Monday, February 7, 2011


'The Mentalist' - "Red Alert"

When a traffic cop in Crane Creek, California, pulled Patrick Jane over for speeding, Jane tried to convince Officer Rowley that they were part of the same fraternity, that they were like a version of the Justice League.

"Would Aquaman give Batman a ticket?"

We know Batman exists in the main TV dimension of Earth Prime-Time - he had his own series back in the sixties, appeared in two TV specials in 1979, and he also made a few commercials and PSA's over the years as well.

But as far as the main Toobworld is concerned, Aquaman should be nothing more than a character in a comic book. And yet he did exist in Earth Prime-Time, which is why Patrick Jane spoke of him as being as real as the Batman......
We know Aquaman exists in the Tooniverse, thanks to 'Super-Friends' and other cartoons based on the DC superheroes. And the dimension of 'The West Wing', in which we also find 'Smallville', has two Aquamen - one appeared in an unintentional back-door pilot episode of the series about Kal-El before he donned the cape and tights; and the other was an actual pilot which never made it to American airwaves, although it did show up in iTunes and other online venues, as well as in overseas TV markets. (And that guarantees its place in the overall TV Universe.)

That second pilot didn't have any connections to 'Smallville', but the producers did admit that if it had gone to series, they would have eventually made the connection through a crossover.
In the main Toobworld, the only major mention of Aquaman has been the motion picture directed by James Cameron and starring Vincent Chase. (There was also a sequel, but that starred Jake Gyllenhaal as Aquaman.)

The way the movie was treated in 'Entourage', it was supposed to be based on the DC comic book hero. But that Aquaman looks nothing like Vince or even Gyllenhaal. He's supposed to be blonde, wearing an orange and green scaly wetsuit. Even Raj Koothrapally knew that!

Unlike the comic books and the Tooniverse, the DC superheroes are staggered in the Toobworld timeline. Wonder Woman was active in the 1940's and then resurfaced again in the 1970's. Superman stood for Truth, Justice, and the American Way in the 1950's, until his death in the early 1960's (according to a Toobworld Central theory). Meanwhile, back in Gotham City (That sounds a lot cooler in my head with the voice of William Dozier!), Batman and Robin patrolled the streets of Gotham City. And then there's the Flash, who had a brief run (Sorry about that, Chief!) in the 1990's. He may still be alive, but I have a feeling his powers have dissipated.

So, based on what Patrick Jane said, if there was a Justice League of America in operation in the main Toobworld today, Aquaman and Batman probably served together at the same time. That's not to say, however, that the real Aquaman of Earth Prime-Time was around in the 1960's when 'Batman' was on the air. I believe the Batman started his crime-fighting career back in the 1950's, when the Justice League of America consisted of him, Superman, and Wonder Woman (with probably the Scarlet Cyclone {left} as well). And because of those two TV specials in 1979, Batman and Robin were probably still active by 1980.

Speaking of those TV specials, we saw other members of the Justice League of America, including the aforementioned Scarlet Cyclone, but not Wonder Woman, Superman, the Flash, or this Aquaman that I claim existed. Wonder Woman was probably on Paradise Island; Barry Allen was more than a decade away from gaining his super-speed powers; and as I mentioned, Superman was dead.

As for Aquaman, he was probably on a mission for the Foundation For Oceanic Research... as seen in 'Man From Atlantis'.

Yep, I'm going there - I'm claiming that "Mark Harris" became better known as Aquaman and teamed up with Batman and the other members of the Justice League - after he quit the Foundation For Oceanic Research once 'Man From Atlantis' ran its course on our TV screens.

Here's a thumbnail biographical sketch of "Mark Harris" from the always reliable (koff! koff!) Wikipedia:
[Mark Harris was] an amnesiac man given the name of Mark Harris, believed to be the only surviving citizen of the lost civilization of Atlantis. He possesses exceptional abilities, including the ability to breathe underwater and withstand extreme depth pressures, and superhuman strength. His hands and feet are webbed, his eyes are unusually sensitive to light, and he swims using his arms and legs in a fashion suggestive of how a fish or marine mammal uses its flippers. Following his discovery, he is recruited by the Foundation For Oceanic Research, a governmental agency that explores the depths of the ocean in a sophisticated submarine called the Cetacean. The show only aired until 1978, which left "Mark Harris" on his own to lead whatever life he chose. So I prefer to think he took on the persona of Aquaman, as seen in the comic books, and used his abilities to become a super-hero. And eventually he teamed up with the Batman, which is why Patrick Jane mentioned the pairing. Perhaps even today he's still serving alongside whoever would be the current members of the Justice League of America.
But if he was a member of the JLA, how come he didn't show up in those January 1979 specials with Batman, Robin, the Riddler and the others? Tying into a real-world event as TV shows often do, perhaps he was still helping to battle the after-effects of Hurricane Rita which struck the Phillipines in October of 1978 and killed more than 400 people. (What kind of after-effects? I don't know - maybe the storm eventually jarred open an entrance into the undersea world of the Sea Devils and let some of them loose!) The look of "Mark Harris" would splain away why James Cameron cast the dark-haired Vincent Chase as Aquaman. Cameron may have bought the rights to the title of the comic book, but it was the "real-life" Aquaman's life story that he was interested in telling.

There was no way he would want to have called it "Man From Atlantis", because as so often happens in disabling TV Zonks, there was also a show by that name within the "reality" of Toobworld. Apparently the word got out about the existence of "Mark Harris" and so that same shadowy organization which made movies and TV shows about the Time Lord known as the Doctor, and about the agents of U.N.C.L.E., and others - in order to confuse the public about their actual existence (I call them "UN-REEL".) - did the same for "Mark Harris", thus keeping the public from finding out he was also Aquaman.

There were two mentions of this TV show over the years in the main Toobworld. Back in 1989, Del-Boy Trotter invoked the name of the show while talking about a fish stall he once worked. And at the 8:00 "Mr. Memory" nightclub show on April 4th, 1999, Mr. Memory correctly answered the question about the number of episodes for the show. (Just as in the real world, there were 17 episodes and that show within a show also starred Patrick Duffy.)

But it probably had even worse of a reputation than it did in the real world, so I'm sure Cameron would much rather have the right to use "Aquaman" as the title for his movie about the life of "Mark Harris".

So there you have it. Until such time -if any! - when an actual Aquaman surfaces (again, sorry about that, Chief!) in the main Toobworld, the DC comic book version is just that - a character in a comic book. But 'The Man From Atlantis' took on that identity after the TV series sank (I know! I know!), which is why the "Aquaman" movie within the "reality" of Toobworld had a dark-haired hero. And all that from a little pop culture reference on 'The Mentalist'.....

'The Mentalist'
'Man From Atlantis'
'The Adventures Of Superman'
'Wonder Woman'
'The Flash'
'The Big Bang Theory'
'Doctor Who'
'The Man From U.N.C.L.E.'
'The Lone Gunmen'
'Only Fools And Horses'
"Legends Of The Super-Heroes" (Parts One & Two)


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