From the William Smith fansite: As played by William Smith, the evil
Falconetti is one of the most memorable villains in television history.
Falconetti so dominates memories of the miniseries that it’s hard to believe he
only appeared in 3 of the 12 one-hour episodes which originally ran in Feb/March
of 1976. The scene in which Falconetti looks down to the pier where Tom is dying
from wounds inflicted by Falconetti’s cohort is wonderfully chilling. Bill
reprised the Falconetti role in Book II despite the fact that his interaction in
the original had been solely with Tom Jordache. Tom’s son Wesley was no match
for Falconetti [as actor Gregg Henry was no match for William Smith] so his
animosity was broadened to the entire Jordache family.
garnered an Emmy nomination for his role in Book II. [He was beaten by Gary
Frank who played the sensitive Willie Lawrence on the drama Family.] Despite
coming in a respectable 21st in the 1976-77 ratings (opposite top-ten rated
comedies 'M.A.S.H.' & 'One Day at a Time') there was no 2nd season for Book
II. Falconetti was actually a more interesting character in Book II. His
previously unrelenting tough guy was a manipulator in this scenes opposite
Dimitra Arliss as his sister Marie. But it was his scenes with the powerful
Estep [Peter Haskell] that saw a real change for William Smith. Despite the fact
that Haskell was no physical match for Bill, Estep dominated Falconetti
psychologically with his wealth and power. [Estep called Falconetti "Anthony" in
a condescending tone] Bill did a notable job of shrinking psychically in the
presence of Estep who used Falconetti for his own evil purposes.
little RMPM trivia: In a fight with Tom Jordache, Falconetti's left eye is
gouged as shown by the gauze patch on his left eye. However, when filming
resumed they put the eyepatch on his right eye. Bill protested that it was his
left eye that was missing but he was contradicted by the script girl so the
patch remained on his right eye until he got a glass eye in Book II.
Before her "death" in 2010 (mentioned in an episode of 'NCIS'), Mrs.
Victoria Mallard told Abby about her sister Gloria - and about how much Abby
reminded her of that sister. But the mother of Dr. Ducky Mallard never
mentioned that she had another sister whose married name was Carol
By the time we met Victoria Mallard in the episode "Meat Puzzle", she was
in her nineties and already on that downward slope into dementia. But there
wasn't any reason why she should have mentioned Carol to Abby or to either Tony or Kate who
were acting as her bodyguards/babysitters. And she could have mentioned it
during the many hours not actually seen onscreen, perhaps even during a
Dementia doesn't have to be the reason why the subject of Carol never came
up. It could just be that the topic was too painful for Mrs. Mallard to
relive. About forty years before, Carol Flemming had been murdered by her
husband, psychiatrist Dr. Ray Flemming - staged in such a way so that it looked
like she had stumbled on a burglary of her home when she returned unexpectedly.
Dr. Flemming had a very convincing alibi, not that it ever mattered - the
homicide detective on the case was one Lt. Columbo.....
The inspiration for this theory of "relateeveety"? The late Nina Foch
played both roles.
Bill Pullman will once again be playing a US President, although this time
in a sitcom. (The last time was in the movie "Independence Day".) He'll be
playing President Dale Gilchrist - seen by the Nation as an heroic ex-military
figure, but privately he can barely control his disfunctional family.
There would have been the perfect alternate TV dimension for this series
and there may yet be a chance it can be squeezed into there if the "need"
arises. (So far, this is just a pilot and there is no firm commitment it will
be broadcast, although NBC will face stiff penalties if it doesn't.)
Long before it goes on the air, HBO will have already begun showing 'Veep'
starring Julia Louis Dreyfuss as former Senator Selina Meyer, the new Vice
President of the United States.
As such, her show will hold the current spot on
the timeline in the same TV dimension which also houses 'Nancy', 'Hail To The
Chief', 'Mr. President', and 'Cory In The House'. ('Cory In The House' is a
spin-off from 'That's So Raven'. So either that show exists in this alternate
TV dimension or 'Cory In The House' dealt with an alternate Cory Baxter.)
Depending on their individual takes on particular situations (not just
current events but La Triviata like TV shows and movies mentioned), both 'Veep'
and '1600 Penn' may be vying for the same spot on the timeline. And I think the
names of the president in 'Veep' and the Vice President in '1600 Penn' will be
mentioned, if they are not seen outright on each show. So it's not feasible to
hope that Louis-Dreyfuss' 'Veep' could be one heartbeat away from the Presidency
should anything happen to President Gilchrist.
And because of those same timeline markers, I don't think we can place
'1600 Penn' immediately following 'Veep' on that dimension's timeline. So it
probably means it has to be shunted off to a whole new TV dimension.
If it ever reaches the NBC schedule, that is.....
And because they're both comedies, neither one would be a threat to the new
series 'Scandal' in its alternate dimension.
(Within Toobworld, her life was chronicled by Dickens as both of them share the same reality.)
The Meagles took her from an orphanage and raised her to be Pet's maid and companion. This sad young woman is not Pet's equal, but she is certainly her shadow and double, always in the background pointing out the cracks in this seemingly super-happy, super-normal family.
In some ways, it's hard not to agree with the many unfair things about Tattycoram's situation that Miss Wade points out. The Meagleses did give her a crazy name that marks her as different, and the whole we'll-adopt-you-to-become-our-servant thing is kind of questionable. (Although back then, it's way better than whatever horrors Tattycoram would have been exposed to at the orphanage.)
On the other hand, like many of the novel's doubles and shadow characters, Tattycoram seems to be a symbolic acting-out of whatever unseemly emotions Pet might have. Since she is already a social pariah, Tattycoram gets to be angry and bitter and miserable about her life, unlike Pet, who is responsible for much of her parents' happiness and so tends to remain super chipper. Tattycoram also gets a real escape from this life – not the polite kind of escape that Pet talks about when she tells Arthur why she's getting married, but an actual destructive rampage of running away.
From the source:
He spoke to a handsome girl with lustrous dark hair and eyes, and very neatly dressed, who replied with a half curtsey as she passed off in the train of Mrs Meagles and Pet. They crossed the bare scorched terrace all three together, and disappeared through a staring white archway. Mr Meagles's companion, a grave dark man of forty, still stood looking towards this archway after they were gone; until Mr Meagles tapped him on the arm.
'I beg your pardon,' said he, starting.
'Not at all,' said Mr Meagles.
They took one silent turn backward and forward in the shade of the wall, getting, at the height on which the quarantine barracks are placed, what cool refreshment of sea breeze there was at seven in the morning. Mr Meagles's companion resumed the conversation.
'May I ask you,' he said, 'what is the name of—'
' Tattycoram?' Mr Meagles struck in. 'I have not the least idea.'
'I thought,' said the other, 'that—'
'Tattycoram?' suggested Mr Meagles again.
'Thank you—that Tattycoram was a name; and I have several times wondered at the oddity of it.' 'Why, the fact is,' said Mr Meagles, 'Mrs Meagles and myself are, you see, practical people.'
'That you have frequently mentioned in the course of the agreeable and interesting conversations we have had together, walking up and down on these stones,' said the other, with a half smile breaking through the gravity of his dark face.
'Practical people. So one day, five or six years ago now, when we took Pet to church at the Foundling—you have heard of the Foundling Hospital in London? Similar to the Institution for the Found Children in Paris?'
'I have seen it.'
'Well! One day when we took Pet to church there to hear the music—because, as practical people, it is the business of our lives to show her everything that we think can please her—Mother (my usual name for Mrs Meagles) began to cry so, that it was necessary to take her out. "What's the matter, Mother?" said I, when we had brought her a little round: "you are frightening Pet, my dear." "Yes, I know that, Father," says Mother, "but I think it's through my loving her so much, that it ever came into my head." "That ever what came into your head, Mother?" "O dear, dear!" cried Mother, breaking out again, "when I saw all those children ranged tier above tier, and appealing from the father none of them has ever known on earth, to the great Father of us all in Heaven, I thought, does any wretched mother ever come here, and look among those young faces, wondering which is the poor child she brought into this forlorn world, never through all its life to know her love, her kiss, her face, her voice, even her name!" Now that was practical in Mother, and I told her so. I said, "Mother, that's what I call practical in you, my dear."'
The other, not unmoved, assented.
'So I said next day: Now, Mother, I have a proposition to make that I think you'll approve of. Let us take one of those same little children to be a little maid to Pet. We are practical people. So if we should find her temper a little defective, or any of her ways a little wide of ours, we shall know what we have to take into account. We shall know what an immense deduction must be made from all the influences and experiences that have formed us—no parents, no child-brother or sister, no individuality of home, no Glass Slipper, or Fairy Godmother. And that's the way we came by Tattycoram.'
'And the name itself—'
'By George!' said Mr Meagles, 'I was forgetting the name itself. Why, she was called in the Institution, Harriet Beadle—an arbitrary name, of course. Now, Harriet we changed into Hattey, and then into Tatty, because, as practical people, we thought even a playful name might be a new thing to her, and might have a softening and affectionate kind of effect, don't you see? As to Beadle, that I needn't say was wholly out of the question. If there is anything that is not to be tolerated on any terms, anything that is a type of Jack-in-office insolence and absurdity, anything that represents in coats, waistcoats, and big sticks our English holding on by nonsense after every one has found it out, it is a beadle. You haven't seen a beadle lately?'
'As an Englishman who has been more than twenty years in China, no.'
'Then,' said Mr Meagles, laying his forefinger on his companion's breast with great animation, don't you see a beadle, now, if you can help it. Whenever I see a beadle in full fig, coming down a street on a Sunday at the head of a charity school, I am obliged to turn and run away, or I should hit him. The name of Beadle being out of the question, and the originator of the Institution for these poor foundlings having been a blessed creature of the name of Coram, we gave that name to Pet's little maid. At one time she was Tatty, and at one time she was Coram, until we got into a way of mixing the two names together, and now she is always Tattycoram.'
Even though Black History Month has ended, we have one last "Black Friday" entry for the ASOTV showcase - in order to make up for the omission that first week of February. The fairy tale theme was running while I was in Florida.
"Real Life is March." from the movie "Leap Day Willliams"
as seen in '30 Rock'
I made a pledge that when a deserving real-worlder died, a member of the League of Themselves with enough televersion credits to their name, they would be inducted immediately into the TV Crossover Hall of Fame.
Sadly that day has come for Davy Jones, formerly a member of the Monkees, aka the Pre-Fab Four, and the greatest rock and roll band to be created for Toobworld.
Davy Jones, the singer for the Monkees perhaps best known for his vocals on “Daydream Believer,” died on Wednesday at his home in Indiantown, Fla. He was 66.
The cause was a heart attack, according to the medical examiner’s officer there and a spokeswoman for the singer.
Mr. Jones, a former jockey and stage actor, was an important member of the first and arguably the best of the pop groups created for television to capitalize on the success of the Beatles. Though they were not taken seriously at first, the Monkees made some exceptionally good pop records, thanks in large part to the songwriting of professional songwriters like Neil Diamond and Tommy Boyce.
As himself, apart from the Monkees, Davy Jones racked up more than enough TV appearance credits to warrant inclusion in the TV Crossover Hall of Fame. I'm just sorry it took his death to prompt me to do so.
Of course, first and foremost, we have to include his signature TV series 'The Monkees' which also pulls in the movie "Head" which served as a spin-off of sorts. (And there's a lateral connection within the series to 'Batman', when another Hall of Famer, the Penguin, attended one of their shows.)
Among his other qualifications:
Sabrina, the Teenage Witch
Dante's Inferno (1997) Hilda's punitus spell illness involves several things she says including figures of speech, appearing in physical form. These include Davy Jones of the Monkees when Hilda feels like she has "a monkey on her back".
The Single Guy
Davy Jones (1996) Jonathan hosts a Thanksgiving party with special guest Davy Jones, who's considering Jonathan to co-write his biography.
The One Where They Go on the Love Boat (1992) The office workers go on a trip to the Bahamas - Herman has to deal with Elizabeth, who happens to be on board, while Louise gets to indulge her long-time infatuation for Davy Jones of the Monkees.
Probably the most famous of all his guest appearances:
The Brady Bunch
Getting Davy Jones (1971) Marcia promises the Davy Jones fan-club that she will get the famous star to appear at the prom, but the only problem is that she has no way of contacting him.
This next one is a theoretical appearance but I think it can work.....
Davy Jones appeared in three episodes of 'Z Cars', as three different characters. Two of them have names, but in "On Watch - Newtown", he was identified only as "Boy Footballer."
Why couldn't that boy footballer have been Davy as a young boy?
(The picture here from 'Z Cars' is from another episode, but I'm sure he wasn't too far off the mark as the boy footballer.)
So Toobworld Central is including that episode as a valid contribution.
On Watch - Newtown (1962) … Boy Footballer (as David Jones) Both crews are forced to realize the narrow margin between life and death on a busy night in which Barlow and Twentyman miss one crime and catch two criminals.
Davy Jones also appeared in the Tooniverse, but I think it's only the Scooby-Doo movie that counts as being his "tooniversion". (If I remember correctly, his "Davy Jones" in 'Spongebob Squarepants' was an in-joke about the infamous legend from the watery depths.)
SpongeBob SquarePants – SpongeBob vs. the Big One (2009)
The New Scooby-Doo Movies
The Haunted Horseman in Hagglethorn Hall (1972)
And so we welcome Davy Jones into the TV Crossover Hall Of Fame, even as we bid him adieu in the real world. But for more on that aspect, I'd like to share the thoughts of his former band-mate, Michael Nesmith....
All the lovely people. Where do they all come from? So many lovely and heartfelt messages of condolence and sympathy, I don’t know what to say, except my sincere thank you to all. I share and appreciate your feelings. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves here. While it is jarring, and sometimes seems unjust, or ...strange, this transition we call dying and death is a constant in the mortal experience that we know almost nothing about. I am of the mind that it is a transition and I carry with me a certainty of the continuity of existence. While I don’t exactly know what happens in these times, there is an ongoing sense of life that reaches in my mind out far beyond the near horizons of mortality and into the reaches of infinity. That David has stepped beyond my view causes me the sadness that it does many of you. I will miss him, but I won’t abandon him to mortality. I will think of him as existing within the animating life that insures existence. I will think of him and his family with that gentle regard in spite of all the contrary appearances on the mortal plane. David’s spirit and soul live well in my heart, among all the lovely people, who remember with me the good times, and the healing times, that were created for so many, including us. I have fond memories. I wish him safe travels.
For those of you who watched the whole episode, you might be surprised that
there was no grisly twist, no shock ending, as one might expet from an anthology
series that gave us "Lamb To The Slaughter", "Bad Actor", and "Man With A
This was mostly a character study, almost a two person playlet, set in a
world of rural despair and on first glance one might think it didn't have
anything of significant value for Toobworld.
But you'd be wrong.
At first, as we met Millie Wright in her isolated cabin, I was tempted to
place the locale for the episode in the "Land Of The Giants", like a certain
T-Zone episode. (No spoilers on that one - it's just too good!)
But that would be too complicated for the splainin.
This remote, rural farm community is probably set at the turn of the 20th
Century - people are still using horse & buggty as the main mode of
transportation, but they also have telephone service.
Because of the participation of one particular actress, I'm going to claim
that "A Jury Of Her Peers" took place in the outer environs of Chicago around
1905. First off, according to the Encyclopedia of Chicago, 100,000 residences had telephone service in the greater Chicago area by
1905. (I always say - TV is a teaching tool!)
If it is located in Illinois, but outside Chicago due to its rural setting,
I'm going to claim that it's the town of Salem, founded in 1802 - home to the
Hortons and the Bradys... as seen in 'Days Of Our Lives'.
Out of all pozz'ble options, I chose Salem because of Mary Peters, the wife
of Sheriff Henry Peters. Mrs. and Mrs. Peters arrived in town five years
before, according to this episode, and although their own home-life was not
central to the story, I'd like to think Henry and Mary had children - or at
least a daughter, who would soon be old enough to marry (if she wasn't
That daughter could have married a local lad by the name of Grayson. And
while that could lead to theories of relateeveety connecting them to Dick
Grayson (of 'Batman') and ultimately to Amanda Grayson (of 'Star Trek'), my
concern is more immediate - these Graysons would have a daughter of their own by
1914 - whom they named Alice.
And Alice would be the center of life there in Salem, of all that would
occur during the 'Days Of Our Lives' until 2010. (When her death was
acknowledged on the soap opera.)
I make this claim of relateeveety based on the resemblance between Mary
Peters and Alice Grayson Horton - due to Frances Reid having played both
(This theory of relateeveety post is dedicated to my Auntie Anne, who is a big fan of 'Days Of Our Lives'. So is her daughter-in-law, Denise, probably even more fanatically so, but blood will out. Sorry, Denise!)
In October 2010, it was revealed that Fox was developing a potential
spin-off series [from 'Bones'] that would be built around a new recurring
character that would be introduced in the sixth season. The potential spin-off
series would also be created by 'Bones' creator/executive producer Hart Hanson,
and be based on "The Locator" series of two books written by Richard Greener.
The character of Walter is described as an eccentric but amusing recluse in
high demand for his ability to find anything. He is skeptical of everything—he
suffered brain damage while overseas, which explains his constant paranoia—and
known for asking offensive, seemingly irrelevant questions to get to the truth.
In the episode, Booth and Brennan travel to Key West, Florida, where the
spin-off is said to take place. Nathan went on to say regarding the casting of
character, "You want to find people you want to see every single week do one
unique character. That's why when you have Hugh Laurie, who is essentially
playing a very unlikable character, you love to see him. And that is a rare,
rare quality to find. And the finder won't be an unlikeable character, but
because it is a unique character, it's difficult to find just the right person."
Geoff Stults was cast as the lead character with Michael Clarke Duncan and
Saffron Burrows cast as the other two lead characters. The three characters
were introduced in episode 19 of the sixth season.
In May 2011, it was
revealed that Saffron Burrows would not appear beyond the backdoor pilot
episode, leaving the series, because the network had decided to re-conceive the
role. Mercedes Masohn and Maddie Hasson joined the cast as the two female
leads. Masohn will play Isabel Zambada, a Deputy U.S. Marshal; and Hasson will
play Willa, a second generation criminal who helps with their
From the source:
As you can see from the description, the Walter Sherman - the Locator -
from the Literary Universe could walk by the Walter Sherman - the Finder - of TV
Land and they wouldn't recognize each other....
From 1997 to 2003, Adele Newman was a social services representative who
dealt with many of the staff and patients in the 'ER' of Cook County Hospital in
Chicago. After her last appearance (in the episode "A Saint In The City"), I
have no idea what happened to her.
Until now. I think.....
Before she suddenly just disappeared from the show 'ER' (although she was
just a long-running, recurring character), I think Adele had already begun a new
chapter in her life. I think she was taking courses for a new degree with an
eye towards going back to school full-time as a medical student. (That way, it
cuts down on the time needed to complete her studies and pass the boards.) When
she left the employ of the Social Services Department of Chicago for good, it
was because she enrolled for the full curriculum.
By this point in her life, she is probably a resident intern. perhaps
specializing in trauma surgery as it was the field she was most often associated
with. At whatever hospital where she is doing her residency, she'd be the "low
man on the totem pole" with her surgical team. As such it would be her job to
be the one to interface with the family of the patients, to take on the burden
of dealing with them as the messenger - especially when there was bad news to
If so, I think it's safe to say that Adele Newman is now in Boston.
Because I think we saw her in the season finale of 'Rizzoli & Isles'.
It was her job to keep going out to the corridor and meet with Dr. Maura
Isles; there she would let the medical examiner know the condition of her
mother, who had been mowed down in a hit-and-run intended for Maura.
(On that season-ender, we never learned the name of Erica Gimpel's
character, so it may as well have been Adele Newman. Should she ever pop up
again as a doctor in some other show, we can claim that she is still the same
person. And it wouldn't matter if she's to be found in a new city. Nor would
it matter should she have a new name - so long as we only hear her addressed as
Doctor and by the last name only. That way we can say she not only transferred
to a new job upon completing her residency, but that she got married as well.
Because of this, I'm intentionally ignoring any earlier portrayals of doctors
which fit those parameters.)
And that's our last themed post for Black History Month....
During her six year stint (more, counting the time before the show started)
with the Miami Crime Scene unit, as a medical examiner, Dr. Alexx Woods never
mentioned that she had a twin sister.
The family name must have been Saunders when the twins were growing up in
New York City, unless sister Beverly was married twice. (We already knew that
Woods was Alexx's married name.)
When we first met Beverly Saunders, she was looking up her old boyfriend,
Monte "Doc" Parker, where he worked as a paramedic. Her visit brought back
memories for Doc about how he accidentally killed a friend in an argument over a
Beverly is in the same field as her twin sister, but she was geared more
towards the administrative side of the job. Always with an eye towards
advancement, Beverly eventually rose to the position of Philadelphia's Health
Since that visit with Doc in an attempt to exorcise the demons of her
personal history, Beverly had married a man named Travers. I get the feeling it
couldn't have been a happy marriage, since Commissioner Travers acted like a
real harpy, an out-and-out bitch. She was the polar opposite to her twin sister
Alexx, who was warm and maternal and caring for the victims she had to
'Body Of Proof' - "Occupational Hazards" (to be recurring)
Cars.com presented a Super Bowl commercial this year in which a guy had a
snake-like growth coming out of his back. It had a head that looked just like
his own and it loved to sing its responses:
The guy told the salesman that it was his newfound confidence, which had
sprung forth after using Cars.com.
This is horse hockey-pucks as Colonel Potter would say.
The guy was one of two things - either he was a mutant, fused to his twin
brother in much the same way as a ventriloquist named Ingles had such a deformed
sibling which he disguised as "The Ventriloquist Dummy" in the act. (As seen in 'Tales From The
Or, this guy was an alien, probably from the same species as Scrad &
Charlie from the second "Men In Black" movie. As that franchise only has a
tentative connection to the Toobworld Dynamic, we can't make that claim
official... yet. But he could be allied with the aliens who control
"Roots: The Saga of an American Family" is a novel written by Alex Haley
and first published in 1976. It tells the story of Kunta Kinte, an 18th-century
African, captured as an adolescent and sold into slavery in the United States,
and follows his life and the lives of his descendants in the U.S. down to Haley.
The release of the novel, combined with its hugely popular television
adaptation, 'Roots' (1977), led to a cultural sensation in the United States.
The novel spent 46 weeks on The New York Times Best Seller List, including 22
weeks in that list's top spot. The last seven chapters of the novel were later
adapted in the form of a second miniseries, 'Roots: The Next Generations', in
Brought up on the stories of his elderly female relatives—including
his Grandmother Cynthia, whose father was emancipated from slavery in 1865—Alex
Haley purported to have traced his family history back to "the African," Kunta
Kinte, captured by members of a contentious tribe and sold to slave traders in
1767. For generations, each of Kunta's enslaved descendants passed down an oral
history of Kunta's experiences as a free man in Gambia, along with the African
words he taught them.
Haley researched African village customs, slave-trading
and the history of African Americans in America—including a visit to the griot
(oral historian) of his ancestor's African village. He created a colorful and
fictional history of his family from the mid-eighteenth century through the
mid-twentieth century, which led him back to his heartland of
Kunta Kinte (also known as Toby Reynolds) is the central
character of the novel "Roots: The Saga of an American Family" by American
author Alex Haley, and of the television miniseries 'Roots', based on the book.
Haley described his book as faction - a mixture of fact and fiction.
Haley's novel begins with Kunta's birth in the village of Juffure in The
Gambia, West Africa in 1750. Kunta is the first of four sons of the Mandinka
tribesman Omoro and his wife Binta Kebba. Haley describes Kunta's strict Muslim
upbringing, the rigors of the manhood training he undergoes, and the proud
origins of the Kinte name.
One day in 1767, when young Kunta Kinte leaves
his village to search for wood to make a drum, four men surround him and take
him captive. Kunta awakens to find himself blindfolded, gagged, bound and
prisoner of the white men. Haley describes how they humiliate him by stripping
him naked, probing him in every orifice, and branding him with a hot iron. He
and others are put on a slave ship for the three-month voyage from
Kunta survives the trip to Maryland and is sold to a Virginia
plantation owner, Master Waller-, who renames him "Toby". He rejects the name
imposed by his owners, and refuses to speak to others.
apprehended during the last of his four escape attempts, the slave catchers give
him a choice: he can be castrated or have his right foot cut off. He chooses to
have his foot cut off, and the slave catchers cut off the front half of his
right foot. As the years pass, Kunta resigns himself to his fate, and also
becomes more open and sociable with his fellow slaves, while never forgetting
who he was or where he came from.
Following the success of the original
novel and the miniseries, Haley was sued by author Harold Courlander, who
asserted that Roots was plagiarized from his own novel "The African", published
nine years prior to Roots in 1967. The resulting trial ended with an
out-of-court settlement and Haley's admission that some passages within "Roots"
had been copied from Courlander's work. Separately, researchers refuted Haley's
claims that, as the basis for "Roots", he had successfully traced his own
ancestry back through slavery to a specific individual and village in
It is because of such questions that I'm considering Kunta Kinte as
fictionalized rather than as an historical character.
From the source:
Early in the spring of 1750, in the village of Juffure,
four days upriver from the coast of The Gambia, West Africa, a man-child was
born to Omoro and Binta Kinte. Forcing forth from Binta's strong young body, he
was as black as she was, flecked and slippery with Binta's blood, and he was
bawling. The two wrinkled midwives, old Nyo Boto and the baby's Grandmother
Yaisa, saw that it was a boy and laughed with joy. According to the forefathers,
a boy firstborn presaged the special blessings of Allah not only upon the
parents but also upon the parents' families; and there was the prideful
knowledge that the name of Kinte would thus be both distinguished and
It was the hour before the first crowing of the cocks, and
along with Nyo Boto and Grandma Yaisa's chatterings, the first sound the child
heard was the muted, rhythmic bomp-a-bomp-a-bomp of wooden pestles as the other
women of the village pounded couscous grain in their mortars, preparing the
traditional breakfast of porridge that was cooked in earthen pots over a fire
built among three rocks.
The thin blue smoke went curling up pungent and
pleasant, over the small dusty village of round mud huts as the nasal wailing of
Kajali Demba, the village alimamo, began, calling men to the first of the five
daily prayers that had been offered up to Allah for as long as anyone living
could remember Hastening from their beds of bamboo cane and cured hides into
their rough cotton tunics, the men of the village filed briskly to the praying
place, where the alimamo led the worship: "Allahu Akbar! Ashadu an
lailahailala!" (God is great! I bear witness that there is only one God!) It was
after this, as the men were returning toward their home compounds for breakfast,
that Omoro rushed among them, beaming and excited, to tell them of his firstborn
son. Congratulating him, all of the men echoed the omens of good
Each man, back in his own hut, accepted a calabash of porridge
from his wife. Returning to their kitchens in the rear of the compound, the
wives fed next their children, and finally themselves. When they had finished
eating, the men took up their short, bent-handled hoes, whose wooden blades had
been sheathed with metal by the village blacksmith, and set off for their day's
work of preparing the land for farming of the groundnuts and the couscous and
cotton that were the primary men's crops, as rice was that of the women, in this
hot, lush savanna country of The Gambia.
By ancient custom, for the next
seven days, there was but a single task with which Omoro would seriously occupy
himself: the selection of a name for his firstborn son. It would have to be a
name rich with history and with promise, for the people of his tribe--the
Mandinkas--believed that a child would develop seven of the characteristics of
whomever or whatever he was named for.
On behalf of himself and Binta,
during this week of thinking, Omoro visited every household in Juffure, and
invited each family to the naming ceremony of the newborn child, traditionally
on the eighth day of his life. On that day, like his father and his father's
father, this new son would become a member of the tribe.
We're down to the last two days of Black History Month - one day longer
than in most years. And because the ASOTV showcase was about literary TV
characters, it was easier than finding the historical figures of years past when
it came to the "Black Friday" editions. (Even with the week of 'Wishbone'
characters, we tied into a legend from African folklore.)
Just to tally up the Black ASOTV list:
The Fairy Godmother
Dr. Oliver Jones
Jim (two recastaways)
and Tomorrow's finale......
Because today's entry is the escaped slave Jim (from Mark Twain's classic
"The Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn"), I thought today would be perfect for
sharing this museum piece.....
It looks like the earliest TV adaptation of the greatest American novel
ever written is from 1953 as an episode of 'Excursion' starring Burgess
Meredith, Eddie Albert, Clifford Tatum Jr., and Sugar Ray Robinson as Jim. (It
was basically just a dramatization of the scenes with the King and the Duke, but
as much of life within Toobworld occurs off-screen, this is accepted as the
And that's a good thing, because there's no way that I could allow this
1955 version to be accepted as the official entry for Earth Prime-Time.
Watch it. I think you'll guess early on why it has to be excluded. (Due
to today's theme, I think you'll figure out easily who's missing.....)
Imagine that! To have the audacity to remove completely one of the two
most integral characters from the novel!
There's been a hue and cry in recent years about removing the "N" word from
future editions of the tale. Apparently, there are published versions out there
that replace it with the word "slave" and even with the word "robot"! (An early
prototype of "Boilerplate", perhaps?)
Turning Jim into the the precursor of James Baldwin's "The
Invisible Man" won't fly for the main Toobworld; it's unacceptable.
But there is a TV dimension where this adaptation could be an integral
Earth Prime-Time Ebony.
(It's a name in progress. I may just stick with Black Toobworld. It's got
a 70's Marvel Comics feel to it. But I'm open to suggestions.....)
This may seem strange, since the Black Toobworld is populated by classic TV
characters who are blacks in this dimension - 'Kojak', 'Barefoot In The Park',
'The New Odd Couple'.... Even theatrical films have been absorbed into this
dimension - "The Honeymooners", "The Wild, Wild West", and "The Hitch-Hiker's
Guide To The Galaxy".
So why would a black TV dimension want to have a production of "The
Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn" which cut out the greatest black literary
character of all time?
The answer would lie in how the Black Toobworld came to be.....
This past weekend, I offered up a couple of video examples of the character
'Karen Sisco' as seen in the French and Spanish TV dimensions. The raison
d'etre for those two dimensions stem from alterations to historical events which
would have given each nation a dominance over the world in its timeline. For
the Spaniards, it would have been a victory for the Spanish Armada. For the
French, a triumph for Napoleon over Wellington at Waterloo. (And both events
could have been triggered by the Meddling Monk from 'Doctor Who'.)
With Black Toobworld, the splainin could be that slavery was never
introduced into that TV dimension. So there would have been no Jim in the story
about Huckleberry Finn. For that matter, there would have been no 'Roots'
franchise! And the Civil War would have had to hinge on something else besides
the emancipation of the slaves.
So without slavery in their historical background, the citizens of Black
Toobworld had a better chance becoming more prominent in America because they
came to this country of their own free will.
I think the theory is valid, so I'm sticking to it. It's not like Jim was
wiped out of existence by stepping into a machine like Peter Bishop did on
Pete Matheson had been the business partner of Congressman Delancey from
New York City. One of their shadier deals was in danger of being exposed, so
Matheson ordered a professional hit on Delancey. That way he could blame the
Congressman and claim that he had no knowledge of it, and Delancey wouldn't be
able to refute him.
The kiling was made to look like an assassination by a disgruntled man out
of work (for which Delancey was responsible.) And it would have worked had it
not been for the meddlesome Mr. Finch and Mr. Reese. Thanks to the all-seeing
machine created by Finch, they quickly determined that Pete Matheson was their
new 'Person Of Interest'.
The eventual arrest of Pete Matheson must have been a big disappointment to
his father, O'Bviously. And it's at this time that Toobworld Central is going
to make the claim that Pete Matheson was the son of Senator Richard Matheson (as
seen in several episodes of 'The X-Files'.)
In fact, it was probably through his father that Pete Matheson first met
We'll have to see what happens by the end of the year, but the prophecy of
the Mayan calendar for the end of the world is supposed to occur on December
The aftermath of that apocalypse was depicted in this Super Bowl commercial
for Chevy trucks - four old buddies survived the destruction because they were
in their Chevy trucks. (One of their friends didn't make it - he drove a
So if the end of the world doesn't happen as the Mayans predicted, this
commercial has to be relegated to an alternate TV dimension.
And if it does
come to pass?
Well, I'll probably not be around to chronicle it
Jim is one of two major fictional characters in the classic novel
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain. The book chronicles the journey of
Jim and Huckleberry "Huck" Finn down the Mississippi River in the antebellum
Southern United States.
Jim is an adult African American who has escaped from
slavery and is trying to reach freedom. Huckleberry Finn, a 11-year-old
Caucasian male, has been taught that slavery is natural and that abolitionism is
wicked; nevertheless, after befriending Jim, he decides to help Jim
Jim may have been modeled after one or more slaves, or on the
"shrewd, wise, polite, always good-natured ..." formerly enslaved
African-American George Griffin, whom Twain employed as a butler, starting
around 1879, and treated as a confidant.
Jim is simple and trusting, even
gullible. But Jim’s simple nature belies a common sense that helps him choose
the right path for Huck and him to follow. Jim does not recognize the duke and
the king as frauds. Jim becomes an authority figure in contrast to Huck's
abusive father, who can be appreciated for his wisdom and intelligence.
From the source;
I went to sleep, and Jim didn't call me when it was my turn. He often done
that. When I waked up just at daybreak he was sitting there with his head down
betwixt his knees, moaning and mourning to himself. I didn't take notice nor
let on. I knowed what it was about. He was thinking about his wife and his
children, away up yonder, and he was low and homesick; because he hadn't ever
been away from home before in his life; and I do believe he cared just as much
for his people as white folks does for their'n. It don't seem natural, but I
reckon it's so. He was often moaning and mourning that way nights, when he
judged I was asleep, and saying, "Po' little 'Lizabeth! po' little Johnny! it's
mighty hard; I spec' I ain't ever gwyne to see you no mo', no mo'!" He was a
mighty good nigger, Jim was.
But this time I somehow got to talking to
him about his wife and young ones; and by and by he says:
"What makes me
feel so bad dis time 'uz bekase I hear sumpn over yonder on de bank like a
whack, er a slam, while ago, en it mine me er de time I treat my little
'Lizabeth so ornery. She warn't on'y 'bout fo' year ole, en she tuck de
sk'yarlet fever, en had a powful rough spell; but she got well, en one day she
was a-stannin' aroun', en I says to her, I says:
"She never done it; jis' stood dah, kiner smilin' up at me. It
make me mad; en I says agin, mighty loud, I says:
"'Doan' you hear me?
Shet de do'!'
"She jis stood de same way, kiner smilin' up. I was
a-bilin'! I says:
"'I lay I MAKE you mine!'
"En wid dat I fetch'
her a slap side de head dat sont her a-sprawlin'. Den I went into de yuther
room, en 'uz gone 'bout ten minutes; en when I come back dah was dat do'
a-stannin' open YIT, en dat chile stannin' mos' right in it, a-lookin' down and
mournin', en de tears runnin' down. My, but I WUZ mad! I was a-gwyne for de
chile, but jis' den—it was a do' dat open innerds—jis' den, 'long come de wind
en slam it to, behine de chile, ker-BLAM!—en my lan', de chile never move'! My
breff mos' hop outer me; en I feel so—so—I doan' know HOW I feel. I crope out,
all a-tremblin', en crope aroun' en open de do' easy en slow, en poke my head in
behine de chile, sof' en still, en all uv a sudden I says POW! jis' as loud as I
could yell. SHE NEVER BUDGE! Oh, Huck, I bust out a-cryin' en grab her up in
my arms, en say, 'Oh, de po' little thing! De Lord God Amighty fogive po' ole
Jim, kaze he never gwyne to fogive hisself as long's he live!' Oh, she was
plumb deef en dumb, Huck, plumb deef en dumb—en I'd ben a-treat'n her
As the Trickster once said, "Reality is boring, that's why I change it whenever I can."
I'm just "The Man Who Viewed Too Much", and "Inner Toob" is a blog exploring and celebrating the 'reality' of an alternate universe in which everything that ever happened on TV actually takes place.
Most of my theories about the TV Universe come from thinking inside the box and thus can't be proven. But I've never been one to shy away from a tall tale.....
Remember: "The more you watch, the more you've seen!"