Saturday, May 3, 2014



In February of 1967, Russian Ambassador Vladimir Jiroslav Brodny feebly protested that he couldn't possibly help out with the Vaszhins' scheme because he had tickets for a Beatles concert.

In the Trueniverse, this could never have happened and not just because Brodny is a fictional character.  For the real world, the last ever Beatles concert was held on August 29, 1966 in San Francisco.  

But even though Toobworld should reflect the world "just outside our windows", it is not a slavish adherent to such a mandate.  For the big things, sure, like who the current occupant of the White House is.  But the Fab Four can have some leeway in the history of their televersions.  

And it wouldn't be the last time, as mentioned back on the fiftieth anniversary of their playing 'The Ed Sullivan Show': the aliens known as the Hive were planning to transmit a beam through the wavelenght of their broadcast which would impel teenagers to commit suicide all across the country.

That the Hive plotted to use a TV telecast which everyone knew would be popular turned out to be a scheme which the Doctor called upon in 1969 when he wanted to destroy the hold the Silence had on Earthlings.

Hey, Dennis Rodman is an extraterrestrial, so having the Beatles still playing in concerts in 1967 isn't so far-fetched!

  • 'Dark Skies'
  • 'Third Rock From The Sun'

Friday, May 2, 2014


As part of our year-long tribute to Hollywood movies in Toobworld, here's a candidate for one of the May Queen's ladies in waiting......


Norma Lamont was a movie star who had been in the pictures since Alice Mitchell was about seven years old.  (She actually only said "since I was a little girl", but she indicated that she was much shorter than her son Dennis was.

When she said that, Alice was about forty years old.  So it was probably around 1930 when she saw a Norma Lamont movie.  

And by that time, Miss Lamont would have been about 28 years old, having been born just after the turn of the Century. 

Norma was born in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, but she was willing to lie about the location when she finally had her memoirs ghost-written.  She probably lied about her real name as well, but we never did find out about that.

One reason she might have wanted to lie about her past is because she could have been embarrassed by it.  

She may have been born of an unwed mother, something that would have been quite scandalous at the turn of the Century (and indeed well into 20th Century as well!)

And it's pozz'ble, just pozz'ble, that her birth mother put her up for adoption before leaving town to live her life somewhere else, where her past was unknown.

Perhaps someone like Miss Kelly who was the senior high school English teacher in Millsburg.  (She taught and inspired novelist Cameron Garrett Brooks there about twenty years later, back in 1924.)

It's a shame that when she came to Hillsdale to discuss her memoirs with John Wilson (who was hoping to be the ghost-writer), Miss Lamont never mentioned any of the movies in which she starred.  But if there are any fictional 1930s movies mentioned in TV series, I'd suggest them as starring Miss Lamont.  And anything else that might be dated up to the 1950s.  (I think her career was on the wane by then.)

Movies like "Strawberry Blonde" from a 'Poirot' episode.  Or perhaps "Smoke On The Railway" which can be found in 'Torchwood'.  And there are several films supposedly directed by Courtland Evans - "Pinnacle", "Mansions In The Dust", "Against The Gods", and "Pleasure Domes" which is considered director Courtland Evans best work.  (All mentioned in an episode of 'Marcus Welby, M.D.')

She might even have done a few of those horrible science fiction movies when her career was in its downslide - flicks like "The Monster That Devoured Cleveland", one that Maynard G. Krebs and Dobie Gillis saw.....


Thursday, May 1, 2014



When Ambassador Brodny protested over the massive withdrawal of funds by the Vaszhins, Mrs. Vaszhin showed him the paper from the Supreme Central Committee which gave her the authorization.  She instructed him to pay close attention to the signature.

Brodny was aghast, as well as impressed.  "Did he really sign this?"

I think to have quieted Brodny's protests so completely, the note had to be signed by the Russian Premier.

At the time (February 1967), Russia was governed by the troike of Leonid Brezhnev, Alexei Kosygin, and Nicolai Podgorny.  But Brezhnev probably exerted more power than the other two and finally made it official in the 1970s by ousting Podgorny and taking the title of the Chairman of the Presidium for himself.

Just a bit o' history spurred on by a TV series.....



Wednesday, April 30, 2014


Just a quick little factoid for the day......

'Happy Days' is a multiversal show.  It began life as a sketch on 'Love, American Style' where the major difference was in the casting of Howard Cunningham.  Harold Gould had the role, but Mr. C was recast with Tom Bosley once it went to series.  

So we can't count the pilot segment as being part of the show's presence in Earth Prime-Time.  I think the TV dimension which houses prequels of more famous versions (such as the Art Carney adaptation of "The Incredible World Of Horace Ford") would be a better fit for it.

At the height of its popularity, 'Fonzie And The Happy Days Gang' found themselves translated into Tooners, the denizens of the Tooniverse.  Again, this show cannot be considered blended into a shared history with the TV series. 

And there would be a Skitlandia version as well, thanks to a sketch on Sonny & Cher's variety show and, by extension, the "Quentin Tarantino Welcome Back, Kotter" sketch on 'Saturday Night Live'.  (Cast member Michael McKean reprised his role of Lennie from the 'Happy Days' spin-off 'Laverne & Shirley' with David Lander making a cameo appearance as Squiggy.)

From the 'Saturday Night Live' transcripts site:

[ suddenly, Lenny and Squiggy from "Laverne & Shirley" enter the classroom, brandishing weapons of their own ]

Squiggy: Hello!

Lenny: Alright, nobody move! If one of you walks to me, everybody dies!

Barbarino: Hey! Up your nose with a rubber hoses!

Squiggy: Yeah? Well, up your gizzard with a rubber lizard!

Lenny: That's good. Did you just make that up?

Squiggy: I made it up in the car..

(Other televisiologists probably do combine all of these together into one timeline narrative, and more power to them.  But the Toobworld Dynamic is based more on the reality of the visual than on an idealistic concept.)

I suppose eventually certain members of the 'Happy Days' cast will find themselves as inductees into the Television Crossover Hall of Fame....


Tuesday, April 29, 2014


Tony Lee, a comic book and screenwriter, attended an 'Elementary' convention in Birmingham recently.  There he talked about his books featuring the Baker Street Irregulars as well as a crossover audio play for Big Finish which teams up Sherlock Holmes and Dorian Gray.  

But his big news was about his hopes to transform his fixation on Professor James Moriarty into a TV show.  He has a TV show in development with Lee David Zlotoff (the creator of MacGyver) about a modern-day descendant of Moriarty.  This American Moriarty finds out that he's the last surviving male heir of the Napoleon of Crime... and that he's inherited Moriarty's criminal empire.

Somebody's out there tagging this prospective series as a "Sherlockian Blacklist", but that doesn't worry me.  You have to condense it to a sound-bite to sell it to the network suits.  Remember, 'Star Trek' was being hyped as 'Wagon Train To The Stars'.

Should 'The Last Moriarty' make it to the small screen, I think it will find a welcome home in Earth Prime-Time; it won't have to be banished to some alternate Toobworld like 'Sherlock' and 'Elementary' had to be.  Of course if it turns out that somebody from the original stories survived (steampunk cryogenics, Adam Adamant?), like Holmes or Watson or great-grandpa Moriarty himself, or if they show the Professor in a flashback and he's not Eric Porter, then we'll have to chuck it out with the others.


Monday, April 28, 2014


Usually when I want to make a theory of "relateeveety" between two otherwise unrelated TV characters played by the same actor, I have to rely on the old stand-bys: half-brothers, twin sons of different mothers, identical cousins.

But now I have two characters who can be said were identical twins of the same two parents, to be found in two different sitcoms that had no connection to each other.


Stewart was the father of C.C. Babcock.  And even though he came to NYC to visit with his daughter, Stewart was more interested in going out on a date with Fran Fine.

'Doctor, Doctor' - "Member Of The Club"

Stewart's twin brother Hoey (perhaps short for Howard?  Hobart?  SO close to Hobie!) was a member of a very toney - and VERY snobbish country club in Rhode Island who invited Dr. Grant Linowitz to join... only to give him the cold shoulder when he tried to  bring Dr. Abe Butterfield along.  

Abe was black,  [He's dead now, unfortunately.]  And yet... Grant is Jewish.....


It's pretty hard to find any material online for 'Doctor, Doctor'.  So this picture of Robert Culp as Warren on 'Everybody Loves Raymond' will have to be a substitute for Hoey Babcock.  I thought the background had an appropriate country club feel to it....

Sunday, April 27, 2014


Phil Backstrom and John Perry were "identical cousins".  And that well-established Toobworld phrase is in quotation marks because in this case, it is code for the fact that they shared the same father.  The elder Backstrom, in time-honored soap opera fashion, was a philanderer who got his mistress pregnant around the same time his wife was carrying his child.  This happened in 1935.

On his birth certificate, it does read "John Perry Backstrom", but when he got older and learned the truth about his absentee father, John petitioned the court for a name change, going only by his first and middle names.  

John Perry took a few years off after high school to work on his music and to save up some money for college by performing in night clubs.  When he finally did go to college Perry ended up with Steve Austin as his roommate.  Steve was about seven years his junior.

John and Steve became good friends and loved to play practical jokes on each other.  Steve even wrote a few songs for John's act.

Eventually John Perry hit it big as an entertainer while Steve joined the Air Force and eventually became an astronaut for NASA.  When Steve asked John to put on a show for the troops on Guam, the bionic man found he had to clear his old friend of charges that he was a spy who had been the go-between for stolen government secrets.

Meanwhile, as so often happens with twins, Phil Backstrom followed the same path in life and also became an entertainer.  He finally hit it big with an altar-ego by the name of Deacon Dark, a costumed heavy-metal rocker in bizarre make-up.  

But while cruising on the Pacific Princess, Phil met a young deaf woman who was at least twenty years his junior and with whom he fell in love.  

Sarah convinced him that he should abandon the Deacon Dark persona and act; instead he should perform as himself.  Phil wrote a song especially for her that would kick off his new repertoire.

Although the circumstances were different, both Phil Backstrom and John Perry died in the late 1990s.  It's likely that Phil had children with Sarah, but whether the two of them were still together at the time of his death is unknown.

Of course, this is only one line of speculation as to the lives of these two singers, the one that best serves the Toobworld Dynamic.  But if you're interested in a different take on the fate of Deacon Dark, check out this page.

  • 'The Love Boat' - "Sounds Of Silence"
  • 'The Six Million Dollar Man' - "The Song And Dance Spy"