Saturday, December 20, 2008


A little hometown nostalgia crept into my dose of "serendipiteevee" this morning when I got home from work.

I turned on the TV as soon as I got in (of course!), and flipped to CNN - where I caught the tail end of a weather report live on the scene from Meriden, Connecticut.

Unfortunately for the reporter, she ended her report saying that the weather was "going to get much more bad". The anchors back in the studio, as well as the meteorologist, had fun with that!
Usually I have to go online to get a taste of the Silver City's news.....

Toby O'B


I never know where my TV investigations will take me online....

I was looking for information about WNKW and its connection to the ABC series 'Invasion' - about the strange alien lights which took possession of the inhabitants of Homestead, Florida, during a hurricane. So while watching the pilot episode, Everglades Park Ranger Russell Varon told his brother-in-law Dave about a plane crash in the preserve back in 1996.
Although he was referring to a plane crash that later played into the 'Invasion' storyline, it may have been influenced by a real world tragedy, that of ValuJet Flight 592. If so, details of that case would have been just as interesting as the plotline in 'Invasion'.....

When ValuJet Flight 592, en route from Miami to Atlanta, crashed in the Florida Everglades on May 11, 1996, 109 people died. Among them was 38-year-old Delmarie Walker, mother of two teen-aged children and wife of a disabled Pennsylvania state policeman.
In February 1997, well before the ValuJet crash suits could be settled or go to trail, the College Park, Georgia, police announced that they were closing their investigation into the March 25, 1996, murder of 48-year-old Catherine Holmes. “Even though we can't charge [Delmarie Walker], we feel the evidence shows she was the suspect who committed this crime,” the lead investigator told the Journal Constitution.

Holmes had choked to death on some object, possibly a sock, which had been forced into her throat. In the course of an apparent struggle she had received more than twenty stab wounds. Hogtied with a pillowcase covering her head, Holmes died cluching tufts of her assailant’s hair.

Then Walker died in the ValuJet crash in the Everglades. Eight months later (after delays attributed to the Olympic bombing) the Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s crime lab confirmed that Walker’s hair matched the hair found in Holmes’ grasp and that Walker’s fingerprints were found in Holmes’ apartment. Evidence that Holmes had previously written checks to Walker and that Holmes was known to have received $1,800 from her mother shortly before her death was apparently sufficient to convince police that Walker had murdered Holmes in a dispute over money.

However, because Walker’s body was never recovered from the Everglades, it was not possible to verify a match between Walker’s DNA and the blood spatter at the murder scene. Thus, the evidence on which the police based their conclusion that Walker was Holmes’ murderer and their consequent decision to close the investigation was largely circumstantial and arguably less than conclusive.

What if the televersion of DelMarie Walker's body became a hybrid of the creatures, as did Sheriff Tom Underlay's in that 1996 plane crash? Could they protect her from the authorities by hiding her in Homestead?

Toby O'B


I think that'll be the name of my porn movie......

"You know what? You've got spunk."
'The Mary Tyler Moore Show'

You've got spunk... and balls.
I like that in a woman
'The IT Crowd'
Toby O'B
[Post #3333]

The Christmas Countdown

Friday, December 19, 2008


December 19, 1986:
Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev releases Andrei Sakharov and his wife from internal exile in Gorky.

Two years earlier, Jason Robards and Glenda Jackson portrayed the Sakharovs in a TV movie about what led to this form of imprisonment. HBO moved up the film's premiere date because of Sakharov's hunger strike, which was undertaken in hopes it would force the authorities to let his wife leave the country for a needed operation.

Here is an extended excerpt from the New York Times review of that TV movie:

Essential biographical details are taken care of in the very first scene as a Soviet official lectures an unidentified group, who may or may not be members of the K.G.B., about Dr. Sakharov's background: born in 1921, a doctorate in physics in 1953, the year he also became the youngest member ever to be elected to the Academy of Sciences. As the physicist credited with developing the hydrogen bomb for the Soviet Union, Dr. Sakharov is one of the country's elite. He is a respected academician and, as another dissident later explains, more than that - ''You're one of them, not a Jew.''

Portrayed powerfully by Jason Robards, whose lean and craggy face comes closer to resembling Boris Pasternak, this Sakharov is a quiet, rather dour man who insists that he doesn't always seek out trouble. Yes, someone agrees, but ''you don't always avoid it either.'' When approached to sign a petition for an arrested dissident, Sakharov tells his first wife (Anna Massey), ''If I was in a prison camp, wouldn't you want people signing petitions for me.'' As he drifts slowly but unhesitatingly into more unpopular causes, his privileges are cut back and eventually he loses his top position as a teacher of physics. After the death of his wife, he sits alone on a park bench, still being watched by the authorities from a distance.

Through his association with dissident causes he meets Miss Bonner, a divorced woman with grown children. She is played by Glenda Jackson, whose special chemistry with Mr. Robards gives their scenes an extraordinary weight. Half-Jewish and long an active Communist, Miss Bonner becomes the driving force in Dr. Sakharov's life. When they eventually marry, he acquires the family he never had and becomes dedicated to its survival, especially when it becomes apparent that the Bonner children are being threatened and punished for the supposed transgressions of their parents.

It is Miss Bonner's elderly mother who prophetically warns her son-in- law that things are not so different from what they were under Stalin. Today they don't need terror, she observes, they have other ways, such as marshaling ''world opinion'' and having colleagues denounce you. ''They'' are not different, she insists, only smarter.

Why does Dr. Sakharov resist? He tells Western journalists that he has a need to create ideals. No ideals, no hope, he says, ''and then one is completely in the dark, in a hopeless blind alley.''

Needless to say, the Sakharov fight for human rights knows no geographical limitations. Among his more personal causes is his resistance to arguments for nuclear superiority or the death penalty. If he were outside the Soviet Union, he doubtless would be at the forefront of demonstrations that wouldn't necessarily be sanctioned by some of his current supporters. This is the crucial point scored quietly in this film, even as it shows George Orwell's vision of ''Nineteen Eighty-Four'' harrowingly close to being fully realized in the Soviet Union.

Writing up this piece only makes it more imperative that I finally get myself a scanner for Toobworld Central. I can't find a single decent photo or video clip from that TV movie online, but I do have one in a massive book on TV movies in the Great Library. Oh well. I'll post it eventually, so that anybody else who might find themselves in need of a picture of the televersion of Sakharov can find one......

Toby O'B



My brother sent part of a product description for a Pentax camera to be found today on Woot. Technically, this has nothing to do with television, but since inanimate objects can be alive in Toobworld, I think this could find a home in the TV Universe......

I thought you'd get a kick out of the product description they posted in the form of 10 things the camera has going for it, from the viewpoint of the [Pentax] camera itself:

Late at night, when everyone else is asleep and I’m left alone to imagine how I would kill them all, if only I had arms and legs.

Not having arms and legs.


Toby O'B

Thursday, December 18, 2008


My Iddiot brethren Eliot (with his Harveyesque partner Dr. Philately) sent me an email hallooing the news about that the Postal Service had unveiled its line of stamps celebrating "Early TV Memories". An hour later, my brother Bill also got his stamp magazine and sent me a similar email.
Here are the honorees in next year's issues:

'Texaco Star Theater' hosted by Milton Berle, aka "Mr. Television"

'I Love Lucy' - with Ethel Mertz and Lucy Ricardo in the chocolate factory

'The Red Skelton Show' with Red as Freddie The Freeloader

'The Howdy Doody Show'

'Dragnet' - with Sgt. Jack Webb


'Hopalong Cassidy', with his horse Topper

'You Bet Your Life' - with the one, the only, Groucho

'The Dinah Shore Show'

'The Ed Sullivan Show'

'Kukla, Fran, and Ollie'

'The Phil Silvers Show' aka 'You'll Never Get Rich' and simply 'Bilko'

'The Lone Ranger' shown with his horse Silver

'Perry Mason', squaring off against DA Hamilton Burger

'Alfred Hitchcock Presents'

'Burns And Allen' with George and Gracie

'Ozzie And Harriet' Nelson, playing themselves

'The Tonight Show' with host Steve Allen

'The Twilight Zone' with Rod Serling, creator and host

'The Honeymooners' with Ralph Kramden and Ed Norton

My only quibble with these choices would be the lack of Tonto in the picture of 'The Lone Ranger'. You watch - there'll be some outcry over that as being politically incorrect. It would have been nice to see Burr Tillstrom recognized for his puppetry genius, but at least we can pay attention to the man behind the curtain through Kukla and Ollie.

Toby O'B

"The Post Office announced today that it is going to issue a stamp
commemorating prostitution in the United States.
It's a ten-cent stamp,
but if you want to lick it, it's a quarter
Chevy Chase
"Weekend News Update"
'Saturday Night Live'


Signing off until February, 'Chuck' gave Toobworld a big Christmas gift with the holiday-themed episode, "Chuck vs. Santa Claus": Reginald VelJohnson was a guest star, playing Big Mike's cousin. But even better than that... Al was Al Powell of the Burbank police department, Twinkie included. That means he was the televersion of the character VelJohnson played in the first two "Die Hard" movies!

This doesn't have to mean that the "Die Hard" franchise is fully incorporated into the TV Universe, just that most of the characters from those films also have lives in Toobworld. And for all those TV shows that made mention of the events in the "Die Hard" movies (or to the movies themselves), the movies could have been fictional representations of actual events which occurred in Toobworld. Among the shows that either had the characters talking about the movie, or watching it, or quoting from it are:

'Friends' - in three different episodes
'The X-Files'
'The Middleman'
'The Sopranos'
'The Office'
'Ugly Betty'
'Freddy's Nightmares'
'How I Met Your Mother'
'Law & Order: Special Victims Unit'
'Third Rock From The Sun'

As for Michael Rooker's appearance as Lt. Mauser in the story, this is no reflection on the character from the "Police Academy" movies - at least from within the reality of Toobworld. First off, if he had been the real character, as Al was, he should have looked like Art Metrano. Secondly, it doesn't even acknowledge the presence of those films, which do have a TV counterpart sharing the same dimension.

Instead, it's either the FULCRUM agent's real name, or he pulled it out of the air for an alias.

Thanks, 'Chuck'! Happy Holidays!

Toby O'B


While doing research on 'That's Life' (the one from 2000) for today's TWD about New Jersey Day, I found this line of dialogue from the show:

"What, you let him live in your place
And now we're Laverne and Shirley
Jackie O'Grady
'That's Life'

I've got no problem with this Zonk. For the audience viewing at home? Sure, it's a reference to the TV show. They're "hearing" the quotation marks around the title in their heads.

But in Toobworld, Jackie was referring to two women who are known to both her and to her friend, Lydia DeLucca. For alls I know, maybe that Shirley and Laverne are elderly lesbians, and Jackie was worried about getting that reputation as well.

No matter who they were, that Laverne and Shirley were living in New Jersey and not in Milwaukee.

Toby O'B



Sketch comedy shows have their actors playing currently famous people all the time; but for shows set in the main Toobworld, most series opt to get those famous people to portray themselves (unless it's for a momentary, blink-and-you'll-miss-it cameo in which they flash across the screen quickly or are lost in the blurry background).

But every so often, a show will instead hire an actor to play an extended version of that real person. (I remember 'The West Wing' did that with a scientist.) And now 'Gossip Girl' has gone in that direction with their depiction of an artist named Aaron Rose.

The Aaron Rose of the Trueniverse used to run the Alleged Gallery on Ludlow Street in downtown Manhattan, which became a haven for the fringe scene in the early 90's. He was contacted by a writer from the show months ago about the idea, but they embarked on the project without any further input from him.

So now the televersion of Aaron Rose is now kind of a loser with badly-styled facial hair who's dating one of the high-schoolers in the show, someone a bit younger than him. But worst of all to the real Aaron Rose, who now lives in LA? Tthe art of Aaron Rose on the show sucks!

"On the one hand, I think it's super-hilarious, and I should be flattered that I'm considered mock-worthy. But - his hair! He has terrible hair!" said Rose. "This is not cool. They're messing with my reputation."

I don't know if the show will ever respond to his complaints and maybe give their Aaron Rose an extreme make-over. But more than likely, they'll finally pay attention to the bile spewed online by the fans about the guy and just get rid of him.....

Toby O'B


December 18 is New Jersey Day!

New Jersey Day is a celebration to commemorate the admission of New Jersey to the union. On this date in 1787 New Jersey became the third state of the United States. Celebration includes wearing clothes or accessories which celebrate the state, such as "I <3>

I'm a New Yorker, although in my heart? I'm still in Connecticut. But I have many friends who live in New Jersey, and I love them anyway. (Sorry about that, Chief!)

So, in keeping with the "holiday", - and with thanks to TV Acres (link to the left) - here's a list of TV shows that are situated in the "Garden State":

Annie McGuire/CBS/1988 Bayonne

Big Shamus, Little Shamus/CBS/1979 Atlantic City

Charles In Charge/CBS/1984-85/SYN/1987-90 New Brunswick

Day By Day/NBC/1988-89 Suburbs Near New York City

Down The Shore/FOX/1992-93 Belmar Beach

Dream Street/NBC/1989 Hoboken

Good & Evil/ABC/1991 Weehawken

Hi Honey, I'm Home/ABC/1991 Suburbs

House (House M.D.)/FOX/2004+ Princeton-Plainsboro Teaching Hospital

Hudson Street/ABC/1995-96 Hoboken

Joe & Sons/CBS/1975-76 Hoboken

Live-In/CBS/1989 Suburbs Near New York City

Makin' It/ABC/1979 Pasaic

Matt Waters/CBS/1996 Bayonne

Music at the Meadowbrook/ABC/1953-56 Cedar Grove

No Soap, Radio/ABC/1982 Atlantic City

One of the Boys/NBC/1982 Sheffield College

Point Pleasant/FOX/2005+ Point Pleasant

Roomies/NBC/1987 Saginaw University

Sibs/ABC/1991 Weehawken

The Sopranos/HBO/1999+. Suburbs (Montclair?)

Stand By Your Man/FOX/1992 Franklin Heights

The Street/SYN/1988 Newark

Toma/ABC/1973-74 Newark

We'll Get By/CBS/1975 Suburbs near New York City

What a Dummy/SYN/1990-91 Secaucus

Wiseguy/CBS/1987-90 Atlantic City

Plus there's 'That's Life', which took place near Montclair University. (From CBS/2000-01)

Toby O'B


Wednesday, December 17, 2008


It's that time of year again where everybody does "end-of-the-year" lists or give out "Best Of The Year" awards in all sorts of categories. But since we're a TV blog, those that interest me have to do with the world of the toob. has
a list of the best supporting TV characters now up. They dictated that it would only be a list of supporting characters new this year and yet they immediately went and broke that rule with the inclusion of Big Mike from 'Chuck'. And with a pretty lame reason why. (Of course, when they asked for their readers' suggestions, they insisted that we stick by those original rules. Screw that.)

And they doubled up for one slot with both Gene Hunt and Ray Carling from the American remake of 'Life On Mars'. I'm enjoying the new version far more than I expected I would, but Harvey Keitel is no match for the memory of Philip Glenister in the original; he never should have been on this list! However, Michael Imperioli has really stamped Ray as his own, and he is a great cartoon, albeit a believable one, of the 70s detective.

Anyway, there were several new supporting characters from other shows who could have better served the terms of the rules than Big Mike. Here are just three of my suggestions:

1] Marshal Marshall Mann, 'In Plain Sight'
2] Ida, 'The Middleman'
3] Cameron, 'Terminator: The Sarah Conner Chronicles'

Even if had some kind of prejudice against androids/cyborgs, Marshall Mann would still have been a far better choice than recycling Big Mike!


Toby O'B


December 17, 1267:
Emperor Go-Uda of Japan is born. He died in 1324.

Take it away, Wikipedia:

Emperor Go-Uda (December 17, 1267 – July 16, 1324) was the 91st emperor of Japan, according to the traditional order of succession. His reign spanned the years from 1274 through 1287.This 13th century sovereign was named after the 9th century Emperor Uda and go- (?), translates literally as "later;" and thus, he is sometimes called the "Later Emperor Uda". The Japanese word "go" has also been translated to mean the "second one;" and in some older sources, this emperor may be identified as "Uda, the second," or as "Uda II."

His second son became Emperor Go-Daigo who may have been caught up in an adventure with the Doctor in 1336. As the Doctor explained to Lynda with a Y, "Then we went to... Kyoto.... That's right, Japan, in 1336.... And we only just escaped." ('Doctor Who' - "Bad Wolf")

More than likely, this happened during the Battle of Minatogawa, otherwise known as the Battle of Minato River. Those armies loyal to Go-Daigo fought against the Ashikaga Clan, who were eventually victorious. Go-Daigo fled to the mountains and the leader of his army committed suicide.

That's the most likely time in which the Doctor, Rose, and Jack met the son of Emperor Go-Uda.

Toby O'B


Tuesday, December 16, 2008


No, it's not about Bush in Iraq, but hot bleep! Didn't that make for great toob?
December 16, 1960:
While approaching New York's Idlewild Airport, a United Airlines Douglas DC-8 collides with a TWA Lockheed Super Constellation in a blinding snowstorm over Staten Island, killing 134.

There's no way that a sitcom would ever trade on that for laughs; perhaps, as was the case with the concert in Cincinnatti that claimed lives, a sitcom might follow the example of 'WKRP In Cincinnatti' - to use the tragedy to illustrate its impact on the show's characters.

If there was any show that might have touched on this tragedy at that time, I'd nominate 'Naked City'; having them take the modern approach of their plot being "ripped from the headlines", a la 'Law & Order'. But if we were to think of a sitcom of the time that might have had some kind of peripheral connection to the event, then I think 'Car 54, Where Are You?' would be my pick.

Of course, I'm looking at it in the broader sense of Toobworld, not as if it would be the typical plot of a 'Car 54' episode, but rather as an event that affected them off the screen.

And perhaps, in a TV Universe sense, the show even referred to the domino effect from that crash in their theme song, written by Nat Hiken:

"There's a hold up in the Bronx,
Brooklyn's broken out in fights.
There's a traffic jam in Harlem
That's backed up to Jackson Heights.
There's a scout troup short a child,
Kruschev's due at Idlewild
Car 54, Where Are You?"

'Car 54, Where Are You?' began in 1961. A year earlier, Soviet Premier Nikita Kruschev had been in New York City from September to October for the opening sessions of the United Nations.

From Wikipedia:

Khrushchev repeatedly disrupted the proceedings in the United Nations General Assembly in September-October 1960 by pounding his fists on the desk and shouting in Russian. On September 29, 1960, Khrushchev twice interrupted a speech by British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan. The unflappable Macmillan famously commented over his shoulder to Assembly president Frederick Boland of Ireland that if Khrushchev wished to continue, he would like a translation.
The notorious shoe-banging incident occurred during a debate, on October 12, over a Russian resolution decrying colonialism. Infuriated by a statement of the Filipino delegate Lorenzo Sumulong which charged the Soviets with employing a double standard, Khrushchev accused Sumulong of being "a jerk, a stooge and a lackey of imperialism". Later Khrushchev appeared to have pulled off his right shoe and started banging it on his desk.

On another occasion, Khrushchev said in reference to capitalism, "We will bury you". This phrase, ambiguous both in the English language and in the Russian language, was interpreted in several ways. Later, he would refer back to the comment and state, "I once got in trouble for saying, 'We will bury you'. Of course, we will not bury you with a shovel. Your own working class will bury you."

As the Idlewild tragedy happened on December 16 of that year, the timeline doesn't work... for the real world. Toobworld, however, could be a different story.

This is how I'd play it out if I was filling in the blanks......

Keeping the scenario within something of a sitcom framework, it could be that once he was back in Mother Russia, Kruschev would have realized that he was missing his favorite pair of shoes, his "lucky pair" - the ones he used in his tirade at the United Nations. After realizing that he left them behind in Manhattan, Kruschev got frustrated by his aides' lack of success in tracking them down until he finally decided to go back himself and retrieve them.

By this point in Time, it would be just a day before the Idlewild crash in December of 1960.

When he finally arrived in America, his flight was originally supposed to land elsewhere because of the tragedy. But Kruschev would be depicted as the arrogant, stubborn bully that he seemed to most Americans, and he would have insisted on landing at Idlewild anyway, just to get back his stupid shoes. And that's what could have caused the panic about his arrival at the airport.
"Ooh! Ooh! Look! It's Kruschev!"

By the time 'Car 54, Where Are You?' premiered in 1961, the story of the Premier coming back to America (Telemerica, actually) had become the stuff of legend... and even of song.

That's what could have happened. Anything's pozz'ble, just pozz'ble, in Toobworld.......

Toby O'B


Monday, December 15, 2008


December 15, 1467:
Stephen III of Moldavia defeats Matthias Corvinus of Hungary, with the latter being injured thrice, at the Battle of Baia.

Moldavia no longer exists as an independent state in the real world. In the cartography of Toobworld, however, it's still a principality.

As for the real Moldavia:

Moldavia is a geographic and historical region and former principality in Eastern Europe, corresponding to the territory between Eastern Carpathians and Dniester river. An initially independent and later autonomous state, it existed from the 14th century to 1859, when its western part united with Wallachia as the basis of the modern Romanian state; at various times, the state included the regions of Bessarabia (with the Budjak) and all of Bukovina. The western part of Moldavia is now part of Romania, the eastern part belongs to the Republic of Moldova, while the northern and south-eastern parts are territories of Ukraine.

(from Wikipedia)

As for Toobworld, Moldavia first came into real prominence in 1966, with the first two-parter of 'Batman', in which we were introduced to the Riddler:

{Hi Diddle Riddle (#1.1)}
The Riddler leaves a clue at a Moldavian reception at the Gotham City World's Fair.

{Smack in the Middle (#1.2)}

Batman must solve additional riddles to find the villain's target -- the Moldavian pavilion at the world's fair where an ancient mammoth -- with jewels on the outside and priceless postage stamps inside -- is on display.

(Descriptions from the

During the 1980's, there was a long-running storyline in 'Dynasty' in which Amanda fell in love with Prince Michael, son of Moldavia's King Galen. The wedding party massacre in Moldavia by revolutionaries at the end of one season is generally perceived to be the series' shark-jumping moment. Even so, Prince Michael remained for awhile into the next season, only to walk away once he realized that Amanda loved Dex.

In 'Bottom', a series I'm not yet familiar with, characters Richie and Eddie joined Lily Lineker's Love Bureau dating service in the episode "Digger". Eddie got a date with Sarah Ferguson, and Richie found himself on a date with Lady Natasha Letita Sarah Jane Wettesley Olstomsky Ponsonsky Smythe Smythe Smythe Oblomov Dub, Countess of Moldavia.

Moldavia showed up in the Tooniverse as well, thanks to a cartoon from either Canada or France.....

"Lucky Luke"
{The Clown Princes (#1.9)}

When Lucky attends a small-town horse rodeo, two fat wallets convince several contenders to bow out with 'leg cramp', leaving the Moldavian twins Bogdan and Todor, mistaken for Canadians, who are knocked down and out in no time. After the brothers bribe the sheriff for a chance to hunt down a criminal, Lucky takes charge and finds out they are rival crown princes on a contest for the right to succeed their uncle, king Slobko of Moldavia, consisting of three parts: rodeo, arresting a crook and scalping an Indian, but Lucky protects the peaceful No Joke tribe...

(Description from the

But there was one reference to Moldavia that doesn't count......

"Someday My Prince Will Come" [1996]

A Moldavian prince descends on Lanford with one purpose in mind: to romance Jackie. After the losers that she has been dating, Jackie has a big laugh when he announces that he is a Prince. After a few minutes of convincing, Leon saves the day by recognizing the Moldavian Royalty. It seems he's developed a royal crush on her after seeing her briefly on TV, and has traveled to the states to romance her. Roseanne urges caution until the potentate invites the entire family to fly on his private jet for a whirlwind trip to New York.

When all was said and done, it turned out to be only the fantasy of the show's main character... captured in a novel she was writing.

(Description from

So the fictional Moldavia can geographically link 'Dynasty', 'Batman', and 'Bottom'; and since former First Lady Betty Ford showed up in Denver during one 'Dynasty' episode, we get the full splendor of the shows linked by 'The Mary Tyler Moore Show' as well!

Toby O'B


Sunday, December 14, 2008


AOL had one of those time-waster quizzes today, this time one that was a bit morbid - trying to guess if a celebrity was dead or alive. I got a perfect score, but I will admit I guessed on Ruby Dee, Lena Horne, and Julie Harris. But I guessed right each time, thinking that if they had passed away I would have noticed during my Hat Squad news searches for the blog.

However, whoever put together that quiz really screwed up with one answer. Oh, Polly Bergen is still alive, but she was given credit for two different achievements for which she has no connection:

The late Frances Bergen had those honors.

I wonder if anybody's going to bring it to the attention of Candice Bergen?

Or to Charlie McCarthy?

Toby O'B
"Is that what you want to be?
A quizzzzz-master?"
Lou Grant
'The Mary Tyler Moore Show'


When a TV show is set in an alternate universe, sometimes I wonder if its characters from that dimension can be found in the main Toobworld. Finding the same actor, that's the easy part. It would be nice if their character in one universe or another is never named, although that's not such a difficult obstacle to overcome. And as for their occupations and even their personalities being different can be easily splained away by the change in circumstances between the two dimensions.
So this week I saw the finale (season? series?) of 'Gavin & Stacey', and found a character who might be found in an alternate dimension from 'Doctor Who'. In both, the characters were played by Helen Griffin. (Same name as me own Nana - and she kind of looks like my Auntie Anne - so of course she came to my notice!)
While racing to get Smithie to Barry Island so that he could be there for the birth of his baby by Nessa, Gavin tangled with an obstinate toll booth collector. She wouldn't let them cross into Wales because they didn't have the full amount for the toll - and all they were missing was 10p!

She's only named in the credits as "Rita", her name never comes up in the dialogue. Toobworld Central has had to rule on this in the past and the decision always comes down in favor of the dialogue, which is part of the inner reality; the credits are not.
In the 'Doctor Who' two-parter "The Age Of Steel" & "Rise Of The Cybermen", she is known as Mrs. Moore, but her real name is Angela Price. Since her name is never brought up officially in the 'Gavin & Stacey' episode, we could make the claim that they were one and the same.

And even if Ruth Jones and James Corden showed up at Toobworld Central to insist that her name MUST be "Rita", no worries. I'll just say that the difference is due to the way each of them was raised in their respective dimensions.


Toby O'B


From 'Doctor Who' - "The Idiot's Lantern":

Out on the street, 50's music is playing, people are out on the street dancing and talking. Trestle tables line the centre of the road covered in pastries, cakes, drinks, etc. The Doctor and Rose walk down the street.

We could go down the mall, join in with the crowd.
Nah, that's just pomp and circumstance.
This is history right here.
The domestic approach.

From 'Sanctuary' - "Requiem":

The people that you've met, the … the history that you've witnessed...
How do you relate to anybody?
Dinner parties must be hell.
History is just that, Will. It's history.
We've all experienced it.
I just have more under my belt than most people
No. No. No. No. No.
You were in Rheims the day the Nazi's surrendered.
You were right there in the room when it happened.
Only because Eisenhower refused to be in the same room as General Jodl,
and asked that I accompany General Smith to ensure that the process went smoothly
I guess Ike didn't want to breathe the same air as the Nazi High Command.
Some of them didn't even breathe air.

Toby O'B


December 14, 1782:
Montgolfier brothers' first balloon lifts on its first test flight.

That must have been an unmanned balloon, because.....

Meanwhile, back in the Skitlandia dimension of Toobworld......

[Oh, where is the 'Batman' announcer when you need him? Probably dead.....]


Cut to a suburban bathroom. A plumber with a bag of tools open beside him is doing an elaborate repair on the toilet. He is in rather an awkward position.

Plumber (working away)
The Golden Age of Ballooning can be said to begin in 1783 ... when the Montgolfier brothers made their first ascent in a fire balloon. On the eve of that ... (struggling with the work) come on... come on... momentous ascent, the brothers took one last look at their craft, as it stood on the field of Annencay.

At the window Joseph and Jacques Montgolfier are looking out at their balloon. In the background a plumber is working away at a bit of eighteenth-century French piping.

This is a great moment for us, Joseph.
It is a great moment for France.
Ah, oui!
First ascent in a hot-air balloon, by the Montgolfier brothers - 1783 ... I can see us now... just after Montesquieu and just before Mozart.
I think I'll go and wash ...
Good luck.
Oh ... it's quite easy, really ... I just slap a little water on my face, then...
No... good luck for tomorrow.
Oh I see, yes. You too. Yours has been the work.
Let us hope for a safe ascent... and don't use my flannel.
You know, when you showed me the plans in Paris, I could not believe that we should be the first men who would fly.
Yes ... it's wonderful.
I am so excited I could hardly wash.
Yes ... I too have had some difficulty washing these past few days.
Still, what is washing when we are on the verge of a great scientific breakthrough?
Yes, Joseph...
I have not been washing very thoroughly for many years now.
What do you mean? You must have been washing your face?
Oh yes, my face, I wash my face... but my legs... my stomach ... my chest, they're filthy.
Well, I don't wash my stomach every day.
Joseph (with increasing self-remorse)
Ah, but you wash far more than me ... you are the cleaner of the Montgolfier brothers.
This is nothing, Joseph...
Well, it's getting late. I must go and have a wash.
What will you be washing?
Oh ... just my face and neck ... perhaps my feet... and possibly ... but no ... no ... lock up the plans, Joseph... tomorrow they will make us the toast of France. 'The first ascent by the Montgolfier brothers in a balloon'. Just after Ballcock and just before Bang... what a position!

[edited down from the original 'Monty Python's Flying Circus' sketch in order to eliminate any inadvertant Irishmen.....]

Toby O'B