Saturday, February 1, 2014


The enforced incarceration at my sister's home (due to my foot surgery) meant that I was sometimes forced to watch my nephew's preferred shows, mostly "bratcoms" (my term, you can use it) on Nick Jr., Disney, and the like.  Plus there were the shows I never would have seen if I was not limited to just the few TV stations they had there.

One of those was 'The First Family'.

It's the story of American President William Johnson and his family.  They're black, but they're not stand-ins for the Obamas - for one thing, they have four children - two girls and two boys.  Also living with them are the First Lady's older sister and the President's father.

I want to toss this sitcom into the TV dimension of sitcom presidents.  The preceding shows in this dimension are:
  • 'Nancy'
  • 'Hail To The Chief'
  • 'Mr. President'
  • 'Yes, Minister' and 'Yes, Prime Minister' (both British based)
  • 'Cory In The House'
'Cory In The House' ended in 2008 and "The First Family' began in September of 2012.  In a 2010 episode of 'That's So Raven', there was a new President, so Richard Martinez left office in January of 2009.  Whether it was his second term or if he was only a one-term wonder, I don't know.

But here's the thing: Wikipedia claims that William Johnson is the 45th POTUS and the second one who was African-American.

I don't know if this is a reference to Obama.  If he has been mentioned on the series, I'm not aware of it yet.  (Unfortunately for me, more research will be needed.)

But because of the timeline established by 'That's So Raven' and 'Cory In The House', Obama would have served only one term.  And since there were no other real Presidents in this TV dimension, why should he be included?  

If he was not mentioned yet (The show has an order for 100 episodes, so it may still happen), I'd prefer to leave him out of the mix, just to make sure we can accommodate the President seen in 'That's So Raven'.

But still, there is the matter of Johnson being the 2nd black president.  It must be that at some point between 'Mr. President' and 'Cory In The House' there was a fictional black Commander-in-Chief.  It could very well be that a sitcom-infused TV dimension had a black man in the White House well before the real world did!


Friday, January 31, 2014


One last post this month about "Casablanca".......

So Carol from number 12 is gonna lend us "Casablanca".


I'm only IN IT!

Get out!

Yeah, I'm just an extra, in the bar. And you can't actually see me, obviously. But I do knock over a chair at one point and you can see that.

You were in "Casablanca"? How did you swing that?

I know people. I move and shake.

('Being Human' - "Tully")

After Rick's flashback to his time in Paris with Ilsa, we do see Sam pick up a chair that had fallen over. 

Close-up of a glass on the table in the cafe. 
Rick's hand reaches for it and knocks it over. 
We now see Rick's face and he's very drunk. 
Sam walks over to the table to pick up the glass and a fallen chair.

But they were the only two people in the bar at that point.  Had Mitchell been there as a waiter doing clean-up, perhaps that would account for the chair.  However, when the movie's editor reviewed the dailies, he would have noticed that an actor whom they hired was nowhere to be seen in the rushes.

I think the scene with John Mitchell occurs later when Yvonne comes back to Rick's Place with a German officer on her arm.  A French officer at the bar doesn't approve and lets her know how he feels... in French.

(in English)
What did you say? Would you kindly repeat it?

What I said is none of your business!

I will make it my business!

They begin to fight. 

(in French)
Stop! I beg of you! I beg of you, stop!

There are exclamations from people nearby. German officers
at a nearby table rise, ready to join in. Rick walks up and
separates the two men.

(to the German)
I don't like disturbances in my place. Either lay off politics or get out.

A crowd of French officers also moved in from the other side, behind the German.  I think this is where Mitchell was and in the disrupted melee he knocked over the chair.  (He could have been playing a German, but his dark looks didn't fit the type-casting for the Nazis.)  Since there were at least eight other soldiers, it could be understood why nobody noticed Mitchell's "absence".

One other possibility - when Victor Lazlo leads the band and the French supporters in the bar in singing "La Marseilleis".  The audience rises to their feet and it's pozz'ble, just pozz'ble, that somebody knocked over a chair.  And Mitchell could have been in civilian clothes, perhaps even as a citizen of Casablanca and not actually French.

Definitely Mitchell could have been lost in that crowd and not noticed that he was missing......

Of course, in the "true" events as depicted in that episode of 'Lux Video Theatre', there was no involvement by Mitchell.


Thursday, January 30, 2014


The Time and Space Visualiser has focused on one last character from "Casablanca" - Sam Rabbit.

You know Sam Rabbit.  He was the piano player at Rick's.  Bet you didn't know that his last name was "Rabbit".....

In the 1942 movie, Sam was played by Dooley Wilson, a black man.  In the 1955 TV series, Sam was played by Carlton Muse, another black man.  And in the 1983 TV series, Scatman Crothers tickled the ivories as Sam.  And as anybody who grew up watching 1970's TV and movies should know, Scatman was black.

But in the 1955 episode of 'Lux Video Theatre' which serves as the "true" televersion of "Casablanca", Sam Rabbit was played by the celebrated songwriter and actor Hoagy Carmichael.

A white guy.

So why did they change his color to black for the televersion of the movie's production?  (For the purpose of the Toobworld Dynamic, what happened in those alternate dimensions doesn't matter.)  But if the movie was based on "real" events in Earth Prime-Time, why was Sam shown to be black and not white?

Was the "real" Sam Rabbit a person who wanted his identity kept hidden from the general public?

And what kind of last name is "Rabbit"?  Sure, there's country singer Eddie Rabbit, but doesn't this sound like an O'Bvious alias?

Who was the Sam Rabbit in Toobworld, really?

Even in the TV Universe, the movie was made in 1942.  So the war was in full swing.  So maybe, just maybe, "Sam Rabbit" was a spy for the Allies in Casablanca.  Perhaps the incidental music which he played in Rick's Cafe Americain was actually coded reports he was delivering to his contacts in the audience.

That's my favorite theory as to why the movie studio was forced to portray Sam as a black man in the movie.  (Forced by the OSS, no doubt!)  They had to protect the real Sam.

But whatever reason, the real point of interest is the name.  If he wasn't really "Sam Rabbit", can we link him to other TV roles played by Hoagy Carmichael?  (With the exception of Jonesy in 'Laredo', and even then, Jonesy could be the grandfather of Sam!  Despite the predicament he was in the last time he was seen in Toobworld, he was still concerned about his derby.  Perhaps wearing one was a tradition handed down in that family.)

Looking through his IMDb credits, an O'Bvious connection pops up - as "Jazzman" on board a coast-to-coast flight in the 'Climax' episode "Sound Of The Moon".  "Jazzman" seems rather obvious as a nickname for a musician.  "Sam Rabbit" may have been using it to disassociate himself from his past.  And that's with the war being over for thirteen years!

There is precedent for thinking Sam was working with an animal code-name like "Rabbit".  There was a group of Allied operatives working on an international scale who used similar code names:

  • Thomas Devon - "The Elephant"
  • Stephen Halliday - "The Fox"
  • Alec Marlowe - "The Tiger"
  • Manouche Roget - "The Leopard"
Thirty years after the war, those four were reunited and used their former skills for new adventures in Europe.  

There may have been more such operatives still living at the time, but we never got to see them as part of "The Zoo Gang".  So it's possible that Sam was a member of their team by the code name of "The Rabbit".

And he used that code-name as part of his name - hiding in plan sight, apparently.

He probaby got the code name of "Rabbit" because he served as a receiver and transmitter of nformation... information... information in that den of scum and villainy known as Casablanca.  (He was like rabbit ears antennae, see?)  He had an ear to what was happening in all corners of the European and African war theatre, and he probably transmitted that info onwards through his music to other agents sitting in the audience at Cafe Americain.

Because, after all, "everybody comes to Rick's."

(Giving operatives code names of animals continued after World War II.  A good example would be the agent known as "Piglet".)

So as far as his real name?

For the Toobworld Dynamic, it's Samuel Jordan.  But it would take twenty years after the war to forge that connection.....

When the Zoo Gang reunited, "The Rabbit" was unable to join in.  I think the reason why occurred ten years before.  

Sam had gone back to his own name after the war and focused on his music.  (This could be because the government cashiered him out rather than he chose to leave on his own.)

For a while he made a name for himself as "Jazzman", but he fell back on a nickname he had when he first started out in the business: "Jango".

He fell in love with a rich socialite named Eva and married her, becoming her fourth husband.  Jango Jordan even composed a song for her, which became sort of his theme song when he played gigs at the Chez Charles.

But international playboy Snookie Martinelli stole Eva away from Jango and married her himself.  Yet they still kept Jango around their snooty social circle as their "pet monkey on a stick" as he described it.  "Play it, Jango!" became the insulting cry of the people he used to consider his friends... and his wife.

Despite his background as an unheralded war hero, Jamgo could not find the inner strength to avoid the onslaught of Destiny.  And it may be that it was acknowledgement of his service to the country that kept him from going to the gas chamber in California......


It is because of these five theoretical connections to create one character for Hoagy Carmichael in the Toobworld Dynamic that I saved this "Casablanca" post for last.  Since this is the fifteenth anniversary for the Television Crossover Hall Of Fame, we are going off the beaten track each month when choosing the new inductees for the Hall.  And I don't think they could get any more unconventional than Samuel "Jango" Jordan, aka "Jazzman", aka "Sam Rabbit".

A tip of the derby to this posthumous entry.......

Here's lookin' at you, Kid.....

Wednesday, January 29, 2014


It's hard to think that there could be an air of romance about murder investigations.

The example given by Chief Inspector Morse was the confrontation between Sherlock Holmes and Professor Moriarty at the Reichenbach Falls.

Had it happened in the late 1990's, according to Morse, the area would have been surrounded by police warning tape and the situation would have been commandeered by a hostage negotiator.

There was no mention of Conan Doyle.  There was no inference that it was a fictional story.  (But that could be splained away if needed.)  Morse spoke of the Reichenbach incident as if it really happened.

And in Toobworld, Morse and Holmes do share the same universe.  It's to be hoped that the same holds true in BookWorld, and in the Wold Newton Universe as well.....


Tuesday, January 28, 2014


Here's the press release announcing the new look for the Doctor on 'Doctor Who':

The Doctor has a new look as Peter Capaldi’s era officially begins. In a picture released today by the BBC, Capaldi can be seen in the costume that will define his time as the Twelfth Time Lord in one of TV’s biggest roles. Sporting a dark blue Crombie coat with red lining, dark blue trousers, a white shirt as well as black Dr. Marten shoes, the look was created by Doctor Who costume designer Howard Burden.

Commenting on his costume, Peter Capaldi said: “He’s woven the future from the cloth of the past. Simple, stark, and back to basics. No frills, no scarf, no messing, just 100 per cent Rebel Time Lord.” While lead writer and executive producer Steven Moffat added: “New Doctor, new era, and of course new clothes. Monsters of the universe, the vacation is over – Capaldi is suited and booted and coming to get you!”

Filming for episode one of series 8 began earlier this month, after 10.2 million tuned-in on Christmas Day to get their first much-anticipated glimpse of Capaldi’s Doctor. Charlotte Moore, Controller of BBC One, commented: “Peter Capaldi’s Doctor is officially recorded in history today with the unveiling of his new costume. It’s sharp, smart and stylish – The Twelfth Time Lord means business.”


Monday, January 27, 2014


Back in 1987, Mrs. Warbut was a domestic bursar at Oxford who had been mistreated by the Japanese in Singapore during WWII.

We never learned Mrs. Warbut's first name, let alone her maiden name.  But as played by Avis Bunnage, I think it's reasonable to suggest that she was related to the Rumpole family.  

Perhaps she was the younger sister of the twins Horace and the Village leader known only as "Number Two".

  • 'Inspector Morse' - "The Settling Of The Sun"
  • 'The Prisoner' - "Chimes Of Big Ben", "Once Upon A Time", & "Fall Out"
  • 'Rumpole Of The Bailey'

Sunday, January 26, 2014


Supposedly nobody liked Superman underwear - not even Lois Lane.  At least this is what Emma Ross told her brother Luke at a school dance.

Everybody knew about Superman by the 1970's, after the Man of Steel had died (in Earth Prime-Time),  His secret identity as Clark Kent, the identity of his birth parents, what planet he was from, the Fortress of Solitude, the bottled city of Kandor.  And his relationship with Lois Lane was known as well.  (I think we can blame Jimmy Olson for spilling the beans.  He probably wrote a tell-all best-seller as "Superman's Pal"....)

A book like that would be the easiest splainin as to how the whole world knew the secrets of Superman after he died.  Here are four examples of what the people knew:

1]  Jerry Seinfeld used "Jor-El" as his bank PIN code.

2]  Luke Ross would often say he was from Krypton (because that's what his father once told him.)

3]  George Costanza once mentioned the Fortress of Solitude to a Mister Ross.  (Mr. Ross may have been related to Luke and Emma Ross.)

4]  Leonard Hofstatder has a model replica of Kandor.  The real one was unleashed by Superman (with help from the Doctor?) on an otherwise uninhabited planet.

At the time that Emma mentioned Miss Lane, Lois was still alive in Earth Prime-Time.  (Although she was not originally from Earth Prime-Time - Superman brought her over from an alternate dimension in the Cineverse.)  I think she founded the Kent Foundation in memory of the man she loved.

If the detail about Miss Lane hating Superman underwear is true, and if it did come from a book by Jimmy Olson, I wonder if it caused a fissure in their friendship?

  • 'The Adventures Of Superman'
  • 'Jessie' ("Punch-Dumped Love" & "Gotcha Day")
  • 'Seinfeld' ("The Secret Code" & "The Cheever Letters")
  • 'The Big Bang Theory' ("The Cooper-Hofstadter Polarization")
  • 'The Twilight Zone' ("The Little People")
  • 'Law & Order' ("C.O.D.")
  • 'Doctor Who'
  • "Atom Man vs. Superman"
Up, up, and away!