Saturday, November 15, 2008


November 15, 1864:
American Civil War: Union General William Tecumseh Sherman burns Atlanta, Georgia, and starts Sherman's March to the Sea.

William Tecumseh Sherman (February 8, 1820 – February 14, 1891) was an American soldier, businessman, educator, and author. He served as a General in the Union Army during the American Civil War (1861–65), for which he received recognition for his outstanding command of military strategy as well as criticism for the harshness of the "scorched earth" policies that he implemented in conducting total war against the Confederate States. Military historian Basil Liddell Hart famously declared that Sherman was "the first modern general".

Sherman served under General Ulysses S. Grant in 1862 and 1863 during the campaigns that led to the fall of the Confederate stronghold of Vicksburg on the Mississippi River and culminated with the routing of the Confederate armies in the state of Tennessee. In 1864, Sherman succeeded Grant as the Union commander in the western theater of the war. He proceeded to lead his troops to the capture of the city of Atlanta, a military success that contributed to the re-election of President Abraham Lincoln. Sherman's subsequent march through Georgia and the Carolinas further undermined the Confederacy's ability to continue fighting. He accepted the surrender of all the Confederate armies in the Carolinas, Georgia, and Florida in April 1865.

When Grant became president, Sherman succeeded him as Commanding General of the Army (1869–83). As such, he was responsible for the conduct of the Indian Wars in the western United States. He steadfastly refused to be drawn into politics and in 1875 published his Memoirs, one of the best-known firsthand accounts of the Civil War.

Charles Beaumont in the 'Twilight Zone' episode "Long Live Walter Jameson" has the lead character (a history professor) comment on the burning of Atlanta; that the union soldiers did it unwillingly at the behest of a Sherman described as sullen and brutish.
[All from Wikipedia]

Most of the appearances of General Sherman in Toobworld deal with his later years as he toured the West as the Commanding General of the Army.

James Almanzar
. . . "Iron Horse, The" (1966)
{Welcome for the General (#1.17)}

Colm Feore
. . . Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee (2007)

Tom Nowicki
. . . Tempest, The (1998)

Bill Oberst Jr.
. . . Sherman's March (2007)

Addison Richards
. . . "Adventures of Rin Tin Tin, The" (1954)
{The Accusation (#5.19)}

Thayer Roberts
. . . "Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp, The" (1955)
{When ShermanMarched Through Kansas (#3.27)}

George Sawaya
. . . "Branded" (1965)
{A Destiny Which Made Us Brothers (#2.19)}

Ray Walston
. . . "You Are There" (1953)
{The Gettysburg Address (#2.14)}

John Wayne
. . . "Wagon Train" (1957)
{The Colter Craven Story (#4.9)}

In that first picture, Wyatt Earp is seen greeting General Sherman outside of Dodge City in 1877. (Wyatt mentions that the Civil War has been over for twelve years.) In the second one, Sherman is with Bat Masterson, back in Dodge City three years later. (The narrator mentions that it's 1880.) Earlier Sherman dodged Dodge City because he was fed up with speeches, reporters, and the antagonism of those who still carried a grudge against him. But when he returned in 1880, it was to accompany President Rutherford B. Hayes on his campaign swing through the West for re-election.

As to the difference in their looks within the reality of Toobworld, Sherman looks older in the earlier picture because he had been spending the last decade travelling all over the wild, wild West on inspection tours and the life on the road wore down on him. By the time he ws campaigning for President Hayes, he had groomed himself for a more presentable image; perhaps even trimmed down his beard and colored it.

In this last picture, that's John Wayne (billed as Michael Morris) as Sherman, in Major Adams' flashback to the days when he knew Sherman and General Ulysses S. Grant. (The episode was directed by John Ford!)

Wayne as Sherman is another example, like Peter Falk as Abe "Kid Twist" Reles mentioned a few days ago here, of an actor playing the same role in Toobworld as well as in the movie universe. (For his headshot, I'm using a publicity photo from 'How The West Was Won'.)

If I had my druthers in casting William Tecumseh Sherman for today's TV, based on that photo of the real Sherman, I'd pick Dean Stockwell to play the role. Just sayin', is all......

Toby O'B

Friday, November 14, 2008


It's always a juggling/tightrope act when it comes to the Zonks on '30 Rock'. No surprise that it should have so many, since the premise of the series is about the backstage environs of a network variety show. But I really thought I might have to chuck the whole series over into that TV dimension where the TV characters watch the same TV shows that we watch and yet are fictional (or, in some cases, even more so!)

Thank the JackLord that Sparky Monroe howled her way to my rescue!
Within the "reality" of '30 Rock', their version of 'Night Court' had a three-episode arc in which Jenna Maroney played a were-lawyer, "Sparky Monroe". Basically, it was because of this character that 'Night Court' ended up jumping the shark, and that's why they never got that tenth season in which Kenneth the Page could have seen his dream realized: the wedding between Judge Harry Stone and Public Defender Christine Sullivan.

Sparky Monroe never appeared in the 'Night Court' that appeared on OUR TV sets; and that means she was never an "actual" person in Toobworld. She was a fictional character in the "tele-version" of 'Night Court'. That 'Night Court' was based on the lives of Harry, Christine, Mac, Dan, Bull, Selma, Florence, Roz, and the other denizens of the "real" night court.

More than likely a show was made about their lives after the news got out that Bull Shannon had been abducted by aliens from Saturn. Something like that would probably have caused a bidding war among the networks, Network 23 and the NBS included. But apparently TV-NBC got the rights and then ran a series that lasted nine years. (So within Toobworld, their version of 'Night Court' probably only just ended a few seasons ago......)
And by an AMAZING coincidence, the actors Harry Anderson, Markie Post, Charles Robinson, and John Larroquette (who was not present but who was mentioned) all were cast in their roles of Harry, Christine, Mac, and Dan respectively because of their uncanny resemblance to the actual people involved. Isn't that amazing?

So, it teetered on the edge, but no Zonk here!

Or was there.......?
Toby O'B


November 14, 1889:
Pioneering female journalist Nellie Bly (aka Elizabeth Cochrane) begins a successful attempt to travel around the world in less than 80 days. She completes the trip in seventy-two days.

Nellie Bly (May 5, 1864 – January 27, 1922) was an American journalist, author, industrialist, and charity worker. She is most famous for an undercover exposé in which she faked insanity to study a mental institution from within. She is also well-known for her record-breaking trip around the world.

In 1888, Nellie suggested to her editor at the New York World that she take a trip around the world, mimicking Jules Verne's book Around the World in Eighty Days. A year later, on November 14, 1889 she left New York on her 24,899-mile journey.

"Seventy-two days, six hours, eleven minutes and fourteen seconds after her Hoboken departure" (January 25, 1890) Nellie arrived in New York. At the time this was a world record for circling the earth, though it was bettered a few months later by George Francis Train, who completed the journey in 67 days.

On her travels around the world, she went through England, France, the home of Jules Verne, Brindisi, the Suez Canal, Colombo Ceylon, Hong Kong, and Japan. Traveling alone, she became a role model of independence for women everywhere.
[from Wikipedia]

There have been four portrayals of Nellie Bly in Toobworld. I'm leaning towards the tele-movie with Linda Purl to represent Miss Bly as the official characterization; it's a lengthier portrait and the more accessible. Julia Duffy's turn in the 'Voyagers!' episode falls under the same decree as other historical figures seen on that series - Bogg and Jeffrey are the only characters from the main Toobworld; everyone they meet in the past is in alternate timelines.

As for Ms. Blair's and Ms. Stanwyck's turns in the role, I've added both to my list of shows to check out at the Paley Center on my next trip, but I'm not holding out much hope that they're available.

Janet Blair
. . . "Dinah Shore Chevy Show, The" (1956)
{Around the World with Nellie Bly (#4.14)}

Julia Duffy
. . . "Voyagers!" (1982)
{Jack's Back (#1.20)}

Linda Purl [pictured, with Gene Barry]
. . . Adventures of Nellie Bly, The (1981)

Barbara Stanwyck
. . . "Barbara Stanwyck Show, The" (1960)
{Little Big Mouth (#1.31)}

Toby O'B

Thursday, November 13, 2008


Back in September, I pointed the way to Medium Rob's review of a Big Finish audio-play about the Doctor, "The Boy That Time Forgot".

Thanks now to the blog
"Life, Doctor Who, and Combom", I've heard the entire adventure which someone else had put up on YouTube. (The Combom blog had all 13 parts in one convenient location.)

There have been many times in the past when I wish certain plot-line resolutions in various TV shows had alternate endings. Sometimes I'd seek out fanfic that might have provided different endings to what was established as canon in Toobworld, just so I could pretend it was all "neverwas".

When it came to the death of Dr. Elliott Axelrod on 'St. Elsewhere', I provided my own alternative. (Well, it wasn't exactly an alternative, but instead a continuation of Elliott's participation even after death, just so that he could have been involved right to the very last episode.)

But most times, one should just accept what has occurred within the show and move on. If Toobworld is to be a reflection of our world (minus the talking horses, of course), then we have to accept that there aren't any do-overs. If characters die, they should stay dead.... at least until the show itself brings them back in some way.

I've come away from listening to "The Boy That Time Forgot" still feeling that way. It sullies the memory of a rather heroic sacrifice and cheapens the title character more than he ever deserved.

You warned me, Rob. But I still had to hear it for myself.

Geez, I'm sounding like Dorothy Gale all of a sudden!

Toby O'B


"The bluest sky you've ever seen, in Seattle.
And the hills the greenest green, in Seattle
"Here Come The Brides"

November 13, 1851:

The Denny Party lands at Alki Point, the first settlers of what would become Seattle, Washington.

The facts are these:

The Denny Party was a group traditionally credited with founding Seattle, Washington with their arrival at Alki Point on November 13, 1851.

The group originally consisted of the family of Arthur A. Denny, who left Cherry Grove, Illinois on April 10, 1851. The original party included his father, stepmother, and two older brothers, who eventually stayed on in the Willamette Valley of Oregon, as well as his younger brother David Denny, Arthur Denny's wife (who was also his stepsister, and who was pregnant throughout the journey) Mary Ann Boren, Mary's younger sister Louisa (who would marry David Denny in 1861), and their brother Carson.

Arthur Denny is reported to have been quite ill throughout the journey, but remained firmly the group's leader.

On July 6, 1851, they escaped unscathed from a battle with Indians at American Falls on the Snake River. The following day, they met up with John Low, who joined the group. Some time in late July at Burnt River in eastern Oregon, they encountered a man named Brock, who convinced Denny that Puget Sound would be a good place to create a town.

They arrived in Portland, Oregon on August 22, 1851, with Denny too ill to travel further and Mary Ann nearly ready to give birth. On September 2, she gave birth to a son, Rolland H. Denny.

With the Denny couple laid low, John Low and David Denny headed north to scout the possibilities. Along the way they were joined by Leander "Lee" Terry. In the newly founded settlement of Olympia, Washington, they met Mike Simmons, the already wealthy founder of Tumwater, Washington, who guided them to Alki as a possible site for a settlement. On September 28, 1851, they began building a cabin with help from the local Indians. Terry and Low staked claims; then Low headed back to Portland to get the others, Terry headed out exploring (ostensibly looking for a frow to make redcedar shake shingles), and David Denny stayed on in the unfinished cabin. Like his brother, his health wasn't the best, and was doubtless not improved by staying in an unroofed cabin; it was only made worse when he injured his foot with an axe.

In Portland, Denny recruited Illinois farmer William Nathaniel Bell and his wife, and, by utter coincidence, Charlie Terry, Leander Terry's older brother. The Terry brothers, from Waterville, New York, had come west as part of the California Gold Rush, but had not liked the rough and tumble of San Francisco.

On November 5, 1851, the Denny Party left Portland on the schooner Exact. After a difficult passage, particularly hard on the still-ill Denny, they arrived at Alki November 13, where David greeted them with the words, "I wish you hadn't come."

Denny was bitterly disappointed that Low and Lee Terry had already staked the relevant claims for Alki. However, he had no choice but to pitch in, finish the cabin and settle in for the winter. Denny convinced Bell and Boren that they needed to scout a different location. Once the worst of winter cleared, Denny (and sometimes the others) went exploring as far as Commencement Bay (now the site of Tacoma), Port Orchard, Smith Cove, and up the Duwamish River to the present site of Puyallup, before settling on an island in the mudflats near the east shore of Elliott Bay, now the site of Pioneer Square.

For the next three years Charlie Terry, who bought out his brother and Low, was the leader of the community at Alki and Denny (along with rival "Doc" Maynard) of what was to become the city of Seattle. However, when it became clear that the tides at Alki were too strong to allow the building of piers, Terry moved to Seattle proper as well.

[from Wikipedia]

And from that beginning, which we have no reason to doubt happened in Toobworld as well, the foundation was laid for the TV shows that took place in Seattle, beginning with 'Here Come The Brides'.
Here is a partial list of TV shows that take place in Seattle:

Almost Home/NBC/1993

Dark Angel/FOX/2000-02

Domestic Life/CBS/1984

The 4400/USA/2004-07


Good And Evil/ABC/1991

Grey's Anatomy/ABC/2005+ (Seattle Grace Hospital)

Harry & the Hendersons/SYN/1991-92


Here Come the Brides/ABC/1968-70 (Bridal Veil Mountain)

John Doe/FOX/2002-2003

Kyle XY/ABF/2006+
[Ladies, take note: At least in Toobworld, 'John Doe' and 'Kyle XY' are proof that Seattle is a great place to find naked men in the woods.]

Medicine Ball/FOX/1995


One Big Family/SYN/1986-87



Under One Roof/CBS/1995

University Hospital/SYN/1994-96

A Year in a Life/NBC/1987-88

[My thanks to TVAcres for the list. You'll find the link to the left!]

Toby O'B

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


For those of you who have seen 'The Sarah Jane Adventures' presentation of "The Mark Of The Berserker" (Part Two), I'm wondering if you thought the same thing as Clyde and his Dad went on their "shopping spree".....

Up ahead of the two Langer men was a white-haired gentleman dressed in a black jacket that for alls I know could have been velvet.......

Granted, Jon Pertwee is dead in the real world. But in Toobworld, it's still possible for previous incarnations of the Doctor to be showing up in the present time between their televised adventures.

I have no clue if this was a deliberate tip of the hat cameo by an extra to the memory of Sarah Jane Smith's first Doctor. But had she been there with Clyde and Paul Langer, don't you think she might have called out "Doctor....?" upon seeing that mop of white hair?
Just sayin', is all......

Toby O'B


On this date in 1941, a mobster named Abe Reles, aka "Kid Twist", was killed before he could squeal to the Feds.

Peter Falk played the Kid in the movie "Murder, Inc.", for which he gained a nomination for Best Supporting Actor in 1960. But interestingly enough, Falk also played Reles earlier in the year on TV in the program 'The Witness'.

So Peter Falk is one of those rare actors who have played characters in more than one universe based on the creative spark of Mankind. In Abe Reles' case, That would be Toobworld and the "Cineverse". (Thank you, Craig Shaw Gardner for that term.)

Toby O'B


November 12, 1982:
Lech Walesa, a Solidarity leader, is released from a Polish prison after eleven months.

From Wikipedia:

[Lech Walesa] was a member of the illegal strike committee in Gdansk Shipyard in 1970 (Polish 1970 protests).

In 1976, Walesa lost his job in Gdansk Shipyard.In June 1978 he joined the illegal underground Free Trade Unions of the Coast (Wolne Zwiazki Zawodowe Wybrzeza), organized by Bogdan Borusewicz, Andrzej Gwiazda, Krzysztof Wyszkowski, Lech Kaczynski, Anna Walentynowicz, Antoni Sokolowski, and others.

On August 14, 1980, after the beginning of an occupational strike in the Lenin Shipyard of Gdansk, Walesa became the leader of this strike. The strike was spontaneously followed by similar strikes, first in Gdansk, and then across Poland.
In September of that year, the Communist government signed an agreement with the Strike Coordination Committee to allow legal organization, but not actual free trade unions. The Strike Coordination Committee legalized itself into National Coordination Committee of Solidarnosc Free Trade Union, and Walesa was chosen as a chairman of this Committee. Solidarnosc is also known as Solidarity.

Walesa kept this position until December 13, 1981, when he was arrested. General Wojciech Jaruzelski declared a state of martial law on December 13. Walesa was interned for 11 months in south-eastern Poland near the Soviet border until November 14, 1982.

Bernard Hill
. . . Squaring the Circle (1984)

Ian Holm
. . . Strike: The Birth of Solidarity (1981)

Eugeniusz Jedrzejczak
. . . "Tygrysy Europy" (2003)
This would be found in Skitlandia, the sketch comedy univese, I believe, but I could be wrong.

Jacek Lenartowicz
. . . Pope John Paul II (2005)

Toby O'B

Dedicated to my dear friend Gosia, mother of my god-daughter Rhiannon.....


On Monday I finally saw an episode of 'Amos Burke, Secret Agent', which was basically the third season of 'Burke's Law'. Hoping to cash in on the spy craze of that time, the supporting cast of characters (Detectives Les Hart, Tim Tillson, and chauffeur Henry) were jettisoned and Amos Burke no longer was in charge of the L.A. Metro Homicide Division, but instead was a globe-trotting secret agent reporting to "The Man" (Carl Benton Reid). I'm not sure how badly it did in the ratings, but it lasted only that one season.

Even though I had never seen an episode prior to Monday, I was never comfortable with the idea of the series. Mainly because I had been such a big fan of 'Burke's Law' when I was a teenager, watching the syndicated run in the afternoons from the CBS affiliate in Hartford. Why mess with a formula that works?

Many years later, when the 'Burke's Law' sequel arrived, it became even more of a problem, and this time within the framework of the Toobworld reality: Amos Burke was back in charge of Homicide in the L.A. police department and with his son Peter along to boot - and never a mention of Burke's past as a spy.

The presence of Peter was easy enough to splain away. By the time the first 'Burke's Law' debuted on ABC back in the sixties, Amos Burke had been divorced from Peter's mother. Although we never saw Peter as a young boy on the show, he still existed in the greater expanse of the TV Universe; I'm sure Captain Burke visited him on the weekends.

But as he did have a young son, a job he loved, and a fortune with which he could have remained on Easy Street, why would Burke ever risk it all for the dangerous work of a spy? And after he was finished with it, how did he transfer so easily back into his old job at the Metro Division?

Originally, my solution was to separate the three series - the two 'Burke's Law' shows would be kept in the main Toobworld, while 'Amos Burke, Secret Agent' would be the doppelganger in the evil mirror universe or some other TV dimension.

But then I found out that Michael Dunn was the guest star in "The Prisoners Of Mr. Sin" and the episode description sounded like Mr. Sin would be a perfect candidate to be an alias for Dr. Loveless. No way I wanted to lose the opportunity to increase Miguelito's Toobworld resume!

So I brought 'Amos Burke, Secret Agent' back into the fold, but I wasn't happy about it.

Now, having seen a few episodes (courtesy of a bootleg DVD), I think I may have a new theory that can reconcile the contradictions between the three series.

Amos Burke, Secret Agent, was not Amos Burke, Police Captain.
I'm looking at an episode of 'Columbo' to justify this splainin: in "Identity Crisis", the murder victim, code-named "Geronimo", was using the alias of AJ Henderson. AJ Henderson was an insurance executive living in Westport, Ct., and Geronimo could depend on him remaining in that area and not jeopardizing Geronimo's operations by unexpectedly showing up in the middle of them while Geronimo was using his name as a cover.

I get this feeling I may not have splained that properly. Sorry about that, Chief......

I think the same situation applied with 'Amos Burke, Secret Agent'. The operative, who bore a close resemblance to Captain Burke, chose the wealthy homicide detective because he knew he could trust Burke to remain rooted to the L.A. area. Burke had his job, in which he took an active role in most of the homicide cases of the day; and he had his son Peter growing nearby. The operative could reasonably assume that even with his vaunted wealth which could take him anywhere in the world, Amos Burke would more than likely stay where he was in Beverly Hills.

Luckily, with his close resemblance to Amos Burke, this secret agent was able to cash in on the name's recognition factor. For example, in "The Prisoners Of Mr. Sin", Mr. Sin checked with Amos Burke's bank to make sure he had plenty of money on hand which he could drain at his leisure while he had Burke in his captivity - or so he thought.

So who was this operative? Well, I'm not sure if it was his real name or just another alias, but I think he was still working for the government years later - this time as "Gene Bradley", famous movie star (as seen in 'The Adventurer').

Can I prove this? Of course not. But I'm fairly certain you can't disprove it either!

Toby O'B

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


I've now watched two of my "Holy Grails" - the 'Burke's Law' episode "Who Killed SuperSleuth?" and 'Amos Burke, Secret Agent' - "The Prisoners Of Mr. Sin".

Today I'd like to deal with the character of Mr. Sin, as played by the late, great Michael Dunn......

For those who don't know, it's always been the contention of Toobworld Central that his character from 'The Wild, Wild West', Dr. Miguelito Loveless, was descended from aliens on both sides of his family. On the maternal side, his extra-terrrestrial forebear was Alexander, the dwarfish Sahndaran who visited Earth during the time of Plato. If the child he sired with an Earth-woman showed any talents due to his genetic influx from another planet, I don't think there is any proof from a TV show or TV movie. But that genetic material lay dormant in his descendents for millennia... until it was "awakened" by the impregnation of Dr. Loveless' mother by yet another alien.

It's our theory of "relateeveety" that the father of Dr. Loveless was a Gallifreyan Time Lord who passed himself off as a Spanish California rogue by the name of Ramon Castillo (as seen in the 'Zorro' episode "Auld Acquaintance"). Having already been on Earth for over a century, Ramon Castillo would later take the name of "Mr. Roarke" for the "second hundred years" or so when he struggled to reform his baser nature.
Miguelito Loveless was begat of this temporary union, and the combination of his human, Sahndaran, and Gallifreyan DNA created a unique difference in him. Aside from being the genetic mirror image of his ancestor Alexander, Dr. Loveless now had the power to regenerate when he was close to death just like the inhabitants of Gallifrey. But unlike his father (who regenerated prior to 1998 into the body we know from the TV series remake of 'Fantasy Island'), his body did not morph into a new form. He would come back to life, but still with the same stunted body. (That this could happen is backed up by the 'Doctor Who' episode "The Doctor's Daughter".)
We saw that Dr. Loveless could do this in nearly every one of the nine episodes of 'The Wild, Wild West' in which he appeared. And that's why I think he not only survived the cancellation of the show, but that he continues to exist in Toobworld to this day! Each time Michael Dunn would later appear in other TV shows, he was playing the role of Miguelito - but under a different alias.

Some of those roles would be "Mr. Big" on 'Get Smart' and "The Clown" in 'Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea'.

The character of Mr. Sin controlled a small island in the South Pacific called Tio Moro. According to the story he told "Amos Burke" (and more on the reason for those quotes in a few days!), after he retired from whatever it was he was doing in India, he moved to Tio Moro to begin this new scheme in which he would hold people as hostages (albeit quite comfortably). He was probably drawing upon his past experience as one of the founders of 'The Village' (as seen in 'The Prisoner') back in the late 1800s.

I don't know what may have occurred to Dr. Loveless between the time he spent in the 1940's as an amnesiac going by the name of Arthur Boyle (as seen in the TV movie "Goodnight, My Love") and when he arrived in India. But I think he may have gone there in hopes that study in various forms of meditation and mysticism would unlock the secret of his true identity. And once finding out who he really was, Loveless reverted back to his fiendish ways and began this new career with a new identity as "Mr. Sin".

At the end of the episode, Amos Burke triumphs and Mr. Sin is left behind to apparently die in the inferno that was once his home. But the last we see of him, Mr. Sin is kneeling down in contemplative prayer, with his head bowed to the floor. I think he was either prepping himself for yet another regeneration, or that he would then trigger some trap door beneath him in order to escape.

And after this, he would move on to his next criminal undertaking - the creation of KAOS, as seen in the pilot episode of 'Get Smart'!

That's my story, and I'm sticking with it......
'Amos Burke, Secret Agent'
'The Wild, Wild West'
'Star Trek'
'Doctor Who'
'Fantasy Island'
'Get Smart'
'Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea'
'The Prisoner'
'Burke's Law'
"Goodnight, My Love"
Toby O'B


Today is Veteran's Day, and as we hope it is to be a tradition here at Inner Toob, we're saluting a particular TV character who served TV-America ("Telemerica") in the military. (On Memorial Day, we remember a TV character whom we've since lost.) In the past, we've honored Admiral Harriman Nelson ('Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea'), Mac Tyler ('CSI:NY') and Leroy Jethro Gibbs ('NCIS').

This year on 11/11, we're focusing on the distaff side of the military with perhaps the most famous woman who ever served in the armed forces of Toobworld.
Major, Army Nurse Corps

Major Houlihan, once saddled with the nickname of "Hot Lips", devoted her life to her Army career (perhaps due to the influence of her father and role model, Colonel Alvin "Howitzer Al" Houlihan). Being an army brat, she grew up on bases, with most of her childhood spent at Fort Ord. She enlisted after graduating from nursing school and served in World War II, more than likely towards the tail end of the war. (I make her as having been born somewhere between 1916 and 1919.)

Despite her love for her career and her idolization of her father, Margaret may not have been truly happy in the Army life, and may have felt alone, creating a void that she was only able to fill with illicit sex. This is what probably drove her into an ill-fated affair with a married officer, Major Frank Burns. And it could be the root cause of her alcoholism. But Margaret recognized she had a problem and learned to deal with it.
Margaret maintained strict discipline over her approach to her job and expected the same from others, especially from the nurses in her charge. Although she had a rocky relationship with her late superior officer, Colonel Henry Blake, at the 4077th M*A*S*H unit,
Margaret saw his replacement, Colonel Sherman Potter, as something of a father figure.

A muck-raking Congressional aide tried to have Major Houlihan branded as a Communist sympathizer, and all because of an innocent college tryst many years before. But he was only doing this in order to win sexual favors for himself. Luckily, he was blackmailed by Margaret's fellow doctors and other defenders to slink back to Washington with his tail between his legs.

When the show ended, Margaret was on her way back to the US to take up a position in an Army hospital, despite her father pulling some strings to get her assigned to a more prestigious position.
Among the awards which Major Houlihan has been personally presented:

Army Commendation Medal
Korean Service Medal
United Nations Service Medal
National Defense Service Medal

And she would have had many more from her service during World War II as well.....

I see no reason not to believe Margeret Houlihan is still alive. She'd be in her nineties by now, and probably spent most of her life after Korea alone. She may have had a few long-running relationships, perhaps even with Dr. Benjamin "Hawkeye" Pierce if their parting at the end of the war was any indication about how they truly felt about each other. But in the long run, I don't think any man could have measured up to the exacting demands Margaret would have placed on them, just as she did on herself.

(A quick Google search shows there's a piece of fanfic floating out there in which Margaret Houlihan survived into the time of 'Star Trek', thanks to bio-genetic engineering during the Eugenics Wars!)
So here's to you, Major Margaret Houlihan. Toobworld Central salutes you and your service to your country.

Toby O'B

Monday, November 10, 2008


It's been a while since I last set foot in my favorite purveyor's shop for bootleg TV DVDs, and I hadn't felt the need since the last few times I was there, the merchandise had become stagnant; not much new variety. But since I was in the neighborhood today, I dropped it to look around.

That section of the store had been condensed a bit by at least one stack of offerings, but in doing so, it seemed like a new selection of titles were now available, including a few of my personal "Holy Grails". And once the fever struck, I gorged until I hit the numerical "This far and no farther."

So here's what I netted for myself:

'Amos Burke, Secret Agent'
"Prisoners Of Mr. Sin" with Michael Dunn
There are two other episodes as well, but Michael Dunn! I HAD to have this! Dr. Loveless is my all-time favorite TV character - yes, even more so than Mary Richards or Number Six! And I've always wanted to see if Mr. Sin could be Dr. Loveless under an alias. (Those who remember my yearly tributes to Dr. Loveless will know that he is part alien on both sides of his family tree (in my theories) and that he has a unique form of immortality.

A Tribute To 'Captain Kangaroo'
(2 Disc Compilation)
When I was five years old, I ran away from home in search of the Treasure House. I figured that if I could see it on my TV set, then it had to be on the next street over in that direction. This is the next best thing to recapture that, until an official DVD collection is ever released.

'Burke's Law'
"Who Killed SuperSleuth?"
There are two other episodes, but this is the one I wanted. I haven't seen it since it was in syndication back in the early 70's, but all I remember is a scene with Carl Reiner. In this episode, several famous fictional sleuths were lampooned, like Sherlock Holmes, Mr. Moto, and Hercule Poirot. It's Ed Begley (senior for those not old enough to remember) as "Bascule Doirot" that I'm interested in seeing. I have an interesting character profile in mind for him......

'Bat Masterson'
An episode with Wyatt Earp, (sadly not Hugh O'Brian)
An episode with General Sherman and President Hayes

There's another episode as well, but I'm interested in seeing the depiction of Rutherford B. Hayes. I've been compiling a list of TV Presidents for the main Toobworld, and he's been one of the holes in that list.

"WPIX-NY's 40th Anniversary"
Totally forgot to DVR this, so I'm glad I'll have a permanent copy now for the historical archives section of the Toobworld Central library.

'You Are There'
Death of Socrates
Tragedy of Milton
Signing of the Declaration of Independence
Napoleon's Return from Elba
The Triumph of Alexander The Great

"The Money Machine"
"Point Blank"
"The Forbidden City"
(with Robert Colbert as Brent)
I'll never pass up a chance to own copies of 'Maverick' episodes!

Toby O'B


Now THIS is the way you do a 'Doctor Who' in-joke reference and show respect to your viewers!

In "Death Minister", an episode of 'Crime Traveller' (about two Scotland Yard detectives who use a time machine to visit the recent past to solve crimes), detective Jack Slade was asked what he was going to do next during a murder investigation. As they were at a company that sold old phone boxes to put in your garden as decoration, Slade noticed an old blue police box around the corner of the building. Smiling knowingly to himself (thank you, Monty Python!), Slade responded, "I'll be following a different line of investigation."
Yeah, a TIME-line of investigation! Booyah!

No mention of 'Doctor Who' at all, but the audience knew why he had that Mona Lisa smile.
Since we have to have that splainin ready for other mentions of 'Doctor Who', it's possible that Jack Slade has seen those Peter Cushing movies about the Time Lord in Toobworld. But since nothing was said about the matter, we don't even have to address the issue.

The audience is happy; they got the joke. And I'm happy; Toobworld is safe from that particular Zonk.

That episode's writer knew how to respect his audience.

We saw another possible TARDIS in the earlier scene, a blue police box toy. But that wasn't even pointed out; further proof that the writer knew to trust his audience to get it.
Toby O'B


November 10, 1619:
René Descartes has the dreams that inspire his Meditations on First Philosophy.

René Descartes (March 31, 1596–February 11, 1650), also known as Renatus Cartesius, was a highly influential French philosopher mathematician, scientist, and writer. He has been dubbed the "Father of Modern Philosophy," and much of subsequent Western philosophy is a response to his writings, which continue to be studied closely to this day. In particular, his "Meditations" continues to be a standard text at most university philosophy departments. Descartes' influence in mathematics is also apparent, the Cartesian coordinate system allowing geometric shapes to be expressed in algebraic equations being named for him. Descartes was also one of the key figures in the Scientific Revolution.
[from Wikipedia]

Originally I was going to write about Major Henry Wirz, who was the only man hanged for war crimes after the American Civil War. He had been the commandant of the Andersonville prison camp and was portrayed by Richard Basehart in the teleplay of "The Andersonville Trial", directed by George C. Scott.

But this entry about Rene Descartes gives me the opportunity to post this:

Immanuel Kant was a real piss-ant who was very rarely stable.
Heideggar, Heideggar was a boozy beggar who could think you under the table.
David Hume could out-consume Wilhelm Freidrich Hegel.
And Whittgenstein was a beery swine who was just as sloshed as Schlegel.

There's nothing Nieizsche couldn't teach 'ya 'bout the raising of the wrist.
Socrates, himself, was permanently pissed.

John Stewart Mill, of his own free will, after half a pint of shanty was particularly ill.
Plato, they say, could stick it away, half a crate of whiskey every day!
Aristotle, Aristotle was a bugger for the bottle,
And Hobbes was fond of his Dram.
And Rene Descartes was a drunken fart:
"I drink, therefore I am."

Yes, Socrates himself is particularly missed;
A lovely little thinker, but a bugger when he's pissed.

from 'Monty Python's Flying Circus'......

Toby O'B


Penn Jillette flew solo in this week's episode of 'Numb3rs' ("Magic Show"), without his silent partner Teller. (They appeared separately on 'Miami Vice', but as actual characters, not as themselves.)

Penn's League of Themselves credits now include an appearance in the alternate TV dimension which houses 'The West Wing', as well as a trip to the Tooniverse to visit 'The Simpsons' in Springfield. (There's also a visit he made to 'Space Ghost: Coast To Coast', which was beamed into the Tooniverse.)

Even though this time out he was without his wingman Teller, more than likely they'll be inducted as a team into the TV Crossover Hall Of Fame when the time comes.

Here are Penn Jillette's credits for his membership in the League of Themselves:

- Magic Show (2008)

"Free Radio"
- Lance's Birthday (2008)

"Listen Up"
- Last Vegas (2005)

"The West Wing"
- In the Room (2004)

"Las Vegas"
- Luck Be a Lady (2003)

"The Bernie Mac Show"
- Magic Jordan (2003)

"The Simpsons"
- Hello Gutter, Hello Fadder (1999)

- Val the Hard Way (1999)

"Muppets Tonight"
- The Gary Cahuenga Episode (1997)

Toby O'B

Sunday, November 9, 2008


I thought we'd have to wait until November 19th to see the election of President-Elect Barack Obama be officially incorporated into Earth Prime-Time. On that night, an episode of 'Boston Legal' is to air which had a scene filmed on the Wednesday morning after the election.

However, just by inserting a voice-over question into a press conference at the end of the episode "Rumble", 'Law & Order' beat their Beantown rivals to the punch by broadcasting this past Wednesday night!

As Manhattan District Attorney Jack McCoy walked away from the podium outside in Foley Square, a woman reporter shouted out, "Have you been offered a position in the Obama administration?"

And as far as I know, that's the first official acknowledgement that the Obama presidency has become part of Toobworld.

Toby O'B


November 9, 1921:
Albert Einstein is awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics for his work with the photoelectric effect.

From Wikipedia:
The photoelectric effect is a quantum electronic phenomenon in which electrons are emitted from matter after the absorption of energy from electromagnetic radiation such as x-rays or visible light. The emitted electrons can be referred to as photoelectrons in this context. The effect is also termed the Hertz Effect, due to its discovery by Heinrich Rudolf Hertz, although the term has generally fallen out of use.

Albert Einstein will soon be seen in Toobworld again, portrayed by Andy Serkis [pictured, left] in "Einstein And Eddington". (David Tennant, the current 'Doctor Who', will be playing Eddington.) Like Lincoln and Kennedy and Marilyn Monroe, Albert Einstein has had enough incarnations in TV movies and episodes of TV series to populate several of the alternate TV dimensions.

(The basic Toobworld idea regarding such distribution is that appearances in TV show episodes should remain in the main Toobworld, no matter how convoluted the splainin to keep them there. TV movies can be relegated to a different dimension each.)

Looking through the list of actors who have played Einstein on TV over the years, some of them were only fantasies in dream sequences, or people in costume as the man. (Let's face it - with that bushy mustache and mop of hair, he was probably the most recognizable man of science ever!) In the case of his appearance in the 'Star Trek' franchise, he was a holographic projection.

Here is a partial list of actors who have portrayed Albert Einstein on television:
Tálvialdis Abolins
. . . Albert Einstein (1990)

Nathan Adler
. . . "Voyagers!" (1982) {The Travels of Marco... and Friends (#1.9)}

Vincenzo Amato
. . . Einstein (2008)

Dee Bradley Baker
. . . "Fairly OddParents, The" (2001) {Boy Toy/Inspection Detection (#2.3)}

Peter Boretski
. . . Day One (1989)

Robert Budaska
. . . "Phil of the Future" (2004) {Good Phil Hunting (#2.11)}

George Coe
. . . "Celebrity Deathmatch" (1998) {New Celebrity Deathmatch: Bigger & Better Then Ever (#5.1)}

Fred Düren
. . . Ende der Unschuld (1991)

Martin Friend
. . . "Red Dwarf" (1988) {Meltdown (#4.6)}
. . . "Time Shift" (2002) {Parallel Worlds: A User's Guide}

Joseph Golland
. . . "Man Called Intrepid, A" (1979)

Elliott Gould
. . . "Mentors" (1998) {The Genius (#1.1)}

Harold Gould
. . . "Touched by an Angel" (1994) {The Face of God (#7.22)}

Takkô Ishimori
. . . "Animaniacs" (1993)

Arte Johnson
. . . "Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventures" (1992) {Stand Up Guy (#1.8)}

Joachim Król
. . . Mensch Einstein (2005)

Denis Manuel
. . . "Race for the Bomb" (1987)

Aidan McArdle
. . . "Nova" (1974) {Einstein's Big Idea (#32.13)}

Ed Metzger
. . . "Everybody Hates Chris" (2005) {Everybody Hates Being Cool (#3.19)}
. . . "Newton's Apple" (1983) {Muscles and Bones/Einstein/Falling Stars Chat/Raptor Center (#3.10)}
(also the theatrical film "Joe's Rotten World" from 1995)

Jim Norton
. . . "Star Trek: The Next Generation" (1987) {Descent: Part 1 (#6.26)}
. . . "Star Trek: The Next Generation" (1987) {The Nth Degree (#4.19)}

Ronald Pickup
. . . "Einstein" (1984)

Boleslaw Plotnicki
. . . "Wojna domowa" (1965) {Sila wyobrazni (#1.15)}

Andrew Sachs
. . . "Horizon" (1964) {Einstein: Fame}
. . . Einstein Revealed (1996)

Maximilian Schell
. . . "Giganten" (2007) {Einstein - Superstar der Wissenschaft (#2.2)}

Orlando Seale
. . . "Infinite Worlds of H.G. Wells, The" (2001)

Andy Serkis
. . . Einstein and Eddington (2008)

Paul Soles
. . . Einstein: Light to the Power of 2 (1996)

Stuart Weiss
. . . "Teen Angel" (1997) {Honest Abe and Popular Steve (#1.5)}

Toby O'B


So, after some discussion during the night with my blogmates Rob Buckley and Thom Holbrook over in Facebook, I watched that full 'Knight Rider' episode "Knight Of The Living Dead" at And like Thom said, there was more to the references to Billy's costume as Captain Jack Harkness, all of it to be found in the pre-credit sequence.

The segment I saw on YouTube was Zonk-free, but just a moment earlier, Billy struts into the control room in his duster and spinning about in the hope of being admired. As two lovely techs walk by and appraise him skeptically, Billy says to the effect of "What? I'm Captain Jack Harkness! You know, 'Torchwood'? 'Doctor Who'?"

Bastard! No, not Billy. He can't help saying what's in the script. I'm bleeped at the writer. Once again they have to run a pop cultural reference into the ground by over-splainin it in order to make sure everybody in the audience understands!

My feeling is that if you think the in-joke needs a splainin added on top of it, then it's not even worth going for it. Just drop it.

When I was in my early 20s, I read a novel by John Myers Myers called "Silverlock". It was probably my first exposure to crossover literature (followed soon after by 'The Incompleat Enchanter' by Pratt and deCamp). In "Silverlock", every place visited by the hero, and every character he encounters, is from another work of classical literature.

Myers Myers doesn't beat you over the head with these references. If you don't get them, it doesn't ruin the enjoyment of the story. One could even go into it knowing nothing of these references beforehand and think of them as being original to the novel. What's been fun in the years since I've read "Silverlock" is occasionally stumbling across one of those characters from the book in their original works or mentioned in passing elsewhere. And I get that "Ah, so that's where he came from!" moment wash over me.

The reference to Captain Jack Harkness in 'Knight Rider' could have provided that type of pleasure in discovery to some viewer, had not the writer decided he had to spell it all out with a belabored bit of dialogue. One day that viewer, with no previous knowledge of the time-traveling omnisexual, might stumble across 'Torchwood' while flipping the remote, and exclaim "Ah, so that's where he came from!" (Or in Jack's case, "who he came with".......)

Not possible when the writer thinks his audience is stupid and won't get it without him spelling it all out.

Note to the writers: maybe you do illuminate the reference for those not clued in to the original source material. But a good chunk of your audience is made up of genre fans who already know who Captain Jack Harkness is and like you did with me, you're just pissing them off by treating them with such contempt.

Besides, most of them are just waiting for the next scene in which Deanna Russo strips down inside KITT, so get on with it!

Okay, getting back to Billy's mention of 'Torchwood' and 'Doctor Who'; this Zonk can still be disabled. It would have been nice if he just mentioned 'Torchwood'; at least then we could say that he was referring to the organization and not to a TV series.

The reference to 'Doctor Who' as a TV series is not something we haven't seen before in Toobworld - 'Eureka', 'Extras', 'EastEnders'..... (Something about shows beginning with "E"?) And here's the standard splainin I've used in the past:

Most references to 'Doctor Who' within another TV show which should be sharing the same reality are about the movies which starred Peter Cushing back in the 1960s. And for alls we know, there have been movies since then about "Doctor Who" in Toobworld featuring other actors. (This gives us an out in case specific actors are named or shown - cases in point: Pertwee as seen in 'Supernova' and Tennant in 'Extras'.)As to why there would be a movie about the Doctor, here's my theory: Some movie producer heard rumors of the Doctor's existence (It's not like he was hiding himself back when he visited London in the sixties and seventies.) and decided to cash in by making a movie about him. Of course, he didn't know all the specific details about the mysterious stranger and that's why the character is actually named "Doctor Who" in the movies. But he did know enough that he was able to get right such details as the Doctor zipping about in the TARDIS and having a grand-daughter (although he has two in the movie).

UNIT realized that it would be better to let these productions take place in order to help keep the Doctor's identity a secret; let him hide in plain sight as many citizens of Toobworld would think he was just a movie character and dismiss any involvement he might have in some large disaster as being just a movie stunt. (One way in which the destruction of Big Ben in "Aliens Of London" could have been covered up.) And so the production of these movies would have been actively encouraged.

Billy's mention of 'Torchwood' would still be a reference to the real organization, which they would have had knowledge of in their own organization. And in fact, the same would hold true with the Doctor, but Billy would have given the movie moniker of 'Doctor Who' for the benefit of those techie girls. (They would only have said "Doctor who?" anyway.)

Apparently Captain Jack and Torchwood must have been dramatized in one of those 'Doctor Who' movies and/or TV shows.......

So for Toobworld purposes, that should serve as a splainin to disable the Zonk and to keep the connection between 'Knight Rider' and the 'Doctor Who' franchise viable. (Our standards are not the same as those maintained by our crossover friends, the Westphallians: we think everybody's already in the TV Universe; eventually a certified link will show up to connect them.)

Toby O'B


In the Halloween episode of 'Knight Rider (2008)', Charles Graiman asked Billy Morgan about his costume at work. Billy jumped up in his army-issue duster and grabbed the holsters by his sides. "I'm Captain Jack Harkness!" he declared.
"The time-travelling bisexual?" asked Charles. But he just couldn't see the resemblance.

Captain Jack Harkness is the main character of 'Torchwood', the spin-off (and anagram) of 'Doctor Who', on which he first appeared. And bisexual isn't exactly correct; "omni-sexual" would be more like it. But that was probably something that Graiman didn't want to wrap his head around.

There was no mention of the show 'Torchwood'; Captain Jack was referred to as the actual man. And as someone with high national security clearance, Charles Graison and Billy Morgan would know who he was and who he worked for.

Not that it was a secret any longer anyway. Even the ordinary citizens of Cardiff knew about Torchwood, as witnessed in the opening minutes of the second season premiere. ("Bloody Torchwood," groused an old lady as the gang raced after a fish-headed criminal.)

Of more interest was the disembodied hand that skittered about the console which Graison was hoping could be used to scare Mike Traceur. My first reaction was that it was reanimated, like Thing of 'The Addams Family' (perhaps even Thing itself, since we haven't seen any of them since the 1970s - at least in the main Toobworld.

But I'm thinking now that it was a cybernetic construct with its own micro-brain, the end-product of years of experimentation with androids and cyborgs (of which Hymie from 'Get Smart' and Steve Austin, 'The Six Million Dollar Man', were original prototypes.

But I still like the idea that it was a guest appearance by Thing....

Toby O'B