Saturday, May 21, 2011


Apparently, the Rapture will begin around 6 PM EDT today, so Americans might not even get to see this week's episode of 'Doctor Who', let alone next week's.

'Six Feet Under' showed us one woman who thought it had already come to Toobworld a few years back... for a minute or two, anyway......

I wonder if anybody out there is planning on recreating that stunt later today.......?

(I hope!)


Katie Couric ended her five year run as the anchor for the 'CBS Evening News' on Thursday night. (What? She couldn't do a full week?)

Here was her sign-off:



So let's move with higher hopes for this week's episode of 'Doctor Who'......

For the American audience, "The Rebel Flesh" will air tonight at 9 PM on BBC-America. And based on these clips, I'm feeling more optiimistic than I did for last week's "The Doctor's Wife".....

One reason I'm excited for this episode?  Marshall Lancaster, who played Chris Skelton in the original British version of 'Life On Mars' will be one of the guest stars......

And here's a word of warning - apparently there won't be a new episode next week for Americans because it's Memorial Day Weekend.  So we'll be a full week behind the Brits, rather than just six hours or so. 

I expect the bit torrents will be busy that day!


Since this is the Video Weekend, it's about Time to check in with 'Doctor Who'!

I wasn't very satisfied with last week's episode. I had heard so many plaudits for Neil Gaiman as a writer, that I really expected to have my socks knocked off with his script for "The Doctor's Wife". I even put socks on for the occasion!

But it was somewhat of a humdrum affair. Part of the blame could be laid on the budgetary concerns for the show, as a lot of plot ideas that he had were put aside for lack of money. Here we finally got a chance to roam around in the TARDIS outside of the latest console room and all we got were corridors! No quick peeks into any other rooms, save for another console room and that had to be the last incarnation. I suppose that was a cost-cutting measure as well since they still had the set, but really - would it have been that expensive to recreate the control room from Hartnell's time? It was all cardboard!

Still, the story felt like we had been down this road before, and it wasn't just because of the many touchstones he put in to episodes from the past. (The Ood, the message cube, etc.) And the idea of a human body hosting the living persona of the TARDIS had been done before in a couple of outside-Toobworld venues. In fact, I remember - just before the Christmas special of "Voyage Of The Damned" was broadcast, one of the newspapers over in the UK suggested that Kylie Minogue's character of Astrid would turn out to be the TARDIS. (It's an anagram, you see, Jamie.....)

Suranne Jones, however, was lovely and fetchingly off-kilter in the role of Idris/TARDIS. But the other big name guest star - Michael Sheen? I didn't mind that he was just the disembodied voice of "House", the big baddie, but his voice was augmented so that it could have been just about anybody. (I listened to "Cobwebs", a 'Doctor Who' audio-play on BBC Radio 4 all this week, and the voice of the computer Edgar sounded just the same. They could have hired a much cheaper actor, saved Sheen for a later, meatier role, and used that spare cash to build me that early console room!

Oh well......


'Saturday Night Live'


Kristen Wiig

From Wikipedia:
Ann-Margret Olsson (born April 28, 1941) is a Swedish-American actress, singer and dancer whose professional name is Ann-Margret. She became famous for her starring roles in "Bye Bye Birdie", "Viva Las Vegas", "The Cincinnati Kid", "Carnal Knowledge", and "Tommy".

She has won five Golden Globe Awards and been nominated for two Academy Awards, two Grammy Awards, a Screen Actors Guild Award, and six Emmy Awards.

She did a string of successful TV specials, starting with "The Ann-Margret Show" for NBC / CBS in 1968.

She made guest appearances on the television shows 'Touched by an Angel' in 2000 and three episodes of 'Third Watch' in 2003. She also appeared in the Lifetime series 'Army Wives', in the episode "Guns and Roses" (Season 4, Episode 5), which originally aired May 9, 2010. On October 14, 2010, Ann-Margret appeared on CBS' 'CSI'.

Ann-Margret guest-starred in an episode of 'Law & Order: SVU', "Bedtime," which first aired on March 31, 2010. She received her sixth Emmy nomination for her performance. On August 29, 2010, she won an Emmy Award for Guest Performance by an Actress for her "SVU" performance. It was the first Emmy win of her career, and she received a standing ovation from the Emmy venue audience as she approached the stage to receive her award.

Ann-Margret starred in several TV movies, including "Queen: The Story of an American Family" (1993) and "Life of the Party" (1999), the latter of which she received nominations for an Emmy Award, a Golden Globe Award, and a Screen Actors Guild Award. She also starred in the TV movies "Who Will Love My Children?" (1983) and a remake of "A Streetcar Named Desire" (1984). These performances collectively won her two Golden Globe Awards and two Emmy nominations.


Ed Helms

From Wikipedia:
Roger LaVerne Smith (born December 18, 1932) is an American television and film actor and screenwriter. He starred in the television detective series '77 Sunset Strip' [as Jeff Spencer]. He is married to the actress Ann-Margret.

Smith appeared in 74 episodes of this Warner Bros.-produced series but left the popular ABC program in 1962 because of a blood clot in his brain. His health continued to decline for some time, and he was forced to retire from acting after Myasthenia gravis, a neuromuscular disease, was diagnosed in 1965. His condition went into remission in 1985. Following his retirement from performing, he managed his wife Ann-Margret's career and produced her popular Las Vegas stage shows.

Smith appeared very rarely on television once his health deteriorated, but did participate on 'This is Your Life' when host Ralph Edwards devoted an episode to Ann-Margret.

His character of Jeff Spencer is a candidate for membership in the TV Crossover Hall Of Fame:

'77 Sunset Strip' (1958–1963) .... Jeff Spencer
'Hawaiian Eye': "I Wed Three Wives" (1960) .... Jeff Spencer
'Surfside 6': "Love Song for a Deadly Redhead" (1962) .... Jeff Spencer


Friday, May 20, 2011


Besides all of his appearances in televised wrestling events, Randy Savage also made numerous appearances as a member of the League of Themselves in several TV series and TV movies. He even appeared in animated form in the Tooniverse.

'Family Guy' (TV series)
The Cleveland-Loretta Quagmire (2005)

'Arli$$' (TV series)
To Thine Own Self Be True (1999)

'Mad About You' (TV series)
Separate Beds (1999)

'The Weird Al Show' (TV series)
Al Gets Robbed (1997)

'The Jeff Foxworthy Show' (TV series)
Wrestling Opera (1997)

'Baywatch' (TV series)
Bash at the Beach (1996) 
"King of the Ring" (TV movie)

"Royal Rumble" (TV movie)



In the Facebook page for the TV Crossover Universe (Link to the left for the blog, Me Hearties!), Robert Wronski, Jr. and several of our like-minded comrades discussed the possibility that the entity which was the malevolent Spiderman suit symbiote known as "Venom" was actually the living, sentient Black Oil from 'The X-Files'.

Here's a couple of excerpts:

Gordon Long:
There's also the Black Oil, a living entity itself, which might be similar to the inhibition-releasing virus from "The Naked Time" ('Trek TOS') and revisited in 'TNG' ("The Naked Now").

Ivan Ronald Schablotski:
I'll point out for the sake of being pointy that a theory exists linking the Purity (black oil) alien virus to the Venom alien symbiote, especially the way it is depicted in the movie SPIDER-MAN 3.

It was an interesting discussion in which unfortunately I could not partake. The TVCU draws on several sources besides TV, as does the Toobworld concept - like certain movies and online content.  But they also use comic books and consider the character as a whole. With Toobworld, the Cineverse is a separate realm; there are exceptions, but the "Spiderman" franchise is not one of them. Its Spiderman is not the same as the TV Spiderman.

So far Venom has only been seen in the universes of movies and comic books. Back in the 1970's, Venom wasn't even in the comic books when Spiderman was in his crime-fighting glory on Earth Prime-Time.

As for the Black Oil, it may have been living and lurking on Toobworld since the Dawn of Time; it may have arrived with the aliens known as the Silence of recent 'Doctor Who' fame, or even earlier - with Scaroth or even in the clutch of Racnoss eggs planted at the core of the planet......

So it could be that the Black Oil-created Venom was in a Spiderman adventure not seen on TV back in the 1970's, about a decade before it was created for the comic books. If so, it has to be an off-screen adventure and could very well be the reason why Spidey stopped appearing on our TV screens. (Within the "reality" of Toobworld, of course. 'Twas ratings killed the series.)
I just can't claim that this crossover between 'The Amazing Spiderman' and 'The X-Files' actually did take place, because then I'm veering definitively into fanfic territory. (My splainins and theories of relateeveety have always been just tenuous possibilities.)

Still, it's a great theory and I extend kudos to whoever first came up with the idea. I just wish I could use it.....



It's not unusual for me to have television dreams, usually after watching something on the DVR just before I go to bed. In some of these dreams, I'm a participant, but in most of them I'm an observer - just not with the bald head and wearing a grey flannel suit and fedora.

It happened early this morning and unfortunately I woke up just as it was getting good......

Late last night, I listened to Episode 3 of the BBC Radio 4 presentation of "Cobwebs", a 'Doctor Who' audio play by Big Finish. In the first episode, the fifth incarnation of the Doctor and his companions Nyssa, Tegan, and Turlough discovered their own skeletal remains.

After Episode 3 ended, I popped in the Netflix disc of the first two episodes of 'Dalziel And Pascoe' so I could finish it off and get it into the mail today before pick-up.

With the second episode, Dalziel and Pascoe discovered the skeletal remains of a murder victim under the base of a statue that was being relocated.

Once I finished that second episode, I went to bed.

And this morning I had a dream in which Dalziel and Pascoe discovered two dead bodies in a cave and it didn't take long to realize that the bodies were their own.

Despite that puzzle, they got to work and quickly found enough evidence to point them to the guilty party. And that turned out to be more than they needed because the suspect screamed at the sight of them. (He was one of those little milquetoast kind of guys with thick glasses.)

As the murderer was led away Pascoe warned the lead investigator that they still had no clue as to how they could be still alive. Had the other Dalziel and Pascoe come from the Future? If so, there would be a paradox until they went back in Time to get killed.

Dalziel told him to bleep off - he didn't care so long as he got the killer. And besides, he wasn't planning on taking any trips into the Past any time soon.

Of course, that's when the roar of the parking brake announced the arrival of the TARDIS right in front of them.

And then I woke up.

I don't even know which incarnation of the Doctor would have been featured in my dream!

I'm down in the building's laundry room "now", and as I'm writing up this "dream journal" entry, I know how I would have finished that story.

The murdered Dalziel and Pascoe weren't from the Future. They were from "Over There", the alternate dimension as seen in 'Fringe'. (As well as in "Mirror Image" and several other episodes of 'The Twilight Zone'.)

Whatever crime he may have committed over there, "Milquetoast" was able to escape through the dimensional veil to the main Toobworld. The Alt-Dalziel and Parallel Pascoe followed him through (further weakening the walls between worlds) but "Milquetoast" was able to get the drop on them.

So it's come to this.... I'm dreaming fanfic......




"Too Big To Fail"

Paul Giamatti

Earth Prime-Time

“We think about the phrase ‘too big to fail’ in the context of big, financial institutions,
but it’s really a story about people who themselves think they’re too big to fail."
Andrew Ross Sorkin

On Monday, May 23rd at 9:00p.m. ET/PT, HBO Films presents TOO BIG TO FAIL. The film is based on Andrew Ross Sorkin’s bestselling book of the same name. Directed by Oscar-winner Curtis Hanson (“L.A. Confidential”), the film offers an intimate look at the epochal Wall Street financial crisis of 2008 and explores the inner sanctum of the powerful men and women who decided the fate of the world’s economy in a matter of a few weeks. Centering on Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, the film goes behind closed doors to examine the symbiotic relationship between Wall Street and Washington.

The film’s stellar cast includes stars Oscar-winner William Hurt (“Kiss of the Spider Woman”), seven-time Emmy-winner Edward Asner (“Up”), Billy Crudup (“Eat Pray Love”), Emmy-winner Paul Giamatti (HBO’s “John Adams”), Topher Grace (“Spider-Man 3”), Matthew Modine (“Weeds”), two-time Emmy-winner Cynthia Nixon (HBO’s “Sex and the City”), Michael O’Keefe (“Michael Clayton”), Bill Pullman (“While You Were Sleeping”), three-time Emmy-winner Tony Shalhoub (“Monk”) and two-time Emmy-winner James Woods (HBO’s “Citizen Cohn”).

For more on Bernanke:


Thursday, May 19, 2011


It's really not all that bad, especially not when compared to the problems of others, but that heading does have a nice movie-of-the-week tone to it, doesn't it?

I'm into Day Two of a cable-unready existence. Yesterday my cable box systematically proclaimed every channel I visited to be unavailable. When I called T-W (and that ain't Toob World!), they told me to reboot the system by unplugging from the wall.

By doing that, I blew a fuse.

Once I did get it up and running again, I now couldn't access the system at all. I should have known better; I should have watched as much as I could off the DVR before I called it in. Now I have an appointment for tomorrow morning - only two months since they last swapped out the boxes.

Hopefully they won't have to do that because I've got a lot more stored up on there than the last time. It was only 19% full then, it was about 50% this time. And there was a lot of stuff I really wanted to see.

The TV shows I'm not so worried about - the season finale of 'Hawaii Five-O', the last three episodes of 'Raising Hope', the latest 'Doctor Who' (written by Neil Gaiman) which I wanted to see again, wondering if my opinion had changed to something more positive..... Most of that stuff I can find elsewhere online like Hulu or, or - as is the case with 'Doctor Who' - I can wait until it repeats later in the week.

But the one that really bums me out is the Chuck McCann movie "The Projectionist" shown on TCM. I knew I should have watched it right away; I recorded it soon after the DVR was last replaced and I knew it could happen again at any time.

I've never seen "The Projectionist" and having heard such rave reviews for it, it's always been a holy grail among movies.

That'll larn me.

Add to that the news bomb dropped on me by the superette when she came up to change my fuse - because of the unreasonable demands made by my next-door neighbor, everybody's rent will have to go up once they do major renovation to the front entrance. If they could do it through one of the two side doors in the basement, the cost wouldn't be passed on to us, but her social workers apparently are pushing her to hold fast to her original demand.

Since I heard that, variations on the first twenty minutes of 'Columbo' have been playing out in my mind.....



I got a response to my post about NBC's Easter Egg promotion for the movie "Hop":

I realize that it's been a while, but I just watched 'Perfect Couples' on DVR and found the egg. I had to watch twice, too. It's near the end of the episode, when Vance goes to get a cowboy hat. It is yellow and is on the right side of the screen, on a shelf of hats, and appears to be propping a hat up.

And sure enough, Anonymous was right:

I realize now why I didn't find it even after watching it twice.

I watched the wrong episode.

I didn't bother recording the episode that night; I had given up on the series after two viewings. And I didn't get around to checking it out on Hulu for a week.

Therefore, instead of watching "Perfect Lies", I watched "Perfect Exes" from March 31.




On this date in 1536, Anne Boleyn, the second wife of Henry VIII of England,was beheaded for adultery, treason, and incest......


'The Tudors'

Natalie Dormer

The Evil Mirror Universe

From Wikipedia:
On the morning of Friday 19 May, Anne Boleyn was judicially executed, not upon Tower Green, but rather, a scaffold erected on the north side of the White Tower, in front of what is now the Waterloo Barracks. She wore a red petticoat under a loose, dark grey gown of damask trimmed in fur and a mantle of ermine.
[After giving a short speech, she] then knelt upright, in the French style of executions. Her final
prayer consisted of her repeating continually, "To Jesus Christ I commend my soul; Lord Jesus receive my soul." Her ladies removed her headdress and necklaces, and then tied a blindfold over her eyes. Anne Boleyn was executed by French expert swordsman Jean Rombaud. According to Eric W. Ives, Rombaud was so taken by Anne that he was shaken.  Rombaud found it so difficult to proceed with the execution that in order to distract her and for her to position her head correctly, he may have shouted, "Where is my sword?" just before killing her.

The execution was mercifully humane and consisted of a single stroke.


Wednesday, May 18, 2011


From the New York Times:

Harmon Killebrew, the Hall of Famer who developed the strength to hit home runs by lifting 10-gallon milk cans as an Idaho farmhand and grew up to be one of the most feared sluggers of his generation, died on Tuesday morning at his home in Scottsdale, Ariz., four days after announcing that he was ending treatment for esophageal cancer. He was 74.

Among the many TV appearances he made on talk shows and televised sporting events over the years as a member of the League of Themselves, he did appear in a series as his fictionalized televersion.

In a 1995 episode of 'Step By Step', Killebrew's interview with a star player was interrupted by Brendan after he discovered that the player was only in it for the money and didn't give a bleep about his fans. (The episode title was "Where Have You Gone, Joe DiMaggio?")

He also practiced his serlinguistic skills in at least one blipvert:

Good night and may God bless.



Because of the news about Donald Trump dropping out of the 2012 Presidential race, and the appearance by the real Lindsey Buckingham on this past week's edition of 'Saturday Night Live', I came up with this Super Six List......


When Jesse Eisenberg, who played Zuckerberg in the movie "The Social Network", hosted 'Saturday Night Live', Zuckerberg left the backstage area where he had been watching with Lorne Michaels to "confront" the actor on stage. Then we got a triple play when they were joined by Andy Samberg as his televersion of Zuckerberg.

Every time SNL does the sketch about the BET show "What's Up With That?", they always have two celebrities playing themselves as the guests with Bill Hader as Buckingham for the third guest. Whether the other celebrities ever get to say something or not, Hader's Buckingham has never had the chance to say even one word. But this week, even as Hader sat there on the panel with musical guest Paul Simon and Chris Colfer of 'Glee', the real Buckingham came out and jammed during the "What's Up With That" continuous theme song.
And even after all of that, Hader's televersion still didn't get to speak!

As Will Ferrell ran out the clock on his tenure with 'Saturday Night Live', he appeared one last time as former Attorney General Janet Reno, hosting "Janet Reno's House Party." But suddenly the wall caved in behind him and out stepped the League of Themselves member to confront him about his portrayal. And fashion disaster alert - they both wore the same dress!

In a similar fashion, Ferrell hosted one last installment of "Celebrity Jeopardy" (at least until he came back to host) as the game show host, only to be confronted by Trebek as well. I think if Trebek was really bleeped off about anything to do with the portrayal, it would have been the fact that Ferrell never put any effort into the impression.

Real Alex Trebek: And so this was Final Jeopardy. And what a ride it has been, from Burt Reynolds to Minnie Driver, but boy, oh boy, those celebrities did not know the right answers to any of your questions.

Alex Trebek: No, they did not. They were very stupid.

Real Alex Trebek: You got that right.

Sean Connery: Well, well, two Trebeks. I feel like I'm in a Raisin Bran commercial: "two scoops of fruit".

Real Alex Trebek: Back off, Connery. I don't have to take that from you.

Sean Connery: I guess it's true, old married couples do start to look alike.

Alex Trebek: Okay, please. From all of us to all of you, good night.

Real Alex Trebek: Good night.

With these last two entries, there was a slight variation. When Michael J. Fox hosted SNL, there was a great sketch called "America's Most Wanted: Former Child Stars". Fox played Danny Bonaduce while David Spade imitated him, which he had done several times in the past. If you get the chance to see the sketch, you'll notice Fox has a hard time keeping a straight face as Spade goes through his histrionics after being shot. "Mallory......!"

Last and certainly least, Donald Trump played a simple man who was a Donald Trump look-alike in a take-off on Mark Twain's "The Prince And The Pauper", with Darrell Hammond once again playing the Hair. (Two weeks ago, Hammond returned to SNL one more time in order to play Trump in an "Undeclared Republican Candidates Debate".)




'Saturday Night Live'

Darrell Hammond



From CBS News
(by Brian Montopoli):
Donald Trump ended his months-long public flirtation with a 2012 presidential run Monday, saying that he will not seek the Republican nomination -- even though he could have won the election.

"After considerable deliberation and reflection, I have decided not to pursue the office of the Presidency," Trump said in a statement. "This decision does not come easily or without regret; especially when my potential candidacy continues to be validated by ranking at the top of the Republican contenders in polls across the country. I maintain the strong conviction that if I were to run, I would be able to win the primary and ultimately, the general election. I have spent the past several months unofficially campaigning and recognize that running for public office cannot be done half heartedly. Ultimately, however, business is my greatest passion and I am not ready to leave the private sector."

Trump made the announcement as NBC, the television network that runs his reality show, announced its fall lineup of shows. Prior to the announcement, NBC said it would bring back the show, "The Celebrity Apprentice," with a different host if Trump ran.

In his statement, Trump thanked the "millions" who encouraged him to run and promised to "continue to voice my opinions loudly and help to shape our politician's thoughts."

"My ability to bring important economic and foreign policy issues to the forefront of the national dialogue is perhaps my greatest asset and one of the most valuable services I can provide to this country," he said. "I will continue to push our President and the country's policy makers to address the dire challenges arising from our unsustainable debt structure and increasing lack of global competitiveness."

"I will not shy away from expressing the opinions that so many of you share yet don't have a medium through which to articulate," added Trump, who has a regular guest spot on Fox News.

What a douchebag. I don't care if he is a member of the TV Crossover Hall of Fame. I think even fellow Hall member Elmo could have beaten him. Hell, I'd have voted for Elmo over Trump and I hate Elmo!

From The Daily Kos:
If you want to get an idea of how bad Donald Trump's political standing was by the end of his abortive run for President consider this- a national poll we conducted last week found that he would trail Dennis Kucinich 40-36 in a hypothetical contest.

As for those "millions" (I didn't add the original quotation marks.) who encouraged him to run, Andy Borowicz was right - they were the comedians who saw fresh material in his campaign.....


Tuesday, May 17, 2011


Lawrence Welk died on this date in 1992. He was 89. I think when they performed the autopsy, they found a song in his heart.....


'The Lawrence Welk Show'


Earth Prime-Time

From Wikipedia:
Lawrence Welk (March 11, 1903 – May 17, 1992) was an American musician, accordionist, bandleader, and television impresario, who hosted The Lawrence Welk Show from 1955 to 1982. His style came to be known to his large number of radio, television, and live-performance fans (and critics) as "champagne music."


'Saturday Night Live'

Fred Armisen



Monday, May 16, 2011


I said I'd have more to say about the Mole Men.....

In the latest episode of 'Cougar Town', Jules Cobb tried to rouse her son Travis out of his funk over the breakup with Kristin by turning on the lights in the living room. When he groaned in protest, she quickly turned them off again to please him.

"We can keep it dark," she said. "We could live like mole people. They're real, you know. They live in sewers and -#" And then she awkwardly left the room, acting like a Mole Man.
Maybe Jules was trying to at least get a chuckle out of him, but nothing indicated that she didn't think Mole Men actually existed. And since we know the Superman of Earth Prime-Time encountered them, the news of their existence must have spread from Metropolis to West Gulfhaven over the last sixty years.

But somehow, Jules got the facts twisted along the way......
Toobworld note - "Superman And The Mole Men" may have started out in the Cineverse, but it's been absorbed into the TV Universe. In fact, it was later shown as a two-part episode of the series.



These are my O'Bservations about the series finale of 'Smallville', so fair warning - there will be spoilers......

I have to start out this post with a confession: I never watched 'Smallville' on a regular basis. Part of that has to do with my Toobworld bias - once I've written about why a particular show can't be part of Earth Prime-Time, I generally lose interest in it. (Major exceptions have been 'The West Wing', '30 Rock', 'Castle', 'Human Target' and 'Brothers & Sisters' - not that it should be a problem anymore with those last two....)

I only checked in with 'Smallville' on special occasions - like certain plotlines (the death of Jonathan Kent) or when there were special guest stars like Christopher Reeve and Dan Lauria (with whom I went to college). But especially I'd record an episode when another aspect from DC Comics was adapted for TV.

'Smallville' can't be part of Toobworld proper because Earth Prime-Time already had its Superman back in the 1950's, as seen in 'The Adventures Of Superman'. (And if you haven't heard me say this before, he died in the early 1960's because he saved the lives of two petty crooks between seasons of 'Crime Story'.)

I've had to banish plenty of shows to alternate dimensions for similar reasons, but rarely do I regret it. (I like populating those other TV dimensions.) 'Smallville' is one of the exceptions.

Look at all the material adapted from DC Comics:
The Justice League of America, The Justice Society of America, Kandor

The Legion of Super-Heroes, The Phantom Zone, The Fortress of Solitude

Lana Lang, Lex Luthor, General Zod, Green Arrow, Zatanna

The Martian Manhunter, Aquaman, Brainiac, Hawkman, Doctor Fate

The Sandman, The Star-Spangled Kid, Black Canary, Cyborg, Stargirl

Supergirl, Booster Gold, and Impulse (that world's version of the Flash)

And as I said, I didn't watch on a regular basis, so I may have missed plenty!

You got none of that in 'The Adventures Of Superman'. At best, there was the origin story of Krypton with Jor-El and Lara, plus supporting players Perry White, Lois Lane, and Jimmy Olsen from the Daily Planet in Metropolis. Otherwise, unless there was some crackpot scientist with a weird invention or the occasional Mole Man (more on them in the next post), the Superman of Earth Prime-Time faced nothing more dangerous than low-rent hoodlums. (And as Robert Wuhl pointed out in his HBO special, Superman would duck when the gangsters threw their empty guns at him!)

So 'Smallville' would have been a bonanza for the Toobworld concept.

The Superman mythos is so ingrained into our national psyche that someone with even less familiarity with the series than me could have just watched the finale and been able to follow along. (Of course, the extended "Previously on....." clips helped.)

I was sort of lost with those final moments between Tess and Lex, however. And I felt her death was unnecessary. Still, it was interesting to see the fallout from whatever that toxin was which used to infect her brother - in seven years a squeaky clean Lex Luthor would be President of the United States in that alternate TV dimension.

At the end of the present timeline, the avatar of Jor-El (and the ghost of Jonathan Kent, I guess) deemed their son ready to step into the public eye as the defender of Earth. They gave Kal-El the uniform to wear that would mark him as such, the blue tights, the red cape and the big red "S" insignia splayed across the chest.

Unfortunately, we only got to see the full effect mostly in long-shot. (For alls I could tell, Tom Welling was nothing more than a CGI cartoon at that distance.) But again, our knowledge of Superman can fill in the blanks to cover that seven year gap until we see Lois and Clark again in 2018.
And what a kicker that final minute of the series was!  As Clark raced up the stairs to the roof of the Daily Planet building, the classic John Williams theme music from the 1978 film swelled, and as always happens for me, I got verklempt (as Linda Richman would say) to hear it again.

Best of all for me as a televisiologist, the two-hour finale teased us with the news that the President was in Metropolis. We heard him on the radio; we got updates on his motorcade; and when he finally appeared on Air Force One, we got the classic shot like they used to do in the old days - just part of his body that wouldn't identify him as being any particular man.

Therefore, my theory that 'Smallville' took place in 'The West Wing' TV dimension was safe. This wasn't Obama; but it could have been Matt Santos, and the difference in vocal quality could always be attributed to seasonal allergies.

One last point I'd like to bring up. Throughout the decade of the show, the imminent demise of Chloe Sullivan was always being trumpeted and/or stressed over by the fanbase on the Internet. The producers took care of that worry with the opening sequence - set at least a few years beyond 2018, Chloe is seen reading a "Smallville" comic book to her six year old son. (I'm guessing six, based on the age of my youngest nephew in comparison.) So right away we knew Chloe was going to make it out of the series okay.

Okay, one last trivial note - I loved that Michael McKean came back as Perry White, but was only a vocal cameo near the end.

Series finales are tricky; they never seem to please everybody. (Just ask the good folks from 'Lost'.....) But I think that with a property so firmly established in our hearts and minds, 'Smallville' largely succeeded.



'Robot Chicken'

Kurtwood Smith

Myth-busting Walt Disney’s Frozen Head
by Jane McGrath
April 3, 2009

While rifling through all the fantastic suggestions in our fan mail, I found one that just begged for a blog post. Hearkening back to our fact-or-fiction roots, Mark asks whether Walt Disney’s head is really frozen in a lab somewhere. And if it’s fiction — how did the rumor get started?

It’s a great question. I’ve heard this Disney legend several times — but because it was always discussed facetiously, I never thought about it long enough to fully accept it or reject it. The rumor states that Walt Disney, the renowned animation genius and pioneer, had his dead body cryogenically frozen in hopes that future generations could revive him when they find a cure for his sickness. If this is true, perhaps this world hasn’t seen the end of his genius after all.

For more:


Sunday, May 15, 2011


We're already up to Episode Five of HBO's new series 'Games On Thrones'. Based on the series of fantasy novels by George R.R. Martin, it takes place in the Seven Kingdoms on the continent of Westeros (which for Toobworld purposes only is considered to be on the planet Mondas, Earth's orbital "twin").

Here's the preview trailer for the new episode, which airs tonight at 9 PM EDT.....

And here's an extended scene from the episode:

It's not too late to dive into 'Game Of Thrones'. You can catch earlier episodes on HBO On Demand.....



During the latest episode of 'The Mentalist', Patrick Jane and the CBI team investigated the murder of the first violinist for a symphony orchestra in northern California. The same piece of classical music was used throughout the episode and it was finally performed at the end by Jane (on cello) and some of the orchestra members in a smooth jazz version.

I knew the song only from its use in PDQ Bach's "Unbegun Symphony" but never knew the original source. So I turned to fellow Iddiot (Iddiette?) Ruth Singleton, no slouch in the symphony orchestra department to help me identify the piece.

And she came through quickly with the info I was looking for!

I'll never remember the name of the piece; I'll have to be satisfied with just remembering it was Tchaikovsky.....

As a thank you, I'd like to give Ruth's orchestra a little plug. She's a member of the New Amsterdam Symphony Orchestra and they'll be performing at Symphony Space in NYC on Thursday June 2 at 8 PM.

The Symphony Space is on Broadway at 95th Street. If you're interested in tickets ($20.00, $14.00 for seniors and students), the box office number is 212-864-5400. Or you can reach them online at .

This will be the NASO's 35th anniversary gala and here's the line-up for the upcoming show:

BRAHMS Symphony No. 3
GRIEG Peer Gynt Suite No. 2
GRIEG In the Hall of the Mountain King
BIZET Carmen Suite No. 2

I'm pretty sure I'll be there.....

Thank you, Ruth!



Thanks to Retroland for pointing out this weird blipvert from our hippy-trippy past....



Probably the best season finale I've seen so far this month of Sweeps was the two-part 'Community' - "A Fistful Of Paintballs" and "For A Few Paintballs More".

Here's a behind-the-scenes look at those shows......

Also thanks to Alan Sepinwall for pointing this out, but you can see Busy Phillips and Dan Byrd among the students during that big apocalyptic attack on the Pistol Patty's ice cream truck near the end of Part Two. This could mean that Laurie accompanied Travis to Greendale Community College so that he could check out another option for school. And they didn't have to fly from West Gulfhaven, Florida, but instead from the 'Cougar Town' season finale in Hawaii. In fact, the whole gang could conceivably be there on campus, but all we saw were Laurie and Trav. 

You know Jules would shoot down Greendale as an option after seeing the paintball carnage!



I predict a big future for the kid in this blipvert. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if he gets scooped up for a role in some family-oriented sitcom. He has enthusiasm and great facial reactions!

And I'm not just saying that because he's apparently related to the legendary Chuck McCann.....



Behind the scenes during filming of "Five Children And It"......



'The Edwardians'

Judy Parfitt

Earth Prime-Time

From Wikipedia:
Edith Nesbit (married name Edith Bland; 15 August 1858 – 4 May 1924) was an English author and poet whose children's works were published under the name of E. Nesbit. She wrote or collaborated on over 60 books of fiction for children, several of which have been adapted for film and television. She was also a political activist and co-founded the Fabian Society, a precursor to the modern Labour Party.

Nesbit published approximately 40 books for children, including novels, collections of stories and picture books. Collaborating with others, she published almost as many more.

According to her biographer Julia Briggs, Nesbit was "the first modern writer for children": "(Nesbit) helped to reverse the great tradition of children's literature inaugurated by [Lewis] Carroll, [George] MacDonald and Kenneth Grahame, in turning away from their secondary worlds to the tough truths to be won from encounters with things-as-they-are, previously the province of adult novels." Briggs also credits Nesbit with having invented the children's adventure story. Noël Coward was a great admirer of hers and, in a letter to an early biographer Noel Streatfeild, wrote "she had an economy of phrase, and an unparalleled talent for evoking hot summer days in the English countryside."

Among Nesbit's best-known books are The Story of the Treasure Seekers (1898) and The Wouldbegoods (1899), which both recount stories about the Bastables, a middle class family that has fallen on relatively hard times. Her children's writing also included numerous plays and collections of verse.

She created an innovative body of work that combined realistic, contemporary children in real-world settings with magical objects and adventures and sometimes travel to fantastic worlds. In doing so, she was a direct or indirect influence on many subsequent writers, including P. L. Travers (author of Mary Poppins), Edward Eager, Diana Wynne Jones and J. K. Rowling. C. S. Lewis wrote of her influence on his Narnia series and mentions the Bastable children in The Magician's Nephew. Michael Moorcock would go on to write a series of steampunk novels with an adult Oswald Bastable (of The Treasure Seekers) as the lead character.

Nesbit also wrote for adults, including eleven novels, short stories, and four collections of horror stories.

This is another case in which an author co-exists in Toobworld with the living embodiment of the characters she wrote about. Many of her works were adapted for television, including "The Railway Children", "The Treasure Seekers", "The Phoenix And The Carpet" and "Five Children And It".