Saturday, January 1, 2011


So here it is, the final post for this second annual "Who's On First" celebration at Toobworld Central's Inner Toob blog. And what better way to end things than with a preview of what's to come in "Season Six" (by the new reckoning).

Ladies and gentlemen and small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri, here's your "Big Finish"! (Sorry about that, Chief......)

Combom - you remember Combom? He's come up a lot during our celebration; many thanks to him for some of the stuff discussed here today! - Combom has put together an analysis of the "Season Six" trailer for 'Doctor Who'.

0:03 An angry man, who seems French and from the 14th to 17th centuries, asking where the Doctor is.
0:06 A formidable Nazi leader enters a cabin, flanked by two soldiers.
0:07 The Doctor, Amy and River race out of the TARDIS (from episode one or two).
0:08 The Doctor guides Idris, who seems to be from the same period as shown in 0:03 (episode three, written by Neil Gaiman).
0:09 Men in suits approach someone, or something, in a factory-like place (from episode one or two).
0:12 A leader of the Men in Black points a gun at the Doctor (episode one).
0:17 The Doctor in the Oval Office needs "a SWAT team ready to mobilise, street-level maps covering Florida, a pot of coffee, twelve jammie dodgers and a fez"! (episode one).
0:18 An amazing overhead shot of the Utah desert (episode one or two).
0:20 A car (most likely belong to the Men in Black) races across the desert (episode one or two).
0:25 He wears a Stetson now. Stetsons are cool. . .
0:27 Until River shoots it off (à la fez).
0:28 River plays cowgirls.
0:29 “Do not approach the prisoner” in Area 51!
0:31 The Doctor is the prisoner (with a beard)!
0:32 The TARDIS from “The Lodger”! And it looks like River has discovered it (in her episode one/two clothes).
0:33 The Doctor and Idris on a hill (episode three).
0:34 A spaceman reaches out in a darkened house (very "Silence in the Library") (from episode one or two, regarding "Apollo Ten-and-a-half").
0:35 "You have to do this and you can’t ask why" - is it just me, or does Amy look and sound possessed, and not like normal Amy?
0:35 The TARDIS isn’t happy, and the Doctor and Rory are inside (not from episode one or two).
0:37 Amy looking frightened in the house seen in 0:34 (with added lightening).
0:38 The Doctor holding a glowing box in the TARDIS (not from episode one, two or four).
0:38 River. Naked. Winking. *Dies*
0:39 A running Amy reaches the end of the road (episode one or two).
0:39 Why does that not look like Karen Gillan?
0:40 So that’s why she was running!
0:41 Good ol’ fashioned running through corridors.
0:42 Nooooooooooooo!!! Rory!
0:43 So they were running from Ood! With green eyes! (We told ya).
0:43 Creepy dolls! Yay! (from episode four).
0:44 Amy screaming with tally marks covering her face (from episode one or two, supposedly, she’s upstairs in a room with the Silents (Silence?)).
0:47 His life in her hands. Why does she look possessed again?!
0:53 River has the tally marks on her arms. . . Is she in the same place as in 0:09?
0:56 Scared face time for Rory.
0:57 A Grey alien!

But if you want to see the pictures he garnered to illustrate each detail, then you must visit the article. It's only right after all the work he did on the project.......



Among the many characters I'd like to see return to the 'Doctor Who' series, I think "Jenny" should get the chance to meet her Dad again. And to make it interesting, why not center a story around her that involves past incarnations of the Doctor as well? Sort of a 'Doctor Who' version of "Meet The Parents"......



I mentioned the Fourth Doctor's outfit being seen in the TV shows 'Kingdom' and 'Freaks And Geeks'. Here are the respective frame grabs to illustrate:
Well, that was probably the best Bill was able to scrounge up from somebody's wardrobe back in the early 1980's....



I found this of interest. It's the type of trivial nugget that keeps Toobworld Central churning.....



The "Cracks in Time", as seen in 'Doctor Who', are the over-riding arc to this first season of the Eleventh incarnation of the Doctor.

Here's some edited information about them from the TARDIS Wiki:
The cracks were described as "two parts of space and time that should never have touched". They were present in the very fabric of spacetime — a crack that appeared to be part of a wall would still be there if the wall were removed. (DW: The Eleventh Hour)

Some cracks released energy of pure time that could wipe individuals out of time itself and remove events from history, though time-travelers such as the Doctor still had the ability to remember them, at least so long as the removed event or person did not relate to the person's direct past. (DW: Flesh and Stone, Cold Blood) The Doctor guessed that such cracks had erased events such as the CyberKing walking over London in the Victorian era and the Dalek invasion of 2009, one of Earth's most publicly-visible invasions, explaining why Amy Pond did not know about those events.

Chronons, the elementary particles of time energy, were responsible for erasing objects from the present that no longer had a past. (DW: City of the Daleks) Whether this is related to the time energy seeping from a crack erasing individuals out of time is unclear.

You don't know what a boon this will prove to be for Toobworld Central! At last we have a unifying reason as to why certain TV characters not only vanished, but were not even remembered by the other characters left behind.

The best example of this is Chuck Cunningham, the oldest son of Howard and Marion Cunningham back in the 1950's. He disappeared from the show, and it could be suggested that he went off to college (although the show ran long enough for him to have finished school). However, in one episode, Howard gave thanks at the table before dinner,mentioning how fortunate he and his wife were in having two such splendid children, meaning Richie and Joanie.

No mention of Chuck.

Previously I theorized that maybe Chuck did something off-screen that was abhorred by his father that he was disowned totally; he would be worse than dead to Howard Cunningham - he wouldn't exist at all. (I also suggested that Chuck had been framed by his younger sisterJoanie, she of the "Crazy Eyes". And I pushed it even farther to say that she probably killed her brother and hid the body.)

But now? We can say that a crack in Time appeared back in the 1950's and consumed Chuck, removing from the memories of everybody in his immediate family - even for Marion, who gave birth to him!

This pop culture phenomenon has been named the Chuck Cunningham Syndrome in his honor. Wikipedia has a list of TV shows that have at least one example of this happening, although 'Davis Rules' and 'Grounded For Life' are missing. Many of these can be easily splained away when they're co-workers or neighbors or best friends. People get fired, find new jobs, move away, or just die. It's the missing family members that would best be served by the Chuck Cunningham Syndrome.

So I've gone through the list provided by that Wikipedia page and have chosen those cases of Chuck Cunningham Syndrome that could have been caused by the Cracks in Time.....

Sandra Clark (Jackee Harry) disappears halfway through the fifth season, no explantion of what happened to her or no mention of her name again.

All My Children:
Joe Martin's son Bobby went upstairs to wax his skis one day in 1970 and was never seen again. The show has been known to poke fun at the incident, such as one episode in which Opal ventured into the Martins' attic and found a skeleton with a shirt bearing the word "Bobby" next to a pair of skis.

Boy Meets World:
In early seasons, Topanga has an older sister, Nebula. When Topanga grows up and dates Corey, she is never mentioned again. When Topanga's parents get divorced, she is referred to as an only child.

Katherine Wentworth, Bobby Ewing's jealous ex-sister-in-law, stalks him at the end of the 1984-85 season and eventually runs him over with her car, killing them both. When Patrick Duffy returned at the end of the next season and the first episode of the 1986-87 season implausibly explained that the interim events had all been a nightmare of Pam Ewing, Katherine was never seen in the series, nor even mentioned, again - despite the fact that she, too, should still have been alive and stalking Bobby, one of several continuity problems created by this infamous plot line.

Days of Our Lives:
In 1985, Don Craig (Jed Allan, who had played the role since 1971) went out to mail a letter and never came back, and was never referred to again.

In 1991, Neil Curtis (Joseph Gallison, who had played the role since 1974) announced to colleagues that he had to see to some of his patients, and also disappeared without an explanation.

In early 2005, Cassie "DiMera" Brady (Alexis Thorpe) returned safely from Tony DiMera's European castle along with Jack Deveraux, Victor Kiriakis, and Caroline Brady. Soon after returning to Salem, Cassie disappeared with no reason. Her twin brother Rex left Salem after a fallout with Mimi, but Cassie's whereabouts remain unknown.

Leslie Carrington was beaten up by Sean Rowan and never seen or mentioned again

Everybody Loves Raymond:
Jennifer, Debra's care-free sister visits and says she will become a nun. She is never mentioned by Debra or her parents in any episode before or after.

Actually, this one could be splained away. She may have joined a cloistered order, which is why we never saw her again. And Debra and her parents might have talked about her whenever they were off-screen.

Family Matters:
Judy Winslow (Jaimee Foxworth) disappears in the fourth season. She was last seen at Mama Winslow's wedding.

Bryton McClure, who played Richie Crawford, Rachael's son, appeared less and less once the character of 3J was introduced. By the last season, his character was completely dropped with no explanation.

Good Times:
At the end of Season 4, Florida Evans agrees to marry Carl Dixon and move with him to Arizona. They are unseen in Season 5, but when Florida returns at the beginning of Season 6 for Thelma's wedding, she is alone. Carl is never mentioned again, and Florida continues to be addressed as Mrs. Evans, not Mrs. Dixon.

Here's my splainin for this one: It turned out Carl Dixon was a bigamist. The marriage was annulled and Florida moved back home under her former name. Carl's serving time for bigamy and his name was verboten in the Evans household.

Hogan's Heroes:
During the final season of the series (1970–1971), Ivan Dixon did not appear as the character Sgt. Kinchloe and the producers replaced his character without any explanation with Sgt. Richard Baker.

The King of Queens:
Carrie's sister moved into the house along with their father. The sister has a room upstairs and the father moves into the basement. At the start of season two the father is still in the basement but the room upstairs suddenly becomes Carries "office", and her sister isnever mentioned again.

The Toobworld splainin: At some point over that summer, unseen by the audience viewing at home, there must have been a big falling out with the sister.

Life With Bonnie:
The Molloys' oldest child, Samantha, disappeared from the show after the first season. According to series star Bonnie Hunt, this was due to "creative differences." The daughter seemed to have been replaced by a young neighbor whose parents are never seen.

Mama's Family:
During the first two seasons of the show, Mama's son Vinton had two teenage kids from his first marriage -- Sonja and Buzz. When the show returned for its third season, both kids were gone with only one fleeting reference made to them in the first episode. They are notmentioned at all for the remainder of the series. In the final season, while Vint and his second wife Naomi awaited the birth of their first child, it was implied that Vint had no other children.

Married... with Children:
The Bundys' youngest son Steven (Shane Sweet) runs away to live with the D'Arcys and is never seen again. His face is later seen on a milk carton.

My Three Sons:
A clear-cut example of Chuck Cunningham Syndrome that actually predated 'Happy Days' by a decade. From 1960-65, Mike Douglas (played by Tim Considine) was the oldest son of widower Steve Douglas. (The other two sons were Robbie and Chip.) When Considine left the series, Ernie Thompson (played by Barry Livingston) was adopted so that Steve still had three sons. While Ernie's adoption was referred to throughout the series, Mike was never mentioned again, and Steve Douglas mentioned several times that he had three sons, never four, and that Robbie was the oldest.

One Life To Live:
Carlotta Vega's adopted son Eli Traeger disappeared in 1998, never to be spoken of again.

During the first season, Maria had a younger brother who lived at home with Maria and her mother. He was never mentioned again after the end of the first season.

Step By Step:
The youngest Lambert boy on the show, Brendan, saw his role reduced during the last few years of the show (especially after the birth of Lilly) until he was completely dropped from the show during the last season without explanation.

The Torkelsons:
During their move from Oklahoma to Seattle (and the show's name change to Almost Home), the family mysteriously lost two children, Steven Floyd and Ruth Ann.

The cracks in Time were said to have wiped out memories of major historical events as well - at least those events that only happened in Toobworld. So we can use them to splain away why nobody in the TV Universe ever seems to mention:

The Eugenics War from the original 'Star Trek' (although that could have been part of the televersion for the whole Balkan crisis of the 1990's.)

The original 1980's 'V' invasion

The Canamid invasion from 'The Twilight Zone' episode "To Serve Man"

The events of 'Space: 1999' did still happen - at least as far as the explosion of the fuel dump at the lunar colony which is a secret to the general public. But as far as the adventures that took place once the Moon left its orbit? That cataclysm was part of the coma dreams experienced by "survivor" Commander John Koenig.



From The Guardian:
He travels through time and space, saves the Earth, and has millions of fans all over the world. But as every "Whovian" knows, the Doctor cannot last for ever: Time Lords are able to regenerate only 12 times before they die.

Fans have always thought that the 13th doctor would be the last, thanks to a 1976 'Doctor Who' episode, "The Deadly Assassin", featuring Tom Baker as the Doctor in his fourth incarnation, and revealing for the first time the regeneration limit. But a passing comment in a children's television programme [rewrote] history and cast the Doctor, iconic hero of the world's most successful and longest-running science fiction series, as immortal.

But in the spin-of series 'The Sarah Jane Adventures', the situation may have been addressed when Clyde pestered the Doctor about his ability to regenerate:

One thing to remember, as River Song pointed out - The Doctor lies. He's lying about how old he is, for one - he's much more than 905 years old. And I would figure that the Doctor is lying to Clyde as well. But only to shut him up with his pestering questions.

The thing is, I think the Doctor knows that the original limit for the number of regenerations for a Time Lord has been expanded in his case, but he just doesn't know by how many. (And I think that would be preferable. It would be like a human knowing exactly when they would die - would you really want to know?)

And I think the Doctor's life-span has been expanded because he absorbed the energy of the Time Stream, as seen in the episode "Parting Of The Ways":

Hopefully, the topic can now be dropped. Why bother bringing up exactly how many times the Doctor can regenerate? It's not like we're ever going to find out for ourselves what happens after the role has been cast for the 507th regeneration. Look how long it took us to get to Number 11!



So what if Christmas is over and we're in the middle of New Year's Day?

Maybe this is the same world in which the 'Futurama' crew were bobble-heads......



I'm not a Time Lord; I can't go back into the Toobworld timeline and re-do the ending to the 'Doctor Who' episode "Waters Of Mars". But if I could, I would have found a more satisfying conclusion to the tale.

But I suppose RTD needed to show that the Doctor had reached the limits of his hubris and, just as in the old Greek myths, he had to be brought low for it.

But the timeline for the grand-daughter of Adelaide Brooke could have still been preserved without Commander Brooke actually dying. Of course, the other two Martian colonists would not have been allowed to alter their fates and remain on Earth either.

What the Doctor should have done was to take the three survivors to another planet, where they would have no contact with their homeworld. That way, the authorities back on Earth would have had to assume that they had perished on the Red Planet as well, along with the others from their team.

The Doctor made this kind of offer at least twice before - to the Empress of the Racnoss and to Miss Hartigan as the Cyber-King. And that was for his enemies. He should have thought of the same option for these unfortunates.

As you might have expected from the good folks at Toobworld Central, we have two planets in mind where the Doctor could have taken them. And keeping with the no borders policy of pure televisiology, neither one is originally from 'Doctor Who', but instead from the classic 'Star Trek'.

The only requirements needed in choosing the planets would be that they were already inhabited by a humanoid species compatible to humans (iin case they needed to live undetected among the natives), and that there was no contact with Earth - at least in the "present day". (The timeline for "Waters Of Mars" had it taking place in the 2050's.)

So here are my two suggestions:

from the episode "Plato's Stepchildren"

The Doctor would have to drop them off after the edict against travel to that planet by other members of the Federation was put in place. That way there was an embargo to keep outsiders from learning about the three colonists. And before the Doctor left them in the "care" of Parmen and the other Platonians, he would have made sure that their bodies were doped up on triple doses of kironide so that they could be on equal footing against the other Platonians.
Granted, it wouldn't have been an ideal situation, but at least nobody else would have learned about them.


from the episode "All Our Yesterdays"

With the help of Mr. Atoz and the atavachron in the great library, the Doctor could have found new homes for the three of them in any of the past eras of the planet. As a Time Lord, the Doctor surely must have been aware not only of the Sarpeidonistas' ability to go back in Time, but also that they could live back then without affecting the timeline. This would have made Sarpeidon the better option as a new home for the three Martian survivors, in my not so humble opinion.


I don't claim to be an expert on 'Doctor Who' - so many episodes I've never seen, so many details I end up forgetting from those that I have. And I can't study just one tree when there's the whole Toobworld forest to watch over.

So I usually depend on others to find the tidbits from the show on which I can work some televisiological punditry that hopefully I can get away with.

One of the continuing discussions I've found online which has proven to be of interest to me is: "What constitutes a true Companion for the Doctor?"

I first noticed this after the Christmas special "Voyage Of The Damned", as some commenters in various bbs forums debated whether or not Astrid Peth should be considered one of the Doctor's Companions. One of the arguments against her inclusion has been that she never traveled in the TARDIS.

Yet she accompanied the Doctor on the short trip down to Earth that Christmas Day, and he basically accompanied her on the journey of the Titanic through space getting to Earth. So what if the TARDIS wasn't involved?

But if that's the criteria, then Kazran Sardick and Abigail Pettigrew have to be considered the latest Companions for the Doctor. Think of all the trips they made with him in the TARDIS on all of those Christmas Eves, as well as that first trip to escort Clive the shark (so named by the crew, but in the episode it was a female shark) back into the crystalline clouds above Sardicktown.

And with those trips came adventures, just like all the other Companions have experienced - the Statue of Liberty and the Empire State Building in New York City, a party at Sinatra's in 1952 Hollywood, the Sphinx and the Pyramids in Egypt, and the sweetest of all - a chance to visit the Christmas Eve festivities of Abigail's family. So there are several 'Doctor Who' sites I often visit which catalog the Companions as part of their concerns, and I'll be checking back in with them over the course of the next few monhs to see if they have updated their lists to include Kazran and Abigail.....



When the Doctor traveled back in Time to June of 1890 and interfered in the life of Vincent Van Gogh, did that contact cause ripples in the timeline which would affect the school project Luke Dunphy did on Van Gogh? Just askin'......

'Doctor Who' - "Vincent And The Doctor"
'Modern Family' - "Starry Night"



I'll say it again - Combom has one of the most interesting blogs around dealing with 'Doctor Who' (although that's not the sole focus of his site.)

And with the episode of 'The Sarah Jane Adventures' which gave Sarah Jane - and Jo Grant! - the chance to meet the Eleventh Incarnation of the Doctor ("Death Of The Doctor"), he found
a serious flaw in the plot-line:

So the whole plan of the Sarah Jane Adventures Death Of The Doctor was to have Sarah Jane Smith and Jo Grant to think about the TARDIS key, and make one from their memories using the Memory Weave. OK I fall for that, however...

The TARDIS key started off as Yale style, like it is today, however at some point during the third Doctor, he began experimenting with new designs for the TARDIS key, coming up with several alternative designs, settling on a spade-shaped silver key. The Fourth Doctor experimented with even more radical designs, which included a double-helix apparently made of plastic, before eventually going back to the Yale style for the ninth Generation.

So Jo Grants memory of the TARDIS key may not be of the Yale type it is today, and unless Sarah Jane has had a good look at the key recently (unlikely), she will remember a non-Yale style. I think it would have made for a far more interesting story - if not exactly as action-packed as the TV gods probably demanded - for the key that was finally created out of the Memory Weave turned out to be that strange key pictured above. I don't know how the story would have proceeded from that point - and we would have probably lost the opportunity to see all those memories from the old series dredged up from the minds of Sarah Jane and Jo - but sci-fi doesn't always have to be about overloaded circuits and their resultant explosions.

And if you really needed all of that flash, it still could have happened. Sarah Jane and Jo could have remembered different versions of the TARDIS key, which the Memory Weave probably couldn't reconcile. That would still lead to the circuits overloading and a big boom, bye-bye baddies.



When Craig Ferguson did his tribute show to 'Doctor Who' on 'The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson', they had planned to do a musical number based on the theme song. But almost five minutes before air-time, they realized that they never had permission to actually use the music.

But as Craig hinted it would, the video-taped open eventually did find its way to the internet.....



Murray Gold takes a lot of heat for the way his music overwhelms some of the scenes in 'Doctor Who', and on occasion, rightfully so. But the themes he came up with for the Eleventh Incarnation of the Doctor have been - as the Ninth would say - fantastic; very catchy stuff.

And for "A Christmas Carol", there's the added bonus of the beautiful and haunting "Abigail's Song" which could charm the fish in the fog - luckily for 4003 people on board that starliner.

And the lyrics may also hold a clue to the overall arc to the next season of the series.....

When you're alone, silence is all you see.
When you're alone, silence is all you'll be.
Give me your hand and come to me.

When you are here, music is all around.
When you are near, music is all around.
Open your eyes, don't make a sound.

Let in the shadow, let in the shadow,
Let in the light of your bright shadow.

Let in the shadow, let in the shadow.
Let in the light of your bright shadow.

Thanks to the Whovian Net for the lyrics......



I think "Kelvington" has really outdone himself with this mash-up.....

And it's always pozz'ble, since Toobworld has accepted 'Star Wars' into the TV Universe.....



"A Christmas Carol" - the 'Doctor Who' Christmas special - may have taken place in the 44th Century, but the nearly-doomed starliner proved that classic interior design just can't be beat, even if it is a style that's over 2100 years old....... Also, the visor worn in replacement of the navigator's eye may seem antiquated considering that nearly identical timespan, but the surgery that gave Geordi LaForge bionic eyes might not be suitable for everyone in the future - just like laser surgery or contact lenses still aren't right for everyone today. (As an added treat, I think Murray Gold fashioned one of the 'Doctor Who' themes to sound a lot like the music heard as many a 'Star Trek' scene began when we first saw the starliner.....)


Just a reminder: we're in the middle of our second annual "Who's On First" celebration.

For another version of that "Who's On First" joke,
check out this link.



Based on the dates listed on his portrait, Elliot Sardick died in 4378, twenty years before the 'Doctor Who' special "A Christmas Carol" took place. The population of the planet on which he lived was definitely descended from the Terrans of Earth, as Kazran Sardick mentioned the seasonal customs back on the homeworld in the old days. (The planet wasn't named, but I've read that it was called Snow, which seems to have been laying it on a bit thick.)

And most of the character names are definitely Terran in origin - Abigail Pettigrew, her sister Isabella, Isabella's husband Benjamin, and someone named Eric. By the 44th Century, human names don't seem to have changed that much.

But "Kazran Sardick"?

Even Kazran's father had a first name that can be found in the 21st Century - Elliot Sardick. So how did this Scrooge-like guest character end up with a first name like Kazran?

I think the answer is pretty simple: he was given his mother's maiden name to be his first name.

We've seen this happen before in Toobworld. In 'Centennial', based on the book by James Michener, it was a Garrett family tradition for the first-born son to bear the mother's maiden name. There was Messmore Garrett, Beeley Garrett, but the tradition is broken with Paul Garrett. (If I remember it correctly, he should have been Lloyd Garrett as his mother was the daughter of Jim and Charlotte Lloyd.)

There are two other pozz'bilities for this kind of name game. FBI Agent Seeley Joseph Booth has an unusual first name; it could be that Seeley was his mother's maiden name. (So far as I can tell, it hasn't been addressed yet in the series 'Bones'. They've only addressed the "fact" that he's related to John Wilkes Booth.)

And then there's the son of Major and Nancy Jamison on 'I Dream Of Jeannie', played by Bill Mumy in "Whatever Became Of Baby Custer?" The full name of Custer's mother could have been Nancy Custer Jamison.

So Kazran, a surname which I found easily enough through googling to be in actual use, could have been the surname of Elliot Sardick's wife. (And I even found Sardick, albeit as a first name. Perhaps his mother had been a Sardick....)

Whatever the reason, it at least made Kazran Sardick singular enough that we'll probably never see the name used ever again in a TV production. But then again, I would have said the same thing about Harcourt Fenton Mudd.......



As 'Lost' neared its finale after six seasons, I wondered if it would "stick the landing" - that is, if it would provide a powerful and satisfying conclusion that would at least answer the major questions.

In my opinion, it did. But I can understand why so many people were unhappy with it. For me, the Big Reveal at the end which splained away the structure of the sixth season provided a strong argument to link 'Lost' to at least four other series.

Happy as I was with the overall series, it just missed cracking my Top Five shows of all Time, which had been set in stone for thirty years:

1) 'The Prisoner'

2) 'The Mary Tyler Moore Show'

3) 'The Dick Van Dyke Show'

4) 'Columbo'

5) 'Maverick'

However, upon reflection, I realized that the Top Five needed to be revised anyway, and 'Maverick' fell two slots to #7.

That's because I realized there's another show which deserves to be in that Top Five. It is a show which will always have me watching the repeats, no matter how often they crop up; I'm left eagerly awaiting the next new episode even as soon as the last one has finished airing. And the best test of all as to its greatness: if I stumble across an episode on TV, I'll watch it, complete with commercials - even if I already own it on DVD.

And that show - as if you couldn't tell from today's overall theme - is 'Doctor Who'.

So here's my line-up of my Top Ten Favorite TV Series:

1) 'The Prisoner'

2) 'The Mary Tyler Moore Show'

3) 'The Dick Van Dyke Show'

4) 'Columbo'

5) 'Doctor Who'

6) 'Lost'

7) 'Maverick'

8) 'Star Trek' (umbrella title for the franchise)

9) 'Monty Python's Flying Circus'

10) 'The Wild, Wild West'



I could probably fill up the rest of the day with 'Doctor Who' parody/mash-up videos from YouTube, but I'll try to restrain myself.....

This fellow Kelvington seems to be quite adept at them:



Stuart's costume at his comic book shop's New Year's Eve party on 'The Big Bang Theory' wasn't the first time a TV character has dressed up as the Fourth Incarnation of the Doctor in a Toobworld show that should be sharing the same TV dimension. It happened in 'Freaks and Geeks' and 'Kingdom' as well.

And thanks to the last edition of The Sun for 2010, we now know that it will happen again in 2011.

The characters from the UK version* of 'Shameless' seen here are Frank and Monica Gallagher. They're gussied up as the Doctor and his Companion Leela, with a port-o-potty serving as their TARDIS.

The same splainin used to avert a Zonk with those other shows would apply here as well.


* The American version of 'Shameless', starring William H. Macy, will premiere in January on Showtime.......


The "science guys" dressed up as the Justice League of America in the end of year episode of 'The Big Bang Theory' for the New Year's Eve party at Stuart's comic book store.

(For the record - Raj was Aquaman, Howard was the Batman, Leonard was Green Lantern, Sheldon was the Flash, with Penny and her current boyfriend Zack tossed in as ringers - Wonder Woman and Superman, respectively.)

But it was Stuart's costume that gets this post into today's line-up. As he announced the winner of the costume contest, we saw him dressed as the Fourth Incarnation of the Doctor, as played by Tom Baker. No mention was made of the TV show. No mention was made of Tom Baker. And in the way Toobworld Central handles 'Doctor Who' Zonks, either would have been okay.

Because in the TV Universe, we speculated that there is an organization, perhaps run by the United Nations, which helps deflate the rumors of the existence of the Gallifreyan Time Lord by creating fictional representations of him and then claiming that anybody who makes references to him actually existing must be confused with the TV show and the movies.

But we didn't have to go that extra step because there was no mention of Baker or the show. And since Stuart is the kind of "geek" that would investigate such conspiracy theories on the internet, he was probably dressed as the actual Doctor, not as the character as seen on TV.



This is from a great 'Doctor Who'-focused blog called "Life, The Universe, And Combom":

In "Boom Town", when explaining the TARDIS' police box shape and the chameleon circuit to Mickey, Rose uses the term "cloaking device", a "Star Trek" reference previously used by the eighth Doctor when explaining it to Grace Holloway.

As both shows should share the same TV dimension, Rose still could have picked it up from the 'Star Trek' TV series. Toobworld Central has splained that away in the past - somebody from the Future (and it could have been the Doctor himself) brought information about Starfleet back in Time to Gene Roddenberry to make sure he produced the show and help keep the dream alive for when it would finally come to be.

But at the same time, in her many travels with the Doctor between episodes (let's say, between "The Doctor Dances" and "Boom Town"), Rose could have been in the era of 'Star Trek' and learned about the cloaking device first-hand.



Katy Manning & Craig Ferguson



There's a great reason why 'Doctor Who' should bring back Paul McGann as the eighth incarnation of the Doctor: they would never have to worry about any need for a timey-wimey splainin as to why he looked older than he did in the one TV appearance for McGann as the Doctor. We never got to see a regeneration scene bridging the eighth Doctor to the ninth. So who knows how old he had become by the time of the Time War?

I'd like to think that Grace Holloway stayed with the Doctor until her death. And maybe she was the mother of the offspring who would give birth to Susan, the Doctor's grand-daughter. Of course, this would mean that at some point Susan would have to be left in the care of the Doctor's first incarnation, in order to keep her safe from the apocalypse that was sure to come with the Time War.
This would mean that during the time she was with the Eighth Doctor, he would always know how the rest of Susan's life with his own original version would play out - in much the same way as Mrs. Hawking did with her son Daniel Faraday on 'Lost'. What do you think, fanficcers?



The 'Doctor Who' Christmas special O'Bviously had two members of the TV Crossover Hall Of Fame - the Doctor and the TARDIS. But there may have been another mentioned, with "photographic proof" of his presence. And then again maybe not.

I'm talking about Father Christmas, AKA Jeff, as the Doctor knows him. Since he was known as Father Christmas on that alien world in the 44th Century, and not as Santa Claus, it probably means the population probably could trace its ancestry back to the British Isles on Earth.

And because his name was also Jeff, it's pozz'ble that he's not the original Father Christmas, but a successor.

In American depictions of Santa Claus in Toobworld, the face may change somewhat (due to Santa's own magical abilities), but the costume has always been the same since at least 1931. Could it be that Father Christmas is just another manifestation of Santa Claus, or the recent TVXOHOF inductee the Spirit of Christmas? Or could it be that Santa Claus and Father Christmas are independent figures working toward the same goal with their own areas of the world to cover? (This would then bring in all the other manifestations of the gift-giving icon across the world as individual figures - and that includes Hannukah Harry.)

I couldn't really tell, but even though the Doctor called him Father Christmas, he kind of looked like Santa Claus in the picture. And as it was at a party at Frank Sinatra's house in Hollywood back in 1952, wouldn't he be out of place? So maybe Father Christmas and Santa Claus are one and the same.

Oh, I don't know......

Anyway, another recent inductee into the TV Crossover Hall of Fame was in the background of the story, heard but not seen yet serving a very important role in the Doctor's life - Marilyn Monroe. And I believe this would also count towards Frank Sinatra's eventual inclusion in the Hall.



Now if only they could have a crossover! But with 'Doctor Who', it's more likely that one day he would meet Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The Doctor might even have been the impetus for Conan Doyle to return to writing the adventures of the Great Detective......


The New York Times put the question to Steven Moffat if his two big franchise characters will have a crossover......

Q. Are you being asked all the time when the Doctor and your Sherlock Holmes will meet up?

A. I think everyone who’s passing me in the streets is suggesting that at the moment. I think there are problems of doing that, because then you would say that Sherlock Holmes lives in the same world as the Doctor, and there are Daleks and all sorts of things. If a Sherlock Holmes story depends on time travel being impossible, it’s quite hard if he’s a personal friend of the Doctor’s, isn’t it?

Again, it's not impossible, as the Doctor should be able to traverse relative dimensions in Space and go to an alternate world where that Sherlock Holmes exists. But I'm glad it won't happen, because the Doctor should be meeting Jeremy Brett's version of the Great Detective and sadly, that will never happen.

And besides, I'm rather fond of my own little theory about 'Sherlock' and it's place in the tele-mosaic of the TV Universe.....



From back in November.....

If he didn't mention the show, this could have been linked to 'Doctor Who' - especially when he mentioned that this Dalek was dead....

Oh well.



Since the Earth Prime-Time of the Living Dead has its own counterparts to Davina McCall and the housemates of 'Big Brother', it's reasonable to assume that counterparts from other TV shows can probably be found there as well.

An artist for SFX conceived this pozz'ble fate for two alumni of 'Doctor Who' - former Companions Rose Tyler and Sarah Jane Smith: BCnU!


'Doctor Who'

Gawn Grainger


"Mark Of The Rani"
During the industrial revolution, the workers at Lord Ravensworth's mines are staging increasingly violent Luddite attacks. The Doctor discovers an old enemy from his academy days, the Rani, is tampering with the workers' minds so that they are unable to rest or sleep. When she joins forces with the Master, using her chemical skills to try and destroy the Doctor, the danger he faces has effectively been doubled...

from Wikipedia:

In 1818, aware of the explosions often caused in mines by naked flames, Stephenson began to experiment with a safety lamp that would burn without causing an explosion. At the same time, Sir Humphry Davy, the eminent scientist, was looking at the problem himself.

Despite his lack of any scientific knowledge, Stephenson, by trial and error, devised a lamp in which the air entered via tiny holes. Stephenson demonstrated the lamp himself to two witnesses by taking it down Killingworth colliery and holding it directly in front of a fissure from which fire damp was issuing. This was a month before Davy presented his design to the Royal Society. The two designs differed in that, the Davy’s lamp was surrounded by a screen of gauze, whereas Stephenson’s lamp was contained in a glass cylinder. For his invention Davy was awarded £2,000, whilst Stephenson was accused of stealing the idea from Davy.

A local committee of enquiry exonerated Stephenson, proved that he had been working separately and awarded him £1,000 but Davy and his supporters refused to accept this. They could not see how an uneducated man such as Stephenson could come up with the solution that he had.

In 1833 a House of Commons committee found that Stephenson had equal claim to having invented the safety lamp. Davy went to his grave believing that Stephenson had stolen his idea. The Stephenson lamp was used exclusively in the North East, whereas the Davy lamp was used everywhere else. The experience with Davy gave Stephenson a life-long distrust of London-based, theoretical, scientific experts.



Just a quick little note, so there'll be more than just 24 posts in today's celebration.....

Alan Sepinwall moved his "What's Alan Watching?" TV blog to Hitfix earlier this year. (The link is to the left, dear friends.) And as is the wont of TV columnists and critics at this time of year, he's been looking back over the year for the best shows to put into a Top Ten list.

But he's also done
a column on the best episodes and then opened up the floor to his readership to add in their two quatloos.

Here's what I offered:

Toby O'B
I'm going with the two-part season finale for 'Doctor Who' - "The Pandorica Opens" and "The Big Bang". Silly, exciting, funny, moving, romantic, a roller coaster of a fairy tale......

I may throw in more of these little posts before I'm done......



Here it is! The second annual "Who's On First" celebration at Inner Toob, in which we spend the next 24 hours celebrating the amazing 'Doctor Who' on the first day of the year.

And to start things off, here's the picture from 'Robot Chicken' which inspired the theme: BCnU!

Friday, December 31, 2010


One of the major events in my life this past year was a sad one - the death of my Uncle Skippy, who was also my godfather. I consider him and my godmother, Auntie Ellie, to be major influences in my life - she with her "Auntie Mame" joie de vivre, and he with his puckish sense of humor, darting in and out with quick little quips.

Norman Smith, Senior, was one of the first ten licensed TV repairmen in the state of Connecticut, and he was quite proud of that fact. As far as I know, my cousins still have his original license certificate. For a time he was the president of TELSA, a local organization for electronics dealers. When he finally retired and sold his company in West Hartford - Tip Top TV, which also sold televisions - Uncle Skip showed excellent timing, as we became more of a disposable society and the need for TV repairmen was dramatically reduced.

I accompanied him a few times on his appointments and it was cool to sit on those rooftops with my cousin Norman while Uncle Skippy worked on the antennae. And on one call, I got to meet an actual local TV celebrity - Ralph Kanna, the host of a Connecticut kids' show, "Draw With Me", on the local NBC affiliate.

So in these last few minutes of 2010, I just wanted to take a personal moment to remember Norman "Skip" Smith. Like the Eleventh Incarnation of the Doctor, who'll be the focus of a deluge of posts beginning at midnight, Uncle Skippy made bowties cool.



While you're celebrating/recovering on New Year's Day, pry yourself away from the "Who's On First" celebration here at Inner Toob long enough to watch the return of 'Primeval' on BBC-America.......

And you can see five prequels to the new season at the BBC-America page for the show.



A little something different for the last "As Seen On TV" showcase of the year.....

In the opening credits for the sitcom 'Angel', its creator and head writer Jess Oppenheimer got his own animated avatar. Such acknowledgement of the writer is more common over in Great Britain I think, where their credits are often listed before the actors involved.



Not Applicable

From Wikipedia:
Jess Oppenheimer (November 11, 1913 – December 27, 1988) a radio and television writer, producer, and director, was producer and head writer of the landmark CBS sitcom I Love Lucy.

Lucille Ball called Oppenheimer "the brains" behind I Love Lucy. As series creator, producer, and head writer, "Jess was the creative force behind the 'Lucy' show," according to I Love Lucy director William Asher. "He was the field general. Jess presided over all the meetings, and ran the whole show. He was very sharp."

In December, 1950, when CBS agreed to produce a TV pilot starring Lucille Ball and her first husband, Desi Arnaz, Sr., Lucy insisted on Oppenheimer to head up the project. But with a completed pilot due in just a few weeks, nobody knew what the series should be about. "Why don't we do a show," Oppenheimer suggested, "about a middle-class working stiff who works very hard at his job as a bandleader, and likes nothing better than to come home at night and relax with his wife, who doesn't like staying home and is dying to get into show business herself?" He decided to call the show "I Love Lucy."

He remained as producer and head writer of the series for five of its six seasons, writing the pilot and 153 episodes with Madelyn Pugh and Bob Carroll Jr. (joined in the fall of 1955 by writers Bob Schiller and Bob Weiskopf). Oppenheimer appeared on the show in Episode #6 ("The Audition"), as one of the three unimpressed TV executives for whom Ricky performs at the Tropicana.

Oppenheimer left I Love Lucy in 1956 to take an executive post at NBC, where he produced a series of TV specials, including the "General Motors 50th Anniversary Show" (1957), "Ford Startime" (1959), "The Ten Commandments" (1959), and the "1959 Emmy Awards." Oppenheimer and Ball were reunited in 1962 when he produced "The Danny Kaye Show with Lucille Ball," which was nominated as "Program of the Year" by the TV Academy, and again in 1964, when he executive produced "The Lucille Ball Comedy Hour."

During the 1960s, Oppenheimer created and produced three short-lived sitcoms: Angel, starring Annie Fargé and Marshall Thompson), Glynis (fall of 1963) (starring Glynis Johns), and The Debbie Reynolds Show (1969-70). His other TV credits included writing "The United States Steel Hour," producing "Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre," and writing, producing, and directing most of the 1967-68 season of "Get Smart," starring Don Adams. Oppenheimer received two Emmy Awards and five Emmy nominations, a Sylvania Award, and the Writers' Guild of America's Paddy Chayefsky Laurel Award for Television Achievement.

These animated characters in the credit sequences for sitcoms - from 'Bilko' and 'Bewitched' to 'I Love Lucy' and 'The Many Loves Of Dobie Gillis' - belong in the Tooniverse. So those characters have at least two counterparts in alternate TV dimensions. And Jess Oppenheimer can be counted among them, as the "Network Sponsor" he played in that 'I Love Lucy' episode may have been what his televersion turned out to be....

BCnU next year!

Thursday, December 30, 2010


Since the year is almost over, we should have at least one more female historical figure in the spotlight for the "As Seen On TV" showcase. They were unforturnately under-represented this year in the "ASOTV" feature, but I think that reflects their overall numbers in TV productions. If I tried to focus more often on the women, I'd end up with an overload of "women in danger" true-life movies from Lifetime.....



Lindsay Duncan

From Wikipedia:
Margaret Hilda Thatcher, Baroness Thatcher, LG, OM, PC, FRS (née Roberts; born 13 October 1925) served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1979 to 1990 and Leader of the Conservative Party from 1975 to 1990. Thatcher is the only woman to have held either post.

At the 1979 general election she became Britain's first female Prime Minister.

In her foreword to the 1979 Conservative manifesto, Thatcher wrote of "a feeling of helplessness, that a once great nation has somehow fallen behind." She entered 10 Downing Street determined to reverse what she perceived as a precipitate national decline. Her political philosophy and economic policies emphasised deregulation, particularly of the financial sector, flexible labour markets, and the selling off and closing down of state owned companies and withdrawing subsidy to others.

Amid a recession and high unemployment, Thatcher's popularity declined, though economic recovery and the 1982 Falklands War brought a resurgence of support and she was re-elected in 1983. She took a hard line against trade unions, survived the Brighton hotel bombing assassination attempt and opposed the Soviet Union (her tough-talking rhetoric gained her the nickname the "Iron Lady"); she was re-elected for an unprecedented third term in 1987. The following years would prove difficult, as her Poll tax plan was largely unpopular, and her views regarding the European Community were not shared by others in her Cabinet.

She resigned as Prime Minister in November 1990 after Michael Heseltine's challenge to her leadership of the Conservative Party.


Wednesday, December 29, 2010






From Wikipedia:
Pau Casals i Defilló (December 29, 1876 – October 22, 1973), known during his professional career as Pablo Casals, was a Spanish Catalan cellist and conductor. He made many recordings throughout his career, of solo, chamber, and orchestral music, also as conductor, but Casals is perhaps best remembered for the recording of the Bach Cello Suites he made from 1936 to 1939.

In 1961, he performed at the White House by invitation of President Kennedy. This performance was recorded and released as an album.


Tuesday, December 28, 2010


William Demarest died on December 28, 1983 at the age of 91.


'Saturday Night Live'

Dana Carvey

From Wikipedia:

William Demarest (February 27, 1892 – December 28, 1983) was an American character actor. He frequently played crusty but good-hearted roles. His most famous TV role was in the ABC and then CBS sitcom 'My Three Sons' from 1965 to 1972, playing Uncle Charley. He replaced William Frawley, whose failing health had made procuring insurance impossible. William Demarest had worked with Fred MacMurray previously in the 1935 film "Hands Across the Table", the 1945 film "Pardon My Past" and the 1955 film "The Far Horizons".



Matt Braunger

From Wikipedia:
William Clement Frawley (February 26, 1887 – March 3, 1966) was an American stage entertainer, screen and television actor. Although Frawley acted in over 100 films, he achieved his greatest fame playing landlord Fred Mertz for the situation comedy I Love Lucy (and as "Bub" O'Casey on 'My Three Sons').

Two for Tuesday!


Monday, December 27, 2010


With the Christmas Day announcement of the December inductee, the TV Crossover Hall Of Fame has concluded its membership drive for 2010.

Here's a rundown of those who joined the pantheon this year:

Jay Leno
'Just Shoot Me'
'Homicide: Life On The Street'

Dr. Raymond Langston
'CSI: Miami'

Howdy Doody
'Puppet Playhouse'
'Happy Days'
'Andy's Funhouse'

Radar O'Reilly

Marilyn Monroe
'Curb Your Enthusiasm'
'Dark Skies'
'Quantum Leap'

Sgt. Joe Friday and Officer Bill Gannon
'The Simpsons'
"Dragnet" movies
several TV commercials

The Master (John Simm version)
The Master became every single TV character living on Earth Prime-Time during the events of 'Doctor Who' - "The End Of Time"

'Broken Arrow'
'High Chapparal'

Hoby Gilman
'Wanted: Dead Or Alive'
'I Spy'

Robert Culp
'The Chris Isaak Show'
'The Jack Benny Show'
'Law & Order'

Anthony E. Zuiker & Madeline Briggs
'CSI: Miami'

Commercials with
'American Gladiators'
'Backstage At The Actors' Studio'

Edwin Newman
'Murphy Brown'
'The Golden Girls'

Sparky Anderson
'The White Shadow'
'WKRP In Cincinnatti'

The Spirit of Christmas
'Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea'
"A Town Without Christmas"

I'm not sure if there will be a set theme next year. There are so many League of Themselves members who are qualified. We shall see what we shall view.....