Saturday, June 5, 2010
M*A*S*H-UP: "DOCTOR WHO" & STEALTH CAT
"FLASH-FORWARD" & TOOBWORLD
So I finally buckled down to watch 'Flash-Forward', which had been stock-piled since its return from hiatus; I just watched the series conclusion last night. (I still have eight episodes of 'The Pacific' also, as well as the new version of "Riverworld", but there's no rush on those.) ABC, in its finite network wisdom, threw 'Flash-Forward' into a three-month hiatus from which it never recovered. I was watching the series every week since it premiered. despite its lack of appeal for me on a Toobworld basis. (Also, I would tell people that they only really needed to watch the first and last ten minutes of each episode, which didn't bode well.) As it went into the hiatus, however, that cliff-hanger was pretty gripping with Lloyd Simcoe was kidnapped. But when the show returned, that interest vested in the show was severed. I kept recording it because I still wanted to know how it all played out. I just didn't need to know right away.
Like I said, the show didn't have any bearing on Toobworld. Once it was reported that the Vice President died in a plane crash during the Great Blackout on October 6th, it was no longer set in the dimension of Earth Prime-Time. The main Toobworld reflects the world of Earth Prime (our world) when it comes to the major details - and that means Joe Biden is the Veep for both worlds and he's very much alive.
Add to that Peter Coyote as President David Segovia and a woman named Clemente who would become the new Vice President, and the "Flash-Forward" blackout could never be part of the main Toobworld. It's probably just as well. The expanse of world-wide destruction caused by the blackout would have dwarfed other major calamities and events that plagued Toobworld in the past. These would include the "V" invasion (from the original production, not the remake from this year), or the Eugenics War from 'Star Trek'. Even the arrival of the Tenctonese as seen in 'Alien Nation' can be absorbed into the main Toobworld and still be a part of "life" there even now. (An easy splainin of prejudice against the "slags" makes for an easy splainin as to why we don't see the Tenctonese in Los Angeles-based TV series today; they're kept segregated.) So we don't need to see TV characters in other shows talk about those events in every episode.
During the height of the Viet Nam War, how many TV shows acknowledged that it was happening, let alone deal with it as a topic? 'The Mod Squad', 'Then Came Bronson', an episode of 'The Twilight Zone'..... 'All In The Family' and 'Maude' may have been the only sitcoms to address the war; I can't see it playing any part in an episode of 'That Girl' or 'My Mother The Car'. There were a few TV shows, even sitcoms like 'Becker', which at least made a reference to the collapse of the Twin Towers on 9/11. But a fledgling drama at the time, '100 Centre Street' refused to mention the terror track in their scripts, despite it having happened less than a mile away.
As global as those events might have been, they didn't have a direct impact on everyone. But the 'Flash-Forward' experience did. If it happened in the main Toobworld, it's hard to believe strangers wouldn't be adding "What did you see?" to their introductions to each other. I'm not sure I'm sorry to see it go. It was a fascinating premise, although reduced to a pedestrian level with so many storylines to juggle. But it did have interesting characters some of whom I'd like to have seen again. And I am curious about that cliff-hanger at the end - was that Charlie Benford seen in somebody's flashback? It could be the daughter of Mark and Olivia because the flash-forward was apparently taking place on New Year's Eve, 2015. (Those producers were pretty optimistic!) And I want to know how - if - Mark survived the explosion of the FBI building.
(I'm guessing he fell forward as he blacked out and down into that pool outside the building, even though it wasn't very deep. Not that it was a guarantee he'd be back anyway. There were several characters who could be considered superfluous to the storyline once their flash-forwards came about - Nicole Kirby for one. It's a moot point now, anyway - Joseph Fiennes, who played Mark Benford, will now be playing Merlin in a new TV series for Starz.)
I'm fairly certain on one aspect - there will be lots of fanfic out there with their own endings for the series now that it's cancelled......
One last thought about the show's finale - I liked how FBI Agent Demitri Noh was teamed up with Dr. Simon Campos at the lab, trying to stop the next flash-forward from happening. Both of them were the only two regular characters in the series who didn't have a flash-forward on October 6th. I thought John Cho and Dominic Monaghan worked well together in those scenes and I think they'd mesh together well in some other action series as partners, perhaps a futuristic series. Maybe even a sitcom - they've got the chops for it.)
So in the end, an experiment to create a new water-cooler show to carry on from 'Lost', with a great premise that didn't always follow through, and which doesn't affect Toobworld at all*. I can't say it won't be missed, but I wasn't sorry to know that cliff-hanger would never be resolved either.
Oh - there is one thing.... What was up with the reappearance of that damned kangaroo? BCnU!
*It could be argued that with the timeline reboot from 'Primeval', we could consider 'Flash-Forward' part of Toobworld once it was realigned to have Obama as President and Joe Biden still alive after the Great Blackout. But there would still be the massive amount of other casualties that should have been addressed in other TV shows. Best to just leave it as it is: part of some alternate TV dimension......
FANFICCER'S FRIEND: "DRAGNET"
I'm going to tweak that a bit right now and use pictures from 'Dragnet' that are already frozen in time as far as Toobworld is concerned in honor of our two inductees into the TV Crossover Hall of Fame.
First up: Here's the premise - Friday and Gannon are looking for a rogue Nazi who's hunting the recently thawed out Colonel Wilhelm Klink. Klink had been the guinea pig in the Nazi experiments to cryogenically freeze a man for decades. The process was developed to use on Hitler (see 'The Man From U.N.C.LE.') using technology developed by the Edwardian archvillain the Face ('Adam Adamant Lives!'), but they didn't want to risk the Fuehrer on the first try.
We know Klink survived into the 1960's without any significant aging.....
So how else to splain it without cryogenics?
Also, Friday and Gannon can't be after Klink himself - if Batman and Robin let him go, he must not be a wanted man by the 1960's.....
In the next picture, Friday and Gannon are in the Movie Universe (where both of them have credentials - Friday in 1954 and Gannon in 1987). The body in question? How about Smiler Grogan of "It's A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World"?
Hey, I just supply the pictures and suggestions. You do the rest....
THE COPPER CLAPPER CAPER
AS SEEN ON TV: ETHEL KENNEDY
AS SEEN IN:
AS PLAYED BY:
Ethel Skakel Kennedy (born April 11, 1928) is the widow of Senator and former Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy.
Ethel met Robert F. Kennedy during a ski trip to Mont Tremblant Resort in Quebec, Canada during the winter of 1945. At the time, Robert was dating Ethel's sister, Patricia. That relationship ended and Ethel and Robert started seeing each other. Ethel campaigned for his brother, John F. Kennedy, in his 1946 campaign for United States Congress, and wrote her college thesis on his book Why England Slept.
Bobby and Ethel became engaged in February 1950, and were married on June 17, 1950 at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Greenwich. [They had 11 children, two of whom have died: David, from a drug overdose, and Michael, in a skiing accident.]
Just after midnight on June 5, 1968, Ethel's husband was assassinated by Sirhan Sirhan. He died 26 hours later.
She currently lives at the Kennedy Compound in Hyannis Port.
Friday, June 4, 2010
TVXOHOF, JUNE 2010: JOE FRIDAY & BILL GANNON
The original plan was to kick off this theme with the British detectives Charles Barlow and John Watt of 'Softly, Softly' and several other series. But instead I decided to stick closer to home with a different pair of detectives.
OFFICER BILL GANNON
After all, thank God it's Friday, right?
Joe Friday had several partners before Bill Gannon. Back in the 1950's, he worked with Sgt. Ben Romero, Sgt. Ed Jacobs, and by an amazing bit of "coincidence", two officers named Frank Smith. Between 1959 and 1967, there may have been even more; we just never got to see them onscreen. (Maybe Joe Friday wasn't easy to work with; maybe a really bad relationship with a partner between '59 and '67 was the root cause for his demotion from lieutenant back down to sergeant.) But because of the reruns of the later color version of the show, it's Bill Gannon who's remembered best by the Trueniverse audience.
As a team, Friday and Gannon have the return of 'Dragnet' in the late 1960's, a 1969 TV movie, and through computer magic, an appearance in at least one TV commercial. Separately, they both have credits that also add to their qualifications for inclusion.
Joe Friday was the main character in the original run of the series back in the 1950's and had a theatrical film version as well, which brings that movie out of the "Cineverse" and into the realm of Toobworld. He also as a counterpart in the sketch comedy dimension of Skitlandia, thanks to a classic bit with Johnny Carson about a robbery at the Acme School Bell Company as seen on 'The Tonight Show'. But Joe Friday began "life" in the Radio Universe (really should come up with a name for that.....) where 'Dragnet' was a radio series.
As for Gannon, he also has a movie to his credit - the "Dragnet" of 1987 with Dan Aykroyd as the original Friday's nephew. (And Tom Hanks as his partner, with one of my favorite character names of all time - Pep Streebeck.) As with the 1954 "Dragnet" movie, this flick was nicked for the TV Universe. (Because of this movie, we know that Joe Friday was already dead in Toobworld, probably around the same time as the actor who played him. Jack Webb died in 1982.)
By this point in his career, Bill Gannon had been promoted to Captain. Over in the Tooniverse, Friday and Gannon were seen as FBI Agents in Springfield as seen on 'The Simpsons'. (And Harry Morgan was able to give voice to his avatar....)
The controversy over inserting dead celebrities into blipverts to hawk a product isn't as big a deal anymore. That's why we have this commercial as part of the "official" resume for Friday and one of his earlier partners, the second Frank Smith (giving him another notch towards membership as well) ....
There was also another commercial in which they were digitally inserted into the scene. This was for Service Merchandise stores and ran during the 1996 Christmas season. Oddly, Sgt. Friday and Officer Gannon were seen in black & white with the world around them in color. That's not an odd occurrence in Toobworld - one of the characters in my Toobworld novel suffers from a colorization deficiency - but the 1960's 'Dragnet' was in color....
Those are just the facts, and as such the evidence is overwhelming: Sgt. Joe Friday and Officer Bill Gannon deserve to be in the TV Crossover Hall of Fame. This time, gentlemen, the spotlight is on you!
Dun de dun dun. Dun de dun dun dunnnnn indeed.....
WILDE, WILDE WISH-CRAFT
And as I was looking for the specific pictures to use in Sunday's blog post, I came up with another theory of "relateeveety" from it.....
The antagonist in that first "Librarian" TV-movie was Edward Wilde, who held the post of Librarian before Flynn Carsen.
Here's the thumbnail biography for Wilde from Wikipedia:
Edward Wilde was the preceding 'Librarian' before Flynn, and he was considered to be very good. He worked with Nicole for two years during which time she fell in love with him. During an adventure in the Antarctic involving the Serpent Brotherhood, Wilde had to build an igloo to shelter himself and Nicole. He made it appear to Nicole that he had been killed by the Serpent Brotherhood, but in reality Edward staged his own death to ally himself with the Brotherhood in an effort to steal the Spear of Destiny and take control of the world.
Toobworld Central is proposing that Edward Wilde is the son of Danny Wilde, whose crime-fighting exploits and sexual escapades in middle age across the European continent were chronicled in the TV series 'The Persuaders'.
And here's what can be found in Wikipedia about Danny Wilde:
Danny Wilde (Tony Curtis) is a rough diamond, educated and molded in the back slums of New York City, who escaped by enlisting in the U.S. Navy. He later became a millionaire in the oil business. Wilde never reveals nor explains his reasons (for working for Judge Fulton with Lord Brett Sinclair.)
But a better biography can be found in the show's opening titles sequence (because it has a great John Barry score):
But that file, put together by Judge Fulton to get those two men working for him, may not have shown all the details in Danny Wilde's life. It's pozz'ble, just pozz'ble, that Danny married as a young man, perhaps to a girl from the old neighborhood. But when he struck it big, he found that he no longer shared the same interests as his wife. Money may have gone to his head and he went searching for the good things to be found in the high life, perhaps even a second, "trophy wife". As such, he would have obtained a divorce, providing his ex-wife with the means to live comfortably on her own. But she wouldn't be all alone - for the purposes of this theory of relateeveety, Mrs. Wilde gave birth to Danny's son in 1959 and named him Edward. (The birth date for Edward Wilde is based on the age of the actor who played him, Kyle MacLachlan.)
Danny Wilde provided his son with everything he needed, except his love and companionship. (Danny probably had a closer relationship with Lord Sinclair than he ever had with his own son.) Edward grew up, wanting for nothing, but seething with resentment against his father and the world in general. A certified genius, his father's money guaranteed Edward's chance to get into the right schools and he soon came under the notice of Judson at the Metropolitan Public Library. The rest we know from the TV-movie.
The rift between Edward and his father was so great, that Danny's crime-fighting partner, Lord Brett Sinclair, may not even have known that Danny's son existed. It was probably listed in the file compiled by Judge Fulton, but he apparently never felt the need to share it with his Lordship...... BCnU!
THE TWO FRANK SMITHS OF "DRAGNET"
Sgt. Ben Romero (played by Barton Yarborough)
Sgt. Ed Jacobs (played by Barney Phillips)
Officer Frank Smith (played first by Herbert Ellis and then by Ben Alexander) But that isn't exactly recasting when it comes to Officer Frank Smith. They weren't the same police detective, but two different cops who happened to have the same name.
In a police department as large as the one in Los Angeles, there was bound to be several policemen who had the same name. And you have to admit "Frank Smith" is rather common. (In Toobworld, the LAPD even had three lieutenants all by the name of "Columbo".)
That Joe Friday got saddled with two Frank Smiths as his partner, one right after the other, is typical of Toobworld "coincidence". But it's always better to go with the simplest splainin, rather than drum up some reason for the original Frank Smith to be replaced by an alien imposter or quantum leaper.....
And I don't think either one of them could be related to the crime syndicate boss of Port Charles, NY, who was also named Frank Smith. Now THAT's a guy who had to be replaced by a quantum leaper from the future! BCnU!
AS SEEN ON TV: ISRAEL BOONE
AS SEEN IN:
AS PLAYED BY:
Israel Boone is a good example of the differences between the historical figures of the Trueniverse and their televersions. Throughout the run of the series, Israel was the only child of Daniel and Rebecca Boone. However, the Boones had ten children in all. BCnU!
Thursday, June 3, 2010
THE GOLDEN GIRLS: SINGLE LADIES
THE HAT SQUAD: RUE McCLANAHAN
Her manager, Barbara Lawrence, said McClanahan died Thursday at 1 a.m. at New York-Presbyterian Hospital of a brain hemorrhage.
(By David Brauer, AP Television Writer)
Here are a few videos presented in her memory.....
Good night and may God bless.
[My thanks to Paul David Brazill!]
THE CIGARETTE ADS SONG
SMOKIN' IN THE WRITERS' ROOM
So the plan is to publish a few videos of interest from YouTube.
First up, tie-in blipverts that link 'The Dick Van Dyke Show' to Kent cigarettes. These will help raise the qualifications for the TV Crossover Hall of Fame for all concerned. (Rob & Laura Petrie were already qualified for membership. In fact, I'm surprised I never got around to inducting them already!)
It also exposes them as practicing serlinguists.....
AS SEEN ON TV: STEPHEN SMITH
AS SEEN IN:
AS PLAYED BY:
Stephen Edward Smith (September 24, 1927 – August 19, 1990) was the husband of Jean Ann Kennedy. He was a financial analyst and political strategist in the 1960 United States Presidential campaign of his brother-in-law, John F. Kennedy.
Smith played an active role in JFK's 1960 campaign, and was working as Kennedy's campaign manager for re-election at the time of President Kennedy's assassination on November 22, 1963.
A longtime smoker, Smith died, at his home in Manhattan in 1990, after a brief battle with lung cancer at the age of 62.
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
VIDEO: THE FITZHARRIS TRIPLETS
First up, Cathy Gale in 'The Avengers'
Lillian Stanhope in 'Columbo'
Kitty Campbell in 'New Tricks'
THE NEVERLAND OF "TOOBWOLD"
Win has shepherded the "Wold Newton Universe" to a scale that may have never been imagined by Farmer when he first began chronicling the various connections in his examinations of Tarzan and Doc Savage. And Win has authored several books on the topic, including "Myths For The Modern Age: Philip Jose Farmer's Wold Newton Universe" and "Crossovers" volumes 1 & 2. (He also co-wrote "The Evil In Pemberley House" with Mr. Farmer, which is set firmly in the WNU, and they were able to publish it before the famed Riverworld author passed away. It was my intention to read that while on the first of my vacations this year, but that's been pushed back - because I'm still deep into "Crossovers 1", in which Win was nice enough to give me a tip of the hat!)
So Win read my post about the origins of three TV characters all played by Honor Blackman yesterday - "Three Times The Honor" - and had this to say about it:
Toby, I outlined Cathy Gale's parentage in MYTHS FOR THE MODERN AGE: PHILIP JOSE FARMER'S WOLD NEWTON UNIVERSE (MonkeyBrain Books, 2005).
Cool idea, though! :-)
His version of Cathy Gale's lineage is part of the chapter "Who's Going To Take Over The World When I'm Gone?" which was "A look at genealogies of Wold Newton Family super-villains and their nemeses." In his world-view, Cathy Gale's family is deeply rooted in the Fu Manchu novels of Sax Rohmer, tracing back to the union of Dr. Petrie and the Devil Doctor's slave-girl Kâramanèh. The gist of his theory of relativity was expanded from the article on his Wold Newton website:
Prominent among his agents was the "seductively lovely" Kâramanèh. Her real name is unknown. She was sold to the Si-Fan by Egyptian slave traders while still a child. Kara falls in love with the editor of the first three books in the series, Dr. Petrie. She rescues Petrie and Nayland Smith many times. Eventually the couple is united and she wins her freedom. They marry and have a daughter, Fleurette, who figures in later novels.
Fleurette Petrie and her husband, Alan Sterling, had one daughter, Fiona Sterling, who after her marriage was known as Fiona Jefferson. However, they had at least one other child. Their second daughter eventually went into the archaeology and anthropology fields, like her great-grandfather, Sir Flinders Petrie. She was born in 1934, and was named Catherine. Catherine Sterling was a bit "wild" in her formative years, and formed a penchant for black leather suits and boots, powerful motorbikes, and judo.
Catherine Sterling did attempt to settle down and was briefly married,but it didn't take. Her husband, a farmer in Kenya, was killed in the Mau Mau troubles, in which she learned to handle a gun with adroitness. She went on to earn a PhD in anthropology, and fought inthe hills of Cuba with Fidel Castro. However, after Castro achieved power, he deported her to Britain due to her opposition to some aspects of his government. Mrs. Catherine Gale took a position with the British Museum, and by 1961 she was "selected" by British agent John Steed to be his next regular partner. After about two years, she apparently tired of Steed's brand of adventure. Following a short American holiday, she permanently returned to Africa. In 1968, Cathy Gale did work briefly with Steed once more, along with his other talented amateur partners, and then was not heard from again.
(You'll find the link to his Wold Newton site nesting comfortably to the left. A word of caution, however, if you've an interest in such fantasy world-building, make sure you have plenty of time to explore there. Once you get started, it's hard to stop!)
But that's the Wold Newton Universe, and his arguments are persuasive within that realm. However, it doesn't work for the TV Universe, Earth Prime-Time AKA Toobworld.
As I said in my response to Win, "Wold Newton and Toobworld aren't the same thing - I'm restricted to the boundaries of the TV Universe (with a few cinematic exceptions)." I have to hold true to what was broadcast and not factor in anything from the original sources, like novels, short stories, and comic books. (As much as I'd like to - it pangs me to exclude Barbara Hambly's 'Star Trek' novel "Ishmael" from the TV Universe.)
And in the case of the "Fu Manchu" characters who populate Cathy Gale's family tree in Win's thesis, there's no way Dr. Petrie and Kâramanèh could be her grand-parents in the TV Universe.
Here's the Wikipedia entry for the TV series based on the Sax Rohmer villain:
From 3 September 1956 till 26 November 1956, Hollywood Television Service (a subsidiary of Republic Pictures) produced a 13-episode syndicated programme, 'The Adventures of Fu Manchu' starring Glen Gordon as Dr Fu Manchu, Lester Matthews as Sir Dennis Nayland Smith, Clark Howat as Dr John Petrie, Carla Balenda as Betty Leonard, Laurette Luez as Karamaneh (Fu Manchu's woman servant) and John George as Kolb (his dwarf flunkey). Like 'Tarzan' about a decade later, the series was contemporary to the times in which it was broadcast - the mid-1950's. And therefore, they shared the same timeline as Cathy Gale, who would have been in her twenties by that point.
(If you'd like to see episodes of 'The Adventures Of Fu Manchu', visit the VintageTV4U website.)
Although the Wold Newton Universe and the TV Universe share many of the same characters - Sherlock Holmes, Conan & Red Sonja, Dr. Syn, Secret Agent X-9 (It's true! Like Cathy Gale's sister, he's in a 'Columbo' episode!), Hercule Poirot, Zorro, and the aforementioned Fu Manchu and Tarzan, they can't be considered the same realm. Hell, this particular version of the TV Universe known as Toobworld isn't even the same as the Tommy Westphall TV Universe! Toobworld Central and the Wold Newton Universe are dedicated to the same goal - uniting the many sources in their chosen genres into one universe. But they're in separate dimensions. (If anything, Toobworld is more of an off-shoot of the "Incompleat Enchanter" stories by Fletcher Pratt and L. Sprague deCamp.)
So Toobworld Central will stand by its version of Cathy Gale's family tree and will add it to the 108 sections of the Tele-Folks Directory, a work in progress. After all, there's compelling proof that the Fitzharris Triplets are related by tele-genetics - video examples! (See the following post.)
AS SEEN ON TV: AUNT BESSIE MERRYMAN
AS SEEN IN:
'Edward & Mrs. Simpson'
AS PLAYED BY:
Bessie Merryman was the aunt of Wallis Simpson. She served as the chaperone for her niece when she was traveling with Prince Edward.
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
AS SEEN ON TV: G. GORDON LIDDY
AS SEEN IN:
AS PLAYED BY:
AS SEEN IN:
"Will: The Autobiography Of G. Gordon Liddy"
AS PLAYED BY:
George Gordon Battle Liddy (born November 30, 1930) was the chief operative for the White House Plumbers unit that existed during several years of Richard Nixon's Presidency. Along with E. Howard Hunt, Liddy masterminded the first break-in of the Democratic National Committee headquarters in the Watergate building in 1972. The subsequent cover-up of the Watergate scandal led to Nixon's resignation in 1974; Liddy served four and a half years in prison for his role in the burglary.
Two for Tuesday!
CLASSIC CROSSOVER COMMERCIALS
Maxwell Smart, Jed Clampett, (Willy) Gilligan, and Grandpa Munster are already in the TV Crossover Hall of Fame. June Cleaver and Eddie Haskell are eligible......
THREE TIMES THE HONOR
So the concept of several siblings sharing the same name is not without precedent, which is why Toobworld Central is proposing this theory of relateeveety.....
October 5, 1932
British barrister Sir Barnaby Fitzharris, Esq. (who may have been sharing chambers with a Horace Rumpole back then) and his wife Katherine became the parents of triplets - all girls and all identical. Unfortunately, Katherine died during childbirth. and so her husband decided to bestow variations on the name "Katherine" to their baby girls in memory of his late wife.
('New Tricks', 'Rumpole Of The Bailey')
Catherine was the first out of the gate, as it were, and she was given the most traditional spelling of the name (although she preferred the nickname of "Cathy"). When she came of age, Cathy met and fell in love with an African farmer named Gale who was on holidays in London. She moved back to his African farm where she learned various skills that would help her make it on her own in the world, including self-defense. This came in handy when Mr. Gale was killed on the farm.
Cathy Gale remained in Africa a few more years before finally returning to England in order to pursue a PhD in anthropology. It was while she was working as the curator for a London museum that she found a new direction in life - as an unofficial operative for BritishIntelligence, working in tandem with top professional John Steed.
Eventually Dr. Cathy Gale left government employ, presumably to return to her former life as a museum curator. However, she may have still been involved in some kind of skullduggery - Steed would later get a Christmas card from Cathy who was in Fort Knox for some reason.
It has been suggested in the fictional universe based on literature that Cathy became involved with one of Steed's other former associates, Dr. David Keel. This could mean that eventually she remarried; she might even have had children.
Of the three sisters, only Cathy seems likely to have ever had children. And if so, it's pozz'ble, just pozz'ble, that her continuation of the family line culminated with Professor Sarah Lasky, who sadly died in 2986 - a victim of a poison dart from her sentient plant creations, the Vervoids. (Cathy Fitzharris Gale (Keel?)'s family tree may have merged with that of the same Lasky lineage that produced another Professor Lasky centuries earlier - Jeremiah Lasky of California University.)
('The Avengers', 'Doctor Who', 'Saved By The Bell - The College Years')
The next to be born a few minutes later was given a cute variation of "Katharine" as her name, but she apparently wanted nothing to do with it. Even with its unique spelling, she may have found it too plain for her overly-dramatic personality. When she sought a career in the theatre, Kathryn assumed the stage name of Lillian Stanhope. She married a fellow actor a few years older than herself named Nicholas Frame. (Frame, by the way, was a stage name as well. His real name was Nicholas Nelson and he was the twin brother of Admiral Harriman Nelson of the Nelson Oceanographic Institute.)
When their careers hit a lull, Frame and Stanhope used a variation on the "badger game" to hoodwink Sir Roger Haversham into thinking he had a "special relationship" with Lillian. It was all a pretense, however, in order to get him to reopen his theatre and finance their production of the Scottish Play. When he found out that he had been duped, Sir Roger flew into a rage and threatened to expose their scheme. As Sir Roger struggled with Nicholas, Lillian threw a heavy ashtray (It may have been a jar of cold cream) and clobbered the producer, killing him. She and Nicholas took his body out of the theatre in an old trunk and arranged it at his home to look as though he fell down the stairs.
Their scheme might have worked had it not been for that meddling Lt. Columbo, a police detective visiting from Los Angeles. And then they only made matters worse for themselves when Sir Roger's butler discovered the truth and decided to blackmail Nicholas and Lillian.
They played along with Tanner at first, but then Frame murdered him and made it look like suicide. (Had they just come clean before, they might have only faced manslaughter charges.)
When Columbo finally found the "proof" that they had killed Sir Roger, Nicholas Frame went off the deep end; he probably ended up in a prison-like asylum. Although she hadn't meant to kill Sir Roger, Lillian Stanhope was complicit in covering up the crime and was an accessory in the murder of the butler Tanner. She may still be serving time for those crimes, but I think it more likely that she was released at least a decade ago and is now living in seclusion in her later years... perhaps under her original name of Kathryn Fitzharris in order to avoid notoriety.
('Columbo', 'Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea')
The last of the FitzHarris triplets to make her debut into the world got a foreign variation on the name, but it was probably for naught. She also resorted to a nickname - that of Kitty.
Growing up, it looked as though Kitty would likely follow her father Sir Barnaby into law and take up the wig. In fact, she would often give her father a unique perspective on his cases and offer advice on how he should proceed on some legal point. (It all sounds like it couldhave been the making of an early sitcom along the lines of 'My Little Margie'.)
But Kitty had her head and heart turned by an older man, at least ten years her senior, Bertie Campbell. They married and embarked on a lucrative TV career as the hosts of a cooking show on the BBC.
Unfortunately for Kitty, Bertie proved to be a closet homosexual, at a time when it was still considered a punishable offense. Not that Kitty ever had to face humiliation in divorce proceedings - soon after she discovered her husband being serviced by their male assistant, Bertie died of a heart attack that may have been aggravated by asthma.
Kitty Campbell rallied and continued with the show on her own, parlaying her success into a line of successful cookbooks and several restaurants. But when she was under consideration for the Queen's Honors list to become a Dame in 2005, her former assistant (Binky Baxter) claimed that she had murdered her husband Bertie. The Unsolved Crimes and Open Case Squad (known as UCOS) took the charge seriously and investigated. And although the circumstantial evidence was strong, they couldn't definitively prove that Kitty Campbell was a murderer.
But UCOS would not be foiled - they let the information fall into the hands of the tabloid press which ran with the story. Kitty Campbell vowed to fight the charges, and with her knowledge of the Law, I'm fairly certain she was able to "beat the rap." However, it was more than likely her name was quietly withdrawn from consideration to become a Dame of the British Empire.
Of course, it's pure conjecture that these three TV characters were sisters, but I hope I presented a solid argument for it being so. And if not solid, at least entertaining. And if not entertaining.. screw it. I got paid almost 70 bucks to write it!
Cathy Gale - Yesterday & Today