Saturday, July 19, 2014


Even though MHz Network is no longer available via a TV station host in the New York City area, I'm still a "friend" of their Facebook page.  And recently they published this status update to promote their line-up for that night:

"Tonight, Hallgrim faces a new big bad from America. And Frandsen returns from last night's visit with Unit One. Don't miss back-to-back episodes of THE EAGLE at 9 PM and 10 PM ET/PT!"

My heart skipped a beat for this chance to write about an actual TV crossover that accented the "world" in Toobworld.

But there was no actual Danish TV series crossover in that description, sadly.

On 'The Eagle, the character of Frandsen is played by Steen Stig Lommer since 2004.  'Unit 1' premiered a few years earlier before 'The Eagle' came along and Lommer appeared only in one episode of 'Unit 1' as a guest character... who was NOT Villy Frandsen.

Instead, he played "Henning" in the episode "Assistancemelding A-6/01".  Having not seen it since WFME, the former local host for MHz, I have no clue as to what this episode of 'Unit 1' was about.  (Actually I have three episodes of 'Unit 1' still in my queue, so perhaps I may still see it.)

I've seen this come up before in which mention of an actor appearing in another show is considered a crossover although he (or she) is playing a totally different character.  In fact, I would not be surprised if he played a villain....

It's not a crossover.  It's just a guest appearance by the actor.

Of course, that's not the way to hook a gullible audience into checking out the other show.

So I'm just ranting into the wind here.  Or in keeping with the Greek myth-inspired titles of the 'Eagle' episodes, I'm whispering into a hole in a reed bank.....



Friday, July 18, 2014


So sad to wake up to the news of Elaine Stritch's death. I'm glad I got the opportunity to see her live on Broadway in her one-woman show. For Toobworld, she'll live on as Jack's mother in '30 Rock' (well, figuratively - the character died in the "My Whole Life Is Thunder" episode), and she was the very first Trixie Norton of 'The Honeymooners' (to be found in Skitandia.) 

Other TV shows in which she had regular roles would be 'Two's Company', 'The Ellyn Burstyn Show', 'Pollyana', 'My Sister Eileen', and 'The Trials Of O'Brien. (Her character in that appears in my Toobworld novel along with Falk's O'Brien - both unnamed of course to protect myself.) She also had recurring roles in 'Law & Order', 'Third Rock From The Sun', 'Head Of The Class', and 'The Cosby Show'. 

But for me, her most powerful role was as herself in the documentary film of the cast recording of 'Company' - late into the night, worked to her last nerve, it's brutal.

Usually I would say "Good night and may God bless" when I mark the passing a Toobworld persona, but in this case.....

Here's to the Lady Who Lunched. Godspeed.



When Andy didn't know what to do with himself while his wife handled the application interview for their son's pre-school, Grayson suggested they do something wild and crazy.  As an example, he told about the time he and his friends broke into Gloria Estefan's house and posed for pictures with her Grammy.

Not the award - they posed with her grandmother, who was house-sitting at the time.

Gloria Estefan doesn't show up in this episode, but fictional characters had an impact on the life of her televersion.  And so it counts towards her presence in Earth Prime-Time. 

Unless of course... Grayson was lying.  But he could have come up with a better story than that.

This would count towards Gloria Estefan's eventual induction into the Television Crossover Hall of Fame as a member of the League of Themselves.

Among her other televersion credits are:

'The Chris Isaak Show'
- "A Little Help from My Friends" (2004)

'Blue's Clues'
- "Blue's Birthday" (1998)

'Elmopalooza' (1998)

'Sesame Street'
- "Episode #23.12" (1991)


Thursday, July 17, 2014


That's what happened to Ozzie and Harriet last week.

Ozzie and Harriet?  Who's that?

David and Ricky's parents.

I don't think I know them.

'The Patty Duke Show'
"Patty Meets The Great Outdoors"

The televersion of Ozzie Nelson led a different life than did his Trueniverse inspiration.  On Earth Prime (our world), Nelson was a famous bandleader who had a successful run on radio and then television with a show about his real life family - wife Harriet (who was also the singer in his orchestra), and sons David and Ricky.  But in Earth Prime-Time, the main dimension of the TV Universe, he worked in an office.  (It was never specified exactly what he did, but the popular conjecture was that he worked for an insurance company.)

And yet for some reason, a TV show was made about the Nelson family......

Here is a list of some of the TV shows that mentioned Ozzie and Harriet:
  • 'The Mary Tyler Moore Show'
  • 'Sanford and Son'
  • 'Stockard Channing in Just Friends'
  • 'Fame'
  • 'The A-Team'
  • 'ALF'
  • 'Full House'
  • 'China Beach'
  • 'Law & Order'
  • 'Married with Children'
  • 'Designing Women'
  • 'ER'
  • 'That '70s Show'
  • 'The Red Green Show'
  • 'The Sopranos'
  • 'Sabrina, the Teenage Witch'
  • 'NCIS'
  • 'Weeds'
  • 'Supernatural'
  • 'Sons of Anarchy'
  • 'Life Unexpected'
  • 'Mad Men'
  • 'Shameless'

It's pozz'ble, just pozz'ble, that the Toobworld version of 'The Adventures Of Ozzie and Harriet' was not a sitcom, but one of the first "reality" documentary shows, pre-dating 'An American Famly' with the Louds.  The series was released on DVD and NCIS Agent DiNozzo owned the "Best Of" collection.  We know the TV show was around in the 1960s, as it was mentioned in an episode of 'Mad Men'.  

But I think in this case regarding 'The Patty Duke Show', we should be referrring to the Nelsons who lived in Toobworld and not to their TV avatars.

When Mrs. Lane compared Richard Harrison's parents to Ozzie and Harriet and something they did last week, I believe it was an actual reference to the real Nelsons and not to some plot point from the TV show based on their lives.

How would Natalie know what the "real" Ozzie and Harriet had done if it had not yet been filmed and shown on TV?

If the TV show about the Nelsons was a "reality" documentary, perhaps something they did the week before was so noteworthy that it made the news even before the documentary footage could be edited and broadcast.  Or maybe Natalie knew because she had actually witnessed it herself.

But the Nelsons lived in Los Angeles and the Lanes lived in Brooklyn Heights.  Never the twain shall meet, unless there was a reason for one of the families to travel to the other side of the country.

And I think I have the splainin!

This episode of 'The Patty Duke Show' took place in 1965.  The family tries camping in their own backyard in Brooklyn Heights, so it has to be warm enough.  (Everybody is seen outside without jackets while the young man painting the neighbors' garage (Hank, played by James Brolin) is in short sleeves.

But it's not too late into the summer, as the Lane family was originally planning on a vacation at the beach later in the year.

I'm going to say it's early June, 1965.

And the reason why Natalie Lane may have crossed paths with Ozzie and Harriet Nelson?

The Nelson Family had traveled to New York in order to go to the World's Fair (which wouldn't close until October of that year.)

Somewhere in that crowd,
the Lanes bump into the Nelsons......
And the weekend that they chose to make the trip was the same weekend that the Lanes went there as well.  We just didn't get to see it happen on either of their two TV series.

And that's where Natalie Lane saw Ozzie and Harriet do something that would later remind her of the parents of Patty's boyfriend Richard.

As to why Martin Lane had no clue about Ozzie and Harriet even if they did have their own TV show?  It does seem rather odd, considering he was an editor at a major newspaper.  However, my brother is also an editor for a newspaper and it was months before he finally found out that U Thant had died.  Just because one is in the news business, that doesn't mean that one is going to be conversant with everything that's possibly newsworthy.

I'll just leave it at that.

And at some point in the 1960s, a TV series would be made about the Lane family as well.  Joan Holloway watched an episode of it on 'Mad Men'.  But at least there I can see the hook - identical cousins!  It's perfect for a TV show!

Now all this talk about Ozzie Nelson has me craving some Rocky Road ice cream!


Wednesday, July 16, 2014



Simon Templar flew into San Carlos in South America at the beginning of this adventure - but was he flying in to a country by that name, or some country's capital city sporting that name?  

In the beginning of the episode, various characters spoke of San Carlos as though they were talking of a city.  Even though I never trust on-screen graphics, the usual establishing shot for this episode only showed an aerial view and read: "SOUTH AMERICA".

But at the end of the episode, Alice Nestor told Templar that she and her father had sold the guns to the government of San Carlos, which implies that San Carlos is a nation.

So here's the easy splainin.  Simon Templar was in San Carlos, San Carlos.  La ciudad tan agradable que lo nombró dos veces.

(Although when he arrived, he might have thought he was in Haiti if he looked out the window as the plane landed.  The San Carlos airport looks just like the Haitian one in the episode "Sibao".  They must have been designed by the same architect....)


Tuesday, July 15, 2014


A third TV dimension will be getting its own version of Ross Poldark soon.  BBC One has announced that Aidan Turner, best known in the TV Universe as the vampire Mitchell in 'Being Human', will be playing the lead in a new adaptation of Winston Graham's books about the 18th Century Cornish land-owner with the gypsy wife.

Earth Prime-Time already has its 'Poldark' in Robin Ellis with the two-season series from the mid-1970s and it's still one of the best costume dramas TV has ever seen.  (It has a place on the shelves here at Toobworld Central.)  And there's a theory of "relateeveety" with one of Ross and Demelza's descendents staying at the 'Hotel Babylon'.  (I've also concocted a "Born To Rerun" theory in which Ross and Demelza were reincarnated as 'Dharma & Greg'.)

In 1996, ITV tried to resurrect the series beginning with a TV movie adaptation of the eighth novel, "The Stranger From The Sea", but it may not have been able to overcome the audience's love for the original.  As such, this one-shot presentation has been assigned to the same TV dimension as all of those TV movies with different American Presidents* - Toobworld-MOTW, I guess.  ToobMovie World?

This new version of 'Poldark' may do better because of the involvement by Turner.  He already had a strong fan base from 'Being Human', but he won over a whole new legion of fan-girls by bringing sexy back to dwarfs with his portrayal of Kili in 'The Hobbit' movies, especially in the second one.

Toobworld's Ross Poldark, Robin Ellis, has conveyed his congratulations to Turner for landing the role:

"Congratulations to him--I hope he has as much fun as we did filming this wild and wonderful saga written in 12 books over a sixty year period by Winston Graham.

"Aidan and I share a common debt to Winston, for giving us the chance to play a difficult, contrary, complex man often out of his time."

So we'll see.......


* Amazingly, all of those TV movies featuring fictional American Presidents can easily follow the same timeline for full terms of office......

Monday, July 14, 2014


Agatha Christie's famous sleuth, Hercule Poirot, has been played by many actors, but no one has owned the role and made it his own like David Suchet.  Suchet played Poirot from the beginning of 1989 nearly to the end of 2013, and was able to dramatize all of Christie's stories about the particular Belgian sleuth and his "leetle grey cells".

I think it's safe to say that David Suchet will forever be thought of as Poirot and anyone else foolish enough to try to put his own spin on the character will be damned by comparison.  I think the only one who has dared to play Poirot since Suchet assumed the role was Alfred Molina in a modernized, truncated version of "Murder On The Orient Express".  And it was bad.

Still, there were a lot of great mysteries among the cases written by Christie that would intrigue screenwriters and directors for adaptation.  It's just the insurmountable problem of casting Poirot.

RLJ Entertainment in France has found a way around that problem: adapt the stories, but create a new detective to solve them.  And that's how "Les Petits Meurtres d'Agatha Christie" came into being.

Instead of using private detective Hercule Polrot, the central sleuth is French Police Superintendent Jean Larosiere (played by Antoine Duléry).  Larosiere is a man of passion with an eye to the ladies and a fondness for drink.  He's hardly fastidious like Poirot - he looks more like a Gallic Bob Hoskins.

So far, I've only seen one of these French Christie adaptations - "Les Meurtres ABC", which as you can O'Bviously tell, was based on "The ABC Murders".  (This was one of the first movie adaptations for Hercule Poirot, with Tony Randall playing the Belgie.)  The story remains basically the same, with different names for all of the characters (although the central suspect of Cust has a close adaptation into Custe.)

I think both stories can remain in Earth Prime-Time.  Toobworld by its very nature has a rerun sensibility and and certain situations replay themselves over and over again around the globe.  But strangely enough, I think we have to accept that the French version happened before Poirot's case, by only a few years.

Mention is made of Germany's lunatic chancellor and his Gestapo.  Hitler became chancellor in 1933 and then declared himself as dictator the following year.  The novel by Agatha Christie was published in 1936 and I think that would be the right year in which Poirot solved his similar case.

Poirot may have heard about Larosiere's case, but more than likely - because of the relationships between France and England, and a limited source for global communication, it may have slipped his notice.  But the true killer in Poirot's case would have seen the news reports and recognized a similarity in both of their situations.  The killer would then plan accordingly to take inspiration from the previous string of murders.

By the way, it was not only with the characters that the French production took liberties.  They also added a sensibility at which Dame Agatha would only have hinted, at best.....

Not that there's anything wrong with that.

There are more adaptations in store:
  • "Sad Cypress"
  • "Cat Among The Pigeons"
  • "Ordeal By Innocence"
  • "Peril At End House"
  • "The Body In The Library"
And one story based on a Miss Marple story with a Commissioner Laurence in place of the old lady from St. Mary's Mead.


Sunday, July 13, 2014


One of my dearest friends, Ivy Hurley, pointed out this news story and found the wording to be inappropriately funny.

And that reminded me of these scenes from what is probably my all-time favorite TV show episode ever......



It's time to pay the bills.....


Definitely a Skitlandian dispatch....