Saturday, February 28, 2009


From the Tooniverse to Skitlandia we go now for the "As Seen On TV" showcase.....
This week on 'Important Things with Demetri Martin', a student named Steve was writing a paper about the three people from history he'd most like to have dinner with - shades of 'Meeting Of The Minds'! - when lightning struck his computer.
Steve found himself in a TGIF restaurant with William Shakespeare, Benjamin Franklin, and Galileo Galilei. But before he could fulfill the dream of asking them his important questions, the three luminaries proved themselves to be Class A jerks to their waitress Kathy.
H. Jon Benjamin played Franklin, John Oliver was Shakespeare, and Demetri [center] played Galileo.
Toby O'B

Friday, February 27, 2009


With my upgrade to the new Blogger template for "Inner Toob", it's a lot easier to deal with links - pruning away the dead ones as well as adding new sites.

I had to clean out the system because my Iddiot friend Brian-El discovered one of them led to a Japanese porn site. I cleared away the rot and have added these sites to the Toobworld Blogroll:

TV Tango - which replaces Mike's old Trivial TV, a great resource for research!
Television Obscurities
Bill Brioux's TV Feeds My Family
The Guardian's TV and Radio Blog
Classic TV History Blog
Remote Island
Television Tropes
Memory Alpha - a 'Star Trek' wiki

Check them out when you get a chance!

Toby O'B


We're wrapping up the theme of authors as seen on 'The Simpsons' with a group shot of Michael Chabon, Jonathan Franzen, Tom Wolfe, and Gore Vidal. Tom Wolfe did appear in a quick cameo on the episode "Insane Clown Poppy", as did the others we featured earlier this week for this theme (except for Alan Moore).

However, this picture is for the episode "Moe 'n A Liza". All four authors portrayed themselves... vocally, that is.

Toby O'B

Thursday, February 26, 2009


My friend Michael C. ordered me in no uncertain terms that I should pay tribute here to the memory of Wendy Richard, a British actress who lost her battle with breast cancer. I suppose while he was a student over in London, Michael saw her play Pauline Fowler on 'EastEnders'. But I know he's also a big fan of Britcoms, so he was more likely familiar with her - as I was - from the department store workplace comedy 'Are You Being Served?' (As a matter of fact, he named his new Russian Blue kitten "Tiddles", after Mrs. Slocombe's puss.....)

Although I would have given her the proper Hat Squad tribute anyway, I can't write a "Wendy & Me"-styled memorial for her, as I wasn't a very big fan of 'Are You Being Served?', although I've seen quite a number of them over the years. So there's not much I could say in tribute to her talents, but my blog buddy Ivan of "Thrilling Days Of Yesteryear" (the main link is to the left, good people) did a much better job at honoring her than I ever could. It can be found

But I will quickly run down a number of other characters she has left behind; many of whom are still occupying Toobworld, even though she no longer is with us:

Marple: A Pocket Full of Rye (2008) .... Mrs. Crump

"Benidorm" .... Sylvia

"EastEnders" .... Pauline Fowler

Doctor Who: Dimensions in Time (1993) (TV) .... Pauline Fowler

"Grace & Favour" .... Miss Shirley Brahms

"Are You Being Served?" .... Miss Shirley Brahms

"Spooner's Patch" (1979) TV series

Are You Being Served?: The Movie (1977) .... Miss Shirley Brahms
[Miss Brahms is qualified to be inducted into the TV Crossover Hall Of Fame, as are most of the other members of the AYBS cast.]
"Not on Your Nellie" (1974) TV series .... Doris

"Hogg's Back" (1975) TV series .... Pearl

"Dad's Army" .... Shirley /Edith Parish

"Bowler" .... Greta

"Z Cars" .... Maureen Parker

"The Fenn Street Gang" .... Myrna

"Both Ends Meet" (1972) TV series .... Maudie

"On the Buses" .... Elsie
"Please Sir!" .... Rita

On the Buses (1971) .... Housewife

"Dixon of Dock Green" .... Barbara Walker / Jean Davis

Carry on Again Christmas (1970) (TV) .... Kate

"Up Pompeii" .... Soppia

"The Wednesday Play" .... Delphine
- The Voices in the Park (1967)

The Making of Jericho (1966) (TV)

"ITV Play of the Week"
- Plays of Married Life #1: A Catching Complaint (1966) TV episode .... Girl in Night Club
- London Wall (1963) TV episode .... Miss Bufton

"Pardon the Expression"

"No Hiding Place" .... Janet /Linda Hooper /Smiler

"The Newcomers" (1965) TV series .... Joyce Harker

"The Likely Lads" .... Lynn

The Day of Ragnarok (1965) (TV)

Don't I Look Like a Lord's Son? (1964) (TV) .... The Girl
"Danger Man" .... Sue
[It always amazes me, since I began keeping track of the Toobworld Hat Squad, how so many of those who've died will have a connection to someone else who died in that particular year. In this case, Ms. Richard passed away just over a month after the star of 'Danger Man', Patrick McGoohan.]

"HMS Paradise" .... Genevieve

"ITV Television Playhouse" .... Brunette factory girl
- The Wedding Dress (1963)

"Hugh and I" (1962) TV series .... Daughter
"Harpers West One" (1961) TV series .... Susan Sullivan

Sammy Meets the Girls (1960) (TV) .... Girl
That's far from a complete list, as made evident by the inclusion of a picture of Ms. Richard in 'Bless This House' (with the "Godspell" poster in the background.)

Wendy Richard also provided her televersion to Toobworld's citizenry with appearances in two pseudo-variety and talk show format series. She showed up at Number 42 to be a guest on the Kumar family's talk show ('The Kumars At Number 42'), and on an episode of 'Roland Rat: The Series', she probably took part in a sketch called "RatEnders".
When Ms. Richard left 'EastEnders' finally in 2006, her character of Pauline Fowler was killed off; I believe that for many it would have been unthinkable for anyone else to come along to play the role. But I'd like to think that Shirley Brahms is still with us in Toobworld, perhaps still helping to run that bed and breakfast manor in which the Grace Brothers sank her pension fund...... As Red Skelton would say, Good night and may God bless.....

Toby O'B This tribute would not have been possible had it not been for my liberal theft of pictures from the Wendy Richard Appreciation Page. Please visit them to see more about this dear lady.......


Okay, this isn't a spoiler... unless of course it proves to be correct. This is just a theory I have about what may happen before 'Lost' has run its course......

The show's producers are racing to splain away a lot of the show's mysteries before it all comes to an end in 2010. One long-standing puzzle has been the identity of the two skeletons in the cave found in the episode "House Of The Rising Sun". According to Jack's analysis of the rags on them that had once been clothing, the bodies had been in that cave for probably fifty years at least. Since 'Lost' has whole-heartedly embraced the concept of time travel this season, I'm thinking that ultimately we'll find out that we already know who these two people had been when they were alive. And since they're male and female, it'll turn out to be someone we know as a couple, somehow thrust back into the past.

The assumption first goes to a coupling from the show's eternal triangle - Jack and Kate or Sawyer and Kate. But I'm thinking of another, more beloved, couple from the show; one of whom has not yet even been on the Island.

I think it's Desmond and Penny. In the episode "316", we learn that Ben has gone off to "fulfill a promise to an old friend" before joining the others for that Ajira flight, which leads us to believe that he's gone to kill Penny Widmore Hume, Desmond's wife, as he threatened to do when he confronted her father, Charles Widmore. And later, when we see Ben all bloody phoning Jack from a marina, we fear the worst.

But we don't know yet what happened.

I'm hoping that Ben failed in his mission; that he found Desmond far more protective than anticipated, and so Ben got the bleep kicked out of him.

But now Desmond is pissed and he feels the need to save the others who are going back to the Island with Ben. Penny, however, won't let him go alone - she lost him once to that Island for four years and she won't let that happen again.

So I'm thinking that they go to Ms. Hawking to get new course directions for reaching the Island and plan to sail to it on the Searcher, Penny's yacht. Of course, they'll have to take along their son Charlie (named for Charlie Pace and not for her father, most likely), who in the "present" day is about 3 years old.

When the Ajira flight passed through its set of coordinates, most of the Oceanic 6 found themselves back on the Island in the 1970's. With a new set of coordinates, I'm thinking that Desmond and Penny would end up on the Island at some other point in Time. And I'm thinking it'll be around 1937, the same year that Amelia Earhart vanished during her around the world tour. (Because of my earlier post about Julie Adams as Amelia in 'Lost', I've got the famed yet doomed aviatrix on my poor excuse for a mind.)

Here's why I picked that date - their son Charlie.

Trapped back in that Time on the Island, Desmond and Penny make the best of it in a "Swiss Family Robinson" way, raising their son and building a life for him centered on those caves. However, I think that eventually they'd be discovered by the "natives", perhaps Richard Alpert among them, and absorbed into the community like Cindy the stewardess and the two kids were years later. I think Charlie was raised among those people on the Island and came to think of them as HIS people. And something about that life hardened him, darkened his soul, certainly not the young man his parents would want him to become.

Could it be somehow involved with the death of his parents? Could it be that Penny and Desmond are those skeletons in the cave?

For some reason, I think Charlie took the name "Widmore" to be his new last name after the death of his parents.

That's right. I'm claiming that Charlie Hume - like they say in the song - is his own grandpa! This is why I think the Humes arrived on the Island at some point around the year 1937. Charles Widmore told Locke in the latest episode that they met in 1954 when Widmore was 17 years old. Because of the actor playing him, he looks a bit older. So although his life began - as far as the Island is concerned - in 1937, he was already three years old by that point. I think he was more like 20 when he met Locke and the other time-bouncers.

Like I said, this is only a theory, but what a kick in the head for a storyline, huh?

Toby O'B


"People will tell you where they've gone
Theyll tell you where to go
But till you get there yourself you never really know
Where some have found their paradise
Others just come to harm
Oh Amelia, it was just a false alarm"
Joni Mitchell

If you haven't watched tonight's episode of 'Lost' yet, come back later......

In the beginning of "The Life And Death Of Jeremy Bentham", Caesar was flipping through a 1954 issue of Life magazine. And one of the pages inside shows a publicity shot of "The Creature Of The Black Lagoon". I'm sure a lot of people will come away from that small scene thinking the more important nugget o' trivia was the headline on the cover about "Color Pictures From Hydrogen Test", especially after we met "Jughead" a few episodes ago. However, I think it's more important that we focus on Ricou Browning's most famous role......

In the picture, the Creature is carrying actress Julie Adams. Ms. Adams appeared on 'Lost' in the episode "A Tale Of Two Cities", as a member of the Island's book club. And she also appeared in the "Missing Pieces" webisode "The Envelope".

Both times I thought it odd that they would bring a recognizable actress of some fame out to film what was basically a throwaway role that could have been done by a local actress, or at least by someone who wasn't as well-known. I figured that there had to be more to her character, which we would learn later.
In putting together this post, I've seen some online theories that her character of Amelia could in fact be Amelia Earhart! The idea being that living on the Island since her crash in the 1930s has prolonged her life; maybe not in the same way as it has for Richard Alpert, but still....

I'm more convinced now because of this apparent in-joke that Julie Adams will return to the show for a more expanded role before the series ends.

Toby O'B


Because the greatest graphic novel ever created has been turned into a movie opening on March 6th, "As Seen On TV" continues its theme of authors as drawn for 'The Simpsons' with Alan Moore: The author of "V For Vendetta", "The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen", and "The Watchmen" appeared as himself, toon version, in the episode "Husbands and Knives". He was seen reading the comic book "Little Lulu" in a sub-plot that had the Android's Dungeon comic book shop closing up shop when a new comic book store opened.

Funny thing is.... I can picture Moore actually reading "Little Lulu". And not just for the inspiration it would provide his dark genius.

Toby O'B

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


Our inductee into the TV Crossover Hall of Fame for the final week of February has nothing to do with Black History Month, unless you're letting it all ride on Black.....

During the fourth week of every month this year, we're saluting TV locations; it's all part of our celebration of the TV Crossover Hall of Fame's 10th anniversary. And for the location to be honored in February, we've chosen the Montecito Hotel & Casino from 'Las Vegas'.

But other NBC TV shows found their way to the Montecito while the show was on:

1] Employees of the Montecito spied on some shady characters from the soap opera 'Passions' while they gambled at another casino.

2] Medical investigators from the Boston coroner's office worked with the staff of the Montecito while they investigated crimes that connected both cities, as seen when 'Las Vegas' crossed over several times with 'Crossing Jordan'.

3] When a psychic 'Medium' Allison DuBois dreamed that she was a killer on the hunt in a Las Vegas casino, she could "see" that the chips being used had the Montecito logo.

4] Hiro froze time while in the Montecito so that he could cheat a bit to make some much-needed money on an early episode of 'Heroes'.

5] Escaping from some bad guys, the new KITT of 2008 roared through the parking complex of the Montecito on 'Knight Rider'.

6] During one 'Las Vegas' episode, we learned that the Dunder-Mifflin Corporation was having a convention, so that ties in to 'The Office'.

7] Joe Rogan finished gambling at the Montecito and then strolled out of that series over to another casino in his reality show 'Fear Factor'

So this time, seven pays off..... Not a bad haul for a location, making it prime real estate in Toobworld!
And because a chief rival to the Montecito is the Tangiers, we have an unspoken link to 'CSI', where that casino hotel also appeared.

Some enterprising fanficcer could make the case for links to 'Vega$', 'Dr. Vegas', 'Lucky', and Vegas-themed episodes of 'Hu$tle', 'The X-Files', 'The Twilight Zone' and 'Monk'. (Thanks to Andy for that one!)

Toby O'B


Mark Evanier, whose excellent blog, "News From ME", is linked to the left, also made note of the "In Memoriam" travesty on the Oscars telecast and embedded that same YouTube version I linked to earlier. I mentioned my disappointment that Patrick McGoohan had not been mentioned, but Evanier had even more who should have been given the nod:

"As usual, there are those grousing that some who should have been in the montage were omitted. Patrick McGoohan was in some pretty good movies and George Carlin was in more than you might think...but neither was included. Nor was Eartha Kitt. Nor was composer Neal Hefti. Nor were Harvey Korman, Earle Hagen, Mel Ferrer, Alexander Courage, John Phillip Law, Irving Brecher, George Furth, Beverly Garland, Guy McElwaine, Ellen Corby or Lawrence Tierney. There were several studio execs and one publicist included but not Bernie Brillstein.

But the startling omission, of course, was Don LaFontaine, who not only became a superstar of movie trailers but also served as the announcer of the Oscars several years. Don may have sold more movie tickets than everyone else in the segment combined."

If it is true that only Academy members are recognized, then one of my commenters was right - the practice is elitist. All of those people listed above should have had their moment in the spotlight one last time. (Although I'm surprised to see Evanier list Ellen Corby, as I thought she passed away awhile ago.)

What I would have done would have been to kick off the tribute with the voice of Don LaFontaine intoning, "In a world where...." and then follow through with the rest of that video but with those missing included. Cut one of those stupid montages if you need the extra time, but let us salute those who gave us so much pleasure at the movies.

Toby O'B


In 1966, an Alabama tourist named Morton Dill was visiting the top of the Empire State Building when he met the Gallifreyan Time Lord known only as the Doctor (first incarnation) and his three Companions: Barbara, Ian, and Vicki. Because they had materialized out of thin air, and were all "cramped" into such a small space, Morton assumed that they were movie people from Hollywood.

And so the first thing he wanted to know was if they knew Cheyenne Bodie.

For us, as mentioned in this blog about two weeks ago, Cheyenne Bodie was played by Clint Walker in the 1950's TV Western 'Cheyenne'. So it looks on the surface to the casual viewer that he was asking if they knew the actor. However, Morton Dill also supplied us with a splainin to disable this Zonk.

He thought that they were movie folk, not people in the television business. So for him, "Cheyenne Bodie" would be a reference to 'Cheyenne' as a movie, not a TV series. Conceivably, it could still star Clint Walker, who would have been playing a fictionalized version of the tele-historical figure of the real Bodie.

And even if it was the TV series he was talking about (just in case the show got referenced in some other TV series), the same reasoning would apply.

And so this Zonk is exterminated. Exterminate! Exterminate! Yee-hah!

Toby O'B


Scooch closer, Children of the Toob. Today's "As Seen On TV" is a bit off-beat and I want you to enjoy it. Don't make me tell you, again, about the scooching.

At that Springfield Book Fair seen in 'The Simpsons' episode "Insane Clown Poppy", Christopher Walken showed up to read "Goodnight Moon" to the children. But his weird vocal delivery only frightened the kids.

Unlike some of the other contemporary celebrities seen in that episode, Christopher Walken did not supply his own vocals. But it was still a special guest star who stepped in to do the honors - Jay Mohr.

Toby O'B


In the 'Doctor Who' story "The Chase" from the First Doctor's "time", first the TARDIS and then a Dalek time machine materialized on the observatory deck of the Empire State Building in 1966. At that time there was a tour guide (played by Arne Gordon) who sounded like a poor man's version of Lt. Columbo, a few years before Peter Falk took on the role of 'Columbo' in "Prescription Murder".

So since he wasn't intentionally channelling the actor, and probably just going for a generic New York accent, I don't see why we can't make the assumption that maybe his character was related to Columbo. After all, Columbo had five brothers and a sister as mentioned in "Make Me A Perfect Murder".

This tour guide could be Sal, who was probably one of his older brothers since he taught the detective how to smoke at the age of 12. (Columbo was somewhere in the middle of the sibling heirarchy.)

The tour guide was never named in the 'Doctor Who' episode, and it's unlikely we'll ever see another 'Columbo' episode, so this theory of relateeveety will probably never be disputed... at least on screen.

Toby O'B

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


No, that's not Dr. Manhattan from "The Watchmen" (but wouldn't it be cool if he did become a regular TV character?) That's the mold used to create a false face for "The Human Target".

Good news for fans of Mark Valley - such as my own self! - he's been signed to star in an adaptation of the comic book "The Human Target"
From Wikipedia:
"The Human Target" is an American comic book character created by Len Wein and Carmine Infantino: a unique private detective and bodyguard named Christopher Chance who operates by impersonating his clients in order to eliminate threats to his principal.
Chance's early appearances came in back-up stories in "Action Comics", a title much better known for featuring Superman tales published by DC Comics. Later, the feature appeared in Batman titles such as "The Brave and the Bold" and "Detective Comics".
Christopher Chance recently starred in an ongoing Human Target series written by Peter Milligan and published under DC's Vertigo imprint.

"Target," from WBTV, DC Comics and McG's Wonderland, is based on the DC Comics title and centers on Christopher Chance (Valley), a mysterious security freelancer who assumes the identities of those in danger, becoming the "human target" for his clients.

Valley’s character assumes the identity of individuals in danger, becoming a “human target” in place of his clients while he tries to discover why the person is being threatened, and by whom.

Created by Len Wein and Carmine Infantino in 1972, the character first saw life in the DC Universe alongside Batman and other “street level” detectives and private investigators. In more recent years, the character has moved to the Vertigo imprint where Christopher Chance was revived by writer Peter Milligan for an original graphic novel, a four issue miniseries, and an ongoing series that lasted 21 issues.

The new pilot (and hopeful series) will mark the second time the character has seen the small screen. Rick Springfield portrayed Chance in a short-lived 1992 television series.

So there's the catch: it's good news for fans of Mark Valley, but not for Toobworld. Since Rick Springfield starred in a short-lived TV series about the same subject, the "Human Target" of Springfield (actor, not the cities) claims the right to be the official one of the main Toobworld, Earth Prime-Time.
Actually, I'm okay with that. As my young cousin would say, "And I'll tell you why!" On my wish-list of actors I always wanted to see appear on 'The West Wing' was Mark Valley. I thought he'd have been perfect as a politico, a dream for marketing to the voters - even if it turned out he was aligned with the Republican party.

So I'm thinking that his version of "The Human Target" will need a TV dimension to call home; why not in the dimension of 'The West Wing'? As the Human Target aka Christopher Chance, Valley will be one of those non-super-powered superheroes whose exploits won't be getting any press, so it's not something that could have come to the notice of either the Bartlet or the Santos administration; and as such, the "reality" of that world can be preserved... if you want to believe the 'West Wing' dimension really exists.
But that's what's great about Toobworld - the things you can imagine might happen after the series is canceled. That's why I've also set 'Smallville' in the 'West Wing' dimension. Not only did their episodes leading up to a major election coincide, but with Kal-El spending his time "undercover" as young Clark Kent with no official debut of Superman yet, his activities flew under the radar for the Bartlet administration when both shows were on the air.

Now, if Clark ever does don the tights and cape, we won't need to see reaction from President Matt Santos.....

(Watch the producers of 'Smallville' screw it up for me by throwing in a scene with their version of the President in some future episode!)
Toby O'B


Like John Updike and Stephen King, author Amy Tan supplied her own voice in 'The Simpsons' episode "Insane Clown Poppy". And so she's today's showcase for "As Seen On TV".

Ms. Tan was appearing on a panel with Tom Clancy and Maya Angelou at the Springfield Book Fair. Here she's shown dismissing Lisa Simpson, ordering the young girl to leave before she embarrassed them both; all because Lisa stated an erroneous analyses of what "The Joy Luck Club" meant on a deeper level. (And it was probably the same analysis most reviewers and readers made.)

Toby O'B

Monday, February 23, 2009


As Norma Desmond in "Sunset Boulevard", Gloria Swanson said, "It's the pictures that got small." And the Academy Awards proved that last night with their tribute to the people in the motion picture business who died in the last year.

That's the one segment of the telecast that should be beamed directly from the control booth, not shot from a camera showing the film up on stage. Queen Latifah gave a perfect and moving rendition of the accompanying song, but we didn't need to see her sing it!

And the camera kept bobbing and weaving to show all those tiny screens up on stage and we never knew where to look. Look at the size of that set above! No wonder the screens were impossible to see if the camera is taping from the audience!
Some of those so reduced, like Ned Tanen, left viewers at home wondering what they did to be honored, because their credits were too small to read. And others just cried out for the full screen treatment - like seeing Ricardo Montalban as Khan!

But my biggest gripe was the omission of Patrick McGoohan from the tribute. At first I thought it was because they were regarding him as just a TV actor. (And he was a giant in Toobworld!) But now I'm reading that it was because only Academy members were honored. So if McGoohan wasn't a member, they excluded him - a man with movies like "Ice Station Zebra", "Silver Streak", "Scanners", "Mary, Queen of Scots", "Escape From Alcatraz", and "Braveheart", for bleep's sake! - and yet Maila Nurmi (Vampira!) gets honored!

Taking a line from another movie: "Inconceivable!"

But at least for the time being, you can see that memorial montage the way it was MEANT to be seen. Click here for the YouTube copy.

Toby O'B


Since we're still in February, Black History Month, today's "As Seen On TV" showcase is of the celebrated poet Maya Angelou. She's seen here in "Insane Clown Poppy", an episode of 'The Simpsons' - she was answering a question at the Springfield Book Fair about the capabilities of a stealth bomber.

Unlike John Updike, Stephen King, and Amy Tan, I don't think Ms. Angelou provided her own voice for her toon televersion; I think it may have been series regular Tess McNeille.....

Toby O'B

Sunday, February 22, 2009


In "Desert Cantos", John Conner and his bodyguard Cameron of 'Terminator: The Sarah Conner Chronicles' were in a small desert town investigating the connection between the town and Skynet.

Two young people, Zoe and Henry, drove them outside of town to show them where the cows were dying mysteriously. When Cameron gave her analysis of the situation, Zoe snarked, "Who are you? Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman?"

No mention of Dr. Quinn as being a character in a TV show. Zoe could have been referring to a book's title, a biography of the pioneering doctor who broke barriers back in the Old West. So long as the TV show is never mentioned, this will be the standard splainin for any references to Dr. Quinn.....

So no Zonk to be terminated.

Toby O'B


Max Perlich played a former cop turned private investigator in two episodes of 'Terminator: The Sarah Conner Chronicles'. In his last turn as Walsh ("Desert Cantos", seen this past Friday), he revealed that he had been a cop for 23 years in Baltimore - the 4th Precinct, Pikesville.

You know what this means for Toobworld, right? Walsh could be the indentical half-brother of JH Brody, the crime scene photographer for Baltimore's Homicide Division in 'Homicide: Life On The Street'. Both roles were played by Max Perlich.

And it's not likely to be refuted on 'Terminator: The Sarah Conner Chronicles' - with "Desert Cantos", Walsh made a very permanent exit from the show......

Toby O'B


"I love it all:
'Star Trek', 'Star Wars', 'Buffy', 'Xena', 'Akira'.
I even watch 'Fringe'."

Colin Fisher, the EXTREMELY morose lab assistant on 'Bones' (whose father should be played by Harry Dean Stanton!), was talking about various examples of TV shows and movies that would be the purview of the crowds who attend the ImagiCon sci-fi conventions. And one of the shows was 'Fringe'.

A little synergy with that special mention, since 'Fringe' airs on the same network as 'Bones'. But problematic as well since both 'Bones' and 'Fringe' should be sharing the same dimension. The other shows/movies mentioned can be splained away - Stars 'Trek' and 'Wars' have been covered many times in the past here at Toobworld Central; 'Buffy' - as it stands as just that one word for a title - could be about anything else besides a vampire slayer (How a comely were-bunny?); 'Xena' we covered yesterday - a reference to an historical portrayal of the warrior princess, and in Toobworld that could be a movie not a TV show; and 'Akira' is in the Tooniverse so it's already nullified for live-action characters. (Although characters from that show could conceivably cross over into the main Toobworld. Bart and Lisa Simpson did it.)

Splainin away Fisher's mention of 'Fringe' isn't too difficult however. It's such a non-descript title that it doesn't have to mean it has anything to do with FBI Agent Olivia Dunham or Dr. Walter Bishop and his son Peter. It could still be about the fringe sciences (which I'm sure Dr. Temperance Brennan would scoff at!), and it could even be more of a documentary show on the order of 'In Search Of....' or 'Ghost Hunters'.

So no Zonk there, just barely.

Toby O'B


I don't do the "Fanficcer's Friend" feature on a regular basis anymore, but I couldn't pass this one up.
My blog buddy Combom (of
Life, The Universe, and Combom) posted a picture of Matt Smith and Lindsey Duncan on stage in England. What makes this interesting for Toobworld is that Matt Smith was announced last month to be the new Doctor in 'Doctor Who - the eleventh incarnation of the Gallifreyan Time Lord. And Lindsey Duncan was announced last week to be playing Adelaide in an upcoming 'Doctor Who' special.

So far I have no idea if she'll be appearing with Smith or with the Tenth Doctor played by David Tennant, or maybe with both if the special turns out to be a transitional one. Nor do I know if she survives the encounter with the Doctor. So if she does appear only with Doctor Ten and then dies, it would make it difficult to claim in speculative fan fiction that Adelaide would later share her bed somewhere deep in the TARDIS with the next incarnation of the Doctor.

But otherwise.... have at it, ye slashficcers!

Toby O'B


On the season finale for 'Psych', fake psychic Shawn Spencer introduced his friend Burton "Gus" Guster as "Sterling Cooper". This wasn't out of the ordinary; he always had fake names for his buddy, and for the most part Gus played along. But this time, the name of "Sterling Cooper" is an in-joke, a reference for the audience serving as a shout-out to the AMC series 'Mad Men', about an advertising firm in the 1960's.

An in-joke it may be, but it's not a Zonk. Unlike a lot of today's in-jokes, this one wasn't over-splained; there was no mention of the TV show.

So as far as Toobworld is concerned, Shawn was referencing the actual ad agency. Now whether or not it's still in existence by 2009, well, that's going to be up to Matthew Weiner. (Hopefully - if AMC is smart, they won't play chicken ever again with his contract and let him oversee his pet project to its conclusion.)

But even if the ad agency is no longer in existence, Shawn may have learned about Sterling-Cooper back in college, or in any reading he may have done that wasn't on the back of a cereal box.

So, no Zonk!

My only real problem is whether or not to accept 'Mad Men' into the main Toobworld. There have been plenty of mentions of other TV shows as TV shows, when they should be sharing the same dimension. Most of these could probably be splained away, but when there was a sub-plot last summer which concerned a particular - and real! - episode of 'The Defenders', that was most likely a fatal Zonk. They even showed scenes from the episode!

I still haven't found a splainin for it, but I haven't given up hope. I'd hate to lose 'Mad Men' from Earth Prime-Time!

Toby O'B


On the second episode of 'Dollhouse', Matt "The Middleman" Keeslar guest-starred as a client who contracted the services of Echo to be implanted with the memories and personality quirks necessary to make her a girl-friend who enjoyed extreme outdoor activities like white-water rafting, cliff-climbing, and hot sex in a tent.

It turned out that he conned the "Dollhouse" into thinking his identity was that of Richard Connell. But whoever he was, his only purpose in getting Echo into the deep woods was so that he could track her, hunt her down and kill her. It was all very reminiscent of a very famous short story that has served as the inspiration for several movies and episodes of other TV shows - including 'Get Smart' and 'Gilligan's Island'.

And do you know who wrote that short story? His name was Richard Connell.......

Oh, by the way... absolutely NO connection to 'The Middleman' just because Keeslar played Connell.

Toby O'B


It's always great to find an example of "the Numbers" from 'Lost' in other TV shows; it helps sell the idea that on a tele-cosmic level, all of these shows are related.

The latest example came this past Thursday on 'Burn Notice'. Former spy Michael Weston was staking out a storage locker facility for the man who was trying to kill him, and so he took refuge in the shadows next to block 23 of the facility.
4, 8, 15, 16, 23, 42......

Toby O'B