Saturday, December 27, 2008


Nate Ford, the founder of the "do-good con men" team of 'Leverage', Inc., was old friends with a priest named Father Paul, ever since they both were in seminary together. When Father Paul was beaten by street punks hired by a real estate developer (to keep Father Paul from making an impassioned plea to save his church from being razed), Nate and his friends stepped in to save the day.

And they did this by faking "The Miracle Job" for the patron saint of the church, St. Nicholas.......

Saint Nicholas (270 - December 6, 342) is the common name for Nicholas of Myra, a saint and Bishop of Myra (in Lycia, part of modern-day Turkey). Because of the many miracles attributed to his intercession, he is also known as Nicholas the Wonderworker. He had a reputation for secret gift-giving, such as putting coins in the shoes of those who left them out for him, and thus became the model for Santa Claus, whose English name comes from the Dutch Sinterklaas. His reputation evolved among the faithful, as is common for early Christian saints. In 1087, his relics were furtively translated to Bari, in southern Italy; for this reason, he is also known as Nicholas of Bari.

The tradition of Saint Nicholas Day, usually on 6 December, is a festival for children in many countries in Europe related to surviving legends of the saint, and particularly his reputation as a bringer of gifts. The American Santa Claus, as well as the Anglo-Canadian and British Father Christmas, derive from these legends.

c. February 15, 270 (the Ides of March), Patara, Lycia, Asia Minor (modern-day Turkey)
December 6, 346 (aged 76), Myra, Lycia
in All Christianity
Major shrine
Basilica di San Nicola, Bari, Italy.
December 6 (main feast day)
May 9 (translation of relics)
Vested as a Bishop. In Eastern Christianity, wearing an omophorion and holding a Gospel Book.
Children, sailors, fishermen, merchants, the falsely accused, pawnbrokers, prostitutes, repentant thieves, many cities.
A real miracle involving St. Nicholas could be said to have occurred in Toobworld. A computerized presence of St. Nicholas was brought forward in Time during an episode of 'Mentors'. Dee was having a hard time getting a senior citizen to accept her charity donation of groceries. She had Oliver summon St. Nicholas in order to help her force Mrs. Tatlow into accepting the gift, but St. Nicholas showed both children that true charity has no conditions, which was something Dee was trying to impose on the old lady.
Toby O'B

Friday, December 26, 2008


As one of those heart-warming movies that open at Christmastime, Tom Cruise is now appearing in "Valkyrie", based on the true story about the plot to kill Hitler.

Tom Cruise is playing Claus Von Stauffenberg......

Claus Philipp Maria Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg (15 November 1907 – 21 July 1944) was a German army officer and Roman Catholic aristocrat who was one of the leading officers of the failed 20 July plot of 1944 to kill German dictator Adolf Hitler and remove the Nazi Party from power in World War II Germany. He was one of the central figures of the German Resistance movement.

Stauffenberg's part in the original plan required him to stay at the Bendlerstrasse offices in Berlin, from where he would phone regular Army units all over Europe and the Reich in an attempt to convince them to arrest leaders of Nazi political organizations such as the Sicherheitsdienst and the Gestapo. Unfortunately, he found himself forced to do both, to kill Hitler far away from Berlin and to trigger the military machine in Berlin during the office hours of the very same day. He was the only conspirator who had regular access to Hitler (during his briefing meetings) by mid-1944, as well as being the only officer among the conspirators who was considered to have the resolve and persuasive power to convince German military leaders to throw in with the coup once Adolf Hitler was dead.

Stauffenberg was able to arm only one of the two bombs, which he placed back into the briefcase. He left the small room, handing the second, unarmed bomb in the briefcase to Haeften and proceeded back to the briefing room, where he placed the briefcase under the conference table and as close as he could to Hitler. Some minutes later he excused himself, pretending to need to make an urgent phone call to Berlin, and left the meeting room. He waited in a nearby shelter until the explosion tore through the hut. From what he saw, he was fully convinced that no one in the room could have survived. Although four people were killed and almost all survivors were injured, Hitler himself was shielded from the blast by the heavy, solid-oak conference table and was only slightly wounded.

Stauffenberg and fellow officers Colonel General Olbricht, Lieutenant von Haeften, and Oberst (Colonel) Albrecht Mertz von Quirnheim were shot before 01:00 a.m. that night (21 July 1944) by a makeshift firing squad in the courtyard of the Bendlerblock, which was lit by the headlights of a truck.

As his turn came, Stauffenberg spoke his last words: "Es lebe unser heiliges Deutschland!" ("Long live our holy Germany!") Fromm ordered that the executed officers (his former co-conspirators) receive an immediate burial with military honors in the Matthäus Churchyard in Berlin's Schöneberg district. Today there is a stone in memorial of this event. The next day, however, Stauffenberg's body was exhumed by the SS, stripped of his medals, and cremated.

On 10 August 1944, his brother, Berthold Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg, was tried before Judge-President Roland Freisler in the special "People's Court" (Volksgerichtshof]). This court was established by Hitler for political offenses and Berthold was one of eight conspirators executed by slow strangulation (reputedly with piano wire used as the garrote) in Plötzensee Prison, Berlin, later that day.

[courtesy of Wikipedia]

Now, the reason I'm writing about von Stauffenberg and - ugh! - a Tom Cruise movie is because the story was originally told on Television nearly twenty years ago. In "The Plot To Kill Hitler", Brad Davis stars as Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg. The film was shot in the United States and Zagreb, Yugoslavia.


Brad Davis Claus von Stauffenburg
Madolyn Smith Osborne Nina von Stauffenberg
Ian Richardson General Ludwig Beck
Kenneth Colley Field Marshal Wilhelm Keitel
Michael Byrne
General Friedrich Olbricht
Helmut Lohner General Friedrich Fromm
Jonathan Hyde
Joseph Goebbels
Rupert Graves Axel von dem Bussche
Helmut Griem Field Marshal Erwin Rommel
Mike Gwilym Adolf Hitler
Vernon Dobtcheff General Erich Fellgiebel
Christoph Eichhorn General Helmuth Stieff
Michael Fitzegerald Major Ernst John von Freyend

Toby O'B

Thursday, December 25, 2008


"This Christmas thing? What's it about?"
The Doctor:
"Long story. I should know. I was there. I got the last room."
'Doctor Who' - "Voyage Of The Damned"

8 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

9 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

10 And the angel said unto them, "Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger."

13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

14 "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men."

Luke 2:8-14

(King James Version)

Toby O'B



Wednesday, December 24, 2008


December 24, 1968:
The crew of Apollo 8 enters into orbit around the Moon, becoming the first humans to do so. They performed 10 lunar orbits and broadcast live TV pictures that became the famous Christmas Eve Broadcast, one of the most watched programs in history.

William Anders
"We are now approaching lunar sunrise and, for all the people back on Earth, the crew of Apollo 8 has a message that we would like to send to you.....

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep.

And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.

And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness."

Jim Lovell
"And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.

And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.

And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so.

And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day."

Frank Borman
"And God said, Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so.

And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good.

And from the crew of Apollo 8, we close with good night, good luck, a Merry Christmas – and God bless all of you, all of you on the good Earth."

Toby O'B


Tuesday, December 23, 2008


There's a new DHARMA special access video floating out there with Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse and with their future selves as well. It's fun, no real info imparted... until the very end.

And then we see two quick pictures of new characters.
Toby O'B


I've mentioned here in the past how depressing it is to work on my Hat Squad tributes to those actors, writers, directors, etc. who played a role in expanding the TV Universe after they pass away. There's just something about tallying up their TV credits from the, and remembering moments from many of them, and knowing we'll never see them create another Toobworld citizen for us that just makes it all such a downer.

In the last few weeks, we lost six actors who each made their mark in Television (some known more for their roles in the movie universe, but still....) and deserved the full Hat Squad treatment. But I just couldn't bring myself to delve into it, and as the year draws to a close, I'm finding I just don't have the time. (I'm toiling away on the annual Toobits Awards.)

And yet, I didn't want 2008 to end without giving them some sort of acknowledgement, so I'm presenting today as the Tiddlywinkydink a group Hat Squad, showcasing the character (in some cases, characters) for whom these actors were best known in Toobworld.


Barbara Harper Douglas
'My Three Sons'

[seen here with Fred MacMurray]


Carol Flemming
'Columbo' - "Prescription Murder"
[seen here with Gene Barry]


Sgt. Stan Jablonski
'Hill Street Blues'


Harry Bentley
'The Jeffersons'

The Painter
'Sesame Street'


The Minstrel

as Himself
'I Love Lucy'

[seen here with Lucille Ball]

as Himself
several game shows


Christine Chapel
'Star Trek'

Lwaxana Troi
'Star Trek: The Next Generation'

As Red Skelton would sign off, "May God Bless......."

Toby O'B

In the new year, with many TV shows still on hiatus from the holidays, I'll have the time to present their TV credits for proper Hat Squad tributes.



As 'Boston Legal' said goodbye earlier this month, it just wouldn't have been a proper send-off without at least one more Zonk from the show that not only broke the fourth wall but knocked it down and danced a jig on it. And boy, did they deliver!

As the litigation department took the elevator to meet their new bosses from China and hopefully to persuade them to keep them on, they discussed whether or not Larry Storch played Agarn on 'F Troop'.

At least with this one, it's far easier to splain it away than some of the doozies they Zonked us with in the past. Since Toobworld has its own 'F Troop' (which was probably established in an episode of 'Married... With Chidlren), we can make the assumption that they were talking about an historical representation of what really happened with Fort Courage back in the wild wild west days. And as they didn't go into any details as to what type of show 'F Trioop' was, we don't have to assume that it was a sitcom; it could have been an hour-long drama like 'Bonanza' or 'Gunsmoke'.

As for Larry Storch's participation in the project, we know from that episode of 'Married... With Children' - in which he gave his name to an acting school franchise - he has a televersion in Toobworld. And being an actor, he probably was cast as Agarn because of his incredible genetic resemblance to the historical figure of Randolph Agarn. (Toobworld Central uses Agarn as the basic example of how strong a genetic echo can be in Toobworld; not only because of the many relatives who resembled him on the show, but also because of the many other characters Larry Storch played on TV.)

So for once, 'Boston Legal' gave us an easy Zonk to prosecute; a parting gift to go along with the entire series as a whole.

Toby O'B

Monday, December 22, 2008


As an addendum to yesterday's salute to the crossword puzzle in Toobworld, the last new episode of 'CSI' for this year was entitled "19 Down" and showed a crossword puzzle that Gil Grissom had not finished before he tossed it in the trash can. (Only the answer for 19 Down had not been filled in.)

Anyone want to take a stab at what the answer could be?

Toby O'B


Too often "Inner Toob" is marking the passing of somebody who enriched the TV Universe, either behind the scenes or in creating characters to populate Toobworld. (I've got about five waiting to be honored, as a matter of fact, but it's just so depressing.)

So when presented with the opportunity to celebrate someone's life while they're still alive, I'm going to take it!

And so it is that Today's Tiddlywinkydink is a salute to Barbara Billingsley, who is most famous in Toobworld for playing June Bronson Cleaver, the mother of Theodore "Beaver" Cleaver, on 'Leave It To Beaver'. Today is her birthday.

She's guaranteed membership in the TV Crossover Hall of Fame one day, thanks to the "Beaver" franchise. Besides the original series, there was the TV reunion movie "Still The Beaver" and the sequel series, also called 'Still The Beaver'.

Earlier this year, I saw her in an episode of 1955's 'The Lone Wolf'; and although I figured she was indelibly stamped in my mind as June Cleaver, she quickly established this new character (who just might have been June's evil twin!)

Ms. Billingsley had a movie career as well, which included a cameo in the theatrical remake of 'Leave It To Beaver' in which she portrayed the legendary Aunt Martha. That's the type of casting that brings good karma to cinematic remakes of TV shows.

And I'm going to hazard a guess that her cameo in 1980's "Airplane!" has to be her most famous movie role.

Attendant: Can I get you something?

Jiveman #2: S'mo fo butter layin' to the bone. Jackin' me up. Tightly.
Attendant: I'm sorry I don't understand.
Jiveman #1: Cutty say he cant hang.
Woman (Barbara Billingsley) : Oh stewardess, I speak jive.
Attendant: Ohhhh, good.
Woman : He said that he's in great pain and he wants to know if you can help him.
Attendant: Would you tell him to just relax and I'll be back as soon as I can with some medicine.
Woman : Jus' hang loose, blooood. She gonna catch up on the`rebound wi de medcide.
Jiveman #2: What it is big mamma, my mamma didn't raise no dummy, I dug her rap.
Woman : Cut me som' slac' jak! Chump don wan no help, chump don git no help. Jive ass dude don got no brains anyhow.

Here's the link to a six-part interview with Barbara Billingsley from the Archive of American Television Interviews. The woman is just a delight!

Happy birthday, Barbara Billingsley, from all of us at Toobworld Central!

Toby O'B


In this week's 'Cold Case' episode ("Wings"), the case centered around a stewardess murdered late in the year of 1960. She worked for Global World Airlines, which according to Lt. Stillman, hasn't been around since the early 1960s.

That's probably because it was bought up and combined with another smaller airline to become Trans-Global Airway.

I went googling for TV shows that used Trans-Global, and what to my wondering eye should appear but
a post that I wrote; 2006 was the year!

The Trans-Global links are all solid, but having GWA become Trans-Global requires a leap of faith. But as that airline has not been around since the early 1960's, who gets hurt?

In a related story, one of the suspects in the case, Captain Rowland Hughes, left GWA just before he was guaranteed tenure and instead went to work for South Ocean Air. It's going to be the contention of Toobworld Central that South Ocean Air, if it still exists in the Toobworld timeline, is a subsidiary of Oceanic Airlines, most famously represented on 'Lost'.....

Toby O'B


There's an Argentine soup company that is populating its commercials with really bizarre characters that look to be a cross between the stop-motion clay people of 'Davey & Goliath' and 'Gumby & Pokey'. And as such, they would probably be found in their own pocket of that TV dimension which would also house everything from 'Robot Chicken' to 'Moral Orel' and even the claymation version of the life of Jesus.

Madre, the advertising company that designed these "people" for Lucchetti's, described the process

Toby O'B


Sunday, December 21, 2008


December 21, 1913:
Arthur Wynne's "word-cross", the first crossword puzzle, is published in the New York World.

In 1995, a professor of comparative religions named Oliver (We never learn if that's his first or last name) was laid off from his university. Presented with a parting gift of matching suitcases, Oliver decided to seek out the mysterious "Aristotle", the man who created the crossword puzzles he was so fixated upon. Along the way, he picked up a traveling companion in a policewoman named Priest, and they became involved in a murder mystery.

'Oliver's Travels' sounds pretty interesting; and since I've been always a fan of British mysteries (This past year I watched 'Cadfael', 'Poirot', 'Rosemary & Thyme', and 'An Unsuitable Job For A Woman'.), I've added it to my Netflix queue, bumping it up to be the next complete series, right after I finish 'Backstairs At The White House'. (The original version of the series was five episodes in length, but it was butchered for its American presentation to be only four episodes in length; so I don't know which version I'll be getting in Netflix.....)

A memorial website dedicated to Alan Bates, who played Oliver in the series has a section dedicated to word games with the late actor as their subject. And one of these is a crossoword puzzle which demands that you know your stuff about Bates.

Speaking about 'Oliver's Travels', Mr. Bates said, "It's a nice original piece. I liked it when I read it and I liked doing it. It's quite ingenious, with a thriller running through it. The thriller is tied into the crossword. It's quirky, but it's also got a philosophy and a love of history and place, a real sense of the past."

A crossword puzzle came into play in "Charma Loves Greb". No, that's not a misprint; that's the title of the 'Dharma & Greg' episode in which Dharma tracked down the creator of Greg's favorite crossword puzzles and cajjoled him into adding a birthday greeting to Greg to one of his puzzles. Unfortunately, it looked as though her husband was going to screw up the clues and totally miss the message!

Over in the Tooniverse, Homer Simpson contacted the two men responsible for the crossword puzzle in the New York Times and they created a puzzle that would gain the attention of Homer's daughter Lisa, who had become totally fixated on their crosswords. Their televersions both showed up in an episode - in animated form, of course, which means they had yellow skin and four fingers on each hand. (That episode of 'The Simpsons' has been nominated for a Toobits award.)

And in his coma-induced world of 1973, NYPD Detective Sam Tyler remembered some pertinent advice from his father - that the secret to solving a crossword puzzle can usually be found in the lower right-hand corner. Using that suggestion, Sam pieced together a clue as to what was happening to him from the lower right-hand corners of police reports connected to various cases he was working on. This led him to a cabin where he got a mysterious phone call from somebody who knew he had been run down in the world of 2008 and was now in a coma. (And that's how the American version of 'Life On Mars' left us hanging at their mid-season break, for all intents & purposes at the same "crossroads" where the British version left off.)
Forty-Two Across: an acronym greeting from 'The Prisoner',
Toby O'B