Saturday, April 17, 2010


I got a package from FedEx this morning, containing a lot of neat swag from ABC to mark the upcoming premiere of 'Happy Town' on April 28th.

Included in the box:

A 'Happy Town' scented candle. (I thought it might smell of fresh-baked bread, but it's apparently cherry.)

A Big Dave's Pizza Barn menu.

A coffee mug with the Magic Man symbol on it. (The symbol is of a question mark with a halo.)

A fridge magnet publicizing a foreign movie showing at the local cinema.

A 'Happy Town' snow globe.

A 'Happy Town' t-shirt packed like a small loaf of bread.

A 'Happy Town' postcard.

And then there's the April edition of The Haplin Crier newspaper. The lead story? "Entertainment editor and well-known blogger Toby O'Brien went missing last Saturday evening after recently checking in at the Meadows Boarding House."

For more on that story, click

Poor guy. I hope he turns up soon......

'Happy Town' looks to be the new 'Twin Peaks', giving us a mysterious series to pick up the audience that will soon be bereft of 'Lost'. I enjoyed the 14 minute preview that was online and will be watching when the show premieres April 28th.....




Here's a picture of Steven Moffat at the Paley Center for Media on Monday night. See that grim bald guy against the door in the background? I think he was museum security. During the Q&A segment of the evening, he stood vigilant at the front of the auditorium, glaring at us; keeping a baleful eye on the audience to make sure we didn't take pictures in there.

If this was Earth Prime-Time rather than Earth Prime, I would not be surprised to find out that he was an alien or some kind of cyborg sentry.

He's probably only assuming human form. His real body probably resembles the unbuttered half of an English muffin!

But of course, it would be crazy to think that way. Heh heh... heh heh.... ahem!



Continuing the focus on Enron, having seen a bad Broadway musical about the financial scandal.....


"Crooked E: The Unshredded Truth About Enron"

Jon Ted Wynne

From Wikipedia:
Jeffrey Keith "Jeff" Skilling (born November 25, 1953) is the former president of Enron Corporation. In 2006 he was convicted of multiple federal felony charges relating to Enron's financial collapse, and is currently serving a 24-year, 4-month prison sentence at the Federal Correctional Institution in Englewood, Colorado. The Supreme Court of the United States heard arguments in the appeal of the case March 1, 2010.

I should file an amicus curiae brief to the Court, stating that if Skilling had not created the Enron fiasco, I would never have been subjected to a musical about it. I think the original sentence was far too lenient.


Friday, April 16, 2010


Peter Haskell has passed away. He was a frequent guest star in Toobworld productions, as pointed out in the Los Angeles Times obituary:

[He] won his first TV role in "Death Valley Days" in 1964.Dozens of TV appearances followed on series including "Ben Casey," "Combat!," "Lassie," "The Big Valley," "Mannix," "Medical Center," "Barnaby Jones," "Vega$," "Murder, She Wrote," "Matlock" and the 2009 series finale of "ER."

Haskell played writer-producer Kevin Grant on "Bracken's World," a melodramatic backstage look at the film industry that ran on NBC in 1969 and '70. And he had a stint on daytime TV in the early 1980s on the ABC soap "Ryan's Hope."

For reasons of space, that obit couldn't mention everything he did in the TV Universe. But three roles which I think deserve mention are in 'The Mary Tyler Moore Show', 'Columbo', and a sweet cameo in a Christmas episode of 'Frasier'.

Here are some of the shows in which Peter Haskell appeared:


Good night and may God bless, Mr. Haskell.



In the 1970s, Terry Nation (best known for his work on 'Doctor Who') created a TV series called 'Survivors', which was about a worldwide virus that wiped out most of the population.

Well, O'Bviously something like that couldn't be allowed to exist on Earth Prime-Time. Otherwise, there'd be nobody for Mork and Meego to visit when they arrived on Earth in their respective TV shows. So 'Survivors' had to be considered its own TV dimension.

And then in 2008, the series was remade, which BBC America has been showing for the last two months or so. Again, this version can't be part of Earth Prime-Time, but it also can't be shipped off to the TV dimension of remakes along with '87th Precinct', 'The New Addams Family' and the 'Perry Mason' series starring Monte Markham. (Coming soon to the land of remakes: a new version of 'Hawaii Five-0' starring Alex O'Loughlin, Daniel Dae Kim, and Grace Park.

So the new version of 'Survivors' got its own TV dimension as well. Offhand, I can't think of this situation coming up before in the greater TV Universe and all its myriad alternate dimensions: an alternate dimension which has its own alternate dimension.

Can you? Let me know of any suggestions you come up with.....

By the way, despite the subject heading on this post, it has been announced that 'Survivor's has been cancelled and there won't be a third season......



My thanks to Mark Evanier for pointing this out:

FOX News: Fair and balanced? Really? To me, they're the news network equivalent of Mos Eisley.

What was most dispiriting to me was to see Dennis Miller jump on that bandwagon. Once upon a time I admired the guy.....


"You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy."
Obi Wan Kenobi
"Star Wars: A New Hope"


Thursday night I went to see "Enron: The Musical". Luckily for me, it was a comp ticket because I found the experience to be dreadful and I escaped at intermission.

I just feel sorry for my friend Mark, who wasted his plus one comp on me when I'm sure there were other friends who would have enjoyed the experience. Mark stayed, not only because he was meeting up with his boyfriend after the show, but also because he was enjoying it. I've since heard from Jennie from Britain that she enjoyed it as well. So it's probably just me.....

Anyway, the experience at least gave me the inspiration for Friday's "As Seen On TV"....

"The Crooked E: The Unshredded Truth About Enron"

Mike Farrell

From Wikipedia:
Kenneth Lee "Ken" Lay (April 15, 1942 – July 5, 2006) was an American businessman, best known for his role in the widely reported corruption scandal that led to the downfall of Enron Corporation. Lay and Enron became synonymous with corporate abuse and accounting fraud when the scandal broke in 2001. Lay was the CEO and chairman of Enron from 1985 until his resignation on January 23, 2003, except for a few months in 2000 when he was chairman and Jeffrey Skilling was CEO.

On July 7, 2004, Lay was indicted by a grand jury on 11 counts of securities fraud and related charges. On January 31, 2006, following four and a half years of preparation by government prosecutors, Lay's and Skilling's trial began in Houston. Lay was found guilty on May 25, 2006, of 10 counts against him; the judge dismissed the 11th. Because each count carried a maximum 5- to 10-year sentence, legal experts said Lay could have faced 20 to 30 years in prison. However, he died while vacationing in Snowmass, Colorado on July 5, 2006, about three and a half months before his scheduled October 23 sentencing.

Preliminary autopsy reports state that he died of a heart attack caused by coronary artery disease. As a result of his death, on October 17, 2006, the federal district court judge who presided over the case vacated Lay's conviction.

Thursday, April 15, 2010



Here are three scenes early on from the third episode of this season's 'Doctor Who' episode "Victory Of The Daleks":






Here's a picture from Monday night's 'Doctor Who' event at the Paley Center for Media. It's from Edwin Thrower's photo album on Facebook and it shows Matt Smith signing autographs.

But there to the right, you'll see the shiny forehead of Yours Viewly, Toby O'B!

It fits in with the general theme of the autobiography title I have in my head: "Living On The Periphery"......



I'm listening to the "Idiot's Delight" radio show from this past weekend, and Vin Scelsa just played "52 Vincent Black Lightning" by Richard Thompson.

They made a movie out of "Ode To Billy Joe". They made a movie out of "Convoy". If they ever made a movie out of this song, here's my suggestion for the role of Red Molly:
"There's nothing in this world
Beats a 52 Vincent and a red headed girl"
Richard Thompson

(Karen Gillan is currently starring in 'Doctor Who'.)





William Schallert

After 34 years on the bench, Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens announced his retirement last Friday. Following the announcement many names are being considered to replace him, according to an article on

Stevens was born in Chicago, Ill., in 1920 and earned his bachelor's degree at the University of Chicago. He went on to attain his law degree from Northwestern University, according to the article.

Stevens is the oldest member of the Supreme Court. He was chosen by Republican President Gerald Ford in 1975, but then became a liberal voice on the court, according to the article. He is known for his dissent in the Bush v. Gore case ruling and his involvement in FCC v. Pacifica.

FCC v. Pacifica, was based on comedian George Carlin and his routine about "seven dirty words," words he said were taboo in society. Stevens upheld the government's ability to regulate indecent speech, which Stevens defined as any description of "sexual or excretory activities or organs" that are offensive "as measured by contemporary community standards."

Recently, Stevens has not upheld such strong government censorship. In 1997, Stevens struck down Congress' attempt to protect children from pornography on the Internet. Stevens said it violated the free speech rights of adults, according to the article.
(Chelsea Bower, The Critograph)

I'm happy for any reason to feature William Schallert here at Inner Toob.....


Wednesday, April 14, 2010


On Tuesday night, Steven Moffat, Matt Smith, and Karen Gillan were in Soho for another event and Q&A with the fans. Here's the first five minutes, with some overlap in what they had to say from the night before....



Don't read any further if you haven't seen last night's episode of 'Castle'.....

From my brother Bill, editor at the Waterbury Republican American:

We have a people page item tomorrow about Fred Willard talking up a guest appearance on "Castle," in which he plays a talk-show host's sidekick.

I said to the people page person, do you know how Fred Willard got one of his earliest claims to fame?

"uhhh, nope..."

Playing a sidekick to a talk-show host.

I rewrote the end of the People page blurb to include that... and of course wondered in my head whether these two characters could be the same person in Toobworld.

Not likely, Bill. Because 'Castle' has a black NYC mayor, it belongs in the alternate TV dimension that houses 'The West Wing'. But that could all change if we reset the timeline for this show with the 'Primeval' reset button (mentioned in the previous post). But it makes for a nice theory that Jerry Hubbard of 'Fernwood 2Nite' and 'America 2Nite' could have been raised as Hank McPhee in that alternate dimension. But even with a name change, caused by a change in upbringing, he still couldn't avoid his fate - to be a late night TV talk show sidekick.

And besides, based on the episode "The Late Shaft", you wouldn't want Hank to be Jerry under an alias.....

Thanks for bringing this up, Brothermine! BCnU!


The cereal known as "Nuts & More" has shown up in Toobworld again, this time in an alternate TV dimension as depicted in 'Brothers & Sisters'.

I would love to have this show in the main Toobworld, but the California governor there is a woman, not Arnold Schwarzenegger. I was able to fudge that Robert McCallister is one of the two California senators and not Dianne Feinstein, but Arnuhld's presence has been noted in several shows.

But once the series ends, who knows? Maybe we can apply the 'Primeval' temporal reset to this show as well.....

Other appearances by Nuts & More cereal:




'The Pacific'

James Badge Dale

From Wikipedia:
Robert Leckie (December 18, 1920 – December 24, 2001) was an American author of popular books on the military history of the United States. As a young man, he served in the Marine Corps with the 1st Marine Division during World War II. His experiences as a machine gunner and intelligence scout during the Battle of Guadalcanal and later campaigns are said to have greatly influenced his writing.


Tuesday, April 13, 2010



Back in 1989, Leonard Nimoy showed up at a Q&A after the 'Star Trek' stage show at Universal Studios as part of that year's events marking the 20th anniversary since 'Star Trek' went off the air. I was lucky enough to be in the audience for that. (At the time I thought it was luck; I know now that it was my own serendipiteevee.)

I had a question to ask Mr. Nimoy: I wanted to know if he felt he could have gained the directorial assignments he got in the movies had it not been for 'Star Trek' in his life. (After all, he wasn't coming back for "The Search For Spock" unless he got the chance to direct it as well.)

But it didn't look like I was ever going to get that chance - not with nerdiots in the audience asking questions like: "How many toes does a Klingon have?"

I did get to ask that question though. (His answer: Yes, he felt he would have eventually been given the chance to direct if 'Star Trek' had never entered his life. Personally, I'm not so sure on that score. I wonder if he would still have had an acting career by that point in time, had it not been for Spock becoming such an iconic role.)

I mention that anecdote in the (boring) life of one Toby O'B because I got the chance to go to an event at the Paley Center for Media to promote the arrival of the new season (series for the UK crowd) of 'Doctor Who', with an all-new cast and a new showrunner.

We got to see the first episode, "Eleventh Hour", which won't be hitting the BBC-America airwaves until this coming Saturday night. (It aired in the UK on Easter Saturday.) Fear not, Toob Believers - I won't be talking about the episode here except for a few generalities so that you won't be spoiled early. I'll just say that it confirmed my faith in the mantra "Trust In Moffat." And seen on a big screen in HD? I'll admit it was a bit of a rush to see those little golden blonde hairs on Amy's arm as she reached for a doorknob. Just imagine the effect the rest of her had on me then. Ahem - as well as everything else in the episode, of course.
Afterwards, Clarke Collis moderated the Q&A session, greeting all of us with the talking Dalek head toy he got for his 40th birthday. (Collis is a senior writer for the magazine Entertainment Weekly.) He only asked a few questions of his own to kick it off, and used the opportunity to cover the basics for the rest of us. He wanted to know about the casting process from their various viewpoints.

Most of that has been covered many times over elsewhere, so I'll just give you the basics:

Matt Smith auditioned on the first day, and Steven Moffat and the others involved in the process couldn't believe that casting for the role could be this easy. But they continued on with the search for several more days, just in case there was still somebody out there even better - but basically Matt had it from day one.

For three months Matt Smith couldn't tell anybody, not even his Dad, that he had the role. He spent that time immersed in Frank Sinatra, which I found to be a curious musical choice for hm. But it also made me think that Matt Smith had the makings of an Iddiot - a follower of the Idiot's Delight Digest, for those unversed in the work of legendary free-form deejay Vin Scelsa.

Moffat could still remember what Karen Gillan, who plays Amy, was wearing (a red coat), and yet Matt and Karen couldn't remember much of their callback audition time together, very vague memories of which scenes they acted out. (But for her solo audition before the callback, Karen said she was allowed to pick the scene she would do.)
I should point out at this stage that I think the audience would have been perfectly entertained if Steven Moffat was the only one on the stage to promote the show. He was very funny and animated, and quick-witted, with a very engaging meter to his speaking voice. (In fact, after listening to him a bit, I wondered if perhaps Matt Smith might not be aping some of his inflections and the way he voice rises and falls at the strangest moments. The one line that made me think of this possibility was when the Doctor asked about the need for a duck pond if there were no ducks.)

After Matt talked about how the show can really charge up an actor because every week is a different format thanks to its ability to go anywhere in time or space, Moffat said, "Every other TV format can go home and hang its head in shame."

Matt was very well-spoken, already comfortable in discussing the ramifications of his casting and the legacy he now shoulders. Karen, at least to my perception, seemed a bit shy up on the stage and was perfectly willing to let Steven and Matt helm the answers.

Anyhoo, Moffat joked that he was worried about casting Karen after looking at her audition tape. He claimed that he thought she was small and dumpy; only to discover that she was really six foot eight! And of course, the fact that she was Scottish was "an obvious improvement".

Now this was news to me, although apparently many others already knew it - Karen is cousins with Caitlin Blackwood, who plays Amelia (Amy) Pond as a seven year old, when she first meets the Doctor. And yet, filming this episode was the first time that Karen and Caitlin actually met! (She claims to have a very weird family.)

Throughout the episode there were scenes in which you could spot influences, and as my blogging buddy Joe Bua pointed out, many of those were taken from the best - from Moffat's own previous efforts on the show, like "The Girl In The Fireplace". (My example would be the relationship between Sally Sparrow and Lawrence Nightingale in "Blink".) But Moffat made an interesting revelation on the inspiration for what is called "the fish custard scene" (you'll know it when you see it). This was basically Amy's introduction to the Doctor. It turns out that Moffat based that on the oldest literary reference he can remember - when Winnie the Pooh first met Tigger!

Moffat said that in five hundred years, when 'Doctor Who' is still going strong, the show will have inserted the Doctor into every single event in history and made him responsible for most of them having occurred. (Moffat joked that basically the Doctor was the original Prometheus, bringing fire to the humans.) He also joked that the Doctor was responsible for the creation of sea monkeys, those disgusting little things you could order from the back of a comic book. And then he apologized for coming up with such an idea. (I thought it might make for a cute mention on the show, however.)

Karen said she hopes they'll be able to do a show about Woodstock. And as the Toobworld caretaker, I'd like to see this happen as well since the 1969 weekend of peace, love, and understanding is turning out to be a central time travel location (thanks to episodes of 'Star Trek: Voyager' and 'Stargate: SG-1').

Matt's choice for a moment in history to visit? He wants to do an episode set in Atlantis. Nobody pointed out that there already was an episode from back in the day, but Matt's vision is of an episode set in Atlantis after it already sank. But he figured that it would be cost prohibitive.

(Matt also wanted to film in America, but Steven pointed out that they could achieve the same effect with a green screen.)

Now hereof comes it that I was reminded of that 1989 Q&A with Leonard Nimoy......

The Q&A segment of the evening was limited timewise, and there was no way to find out in advance what someone might ask, but it was odd that two people who had never seen 'Doctor Who' before (and in one case, never even heard of it before!) were chosen to ask questions.

A lady wanted to know what the history of 'Doctor Who' was, and she was greeted by howls of laughter. Steven asked her if she remembered the assassination of President Kennedy, because the show has been around since the following day and therefore there was too much history to go through. But all she needed to know was right there on the screen in that episode, he told her, with the usual story about how the Doctor changes his body and personality whenever near death - which helped splain away recasting. "Putting on a new body is going to change your day a bit," said Moffat.

The guy who never saw 'Doctor Who' before at least had heard of the show and he thanked those concerned for taking away his virginity in this regard. When he said he knew how the 50 year old virgin must have felt, Moffat exclaimed, "What are you doing up there?"

Matt was asked by a fellow alumnus of his college what his favorite pub was in Norwich, but I didn't catch his answer. Apparently the place has great pub food....

If I had been chosen, I planned on asking about the perceived suggestions of Patrick Troughton's performances in the way Matt was playing the Doctor. And if this was deliberate, might we hope to see aliens and storylines from Troughton's era to re-emerge. So much of Troughton's work as the Doctor is lost forever because the BBC in their infinite wisdom wiped the master tapes clean to use them again, and I'd like to see some of what was lost be resurrected and burnished for the new age. (Troughton is my favorite of the Doctors.)

Another questioner asked something along similar lines about future storylines (specifically the story which Neil Gaiman is doing for the second season), and Moffat said there was no way he'd discuss what was coming up in the show. Although he did allow that he had a few ideas already in mind for next year. When they were asked if the Eleventh incarnation of the Doctor would have aliens of his own (rather than just re-using the way overused Daleks again and again), Matt interjected that they were resurrecting an alien race from the original run of the series; and if we were paying attention to "Eleventh Hour", those aliens made an appearance. (I know who they are, and they do show up in a sort of video presentation near the end.)

So I did have a back-up question, more of a comment, about the casting of Annette Crosbie in the episode. When it was first announced that Matt Smith would be the Doctor, the youngest ever to assume the role, I suggested that his new Companion should be a grandmotherly type with a bit of piss and vinegar to her, just to offset his "youth" (or youthful appearance at any rate). And I suggested Ms. Crosbie, thinking of her role in 'An Unsuitable Job For A Woman'.

Like I said, that probably would have been just a comment; I really couldn't think of a question to go with it without it looking like I believed Moffat read my suggestion and that's why Ms. Crosbie was hired. (Even if I am that paranoid and self-centered, I'm not about to admit it! LOL!)

Actually, if I was going to ask anybody a question, it would have been for any of the BBC-America people there. I'd want to know why there is still too much of a lag behind the British telecast of the show and the American broadcast. Even at two weeks it's still too long a wait, and the network is going to lose viewers as more people decide to skip them altogether and resort to the bit torrents. But I think most of the people there from BBC-A were just the handlers for the participants, responsible for hustling them out of the building as soon as possible after the meet & greet part afterwards was underway.

As the Q&A segment ended, Matt spoke up to make sure somebody in the audience got the recognition he deserved for his contributions to the show - composer Murray Gold. He got a rousing ovation as he stood up and surprisingly, based on comments I've seen online, nobody booed. (I like his quieter moments - the music which underlies Amelia's wait for the Doctor to return in five minutes was very moving - but mostly it overpowers and drowns out too many scenes, sometimes to the detriment of the dialogue.)

[Murray Gold & Karen Gillan]

As you can see from the pictures on this post, I did get some shots of Matt and Karen. I tried to take one of Steven Moffat, but he took one look at me with the camera and turned away. Oh well.

At least three times I had a great opportunity to snap Karen outside the building as she signed autographs, where she actually looked up, but then another fan bolted into the shot and O'Bscured the view. And when the window of opportunity to get my picture taken with her arose, we weren't ready and it was too late - the BBC-America underling took her by the arm and they bolted quickly through the museum's lobby.

This last picture I took is of Matt Smith with my friend and fellow "Iddiot", Jennie from Britain. And I just want to take this opportunity to thank her for inviting me along. My own attempts to get a ticket as a member of the Paley Center on April 1st failed, so I was happy my serendipiteevee kicked in.

Thanks, Jennie!

One last personal note: as I got ready for the night, I pondered which of my many TV T-shirts I should wear to mark the occasion. And when I saw it hanging in the closet, I knew there could be no other choice that would be so perfect:






Anton Rodgers

From Wikipeida:
In 1874, twenty-year-old Lillie married twenty-six-year-old Irish landowner Edward Langtry, the brother-in-law of her brother William's wife. He was wealthy enough to own a yacht, and Lillie insisted that he take her away from the Channel Islands. Eventually, they rented a place in Belgravia, London.

With the withdrawal of royal favour, creditors closed in. The Langtrys' finances were not equal to their lifestyle. In October 1880 Langtry sold many of her possessions to meet her debts. Edward Langtry did not officially declare bankruptcy.

In April 1879, Lillie started an affair with Prince Louis of Battenberg, although she was also involved with Arthur Clarence Jones (1854-1930), an old friend. In June 1880, she became pregnant. Her husband was definitely not the father; she led Prince Louis to believe that it was he. When the prince confessed to his parents, they had him assigned to the warship HMS Inconstant.

In 1897, Langtry became an American citizen. She divorced her husband Edward Langtry the same year in Lakeport, California. Edward Langtry died a few months later following an accident that same year. A letter of condolence written by her to a widow reads in part, "I too have lost a husband, but alas! it was no great loss."


'Edward & Mrs. Simpson'

Charles Keating

From Wikipedia:
Ernest Aldrich Simpson (May 6, 1895 – November 30, 1958) was a British shipping executive best known as the second husband of Wallis Simpson, who later would marry the former Edward VIII of the United Kingdom. He worked for the shipbroker Simpson, Spence & Young.

His second wife was Wallis Warfield Spencer (1896–1986), a former wife of Earl Winfield Spencer, Jr. and the only child of Teackle Wallis Warfield and his wife, Alice Montague. They were married in London, England, on July 21, 1928, and divorced on May 3, 1937. As his obituary in The New York Times noted, the publicity over his second wife's remarriage to the Duke of Windsor and her subsequent fame thrust him into the role of "the forgotten man." The two remained friends, however, the newspaper noted, with the now Duchess of Windsor sending him flowers when he was in hospital for surgery and Simpson offering advice and clarification when his former wife was working on her memoirs.

Two for Tuesday!


Monday, April 12, 2010


At best, all we ever see of debonnair detective Charles Townsend on 'Charlie's Angels' is the back of his head as he gets a massage, usually only his arm. Henry Branham, Jr., who runs the "Charlie's Angels Forever" website, compiled the salient facts about Charlie:

"Since Charlie has so many acquaintances at the police department, it can be assumed that he started out at the bottom and worked his way to the top. After years as a police officer, he possibly moved up the status of lieutenant and from there he would go on to open his very own detective agency.

He was once married but confessed to not be the monogamous type, and it is never indicated whether or not he has any legitimate children."

Here are a few TV characters bearing the Townsend surname who may or may not be related to the mysterious Charlie Townsend:

Townsend* (Roswell (1994), Martin Sheen)

Taylor Townsend ("The O.C." (2003), Autumn Reeser)

Max Townsend ("Dracula: The Series" (1990), Jacob Tierney)

Christopher Townsend ("Dracula: The Series" (1990), Joe Roncetti)

Matthew Townsend ("It's Not Easy" (1983), Billy Jayne)

Neil Townsend ("It's Not Easy" (1983), Bert Convy)

Nick Townsend ("CSI: Miami" (2002), Rob Estes)

Pa Townsend, Frankie's father ("Windfall" (2006), David Newsom)
*The character played by Martin Sheen in the "Roswell" TV movie (NOT the TV series), could have been an older brother or even Charlie's father - if it can be determined that he was using his real name when dealing with Jesse Marcel.

I left out several others who at best were connected far too many generations back, as they were all British.




2010 TV commercial


Here's a short history of the Coldwell-Banker company:

The company was launched in 1906. After the devastating 1906 San Francisco earthquake and fires, real estate agent Colbert Coldwell formed a new real estate company.

Coldwell disapproved of the then-common practice of real estate agents acquiring properties for themselves, often from uninformed sellers at ridiculously low prices, and then reselling them for huge profits. He and two partners formed the company of Tucker, Lynch and Coldwell on August 27, 1906.

In 1913, Benjamin Arthur Banker joined the firm as a salesman and became a partner in 1914. He and Coldwell remained active in the company throughout their lives.

And after they died.....?

This could have been a segment on 'Night Gallery', Rod Serling's classic follow-up to 'The
Twilight Zone'. In Toobworld, the spirits of Mr. Coldwell and Mr. Banker remained on Earth Prime-Time, somehow connected to their portraits in the company's main office. I've seen this happen before in another TV blipvert in which the portraits of a corporation's past presidents comment on the young up-and-comer as he leaves the building. I believe it was an ad for a car.

This could also be linked to the TV series 'The Ghost And Mrs. Muir'. Perhaps Captain Daniel Gregg was "anchored" (sorry about that) to Gull Cottage in Maine due to his portrait.


Sunday, April 11, 2010


I mentioned on a friend's Facebook page that Julia Sugarbaker, the character played by Dixie Carter in 'Designing Women', was one of the few TV characters that could promote a cause with an impassioned speech within the show and still never lose sight of who she was as the character. Julia Sugarbaker was never just the conduit for the script-writer in that sense. James Spader as Alan Shore on 'Boston Legal' and most of the cast of 'The West Wing' fell into that same category.

Dixie Carter passed away yesterday at the age of 70. She will be missed in Toobworld, and we could have used Julia Sugarbaker today in the real world.....

Goodnight and may God bless.



Here's the first fourteen minutes of the new series 'Happy Town', which premieres on ABC Wednesday April 28th. I'm a big fan of the fictional, quirky, small towns in Toobworld: Hooterville, Fernwood, Cicely, Dunn's River, Lynchboro, and Twin Peaks. I think Haplin, Minnesota, is going to fit right in with that bunch, especially the last two.

As you could see, there are some familiar faces just in those opening minutes - Amy Acker, MC Gainey, Abraham Benrubi, and Steven Weber. For those who watched 'October Road', you probably recognized Jay Paulson and Geoff Stults. (The show is produced by the guys who did 'October Road'; they're probably establishing a repertory company of their actors.)

So I'm hooked, but then that was probably a given. 'Twin Peaks' had me right to the very end....



I think I'm ready to bow out of watching 'Justified'. I like the character of US Marshal Raylen Givens, and the writing is good, but there's just nothing there to hold me week after week. It's just a little too laid-back as it is.

"Having said that", this past week's episode set in Los Angeles and down near the Mexican border (with Alan Ruck as guest star) had a jolt of vibrancy that was lacking in the earlier episodes. But it's back to Kentucky next week, so it was just a blip.)

I think the major problem is that I watch TV nowadays with a Toobworld mindset; always looking for ways to expand on the TV Universe concept. The show's set in Harlan, Kentucky and its plotlines aren't going to have major ramifications on the rest of the country. There's just not much chance of crossovers with any other TV series.

But I'll keep track via scheduling notices, just in case a plotline does surface that might be Toobworthy......



'Human Target' had to go there this week, didn't they? After all the work I went to so that it could reside in Earth Prime-Time along with the original televersion of the DC comic book series, the show's producers decided that they had to create a whole new royal family for Great Britain. With a new Queen and her daughter, Victoria, Princess of Wales, who's heir apparent. That means the show has to be transferred into an alternate TV dimension. What they should have done was to create a fictional country; even better from the Toobworld perspective, they should have used a fictional country already established in another series. 'Mission: Impossible' and 'The Man From U.N.C.L.E.' had plenty of vest-pocket kingdoms in Europe to choose from.

This was a standard complaint I had about 'Doctor Who' during the RTD reign of error - if you create fictional world leaders for real countries then you remove a grounded reality with which the audience can believe in the story you're telling. "Oh, this isn't the real Prime Minister, so why should I worry about what happens to them?" If they think about the Prime Minister being fictional, then the whole facade collapses.

But ever since 'The West Wing', everybody wants to raise the stakes of their stories to the highest level of power in the country, no matter which country you choose. 'The Dead Zone', 'Torchwood', 'Law & Order' (at least the highest level of power in NY state, anyway), '24'....

So I'm thinking this version of 'Human Target' can move into the dimension of 'The West Wing', unless of course they want to change their minds about the rules of the game and decide that their POTUS is also Obama, as he is in Earth Prime and Earth Prime-Time.

The royal family of Great Britain was mentioned on 'The West Wing'. White House Counsel Lionel Tribbey had come back from visiting the Queen and brought back a cricket bat from her as a present.

I will kill people today, Leo! I will kill people with this cricket bat, which was given to me by Her Royal Majesty Elizabeth Windsor, and then I will kill them again with my own hands!
At the time, the inference was that she was Elizabeth of the House of Windsor as we know from the real world, that there was no change in that line of succession unlike that for the U.S.A. Commander in Chief. But now? Why couldn't she be the Queen as seen in the 'Human Target' episode? Still an Elizabeth, just not the one we know....

So there'll be no need any longer to keep track of the Wilhelm Screams in 'Human Target' - if it takes place in an alternate dimension, then they couldn't be an indication of the presence of Redjac, as we theorized a few weeks ago.

I'll still watch the show, of course. It's entertaining enough for me to get past my Toobworld prejudices as I did with 'The West Wing' and 'Commander In Chief' and sometimes 'Smallville', but not so with '24'. I'll just not waste my time and energies on dealing with any theories or discrepancies connected to it.

And even though I don't have a huge following here at Toobworld Central, it still made for some publicity for the show. No more of that after this post. And all it would have taken for me to keep 'Human Target' in the public eye would have been to make the country into the Duchy of Trent or Caronia instead of Great Britain.... BCnU!


Sunday night (tonight), 'Masterpiece Theater' will present a new version of "The Diary Of Anne Frank".....


"The Diary Of Anne Frank"

Ellie Kendrick

From Linda Stasi of the New York Post:
Anne was just 13 when her father, Otto Frank, a spice importer in Amsterdam, built a hiding space for his family in the attic of the building that housed his business. The Nazis were crawling down the streets and arresting Jewish families, and he thought they could wait it out in hiding.

Anne began writing immediately. Much of what she actually wrote belies the sainted image we've come to know from her published diaries in which much of the material had been excised by the family (Otto Frank, the only family member to survive the Holocaust, died in 1980).

For this new version, writer Deborah Moggach got permission from the estate to use all the excised portions. What we're presented with now for the first time is a spunkier, less respectful, more hormone-driven teenage Anne (played magnificently by newcomer Ellie Kendrick), the brilliant writer who never lived to grow up. But what she did write at that tender age has become the second-most-read work of non-fiction after the Bible.

Read more here.