick" is mentioned often, but Becky never catches up with him. So he wouldn't be in this fantasy TV mini-series, but I think Lance Reddick would have been an excellent choice in the role.....
Captain Nemo also appears in the novel, but Toobworld has always gone more for the Disneyfied version of the character rather than for the Prince Dakkar as favored by Allan Moore in his graphic novel, "The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen". So we could perhaps recast that role afresh, as we would with the Kaatskills dwarves, Tulu, King Kong, and She Who Must Be Obeyed.

If you enjoyed the graphic novel of "The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen" by Allan Moore, you should find this novel to be of interest. And it has a great cover by Loston Wallace of Becky which reminded me of Frazetta's classic "Tits 'n' Lizards" cover for National Lampoon in a way. (I think it was that totem in the background....)

To learn more about the book, especially for how to purchase it, visit

Micah's site. You'll also find the first two chapters there as a sampler. Check it out!

Toby O'B


"Six Months Leave", a recent episode of 'Mad Men', took place just after the death of Marilyn Monroe. When the news of her death broke, many in the offices of Sterling-Cooper wondered why she would have killed herself when it seemed like she had everything going for her.

In time, the questions began to broaden as people wondered if somebody else was responsible for her death; that it was murder, not suicide. Among those suspected were the mob, Communists, her psychiatrist, and the Kennedys.

There are plenty of links out there that take a look at this. Here are just four of them.





In Toobworld, the evidence leans toward suicide despite how much all of these conspiracies lend themselves to the basic nature of the TV Universe. That's because of an episode of 'Quantum Leap', in which Sam leapt into the life of someone close to the movie star during her final days. (It was one of two episodes of the series in which producer Donald Bellisario wanted to showcase his personal beliefs as to what happened in these mysteries of History. The other episode was about Lee Harvey Oswald, and Bellisario believes he was a lone gunman, with no over-riding conspiracy behind him.)

Toby O'B

Friday, October 10, 2008


I had a dream during the night about the new version of 'Life On Mars', specifically about Michael Imperioli's incarnation of Ray Carling. (Should have tweaked the name slightly for this version to "Carlino".)

No, it wasn't THAT kind of a dream. Not with Imperioli, especially!

What was getting to me were all the one-liners he kept coming up with for each situation. (My favorite: "He's crazier than a fruit bat at a cranberry convention.") At first I thought it was just making him cartoonish. Then I thought - well, he's probably just a figment of Sam's imagination anyway, so he could have two heads at any time as well.

But then I thought - hey, this world of 1973 in Sam's mind is pretty detailed. So maybe this Ray Carling has a reason to spouting all of these wisecracks.

So I'm thinking - what if he wants to be the next Joseph Wambaugh? The next cop to write a major best-seller about his experiences? And so what we're seeing is Ray trying out all of these lines that he might use in a book that he's writing.

They'll probably never use that idea - and they're welcome to it if they stumbled across it here - but it doesn't hurt the overall game plan as is to think that it still might be the case.

Toby O'B


Stanford University had a good showing for itself last year in Toobworld, with characters connected to the college in the following shows:

'Knight Rider' (the pilot movie)
'Boston Legal'
'The Big Bang Theory'

And now, with the 2008 season underway, they've already got another mention in 'CSI'.

When Sara and Greg went to Warrick's apartment to get some of his personal belongings, Sara found tickets to a basketball game between Stanford and Western Las Vegas University - the fictional go-to school of higher learning on that show. If it's college-related, it happens at WLVU.

The tickets - as if the opening scene wasn't enough! - establishes that the season premiere picks up immediately following the events of last season's finale. Probably with next week's episode they'll be more synchronous with the current timeline.
Toby O'B


I'm expecting that in order to cement the time and place of the American version of 'Life On Mars' as 1973, there will be plenty of references to the TV shows of that time. (This is something that happens with 'Mad Men' as well, to the point I'm pretty much resigned to the idea I may have to chuck that show into an alternate TV dimension.)

The series premiere debuted last night with the episode "Out Here In The Fields" (a song lyric reference to The Who - THANK GOD it's not just known as "Pilot"!). And sure enough, there were three "Zonks" we'll have to deal with. Luckily, I think I can disable them all.

Near the end of the episode, the TV was on in Sam's new "flop" and we saw a scene from 'Kojak' with Lt. Theo Kojak talking to some guy. 'Kojak' would be THE New York detective to millions across the country in that time period (as probably Andy Sipowicz of 'NYPD Blue' might be for now....), and the clip served as a nice touchstone to how "real" the detectives of the 125 supposedly were in contrast.

But even so, Theo Kojak should exist in the same TV Universe as Sam Tyler, if not Gene, Ray, Chris, and Annie. (I'm most curious as to how far this version of 'Life On Mars' will take the storyline's similarity to the British original.)

Fortunately, the sound was off for that 'Kojak' clip, so we can pretty much extrapolate any theory we want for why he was on the toob! So I'm going to make a stand for it being the evening news, and Lt. Kojak was being interviewed by a reporter. Usually I don't like to have pre-existing scenes be re-used for other purposes (such as with my "Fanficcer's Friend" feature), but in this case I think it's a necessity.
Then there was this line of dialogue from Annie "No Nuts" Norris:

"I'm about as qualified as Dr. Kildare."

The knee-jerk reaction from those who know their TV history would be that Annie was referring to the 'Dr. Kildare' played by Richard Chamberlain in the early sixties. But again, he should be sharing the same TV Universe as Sam and Kojak.

There was a TV show in 1972, which was videotaped and syndicated called 'Young Dr. Kildare'. In the cosmography of the TV Universe, it's a show that has to be relegated to an alternate TV dimension since Toobworld already has the aforementioned Kildare.

But it could also be that Toobworld had a TV series by that same name in that same time period, but this one was based on the life of the actual Dr. Kildare. And it was a show that Annie was obviously familiar with. She probably considered it popular enough for Sam to pick up the reference, when in fact he was probably thinking she was talking about the real physician.

Finally, there was the Alka-Seltzer blipvert in which we saw Oliver Clark and an unidentified actress, playing husband and wife and singing "Plop plop fizz fizz! Oh, what a relief it is!" (Which I think was meant to act as commentary on what was happening in the episode.)
Alka-Seltzer is an established product in Toobworld (seen in countless series like 'Two And A Half Men', and actually mentioned in a quote from 'My Family', if not in other shows as well). At the same time, it's also part of the TV Universe in that Speedy Alka-Seltzer was some kind of magical being who could appear to people in dire need of gastrointestinal relief (like this mailman played by Buster Keaton).

So this particular Alka-Seltzer commercial was also made in Toobworld, but that doesn't necessarily have to be Oliver Clark; it could be one of his TV characters. And I'd like to think it's John Doe #6 from 'St. Elsewhere' in his previous life before he suffered amnesia. Whoever that previous identity might have been, he could have worked as an actor!

(And it gives me a reason to post a picture of Oliver Clark - seen here as Mr. Herd in 'The Bob Newhart Show' - who is so sorely under-represented in the Google image search!)
Toby O'B


I don't remember if it happened as much in the first season, but this year 'Mad Men' has anchored each episode with either a day of observance or an historical event in 1962. There's been the crash of American Airlines Flight One into Jamaica Bay, the last three Sundays of Lent.... And with the second episode, it was a combination of both - Valentine's Day and Jackie Kennedy's televised tour of the White House.

"Six Month Leave" was set after August 5, 1962, indicated by everyone's obsession over the tragic death of Marilyn Monroe.

Don Draper was seen looking at the headline about her death in the New York World-Telegram. It was a good paper to use, as it helped nail the time period. In a city which used to have nine daily papers (at least), the New York World-Telegram was the last to fold, leaving the Big Three: the Times, the Post (ugh), and the Daily News. (Of course, in Toobworld there are still at least three more - the Ledger, the Gazette, and the Chronicle.)

From Wikipedia:

The New York World-Telegram, later known as the New York World-Telegram and Sun, was a New York City newspaper from 1931 to 1966.

The World-Telegram was formed in 1931, following the sale of the New York World by the heirs of Joseph Pulitzer to Scripps Howard, owners of the Evening Telegram since 1927. More than 2,000 employees of the morning, evening and Sunday editions of the World lost their jobs in the merger, although some star writers, like Heywood Broun and Westbrook Pegler, were kept on the new paper.

The World-Telegram enjoyed a reputation as a liberal paper for some years after the merger, based on memories of the Pulitzer-owned World. However, under Scripps Howard the paper moved steadily to the right, eventually becoming a conservative bastion.
In 1950, the World-Telegram acquired the remnants of another afternoon paper, the New York Sun, to become the New York World-Telegram and Sun. (The writer A.J. Liebling once described the "and Sun" portion of the combined publication's masthead as resembling the tail feathers of a canary on the chin of a cat.)

Early in 1966, a proposal to create New York's first joint operating agreement led to the merger of the World-Telegram and Sun with Hearst's Journal American. The intention was to produce a joint afternoon edition, with a separate morning paper to be produced by the Herald Tribune. But when strikes prevented the JOA from taking effect, the papers instead united in August 1966 to become the short-lived New York World-Journal-Tribune, which was nicknamed "The Widget."

The World-Journal-Tribune lasted only until May 5, 1967. Its closure left New York City with three daily newspapers: The New York Times, the New York Post, and the New York Daily News.

Toby O'B

Thursday, October 9, 2008


The Multiverse, a combination of fictional universes focused on various outlets for Mankind's creative spark (literature, movies, television, music, Hallmark cards, etc.), is getting all wibbley wobbley with the release of a new book this coming week from Simon and Schuster. "I Am Not A Cop!" is about an actor who plays a TV detective but who also solves a murder mystery on the side.

The actor in the novel is Richard Belzer. The cop he plays on TV is John Munch.

The author of the book is Richard Belzer, the actor who plays John Munch on 'Law & Order: Special Victims Unit' currently. (He created the character on 'Homicide: Life On The Street' and has gone on to appear in about eight other TV series as Munch. John Munch is the crossover king; he's seen above in one of the final episodes of 'The Wire'.)

The project reminds me of that series of mystery novels from the nineties written by off-beat country singer Kinky Friedman, which centered on off-beat country singer Kinky Friedman and his real-life pals.

Can't wait to see what the reviews are for this one!

Toby O'B


On the left is THE Hercules of Toobworld, as seen on 'Hercules: The Legendary Journeys'. On the right, that's Leo Francisi of the new CW show 'Valentine, Inc.'. And apparently, he's supposed to be Hercules as well. (At one point, Aphrodite called him "Hercules Leonardo Johnson". But that was in the pilot, so maybe his name has been altered again.)

Toobworld Central accepts that gods can change their appearance, so for any other Greek "deity", I could accept the recastaway. However, 'Hercules: The Legendary Journeys' established that the original Hercules is still around, living in Los Angeles, and is known today as Kevin Sorbo.

This is easy enough to splain away - Leo Francisi is the son of the original Hercules. I'm sure Hercules has taken lovers and sired children over the millennia. Leo could even be several generations separated from the founder of the family tree.

And if they get more specific about his background on 'Valentine, Inc.' to the point where he is credited with the actions of the original, we can splain that away as well. Leo was just emulating his famous ancestor. And if they say he was alive back in the Age of Legend, fine. He's an immortal; no problem!

You can get away with a lot with the gods!

Toby O'B


It's not what you think....

When Alan Sepinwall blogged about "Goodbye To All That" (the latest episode in 'The Sarah Connor Chronicles'), Emerald Liz said...

My main takeaway from this episode was thinking "Hmm, getting John serious military training rather than this rag tag leaping around piecemeal crap. How smart would it have been to try and make that a serious goal rather than a nifty side effect from this weeks plot line?"

It does seem like John's future goals would be better suited if he went to a military academy, rather than giving him the semblance of a normal life by enrolling him at a public high school.

But Presidio Alto, however, is too far away from Los Angeles to suit Sarah's needs*. Sarah should get John enrolled (under an assumed name of course) at the Haynes Academy, just outside of Los Angeles proper. We saw the Haynes Military Academy in the 'Columbo' episode "By Dawn's Early Light".

O'Bviously the academy is not run by Colonel Lyle C. Rumford anymore, since he was arrested (and most likely convicted) of the murder of the man who owned the school. (And besides, since Patrick McGoohan was playing the role as an older man. Thirty years on, one way or another, Rumford is most likely dead in Toobworld.)

William Haynes had plans to turn Haynes Academy into a co-ed school. Those plans could still have come to fruition and yet still be a military academy, what with so many women now in the armed forces. Therefore, they could get Cameron enrolled into the school as well to keep an eye on John.

Just an idea.....

Toby O'B

*Presidio Alto could be located near Alto Coma, California, where UBS broadcast 'America 2Night' back in the 70s with Barth Gimble as host.


2008 has been a bad year as far as losing Los Angeles-based TV icons from the past - Engineer Bill, newsman George Putnam, music show host Lloyd Thaxton (just the other day), and now Chucko the Clown - in real life, Charles Runyon.

For nearly a decade, Chucko hosted a daily birthday party with his "peanut gallery" filled with kids whose birthday was that particular day.

I grew up in Connecticut, so I can't give Chucko and Mr. Runyon the proper tip o' the Toob-hat they deserve. So check out
Mark Evanier's tribute at his blog "News From ME", complete with a video remembrance from a TV special hosted by Tony Dow. (The blog is regularly listed to the left as well.)

A little song, a little dance...
A little seltzer down your pants.

Toby O'B


Irene Dailey, an actress who devoted her life to the theatre and who was the sister of Dan Dailey, has died at the age of 88. She played Nettie Cleary in the 1964 Broadway production of "The Subject Was Roses" (a role which went to Patricia Neal for the movie version).

But she was also known for her TV work. Here is an excerpt from Dennis Hevesi's obituary published in the New York Times on October 6th:

From 1974 to 1986, and then again from 1988 to 1994, Miss Dailey played Liz Matthews in 'Another World' — an upper-class-bred matriarch of a middle-class family dealing with the convolutions of life in the fictional town of Bay City. For that role, Miss Dailey won a Daytime Emmy Award for outstanding actress in 1979.

Many fans of 'The Twilight Zone' should also remember her from the episode "Mute", which also starred Ann Jillian as the little girl with telepathic powers. Ms. Dailey played the brutally strict teacher who broke the girl's use of her gift. It's probably the most disturbing episode I've ever seen of that show.
Here is the registry of characters who were given life in Toobworld by Irene Dailey:


"Another World" (1964) TV series .... Elizabeth 'Aunt Liz' Matthews #4

"The Edge of Night" (1956) .... Pamela Stewart

"NET Playhouse"
- The Sand Castle
- Home (1968) .... Ruth

"Hawk" .... Hallie
- How Close Can You Get? (1966)

"The Nurses" .... Annie Cloyne
- Threshold (1965)

"Ben Casey" .... Caroline Bullard
- Heap Logs and Let the Blaze Laugh Out (1964)

"The Eleventh Hour" .... Agatha Miller
- The Bride Wore Pink (1963)

"Dr. Kildare" .... Sara Beth Anderson
- A Trip to Niagara (1963)

"The Twilight Zone" .... Miss Frank
- Mute (1963)

"Sam Benedict" .... Amelia Carter
- Everybody's Playing Polo (1962)

"The Defenders" .... Mrs. Prinzler
- The Avenger (1962)

"Naked City"
- Goodbye Mama, Hello Auntie Maud
- Four Sweet Corners (1959)

"Decoy" .... Millie Baker
- Blind Date (????)

Jigsaw (1972) (TV) .... Mrs. Cummings

Toby O'B


Bill Compton mentioned in 'True Blood' that he had been a part of the 28th Louisiana Infantry, under the command of Colonel Henry Gray [pictured below], and which had been formed in Monroe in 1862.

Here's the chronology for the 28th's formation during April and May of that year:

4/1/62 Rifles and cartridges purchased and imported from England by Louisiana Governor Thomas Moore are seized by Florida's Governor Milton.

4/7/62 Union won 2 day Battle of Shiloh, Tn.

4/24/62 Federal fleet passes Ft. Jackson and St, Philip below New Orleans.

4/26/62 Company F, The Jackson Volunteers, began forming at Vernon in Jackson Parish.

4/29/62 New Orleans, La. fell to Union Fleet under Admiral David G. Farragut.

5/1/62 Union General Benjamin Butler took possession of New Orleans, La.

5/7/62 Company K, of Winn Parish began signing up in Monroe.

5/8/62 Company A, The Bienville Stars, and Company H, also of Bienville Parish, signed up in Monroe.

5/10/62 Company C, of Jackson Parish and Company E, Of Winn Parish, sign up in Monroe.

5/11/62 Company D, the Claiborne Invincibles, and Company I sign up in Monroe

5/12/62 Union General Thomas Williams captured Baton Rouge.

5/14/62 Company G, of Winn Parish signed up in Monroe.

For a full timeline of the 28th Infantry and its involvement in the War Between The States, check out this link.

Toby O'B

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


FitzWilliam Darcy of 'Pride And Prejudice' has been established to be part of the TV Universe, as well as of the literary universe (and the movie universe!), thanks to various adaptations over the years. So it's possible that Jim Darcy - that X-15 test pilot mentioned here the other day in that post about 'The Premonition' episode of 'The Outer Limits' - could be descended from the union of Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennett.

And as there would have been quite a few divergences from the family tree since the Regency period, we could also make the claim that most everyone with the surname of Darcy whom we might meet in a TV show episode is also descended from FitzWilliam Darcy.

Where's the harm in that, eh?

Toby O'B


Larry Carroll at the MTV Movie Blog has an opinion piece up about the new DirecTV blipvert which uses Craig T. Nelson as his character in "Poltergeist" to shill the dish TV service.
The thing is, the iconic moment in the movie is, of course, Heather O'Rourke as little Carol Anne, looking away from the screen full of TV snow and saying, "They're heeeeeere!" That scene is included and a young actress is used to fill in for Heather - who passed away years ago at the age of 12 from toxic shock and cardiac arrest.

There's just something creepy about this recastaway.......

Toby O'B


As we're getting closer to the end of the year, I thought I should list all of the inductees (so far) into the TV Crossover Hall of Fame for 2008.....


January - Rusty Williams
February - Grady Wilson
March - Betty White
April - Jose Jiminez

May - Emily Hartley
June - Topo Gigio
Birthday Honors - Archibald Beechcroft

July - Kwai Chang Caine
August - Doc Holliday
September - Jamie Tarses
October - Grandpa & Lily Munster

Two more entrants to go! Usually November is reserved for newsmakers and/or politicians, and hopefully we can maintain the tradition of a holiday entry for a few more years....

Next year is the tenth anniversary of the TV Crossover Hall of Fame, and we'll be celebrating by inducting someone new each week based on four rotating themes: the League of Themselves, Cartoon Characters, Historical Figures, and a fourth still to be determined. (I'm leaning towards locations.)

I probably should have reserved Archibald Beechcroft for next year's birthday honors, considering how transcendentally universal he is as a Toobworld character. Oh well. I was so excited when the idea came to me, I couldn't wait to get him into the Hall. After all, who knows what the future holds?

Toby O'B


For the month of October, it's tradition for the TV Crossover Hall of Fame to induct a Toobworld monster, or a TV character who can be considered monstrous. In the past, this has included the Witch Doctor, Dr. Bombay, Tribbles, Jack the Ripper, Sweet the Demon, Lee Harvey Oswald, and the Frankenstein Monsters (including Herman Munster). Of course, we've also inducted others during October who had special occasions to mark during that month, like Captain Kangaroo, Dr. Emil Szoda, Frank Barone, and Jed Clampett and Granny Moses.

This October, we're sticking with the Halloween tradition. But this time we're inducting two TV characters, a father and daughter in memory of two actors who passed away in the last few years: "Grandpa Munster" Dracula and his daughter Lily Munster, in honor of Al Lewis and Yvonne DeCarlo.
Both of them spent two years on the sitcom 'The Munsters', as well as appearing in the theatrical release "Munster, Go Home!". This can be considered one of those movies from the "Cineverse" which are also a part of Toobworld. Nearly twenty years after the show went off the air, they were reunited in a TV movie entitled "The Munsters' Revenge". And Grandpa had an additional credit to his tally with the "Grey Skies" episode of 'Hi Honey, I'm Home', in which he "slid" from Toobworld to an alternate TV dimension which watches the same TV shows we watch and yet is still a TV show itself.

Two years ago, I wrote about
Vlad Dracul of Brooklyn and how he became a vampire. I still stand by my theories even though parts of it have been challenged, but I will admit some of it could still be tweaked.

As for Lily Munster, here are the basics in her biography (gathered by Vincent Terrace for his book "Television Character and Story Facts":

"Lily, Herman's wife, is a vampire whose maiden name is Dracula. She is 304 years old and married Herman in 1865. Her favorite charity is Bundles For Transylvania'; her and Herman's favorite food is Bat Milk Yogurt."

I'm going to take exception with what many would consider to be established fact - I don't think Lily Munster was a vampire. In the opening credits, we see Brooklyn Vlad, now known in the family as "Grandpa Munster", attempt to tap into his own daughter's vein for a little sip. Why would a vampire want to drink the ichor of another vampire?

But what if she wasn't a vampire? What if Grandpa's daughter looked that way and was as old as she was because she was some other kind of supernatural being? I'm thinking - especially as her name was Lily, which could be short for Lilith, and because she could go out in the daytime with no ill effects - that Lily Munster was a witch instead of a vampire.

It's worth an argument over a beer sometime if you're so inclined to meet up with me at the Corner Bar - and so long as you're paying! - but it's not worth the destruction of Toobworld's structural integrity. (When it comes to vampires, it's wise to never stick your neck out over anything!)
And so, for October of 2008, Toobworld Central is paying tribute to the memories of Vlad Dracul, formerly of Brooklyn and later Transylvania, and his daughter Lily Munster by inducting them into the TV Crossover Hall of Fame.

Toby O'B


During the flashback segment in this week's episode of 'True Blood', we were introduced to the backwoods woman who "embraced" Lt. William Thomas Compton in the kindred of vampirism back in the mid-1860s. She told him, while he still thought her to be a mortal woman, that her own husband served in the 13th Infantry at the Battle of Shiloh under Colonel Gibson.

Lt. Compton made a slight grimace and turned away; from that we know that even if he didn't know of her husband personally, he must have known what happened to him. And it couldn't have been good.

Here's an excerpt from an historical narrative of the
Battle of Shiloh:

Back at the sunken road, Confederate General Hardee had relinquished command to General Bragg who had been ordered to break that Union line at all costs. Bragg, who by nature was aggressive and often overbearing, was determined to drive the Federals to the banks of the Tennessee River, but didn't know for sure how he was going to do it. He ordered Colonel Randall Gibson to take his First Brigade and attack the center of the Federal line at the sunken road and to continue to attack until he either captured, routed or destroyed Prentiss' men.

At about 12:30, Colonel Gibson ordered the first assault on the sunken road. The Federals responded with cannon fire until the Confederates were within a few yards, then opened up with a hail of musket balls. The Confederates fell back, regrouped, fired a volley and charged again. As entire companies fell, more were brought up to charge the Federal position. Tree limbs were shattered by cannon balls and exploding shells. Bark was torn off by musket fire and thrown through the air like shrapnel. Both sides were being torn apart, but the Confederates were still unable to break the Union line.

Wounded Confederates made their way to the comrades in the rear and told of the carnage on the line. They told of the blood and the bodies along the old road, and the sound of the bullets whizzing through the trees. They said it sounded like a swarm of hornets passing over their heads, and soon the sunken road had a new nickname. It would go down in the history of the Civil War...and in the history of the 23rd Missouri "The Hornet's Nest".

By 2:30 in the afternoon, Gibson's brigade was all but shattered. Bragg ordered more men forward and told Gibson to continue the attack. More attacks were made on the Hornet's Nest, but the Federals continued to hold.
Here's an excerpt from General Bragg's report looking into Colonel Randall L. Gibson's conduct during that fateful battle:

Col. R. L. Gibson, Thirteenth Louisiana Volunteers, commanding at the battle of Shiloh the First Brigade of Ruggles' division, asks for a court of inquiry into his official conduct upon that occasion, and bases his application upon the allegation that General Bragg, in his report of the battle, does him injustice. I have examined the report carefully, and find the first reference of General Bragg to Colonel Gibson to be on the fourth page, and in the following words:

In moving over the difficult and broken ground the right brigade of Ruggles' division, Colonel Gibson commanding, bearing to the right, became separated from the two left brigades, ]caving a broad interval. Three regiments of Major-General Polk's command opportunely came up and filled up the interval.

The second reference is upon the fifth page, where, after speaking of General Hindman's command, the following remarks occur:

Leaving them to hold their position, I moved farther to the right and brought up the First Brigade (Gibson) of Ruggles' division, which was in rear of its true position, and threw them forward to attack this same point. A very heavy fire soon opened, and after a short conflict this command fell back in considerable disorder. Rallying the different regiments by means of my staff officers and escort, they were twice more moved to the attack, only to be driven back by the enemy's sharpshooters occupying the thick cover. This result was due entirely to want of proper handling.

These are the only specific references in the report to Colonel Gibson or his command.

For the full collection of reports back and forth between Colonel Gibson and his superiors, with supportive letters from those under Gibson's command, check this link.

General Gibson was later an agent for Paul Tulane in founding Tulane University, of which Gibson was the first president of the board in 1885. He was elected (but not seated) as a Democrat in the U.S. House of Representatives in 1872; he was reelected and seated two years later and served continuously until 1882. From 1883 to 1892, he served in the U.S. Senate.

Toby O'B


On Monday night in two different series, "The Incredible Hulk" as a comic book was cited. On 'Heroes', Micah made reference to it when talking about his late mother's super-strength to Tracy, a woman who looked just like Nikki/Jessica. And the guys on 'The Big Bang Theory' thought that any possible relationship between Sheldon and Penny would be like some bizarre comics crossover - like the Hulk dating Peppermint Patty, for instance.

Within the reality of Toobworld, this comic book about the Hulk must have come out after the "real" Hulk was first created by David Banner's exposure to gamma rays. In the years since the TV show and its sequel movies have gone off the air, the truth about the Hulk have become public knowledge. And since there have been no reports of him still out there on the rampage being mentioned on any other TV show, it could be that either David Banner finally found the cure for his condition, or he's been imprisoned all of this time, or that he's dead.

One of the results of the Hulk's identity becoming known would be this comic book series mentioned by Micah and the 'Big Bang' nerds. The facts of the story appear to have been altered, however, as the Hulk's alter-ego is referred to as Bruce Banner. David Banner's middle name was Bruce.

If it turns out a TV reference from some show prior to 'The Incredible Hulk' ever turns up, then I'll have to do the Splainin Dance again to adjust the discrepancy.

Toby O'B

Tuesday, October 7, 2008


I just learned from Michael about this article in the New York Times:

There’s that word again: maverick. In Thursday’s vice-presidential debate, Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska, the Republican candidate, used it to describe herself and her running mate, Senator John McCain, no fewer than six times, at one point calling him “the consummate maverick.”

But to those who know the history of the word, applying it to Mr. McCain is a bit of a stretch — and to one Texas family in particular it is even a bit offensive.

the whole article here.

There are very few Mavericks in Toobworld - Bret, Bart, Pappy, Beau, Ben, and Brent (who might have been Dr. Doug Philips of 'The Time Tunnel' using an alias... or the 'Quantum Leap' accelerator!)

I've always wanted 'Maverick' to be updated to modern times, and with the new incarnation, the Maverick in the spotlight should be a woman. (I once suggested Courtney Cox, but I'm thinking Jaime Murray now......)

As Lloyd Bentsen might have said to John McCain: "Senator, I watched 'Maverick'. 'Maverick' was one of my favorite shows. You, Sir, are no 'Maverick'."

As Terrelita Maverick says in that NY Times article: “He’s a Republican,” she said. “He’s branded.”

Branded. Scorned as the one who ran... for President of the United States on the Republican ticket.

I think there's a song in there somewhere.....

Toby O'B

(Thanks, Michael!)


My Netflix queue is filled with TV series which I watch during my "lunch hour" at work. Mostly they're shows which I don't have to give too much attention to, just in case I'm needed at the desk. Currently, I'm watching 'Crime Traveller', and it fits the bill perfectly. It's a cop show from England in which the two detectives - Mike French as Jeff Slade and Chloe Annette as Holly Turner in the obligatory Mulder/Scully match-up - use a time machine to go back and solve murders. It's popcorn TV and doesn't require me to watch it with all cylinders and synapses firing.

Here's what "Ryan's British TV Show Reviews" (link to the left, Anglophiles!) had to say about it back in May of 1997:

"Chloe's father, it seems, invented a time machine in a spare room in their house, except it only takes you back a few hours and has so many arbitrary rules about using it that it hardly seems worth the bother. One of them is you have to return to the room before the moment you left (huh?) or else you are caught in an 'infinity loop,' whatever that is, a fate which has already befallen the father before the series begins."

J.Holst of TV Acres (also linked to the left) was nice enough to transcribe the dialogue that describes the rules of this home-made time machine:

Turner: We have to be back at the machine at the same moment, and I mean the same half second that we left.
Slade: Go on.
Turner: If we're late getting back, we'll be trapped in a loop of infinity. Always living the same days, traveling back in time and doing it all again.
Slade: What's this? (picks up the timer)
It's crucial to the whole thing...Just get this into your head. This watch is synchronized with the machine. It'll beep once when we have an hour left, then continuously for the last three minutes. We have to be back in this room by then.

Here's how it worked, again courtesy of TV Acres: "Holly's time machine was nothing grand in the sci-fi tradition but rather a jumble of wires, circuitry, crystals and DIY technology that cluttered Holly's apartment. The secrets to the invention were a watch that synchronized with the machine's temporal fields and a set of time rules that could not be broken. Holly's machine generates a tachyon bombardment that creates a wormhole and thus allowed travelers to enter the past."

Time can be thought of as being like the wind or water, the earth, and fire - it's natural. And this time machine - any time machine, including the TARDIS - taps into that natural energy in order to work. And sometimes, it triggers an effect like this "Loop of Infinity".

We've seen this natural effect triggered before in Toobworld, back in the early 1960s. Here's a plot description for "The Premonition", an episode of 'The Outer Limits':
"An X-15 rocket-powered research aircraft pilot and his wife become trapped 10 seconds ahead of their time and watch time unfold to catch up with them at about 1 second every 30 minutes. In the time left before returning to synch with normal time, they see that their daughter is about to be hit by a truck. But to stop the accident could mean to stay forever stuck in time. They must be back in the positions they were in five hours ago before time 'catches up' with them."

While the Darcys are trapped in this Limbo state, they meet a fellow prisoner who did not make it out in Time (literally) when he was finally supposed to be resynched with Time. So in the back-story for 'Crime Traveller', Holly Turner's father shares the same fate as this "Limbo Being" (who was played by Kay Kuter, who played Newt Kiley on 'Petticoat Junction' and 'Green Acres').

Here's how the "Limbo Being" described the predicament in which the Darcys now found themselves:

"If you'll miss your chance to return—one-millionth of a second behind time, your chance will pass you by, and leave you where I am now—in forever-now. A black, motionless void. No light, no sun, no stars, no time—eternal nothing! No hunger... thirst... only endless existence. And the worst of it... you can't die! So, fellow man, you challenge me for a wish to take your place? You, both of you, would feel no different if you were caught in this black oblivion... if you were not back in your plane... in your car... at the exact instant."

This is the type of time travel story 'Doctor Who' should get involved in; to rescue somebody else who may be trapped in this Limbo state. (Kuter died in 2003, so he's out of the consideration. But then again, we only saw him as a negative image, so it could be a recastaway. As for Holly's father, I'm only on the second episode, so if you know about where the series went in regards to this storyline, don't tell me!)

It would certainly be different from the alien of the week plotlines. (Just sayin', is all......)

Tripping this Limbo effect might also be another way in which we can splain away the disappearance of certain TV characters, who vanished without explanation from our view on the screen. It doesn't splain why none of the other characters ever mention their absence, but still.....

Toby O'B

I had a another title for this post, but it's going to be the name of my Tubeworld novel, and I don't want anybody to steal it! LOL


For this final tip of the hat to Paul Newman's career in television, here are a couple of pictures of the actor from two of his productions.

First up, here's Newman as George Gibb with Eva Marie Saint as Emily Webb as seen in "Our Town" on 'Producers Showcase'. I especially wanted to showcase this picture so that it would be available on the internet. Fans of "Our Town" might like to grab if for their own collections.

(I found it in "How Sweet It Is!", the very first book I ever bought for the library here at Toobworld Central, back in the early 1970s.)
And then from the 'Kaiser Aluminum Hour' and its production of "The Rag Jungle", Newman played Charlie Correlli. I can't be certain on this, but I think Charlie was trying to save his family business (in the fashion industry/ the garment district?) from mob infiltration.

The identity of the other man is unknown, but his character looks to be an uncouth lout, doesn't he? I'd like to say it's Francis L. Sullivan, but his IMDb profile doesn't list this credit.

(Sullivan is an interesting actor, by the way. In his later years he apparently became a criminologist while still being an actor.)

My thanks go out to another friend of mine, NYMarkie, Michael's partner and our fellow uncle to the next generation of Cleary kids. When certain projects are beyond the abilities of yours viewly, I can usually rely on Mark to get it done for me.

Toby O'B